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#StrongerSandwell – Call to Action!

#StrongerSandwell is a campaign all about highlighting the contribution that the local voluntary and community Sector in Sandwell is making towards building a stronger future for the Borough, especially in relation to health and wellbeing.

The image of ‘strength’ reminds us all of how we’ll achieve more if we recognise and invest in our existing strengths.  We want to keep investment in Sandwell and take an ‘asset based’ approach to services being delivered by local people for local people.

The #StrongerSandwell hastag is something that is independent of any organisation.  If you have a good news story or any other information to share when you are using social media, you are encouraged to use the #StrongerSandwell hashtag.

Further to this the Sandwell Public Health team have made a commitment to retweet/ share any posts by voluntary sector or community groups that uses the hashtag, helping to expand their reach and widely promote their work.

Centrepoint Christmas Hamper Appeal

The Centrepoint Christian Church and Support Centre, Carters Green, would like to make a call-out for donations to their Christmas Hamper Appeal.

Gifts of toys for children of all ages, non- perishable foods (particularly Christmas treats) toiletries, hats, gloves, scarves and shopping card gift vouchers would be welcomed. The Centre will wrap and distribute the gifts to clients. A small donation could make Christmas special for someone.

The criteria is:
• Clients live in West Bromwich
• Parents on benefits
• A family with children under 18 years.

If you know a person or a family who could benefit from a Christmas Hamper, you can refer them to Centrepoint. Referrals will be accepted up to 10th December and donations until 17th December.

An appointment can also be made with Centrepoint to get help with benefits, and obtain food vouchers? The Centre is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday – 10 am to 4 pm; Wednesday – 10 am to 1 pm.

Contact Centrepoint on Contact 0121 525 9191 or visit the website

Christmas Lights Celebrations In Sandwell

Christmas is just around the corner and people in Sandwell can get in the festive spirit with a series of community events across the six towns.

Sandwell Council is making sure town centres are looking Christmassy and is working together with community organisations to put on a number of Christmas lights celebrations.

Go to for full details of events across Sandwell

Have you got a story to tell?

Did you know SCVO can help Sandwell organisations promote good news stories or put a call out for goods, via Swap Shop, through our weekly e-bulletin?

Are you aware, we use social media channels and connections to raise awareness of community activities, events and launches for organisations?

Have you seen or used or Events Calendar?

These are some of the ways SCVO can help organisations to get their messages out to new and wider community audiences. Minimum effort for groups, possibly yielding maximum results.

If you would like to take advantage of these free services or would like to find out more about how SCVO can support your organisation, please get contact us on or call 0121 525 1127.

Yemeni Community Association Collect Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

A Sandwell group of volunteers who help new migrants and refugees settle in local communities have been presented with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

The Yemeni Community Association’s team of volunteers provides educational, recreational, cultural, spiritual and emotional wellbeing activities for people of all ages.

Volunteers work to meet the needs of the whole community and in particular the needs of the Arabic speaking people and specifically support new migrants and refugees to settle in the area.

Now the organisation, which is led by chief executive officer Ragih Muflihi and based at the Greets Green Access Centre, in Tildasley Street, West Bromwich, has received the award from the Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands John Crabtree.

Mr Muflihi said: “It was a great honour that our group of volunteers has been recognised at such a high level for the impressive standard of services it provides in meeting the needs of the local people.

“We have about 40 volunteers who range from 15 years old to 70-plus from a variety of ethnic backgrounds who act as peer mentors to support people with a variety of issues.

“They include emotional wellbeing support and helping to develop the English language skills of new migrants to enable them to access the wider community.”

Over the past 12 months about 920 individuals have been helped. “Our work has helped to reduce community tensions and helped to ease the transition and settlement of new migrant families into the Sandwell community,” he said.

Mr Muflihi said that Sandwell had long been a destination for migrants but people who were less proficient in English “tended to live in silos” by not mixing with one another.

The organisation also runs mosque tours for local schools to help with the religious education curriculum and give live examples of how Muslims worship.

For more information, go to or call 0121 525 3909.

Healthwatch Sandwell – Feedback Centre

Healthwatch Sandwell has a new facility on its website called the ‘Feedback Centre.’

This gives you the opportunity to feed back any information you may have about a health or social care service in Sandwell. This covers hospital, GP surgeries, pharmacies, dentists, care homes and other services.
Please visit our feedback centre:

If you have any suggestion on any other service to add to our feedback centre, please let us know by phoning 0121 569 7210 or emailing

Sandwell Launches New Language Network

Sandwell Consortium are launching the Sandwell Language Network (SLN) programme, providing a unique opportunity to work closely with our voluntary and community sector partners to develop the offer of  English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) provision in Sandwell.

How to get involved?
We want to promote the great work already happening so please get in touch to give us an overview of your current provision.

We have an exciting opportunity to provide training to your volunteers to enable them to assist in delivering ESOL programmes – in partnership with Sandwell College, volunteers can access a training programme that offers:
• City & Guilds Award in Education & Training
• a work placement to hone new skills
• mentoring support
• travel expenses

We are asking organisations with volunteers who would like to deliver more ESOL to express an interest by emailing

Advocacy Awareness Week 2019

The week beginning Monday 28th October to Friday 1st November is Advocacy Awareness Week. Sandwell Advocacy would like to highlight two of the projects in existence and what this means for Sandwell residents.

In 2018 Sandwell Advocacy celebrated 25 years of providing independent advocacy throughout Sandwell, promoting rights, voice and empowerment. Earlier this year, Children in Need approved three years funding for the Sandwell Advocacy Voice and Empowerment (SAVE) Project.

Sandwell Advocacy empowers young people, who are experiencing poor mental health and/or behavioural issues.   Their needs, rights and wishes are articulated when accessing, planning and delivering support and care services.

Additionally, Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, approved the Voices and Choices project for three years. Voice and Choices provides independent advocacy support for older people with long term health conditions, who fit one or both of the following criteria:

• Older people wishing to maintain their independence in their own home, with appropriate support, where it is safe for them to do so.
• Older people, their families and/or carers who are considering choices and options around extra care, residential or nursing care and accommodation options.

The project ensures that people have a voice, are aware of their rights and choices and are empowered to make informed decisions around the planning and delivery of health and social care services.

Follow Sandwell Advocacy on Twitter #AAW19.


Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme consultation

Each year, Councils are required to consult on the discounts they can award to people to reduce Council tax bills, through their ‘Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme’ or LCTRS.’

Each Council sets the rules for its own LCTRS. Sandwell is planning to make no changes to the existing LCTRS for the next financial year, meaning the rules used this year will remain in place.  However, they are still required to consult on this decision and would welcome comments or opinions from interested parties and members of the public.

Click here for more information.

Grace Mary 2 Lion Farm – Red Carpet Awards 2019

Come and join the Grace Mary to Lion Farm (GM2LF) Big Local Partnership for their first ever Red Carpet Awards night on Wednesday 23rd October 2019, 6pm at Oakham Church. 

The event will celebrate and recognise the talents and skills of local people. The night will include an exhibition of the amazing art work created by children from the local schools, awards for our Big Local in Bloom competitions, our very own Big Local Little Voices and a special guest!

There is no need to book but if you would like some further information, please contact Helen Trueman, Development Officer, GM2LF –

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