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Healthwatch Sandwell – Health and Social Care Group

Healthwatch Sandwell are holding a public meeting on Tuesday 24th September from 1pm until 3pm at The Yemeni Community Centre, Tildasley Street, West Bromwich, B70 9SJ (bus routes – 44, 47 and 79).

Come along to find out more about:-

The Sandwell Better Lives Dementia Strategy – Find out what is promised to Sandwell people in the Sandwell Better Lives Dementia Strategy.

Community Connections – Social prescribing is an approach that links patients in primary care with non medical support in the community; leading to improved social and clinical outcomes for people with long terms conditions, and to the development of a wider, more diverse range of local community services.

Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals Respiratory Service Change – How this service will look, and how you can give your views.

Everyone is welcome – to book a place please call 0121 569 7210 or e-mail

You can also book online from here

Friends of Central Library Need Your Help – Volunteer Opportunity

Friends of Central Library, West Bromwich (FoCL) is the most recent “Friends” group, dedicated to promoting, improving and sustaining the services available in Sandwell Libraries. Unlike many of the other Libraries in the Borough, which are part of their own local communities, West Bromwich Central Library, the “flagship” of Sandwell Library Service, is set in the High Street Business area.

FoCL was formed by a group of volunteers already assisting in the Library, aiming to represent the views of users, and to contribute to the management and development of the service. Members offer ideas and enthusiasm in promoting both the normal functions of the Library and also a wide range of special events. They are also active in fund raising, to support the programme of special events aiming to encourage the public to see for themselves the facilities of this beautiful historic building.

Why not get in touch with us on 0121 569 4904 to find out how you can become a volunteer and help us to continue to provide activities for our community.

Since FoCL was formed in 2018 members have been able to assist with the funding of activities in the Children’s Section, as well as events featuring local personalities and performers, including well known bands during the Annual Jazz Festival.

West Bromwich Central Library is undergoing a period of considerable change and improvement, and volunteers are needed to assist in many of its activities. FoCL is engaged in developing the Library Cafe in order to offer a daily mid-day facility to act as a meeting place for individuals and groups, to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, to meet new friends, as well as using the Library facilities. Daily newspapers and magazines are always available, and it is hoped that lunchtime programmes of music will be introduced, though there are still dedicated “quiet” areas for study and contemplation.

The Cafe will be run entirely by volunteers, and there are many other opportunities to become involved in the work of one of the most prestigious buildings in Sandwell, helping a dedicated team of staff to develop services for the future.

If you are interested in helping in the Cafe for just 4 hours a week, or any other of the many opportunities in West Bromwich Central Library contact 0121 569 4904 or simply visit the Library and talk to a member of staff or one of the volunteers.

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

Fire Station Fun Day to Launch 10th Annual Safer 6 Campaign

Sandwell’s autumn Safer 6 campaign launches next month (September) – promoting safety, crime prevention and healthy living across the six towns.

The Safer Sandwell Partnership campaign, now in its 10th year, will officially launch at a free fun day at Haden Cross Community Fire Station, Halesowen Road, Cradley Heath, on Saturday 7 September.
Come along from 11am to watch live rescue demonstrations, explore fire engines, enjoy food, music and entertainment.

There will be rides for young children and a bouncy castle. You can also find out about becoming a fire fighter.
A wide range of partner organisations, including local charities and community groups, will be promoting their services. Don’t miss out on all the free safety and crime prevention advice available too. The event runs until 4pm.
Each of Sandwell’s six towns will have a focus week with roadshows and activities during the six-week campaign, which runs from 7 September to 20 October.

Sandwell Council is leading this year’s campaign with support from Sandwell Police, West Midlands Fire Service and a wide range of partner organisations and community groups.
The key themes are:
• Tackling crime and anti-social behaviour
• Supporting young people
• Tackling environmental issues
• Supporting vulnerable people
• Working with partner organisations and local people

Events and activities across the six towns will be announced soon at
You can also follow the campaign on Twitter using the #Safer6 hashtag

BUDS Fundraising Evening

Join Better Understanding of Dementia for Sandwell (BUDS) for a fantastic evening of entertainment on Friday 20th September, at Brandhall Labour Club, Tame Road, Oldbury, B68 0JT.

• Arrival from 6.15 pm.
• Songs and musical performances by Dynamix and Ukulele Union
• Hot and cold buffet with a selection of desserts.
• Raffle with great prizes
• Bar

Tickets cost £13 and must be booked in advance.

BUDS hope that as many people as possible will attend what promises to be a great evening. Funds raised will help to support vital services.

For your ticket or more information contact BUDS Reception on 0121 565 3721 or email

Fircroft College Partner Update

Fircroft College of Adult Education has finalised a timetable which compiles a list of new English courses in Birmingham and Sandwell that will be available from September. Extra courses will be added in October so if you are interested in hosting a course please do get in touch.

The next free teacher training programme is on Thursday 19th and Friday 20th September at Fircroft College. The training is for anyone who is interested in delivering an English course.  You can apply here, including for dates in October, November 2019 and January 2020. The course outline is attached along with the volunteer application form.

Please note the College now accept students who have been in the UK less than 12 months.

Contact Fircroft College on 0121 472 0116


Achieve your Fitness Goals with Free Football this Summer

The Albion Foundation is offering free recreational football for adults in Sandwell with a new programme, Adult Open Goals.

In partnership with Sport England, the project aims to increase activity level in local communities and promote a healthy active lifestyle.

Using the expertise of Healthy Sandwell, the Foundation will provide tailored advice to individuals looking to make a change to their lifestyle.

Sessions will take place at three venues from 6-8pm, across 12 weeks.

For more information please visit

The latest adult football recreation project based in 3 parks across Sandwell. The project will run until November; is completely FREE of charge; has numerous incentives including a WBA ground tour and has the capacity for every attending adult to bring along a son/daughter (aged 6-12) also for FREE.

To sign up and get playing football in your local area, click here

If you have any queries relating to the project then you can contact Katie Grainger who is the Project Lead –

Five Free Efficiency-Driving Tools for Charities

Managing teams and projects is hard – especially on a tight budget. Fortunately, there are lots of free tech tools for charities which can help boost productivity, save time, and allow charities to focus on the mission.

Whether you’re communicating with teams working across multiple locations, organising the next charity fundraiser, or trying to find a date for the next board meeting, trialling some of the latest efficiency tools for charities can help, especially when they’re entirely free or offer free basic options.

See also: The best online fundraising platforms for charities click here.

Collaboration app for charities – Slack

Slack is an essential productivity tool to help charities of all sizes streamline their communication with staff, volunteers and external teams. The messaging app that allows teams to communicate in a quick, informal manner.

Comparable to WhatsApp’s improved group text messaging over traditional text messages, Slack delivers a similar service tailored for the business environment. Conversations can be direct or arranged around Teams (Finance, Service Delivery, etc.) or Projects (Fundraiser, Website Launch, etc.), documents can be shared, and users can be tagged on items so to ensure they are alerted to things key for them to look at. Slack can also integrate with a number of other tools, such as Google Calendar, Outlook, and Trello.

To read the full Charity Digital News article click here.

Source: Charity Digital News

Public Backs Tighter Social Media Moderation

The general public wants social media firms to do more to tackle concerns about online harm facing young and vulnerable people.

A report by think tank Demos, called Quality Control, found that 59 per cent of adults believe that social media content should be edited by moderators to help tackle harmful material.

Almost half of those who want to see tougher social media moderation believe the move would help reduce self-harm and suicide and the proliferation of ‘fake news’. Around a third believe it would help combat other mental health conditions, and tackle terrorism.

Last month a call was issued to government to ensure charities are at the heart of efforts to improve online safety. Charity consultancy New Philanthropy Capital wants ministers to be more collaborative with the voluntary sector to ensure users are protected online.

The government has unveiled plans in its Online Harms White Paper to set up an independent regulator for the online sector and place a duty of care on firms to protect users.

Earlier this year children’s charity NSPCC revealed that nine out of ten parents back the creation of a regulator for social network firms.

Instagram is among social media platforms to have already taken action to tackle online bullying by using artificial intelligence technology to generate a notification to people that their comment may be considered offensive.

To read the full Charity Digital News article click here.

Source: Charity Digital News

Significant Rise in Payroll Giving in the UK

The number of companies and their employees taking part in payroll giving schemes is significantly increasing, according to the Association of Payroll Giving Organisations.

Almost 65 per cent more Payroll Giving Quality Marks were awarded to employers this year by APGO, which indicates an upward trend in the number of firms offering such a scheme.

A total of 3,458 employers were awarded the quality mark in 2019, almost 1,500 more than were awarded in 2018.

Andrew Simmonds, chair of Together For Animals, said: “As a small charity we see payroll giving as our key source of income.

“It is great to see the increase in quality marks and therefore the increase in both employers and employees supporting payroll giving, which supports us and so many charities each year.”

‘Vital, robust and sustainable source of income’

Panikos Efthimiou, chair of APGO, said: “Payroll giving continues to demonstrate itself as a vital, robust and sustainable source of income for all charities.”

Nearly 60 per cent more employers achieved the “diamond” award level this year, 95 per cent more attained platinum and more than 1,000 additional employers received bronze.

The government-backed awards are given out annually and are based on participation in the scheme by an organisation’s staff.

Efthimiou said: “We are delighted to see this positive increase in quality marks, and especially those aspiring to reach diamond level as that means more than 30 per cent of all employees are giving regularly to their favourite causes.”

Source: Civil Society

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