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Dorothy Parkes Centre Launches Community School Uniform Swap Shop

Parents across Smethwick and neighbouring areas will benefit from a community led school uniform swap shop which is launching on Tuesday 13th August 2019 at the Dorothy Parkes Centre, Church Road, Smethwick.

Staff, volunteers and a local laundrette have been busy washing over 250 items including sweatshirts, blazers, cardigans, dresses, polo shirts, shirts, t-shirts, shorts, trousers, skirts and shoes which have been donated by the local community since the donation box arrived at the Centre on 19th July 2019, the day the schools broke up.

The Centre will host the first two collection days on Tuesday 13th August, 2pm – 4pm and Friday 16th August, 12pm – 2pm and invite the local community to attend and take what items they need.

The donations box will be based in the Centre permanently with donations being accepted all year round. Requests will be made throughout the year for fancy dress and costumes for events such as World Book Day and Christmas, etc.

Robert Bruce, Chief Executive Officer at Dorothy Parkes Centre said:

“This latest initiative we have launched aims to help the many parents in the area who may struggle with the increasing costs of school uniforms. The summer holidays can bring many financial challenges for parents regarding entertaining their children, going on holiday and then purchasing new school uniforms. We are also aware of an increasing issue around food poverty during the school holidays. We are in the heart of a residential area and are based near ten schools so hopefully this will have a positive impact.”

If anybody would like more information about the swap shop please contact the Centre on 0121 558 2998 or email admin@dorothyparkes.org.

The Dorothy Parkes Centre is a community centre which helps to address local challenges around health, empowerment, elderly isolation, low educational attainment and significant unemployment by providing, or hosting, a wide range of activities. These include youth work, children’s activities, older person’s, creative or martial art groups, exercise classes, Macmillan benefits advice sessions, job clubs and dance classes. The Centre also hosts police, fire and council surgeries and promotes other events and programmes happening throughout the borough.

The building is regularly used by local statutory and voluntary organisations as a meeting place for training, displays or fayres. It is available for the general public to hire at weekends and is a popular venue for parties and celebrations.


Heart of England Receives Anonymous Donation!

The Foundation were stunned by the further generosity of an anonymous donor after they received a gift of £1,584.094.

The donor has been so impressed with how their original donation of £4 million has been used they decided to gift them with an unrestricted donation!

The total amount, of over £7 million, makes it by far the largest donation in the charity’s 24-year history.

Tina Costello, Foundation CEO, explained that the new donation is unrestricted which means the foundation will have control over where this funding will be distributed, rather than being led by its donors.

She said:
“When I was told the amount of money we’d be receiving, I had to pull my car over – I was just overwhelmed.

“This incredible amount of money will allow us to develop our own grant-giving programmes for the first time.  The majority of our grant programmes are donor led which is great, because it means our donors have a strong say and personal involvement in who benefits from their money.

“However, this wonderfully generous anonymous donor has given us the freedom to develop and implement our own grant programmes, based on evidence of need across our region.

“The anonymous donor has been instrumental in changing the landscape and direction of the charity and has enabled us to grow and develop in the way we support our communities”.

“This money is allowing us to move in a new direction and I’m looking forward to getting started.”

The original £4 million anonymous donation has been used to set up the ‘Building Better Lives’ initiative.

The scheme will be used to support up to three projects across the West Midlands Region that have a successful track record and expertise in delivering capital projects and support for vulnerable and disadvantaged people.

Tina added:
“I have to say a massive thank you to the donor for continuing to support us – it shows an incredible amount of faith in what we do and I couldn’t be prouder.

“The Building Better Lives initiative was made possible thanks to their money, and we hope to distribute the money to projects in the next few months.

“But I still couldn’t believe how large their recent donation was. We can’t wait to use the money to transform people’s lives.”

Source: Heart Of England Community Foundation


Weddings, Holidays, Parties And The Bits In-Between

Weddings, Holidays, Parties And The Bits In-Between is an exhibition being delivered by Ampersand Projects  as part of the Living Memory Project.The exhibition consists of personal family photographs of Black Country residents, revealing the social and private history of the area.

Ampersand Projects has been meeting and talking to people about their family albums and the lives and stories that they contain, images drawn from across the last century, still resonate because the experiences they contain are at once special and unique moments in time, but also everyday and universal.

The exhibition will be on view at Bleakhouse and Thimblemill Libraries as follows:

For opening times go to our events calendar by clicking here and viewing the event.

In our increasingly digital world, there is less place for the physical nature of a photo album and they are becoming less of a tradition in people’s homes. This exhibition celebrates the format of family albums, the way they collect our memories together and their ability to connect us with our past and remind us of loved ones, special occasions and times gone by.


Beat It Percussion Therapeutic Drumming Sessions

Beat It Percussion would like to invite you to join them on a Tuesday morning at Myra Harris Community Room, Brickhouse Lane, West Bromwich, B70 0DZ from 10.30am till 11.30am for their therapeutic drumming sessions.

The first session is being held on Tuesday 16th July 2019 where you will have the opportunity to take part in simple rhythm activities and group rhythm building. With two more sessions taking place on Tuesday 23rd and Tuesday 30th July 2019.

It is a great way of reducing stress and anxiety, reducing muscle tension and physical pain, increasing well-being and positive mood but more importantly it is a chance to recharge your barriers whilst participating in a fun and friendly activity.

Dementia friendly and no need to book – just drop in!

Hand drums and percussion instruments are provided.

For more information call Lynn Kay on 07875 090946 or email beatitpercussion@gmail.com


Bringing Employment and Skills Support to those that need it most

Employability provides the key not just to a person’s financial position but also impacts hugely on their health, and the wellbeing and prospects of them, their family and their community.  Developing skills, building confidence and moving people closer to the job market is therefore hugely important and there are many local and regional programmes providing support to those who need it. 

SCVO, working in partnership with Sandwell Council, invite local voluntary and community organisations with an interest in increasing employability for Sandwell residents to come together to look at how we can make the most of local support provision.  Whether you are working directly in this field or your organisation supports people and communities within the work of your organisation who can benefit from this type of support, then this event is for you.

The event will offer you an opportunity to:-

  • Reflect on the challenges facing those seeking employment in Sandwell and current initiatives to address these
  • Find out moreabout support being offered at a grassroots level by the voluntary and community sector
  • Hear from some of the larger scale employment and skills programmes currently being delivered in Sandwell
  • Network with others – learn and share information on local support
  • Consider with others how together we can improve access, quality and sustainability of employment and skills support in Sandwell

The event is being held on Wednesday 3rd July at The Brasshouse Community Centre, Brasshouse Lane, Smethwick, B66 1BA.  Registration/networking will be from 1.30pm with the meeting starting at 2.00pm and closing at 4.00pm.

To book a place please use the following Evenbrite link: https://employmentandskillsbriefing.eventbrite.co.uk


Therapeutic Drumming Sessions – Beat It Percussion

Beat It Percussion is a small Community Interest Company founded in 2013 with the aim of bringing music based activities to people in the community. They would like to invite you to attend their Therapeutic Drumming Sessions starting Tuesday 11 June 10-11.30am at Myra Harris Community Room, Brickhouse Lane, West Bromwich, B70 ODZ.

These sessions include simple rhythm and group rhythm building activities for you to enjoy the healing nature of ancient rhythms.

Benefits to health and well-being can include:

  • reduced stress and anxiety
  • Reduced muscle tension and physical pain
  • Increased well-being and positive mood
  • A chance to recharge for those with busy lives and caring responsibilities

Hand drums and percussion instruments are provided for participants with no prior knowledge or experience needed.

Dementia friendly.

Booking is essential as spaces are limited, to book call Lynn 07875 090946 or email beatitpercussion@gmail.com


Call for Artists – Open Media Exhibition

The Art Yard would like to invite you to submit work for our open all media exhibition. This exhibition will run alongside the Blast Festival exhibition in the Gallery as part of the Cradley Heath Arts Festival, which will occupy the front and centre galleries.

For this exhibition we have to limit the entries to one piece per artist at a reduced rate of £4.00. There is no special requirement on the type of art or subject, all work is very welcome.

Submission forms are to be returned by Saturday 18th May 2019 to the Art Yard and are attached below:-

1. Submission Form
2. Labels.

Can you please ensure that your work is ready to hang and has cord or fixing plates fitted to the rear of the work. Also, can you please attach the labels provided to the rear of each piece of your artwork.

If you have any questions regarding exhibiting at The Art Yard, about hiring the Gallery facilities for future events, we would be pleased to discuss your requirements, please call Martyn on 01384 910968.

We look forward to seeing your work and sharing this with our community.


Faces and Places – Call for Artists

The Art Yard as part of the Cradley Heath Arts and BLAST Festivals would like to invite you to submit your photographic work for a community based exhibition of photography entitled “Faces and Places”.

The Art Yard are also privileged to have on display, some images of Magnum photographer Martin Parr and will be on display at the gallery for inspiration throughout the exhibition.

This is a free exhibition and all forms of photography will be accepted with the theme being Faces and Places in the community of Sandwell.

If you wish to exhibit your work please complete and return the following documents to the Art Yard at infoartyard@gmail.com:

1. Submission Form
2. Labels.

Submission forms are to be submitted with delivery of the printed photographs to The Art Yard.

Could you also attach the labels provided to the rear of each of your work.

If you have any questions regarding exhibiting at The Art Yard, about hiring the Gallery facilities for future events, we would be pleased to discuss your requirements. Please call Martyn on 01384 910968

We look forward to seeing your work and supporting the development of Artists and the arts in the community.


Are you a Sandwell-based Charity, Community Group or TRA and Need a Website…but can’t afford one?

So, you are a Sandwell third sector organisation, you are the lifeblood of community work in Sandwell and you just want to concentrate on the excellent work you do without having to worry about raising funds for marketing materials such as websites or stressing through having to bodge one out yourself.

We hear you!

It is actually really important to have a professional website if you are third sector as it’s the first thing people will look at from a distance; everyone from potential volunteers to funders (we knew that one would resonate).

That’s why, as part of the iSandwell Digital Festival, we have enlisted the help of digital experts Data Brew to design you a brand new website and offer you professional advice, all in 15-minute sessions across the whole of Sandwell.

Wait?!?!?! 15 minutes, how is that possible?

After you have picked where is best for you and signed up via this form: http://bit.ly/WalkOutWithAWebsite

…you will receive an email with a time-slot and a form to fill out requesting information such as your logo and text for certain sections of your website. This will then go to Data Brew, who will put it together, so when you attend your session you will be talked through you brand new website along with how to get the best out of it and get the word out there.

Even if you have a website but you think it just doesn’t cut the mustard, we are happy help.

We will even pay for your hosting and if you need a logo, we can help you with that as well.

This is a great opportunity to get something that will usually cost thousands of pounds so make sure you book your slot, spaces are extremely limited.

So what are you waiting for, sign up before it is too late!! BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL!!

Available sessions are as follows:

Thursday, 16th May 2019:

  • Oldbury Library: 10am – 11.30am
  • Blackheath Library: 12 noon to 3.00pm
  • Glebefields Library: 3.00pm – 5.00pm

Friday, 17th May 2019:

  • Smethwick Library: 10am – 12 noon
  • Tipton Library: 1.00pm – 2.00pm
  • West Bromwich Library: 3.00pm – 5.00pm

Free to attend Mental Health groups

Are you looking for a mental health group to attend? Kaleidoscope Plus Group have approximately 80 different groups. Visit the website, www.kaleidoscopeplus.org.uk, to find out what is happening in April.

Kaleidoscope is seeking to do extra promotion in Tipton and Wednesbury. If your organisation would like to help promote Kaleidoscope’s guide to what’s happening in these towns, please contact Lee Love, Community Wellbeing Worker, on 07973663713 or email lee.love@kaleidoscopeplus.org.uk

 


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