Up to date, dynamic news feed on local issues and subject that impact the voluntary sector.


Friday, 20 April 2018


Discussion sessions about the challenges and dangers of modern life between parents and children at a Rowley Regis school have been hailed a big success.

The sessions at St Michael’s C of E High School's 21st Century Child programme saw more than 200 children and 65 parents discuss the issues young people face on a daily basis.

During the two events, parents and children discussed the dangers of sexting, pornography, labels, social media, phones and a number of other issues.

The school worked in partnership with Sandwell’s Community Alcohol Partnership, which leads on Sandwell’s 21st Century Child school programme; Sandwell College; DECCA; Trading Standards; the Police and RAISE. Sandwell College theatre students developed and delivered theatre-based scenarios to students, which was followed up with a presentation for parents, challenging views and perceptions and providing the platform for children to talk with professionals and their parents.

Aaron Jarvis, ex-gang member and now pastor at Londonderry Church, delivered messages about role models and making choices.

Becky Jennings from RAISE, discussed the issues of sexting and pornography and how to have ‘difficult’ conversations about relationships and sex, and police constable Hughie Treasure highlighted parental responsibility and the role that phones and social media play in young people’s lives.

Both students and parents praised the event, highlighting how this had allowed for awkward topics to be discussed both during and after the sessions.

School Engagement Development Manager Kerry Whitehouse said, "In a world dominated by social media, we are doing our best to give both students and their parents the most up-to-date information about trending issues.

"We believe that by working in partnership with students, staff, parents and local agencies, we can provide learning opportunities which are fun and interactive.

We are committed to '21st Century Child' and very much look forward to our next event."

The events were viewed as a great success and the school’s Student Voice members are excited to develop the 21st Century Child programme: with young people’s issues at the forefront of their agenda.



Tuesday, 17 April 2018


There are lots of fun ways to celebrate St George's Day – and Shakespeare Day – in Sandwell.

There are family-friendly activities on both Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 April.

On Saturday (21 April), 13th century Manor House Museum in West Bromwich has music, dance, drama, comedy, art, crafts and trails as a Shakespeare experience meets St George from 12-3pm.

There will also be St George's-themed crafts at Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery, which will be open from 2-5pm (last admission 4.30pm).

Saturday (21 April) also sees a Shakespeare event at Haden Hill House, in Cradley Heath, from 12-3pm with music, dance, drama and comedy all organised by local young people through the Emerge project inspired by Shakespeare.

Sandwell libraries are also celebrating on Saturday (21 April), with activities including a Buns, Bards and Ballads family fun day celebrating St George and Shakespeare at Tipton Library from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

Crafts, face painting, live music and a charity cake sale are all lined up, plus the unveiling of a First World War memorial bench in the library at 10.30am.

Other library St George's activities include:

• Blackheath Library, 10am to 12noon – crafts with Go Play, including making armour

• Hill Top Library, 11am – St George’s Day-themed crafts and stories

• Stone Cross Library, 11am to 2pm – St George's Day-themed drop in crafts

• Wednesbury Library, 11am – St George’s Day-themed crafts and stories More information on library activities at, @sandwelllibs on Twitter and on the ‘Sandwell Libraries’ Facebook page.

On Sunday (22 April), it’s the annual St George's parade and family fun day in West Bromwich organised by Stone Cross St George.

Everyone is welcome to join in.

The parade will form from around 10am in Westminster Road, setting off at around 10.30am and making its way to Dartmouth Park for around 11.30am.

Rolling road closures will be in place for the parade, with roads reopening once it has passed safely through.

At Dartmouth Park, there will be a short service by the war memorial followed by the fun family day running until 5pm.

This includes fun fairs, craft stalls, charity stalls music, dancing and food. Admission is free with small charges for rides.

More info at 'Stone Cross St George' on Facebook. Sunday (22 April) also sees St George’s-themed activities from 2pm to 4pm at Haden Hill House, in Cradley Heath. Make your own dragon, follow the dragon trail and learn more about St George. £1 for craft items.

There’s also shield decorating and searching for dragons at Oak House, in West Bromwich, from 2pm to 4pm.

For more information about museum activities, go to, 'Sandwell Museums' on Facebook or @sandwellmuseums on Twitter.



Thursday, 12 April 2018


Council and police officers have again used powers to ban unauthorised encampments from the borough after a group set up camp on Galton Bridge station’s car park.

Six caravans moved onto the council’s Independent Living Centre in Oldbury Road in Smethwick late last night (Tuesday) before moving onto the railway station car park opposite.

They were visited by council officers and police this morning and the occupants were given two hours to either leave or move to transit site - where rent of £80 a week and a £250 deposit must be paid for each caravan.

After two hours, the group were still on the car park, which is operated by Transport for West Midlands.

Police were then able to use their Section 62 powers and the group left.

The Section 62 notice also bans the group from entering Sandwell with the intention of setting up an unlawful encampment for three months.

A breach of this ban can lead to arrest and having vehicles seized.

It brings the total number of caravans subject to a section 62 notice in Sandwell to 32.

The powers have now been used four times on groups who refuse to go the transit site or leave Sandwell.

Illegal encampments have fallen by more than 60 per cent in Sandwell over the past 12 months.

You can report an unauthorised encampment by: emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. calling 0121 569 3862 contacting your local councillor, or calling the police on 101


Funding to Celebrate Armed Forces Day - Saturday 30 June 2018 (UK)

Monday, 09 April 2018


The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is offering funding of up to 50% for community celebration events and activities taking place on or around Saturday 24 June 2017 - Armed Forces Day 2018.

Grants of up to £10,000 to cover up to 50% of the costs involved in running and event may be awarded.

This could include:

• Picnic in the park

• Themed BBQ

• Knees up in your living room

• Street party

• Fête Event organisers should in the first instance register their event on the Armed Forces Day website. Local councils, community organisations, schools, ex-service organisations and individuals in the UK are eligible to apply for events that:

• Are held within 2 weeks of the Armed Forces Day, including the weekends i.e. between Saturday 23 June – Sunday 8 July

• Have ‘Armed Forces’ in the event title

• Are relevant to today’s serving Armed Forces

• Have free access to members of the ‘Armed Forces Family’ – Serving personnel, Veterans, Cadets and their Families (though charges may be made for parking, programs etc.)

• Are not centred around Fundraising or Recruitment The Armed Forces Day website provides ideas, inspiration and resources including posters and decoration ideas; there is a dedicated resource page for schools that includes assembly kits.

The deadline for submitting applications is Monday 30th April 2018 Events already being planned include: Armed Forces Day Community Event, Portsmouth - A free event for all the family showcasing the Armed Forces Family though a variety of interactive activities, displays and demonstrations as well as an Armed Forces Parade. Padiham on Parade Armed Forces Weekend - A Ballroom Blitz Dinner Dance on Saturday 23rd June, to start off a fun filled week culminating in the Padiham on Parade event.

Read more on ' Funding to Celebrate Armed Forces Day - Saturday 30 June 2018 (UK)'


Monday, 09 April 2018


Forge Lane in West Bromwich will be closed this Sunday (8 April) while extensive fly-tipping is cleared from the side of the road.

Carpets, fridges, bin bags and kitchen cabinets have been dumped at the spot close to Sandwell Valley.

After the rubbish is cleared, CCTV cameras and banners will be put up warning fly-tippers they face a fine of £400 if caught.

Staff will also be going through the bags and other rubbish for evidence of who is responsible for the dumping.

The work will be completed between 6am and 12pm and traffic will be diverted via Park Lane, Holyhead Road, Birmingham Road, The Expressway, All Saints Way, Newton Road & vice-versa.

Access to Sandwell Valley Crematorium will be available from Newton Road.

Sandwell Council has issued more than 50 £400 fines to fly-tippers after a new enforcement team started patrols.

The team began issuing £400 fixed penalty notices in May 2017.

The latest seven fines were issued last week, taking the total to 55.

Report fly-tipping online: or by calling 0121 368 1177.


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