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Black Country Suicide Prevention Workshop – Thursday, 3 February

Every year, people in the Black Country die by suicide. Every person who lives here will be affected by suicide at some point in their life. Every effort we make to prevent suicide can make a difference; the difference, to someone, somewhere. Every life matters. 

Across the Black Country many of us are working hard to make a difference. There is positive work taking place, but while people in the Black Country still die by suicide, more needs to be done.

The Black Country is a diverse and proud community, living across four local authority boroughs. This can create complexity, but we know our efforts are much stronger when we work together.

On Thursday, 3 February, from 9.30 to 12 noon, Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust will be holding a suicide prevention workshop, which is open to organisations, people with lived experience, and advocates from across Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton. They want to bring together people who work in health, care, emergency services, local authorities, charities, schools, colleges, universities, sports clubs, businesses, community groups, voluntary organisations and more.  The impact of suicide is felt by all of us. The solution to stopping suicide lies with all of us.

The workshop will be held on MS Teams. Please register at

Following registration, you will sent a calendar invite.

If you have any questions about the event, please email


Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference Awareness Sessions

MARAC is the multi-agency response to high risk domestic abuse in the West Midlands, and stands for Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference. From January to April 2022, West Midlands MARAC will be hosting a series of online events which have been created in order to establish better connections with key sectors and improve their understanding of, and access to, the MARAC process.

It is absolutely necessary to ensure that families coming through the MARAC process are fully represented by services, regardless of their circumstances, and the only way for us to do this is to ensure that MARAC is better connected.

To achieve this, West Midlands Police will host a series of six sector-specific events which will offer new and existing partners, charities and services a window into the MARAC world, the opportunity to discuss how their organisation and provision can work with the police, and ultimately provide them with a seat at the table in shaping how we can improve representation and access to MARAC for all high-risk victims.  The sessions are designed so attendance is only required at one, rather than all six.

The associated sectors are as follows:

  • Community Organisations (including Grassroots, and ‘By and For’) Children’s and Youth
  • Male Victims and Gender Roles
  • Disability, Mental Health and Older Persons
  • LGBTQ+
  • Housing and Homelessness

If you can’t make the event specific to your sector, feel free to join any, where much of the content will be similarly informative and relevant.

Attendance at these virtual events is strongly encouraged for all individuals and organisations working in these areas.  The Police are particularly keen to see attendance from organisations who work with under-represented groups, regardless of the size of the organisation.

The Police will assist you with understanding the wider referral pathways available to you here in the West Midlands, with a focus on high risk disclosures and how the MARAC process works, better equipping you in the event of a disclosure.

Please see link to a selection of free MARAC awareness sessions, bookable via Eventbrite.

Contact the West Midlands MARAC Team at



Could you benefit from a University of Birmingham Student Placement in 2022?

The University of Birmingham College of Arts and Law is now starting to compile the 2022 Placements Bank and is seeking suitable projects that could benefit from additional capacity, including taking a hybrid approach.

A quick summary of the key points of the placement module:

  • Placements are based on 70 hours (10 days), undertaken between June and December 2022.
  • They can be full-time or part time in summer; or part-time in autumn, working around the student timetable.
  • Placements can be virtual, site-based, or hybrid and you can recruit more than one student to the same, or  multiple, roles.
  • Students take ownership or responsibility for a project or focus, under your supervision, that will develop their professional skills and experience.
  • The module is open to second and final year students from a range of arts and humanities disciplines

You can find further information and download examples of the many ways students supported organisations in 2021 on the University’s webpage:

2022 placements

As in previous years there are two formal application rounds:

  1. Round One is the Placements Bank launch in mid-March. This will be the primary focus for students, so employers are strongly encouraged to submit placement proposals by 25 February, if possible.
  2. Round Two is an opportunity to introduce new roles or to re-advertise any roles that were not filled in the first round. This round tends to attract a smaller candidate pool, but often includes students who register later, or opt to apply after their assessment period.

For further information, or to arrange a meeting, contact Lesley Griffiths, College of Arts & Law Placements Officer:

Catch 22: Working in partnership to Create Opportunities

Catch 22 is about creating opportunities for young people aged 16 – 25 living in the Sandwell Borough. The objective of the Creating Opportunities Forum is to empower and support young people at risk of serious violence, to be able to access employment-related opportunities and help them develop the skills they need to make a successful transition into work.

In its role, the national provider will deliver wraparound support to the young people participating in the programme, to ensure they are able to engage with and benefit from the employment-related opportunities on offer. The national provider will also be responsible for finding employability-related and skills-based opportunities for participants. This is done by using its links with local and national businesses in the 12 geographical areas which have been selected by the Home Office, and pairing participants with suitable opportunities.

The Supplier may avail any opportunities made available by the COF or seek to leverage the networks created by other government programmes such as through the Inclusive Economy Partnership’s Transition to Work programme. The COF programme will run until the end of March 2023.

Hayley Shattock, The Employability Coach for Catch 22, which also covers Birmingham and Wolverhampton, will engage with young people locally.

Hayley would welcome the chance to meet you and/or attend your meeting to provide more information, answer questions and discuss referral methods to the programme.  Contact Hayley on 07768 025397 or email

Visit the website.


Call out to Food Banks and Pantries

January can be a draining month for some people, often leading to longer than usual queues at Sandwell Food Banks and Pantries. Together with the ongoing impact of the pandemic, this in turn can have a draining effect on staff, volunteers and supplies at these much-needed hubs.

That’s why we’re throwing a spotlight on this vital service between January 26th and 31st, to not only bring attention to the ongoing need for support from the general public and business sector, but also to celebrate the incredible work they do.

Janine and Sarah at Smethwick Food Bank organise support in the form of three-day food and essentials parcels for 160 nearby households every week. Part of the Trussell Trust and Sandwell Food Banks networks, they prioritise signposting their beneficiaries to services which can help move them on from needing the Food Bank in the future. But that doesn’t alter the fact that they need food…today.

“Some days it’s like a domino effect if our volunteers can’t come in for whatever reason,” said Janine. “One gets ill, then another tests positive, then another has a family crisis – we end up without help and we miss them so much.

“Even if people can’t commit to helping us regularly it would be great to have a few ‘back up’ volunteers we can call in from time to time to help out.”

Our campaign at the end of the month aims to raise awareness of such opportunities, listed on our volunteering web site as well as encouraging residents, and businesses, to donate what they can to their local hub.

To promote your opportunities and get involved in the campaign email



Managing with Omicron in 2022 – Would you like support?

It is challenging to work and support the community when there is increased infection rates and some people are confused about how to stay safe and healthy.  SCVO in conjunction with Sandwell Council, have been supporting the Voluntary Sector to help promote the benefits of vaccination, wearing of face masks and other good practices to avoid infection.

Some funding is still available.  There is an open (online) meeting on Tuesday, 25th January, from 2 – 3 pm, to let you know more about the grants available and how to apply for them.

You will hear from recent recipients of funding about the many creative ideas they have had to promote messages to their communities.  The rest of the meeting will give you the chance to raise any queries or questions about the funding.

There is also some funding to help smaller organisations re-engage with their members in a Covid safe way so this may help you too.

If you would like to book a place at the meeting please send an email to   Please head the email “Book place for C-19 Open Meeting”. If you want more than one person to attend please include the contact details of your colleagues too.

If you are unable to attend the meeting but would like more information, please email either or and head the email “C-19 Vaccination Grant Enquiry”.  Barbara or Liz will respond as soon as possible.


Sandwell Better Mental Health Showcase

Public Health are hosting an event on the Better Mental Health Programme, to showcase the range of community projects funded through the Prevention and Promotion of Better Mental Health.

This will be a great opportunity to find out about all the great projects supporting mental wellbeing in our communities.

The event is on Monday, 17th January 2022.  Please register your interest here.


Sandwell Suicide Prevention Strategy Consultation

When someone takes their own life, the impact on families, friends and the local community is devastating. As well as the immense pain and grief caused to loved ones, there are often wide-reaching and long-lasting effects on everyone involved.

Suicide is not inevitable. Sandwell Council along with partner organisations is committed to meeting the ambition that by 2030 no-one will die of suicide in Sandwell.

Sandwell’s Public Health Team have spoken to local service providers and people with lived experiences to understand what needs to be done. This has led to a strategy and to a list of recommendations of how to help make death by suicide become a thing of the past.

They cannot do this alone.  The Public Health Team want to hear your thoughts on what we can do to make death by suicide a thing of the past.

What you need you to do. Please visit and learn more about the strategy.

Complete the short survey giving your thoughts and ideas on how we can make suicide a thing of the past.

Survey for members of the public

Survey for professionals

Community Foundation’s Greece Youth Exchange: March/April 2022

Community Foundation, in partnership with other European countries, is taking part in a 10 days trip to Greece. Community Foundation will be taking participants aged 18-30 years old from the UK to join other participants from eight European countries, to take part in the Digital Transformation Youth Exchange.  

The trip is from Thursday, 31 March to Saturday, 9th April 2022. This programme aims to encourage young people to use digital tools and resources more effectively, through non formal education activities.

Participants will be staying at a hotel in the coastal area of Halkidiki, Greece, where they will also get free time to tour the city and spend time at the beach!

The programme is completely free and all costs for travel, accommodation and food is covered.  More details.

Please direct questions to Medina Mulla, Project Manager, on 0121 238 3282 or email

To register, complete the registration form available to download from Community Foundation’s website at

The deadline for applications is 31 January 2022.

Early Help Partnership Event: Monday,17 January 2022

Twenty twenty one was a difficult year for many of us and brought many challenges and changes to organisations and groups delivering activities for children and young people across the borough.  A great job has been done by all in supporting children and families, rising to challenges and being committed to ensuring that the needs of young people and families in Sandwell are being met as best as possible.

As we head into a new year, the Early Help Partnership would like to invite you to join them, from 1.00 pm to 2.30 pm on Monday, 17th January, at the first in a series of Early Help Partnership town events.  The venue is Krunch Christian Centre, Langley Crescent, Oldbury, B68 8RE.  It is hoped (fingers crossed!) that the event will be face to face.

The event will give you the opportunity to network and link-in with partners and share what your offer of support looks like – helping to increase awareness of local activities.  You can highlight any challenges you face and explore how we can support one another going forward.

There will be guest speakers from Oldbury Children’s Centre (Action for Children) and Oldbury Targeted Early Help Team (Sandwell Children’s Trust). The speakers will share information about how they can support you in your roles when working with children, young people and families and how to access this support.

If you would like to join the EH Partnership on 17th January, please email to book your place. Booking is essential as numbers are limited. For further information, please call Angel on 0121 525 1127/07587 136072.

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Tel: 0121 525 1127

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Victoria Street, West Bromwich
B70 8ER