Children and young people

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Unemployed and 18 – 29? Generation UK can help you back into Employment

Generation UK is a charity that offers free training courses and qualifications to young people, aged 18 to 29, who currently live in Birmingham, Solihull, Sandwell, Dudley or Walsall. The next five week programme will launch on 22 February, 2021.

• Learners should be available for five weeks, 9 am – 5 pm
• Remote delivery
• laptops and Wi-Fi access can be provided for free
• Learners can still receive benefits during programme
• Expert instructors

For further information about the programmes, click here.  Please direct questions to

Free on-line after school Digital Music Productions and Minecraft courses

Does your organisation work with young people? If so, did you know that Creative Active Lives, which provide inclusive activities and entertainment, is offering free on-line after school courses, courtesy of funding from the West Midlands Police Proceeds of Crime Fund.

The Community Interest Company may also be able to help with a loan device and/or access to internet data.

The on-line courses are available to families in the Soho and Victoria, Central West Bromwich and Princes End Wards.

Digital Music production for 11 to 16 year olds
• A 10 week course suitable for beginners. You will learn the basics of Soundtrap and how to put a tract together.
• You will need to access the software on a desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile.
• Free one year Soundtrap license.
• Attendees will need to attend all 10 sessions. as
• The course start on Thursday, 28th January: 5 pm to 6 pm, and every Thursday for the following 10 weeks.
• The course will be delivered via Zoom.

What is Soundtrap?
Soundtrap enables you to make music or any type of audio recording online. You can plug in your own instrument, use the software instruments available in Soundtrap or just record a song directly with your computer microphone.

Soundtrap is a digital audio workstation (DAW) owned by Spotify. It’s easily accessible on your browser from a variety of devices, such as Windows, Mac, Chromebook, Linux, smartphones, and tablets.

The platform’s goal is to give easy-to-use, collaborative, music-making capabilities to anyone with a passion for music and an electronic device.

Minecraft Redstone with Club Minecraft for 9 – 15 year olds
• Join Matt of Club Minecraft for one and a half hour sessions taking Minecrafters through the world of Redstone.
• Learn the basics of Redstone and make automated machines to level up your Minecraft sessions in this 10 week course
• The sessions will also cover automated systems and farms, command blocks, target selectors scoreboards and timers. Enough knowledge will be covered to add to your SMP games or even make your own mini-game.
• You will need the PC version of Minecraft, Java edition to take part in this course.
• The course starts on Tuesday 26th January: 6.30 pm – 8.00 pm, and every Tuesday for the following 10 weeks.
• The course will be delivered via Zoom.

What is Redstone?
Redstone is the Minecraft equivalent of electricity. It can be used to create amazing inventions, once you know the basics. Redstone is one of the more advanced concepts in Minecraft.

For further information and to book a place, please email

Greggs Foundation Breakfast Club Grants

The Greggs Foundation currently supports over 127 breakfast clubs throughout England, Scotland and Wales.

Schools that are interested in applying for funding to open a breakfast club at their school must be able to show that at least 40% of pupils qualify for free school meals and that the school serves a disadvantaged community.

School should able to attract adult volunteers to help run the scheme and attendance at the club must be free for all pupils.

The Foundation uses the grants to support breakfast clubs through an initial startup grant for equipment such as chest freezers to store food items or toys and activities for the club. Greggs Foundation also makes a payment each term towards other food items and Greggs plc donates bread from the nearest shop.

Although applications can be made at any time, there is currently a waiting list for funding.

For more information on how to apply click here.

YMCA Family Matters Offer

Family Matters is one of four projects within Building Better Opportunities. Working across the Black Country in Walsall, Wolverhampton, Dudley and Sandwell, the project help people move into, or closer to employment, by developing their skills and confidence.

YMCA Family Matters Mentors work one-to-one with individuals to understand their goals and their challenges, and then offer the support that’s needed to help them achieve their goals.

If you are aged 16 or over, and out of work, then Family Matters could help you with any of the following:

Family support
Confidence building
One-to-one mentoring and support
Information, advice and guidance
Help with CVs and application forms
Job search support
Volunteering opportunities

Family Matters also works with young people aged 15 or over who are not in education, employment or training.

For more information about Family Matters in the Black Country, please call 07712 522431 or email

Make that call. Family Matters can help you get ahead!

Young Voices Need to Be Heard

West Midlands Police seek the views of young adults to influence national child-centred policing strategy.

Local police are working with the national justice charity Revolving Doors Agency to understand young adults’ (18-25 year olds) views and experiences of policing.

If your organisation works with young people, please guide them to the questionnaire at

The survey closes on December 31st 2020.

Go Play Sandwell

Go Play Sandwell have been providing virtual support to families around Sandwell throughout the pandemic. There current virtual offer provides a variety of activities, games and much more!

Included in the virtual offer is daily content posted onto the Go Play Sandwell social media pages. This consists of themed play video activities such as ‘Munch Mondays’ and ‘Travel Tuesdays’ and are suitable for children aged five plus to follow. The videos are  posted daily at 5 pm on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@goplaysandwell).

Additionally, play resources are posted on social media at 1 pm. The play resources include crafts, quizzes and games for families to have a go at in their own time. These can also be found on the Go Play Sandwell website, where you can also book onto the free Zoom Go Play sessions via this link.

The Zoom activity calls are fun, engaging and provide a range of crafts and activities for children to take part, whilst in a safe environment with Go Play staff.

The sessions take place from Monday to Friday 4 pm – 4.45 pm &  5 pm – 5.45 pm, as well as two sessions on Saturday mornings 11 am – 11. 45 am & 12 pm – 12.45 pm.

As well as this, the Go Play team are delivering exciting Winter Wonderland Zoom sessions from 21st to 23rd December. These sessions are going to be Christmas/winter themed and consist of a variety of activities.

There are limited spaces available so it’s important to book online no later than 24 hours prior to the sessions.

For more information please email

YMCA Open Door Christmas Appeal

It is a really daunting experience for any 16 or 17 year old who has experienced family breakdown and is potentially at risk of homelessness. During this Christmas, whilst we are still in the midst of a Pandemic, the YMCA are asking that you take a moment to consider the needs of young people in a crisis situation.

The YMCA believes that all young people deserve a safe place and a homely environment in which they can thrive.  That is the aim of the Open Door programme.

There are over 80 Host families across the Black Country, who have received training from the YMCA and provide a warm and welcoming environment for young people. During the 11 years the scheme has been operating, YMCA have helped hundreds of people progress into independence and employment. They have also seen dozens of young people progress on to university.

In this challenging time, the organisation is appealing to the goodwill of people to consider providing a safe place for a vulnerable young person.

Hosts receive over £100 per week for providing Supported Lodgings: a longer term arrangement which can last years or a short-term Emergency Night stop, which usually last a few days or at most, a few weeks.

Please get in touch with the YMCA if you can help. Speak to Jonathan, Host Coordinator, on 0121 524 3255, or e-mail



The Bigger Picture in Oldbury and Smethwick

These last few months have been difficult for us all.  Bringing many changes to organisations, groups and activities. We have all been committed to doing our best to support children, young people and families in Sandwell, and now with steps being made to try and get back to some normality.

In this vein, the Early Help Partnership thought it would be a great time to come together and have some conversations about what the ‘Bigger Picture’ looks like around activities for children and young people in Oldbury and Smethwick. The events, through Microsoft Teams, will provide the opportunity for attendees to:

 find out what services are currently available in their local area
 share concerns going forward and ideas of what has worked for them
 share information about what support you currently offer and what you have planned for the near future
 link in with each other and build new partnerships.

If you work, volunteer or offer activities in Oldbury and would like to join Early Help on Tuesday, 10 November, 2.00 pm – 3.30 pm please book here.

If you work, volunteer or offer activities in Smethwick, and would like to join Early Help on Monday, 16 November, 1.00 pm – 2.30 pm please book here.

Joining details will be sent when you book your place.

For further information contact Angel, Early Help Partnership Co-ordinator, at or call 07587 136072.



Join The Big Sandwell Scarecrow Festival this half-term

Throughout October half-term, 26 October to 1 November, Sandwell Council is looking for organisations and residents to create scarecrows and join The Big Sandwell Scarecrow Festival.

Residents will be able to vote for their favourites at Discover Sandwell. Prizes are be up for grabs for the best scarecrow from an individual, a school and an organisation.

If you have have never built a scarecrow, there are lots of easy demo videos on YouTube and the team have shared an example of one on the Discover Sandwell website link, above.

Details of how to submit photos of your scarecrow for the public vote and a map of where to see scarecrows across Sandwell may also be found at Discover Sandwell.

Entries should be submitted to the website by 5 pm on Sunday 25 October 2020.

Participants must follow government guidance on COVID-19 and only take part in the scarecrow search with other members of their household (or support bubbles of single people who have “bubbled” with another household).

People taking part can share their pictures on social media using #SandwellScarecrows and tag @DiscoverSandwell

Prince’s Trust Smethwick recruiting young people

The Prince’s Trust Team programme is still recruiting young people aged 16 – 25 years of age, for a personal development course starting 21st September, 2020. The course will run for 12 weeks. 

Attendees will gain a first aid and food safety certificate, a new CV, two weeks work placement and much more. Attendees are also provided with a bus pass. The course will not affect benefits.

To make a referral please contact Jack Dytor, Prince’s Trust Team Leader, at or call 07787 245 832.

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