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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!

Cradley Heath Green Landscapes Project

The Art Yard is calling artists to the free Community Exhibition as part of  the Cradley Heath Green Landscapes (CHGL) project, which is supported by Arts Council England. Due to the stricter restriction imposed on numbers allowed in gatherings, the deadline for handing in artwork has been extended to the 31st October. This will allow artists who attended the Plein air sessions time to complete their works.

For those of you who have already submitted artwork or photographs, these will be held and included in the exhibition.

While approved parks events cannot go ahead you, your family and your friends can still visit the green open spaces of Cradley Heath at any time to create landscape art or to take photographs. However, you should comply with COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.

How to get involved
Visit any or all CHGL location to create your landscape (all media). The locations are:-
1. Bearmoor Playing Fields Sutherland Rd B64 6EA
2. Haden Hill Park B64 7JL
3. Mary MacArthur Memorial Gardens, Lower High St B64 5AJ
4. Mouse Sweet Brook Nature Reserve, New Pool Rd B64 5BX
5. St Luke’s Green Space, Upper High St B64 6BL

Completed Landscapes (Free Submissions)
All landscapes should be completed by 31st October 2020.
Label your work with a title, media used, your name and your contact details.
Then submit your work free to the project landscapes collection, either: hand in original art (ready to hang/display) at The Art Yard or email a good quality Jpeg image (max 3Mb) to

CHGL Exhibitions Programme (Selection)
You will have to hand in your work at The Art Yard if you want it to be considered for selection into the following exhibitions:

• Premiere: to be held at The Art Yard 16th November 2020.
• Tesco Extra: 20+ landscapes selected by Tesco (Cradley Heath) and TAY will be printed to form the public window display. Others will be shown in-store. (Dates to be fixed)
• Sandwell Libraries Service (Blackheath): 24+ printed landscapes selected by Library staff, ‘Friends’ and TAY will be shown on Library window displays. (Dates to be fixed)
• Haden Hill House Museum (Tudor Rooms): Sandwell Museums Service, ‘Friends of HHH’ and TAY team will review all original work handed in (ready to hang/display) and select supplementary all media landscapes art for museum exhibitions.

If you wish to take part in the project, the Art Yard look forward to receiving your finished artwork. Should you require any additional information please contact Martyn Harris at

Visit the website


Black History Month 2020

Black History Month 2020 recognises the achievements of black people in the city of Birmingham and the wider West Midlands area, from the eighteenth century to date.

One such person is the Revd. George Cosens, noted for being the first black African Caribbean minister in the Black Country in 1837.   George Cosens died in 1881 and was buried in the cemetery of Brierley Hill Baptist Church, where he was the minister.

To find about the contribution of other black people in the area, click here.

Young people sought for Hands, Face and Space Focus Group

Are you between 16 – 25 years old?  Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG would like to hear from you. The Clinical Commissioning Group would like to invite you to participate in an informal group chat, which will last for about an hour and a half. They would love to hear your thoughts on:

• The various national campaigns about Coronavirus. For example, the most recent one on hands, face and space
• Hand sanitising/washing hands
• Face coverings/masks
• Social distancing
• Government Guidelines.

The information and insight gathered from talking to the Focus Group will help the CCG frame messages aimed at young people in the future.

You will have the opportunity for:
• A one to one talk with a team member virtually
• A group chat with a member and other young people virtually
• A group chat with a team member and your friends virtually.

To book a place
If you would like to take part, please email or telephone 0121 612 1447, so that you can be sent the joining details.

If you live, work or study in Sandwell, please book onto Monday 12th October 2020: 2 pm – 3.30 pm.

If you live, work or study in West Birmingham, please book onto Monday 12th October 2020: 10 am – 11.30 am.

The CCG need your help to get the message through to other young people about this virus and see how we can work together to beat it.

Macmillan Coffee Morning Online!

Great news, you’re invited to Macmillan’s Coffee Morning Online! They would love for you to join them via Zoom on 25th September between 11 am and 3 pm. If you feel comfortable doing so, you can go to the hub and take-away a slice of cake or two, too!

The coffee morning will be at Utilita Energy Hub, 3D Astle Park, West Bromwich B70 8NS: (located on West Bromwich High Street, next door to the German Donner Kebab Shop)

Log on and join in for a brew, a slice of cake and a lovely chat to all participants – all for a fantastic cause.

See joining details below.

Topic: MacMillan Coffee Morning
Time: Sep 25, 2020 11:00 AM London

Link to Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 910 3697 5849
Passcode: 3WzTyt

If you cannot attend, but still wish to make a donation, see here.

For those who wish to attend, please get back to Jack Badger at to accept the invite.

Macmillan look forward to seeing you!

Transforming Communities Together seeks BAME Trustee

Are you interested in creating change in your community? Does your faith create a strong desire for social action and tackling injustice? Transforming Communities Together (TCT) seeks to support people and communities to thrive and flourish and is looking to recruit a trustee from within the BAME Communities.

Transforming Communities Together was formed in 2014, as a joint venture between a local church and a national Christian charity. The organisation works across the four Black Country boroughs, as well as the whole of Staffordshire and northern Shropshire.

Their mission is to partner with others, seeking the common good. They work for justice as people of hope, so that communities may flourish and those who are vulnerable, isolated, and disadvantaged might enjoy life in its fullness.

Transforming Communities Together’s goal is to empower churches and other faith groups, individuals, groups and communities to respond effectively to the issues of poverty and social justice that they encounter.

This ethos begins with staff, volunteers, and trustees, who seek to support and nurture all team members to fulfil their vocations to reach out and make a difference.

The staff team at TCT is diverse with BAME communities well represented, but they would also like to improve the diversity of the Board of Trustees.

If you have skills and experience that could help develop TCT’s work, please get in touch with the CEO (David Primrose – or call 07975 644044) for an informal chat.

There is more information on TCT’s current work and impact at



Virtual Volunteering Opportunity for FareShare

FareShareSince the beginning of lockdown, FareShare has seen the demand for its services skyrocket. The number of charities who have applied to receive food has more than tripled in the last few months.

To help FareShare meet this increased need for food, Tesco is running an additional Summer Food Collection in stores across the UK  from 20-22 August in support of FareShare and Trussell Trust.

The collection will support FareShare in delivering vital food supplies to frontline organisations providing a lifeline to those most affected by the coronavirus pandemic. However, due to social distancing rules, there won’t be any volunteers in store for this collection to help with handing out shopping lists and collecting donated items.

This is why your help is needed, to help raise awareness of the collection to encourage shoppers to donate in store if they are able to.

Virtual Volunteers can pledge their support for FareShare in a number of ways – every small action can have a big impact!  You can download a Virtual Volunteer pack here.

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