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Fircroft College first ever Alumni reunion and 110 year celebratory event

Fircroft College is excited to be hosting the first Alumni Reunion for past students (also known as Fircrofters!) to celebrate the college’s 110 year anniversary on Friday, 6th September 2019, 9.45 am – 2.45 pm.

Alumni and partners will be able to find out what has remained the same, what’s new, reconnect with familiar faces (and meet new ones!), all in six acres of beautiful grounds.

The day is designed to be flexible so you can sign up for the workshops to fit around commitments.

Sign up for the Alumni Reunion via Eventbrite.

Any queries please email

BUDS Fundraising Evening

Join Better Understanding of Dementia for Sandwell (BUDS) for a fantastic evening of entertainment on Friday 20th September, at Brandhall Labour Club, Tame Road, Oldbury, B68 0JT.

• Arrival from 6.15 pm.
• Songs and musical performances by Dynamix and Ukulele Union
• Hot and cold buffet with a selection of desserts.
• Raffle with great prizes
• Bar

Tickets cost £13 and must be booked in advance.

BUDS hope that as many people as possible will attend what promises to be a great evening. Funds raised will help to support vital services.

For your ticket or more information contact BUDS Reception on 0121 565 3721 or email

Options for Life Charity Treasure Hunt

Following the success of the Community Easter Egg Hunt, Options for Life are proud to announce its latest family feature – a Treasure Hunt!

Their stall in West Bromwich hides a chest – and in the chest… Treasure! But the chest is locked with a code, and the clues to the combination are scattered all around West Bromwich.  You’ll need to bring all your cunning and intuition to put the puzzle together, and get to the loot first!

The Options for Life stall will be open from 10.30 am to 2 pm, on Tuesday, 20 August, 2019, in West Bromwich New Square Plaza. Go along and pick up a clue pack to begin the hunt! Clues will take you all over the pedestrian area of West Bromwich Town Centre.  Tickets are £5 per team.

Buy tickets here

Heart of England Receives Anonymous Donation!

The Foundation were stunned by the further generosity of an anonymous donor after they received a gift of £1,584.094.

The donor has been so impressed with how their original donation of £4 million has been used they decided to gift them with an unrestricted donation!

The total amount, of over £7 million, makes it by far the largest donation in the charity’s 24-year history.

Tina Costello, Foundation CEO, explained that the new donation is unrestricted which means the foundation will have control over where this funding will be distributed, rather than being led by its donors.

She said:
“When I was told the amount of money we’d be receiving, I had to pull my car over – I was just overwhelmed.

“This incredible amount of money will allow us to develop our own grant-giving programmes for the first time.  The majority of our grant programmes are donor led which is great, because it means our donors have a strong say and personal involvement in who benefits from their money.

“However, this wonderfully generous anonymous donor has given us the freedom to develop and implement our own grant programmes, based on evidence of need across our region.

“The anonymous donor has been instrumental in changing the landscape and direction of the charity and has enabled us to grow and develop in the way we support our communities”.

“This money is allowing us to move in a new direction and I’m looking forward to getting started.”

The original £4 million anonymous donation has been used to set up the ‘Building Better Lives’ initiative.

The scheme will be used to support up to three projects across the West Midlands Region that have a successful track record and expertise in delivering capital projects and support for vulnerable and disadvantaged people.

Tina added:
“I have to say a massive thank you to the donor for continuing to support us – it shows an incredible amount of faith in what we do and I couldn’t be prouder.

“The Building Better Lives initiative was made possible thanks to their money, and we hope to distribute the money to projects in the next few months.

“But I still couldn’t believe how large their recent donation was. We can’t wait to use the money to transform people’s lives.”

Source: Heart Of England Community Foundation

Tipton Community Fun Day

A feast of community and family entertainment is set to thrill people of all ages at the 13th Annual Community Fun Day in Tipton. The event will be held at the Victoria Park, Victoria Road, Tipton, from 12 noon to 6 pm on Sunday, 4th August 2019.

A mini zoo, fairground rides, car boot sale, bouncy castle, children’s activities, dancing and a live band are among many attractions. There will be something for all and a lot of fun to be had.

This highly anticipated community and the family event attracts thousands of people from Tipton and across the borough. Please click link to see videos and pictures of previous events.

The event is a great opportunity for public and the private sector agencies to promote their services and take advantage to engage with the community.

To book a stall please contact Syeda Khatun on 07533675358, 01215576766 or email

Dorothy Parkes Summer Fayre

Did you Know Dorothy Parkes is having its Summer Fayre on Saturday, 20th July 2019? Entrance is free and all are welcome.

Activities commence at 10.30 am and finish at 3.00 pm. There will be stalls, hot and cold food, beverages, a live DJ, raffles and a tombola. There will also be live performances, church tours and much more.

Check out the website to find out what else is happening at the Dorothy Parkes Centre, Church Road, Smethwick, B67 6EH

Sandwell Libraries Praised for Service

Sandwell Council provides a “very valued” and “high performing” library service to people in the borough, according to a special survey of its work.

A report by the Local Government Association’s Library Services Peer Challenge makes a point of highlighting the fact that the council had retained a good service despite significant decreases in budgets since 2011.

It reports that the library service benefits from good management and staff who display inclusive and creative working styles and work well with a large bank of volunteers and partners.

The Peer Challenge team, which spoke to 45 people including staff, councillors and partners in a number of meetings involving key stakeholders, also praised the council for the fact that all of the council’s 19 strategic libraries made a significant contribution to the quality of life in Sandwell.

“It was encouraging to hear that the council continues to invest in all its buildings, for example, even the smallest of these at Brandhall, Hill Top and Rounds Green have recently installed accessible toilets,” the report says.

“The political vision for all libraries continues to be great places of opportunity and learning with a strong family and community focus,” it adds.

The Peer Challenge team advised library bosses to look carefully at the development of community hubs in libraries, such as that already proposed at Blackheath Library.

It also urges the council to expand joint procurement activity for libraries with the four Black Country authorities to explore the potential for enhanced joint procurement.

It also suggests that the council should replace old computers and modernise the digital offer in all 19 libraries.

Councillor Bob Lloyd, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for culture, said: “The council is very pleased to have such a useful and thought-provoking report from the Peer Challenge team.

“We were delighted to see that they supported the work we are doing and will look carefully at some of their recommendations for the future.”

Source: Sandwell Council

The Benefits of Arts in Care Homes

People living in one care village have worked with artists to learn new skills including sculpture, painting and dance.

Residents at a care village in Cheshire have been exploring their creativity and trying out everything from expressive dance to sculpture and storytelling.

This spring, the Belong care village in Crewe organised an eight-week programme, which involved artists in residence delivering workshops for residents. The programme was part of three-year project, Where the Arts Belong, run in partnership with Liverpool’s Bluecoat centre for contemporary arts and Arts Council England. It aims to assess how to effectively bring art into care environments.

To read the full Guardian Society News article click here.

Source: The Guardian Society News


Virtual Visits: How Finland is Coping With An Ageing Population

It’s 11.30am on a midweek June morning in Helsinki, Finland. Duvi Leineberg, a remote care nurse, is doing the lunch rounds. But instead of jumping in a car and visiting each person one by one, she is sitting in an office looking at a large computer screen where she can see into seven people’s homes. Most are sitting at a table preparing to tuck into some food.

This is a virtual lunch group, set up to make sure older people receiving home care services in the city eat regularly and at the right time. Leineberg runs the session. She starts by checking everyone has their food and that it is warmed up. Some have soup, others have pre-prepared meals that have been delivered by home care services. People also sip coffee.

One screen shows an empty backdrop and she calls the home to check her client is all right. He walks past the screen but says he isn’t hungry and doesn’t want to eat right now. Leineberg then asks everyone if they have any plans for the afternoon. A few reply that they will go out for a walk.

A former hospital nurse, Leineberg sees the value of such groups. “Firstly, the client feels like they are a part of a bigger thing. It’s also guaranteed that they eat properly. If I spot anything that seems out of the ordinary, I can call the home care nurses who will pay them a visit if necessary.”

Her clients are also fans of the lunch group. Riitta Koskinen, 80, says through a translator: “I’m old and living alone and it’s nice to have the company. We eat at the same time – food tastes better when you’re with others – and I’ve really enjoyed it. It makes me eat and it’s good to see other people.”

To read the full Guardian Society News article click here.

Source: Guardian Society News

Beat It Percussion Therapeutic Drumming Sessions

Beat It Percussion would like to invite you to join them on a Tuesday morning at Myra Harris Community Room, Brickhouse Lane, West Bromwich, B70 0DZ from 10.30am till 11.30am for their therapeutic drumming sessions.

The first session is being held on Tuesday 16th July 2019 where you will have the opportunity to take part in simple rhythm activities and group rhythm building. With two more sessions taking place on Tuesday 23rd and Tuesday 30th July 2019.

It is a great way of reducing stress and anxiety, reducing muscle tension and physical pain, increasing well-being and positive mood but more importantly it is a chance to recharge your barriers whilst participating in a fun and friendly activity.

Dementia friendly and no need to book – just drop in!

Hand drums and percussion instruments are provided.

For more information call Lynn Kay on 07875 090946 or email

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