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The Art Yard – Call for Artists January 2020 Exhibition

The Art Yard would like to invite local arts to register their interest in being apart of their Open Media Exhibition. This is an opportunity for the artist to showcase their work regardless of the medium (i.e. paint, photography, ceramics, sculpture, film metalwork, crafts and much more).

Artists should complete the Submission Form listing all works you would like to exhibit stating the Media, size and selling price, please include any digital images of each work.

The Art Yard charge a small fee for exhibiting your works in their gallery and are to be paid when delivering your works.

For more details see the links below:

They very much look forward to seeing your work and hope you enjoy what we believe will be a successful and exciting Exhibition.

For more information or to submit your completed form please email The Art Yard directly at or call 01384910968.

Carers Family and Friends Support Group Needs You!

Are you looking for an opportunity to give back to your community?
Are you thinking about volunteering?

With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering can be enormous. Volunteering offers vital help to people in need and the community, but the benefits can be even greater for you, the volunteer. The right match can help you to find friends, connect with the community and learn new skills.

Carers Family and Friends Support Group takes place at Thimblemill Library (Ground floor, Thimblemill Road, Smethwick, B67 5RJ) on the 2nd and 4th Monday of every month between 1.45pm till 3.45pm. It is an opportunity for carers, their families and friends to connect with similar individuals who may have or have had carer roles and responsibilities here in Sandwell. They want to provide opportunities for participants to share experiences or simply to just have a chat over a cuppa with someone else in a similar position to them.

They are looking for participants to join their group and for volunteers to help with all aspects of running the group e.g., chatting to people, helping make tea and coffee, etc. If you are interested in joining the group, can help out or for more information please contact Eileen Williams on 07789 491317.

Find Out How SAFL Can Support You

Sandwell Adult and Family Learning Service – SAFL – is the people’s choice for post 19 adult and community learning in Sandwell. The service provides a rich and varied range of learning activities at over thirty venues across the six towns in Sandwell.

Sandwell Council is committed to supporting and encouraging more people to enjoy and benefit from learning.

Visit to find out how SAFL supported Care Worker, Lorianne, to improve her skills.

Telephone: 0121 557 0837

Tweet: @learnsafl

Gift A Great Experience This Christmas!

Black Country Touring are launching there Gift a Great Experience This Christmas fundraising campaign. By donating, you’re also helping them to share the gift of theatre and performance with communities across the Black Country throughout 2020. Without your valuable contributions, Black Country Touring won’t be able to support as many local promoters or schools next year.

Receive 2 tickets to any BCT supported show of your choice next year, if you donate £15 or more to BCT in December. They make for a great gift!

Their diverse programme has something for everyone, from family-friendly circus and puppetry to new work from some of the very best touring companies in the country.

Want to see what you could go and see? Check out what we have coming up by clicking here.

Why Donate?

  • Every year, BCT introduce hundreds of schoolchildren to the joy of theatre via Young Promoters. They make sure they’re in the driving seat too – they select the show and promote it to their wider community learning valuable life skills.
  • BCT support passionate volunteers to bring the arts into their communities, enabling thousands of people each year to experience live professional theatre on their doorstep, in libraries, museums and community centres. 48% of their audiences travel less than 2 miles to see a show.
  • They raise in excess of £300k for their work each year, which is invested into local communities, volunteers and venues.
  • They help keep ticket prices affordable by subsidising the cost of putting on a show.

How Does It Work?

When you Donate via Charities Aid Foundation, they’ll email you the next working day with a printable gift token. The gift token will contain a reference number.

When the ticket holder wants to claim tickets, email Black Country Touring at or call us on 0121 533 7129 Monday-Friday 9AM-5PM (excluding bank holidays and 20th December – 6th Jan). Quote the reference number ready as well as the show name, venue, date and time.

For more details on this Campaign click here.

YMCA Open Door Offers ‘Host Placements’ Service

There are hundreds of young people across the Black Country who every year experience family breakdown and also find themselves with nowhere to stay.  Within the Black Country there are some amazing and truly remarkable people who are opening up their homes to help young people who would otherwise be roofless.

Having recently celebrated it’s 10th Anniversary, YMCA Open Door provides ‘Host placements’ for young people who have experienced family breakdown. There are over 80 YMCA Hosts who use their spare room to provide a homely environment for young people aged between 16-18 who provide either ‘emergency Nighstop’ or longer term ‘Supported Lodgings’.  YMCA is seeking to recruit more Hosts to provide safe places for young people. Do you have a spare room and a caring heart?  Please consider if you could provide a homely environment for a young person who has nowhere to go.  All Hosts receive over £100pw, full training from the YMCA and support from a dedicated project worker.

To find out more visit

Been Thinking About Volunteering?

If you’re interested in helping girls and young women in our community, Girls Friendly Society has some roles that might just interest you.

GFS trains volunteers to run weekly social groups that are just for girls. At the groups volunteers run activities that aim to improve girls’ confidence, self-esteem and wellbeing. They are opening two new groups locally in the next few months, and you could be a part of helping get them established!

They are looking for Group Leaders and Activity Leaders for GFS Hurst Road (meeting Mondays) and GFS Cradley Heath (meeting Tuesdays). Find out more about the roles at or by going to the volunteer meet and greet they’re holding at Hurst Road on 2 December – book your place by clicking here.

Black Country Women’s Aid Christmas Present Appeal

The festive season has started and Black Country Women’s Aid need your help to provide presents for women and children in refuges and those who  are supported in the community.

Everyone needs a little something special on Christmas day.  With your help BCWA can make a lot of little people and families have a great day too. Please consider donating a gift for a child, a teenager or adult.

Ideas for presents:
Family Game, Gift Set, Perfume, Toys, Socks, gloves, Handbag, PJ’S, Bath Robes, Chocolates, Arts and Crafts, Diaries, Journals, Coloring Books, Stationery, Aftershave/deodorants for boys and, of course, Cuddly Toys !!!  You gift will be really appreciated.

You can drop off donations to any of BCWA’s cedar centres, in West Bromwich, Dudley or Walsall.
If you prefer to make a cash donation, you can do so on via the website with Virgin Link.

Please get in touch with Debbie on 0121 553 0090 to find out more.

Get Set For Sport Relief 2020

Sport Relief is back between 9-13 March 2020. This time we’re asking you to help us take on poverty and injustice in the UK and across the world by getting your kit on and raising some life-changing cash.

So whether you walk, dance, swim, floss, or round up your mates for a match, order your free fundraising pack, have fun and help to make a real difference.

What is Sport Relief?

Sport Relief exists to create a just world free from poverty – and we won’t stop until that’s a reality.

The money you raise each Sport Relief is used to tackle major issues across the world including homelessness, domestic abuse, child poverty, mental health and more.

When you donate online or raise money for Sport Relief, you’ll be helping to transform lives both in the UK and internationally.

It’s Game On.

For further information please view –

Dorothy Parkes Christmas Fayre

The Dorothy Parkes Community Centre (located in Church Road, Smethwick, B67 6EH) are holding a Christmas Fayre on Saturday 30th November 2019 from 9.30am till 2pm. With live entertainment, games and activities, craft stalls, festive refreshments and much more.

There will be an opportunity to have breakfast with Santa between 9.30am till 11.30am  for £2.50 per child but booking is essential – click here to book your places. The fee includes a visit to Santa’s Grotto, a gift and Breakfast.

For more information please call the Dorothy Parkes Centre on 0121 558 2998.

Need help to plan, shop for or cook meals?

Communities Engage and Thrive CIC provides support to adults with limited mobility, learning difficulties and the elderly, to plan and cook tasty healthy meals at home. The Birmingham and Sandwell service can help with local food (and online) shopping. Culturally sensitive cooking demonstrations are also included.

CET can advise and help those with a range of health conditions including weight Loss, diabetes, cardiovascular health, arthritis, and brain food for mental wellness

CET can also provide the following workshops and Programmes:

Holistic Diabetes Programme (7 week Programme)
The workshops demonstrate the importance of a low glycaemic diet to manage diabetes. This also includes two cookery demonstrations, fitness, and shopping and behavioural changes.

Brain Health Programme/Action against Alzheimer’s – (2 day workshop)
A nutrition and lifestyle programme for cognitive decline with the focus on nutrition, how to get a good night’s sleep, gut health, stress, exercise and brain training. These factors all have relevance to wider brain health issues including brain fog mood and anxiety.

Stress Management – (Half day Workshop)
This workshop will take on a holistic approach to stress management, the best foods to eat at times of stress, sleep protocol, calming breathing exercises, controlling your anxiety through audio guides and some mindfulness exercises.

Mental Wellness: The connection with food and mood – (Half day workshop)
There is a lot of research to show the connection between the gut and brain axis. During this workshop we will be talking about healthy fats for brain development, your happy neurotransmitters, serotonin and dopamine and what foods to eat for optimum gut and brain health. This will also include a mindfulness session.

Wellbeing workshop – (One day workshop)

Children’s health and wellness including obesity – (Two hour taster or one day workshop)

Let’s Grow project and the medicinal benefits of herbs and spices (One day workshop)

For further information please contact Parveen on 07484 355 895 or email

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