The Amirah Foundation is leading on an initiative to involve men in the campaign to stop the violence against women.


We have branded this concept BRAVE – brothers against violence. 

The launch event has won the attention of our Cabinet Member for Transparency, Openness and Equality, Counsellor Waseem Zaffer  and is gaining momentum amongst our followers.

It will be facilitated by Alyas Karmani, an international speaker, who has years of experience working with perpetrators and engaging men in the fight to stop the violence.


Can you just imagine what an amazing campaign this would be with all of our organisations coming together?

If you are in, as well as attending could you please share this flyer on your social media pages and back the campaign publicly

I enclose 2 versions of the event marketing and a link to the event booking form on eventbrite:

I thank you in anticipation of your support and look forward to working closely on this and many future projects.

Date: Monday 3rd October 2016 – 6.30pm –  8.30pm

Venue: The Council House Annex.

Invitation to Early Help – Changing Lives

Alliance Logo

Early Help – Changing Lives

Dudley Children and Young People Alliance event

Monday 17 October 2016 1.30pm – 4.30pm

Revival Fires, Apostolic Revival Centre, 117 – 120 Wolverhampton Street, Dudley, DY1 3AL, UK

The Children and Young People Alliance is holding an event for partners and key stakeholders to help shape the future offer for children, young people and their families in Dudley. At this event attendees will have an opportunity to discuss:

  • how we can make sure that by working together children and young people can get quality early help in a timely and co-ordinated way
  • how we can design new approaches to health and wellbeing for children, young people  and their families
  • ‘Think Family’ approaches
  • the role of the voluntary sector in the early help offer

A programme will follow, but please hold this date in your diary.


We really look forward to working with you.

Tony Oakman

Chair of the Dudley Children and Young People Alliance Board

£51 million boost to employment prospects for local young adults

The Black Country Impact has successfully achieved up to £51 million of funding to deliver a two year project that will address the barriers faced by unemployed individuals aged 15-29 years, supporting them to secure a brighter future through employment, training and education.
The four Black Country Councils came together in 2014 and began work on developing a new approach that supports young people into employment, education and training. The councils were quickly joined by Black Country Talent Match, a project led by Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council and funded through the Big Lottery. Together the partnership has succeeded in gaining approval from Department of Work and Pensions for £34 million of new European Union funding, matched by £8 million from the Big Lottery Fund and further funding from partners to create a £51 million Impact programme.

The funders backing the Black Country Impact project are the European Social Fund and Youth Employment Initiative, as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England, and the Big Lottery Fund which has provided “match” funding through its financing of Black Country Talent Match.

The projects strength is its individualised approach and alternative delivery, which simply put gives young adults across the Black Country the most flexible and personalised learning and support possible. Support that will help young adults address a range of different personal needs and skills needs in order for them to have the employment opportunities they want.

Councillor Pete Lowe, Leader of Dudley Council, said:

“We are delighted to have successfully secured these much needed funds for our residents.

“There can be no doubt that these are challenging times for some young adults in the Black Country. Through the Black Country Impact we are determined to tackle the barriers that may be preventing some young adults from becoming all they can.

“Impact gives its partners the ability to work across the sub-region, coordinating activities and simplifying access to services for young adults. With European Social Fund and Youth Employment Initiative funding, Impact is able to provide a depth of service that would not be achievable for our young adults by any other means currently available. Through specialised services ranging from coaching to managed work placements, Impact work will ultimately give our young adults the best employability prospects for the future, benefiting them and our communities.”

“The success of Impact will not only benefit Dudley Borough but it will benefit the whole of the Black Country.”
At the heart of the approach from the Black Country Impact is the ability to tailor a package of support and opportunities that meets the needs of the individual, this could be through traineeships, apprenticeships, coaching, work placements, self-employment advice, including social enterprises, customised training or more depending on what works best for the individual.

The Department of Work and Pension, together with the London intermediate body Greater London Authority, manage the European Social Fund (ESF) within England and are the Managing Authority for this project. Locally, Dudley Council has taken the lead role for this project, as well as being a delivery partner, and is the Local Accountable Body for the partnership. Through the Black Country Impact the project will improve young people’s participation in the labour market.

Councillor Steve Eling, Leader of Sandwell Council, said:

 “This project is a fantastic opportunity for councils to work with local employers to get young people from across the Black Country into work.

“They will be given the support and skills they need to start careers in a range of industries and Sandwell is delighted to be a part of that.

“Our young people are our future and anything we can do to make it easier to get them on the career ladder is going to help not only transform lives but also boost the economy.”


Impact will deliver to a diverse group of young adults from across the Black Country including those facing multiple disadvantages such as homelessness, ill mental health and drug/alcohol abuse.

Councillor Sean Coughlan, Leader of Walsall Council, said: 

“I’m delighted that the Black Country Impact has been successful in its bid. This is tremendous  news for young people in our region. They’re our future and its one of our key aims here in Walsall to help them develop the needed skills, experience and encouragement to succeed. This project allows us to make a real difference for young adults in our area and gives us the ability to demonstrate how we can work across boundaries for the benefit of all our residents.”

The Black Country Impact is in a unique position to have a wide range of influence with local employers across the Black Country. The project will help young adults overcome the barriers to employment by providing a tailored programme, designed to help the individual build a future in a way that suits their circumstances. This includes, a Key Worker/Mentor trained to support the young adult through their journey, support with employability and skills, advice and guidance which may even include help with travel, childcare and equipment, and even brokering between the individual and the opportunity they decide upon, making it simple to start.


Councillor Roger Lawrence, Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, said:

“Simply put the Black Country Impact holds great potential for our young adults and long term benefits for us all, and Wolverhampton is thrilled to be part of it.”

“Impact provides simple access to trusted advice and support, working with key partners including housing, health, transport and a range of other employers. The project works with communities to support a more sustainable society by ensuring that young adults can contribute their full potential in the economy and take up job opportunities.”

Ian Darch, Chief Executive of Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council, said:

“We are delighted to have been part of the successful bid.

“Through building on the practice we have already developed through our Black Country Talent Match project, funded by the Big Lottery Fund, and working with young people facing significant barriers to employment, we will be able to achieve even more by being a partner in the Black Country Impact.

“Impact ensures that individuals have the best possible opportunity to overcome the range of barriers they face, and to ensure they effectively participate and achieve a positive outcome. The project makes sure that young adults are best placed to take advantage of new opportunities through intensive and focussed up skilling and re-engagement activity.”


Contact and follow the Black Country Impact on Twitter @BC_Impact, and it’s newly launched Facebook page at

Alternatively, email Black Country Impact contacts on


Free Seminar – Higgs and Sons Safeguarding for Safeguarders

Free seminar that we are hosting at Higgs & Sons on Thursday 8 September 2016, between 4:30 and 6:30pm.

The seminar is aimed at trustees, senior management, employees, volunteers, or anyone involved in safeguarding within a charitable or not for profit organisation.

The aim of the seminar is to examine the law surrounding safeguarding for children and vulnerable adults and offer advice and information on key aspects of the law including;

  • The current legal position regarding safeguarding;
  • When is it safeguarding and when is it not;
  • The role and responsibilities of various individuals in an organisation in safeguarding;
  • The role of the Charity Commission and other regulators in safeguarding strategy;
  • What happens when it goes wrong – who is liable and how should you report issues; and
  • Strategies and processes for ensuring compliance and best practice in;
  • Selection and recruitment
  • Induction and training
  • Drafting policies and procedures

My colleague Annabel Kay, who heads up our care and capacity team and myself, will both be speaking at the seminar and I am sure it will be a very useful update for anyone who is involved with children or vulnerable adults in the context of their activities or operations.

Whilst it may be of limited relevance to you in terms of your service, I wondered if it would be something that you feel some of your members might find of interest. As part of the offering to Black Country Together, Tim and I did promise to ensure that you and your members were invited to anything that we hosted internally that we thought might be relevant and I think this is certainly something that may strike a cord with your member organisations.

With this in mind, if you consider it appropriate, I wondered if you could please send it on to those member organisations.

Places are filling up fast and if they do wish to attend the event then they can follow the link through the attached invitation or e-mail Sarah Cornick at telephone her on 01384 327341 to reserve a place.

Nominate a Volunteer who is worth their weight in gold

Do  you know a group of amazing volunteers or work with an organisation who involves them, can you please encourage them to nominate?  You have time to encourage nominations as the closing date is not until 22nd August, so please have a think. They can nominate an individual or a group, so why not encourage them to visit the website for some inspiration?


CCG Consultation

Dudley CCG has launched a public consultation to get views on proposed changes to the way healthcare is delivered across the Dudley Borough.

The vision for Dudley is to put patients at the heart of integrated, GP-led health and social care services so that all those involved in a person’s care, including mental health workers, can work together in community teams.

In the consultation proposals they would like to bring all the relevant community services fully together as a single organisation – the creation of a Multi-speciality Community Provider (MCP).

The MCP will bring together GP practices, nurses, community health and mental health services, community-based services such as physiotherapy, relevant hospital specialists and others to provide care in the community that is joined up and puts patients at the centre

The consultation asks your views to help ensure that the new Dudley MCP is organised in the best possible way to meet your needs. In particular, the CCG would like your views on four key areas so that they can take into account your thoughts and ideas.

These areas are:

  1. Details of services included in the MCP contract (scope)
  2. The targets we expect them to achieve for Dudley people (outcomes)
  3. A description of the way that we expect the MCP to operate (characteristics)
  4. An expectation on how they will use technology to improve access (for example easier telephone/online access system)

You can share your views anytime up until midnight on Friday 9 September, please take a look at the consultation document and share your thoughts. You can do this in a number of ways including completing an online survey, joining in with one of 5 public meetings or contacting the CCG directly.

To find out more, please see the Dudley CCG website.