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Join Camphill Village Trust’s free Opportunity TV Sessions

Camphill Village Trust ran daily interactive Zoom sessions for its community members throughout 2020. With the closure of day services and not being able to access other activities, the Zoom sessions proved to be extremely successful over the last lockdown.

Due to its popularity, the charity is opening Opportunity TV to everyone, whether or not you are part  of  the Trust community. Camphill Village Trust has decided to share it with social care colleagues across Dudley, The Black Country and West Midlands.

The virtual interactive sessions run Monday to Thursday, 10 am and 3 pm. Fridays 10 am and 2 pm.

To find out how you can join Opportunity TV, click here.

Watch recordings from previous sessions on the website.

Please direct your questions or feedback to Phil Gibson, Project Manager, on 07824463798.

Visit the Outdoor Room in Warley Woods for a unique experience

Warley Woods Community Trust is about to launch a new project called Outdoor Room. The Outdoor Room will be unique to the borough and the Community Trust is keen for as many people as possible enjoy the experience. The project run from the middle of December to the middle of March 2021 and has come about as a response to COVID-19.

So what is Outdoor Room?’ It won’t have walls, but it will have a roof, tables and chairs. Enough for three groups of 6 to be together but distanced. The Room’ will be located near a resident coffee take away van, so refreshments will be available. The intention behind this project is to facilitate bringing people together to be able to meet under Tier Two and Tier Three rules who currently cannot meet indoors, in order to combat loneliness and isolation.

For more information and to register an expression of interest, please click here.

The Wider Determinants of Healthy Life Expectancy (WHoLE) Programme

The Wider Determinants of Healthy Life Expectancy (WHoLE) Programme is one of the first pieces of work led by the Healthier Futures Partnership and has produced a report called Working Together for a Healthier Post-COVID Future.

Healthier Futures want to hear what you think it’s like to live well in the Black Country & West Birmingham.

Phase two needs your input as Healthy Futures explore “What if”

Take the opportunity to discuss your ideas with your peers and consider if you lived in a world where everyone in the Black Country & West Birmingham thrived.

What do great communities look like?
What does everyone need to thrive?
How do we get there?
Who would you involve?

Everyone is welcome: service users, patients, families, carers, members of the public, community organisations and more.

Sign up here and join the discussion on 10 December 2020, 10.30 am – 12.30 pm.

In the meantime, visit the Healthier Futures website for more information on the work they are doing.



The Importance of Supporters Experience During the Pandemic

With supporters coming forward to lend a hand during the pandemic it’s important that an organisation puts the supporters experience at the forefront during these unprecedented times.

In Chartered Institute of Fundraisings article and the accompanying resource on fundraising in the time of COVID they explain how supporters are showing their generosity and innovative ways that they are encouraging giving. They continue by saying how important encouraging and promoting the supporters experience is if fundraising opportunities are going to be capitalised on for the benefit of the intended organisation and ultimately the community they serve.

To read the full article and download the free resource click here.

Source: Chartered Institute of Fundraising

Digital Influencer computer

The Charity Sector and Digital Exclusion

Digital Influencer computerWith an ever increasing push to do things online, constant digital advancements and innovation, Charity Digital News takes a look at what digital exclusion means for the charity sector. Digital exclusion is a real barrier for accessing essential services from online banking to filling in online forms, causing a real challenge for those who have limited access or no access at all to digital technology or the internet. In real terms this can lead to lower confidence levels and skills which can lead to individuals being digitally excluded from social and economic opportunities. 

The pandemic has served only to highlight the digital divide further and leave many vulnerable groups feeling even more disconnected and removed from the world around them. In their article they discuss the challenges of brining digital resources and skills to everyone. You can read the full article by clicking here.

Source: Charity Digital News

Introducing Sandwell Volunteer Coordinators’ Forum

Recruiting, training and managing volunteers is a hugely rewarding role in any organisation. It can also present challenges, particularly in these changing times.

SCVO is bringing together a new ‘chat shop’ – Sandwell Volunteer Coordinators’ Forum – a place to discuss those challenges, share best practice and acknowledge the incredible contribution our local volunteers make to the sector.

The first gathering will take place in January 2021, and you are invited to join us if your organisation is supported by volunteers.

To find out more and join the conversation contact

The Lions of the Great War, Smethwick, wins Green Flag Community Award

This year more than 2,000 parks and green spaces across the country will be raising their Green Flag Award with pride, in a year when millions of people have seen the value of having great quality green spaces on their doorstep. Among them will be Lions of the Great War in Smethwick, which is raising a Green Flag Community Award for the first time.

The Lions of the Great War was unveiled in 2018 and the site has since been maintained by volunteers from Guru Nanak Gurdwara Smethwick with the support of Sandwell Council. The site is home to the Lions of the Great War monument, the Boulton and Watt governor memorial, a water feature and green space.

The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for their management across the United Kingdom and around the world.

Jaswinder Singh, President of Guru Nanak Gurdwara Smethwick said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be awarded the green flag community award. I would like to thank all the volunteers from Guru Nanak Gurdwara Smethwick who have worked hard to keep the green space looking beautiful. Thanks also to Sandwell Council who have supported us since the inception of the Lions of the Great War site.”


Join The Big Sandwell Scarecrow Festival this half-term

Throughout October half-term, 26 October to 1 November, Sandwell Council is looking for organisations and residents to create scarecrows and join The Big Sandwell Scarecrow Festival.

Residents will be able to vote for their favourites at Discover Sandwell. Prizes are be up for grabs for the best scarecrow from an individual, a school and an organisation.

If you have have never built a scarecrow, there are lots of easy demo videos on YouTube and the team have shared an example of one on the Discover Sandwell website link, above.

Details of how to submit photos of your scarecrow for the public vote and a map of where to see scarecrows across Sandwell may also be found at Discover Sandwell.

Entries should be submitted to the website by 5 pm on Sunday 25 October 2020.

Participants must follow government guidance on COVID-19 and only take part in the scarecrow search with other members of their household (or support bubbles of single people who have “bubbled” with another household).

People taking part can share their pictures on social media using #SandwellScarecrows and tag @DiscoverSandwell

Black Country Futures

Accord Age Matters are delivering a project called Black Country Futures. The program supports people aged 50 and over and although all-inclusive, will prioritise support to the most disadvantaged and most isolated Black Country residents.

The programme takes a social prescribing and multi- faceted approach to address people’s needs in a holistic manner by utilising Age Matters previous extensive experience. The help covers: dementia support, social prescribing, physical exercise, volunteering, social care, employment, training and social inclusion activities including the use of green spaces and outdoor activities. Support is offered both on a one to one and small group basis to meet the needs of the beneficiaries.

Participants have access to a ‘pick and mix’ approach to the support available across the partnership by being able to access provision from as many, or as few, of the delivery partners during their time on programme. This ensures that participants fully benefit from all the provision being offered.

Accord Age Matters are based within the Pleck area of Walsall but also provide services within the following areas of Sandwell: Blackheath, Charlemont with Grove Vale, Friar Park, Great Barr & Yew Tree, Greet Green & Lyng, Hateley Heath, Newton, Wednesbury North, Wednesbury South and West Bromwich Central.

For further information please contact Mark on 07884865073 or email

Celebrating the 65th Anniversary of Camphill Village Trust

Sixty five years of helping people lead a life of opportunity? Connecting communities? Sixty five miles on a bike in one day? Regional General Manager, Dean Barnshaw, and IT Manager, Scott Paterson, are going for all three!

Dean and Scott are in training to cycle the 65 miles from Stourbridge Community to Taurus Crafts in just one day. They are taking on the challenge to raise funds that will help Camphill Village Trust continue to provide a life of opportunity for the people assisted by the charity.

The big day is Sunday, 1 November.

You can show your support by donating at JustGiving.

We wish Dean and Scott all the very best and we’re cheering you on gents!

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