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Please see items in this week’s newsletter for your information, and to share with those you feel could be interested:

1.       Additional Needs Strategy Consultation

2.       Covid Stories Project – Researchers Needed

3.       FREE Train the Trainer Packages for Schools/ Community Groups

3a) Mental Health Ambassadors

3b) Peer listeners

4.       Festive Treats Box

5.       Renewal Toy Offer – Spread a little love (& toys!) this Christmas…

6.       Volunteer Opportunity – One off support needed

7.       Solihull Councils New climate change podcast

8.       Solihull Moors Foundation – Luncheon Club & Social Session

9.       Step Together Project – Paid and Volunteering Opportunities working with Young people

10.   FitCap – Bootcamp with Leeann

1.       Additional Needs Strategy Consultation

Over the last 6 months Solihull Council have spoken to many parent carers, schools and other groups to understand how they can make things better for children and young people with special educational needs (SEND) and additional needs.They also asked more parent carers and children and young people for their views through a survey which ran between 12th July – 3rd September 2021. They had 48 responses from children and young people and 109 from parent carers. Thank you to those of you who took the time to complete this – it was great to hear what you had to say.All of this feedback has been used to help them write their draft strategy. They want the strategy to be developed with children, young people and families. So they now want to check that they have heard the right things, and that the plans they are making are the right ones.Please follow this link to see the draft strategy and then respond to the consultation:

2.       Covid Stories Project – Researchers Needed

As part of the Festival of Cultural moments, Solihull Council are looking for a team of community researchers who will collect stories from people about their covid experiences. They want to gather stories that explain how people have made it through the last 18 months in order to build up a big picture of how the pandemic has affected everyone in Solihull. The object is to gather experiences from across the community, of the period of the Covid pandemic so far, the period of lockdown, the losses, the changes in lives. The community positives and spirit of hope. They will be taking these stories on into some sort of creative artistic project to engage the wider borough, as well as building up a social history snapshot of this unique period of time that we’ve all experienced.

Anyone who lives, works or studies in Solihull Borough can apply to be part of their team – and you’ll need to suggest a group of people that you’d like to interview, it might be your extended family, people you work with or meet regularly or everyone in your street. A small payment can be made to individuals or organisations nominating a researcher, and they will provide full training to help you with the practicalities of audio recording which is how they’ll collect the stories. Other than a connection to the borough, there are no restrictions as to who their researchers are, and they want to make sure that they have a good cross section of people and communities involved so they will ask you to tell them who you’re going to talk with. They want each researcher to talk with at least 10 people or families.

If you don’t want to be a researcher but have a story you’d like to share, then they will be making opportunities for this to happen – so keep looking out for news.

There’s a few simple details that they would like you to complete to send back to them. These questions are:





Tell them a bit about yourself – what you do, and your specific connections to Solihull:

Who do you plan to interview? Tell us a little about the group, where they are based in the borough, what your connection is to them, how many people you plan to speak with:

If you would like to nominate yourself to be one of their researchers, then just send an email to answering the above questions and someone will get back to you.

3.       FREE Train the Trainer Packages for Schools/ Community Groups

a)      Mental Health Ambassadors

Mental Health Ambassadors has been designed to equip young people aged 11-18 years to support and encourage others in accessing mental health support earlier. The Mental Health Ambassadors will help create a mentally healthy environment and act as a listening ear for their peers. This role will help to develop young people’s confidence, responsibility, reliability, teamwork and leadership skills. The Mental Health Ambassador package is designed over 6×1 hour sessions. Where young people will learn different skills to fulfil their role. The package will cover: A basic understanding of mental health, Skills and qualities, Communication, Stigma and discrimination and Wellbeing .

b)      Peer Listeners

Peer Listeners is designed to equip young people in Years 5 & 6 to support wellbeing of their peers. Peer Listeners will be required to step outside themselves and play a role, while still remaining friendly and accessible to other young people. The young people will make the commitment to help encourage a happy and sociable environment for example, starting group games and making sure that no young person is feeling lonely or left out. This role will help to develop young people’s confidence, responsibility, reliability, teamwork and leadership skills. The Peer Listener package is designed over 6×1 hour sessions. Where young people will learn different skills to fulfil their role. The package will cover: What is a Peer Listener, Skills and qualities, Fiveways to Wellbeing, Communication and Wellbeing

Both packages are delivered as a train the trainer workshop by the Solihull Community Development Team. Each workshop lasts 3.5 hours, where staff within schools and community groups will receive all tools to train young people. Training is FREE to schools and community groups

If you are interested about either of the training or want more information please contact Liz or Jade on: or see the flyers ‘Poster MHA Final’ and ‘Poster PL Final’ for more information.

4.       Festive Treats Box

Renewal Solihull, SCH and SMBC have teamed up to support vulnerable customers in temporary accommodation this festive period. Their aim is to provide each household in temporary accommodation with a festive treat bag, filled with delicious treats and activities, all items given must be brand new and unopened. They would be very grateful for any contributions to this initiative.

A list of the items they are looking for is included below as well as attached (please see ‘Renewal Festive Treats):

Festive Nourishment:

  • Christmas yule log
  • Mince pies
  • Christmas chocolates
  • Individual Christmas puddings
  • Christmas savoury snacks.

Afternoon Activities

  • Crossword book and adult colouring
  • Family games
  • Pens and pencils
  • Family card games e.g. Dobble

Any gratefully received donations can be dropped off at Renewal Solihull, Lode Lane, Solihull, B91 2JR on Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm before 30th November. Where possible, they would really appreciate any donations from groups/organisations to be coordinated into a single delivery to support the Renewal team to plan effectively. Please let them know if you represent an organisation when you deliver the items so that they can send their thanks to you.

5.       Renewal Toy Offer – Spread a little love (& toys!) this Christmas…

Toy Offering is Renewal’s way of giving gifts to kids who otherwise wouldn’t have any presents to open on Christmas Day. They support families by giving a selection of brand new toys, games & crafts for each child. And new for this year, each child will also receive a pair of pyjamas!  All the toys (and pyjamas) are kindly donated by you, other charities and organisations. Last year, Toy Offering 2020 reached 178 families across Renewal’s Chelmsley Wood, Solihull and Stratford locations, giving out over 1800 toys to 480 children.

They are super pleased to say that the agency referral form for Renewal’s Toy Offering in 2021 is now open! There is quite a lot of information on the referral form simply due to our change in processes and seeking to refine the process every year. Please take the time to check it out and then begin submitting referrals for families. They would just like to reiterate, the deadline for referrals is the 26th November so that they can process referrals and prepare with adequate time as well as pre pick presents for those who have requested this. They will be in contact with referring agencies towards the end of November regarding collection/attendance of the Pop Up Toy Shop or if there are any problems with your referral. The referral form link is:

If you would like to find out more about Renewal and our Toy Offering, please visit, where there is information about donating and how you can support this project.

You can contact the toy offering team on 0121 711 7300 or email

6.       Volunteer Opportunity – One off support needed

From Thursday 18th November until Saturday 20th November, volunteers for FareShare and the Trussell Trust will collect long-life food in large Tesco stores across the UK and Northern Ireland as part of a special Tesco Food Collection to support children and families throughout the festive period. Food donated by Tesco customers during the collection will go to support local charities supplied by FareShare, Food Banks, and holiday clubs providing healthy meals and activities to youngsters outside of term time. Tesco will once again top up customer donations made in store by 20% in cash to aid both charities in their work. The foodbanks need just three hours of your time to encourage more shoppers to donate much needed long-life food to those who need it most. In those three hours, you could help them collect enough food for 600 meals! If you aren’t able to volunteer in this way, you can also support the collection on social media.Here are some suggested posts:‘Volunteer at the @Tesco Food Collection with @FareShareUK and help get food to families in need #EveryCanHelps ’‘Support families in need by donating a pack of pasta or tinned tuna to @FareShareUK at your nearest @Tesco store 18-20 November. Help thousands of frontline charities and community groups affected by the coronavirus pandemic #EveryCanHelps’If you have any questions, please do contact the Food Collection team at  or on 020 3893 0341.

Find out more information on the FareShare Community Hub, where you can help feed those who need it most here:

7.       Solihull Councils New climate change podcast

In the run up to COP26, Solihull Council launched its very first podcast series – which aims to help listeners understand what people in Solihull are doing in the fight against climate change and what we can all learn from them.

The podcast ‘Courts on Climate Change’, sheds light on innovative eco-initiatives taking place right across the borough, from autonomous vehicles to retrofitting grants. Councillor Courts, Leader of Solihull Council is joined by host David Gregory-Kumar from BBC Midlands Today and a range of special guests during the series. Episode One: ‘Education’, focuses on the work Solihull Council is doing with local schools around climate change and sustainability. Featured guests Birgitta Varga, Eco Leader at Balsall Common Primary School, and Tony Elvin, General Manager at Touchwood, provide their unique insights. The episode touches upon the Greener Solihull Schools Award, which challenges children and staff to learn more about the environment both locally and globally, and make their school more eco-friendly. We also hear about the upcoming Solihull Schools Climate Conference, which includes a model COP26 summit.

You can hear the podcasts series on Spotify

Read the full article here:

8.       Solihull Moors Foundation – Luncheon Club & Social Session

Solihull Moors Foundation are launching a new Luncheon Club & Social Session open to everyone. The group will be starting on Tuesday 16th November.

The sessions will include activities such as board games, chair exercises, bowls,  social session plus more. The activities will be chosen by the group.

The sessions cost £2.50 this will include the activity cost, hot drinks and soup/sandwiches.

For more information please contact Solihull Moors Foundation 0121 705 6770

Please see flyer ‘email1635944763318’ for more information.

9.       Step Together Project – Paid and Volunteering Opportunities working with Young people

The West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit has granted funding to FITCAP & Vision for All to work together to reduce crime and prevent violence. The format of the project is to place people on the school routes to and from 2 school sites; Grace Academy in Chelmsley Wood and Tudor Grange Academy, Solihull. Workers on the project will

●        seek to develop relationships with young people,

●        offer a point of safety,

●        diffuse and de-escalate in the event of incident or rising community tensions,

●        accurately report any safeguarding issues to Lead Officers,

You will undergo full training whilst gaining hands-on experience on the route(s) and a DBS check if necessary.  Closing date Thurs 11th November 5pm.

Please see attachment for full details and how to apply.

For further information please email or phone 07847 245869

10.   FitCap – Bootcamp with Leeann

FitCap have got a new Bootcamp starting Monday 15th November, 6pm-7pm each week, just £2. The session will be a 30 minute circuit, followed by some ‘you time’…stretching, chatting, chilling out – whatever you feel like you need.

The sessions will be at Connection Church Centre, Kingshurst, B37 6NP and ran by Leeann.

Please book via the website or drop in to the session on the night (a space can’t be guaranteed if you turn up at the door)

For more information please see flyer ‘Bootcamp poster’