More than sixty representatives from local community organisations gathered in Birmingham last week to discuss the latest Community Rights at a Locality event hosted by Birmingham Settlement.
The new Community Rights are part of the Localism Act introduced in 2011 with the aim of devolving more decision making powers from central government back into the hands of individuals, communities and councils.
Don Foster MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government was guest speaker at the event entitled ‘Communities Taking Control – Solutions from the frontline’. Other speakers include Steve Wyler, CEO of Locality and Alison Seabrooke, CEO of the Community Development Foundation.
Martin Holcombe, CEO at Birmingham Settlement said, “We had a hugely successful day with input from a wide range of organisations that were able to share their experiences and discuss the challenges they have faced.”
Steve Wyler added, “This was an opportunity to see beyond the legislation and discover how initiatives are actually working at grass roots level. It was inspiring to see how many varied projects are making a real difference in local communities.”
Birmingham Settlement is part of Locality’s West Midlands Regional Action Group and a kickstarter for the national Community Organisers programme.
Women & Theatre are producing a performance to share eight stories, showing the contrast between stories from the 1600s and those from the modern day. For this production Women & Theatre are inviting people who wish to perform in the play to attend a casting callout to show their skills.
If you think you’ve got what it takes attend the casting event on:
Date: Thursday 2nd May 2013
Where: Stable Cafe, Aston Hall
For further information download the flyer below.
Are you interested in the local history of Aston? Do you want to discover fascinating stories about the people who lived and worked there – those whose lives don’t appear in the history books? Or do you want to be involved in a performance at Aston Hall?
Come and find out more about the ‘Aston Telling Tales’ project and how you can get involved.
When: Monday 11th February 2013
Where: Meet in the cafe at Aston Hall
This is a free event. Tea and biscuits will be provided. Please bring your own lunch.
For further information contact Terina or Rachel at Women & Theatre on 0121 449 7117 or email email@example.com
For more information about the project click here to download this information sheet.
Birmingham Settlement currently delivers money advice outreach work at Birmingham Central Foodbank and in December made a collection of food items for the bank. In this video Patricia from the Foodbank explains how a foodbank works and how you can help.
On Saturday 15th December Birmingham Settlement held a day of fun activities for people from the local community to come and get involved in as the year comes to an end. The day was a fantastic success, with a wide range of activities taking place, including choir singing, drumming, arts and Santa’s grotto.
One of the activities was a performance from members of the Birmingham Ormiston Academy. Through a mixture of music, dance and storytelling they shared the idea that everybody can achieve their dreams and ambitions if they are willing to fight for them.
Service users and members of the public who attended had a great deal of fun and were able to get involved in many of the activites taking places. The day was supported by members of staff, volunteers, trustees and service users who all came together to make the day happen. We hope that everybody who attended enjoyed themselves and thank you for being a part of it!
Check out our album on Flickr for loads of lovely pictures from the day: http://www.flickr.com/photos/birminghamsettlement/sets/72157632265587491/
Over the past year Birmingham Settlement has been working with the New Economics Foundation (nef) on the Austerity Project, designed to find out the real impact of the current economic climate and public sector funding cuts to ordinary people in Birmingham. Through the project we have run a series of workshops and conducted peer research with people in Birmingham. We are pleased to be able to unveil a documentary that has been produced as a result of the project.
On Saturday 15th December 2012 Birmingham Settlement are holding a Community Christmas Fun Day at the Centre for the Aston Family. The event is designed to be a fun day out for members of the local community in Aston and the surrounding areas – an opportunity for people to come together with other members of the community, get involved in a range of activities, learn about different cultures and have fun! Some of the activities taking place include:
- Santa’s grotto, storytelling and face painting for the children.
- Choir and carol singing.
- Drumming and arts workshops.
- Hand massage and Mehndi hand painting.
- Yoga taster sessions.
- Table tennis tournament.
- Pop up Settlement Shop with a selection of books, toys and clothes from our charity shops.
- Representatives from emergency services will be available to speak to local residents and offer advice.
- Refreshments available.
Our Chief Executive Martin Holcombe said, “Many people have come together to organise and donate both time and prizes to the day. We’re hoping that many families will join us for what promises to be a great day.”
The event will be open from 11am-3pm at the Centre for the Aston Family at 359-361 Witton Road, Aston, B6 6NS. Whether you currently use our services or not you’re welcome to come along, have fun and get involved.
St. George’s Church in Edgbaston (at the junction of Calthorpe, Highfield and Westbourne Roads) are holding two carol services over the coming weeks as follows:
- Light Up The World – Tuesday 4th December 2012 at 6pm.
- Office Carols Service – Thursday 13th December 2012 at 1:15pm-1:45pm.
All are welcome to attend and refreshments and mince pies will be available afterwards! Our Chief Executive Martin Holcombe will be attending to speak about Birmingham Settlement and collections will be made to support our work. This is a great opportunity to attend a fun event while also supporting Birmingham Settlement.
The following was written by Charisse about her experience using Birmingham Settlement’s Job Club.
My name is Charisse Reynolds, I previously attended Job Club this year at Birmingham Settlement in Aston. I was actively searching for work at the time, but I found the support, guidance and advice given to me by Sourour and Louise, motivating and friendly. I was always called the day before Job Club to remind me to attend, which was a very welcoming prompt for me to continue my job search. After getting many unsuccessful applications, I often felt like giving up, demotivated by the lack of results for my efforts. But the Job Club put me in touch with other likeminded people who were feeling the exact same way. We could share job search tips, vacancies we had seen and new schemes that were recently being implemented. If one person didn’t turn up to Job Club, because they had an interview or a job offer, it gave me a positive push towards finding work and being hopeful that I would find work too.
After applying to a recruitment agency, I soon found work and for a short period of time I was starting to rebuild a scheduled routine. But before long the contracts were withdrawn and work dried up. I had to visit the Job Centre many times and was told that supporting me with travel to attend interviews or the first month of employment was no longer an option available. However, there was a fund for me to attend an interview outside of Birmingham. I was quite frustrated with the idea that I was getting more support to seek work outside of Birmingham rather than seek employment within the area. I asked for advice and support at the Job Club, and they helped me to plan out a reasonable plan of entering employment in a new town.
Step by step I had new concerns and tasks to undertake to make this transition. I didn’t think that I would be able to do it but Sourour and Louise helped me by sharing their opinions and experiences, motivating me about the prospects of something new, whilst highlighting the preparations and requirements to relocate and re-enter employment. I have recently been offered a job working with a popular charity. The work that I do is very rewarding and I am starting to have a different outlook on what the future may bring.
I would like to say a special thank you to Birmingham Settlement, Sourour, Louise and the all the people who attended Job Club. Everyone together made a difference, I am happy to have been involved.
Birmingham Settlement’s Development and Ageing Well teams are taking part in the eReading Rooms project pilot run by UK Online Centres. The eReading Rooms will provide a free service to promote informal learning where any topic or interest can be explored via the Internet.
These eReading Rooms aspire to put informal learning at the heart of communities, where knowledge and information can be shared to help people enhance their skills. Birmingham Settlement will be providing members of the community with the opportunity to access ‘The Learning Zone’ to learn about any topic they are interested in, from gardening to history. We will offer the latest technology for people to access the site and provide a friendly and helpful environment for their interests to grow.
This is a great way for members of the community to explore their interests and gain new knowledge and skills, but also to enhance their computer and Internet skills.