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Chance Day Out

The Chance Heritage Trust intend to regenerate the Chance Glassworks site, an industrial heritage asset of national and international importance. The Chance Brothers Glassworks was one of the most important industrial employers in the Midlands for more than 150 years, playing a significant role in shaping Smethwick and the wider area. While the firm supplied glass for the construction of the Crystal Palace, its work in the design, production and installation of some 2,300 lighthouse lanterns around the world was arguably the company’s most significant contribution.

Chance Heritage Trust and Smethwick Heritage Centre are holding the Chance Day Out on Saturday 29th February 2020 from 11am at Smethwick Library, High Street, Smethwick, B66 3AP. Activities on the day include:

  • Bring along your Chance Glass along to one of their Chance ‘experts’ for a guide valuation.
  • Share your memories and stories with others
  • They will be launching their shares offer.
  • Chance ‘experts’ will be on hand to talk about your Chance memorabilia.
  • There will be lots of opportunities to talk about your association with Chances and if you would like to record your story, you can do that too!
  • Talk to Chance Heritage Trust about your vision for the glassworks.

The Trust want to create a vibrant urban community generating employment, housing, learning, training and leisure for the benefit of the community through the creation of hundreds of jobs bringing new businesses, new homes and new visitors to the site. This will be one of the most iconic sites in the Midlands and will once again take its place in history as the home of innovation, enterprise and community.

We know there are many people in the locality who have a keen interest in the glassworks, its amazing industrial heritage, and the important role it played in supporting the local community. The event on the 29th February is the start of a new page in the glassworks history and it provides a rare opportunity for local people to play a part in saving for the nation this important piece of our history and to have an important role in shaping its future.

For more information go to

Sandwell and Birmingham Mela 2020

The Sandwell and Birmingham Mela 2020 will take place over the weekend of  Saturday and Sunday, 18th & 19th July, at Victoria Park, Smethwick. This year is the 10th birthday of the UK’s biggest South Asian music festival.

The festival will feature local and international musicians, dance, funfair, cultural arts and traditional food.

Do not miss this annual spectacular event which runs from 12 noon to 7 pm both days!

Tickets, from £2.00 per person, per day, are available to buy online or at the gate.

For more information and to book visit

See the Facebook page.

Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG Primary Care Networks Showcase Event

Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is holding a Primary Care Networks (PCNs) showcase event. Providers, the voluntary sector and patient representatives will have the opportunity to meet Clinical Directors and their colleagues from the 15 PCNs within Sandwell and West Birmingham (Ladywood and Perry Barr).

The event will give a general introduction to PCNs and their role within the local health and care system. This will be followed by presentations from each of Clinical Directors of the 15 PCNs outlining the areas they cover, the challenges and opportunities they face and their vision and values for the future.

Attendees will have the opportunity to network and to talk to the PCN representatives directly. This is an ideal opportunity for you to see how your organisation aligns to the PCNs.

Date and Time: Thursday 19th March 2020, 9.30 am – 12.30 pm

Venue: Mercure Birmingham West Hotel, Birmingham Road, West Bromwich B70 6TU

To book a place on this event, please click here.

If you would like to speak to someone about this event, please contact the SWB CCG Engagement Team by email at or telephone 0121 612 1447.

Breakthru CIC – 3 Year Anniversary

Breakthru CIC would like to invite you to join us in celebrating our 3 year anniversary.

The celebration will include a catwalk show supported by Sandwell College, indian food and drink, music and dance.

The event aims to showcase our members new found confidence and self-esteem skills developed since attending our projects throughout Sandwell and celebrate the changes these women have made over the last 3 years.

We would love you to join us at West Bromwich Town Hall, High Street, West Bromwich, B70 8DY on Thursday 19th December 1pm – 4pm

For more information please contact 078131 25443 or visit

SAFS Winter Wonderland

SAFS is getting all festive and holding a Winter Wonderland on Friday 13th December 2019

The Wonderland is being held at SAFS Offices, Windmill Community Centre, Messenger Road, Smethwick, B66 3DX starting at 3.00pm and finishing at 7.00pm.

There’s lots of entertainment including Santa’s Grotto, Refreshments, Performances, Table top sales plus lots, lots more.

Call Kam on 0121 558 2198 if you would like more information or if you would like to volunteer.

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.

Sandwell Visually Impaired CIO (SVI) Annual Forum Request for Volunteers

Sandwell Visually Impaired (SVI) CIO’s largest event of the year is fast approaching and they are seeking your help to make the day enjoyable and stress  free for their blind and visually impaired guests.

They do hope you are able to help them this year by being a volunteer as part of their Annual Forum.

Event:  SVI’s Annual Forum – attracts around 100 people every year.
Event date:  Monday 18 November 2019 from 9am to 3pm.  Note, if volunteers are only able to stay for part of the event, please contact the SVI team to discuss.

Venue: Portway Lifestyles Centre, Newbury Lane, Oldbury, B69 1HE

Role description and duties:

Volunteer helpers are needed to assist SVI [Sandwell Visually Impaired] blind and partially sighted members to safely move around while at the event, to escort to seats, offer refreshments i.e. drinks and biscuits on arrival and at morning break, read programmes etc. on request from members, accompany members to exhibit stands, offer sighted guide support to toilets [note there is no personal care requirements, PA’s are available should this be required] and to help with the distribution of a pre packed ‘meal deal’ lunch.  Volunteer helpers also have a key role to enable visually impaired members to make best use of the day and to make every effort to make the event enjoyable and stress free for those present.

A volunteers pre-event meeting and Sighted guide instruction session is taking place at the Portway Lifestyle Centre on Tuesday 5 November 2019 from 1pm to 2.30pm.  If anyone is unable to attend the pre-event meeting, a short briefing session will take place on the day of the event from 9am for a short instruction/refresher session – note sighted guide technique is not difficult and can be easily learned in around 30 minutes.

If volunteers would like to learn more about the role but are unable to attend the volunteers meeting, please ring the SVI office for an informal chat on 0121 525 4810.

Travel expenses are claimable at standard Day Saver pass rate or mileage at 45p a mile.  Volunteer helpers are also provided with a ‘meal deal’ lunch and general refreshments throughout the event.

SVI value their volunteers and as well as supporting SVI we would encourage volunteers to make the most of the event for themselves, it’s a wonderful opportunity to gain greater awareness of visual impairment and to obtain a broad range of information about support and services available to people living with sight loss – a good opportunity for anyone seeking to look for employment in a care and support capacity.

A full volunteer pack is provided following the volunteer meeting.

If you are able to help SVI, they look forward to hearing from you and to meeting you either at the pre-event volunteers meeting, or on the day of the Annual Forum.


Charity Fraud Awareness Week

The fourth annual Fraud Awareness Week is fast-approaching, an initiative run by the Charity Commission with the support of the Fraud Advisory Council.

The week will run between 21st and 29th October 2019.

Its aims are to:

  • raise awareness of the key risks affecting the sector
  • promote and share good counter-fraud practices
  • promote honesty and openness about fraud

Visit the GOV.UK site to find out more about the launch event on Monday 21st October 2019 and you can now access training through the brand new Charity Fraud Awareness Hub.

Source: FSI

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

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

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