Children and young people

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Council’s iTrust Programme shortlisted for prestigious award

Sandwell Council’s iTrust Programme, which supported families against youth crime, is a finalist in the prestigious MJ Achievement Awards 2021, where the early intervention programme to address knife crime and violence has been shortlisted in the Transforming Lives category.

This acknowledges programmes, initiatives or changes to service delivery that have demonstrably transformed the lives of groups or communities of people.

The judges looked for evidence of why programmes were started; how needs were assessed; what the priorities and success factors were; how innovative programmes were; and how feedback from participants was used to shape the initiative.

ITrust (Supporting Families Against Youth Crime Programme) was developed by Sandwell Council, Sandwell Children’s Trust, Sandwell Council for Voluntary Organisations and West Midlands Police Sandwell Partnership Team to meet the principles of the national Troubled Families Programme which included early identification of those children and families at greatest risk.

The programme worked with children in Years 6 and 7 in the Smethwick and West Bromwich police impact areas and, by taking an approach based on very early intervention, aimed to engage children at this key transition period in school life. This linked to other successful programmes delivered in Sandwell and contributed to Sandwell Council’s Vision 2030 ambitions and the Safer Sandwell Partnership priorities.

The winners will be announced at the MJ Achievement Awards event on Friday, 17 September.

For more information, read the iTrust Sandwell evaluation here.

Sandwell Council providing food vouchers to help parents and children during summer holidays

Sandwell Council is providing food vouchers during the summer holidays to help families whose children would usually be eligible for free school meals during term time.

Schools are contacting parents and carers who will receive a £70 voucher per child to go towards the cost of food for the six-week break which runs from 22 July – 1 September.

Once verified, vouchers are being sent to parents electronically with an alternative being offered to those parents and carers without mobile phones or internet access.

Sandwell Council has budgeted £1.322 million to help around 17,300 children. Eligible families will receive a voucher for £70 for each child.

Families, communities and local organisations across Sandwell are also working together to provide eligible children and young people between the ages of 5-15 with fun activities as part of the ‘Holiday Activities and Food Programme #HAF2021’.

Parents and carers can check if they are eligible for the holiday activities scheme and register at



Princes Trust Smethwick recruiting for next 12-week Team Programme

Princes Trust Smethwick are now recruiting for the next 12 week team programme for 16 – 25 year olds. The new schedule is due to start on Monday, 9th August. The face to face timetable will run every day.

Upon completion, attendees gain a level 1 in employment, teamwork and community skills, as well as food safety awareness and first aid awareness certificates. Young people will have the opportunity to take part in outdoor team building activities and try fun pursuits such as rafting, zip wire and archery. They will also undertake fundraising, and engage in community projects, work experience and employability skills.

Jack Dytor, Prince’s Trust Team Leader, is happy to have a chat with potential attendees or receive referrals. Call Jack on 07787 245 832.

If your organisation is looking for a work experience placement volunteer, need assistance with a community project or would like the Prince’s Trust to attend your recruitment event, please contact Jack at or call the above number.


YMCA looking for Young People’s Volunteer Mentors

YMCA are looking for volunteers who are eager to make a difference in the life of a young person. The mentors will regularly meet up with a young person, offering a friendly ear, support, guidance and advice on making positive life choices. In this instance, to engage with girls in the 9 -14 age group.

Volunteer Mentors will also need to build a relationship with the young person’s parent or guardian, but the main focus is the young person.

Full training will be given. A comprehensive DBS check will be undertaken.

To find out more about the Y’s Girls Mentoring role, click here.

Applications close on Monday, 21st June 2021.

SDCA is Here For the Kids

Know any young people with hearing loss, or who are the children of Deaf parents? Sandwell Deaf Community Association (SDCA) runs a Youth Service offering loads of fun activities, holiday clubs, educational events and guidance sessions.

Activities are for children and young people aged between 6-18 years old, and up to 25 years old with additional needs, with any variety of hearing loss such as Deaf, Hard of Hearing or Cochlear Implants. The service is also offered to children of Deaf adults.

SDCA is based at the New Deaf Centre, Summer Street, West Bromwich. For more information contact Ruth Allden, Youth Service Development, email Mobile (text/FaceTime) 07903 337 741

NCS Social Action in Sandwell – Partnerships with the Albion Foundation

The NCS programme is a national programme aiming to give young people the skills and experience required to take their next steps in life. A big part of this is the Social Action that the young people propose, pitch and then deliver in their local community.

In previous years, this has been done only during the summer and autumn programmes. However, there is a new push to try and make this impact year-long to benefit both the young people and the charities they work with.

For further information click here.

If your charity/organisation would like to partner with the Albion Foundation on this programme, please contact  Ben Woodvine at to discuss further.

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:

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