Children and young people

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Young People’s Mental Health and Self-Care Matter!

Young people told the Anna Freud Centre that when they are struggling they are usually told to see a professional. They don’t often get much advice about how they could help themselves.

What is Self-Care?

Self-care is about the things we can do to look after our own mental health.

The Anna Freud Centre have drawn up a list of strategies aimed at supporting young people’s mental health that they can use – see the process in this self-care infographic. They’ve also published a report following a consultation with young people and their families online click here to go to their website to download their report.

They’re sharing these strategies with you to help you to manage your wellbeing which can be viewed by clicking here. It’s up to you to decide what helps. If it works, keep doing it. If it doesn’t, stop and try something else.

Source: Anna Freud Centre



Free Digital Marketing Training for 16 – 24 year olds

Do you need something to help kick-start your career?  Four Community Trust is a registered charity offering free training to young people, 16 to 24, around digital marketing, from 1st May – 31st July 2021. Four Community Trust can help build your confidence in the work place. Or imagine being paid to work with social media all day as a job!

If you already have a Level 2 in English and Maths these subjects will not be part of the training.  However, if you just missed out getting a level 2 in English and Maths and got a level 1 instead, there is have good news. These subjects will be implemented in the training to boost your skills.

The programme is broken down into 12 weeks and will not affect students’ GCSEs.

The training will be run from 4 Community Trust, 63A Crosswells Rd, Oldbury, B68 8HH.

Please call 0121 752 5969 if you have any questions or head to to sign up.

Out of The Blue – Autin Dance Theatre

Autin Dance Theatre are creating 12 brand new Digital Puppetry Tutorials for young people between the ages of 5 – 11 and are offering 12 days of Free Puppetry and Movement Workshops to Primary Schools in the West Midlands between June and October 2021 on a first come first served basis.

OᑌT Oᖴ TᕼE ᗪEEᑭ ᗷᒪᑌE features EKO, a Sea Giant Puppet so huge, he is operated by 5 puppeteers. Yes, 5! EKO rises from the deep ocean and encounters, on the shore, a young girl called VIOLET. This spectacle – designed for family and festival audiences – is inspired by the themes of the #ClimateEmergency and the #BiodiversityCrisis and features contemporary dance, immersive storytelling and a truly mesmerising musical soundscape.

Inspired by OᑌT Oᖴ TᕼE ᗪEEᑭ ᗷᒪᑌE, Autin Dance Theatre is offering Puppetry and Movement workshops in Primary Schools (West Midlands) FREE of charge. And there’s even the chance that their 4-metres tall Sea Giant Puppet can visit the school too!

Book your workshop using their online form: or email for further details or any other enquiries.

These accessible workshops (workshops feature BSL interpretation, creative captioning and audio description) can be delivered flexibly and tailored for each school’s needs from half-day workshops (with 1 class group) to a full day for the whole Year Group (1 session per class).

Schools can suggest 3 optional dates and times during the following periods: 07/06/2021 – 21/07/2021 or 02/09/2021 – 25/10/2021.

The project is a development of @autindancetheatre’s Web Series that they delivered last Summer. You can see the videos they produced here:

Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit.

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment. Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers:

  • 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant) for 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months
  • associated employer National Insurance contributions
  • employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions

Employers can spread the start date of the job placements up until the end of December 2021.

Further funding is available for training and support so that young people on the scheme can get a job in the future.

The Kickstart Scheme has changed.

You no longer need a minimum of 30 job placements to apply directly for a grant.

You can now apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant by either:

  • applying online yourself
  • applying through a Kickstart gateway who is already working with the Kickstart Scheme

For further information please view –

For a Kickstart Video:

Can You Help Family Action By Completing a Short Survey?

Family Action and their Families Together project would like to find out more about what needs there are in Sandwell for families experiencing domestic abuse and needing additional support in their relationship. We are also keen to hear about how the wider needs of families have changed during the last 12 months, particularly in relation to COVID19.

We would be very grateful if you could spare 5 minutes to complete the short survey click here.

If you would like to talk to someone about anything raised in this survey please call Family Line on 0808 802 6666

Distracting Young People for the better: Approaches to keeping them safe Webinar

Transforming Communities Together are delighted to be working with the Children’s Society, to co-host an exciting Regional Webinar for people across the West Midlands.

The purpose of the webinar is to understand more about children and young people who are at risk of entering the criminal justice system, and recognising the risks and signs of modern day slavery.

Book now, by clicking here for the webinar on Wednesday 14 April 2021, 2.00 pm – 3.00 pm.


Do you support children and young people? – There’s still time to tell us what you do

Thank you to those who have already completed our short survey, ‘Do you support children, young people and families in Sandwell’. For those that haven’t got round to it yet, you still have a few days to get your views across to us. A few minutes of your time could make a big difference to the way we work with and support children and families in the future. The survey close at 5 pm, on Monday 8 March 2021.

Sandwell Early Help Partnership – comprising of many local agencies, community organisations, schools, health partners, police and fire services, Sandwell Council and Sandwell Children’s Trust – is currently reviewing and reflecting on how we all work together to support children and families in Sandwell.

If you support or work with children, young people or families in the borough – in whatever capacity, from sports to leisure, skills development, advice, wellbeing support or more specialist interventions – then we would love to hear from you on what you think would make a greater difference in our partnership working in the coming years.

Complete the short survey here

Feedback will help to shape a new Early Help Strategy for Sandwell, to be launched this Spring 2021, to ensure we can all play our part giving families the support at the right time for a better now, and a better future.

The information shared will be kept strictly confidential to SCVO (who are running the survey). Only summary findings will be shared with partners to inform our strategy discussions.

For further information on the Sandwell Early Help Partnership or if you have any questions about this survey please do get in touch with Angel on 07587 136072 or


BBC Children in Need recruiting Regional Committee Members

BBC Children in Need is looking for new members to join the Central Regional Advisory Committee, which covers West Midlands, East Midlands and the East of England. Applications would be welcome from those who share the commitment to support children and young people across the Central region to be safe, happy, secure, and provided with the opportunities they need to reach their potential.

BBC Children in Need is positively changing the lives of disadvantaged children and young people throughout the UK. They celebrate diversity and positively encourage applications from all parts of the community to join our Central Regional Advisory Committee. Applications from those with experience of supporting children and young people from Black, Asian, and ethnic minority communities; early years, and those with a disability would be especially welcomed. Volunteers are also sought from young adults or individuals who may have benefited from the support of one of the projects we have funded. This is a great opportunity for committed and enthusiastic people to support BBC Children in Need’s assessment and decision-making processes.

Although this is an unpaid role, appropriate support will be offered to enable the full participation of all successful applicants.

Further information is available here

If you are interested and would like further information please contact the Melinda Connelly, Regional Head – Central region, at or call 0303 081 7805, for an informal chat about what the role entail.

Applications should be received no later than 5.00 pm on 11th March.

Brushstrokes Community Project Goes Public

Sandwell-based charity, Brushstrokes Community Project, has launched its first-ever public fundraising campaign to support vulnerable people in Sandwell and west Birmingham who are hardest-hit because of Covid. The project needs to raise £85,000 this year just to keep going and provide the support that people need right now.

The pandemic has had a severe impact on Brushstrokes’ clients with many more people turning to the charity for advice and support during these difficult times. Many more are struggling to put food on the table and need the project’s support, advice, guidance, and information services to avoid crises like homelessness and destitution.

Project manager, Dave Newall, says: ‘Anyone in need in Sandwell shouldn’t have to struggle alone, isolated at home and scared not knowing what to do. Our information, and advice and support are a lifeline to people in need, helping them with any issue that’s affecting their life. During Covid, it’s even more important that people can reach us to get the advice and support they need.’

But with cancelled events, reduced fundraising opportunities and an increased demand for their help, the project is struggling to raise enough money to fund its services to support over 3,000 people every year from all of Sandwell’s communities. So, they’ve launched a public appeal – the first in their 21 year history – to help them raise funds to keep the full range of services going. If you can help, please donate here: so that everyone in need in Sandwell can get the support they need and deserve.

Brushstrokes offers a wide range of services and can help with:

  • Immigration advice for all needs, including EU
  • Housing and welfare
  • Tenancy issues
  • Health and well-being
  • Welfare and benefits
  • English
  • Food, clothes, and essentials like hygiene products, sanitiser and nappies

Sandwell has one of the highest rate of Coronavirus in the country. Lucy Clark, Resources Coordinator, says: ‘With the incidence of Coronavirus so high here in Sandwell and so many people struggling to put food on the table in normal times, we’ve seen our food and essential support operation more than double over the last year. We’re now feeding almost 400 people a week and making almost 100 deliveries a week to reach the most vulnerable. But it’s not just food. We provide advice so people can stabilise their circumstances and not have to rely on food support long term. With our integrated support services people can get the help they need and move on to a more hopeful future. In these Covid times, our support is needed now more than ever.’

Located on Smethwick High Street, Brushstrokes Community Project has supported people in the local community for the last 21 years. It works with people who are facing crises such as food poverty, homelessness, and destitution. Funds raised by this Appeal will ensure crisis services can continue. To find out more, go to or on Facebook @BrushstrokesProject

Prince’s Trust Team Programme recommence on 22 February 2021

The Princes Trust Team course, Smethwick, has been given a provisional start date of 22nd February. However, the date is subject to change, depending on government guidance.

The course is aimed at unemployed 16 – 25 year olds and will not affect benefits. The personal development programme is focused around gaining confidence, improving communication and leadership and developing maths and English skills. Attendees will gain a nationally recognised qualification.

Learners will take part in days out at the residential centre, gain work experience and take part in community projects.  The course is a full-time 12 week programme based at Piddock Road, Smethwick.

The team which finished prior to Christmas 2020 had good progressions with three full-time jobs gained, two part-time jobs, two apprentices and two completing voluntary placements.

For further information please contact Jack Dytor, Prince’s Trust Team Leader, on 07787 245 832, or email

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