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The Big Lunch 2019!

Great Things happen when you bring people together! The Big Lunch is about millions of people getting together to share food, have fun and get to know each other better. 

It’s a simple idea – that for a few glorious hours, cars stop, shyness stops and neighbours come together in the street to meet, greet, share, swap, sing, plan and laugh. That’s why the Eden Project are inviting you to join them on 1-2 June 2019 for their annual get-together for neighbours and communities.

The Big Lunch idea from the Eden Project is made possible by the National Lottery. It doesn’t matter if you are big or small – whether you’re having a cup of tea with a neighbour or a full-on street party, The Big Lunch is an opportunity to help build connections that create stronger and happier communities.

Sign up for your free starter pack to join in the fun by clicking here or for more information on the Big Lunch click here.

Don’t forget to share your photos using the #TheBigLunch hashtag.

Source: The National Lottery

YCA Cultural Centre – Visit My Mosque 2019

As part of the national #VisitMyMosque initiative, the Yemeni Community Association in Sandwell (YCA) is delighted to invite and welcome you to its mosque open day. The purpose of the day is about helping communities in building bridges and breaking down stereotypes.

The YCA Cultural Centre is opening its doors on Sunday, 3 March 2019, between 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm.

Drop by for a visit, friendly chat and some light refreshments. This free event is open to people of all faiths and none, so please bring your friends, family, neighbours and colleagues to our place of worship and cultural centre.

T: 0121 525 3909
A: YCA Cultural Centre, Tildasley Street, West Bromwich, West Midlands, B70 9SJ

Visit the website

100 Masters Shortlisted for Two International Awards!

CBC is a partnership between SCVO, Wolverhampton Voluntary Service Council, One Walsall, Multistory and Black Country Touring who collectively aim to encourage more people to experience the arts in the local area. We work with local businesses, education establishments, the media, libraries and local creatives to develop ideas and realise them.

In 2016, CBC launched the 100 Masters landmark project: profiling the experts of today, in order to inspire the pioneers of tomorrow our aim is to inspire and offer local people a fresh perspective about the strengths, skills, talent and expertise surfacing from their locality and community. The project has included a hugely successful viral video campaign of short films to inspire people across the globe that has received over 9.5m views.

Award success

Over the past 12 months 100 Masters has so far been shortlisted for two international awards and one UK award. During Autumn 2018 Creative Producer, Liam Smyth, and CBC project administrator, Rosalind Argo, were invited to Graz in Austria to accept the award for the winning entry in the European Youth Award’s Open Innovation category.

Managed by the European Centre for Creative Economy the Award for Innovations in Culture and Creativity in Europe (NICE) results will be announced on the 12th February 2019 in Dortmund, Germany.

In March the team will head to Halifax for the finals of the Creative Learning Guild awards as a shortlisted project in the ‘Digital and Film Awards’ category.

If you’d like to find out more about the Creative Black Country click here.

Volunteer Opportunities at Wildlife Trust

The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country have ambitious plans to grow their fundraising opportunities and are looking for flexible, organised and friendly individuals to help with community fundraising.  If you are interested in helping to grow your local Wildlife Trust and have good connections in your local community, please get in touch!

Volunteers will support with delivering a variety of community fundraising initiatives e.g. sponsored walks, pub quizzes, raffles, office dress down days and coffee mornings to raise funds for the Trust.

Volunteers may also be suited to member recruitment by supporting the team at community events.

For more information contact Emma Thompson on 0121 523 0094 or email

You can register your interest in volunteering online at – be sure to identify on the form that you are interested in volunteering as a community fundraiser.

Lottery Windfall for Lees Memorial Sons of Rest

Lees Memorial Sons of Rest are laughing all the way to the bank! After successfully securing funding, from the National Lottery Community Fund, for the next three years to develop and sustain their community activities in Farley Park, West Bromwich.

The community-led club provides community and social activities (i.e. snooker, crib, social evenings i.e. fish and chip suppers, hog roast, bowling, trips, etc.) for elderly vulnerable members of their community, to address local concerns around loneliness, social isolation and exclusion.

Their project seeks to establish a Daughters of the Sons of Rest section of the club, to widen their community activities out to new audiences and members of their community. The proposals also include for some minor refurbishment works to their kitchen, which will enable them to provide hot meals as part of their activities and be used to teach members how to cook healthy quick meals.

If you’d like to become a member of the club or would simply like to find out more about Lees Memorial Sons of Rest or the Daughters of the Sons of Rest, please call John Lawley on 07798626154.

Fizz Free February is here – make your pledge!

Friday 1st February marks the start of Fizz Free February – meaning it’s time to ditch sugary drinks for 28 days.

Launched by Southwark Council in 2018, Fizz Free February is a great way to reduce the amount of sugar in your diet and make it easier to cut down on fizzy drinks for the rest of the year, too. It can also help you to save money, stay healthy and keep your teeth. For instance, did you know that you could save £438 if you stopped drinking one bottle of soft drink, per day, for a year

Through the campaign, Sandwell’s Public Health Team will be raising awareness of the health implications of drinking fizzy drinks, which often contain high amounts of sugar.

Pledge to give up fizzy drinks for 28 days and tweet about it using #fizzfreesandwell and #gofizzfree

You can find out more about the reasons to quit fizzy drinks and sign up to take part at:

2019 National Campaigner Awards

Each year, the Sheila Mckechnie foundation celebrates the best campaigns and campaigners – whether working locally or nationally, and from individuals and community groups to people working in large organisations.

The Foundation would like to find those who have made change happen – most effectively, creatively and courageously. So, if you know someone or an organisation who you think deserves to be celebrated, please do nominate them. You can also nominate yourself!

Winners will receive their award at a fantastic evening ceremony in central London, on Wednesday 27th March 2019. To find out more and to nominate please visit:

There are no fees associates with these Awards, it is free to nominate and attend!

Charities Putting Kindness at the Heart of Campaigns

For many people, ‘doing their bit for charity’ is a simple case of setting up a standing order or putting some spare change into a collection tin.

Of course, monetary donations such as these are always gratefully received, but many charities are also starting to ask their donors for something different. Instead of just asking for financial gifts, they have been encouraging people to donate acts of kindness.

Whether it is passing on beloved old clothes or toys to those less fortunate, sending used Christmas cards to be recycled into new ones, or carrying out an everyday gesture of goodwill, acts of kindness can foster a real sense of purpose – bringing donors and benefactors closer together.

Over the past few years, there have been many innovative and inspiring kindness campaigns. Here, we take a closer look at some examples.

The Bike Project

The Bike Project is a small, London-based charity that refurbishes donated bicycles and distributes them to asylum seekers and refugees. Since its creation in 2013, it has given out more than 4,000 bikes.

For Giving Tuesday in 2018, the charity provided its beneficiaries with a little extra. Marketing Manager Anna Chapman explains: “We decided to join in with Giving Tuesday in a different way this year. Rather than asking for donations, we encouraged people to write seasonal cards that could be handed out with our bikes.

“We felt that sharing personal messages of welcome would enable our supporters to better connect with our beneficiaries. A lot of the work we do is about community, and a simple act of kindness can mean a lot to the people we support.”

The campaign was a huge success. “We were delighted with the response we received,” says Anna. “We put the call out via our social media channels using an eye-catching image. Lots of people got in touch saying they were going to take part, and it created a real buzz online. We plan to give out [the greeting cards] with our bikes at upcoming bike donation sessions.”

Women in Prison

In 2017, the charity Women in Prison asked people to send in the front page of their used Christmas cards. The idea was that prisoners could recycle these into cards and decorations for children in the run-up to Christmas.

A call-out on Twitter went viral, and was even retweeted by Hollywood stars Cher and Bette Midler. As a result, Women in Prison received more than 5,000 cards. “People included lovely messages of support alongside the cards,” said a spokesperson for the charity. “It was a highly inspiring and warming experience.”

In fact, so popular was the campaign, that the charity had enough cards left over to distribute this Christmas. So, instead of asking for more, it is asking people to donate the postage they would have spent on sending them. To facilitate this, it has created an online platform.

To read the full Zurich article click here.

See Beauty and the Beast

Join Dorothy Parkes for a post Christmas ‘pick me up’ as they work in partnership with Black Country Touring.

Multi Story Theatre Company presents Beauty and the Beast – A pre-Disney version of a well-loved tale.

An old woman who claims to be a princess and a reluctant security guard use music, song, puppetry, and projection to play out the traditional tale of Beauty and the Beast. Nothing is quite as it seems in this lively and inventive version of the hugely popular story presented by on one the UK’s most respected children’s theatre companies.

Children and adults alike enjoy both the bravura fun of the storytelling and the genuine drama and pathos of the tale as it unfolds.  The production, for children aged 5 – 11 and their families,on Saturday, 19 January 2019 at 2.30 pm and 4.00 pm.

Tickets are £3.00 adults and £2.00 children and can be purchased online or at the Centre, Church Road, Smethwick B67 6EH.

There will be light refreshments and the chance to enter a raffle.

Nominations now open for the Rowley Regis Community Awards 2019

Nominations are now open for the Rowley Regis Community Awards 2019. It’s an opportunity for local people and community organisations to be recognised for their outstanding contributions to their local town and its people.

The Rowley Regis Community Awards Panel is seeking nominations for six categories. The categories open for submissions are:

Outstanding Volunteer Award: Someone whose volunteering makes a huge impact on the local community.
Outstanding Young Person Award: A young person who makes a positive contribution to the local community.
Outstanding Good Neighbour Award: Someone who helps their neighbours & makes a difference to someone else.
Outstanding Community Organisation Award: A community project/organisation that makes a difference to the local community.
Outstanding Partnership Working Award: A Group has shown that partnership working has had a positive impact.
Community Special Award: An individual that has contributed positive lifelong service to the area.

To enter, organisations and individuals must be based in Rowley Regis and all projects must take place in the town. All entries will be judged by an independent panel involving local Councillors.

The deadline for nominations is Friday 18th January 2019.

Please visit to submit your nominations online.

All selected nominees will be invited to an Awards Gala Dinner on 8th February 2019 from 6 pm to 9 pm, which will be held at the Platinum Plaza.

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