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Free online Loan Shark Training Session

A free online Loan shark training session will be available on Tuesday 17th November at 11.00 am. The training will be with Nadeem Mahammed from Birmingham Council’s Illegal Money Lending Team

Anyone can be a victim of a loan shark – your family, friends, neighbours and even you. It’s not always easy to spot a loan shark as they come in all shapes and sizes and will at first appear friendly, just part of the community. It is when you can’t pay that they will turn on you.

To book a place contact

Loan sharks:
• Are running an unauthorised businesses under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000
• Often refuse to tell the borrower how much they still owe or when repayments finish.
• Often increase the debt or add additional amounts.
• May take items as security- including passports, bank cards and driving licences.
• May resort to violence, threats and intimidation.
• What is being done to stop this?

The Illegal Money Lending Team investigates illegal money lending and any related offences. In the past this has included violence, blackmail, drugs offences, threats, kidnap and even rape.

If you think you may be involved with a loan shark, call the team in confidence on 0300 555 2222 or Text 0786 002 2116.  E-mail


Looking to get rid of surplus office furniture?

This is a callout to any organisation which has office furniture that is surplus to need and would like to donate these items to another group.

West Smethwick Enterprise Family Centre is would like to acquire desks, tables, chairs, cupboards and filing cabinets.

If you are able to help, Aman Dhanda, Family Support and Quality Practice Manager, would like to hear from you. Email or call 0121 558 6796.

Free Mental Health Support for young people from Lyfeproof

Are you aged between 14 and 25 and struggling to cope with life after lockdown?  Lyfeproof is offering free mental health support for young people in the West Midlands.

You will be connected with a therapist of your choice (including creative therapies for those who find talking about their emotions difficult). You will have six online sessions, with a further opportunity for assistance with sleep and nutrition.

No tech? No problem. You can borrow a tablet and headset from a device library.

Remember, you don’t have to be in crisis to reach out (but it’s okay if you are). Contact either or 0121 622 3603 to sign up.

Lyfeproof is also looking for possible referral partners, so please get in touch at if you would like to access the service on behalf of your young people.

Black Country Click Start – Referral Information

Black Country Click Start, run by Citizen Advice Sandwell, helps people who are out of work to develop their digital skills and improve financial inclusion.  The project tailors its delivery to the needs of the client and provides support for a variety of tasks, including:

Setting up, accessing, and sending emails.
Increasing skills and confidence when using the internet, including how to stay safe online.
Managing their Universal Credit account.
Searching for jobs and volunteer opportunities online.
Using price comparison sites to save money on goods and services.
Online shopping.
Online banking.
Keeping in touch with friends and family through use of social media, video chat, and voice calls.

Digital Money Coaches work throughout the Black Country to provide both group and one to one support.

The project is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund. In order to participate clients must be out of work, have the right to work in the UK and be able to provide evidence of this.

During the Coronavirus pandemic, a letter from an organisation confirming the right to work status and unemployment status, may also be accepted. If eligibility conditions are met but evidence cannot be provided, support may still be available.

For further information, or the possibility of referring clients for digital support please contact Josh Shingleton, the Project Manager for the Citizens Advice Sandwell Click Start team. Contact: mobile 07494 157 550 or

Prince’s Trust Smethwick to restart in September

Prince’s Trust Smethwick now has an official restart date! The new team is looking to start on 21st of September. The team programme initially will have a few changes, the biggest of which is the one week residential. There will be no overnight stays but there will be an array of outdoor and team building activities throughout the week.

The young people will still gain the full qualification upon completion alongside the usual benefits of the programme, First Aid certificate, Food safety certificate, gaining work experience, a new CV, and interview techniques. The Young people will also be taught how to be more confident, leadership skills and communication skills. The Prince’s Trust we will also be looking for support in work experience placements, Community projects and team challenges.

The programme is for 16 – 25 year olds. Attendees are not postcode restricted, as long as they can realistically get to the Team Room on a daily basis at Piddock Road, Smethwick, B66 3BL. A bus pass is provided

There are other teams running in Dudley, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Bilston, Shrewsbury and Telford, with start dates around the same time. The Trust’s Team Leader will be happy to refer to other teams, should it be more convenient for travel.

If you know of a young person who you would like to refer, or think could benefit, please contact Jack Dytor, Princes’s Trust Team Leader, on 07787 245 832: Monday to Friday 8.30 am – 5 pm.

Meetings are currently held virtually or contact via email or telephone. From the 24th August meetings with professionals and/or young people can be face to face, whilst adhering to social distancing guidelines.

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.

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