Children and young people

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Princes Trust Team Programme Smethwick

Princes Trust Smethwick are now recruiting for their next 12 week Team Programme for 16 – 25 year olds, starting 7th October 2019. The Programme offers skills such as team building, confidence and leadership. Young people will gain nationally recognised qualifications and certificates in First Aid and Food safety.

Alongside this, young people:
• can build a CV
• will be taught interview skills
• will have two weeks work experience and
• will be introduced to employers and training providers in a field that they wish to progress into.

A bus pass is provided which does not affect benefits.

If you have any questions please get in touch with Jack Dytor, the Prince’s Trust Team Leader, on 07787 245 832 or by email

If a group has an upcoming event which the Princes Trust could attend to aid recruitment, please contact Jack Dytor at Smethwick Police Station on the above number.

Further information

Free period products for young people

Did you know that 49% of girls in the UK have missed an entire day off school because of their period? Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council Public Health team are leading the #GirlCodeSandwell project in response to Period Poverty, with the aim being to provide free products to those who need them, and improve menstrual health and awareness.

The Department for Education (DfE) has recently announced that they will supply schools with products from January 2020, but what happens when young people aren’t at school?  Research tells us:

• One in seven girls (15%) have struggled to afford sanitary wear
• More than one in ten girls (12%) has had to improvise sanitary wear due to affordability issues
• One in ten girls (10%) have been unable to afford sanitary wear

Public Health would like to work with the Voluntary Sector to ensure they can reach young people in the community, in the  evening, at weekends and in the school holidays. As a result Public Heath are offering boxes of products to stakeholders who work with Sandwell young people, and specifically those who may benefit from free accessible products.

If this is something that would benefit the young people you work with and your organisation could host, please email to confirm your organisation would like a red box. Please provide the name of the person who will be happy to receive a box from a member of the team; will be the key contact for any communication; will commit to keep in contact and who will keep Public Health updated

What you will get from Public Heath?
• A box of free period products for your young people/ clients
• Posters to promote the products
• Free training workshops
• Support and resources to deliver the initiative.


Tipton Education Fund

The Tipton Education Fund was established to raise the educational attainment of Tipton and is managed by the Heart of England Community Foundation.

The purpose of the Fund is to support schools and community projects in Tipton.

Grants of up to £2,000 are available to support projects which meet one of the following themes:

  • Overcome barriers to learning e.g. using art, drama, sport or music as an engagement tool,
  • Raising aspirations of children and young people,
  • Supporting family learning and encouraging healthy living,
  • Encouraging and supporting children to read outside of the school day.

For more information on the fund click here.

To apply to the Heart of England Community Fund click here.

Centre secures £78,812 youth funding from Children in Need!

The Dorothy Parkes Centre in Smethwick has been allocated a three-year grant of £78,812 to provide a weekly youth club and holiday activities for disadvantaged children and young people facing poverty and deprivation locally. Through the programme of support the project aims to build the young people’s life skills and improve their overall health and wellbeing whilst increasing their confidence and self-esteem for the future.

Robert Bruce, Chief Executive Officer at Dorothy Parkes Centre, commented on the funding award, saying: “This funding really will go on to make a positive impact on the lives of disadvantaged children and young people locally.  Through engaging with enjoyable social activities their skills and confidence levels will improve, helping them to feel happier and more empowered for a positive and fulfilled future. Thank you, BBC Children in Need.”

The youth club, for those aged 11 – 18, will be launched in September and will be led by a Senior Youth Worker supported by sessional Youth Workers. Details regarding the day and time of the club will be released soon.

Source: Dorothy Parkes Community

Dorothy Parkes Centre Launches Community School Uniform Swap Shop

Parents across Smethwick and neighbouring areas will benefit from a community led school uniform swap shop which is launching on Tuesday 13th August 2019 at the Dorothy Parkes Centre, Church Road, Smethwick.

Staff, volunteers and a local laundrette have been busy washing over 250 items including sweatshirts, blazers, cardigans, dresses, polo shirts, shirts, t-shirts, shorts, trousers, skirts and shoes which have been donated by the local community since the donation box arrived at the Centre on 19th July 2019, the day the schools broke up.

The Centre will host the first two collection days on Tuesday 13th August, 2pm – 4pm and Friday 16th August, 12pm – 2pm and invite the local community to attend and take what items they need.

The donations box will be based in the Centre permanently with donations being accepted all year round. Requests will be made throughout the year for fancy dress and costumes for events such as World Book Day and Christmas, etc.

Robert Bruce, Chief Executive Officer at Dorothy Parkes Centre said:

“This latest initiative we have launched aims to help the many parents in the area who may struggle with the increasing costs of school uniforms. The summer holidays can bring many financial challenges for parents regarding entertaining their children, going on holiday and then purchasing new school uniforms. We are also aware of an increasing issue around food poverty during the school holidays. We are in the heart of a residential area and are based near ten schools so hopefully this will have a positive impact.”

If anybody would like more information about the swap shop please contact the Centre on 0121 558 2998 or email

The Dorothy Parkes Centre is a community centre which helps to address local challenges around health, empowerment, elderly isolation, low educational attainment and significant unemployment by providing, or hosting, a wide range of activities. These include youth work, children’s activities, older person’s, creative or martial art groups, exercise classes, Macmillan benefits advice sessions, job clubs and dance classes. The Centre also hosts police, fire and council surgeries and promotes other events and programmes happening throughout the borough.

The building is regularly used by local statutory and voluntary organisations as a meeting place for training, displays or fayres. It is available for the general public to hire at weekends and is a popular venue for parties and celebrations.

Options for Life Charity Treasure Hunt

Following the success of the Community Easter Egg Hunt, Options for Life are proud to announce its latest family feature – a Treasure Hunt!

Their stall in West Bromwich hides a chest – and in the chest… Treasure! But the chest is locked with a code, and the clues to the combination are scattered all around West Bromwich.  You’ll need to bring all your cunning and intuition to put the puzzle together, and get to the loot first!

The Options for Life stall will be open from 10.30 am to 2 pm, on Tuesday, 20 August, 2019, in West Bromwich New Square Plaza. Go along and pick up a clue pack to begin the hunt! Clues will take you all over the pedestrian area of West Bromwich Town Centre.  Tickets are £5 per team.

Buy tickets here

Sandwell Libraries – the place to be this summer!

Sandwell Libraries – the place to be this summer! There are for a host activities free to families and happening across libraries in Sandwell during the summer.

Flip, Dippy and Co Children’s Entertainers; Steve the Juggler; Ron Popple Children’s Entertainer; Magic Russ; Funtime Theatre – Space Party; DJ Donna Space Party; Sammy Taypot Children’s Entertainment; Fizz Pop Science; Storytwirl with Caz and her Jig Dolls, Storyplayers Cosmic and Bhangra Smash Up.

Activities run from Friday, 26 July, to Wednesday, 28 August 2019 Click here to checkout what’s happening at a library near you!

Follow Sandwell Libraries on Facebook or Find them on Twitter @sandwelllibs


Engagement Opportunity – Transforming Care For Children and Young People with Learning Disabilities

Service users, families and carers, professionals, members of the public and local community organisations are invited to attend our event to help shape local services for children and young people living with Learning Disabilities and /or Autism in the Black Country.

The event is being run by the Transforming Care Partnership which was established in April 2016 to transform health and care services for children and young people with Learning Disabilities and /or Autism who may display behaviour that challenges.

As part of NHS England’s Building the Right Support plan, the programme aims to reduce the number of children and young people with learning disabilities residing in hospital so that more can live in the community, with the right support, close to their home.

The event will take place on Thursday 25 July, 10am to 3pm at Village Hotel, Walsall, as part of our ongoing engagement with service users, their families and other stakeholders about the proposed changes; We would now like to share the feedback we have received so far and continue to build on this great work alongside all of you, to improve learning disability services for children and young people.

To book your space please visit our Eventbrite page:

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

If you have any queries please contact Helen Codd at or feel free to contact me directly if you need any support.

We hope you will be able to join us and look forward to seeing you there.

Can You Help Increase the Number of Young Trustees?

Taken on Trust research published by the Charity Commission shows that 92% of trustees in England and Wales have an average age of 55-64 rising to 65-74 in smaller charities.

While older trustees are over-represented in the current landscape of trusteeship the opposite holds true for younger trustees.

This is highlighted by the Charities Aid Foundation, despite making up 12% of Britain’s population, 18-24 year-olds account for less than 0.5% of all charity trustees.

Younger people are a vital part of our society, they offer skills, perspectives and outlook that could give great value to charities and their boards.

This has been recognised by reports published by Roundhouse in 2017 and most recently, in the government’s Civil Society Strategy (2018).

We want to transform the landscape of trusteeship

The Young Trustees Movement was created to challenge and transform the current landscape of trusteeship in England and Wales and to bring new and younger voices to the boardroom.

It aims to catalyse change and to start breaking down the barriers faced by younger people who want to be trustees.

Funded by the Blagrave Trust, this movement takes a systemic approach working with young people, existing trustees, and sector leaders to encourage change so we can grow the numbers of young trustees in England and Wales.

Underlying this is the movement towards fundamentally challenging and changing the perception of what it means to be a leader. What this means is to widen the definition and perception of who a trustee is beyond the traditional view of someone that is at the pinnacle of their career or someone with senior management experience.

This may mean valuing different factors such as age, lived experience, socio-economic background and so on.

To read the full Charity Commission blog click here.

Source: GOV.UK

Frontline training opportunity to support children where there is parental conflict

All relationships have their high and lows, their good times and their challenges. However, new research has shown that frequent conflict between parents with dependent children can cause both immediate harm and have a long term impact on children. In response to this a series of training courses for frontline practitioners supporting families in Sandwell has been announced.

The research, produced by the Early Intervention Foundation, shows that conflict between parents which is frequent, intense and poorly resolved, can cause long term negative outcomes for children. This can affect their early emotional and social development, their educational attainment and even their later employability. The data behind the research shows that more than one in ten children living with both parents have a parent who reports this type of relationship distress – and children living in families where no one works are three times as likely to experience this.

A new programme called Reducing Parental Conflict will focus on supporting families and will aim to support agencies to improve the support that they can give to parents in conflict. Training will be open to Sandwell-based services and organisations which support children and families across a range of different settings including voluntary groups, sport clubs, youth organisations, community centres and children’s centres, schools, health workers, Sandwell Council and Sandwell Children’s Trust teams.

Further information on this training programme, which will be provided at no cost to delegates, will be published in the coming weeks. To express an early interest in attending these courses please email your name and contact details to Debra Hill

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