Last week the team attended Dudley’s Centre for Professional Practice’s staff recognition awards at Himley Hall. It was a wonderful event which celebrated the achievements of staff and recognised those that go the extra mile. Staff including support staff, social workers, managers and teams were praised.
There was an incredibly poignant moment when Howard Woolfenden shared a story of how a social worker Russell Savage who was awarded a Special Recognition Award had changed the life of an incredibly vulnerable young person in our borough and how she shared with him how his actions had literally saved her life. It touched everyone in the room and really demonstrated how incredible the people who work hard to support children and young people are and the difference they make in Dudley.
What was also really special and humbling was that the Centre for Professional Practice gave an award that recognised people who work with children and young people in the community and…WE WON!!!!!
Sue Butcher congratulated the team for the work we are involved in. It was really special to be recognised by partners and the award takes pride of place on the fireplace in our office at Dudley CVS.
“This really was a great event particularly coming at the end of our innovative Practice Week. The buzz was fantastic. I laughed, cried and every emotion in between. So many wonderful people doing their best for Dudley’s children. Celebrate #teamDudley” Sue Butcher – Head of Children’s Services
Darren Shaw and his team did an amazing job of providing lots of opportunities to get involved and learn new things as part of the innovative practice week. Children, young people and their families are at the heart of communities in Dudley and we are working together to improve services to give children the best start in life and support families to be independent, responsible and successful. It’s great to be able to collaborate and work with partners in such meaningful and valued ways.
Even though it was ‘dry January’ the award winning team thought that such recognition on a Friday deserved after work celebrations! Happy times from a very proud team!
A new fund, which will see money invested in the local voluntary and community sector and boost support for adults, children and young people across the borough, will be launched next month.
Dudley Council has earmarked funding to be reinvested as part of its special voluntary sector innovation fund. The council is looking for groups and organisations, with new and innovative ideas, which will help improve the lives of adults, children and young people.
Groups and organisations of any size can put forward project plans but to be successful they must show their ideas are new, innovative, sustainable and able to show how they will improve the lives of local people. Groups interested in getting involved can find out more at the launch event on Tuesday December 5 at Revival Fires, Wolverhampton Street, Dudley.
People must register their attendance for the event in advance via eventbrite at https://dudleyinnovationfund.eventbrite.co.uk/
People will be able to get support to develop their ideas during a series of drop-in sessions, which will take place from December through to January. Groups will then be invited to pitch their project in full at an event in March next year, before a final decision is made on the allocation of funding.
For the third year running now Tesco’s Stourbridge in partnership with Dudley CVS, the Ryemarket Shopping Centre and Peacocks are collecting presents for children who may not find a present from Santa under the tree this year.
How to nominate a child
If you work with families who live or attend school in the Stourbridge area and will struggle this Christmas you can support them by nominating them to receive an extra gift this year.
It’s really simple all you need to do is:
1 send the child(rens) gender and age to Nicki Burrows at email@example.com
2 Nicki will return a confirmation email with a code for each child you nominate.
3 Using the unique code Nicki has allocated you then collect a gift for the child(ren) you nominated from Tesco’s customer service desk the week commencing 9th December.
How can I support the toy appeal?
You can also support this brilliant scheme by nipping into Tesco’s picking a bauble off the tree with a child’s gender and age on it and buying an appropriate gift (which doesn’t have to be purchased from Tesco) and dropping it off with the friendly elf’s who are located at Tesco’s customer service desk, Crown Centre, Stourbridge, DY8 1YD.
Come on get involved and make a difference this Christmas!
It has been a busy but exciting fortnight for the Children and Young People in Communities team doing exactly what our job is all about, empowering young people, hearing their voices and having jolly good fun!
Last week the team supported 14 young people aged between 14 and 21 who gave up their time during half term to get involved in some participatory appraisal training.
The group, many of who had never met before, came together at the Healthy Hub which is in the middle of Netherton Park. During the next two days not only would they learn some exciting and fun ways of working with other young people to find out what they think and feel but they would also have to think about what thriving and neglect meant to them as individuals and as a collective.
To kick things off and get to know each other better, they started with a game of human bingo, where they had to go around the room as quickly as possible getting everyone’s names and learning what they love about living in Dudley. The space soon became vibrant and full of laughter and chatter!
The group learned various techniques that bond groups together and enable people to understand and explore different opinions, views and experiences. In small groups they themselves then explored what it means to thrive. Each group produced an image that expressed how they felt and which acted as a great conversation starter.
Then came the more difficult tasks of trying to unpick what neglect meant to them. We were blown away by their honesty, sensitivity and the open conversations that they had. They looked at it from different perspectives and explored the causes and effects of neglect. It lead to interesting teatime conversations with parents and grandparents that evening, which is kind of what we wanted this training to do, encourage conversation and debate and get people talking!
The next morning they were back and ready to get stuck in, they had the opportunity to go on a transect walk, learn about preference ranking, conversation starters and construct their own puppet theatre as a participatory technique. Everyone left with an action to have conversations with their peer groups and the offer of support if they wanted it. It was amazing to see their knowledge, relationships and confidence grow in just two days. We are honestly so excited to see what happens next and continue to work with these awesome young people.
On Tuesday this week, Halloween, we knew we were in for a terrifying time, mainly because PC Paul Davies had once again convinced us to work in partnership and get involved in his shenanigans! There is only one thing scarier than being alone in Wrens Nest Woods with PC Davies and that is to have about 20 young people with you!!! Most of them dressed up as ghastly ghouls and fiendishly frightening!
We love getting involved in stuff like this as you really get to know the young people and they get to know you as well as getting to know each other. Different ages, situations, schools, lifestyles, beliefs coming together to do something that they want to do. Everyone enters into the spirit of things, the room gets decorated, everyone dresses up, they have a walk through the woods, come together for witches fingers (hot dogs) and witch’s brew (Nicki’s chilli!) and eat marshmallows to a background of spooky tunes!
This is just two of the opportunities that October offered that the team could get involved with, you have to agree, we do have the best jobs in the world! Bring on November!