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Free Antenatal Session for grandparents and carers

Sandwell’s Parent Support Team are excited to announce a new face to face session for mums or dads, grandparents-to-be (or other family member) welcoming a new baby into their family.

As well as celebrating the new arrival into your family, this fun session, led by a health visitor, will give you an opportunity to find out all the latest advice and guidance on pregnancy and new born baby care so that the new parents-to-be can be supported as much as possible. It is a FREE session (with goodies, cakes and refreshments provided!).

The sessions are on Saturday 27th November at Brook Street Community Centre, Tipton.

To book go to https://bookwhen.com/changes or for more information click here.


Providing real practical help to rough sleepers in Bearwood, Smethwick and West Bromwich

Following World Homeless Day on Sunday, 10 October, Sandwell Council’s Housing Solutions Service will be in Bearwood, Smethwick and West Bromwich from the 11th -15th October, providing advice and information about housing support and other services to rough sleepers, or those at risk of rough sleeping.

The Rough Sleepers Team will be at the following locations/dates:
• Monday, 11 October at Smethwick High Street (5pm)
• Tuesday, 12 October at Bearwood High Street (5pm)
• Wednesday, 13 October at Carters Green, West Bromwich, Farley Clock Tower (6pm)
• Friday, 15 October at Carters Green, West Bromwich, Farley Clock Tower (5:30pm)

Officers will be encouraging people to engage with council services and those provided by other support organisations, and will be offering food, sundries and other essentials to those who need them.

West Midlands Langar Seva  a charity that helps those in need, provide hot meals throughout the week in Carters Green, West Bromwich, next to the Farley Clock Tower. The Rough Sleepers Team will be joining West Midlands Langar Seva on Wednesday, 13th October (6pm) and Friday, 15th October (5:30pm).

In addition to evening walks in Smethwick and Bearwood, the Rough Sleepers Team will also be joining the Safer 6 campaign daytime walks in Smethwick on 13th October (12-1pm, Smethwick High Street) and Bearwood on  14th October (11am-12pm, Bearwood High Street).

If you are at risk of or are already homeless, there are a number of ways to get in touch with Sandwell Council.

The quickest and easiest way to tell them you need help is by searching for Housing Jigsaw Customer Portal on your search engine and follow the instructions to register.

If you are unable to access the online portal, then please call us on 0121 368 1166 (option 2) or if you find yourself with nowhere to stay outside office hours or over the weekend please call us on 0121 569 6883.

Please visit www.sandwell.gov.uk/housing for more information.

Safer 6 is an annual six-week autumn campaign, running until 7 November, which promotes a wide range of safety, crime prevention and healthy living advice for people of all ages. Each of the six weeks will have a different theme. The 12th annual Safer 6 campaign has a special online focus, as well as activities across the six towns. These include: speed awareness, walkabouts, litter picks and skip days.


Sandwell’s Safer 6 campaign is back for 2021

Sandwell’s annual autumn Safer 6 campaign gets under way on Monday 27 September, promoting a wide range of safety, crime prevention and healthy living advice for people of all ages.

The six-week campaign, now in its 12th year, has a special online focus this year, with activities also being planned across Sandwell’s six towns including speed awareness, walkabouts, litter picks and skip days. We will also be launching the resident consultation for Sandwell’s new Community Safety strategy.

Safer 6 runs from 27 September to 7 November 2021. Each of the six weeks will have a different theme:

Week 1 (27 September-3 October): Substance misuse
Week 2 (4-10 October): Under 25 violence and county lines
Week 3 (11-17 October): Hate crime
Week 4 (18-24 October): Exploitation
Week 5 (25-31 October): Anti-social behaviour and crime
Week 6 (1-7 November): Violence against women and girls

The campaign is led by Sandwell Council for the Safer Sandwell Partnership, which brings together the council, Sandwell Police, West Midlands Fire Service and many other partner organisations.

Visit www.sandwell.gov.uk/safer6 for more information on the campaign.

 

 


Narrowing the digital divide: Sandwell businesses urged to donate unwanted PCs and laptops

A new Sandwell partnership is urging local businesses to donate unwanted PCs, laptops and tablets to people in need. Sandwell Digital Donation is a partnership between Sandwell Council, Black Country Housing Group and West Bromwich-based social enterprise REPC Ltd.

It is hoped the programme will help to narrow the ‘digital divide’: the gap between people in society who have full access to digital technologies and those who do not.

The project team collects old PCs, laptops and tablets from business premises. They ensure all data is deleted safely and legally, then they repair and recondition the equipment before passing it on to households within the borough.

If the equipment can’t be reused, REPC will ensure it is disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.

Read more here


Expressions of Interest invited for development of Britannia Park Community Hub

On 3 March 2021 the Government, in the Chancellor’s Budget Statement, confirmed the award of a Town Deal for Rowley Regis to a value of up to £19 million. One of the five projects supported through this Town Deal is the development of Britannia Park Community Hub, along with green space improvements to the park; this has been awarded up to £2.46 million from Towns Fund sources.

Britannia Park is an established urban green space and the town park for Blackheath, part of Rowley Regis, itself one of the six towns of Sandwell, The park is located 0.5 km north of the town centre.

The new Hub will be the centre piece of the restoration of the park and the building will have toilets, café, seating area, and community / training areas that can be used for events and activities.

Its focal point will be a new low-carbon pavilion, offering 6 changing rooms, toilets, community meeting room and kitchen. The building will utilise green energy where possible and modular construction is proposed, bringing simplicity of design, speed and ease of construction and installation, proven security and value for money.

The changing rooms will be used by women’s / junior football teams, also netball teams, to meet defined needs for these facilities in Sandwell.

The community room and kitchen will be run by a newly-formed Friends group, offering meeting spaces and providing a focal point for park-users. These will provide a training facility for horticultural apprentices, who will be based there, using the park for practical skills development.

Click here for more details

Please direct any questions to darren_jones@sandwell.gov.uk


Have your say on exciting plans for Britannia Park in Rowley Regis

Sandwell Council wants to hear your opinions on its plans to improve and invest in Britannia Park in Rowley Regis. 

The plans will include new sports changing rooms, improved grass sports pitches, new play equipment and a revamped skate park. They also include improvements to park entrances, car parking, lighting, better paths, tree planting and an enlarged allotment area with a community orchard.

The consultation will remain open until Tuesday 31 August.

The Government invited Rowley Regis to submit a Towns Fund application for up to £25 million. In March 2021, the Government approved the Town Investment Plan which means Rowley Regis (including parts of Oldbury) is set to be allocated £19 million. West Bromwich and Smethwick were also invited to submit a Towns Fund application, both of which were approved Government. Find out more at www.sandwell.gov.uk/townsfund.

The plans are part of the Towns Fund: Britannia Park Community Hub and Greenspace Improvements project, included in the Rowley Regis Town Investment Plan.


Prevention and Promotion Fund for Better Mental Health

Public Health’s funding opportunity seeks to invest in prevention and promotion interventions for better mental health, specifically to mitigate mental health impacts arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and reduce widening mental health inequalities by targeting at risk and vulnerable groups.

Sandwell MBC Public Health are inviting Voluntary and Community Sector organisations to submit an Expression of Interest against three allocated strands, to receive funding which will be distributed in the form of a grant. Each strand has a value of £40,000, the allocated lots are:

a. Engaging men through outreach peer support for self-harm and suicide prevention
b. Engaging men through football and peer support
c. Engaging Minority Ethnic Communities through targeted peer support and activities

The Expression of Interest window is open from 04/08/2021 until 12pm on 20/08/2021. Successful EOI notifications are expected by 31/08/2021.

Projects will be expected to start delivery quickly, with the mobilisation and promotion period being September 2021, and the delivery period starting at the beginning of October 2021 at the latest. The provisional delivery period is until May 2022.

Completed Expression of Interest forms should be sent to PublicHealth_BusinessSupport@sandwell.gov.uk no later that 12pm on 20/08/2021. Click here for the form.


Appeal as Rare Breed Lambs Stolen from Sandwell Farm

Devastated staff at Forge Mill Farm in West Bromwich are appealing for help to catch thieves who stole two rare breed lambs on the evening of Sunday 25 July 2021.

The two Pedigree Shropshire ewe lambs were born in February and were due to join the farm’s breeding flock next year. The animals were particularly important to the farm and its work with the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST). The Shropshire sheep is one of the success stories to come out of the RBST’s programme to boost numbers of vulnerable livestock in the UK.

Sandwell Council’s cabinet member responsible for the borough’s farms and parks Councillor Maria Crompton said: “This theft is a huge loss for the team that works so hard to care for the animals throughout the year and for the people of Sandwell that visit our farm”.

“The farm staff are devastated by this callous act. These lambs are irreplaceable as it takes a huge amount of time and energy to produce rare breed sheep of such high genetic quality as these and for them to be stolen, and most likely slaughtered is disgusting.

“We are appealing for anyone who witnessed people acting suspiciously on Forge Lane, West Bromwich around 10.30pm on Sunday, 25 July or knows anything to call the police.

“The animals taken from Forge Mill Farm are not fit for human consumption. Don’t buy meat except from a reputable shop – it could be a health risk, not a bargain.”

We have CCTV of the incident taking place which West Midlands police are using to identify the individuals involved.

West Midlands Police have issued a crime reference number 20/146 4767/12 and an incident report number 849 26/07/2021. Anyone with any information is asked to report this using the reference numbers to the police via LiveChat at https://west-midlands.police.uk/contact-us/live-chat or by calling 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Any cases of illegal slaughter should be reported to Sandwell’s consumer protection team at EHTS_Enquiries@sandwell.gov.uk.

 


Have Your Say on Life in Sandwell Through Residents’ Survey

The enormous impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has been felt across the borough in many different ways. It’s why we are keen to hear what you think.

As we start to move forwards in what we all hope are better times ahead, this important residents’ survey is designed to provide the council with vital information that will help us better understand how individuals and communities in Sandwell have been affected by the pandemic.

This will help us shape our services and ensure we continue to respond to the needs of our residents across the borough.

Surveys should be completed before the deadline of 5pm on Monday 16 August.

Councillor Rajbir Singh, Sandwell Council Leader said: Please complete the survey to have your say so you can help shape our services going forward. “It is essential residents have the opportunity to be able to inform their local council on the things that matter to them.

“We’re aware this is just one snapshot of gauging people’s opinions of our services and life here in Sandwell. Understanding the views of residents is key when assessing our effectiveness as a council. I would encourage residents to fill in this questionnaire, the more responses we get, the more we can be sure we are focusing on the issues local people feel are most important to them.”

You can take part in the survey here.


Residents Urged to Look Out for Voter Registration details from Sandwell Council

Sandwell residents are being warned not to lose their voice on decisions that affect them by making sure their electoral registration details are up to date.

With elections taking place in Sandwell in May 2022, this is an important opportunity for residents to make sure they can take part.

The annual canvass ensures that Sandwell Council can keep the electoral register up to date, identifying any residents who are not registered to vote so that they can be encouraged to do so.

This year, residents will receive an email or letter regarding the annual canvass – depending on what contact details the council holds for them.

For the majority of residents, unless there are any changes to their circumstances, they won’t need to respond. Please read your letter or email carefully.

A Sandwell Council spokesperson said: “It’s important that residents look out for messages from Sandwell Council so we can make sure we have the right details on the electoral register for every address in the borough.

“We will send you a letter or an email for you to respond to. To make sure you are able to have your say at elections taking place next year, simply follow the instructions sent to you.

“If you’re not currently registered, your name will not appear in the messages we send. If you want to register, the easiest way is online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote or we’ll send you information explaining how to do this in the post.”

People who have moved recently are particularly encouraged to look out for the voter registration messages from Sandwell Council and check the details.

Research by the Electoral Commission, published in 2019, indicates that recent home movers are far less likely to be registered than those who have lived at the same address for a long time. Across Great Britain, 92% of people who have been at their property for more than sixteen years will be registered, compared to 36% of people who have lived at an address for less than one year.

Melanie Davidson, Head of Support and Improvement at the Electoral Commission, said: “It’s really important that everyone who is entitled to vote is able to do so. Checking the messages that you will get from your local authority is the easiest way to see if you’re registered to vote. If you’re not, make sure you provide the necessary information to your local authority when it is needed and register to vote online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.”

Further information on the electoral canvass is available at www.sandwell.gov.uk/electionsform

Information on registering to vote is available on the Electoral Commission website.

Any residents who have any questions can contact the elections team by emailing electoral_services@sandwell.gov.uk or by calling 0121 569 3242.


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