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Dorothy Parkes Community Allotment Plot Open Day

You are cordially invited to the Dorothy Parkes Centre Community Allotment Plot Open Day at Bearwood Allotments, Dale Street, Bearwood B66 4HX.   The Open Day is on Saturday 3 August 2019, 12 pm to 3 pm.

Go along and help the Centre celebrate the development of their accessible community allotment plot.

Join in with ‘Pebble Painting’
Make ‘Tree Cookies’
Listen to the Blackheath Ukelele Collective
Meet the Deputy Mayor of Sandwell
Find out how you can be involved in the plot

Refreshments available. Everyone welcome!

RSVP to Karen on 07752 578 117 or email

Still Time to Enter Wednesbury In Bloom

Wednesbury in Bloom is back and there is still chance to enter this summer’s competition to win a range of prizes.

Keen growers can enter five categories: Best Garden, Best Hanging Basket, Best Planter Display, Best Children’s Display and Best Business Display. The deadline for entries is 20 July.

The winner of each category can win a £50 voucher. The competition has been organised by Wednesbury Local office, Riverside and local councillors.

Councillor Olwen Jones, town chair for Wednesbury, said: “This competition has been a real success story in recent years and we have found many excellent gardeners and garden displays. I would urge anyone who is proud of their displays to enter and join in the fun and try to win one of the prizes.”

The winners of the competition will be announced at the Wednesbury Summer Fete on Saturday 10 August at Wednesbury Town Hall. The event will start at 10.30 am and will end at 3pm. There will be live entertainment, kids activities, home-made crafts and refreshments perfect for all the family.

Gardeners can enter by calling Riverside on 0121 532 5426 or 07870 809387 or Wednesbury Local office on 0121 368 1166 or by emailing

Sandwell Residents – What Matters To You

Healthwatch Sandwell are your local voice for the public in the delivery of health and social care services. As part of our role we carry out evaluations of services to understand the experiences of people who are using them. We use the feedback that we collect to share with the service providers and commissioners and work with them to look for ways that services can be improved.

Part of the way that we do that is to carry out a number of projects that focus on particular services or groups of people living in Sandwell that are based on the priorities of members of the public, service providers and service commissioners. Therefore, we are carrying out this survey to find out from members of the public what you think we should concentrate on for the next 12 months.

Our survey can be found here:

We would be grateful if you could complete our survey and if possible forward it to any contacts you may have.
Thank you for your support. The survey is ongoing.

Armed Forces Day at Dartmouth Park This Saturday

A military parade and a host of family fun and entertainment are being lined up to celebrate Armed Forces Day in Sandwell this Saturday (29 June).

The event at Dartmouth Park, West Bromwich, starts with a parade at 11am, followed by a fun day with entertainment, singing and military-themed stalls running until 2pm.

Entry is free and entertainment includes wartime songs from Funtime Theatre and Maggie O’Hara and Creative Academies putting on sports and children’s activities. Young people can also check out the youth bus and a climbing wall.

Sandwell Council Leader Councillor Yvonne Davies said: “The celebration gives people of all ages an opportunity to show their support for all the men and women who have served our country in our armed forces. I would encourage everyone to come along, bring their friends and families and have a wonderful day out.

“This event will have added significance this year with this month marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day and, coming up later in the year, the 80th anniversary of the start of the Second World War.”

Sandwell Summit 2019 – Come and Join the Conversation

You are invited to attend the Sandwell Summit 2019 to celebrate the great things we’re doing in Sandwell and explore how we can work together to achieve more.

We need your help and ideas about keeping it local. Focusing on our community assets, getting the most out of the Sandwell pound and involving local people and local businesses in shaping solutions for Sandwell.

Thursday 11 July, 4.30pm – 7.30pm
The Hawthorns, Richardson Suite, West Bromwich Albion Football Club, B71 4LF. Light refreshments will be available at 4.30pm

Please book your place by 12th June 2019 by e-mailing

We also want to hear your good news stories about the great projects going on in your town. If you’ve got a story to celebrate, tell us at

Please let us know if you have any food allergies or special dietary needs.

Join Us For Armed Forces Family Day

A military parade and a host of family fun and entertainment are being lined up to celebrate Armed Forces Day in Sandwell on Saturday 29 June.

The event at Dartmouth Park starts with a parade at 11am, followed by a fun day with entertainment, singing and military-themed stalls running until 2pm.

Entry is free and entertainment includes singer Maggie O’Hara and Creative Academies putting on sports and children’s activities. Young people can also check out the youth bus.

The celebration gives people an opportunity to show their support for men and women in the armed forces. It will have added significance this year with 2019 marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the 80th anniversary of the start of the Second World War.

Better Care Fund Community Consultation

The Better Care Fund (BCF) is a national programme delivering Health and Social Care integration.

It is proposed to develop services to support growth and development of our communities, promoting individual health, wellbeing and independence.

This short questionnaire aims to gather views around effective community led services that will support vulnerable people to be cared for at home or in the community when they need it.

Please click on the following link to the online link to the online survey.  Please note the deadline for responses to the survey is Sunday 4th August

Queens Award for Voluntary Service – Great News for Sandwell Group

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

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

Volunteers work to meet the needs of Arabic speaking communities and specifically support new migrants and refugees to settle in the area.

The organisation, which is led by chief executive officer Ragih Muflihi, is based at the Greets Green Access Centre, in Tildasley Street, West Bromwich.

Mr Muflihi said: “It is a great honour that the Yemeni Community Association in Sandwell has been recognised for the high standard of services it provides in meeting the needs of the local people.”

“We work with a group of 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 well-being support and helping to develop the English language skills of new migrants to enable them to access the wider community.”

He said that over the past 12 months approximately 920 individuals had 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.

YCA CEO, Ragih Muflihi and Councillor Syeda Khatun

Sandwell Council’s Deputy Leader and cabinet member for community engagement and equality Councillor Syeda Khatun said: “This is a fantastic achievement and a great honour for the association to receive such a prestigious award.

“The council really values the association’s commitment to supporting the community and the excellent work they do.”

Major Sylvia Parkin, Deputy Lieutenant for the West Midlands, said in a message to the group: “The announcement of your award is extremely good for Sandwell and the West Midlands.

“I know many people will join me in congratulating you on your achievement which is richly deserved. Those who directly benefit from your voluntary work will also be particularly pleased that the service you provide has been publicly recognised.

“To achieve a Queen’s Award is a tremendous honour and wonderful recognition of an organisation’s work. It is a great way to say ‘thank you’ to your volunteers.”

Imad Almuflehi Chair of the YCA said: “We are absolutely delighted with this wonderful award, it serves as great recognition of the amazing work of all the staff, volunteers and partners associated with the YCA in Sandwell. On behalf of the trustees I want to say a huge thank you to all involved over the history of the association for making it so welcoming, engaging and impactful for the diverse communities we serve”

Healthwatch Sandwell seeks Advisory Board Members

Healthwatch Sandwell is the independent champion for local people’s voices in health and social care in Sandwell.

Healthwatch Sandwell is looking to recruit a number of Advisory Board members who have a passion for developing the organisation as the “consumer champion” for the NHS, public health and adult and children’s social care services across the Borough.

Board members will need to have a good understanding of health, social care and well-being policy issues and challenges facing the NHS and Local Authority, together with a good awareness of the local environment in Sandwell and how health and social care services are delivered.

If you would like to play a leading part in shaping the future of a vital organisation, then Healthwatch Sandwell would welcome your application.

Recruitment packs are available from Aileen Farrer – or 01785 887809; or online here.

If you would like an informal discussion about the role, please call Elizabeth Learoyd on 07776090003.

To apply for this role, please submit your application to Aileen Farrer at the email address shown above.

Meet the New Leader of Sandwell Council

Sandwell Council’s new Leader has pledged to “improve the lives of the people of Sandwell”.

Councillor Yvonne Davies, who represents Langley ward, was confirmed as the Leader of the Council at the Annual Council meeting last night (Tuesday).

Councillor Syeda Khatun, who represents Tipton Green, is Deputy Leader.

The meeting also saw Councillor Ann Jaron (Abbey ward) made Mayor of Sandwell, with Councillor Suzanne Hartwell (Oldbury ward) made Deputy Mayor.

It’s the first time since the borough was created in 1974 that Sandwell has had an all-female leader, deputy and Mayoral team.

Councillor Davies, who lives in Oldbury, has served on the council since 2007. She told last night’s meeting: “I’ve spent all my adult life working in public services and the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do is make a difference to people’s lives – both working with individuals as an adviser and advocate, but also collectively and politically to fight injustice and equality, and to improve people’s life chances.

“And that is what will drive me as Leader of this Council. My job and our job as elected members is to improve the lives of the people of Sandwell.

“We have lots of responsibilities as a council, but when you boil it all down, that is our job and that is the question we should constantly be asking ourselves: how is what we are doing improving people’s lives and what else should we be doing as well?

“And it’s a huge challenge. We are one of the most deprived boroughs in the country, we have life expectancy below national averages and we have a generally less-qualified population. At the same time was also have a growing population, a wonderfully diverse population and a relatively young population. All of which provide opportunities as well as challenges.”

Councillor Davies made three further promises: to get young people more engaged in civic life; for councillors to conduct themselves with integrity and the highest standards in public life; and to make Sandwell well-known for its unity and ambition.

The Leader also confirmed new cabinet roles as follows:

Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Equality and Deputy Leader of the Council – Councillor Syeda Khatun
Cabinet Member for Living Healthy Lives – Councillor Farut Shaeen
Cabinet Member for Skills and Employment – Councillor Danny Millard
Cabinet Member for Best Start in Life – Councillor Joyce Underhill
Cabinet Member for Safer Communities – Councillor Maria Crompton
Cabinet Member for Sustainable Transport – Councillor Jackie Taylor
Cabinet Member for Homes – Councillor Joanne Hadley
Cabinet Member for Inclusive Economic Growth – Councillor Bob Lloyd
Cabinet Member for Resources and Core Services – Councillor Wasim Ali

Further appointments to other committees will be made at a council meeting to be held within the next four weeks.

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