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NHS Question and Answer Session about new Shared Care Record – 25th January 2022

NHS Black Country & West Birmingham CCG will be holding a live question and answer session about the new NHS Share Care Record.

Patients and members of local communities are welcome to join the CCG on Tuesday 25 January 2022 from 10.30 am to 12 mid-day.

You will have the opportunity to ask questions to the doctors and the technicians working on ‘One Health and Care’, the new NHS shared care record for the Black Country and West Birmingham.

Book your place by clicking here


Dorothy Parkes ‘Loss Matters Programme’ to help with grief, bereavement and loss

Grief and loss can turn your world upside down, isolation can make and it worse. The Dorothy Parkes Centre has received an SCVO Vision 2030 Community Mental Health grant, which will enable them to provide free support programmes through its Loss Matters initiative, for members of the local community who have had experience of grief, bereavement and loss.

The Centre will deliver eight-week support programmes.  Ten courses will be delivered, each course to accommodate up to eight people. The programmes will be delivered at various times throughout the week – mornings/afternoons/evenings – over a twelve-month period, with the first programme starting in the autumn.

To find out more and to register your interest in the Loss Matters programme, click here.

Call out to Food Banks and Pantries

January can be a draining month for some people, often leading to longer than usual queues at Sandwell Food Banks and Pantries. Together with the ongoing impact of the pandemic, this in turn can have a draining effect on staff, volunteers and supplies at these much-needed hubs.

That’s why we’re throwing a spotlight on this vital service between January 26th and 31st, to not only bring attention to the ongoing need for support from the general public and business sector, but also to celebrate the incredible work they do.

Janine and Sarah at Smethwick Food Bank organise support in the form of three-day food and essentials parcels for 160 nearby households every week. Part of the Trussell Trust and Sandwell Food Banks networks, they prioritise signposting their beneficiaries to services which can help move them on from needing the Food Bank in the future. But that doesn’t alter the fact that they need food…today.

“Some days it’s like a domino effect if our volunteers can’t come in for whatever reason,” said Janine. “One gets ill, then another tests positive, then another has a family crisis – we end up without help and we miss them so much.

“Even if people can’t commit to helping us regularly it would be great to have a few ‘back up’ volunteers we can call in from time to time to help out.”

Our campaign at the end of the month aims to raise awareness of such opportunities, listed on our volunteering web site as well as encouraging residents, and businesses, to donate what they can to their local hub.

To promote your opportunities and get involved in the campaign email



WMCA Community Green Grants

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has funding available to help redress the regional inequalities in access to green space.

They are hosting a FREE webinar on Thursday 27th January 2022, 1:30-2:30pm via Microsoft Teams to discuss the different levels of funding available, how you can apply for funding and the process.

The funding is open to any eligible group or organisation based in the West Midlands but priority will be given to areas with green deprivation.

Examples of potential projects include:

  • Nature playgroups that give children and families with no regular access to green space an opportunity to experience hands on activities.
  • Activities run at community gardens/open spaces/parks, eg. tree planting, gardening, urban greening, growing fruit and vegetables.
  • Development of new community green spaces that increase local access.
  • Projects that significantly improve the biodiversity of the area and promote behavioural change on accessing green spaces.
  • Those that increase or improve green/blue (canal, rivers etc.) spaces close to where people live.

We will also be joined by the team at George Park and Heart of England Community Foundation.

If you have any questions you’d like answered in the webinar please email by 4pm on 25 January 2022.

The session will be on Microsoft Teams and a link will be sent nearer to the event to book your place click here.

What Makes Faith-based Charities a Distincitve Part of The Charity Sector?

Nick Moore, Civil Society News, looks at the strengths, and drawbacks, that define faith-based charities and their place within the wider charity sector. 

Writing about the faith-based charity sector is fraught with difficulties, not least how to define them. Nick’s intention in his article is to consider what some of the things are that make faith-based charities distinctive and how these challenge leaders and influence their behaviours, and hopefully to provide some useful insights for those in non-faith charities.

To read the full Civil Society News article click here.


Top Ten Charity Fundraising Websites

Are you planning on running a marathon for charity? Raising cash for a good cause? Drumming up funds for a community project?

Collecting in cash or chasing sponsors can be an admin headache who do you use what percentage fee do they charge, etc. looking into this can chip away at valuable time that you could be spending training or cake baking.

The Good Web Guide has made things a little easier for you by explaining their best fundraising platforms in their article – click here to read. They have identified their best fundraising platforms for different causes to streamline your sponsorship – whether you’re on a one-woman mission, or there is a team of you rising to the charity challenge, here are the sites that will help you reach your target.

You can also take a look at LocalGiving a membership network and online fundraising platform dedicated to supporting local charities and community groups in the UK. Localgiving supports local charitable organisations to diversify their income through online fundraising.

Find out more about LocalGiving by clicking here.

New SAFL Workshops for 2022

Sandwell Adult and Family Learning Service will be holding new workshops in the New Year, including a Paediatric and Adult Awareness workshop.  This short two hour workshop will run on Monday, 17th January, at Tipton College and on Tuesday, 18 January, at the Ron Davis Centre in Smethwick.

The course is designed to gain an understanding of first aid and to practise first aid skills. It covers how to deal safely, promptly and effectively with an adult or child with injuries or illness, which occur in the home, workplace or community. The workshop is funded meaning it is free of charge to the learners.

There is also a series of ITC workshops which may be useful for your client group and/or staff at each of SAFL’s centres.  See below for details.

ITC at Tipton College

ITC at Hateley Heath FETC

ITC at the Ron Davis Centre

Alta Sports (Swimming) Club for the disabled

The Alta Club is a long established club for mentally and/or physically disabled swimmers.  The Club won a QAVS award in 2019.  Based at the University of Birmingham’s modern pool, the swimming club is allocated exclusive use of half of this excellent modern 50 metre pool, between 1.00 & 2.00 pm every Sunday.

Covid has taken its toll and numbers regularly attending have dropped significantly with there often being less than 20 per session. This means that there is significant spare capacity and a potential threat that the University will stop providing this free allocation. Therefore the Club is looking for new members from anywhere in the West Midlands. A trial taster session would be offered.

The Club is fully insured and trained lifeguards are in attendance for the session.  The club is run by disabled swimmers and their helpers and there is always support for swimmers.

The pool has a hoist to assist people who experience difficulty getting into or out of the pool.  There is also a set of movable steps and a lift that enables wheelchair-bound and partially mobile users to easily access the pool.  The water is maintained at an even depth of 1.2 metres across the whole pool.  Water temperature is 28 degrees centigrade.

If you would like to become a member of the Alta Sports Club for the Disabled, please contact the chairman Mohammed Mahmood ( or call 07872 007 929).

More information.

Alta Sports Membership Application.


Free Parking for Wednesbury Vaccination Centre Users

From Monday, 13 December, half of Spring Head car park in Wednesbury will be available free of charge for those using the vaccination centre at the Wesley Centre Methodist Church, Spring Head, Wednesbury, WS10 9AD. Spaces for Blue Badge holders needing vaccinations will also be retained.

Other town centre users and workers will still be able to pay and display on the half of Spring Head car park nearest to the A461, Walsall Street.

Wednesbury councillors made the request to encourage a greater take-up of vaccinations, and the decision is supported by the Director of Public Health, Dr Lisa McNally.

The half of Spring Head car park nearest to Wharfedale Street will be signed as a ‘Vaccination Centre Car Park’ and will be operated by a parking enforcement officer.

Vaccination centre users will be able to drive into the signed and barriered half of the car park from Spring Head, so that vaccination appointment letters or text message confirmations can be checked before parking. The exit will be via Wharfedale Street.

The pay and display access and exit for other town centre users and workers will be from Spring Head. Pay and display parking is also available around the corner on Ridding Lane car park. The signs and barriers will be in place first thing on Monday morning to guide car park users.

Councillor Ahmad Bostan, Sandwell Council cabinet member for environment, said: “We urge anyone who is eligible to get their booster vaccine. By making half of Spring Head car park free of charge for those using the vaccination centre, we will make it easier for people in Wednesbury to get jabbed and help to protect their community.

“I thank the councillors in Wednesbury for identifying this issue. We have been proud to work with our residents, fellow councillors and partners to understand the needs of our communities and respond rapidly, as demonstrated by the decision to make half of Spring Head car park free of charge for those using the vaccination centre at the Wesley Centre Methodist Church. This will make Sandwell is a place where we all live healthy lives.”

Councillor Suzanne Hartwell, cabinet member for adults, social care and health, said: “During the Covid-19 pandemic, Sandwell Council has been providing vital services, supporting local action and bringing partners together. Everyone should take extra care to prevent the further spread of Covid-19. If you haven’t yet had all your vaccinations, please get your jabs as soon as you can. If you’re eligible for a booster vaccine, get that as well.

“And it’s absolutely crucial that if you have Covid-19 symptoms you stay home and get tested. Ignoring this advice can cost lives.”

To book your Covid-19 vaccine go to or call 119.

Severn Trent Community Fund Maximising the Legacy

Severn Trent Community Fund have some exciting news to share with you about their plans for their Community Fund next spring.

Severn Trent are really proud to have partnered with Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games as its Official Nature and Carbon Neutral Supporter. Together they’ll assist their pledge to leave a carbon-neutral legacy – because when we look after nature, it benefits your water too!

To help maximise the legacy of the partnership, they are temporarily refocusing their Community Fund in spring 2022 to specifically support projects that help communities all across the Severn Trent region reduce carbon and care for nature.

Non-profit organisations and local community groups with an income of less than £500,000 (averaged over the last 3 years) will be able to apply for a grant of £5,000, £10,000 or £20,000 to support their new community project linking to one or more of the following themes – green spaces, recycling and making the most of resources and water saving heroes. Organisations from across the Severn Trent region will be eligible to apply for support for their new project idea.

Applications will open in January 2022 and in March our Customer Panel will review and shortlist the projects. The finalists will then go to a public vote in April with successful projects being awarded in May.

For more information click here or organisations can find out more and register their interest on our website at

They’ll also be holding funding workshops to share more details on eligibility from late December and throughout January and February – interested groups can sign up for these through Eventbrite here!

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with Severn Trent at and they’ll be happy to help.

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