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Fully funded Free Online Training

Any resident living in a postcode covered by the West Midlands Combined Authority, and whether employed, unemployed or furloughed, has the opportunity to update their skills with this free training.

The training is delivered by Phoenix Training and getting started is easy. Go to enter your details and you are ready to go!

Access the full library on computer, phone or tablet, from home, at your leisure. The training is fully funded by the WMCA

The Skills for Health & Social Care covers:

  • Food Safety accredited level 2
  • H&S with Manual Handling awareness
  • E&D awareness
  • Safeguarding awareness
  • Infection Control Level 1 & 2

Do not miss out. Log on and start your training now!

Free Six Week BSL Online Language Session

There is a fantastic opportunity to undertake a FREE 1 hour BSL (British Sign Language) session for six weeks online starting on Wednesday 29th April 2020.

Click here for eligibility criteria.  Places on this session will be based on a first come first serve basis.

If you’re interested, please contact Dawn Lynch, BSL and Deaf Awareness tutor, at or call 07729 134 155.

Citizens Advice Sandwell Help to Claim Service

The doors of Citizens Advice may be closed, but they are still here to help! Citizens Advice Sandwell’s Help to Claim team are currently supporting clients with their Universal Credit claims and enquiries via web chat and advice line.
During these difficult times, people need help more than ever and that’s why Citizens Advice have advisers working from home to assist with the increased demand. To contact the Help to Claim team, please call on 0800 144 8444 or use Help to Claim web chat by clicking on this link.
Generalist advisers are also on hand to answer other queries, including debt.  You can contact them on 0300 330 9017. They are available on web chat by going to and selecting ‘chat online to an adviser’.

Giving World – Free resource for people you support

Giving World is a registered charity. They redirect new business end-of-line and discontinued stock (e.g. warm clothing, food, toiletries) for free to the most deprived communities in the UK.

Evidence indicates charities across the UK are struggling to meet the increasing level of need in their communities, and that beneficiaries face multiple and complex problems.

Amongst the highest are loneliness, unemployment, low income, homelessness, and mental health needs. With the removal of institutional safety nets there is now a greater need than ever to draw people in to safety.

You can help your clients and beneficiaries by registering with Giving World and accessing free resources for people you help and your charity. Partner charities have said that the goods help to:

• Extend services – The goods provided by Giving World enable charities to diversify their approach and meet the needs of their local communities.
• Reach more people – Life essential goods are a unique source of recruitment for the hard to reach, drawing in those in need who are not actively seeking support e.g. those suffering with addiction.
• Increase charity capacity – Increased reach and awareness of the charity can attract more volunteers and funding. Many beneficiaries go on to give back by volunteering themselves.

To access free goods register at or you can contact Louise on 0116 251 6051.

Creative Black Country requires Storage Space

Creative Black Country (based within SCVO in West Bromwich) are looking for storage space to keep project items for when not in use.

The storage space would need to be at least 2.3m wide x 3.5m long, lockable and accessible 24/7.

If you have a storage space which meets Creative Black Country’s requirements and you are happy for the team to use it for free, please get in touch with Rosalind Argo at or 0121 525 1127 for further discussion.

Free ESOL English Courses and Teacher Training

Did you know that you can access free ESOL English courses at the Dorothy Parkes Centre in Smethwick and at the Oak House Museum, in West Bromwich?

The course at Dorothy Parkes is women only and comprises of ESOL and work skills.

The courses are delivered by Fircroft College of Adult Education, which also offers free ESOL teacher training for anyone interested in delivering an English course. The next ESOL teacher training will be on Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th January 2020.

If you would like your organisation to become a partner to host English courses, Fircroft College would welcome a call.

To discuss teacher training or the possibility of becoming a delivery partner, please email Neena Chauhan, Project Manager, on for telephone 0121 415 2510 / 07719257319.

Office furniture (and other stuff) giveaway!

We have been approached by BMV (the company responsible for the M5 Oldbury Viaduct Major Renewal Scheme) who are beginning to close down operations following successful completion of the project.

I am told that they have quite a bit of ‘kit’ that is available FREE OF CHARGE to anyone who can make good use of it (and there’s even the potential for local delivery) – what’s not to like!!

STOP PRESS – I have been notified by the BMV representative that, due to overwhelming demand, they now have sufficient requests from which they can distribute all of what’s on offer – sorry if you’ve ‘missed out’ on this occasion.

Aston Villa Corporate Hospitality Prize Draw

The Dorothy Parkes Centre have been gifted two tickets to watch Aston Villa v Watford in the New Year.  The lucky winners will be able to watch the 7.30 pm match on Tuesday, 21 January, at Villa Park, from an executive box with full VIP hospitality.

For just £5.00 you can enter a prize draw with a chance of winning this fantastic prize. The draw will take place at 4 pm on Friday, 20 December, and entries can be made online via the Dorothy Parkes website. If football is not for you, it would be a brilliant Christmas gift for someone special or a deserving employee.

The Dorothy Parkes Centre provides a place of welcome and opportunity for the people of Smethwick and the wider community. All monies raised from this prize draw will be reinvested back into the Centre in 2020.


FREE Sight Loss Awareness Training

If you know anyone who is living with sight loss and you’d like to know the best ways to communicate with and guide a person, or you’d like to know more about eye conditions and their impact, then Beacon can help!

Beacon’s Sight Loss Awareness Training offers a friendly and fun training session that will enable you to:

• Learn how to safely guide a person with sight loss appropriately, negotiating stairs, doors and chairs
• Experience what it is like to be visually impaired using our sight loss specs
• Gain information about aids and equipment that can help visually impaired people
• Gain an understanding of the most common eye conditions
• Learn the importance of eye health
• Understand the emotional impact of sight loss
• Know more about the services Beacon Centre offer to people living with sight loss

You will gain confidence to better assist and support people living with sight loss, as well as a certificate upon completion of the session.

The training is open to both individuals and groups.

These sessions are completely FREE and take place at the Beacon Centre, Wolverhampton Road East, WV4 6AZ. Available dates/times are:

Wednesday, 25 September, Wednesbury, 30 October and Thursday, 28 November 2019. All from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm.

Please book online at or call 01902 880 111.

Free period products for young people

Did you know that 49% of girls in the UK have missed an entire day off school because of their period? Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council Public Health team are leading the #GirlCodeSandwell project in response to Period Poverty, with the aim being to provide free products to those who need them, and improve menstrual health and awareness.

The Department for Education (DfE) has recently announced that they will supply schools with products from January 2020, but what happens when young people aren’t at school?  Research tells us:

• One in seven girls (15%) have struggled to afford sanitary wear
• More than one in ten girls (12%) has had to improvise sanitary wear due to affordability issues
• One in ten girls (10%) have been unable to afford sanitary wear

Public Health would like to work with the Voluntary Sector to ensure they can reach young people in the community, in the  evening, at weekends and in the school holidays. As a result Public Heath are offering boxes of products to stakeholders who work with Sandwell young people, and specifically those who may benefit from free accessible products.

If this is something that would benefit the young people you work with and your organisation could host, please email to confirm your organisation would like a red box. Please provide the name of the person who will be happy to receive a box from a member of the team; will be the key contact for any communication; will commit to keep in contact and who will keep Public Health updated

What you will get from Public Heath?
• A box of free period products for your young people/ clients
• Posters to promote the products
• Free training workshops
• Support and resources to deliver the initiative.


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