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Half-Term fun at Sandwell Park Farm

There’s lots happening at Sandwell Park Farm in West Bromwich this February half-term.

Take the kids along to meet our animals – including the alpacas, goats, chicks and lambs. Plus we have craft activities on every day during the holidays (Saturday 15 February to Sunday 23 February).

Every day, visitors will be able to:

• 10.30am – Meet the alpaca
• 11am – Chick handling
• 12pm – Feed the lambs (limited spaces)
• 2pm – Meet the farmer
• 2.30pm – Chick handling
• 3.30pm Feed the lambs (limited spaces)

Plus there will be craft activities for children to enjoy and every child will receive a free carton of apple or orange juice.

Visitors can also check out the tearooms for breakfast, lunch, snacks and drinks.

You’ll find Sandwell Park Farm in the heart of Sandwell Valley, West Bromwich – the address is Salters Lane, West Bromwich, B71 4BG.

Admission charges for Sandwell Park Farm during school holidays:
• Adults – £3.50
• Children and concessions (over 60s and visitors with disabilities) – £3
• Family ticket for two adults and up to three children – £14
• Family ticket for one adult and up to three children – £11
Sandwell Park Farm is open almost every day of the year from 10am until 4.30pm. Last admissions are at 4pm.

If you visit regularly, you may benefit from one of our annual passes. We have cut the price of our 12 month passes – giving you 12 months access for the price of six.
• 12 month adult individual pass – £37
• 12 month adult individual concession pass – £27
• 12 month joint pass for two adults – £53.05
• 12 month pass for two adults (concessions) – £42.44
• 12 month family pass (two adults and up to three children) – £68.96

Find out more about Sandwell Park Farm on our website –

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

5 Tips to Improve Your Charity’s Email Marketing Strategy

Is it your charity’s new year’s resolution to improve its email marketing campaigns? Here are five things you can do to get ahead now and start improving the click-through rates and engagement of your emails.

New digital channels like social media and virtual assistants might be stealing the headlines, but email remains king when it comes to charity marketing. Studies from Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor put email open rates for charity emails at around 20-25% compared to a universal open rate of 6%, proving that good causes still make a big impression in people’s inboxes.

However, there are always things you can do to further improve the performance of your emails and build stronger relationships with your valued supporters.

Here are five strategically-driven ways to give your charity’s email campaigns a boost in 2020.

1. Have clearly-defined goals

First and foremost, it’s important to have a solid strategy for each email campaign you send. This means setting out in as much detail as possible:

What you ultimately want to achieve

How your emails fit into the bigger picture of your other brand campaigns

Who your target audience is

How you will measure success

This guide to email marketing strategy from email marketing platform Uplers gives a good grounding in how to set out your strategy, and particularly your objectives and key results, so you’ll always know what you’re working towards and stay focused.

To read the full Charity Digital News Article click here.

Source: Charity Digital News

ICO Launches Direct Marketing Consultation

The regulator has released draft guidance urging charities to ensure they comply with legislation around the electronic storage of data such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published draft guidance to help charities comply with regulation around their use of data in direct marketing.

Its draft direct marketing code of practice is aimed at ensuring charities are compliant with regulation including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Data Protection Act 2018 and 2003’s Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations.

This draft code aims to build on previous direct marketing guidance and offer a “practical life-cycle approach to direct marketing”, said the ICO.

It added: “It starts with a section looking at the definition of direct marketing to help organisations decide if the code applies to them, before moving on to cover areas such as planning marketing, collecting data, delivering marketing messages and individuals rights.”

The draft code also signposts other resources around using electronic communications around direct marking. This includes information supplied by Ofcom and the Fundraising Regulator.

Online consultation

The code is out for consultation until 4 March 2020 and a final version will be released later this year. This is available online for charities to respond to by clicking here.

To read the full Charity Digital News Article click here.

Source: Charity Digital News

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.

#Giving Tuesday is Coming

Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving, a day when everyone, everywhere can do something to support good causes. Giving Tuesday is celebrated on the Tuesday following the well-known shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and is celebrated this year on 3 December 2019.

It is a great opportunity to celebrate the work that your charity does on social media using the #GivingTuesday hashtag. It’s a chance to amplify your voice, get your cause in front of a new audience and be connected with a global generosity movement that saw 1.5 million people say they would be more likely to do something for charity as a result of Giving Tuesday. Find out more about how your charity can get involved here.

Guardian Public Service Awards: Public Health and Wellbeing Winner!

An integrated project is helping people in the West Midlands with alcohol dependence.

When people with an alcohol dependence are in the depths of despair, they can sometimes be quite suspicious of support. They may be suffering from complex physical and mental health problems compounded by other social issues. Gaining the trust of those with a drinking problem can be a battle. But the Sandwell Blue Light project is breaking through these challenges and changing lives.

Developed by Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council in 2015, the project has created a new system that identifies, engages and then builds a long-term rapport with the most difficult to reach drinkers. This includes those who do not engage with treatment, who are regular users of NHS services, or others involved in criminal behaviour.

While there were existing alcohol services in place in the borough, resources were limited and there was a risk people could fall through the net. With this in mind, the Blue Light project set out to ensure that people in need had access to an engaging, non-judgmental support system.

The project brings together a cross-section of partners, including public health professionals, the ambulance and probation services, and the police. Local GPs, mental health specialists, alcohol treatment providers and other NHS professionals are also on board.

The team coordinates its own work, identifying those having the greatest difficulties with alcohol in Sandwell, and develops jointly-owned action plans to provide them with support. Team members talk regularly to ensure they identify and monitor any clients at high risk. For example, a probation officer may have a phone call with a local GP to share information about a drinker’s risk and vulnerability. Every month, the team meets to review and assess client progress and agree on the next steps they can take to help.

Lisa McNally, the director of public health for Sandwell, says the project does not define people by antisocial behaviour. Instead, it looks to root causes. “Unless we get past people’s behaviours and look to see what’s driving them to continue to drink year on year, and not engage with services, we will never get anywhere,” she says.

To read the full article click here.

Source: The Guardian Newspaper

Tina’s Story raises domestic abuse awareness

The sister of a murdered Sandwell woman has made a short film to raise awareness of domestic abuse and the support that is available for victims and their families.

The film – Tina’s Story – was launched on Monday 25 November on White Ribbon Day and International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The film also launches Sandwell’s support for this year’s 16 Days of Action Against Domestic Abuse.

Tina Billingham was murdered by her partner in 2017. Her partner had subjected her to years of abuse and controlling behaviour. He was jailed for life for a minimum of 24 years for her murder.

Tina’s sister Mandy wants to help other families avoid losing a loved one through domestic abuse. She has worked with the Safer Sandwell Partnership to make the seven-minute film, which people can watch at and on YouTube

Mandy hopes the film will help others recognise the signs of domestic abuse and know how and where to seek support.

Support available
If you’re experiencing domestic abuse or know someone who is, call Black Country Women’s Aid on 0121 552 6448.

In an emergency, always call 999.

Samaritans: 116 123

Join the Winter Mini Reading Challenge for a sled-load of reading fun!

Sandwell Libraries are promoting a brrr-illiant mini reading challenge for children.

To take part, children simply read three books (or more) of their choice over the winter period.

Children create an online profile on the Reading Agency’s website and then add each book to their profile and leave a short book review.

Rating and reviewing three books online will unlock a virtual badge and a special Pugs of the Frozen North certificate to print off and keep! This can be printed for free at their local Sandwell Library.

The Winter Mini Challenge encourages children to keep reading through the cold winter holidays. Come inside from the cold and choose some books from your local library.

We have bought additional copies of Pugs of the Frozen North, which is the book linked with this year’s mini challenge, but children can choose any books that they would like to read to count towards the challenge.

Pugs of the Frozen North is an action-packed adorable-pug-filled adventure from Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre. With colourful characters including Snow Trolls and spaghetti-eating Yetis, it’s a great book to compliment this year’s mini challenge.

The Winter Mini Challenge starts on Monday 2 December 2019 and finishes on Monday 13 January 2020.  Books added to the website during this period will count towards unlocking the Mini Challenge rewards.

Remember library membership is free and borrowing books is free too. For details of Sandwell Libraries go to

Don’t delay, visit your local library today and come and choose some winter reads!

Competition launched to create woodland plaque design

Primary school children in Sandwell have been asked to design a plaque that will be placed in newly created woodlands.

Two woodlands will be created at both Jubilee Park in Tipton and Barnford Park in Oldbury with a total of 5,000 trees – one for each reception child who started school in September 2019.

Sandwell Council will judge the plaque designs in January once the competition has closed and will donate a tree and a plaque to the school of the winner.

Children are being asked for their designs to reflect that the woodlands will belong to the children and that as children grow so will the trees in their woodland.

The competition launch is during National Tree Week (November 23 – December 1st) where tree planting will begin at both sites.

The Woodland Trust is donating a number of trees and will ensure the two woodlands are given protected status.

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