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Thursday, February 7th, 2019

Stroke Recovery Service

The Solihull Stroke Recovery Service is a needs led service run by the Stroke Association, commissioned by Solihull CCG.

If you or someone you know has had a stroke in the last 12 months and need information, advice or support about any aspect of stroke you can contact our service.

  • We will talk to you about your concerns and if necessary we will arrange to visit you in your home to see how we can help.
  • We will keep in contact with you if you need us to for up to 12 months
  • We will put you in touch with appropriate services in your local community who can offer  the help you need.

If you feel our Service can help then please contact us on

Helen Maguire- 07950535692

Alison Knight- 07950535721

Thursday, February 7th, 2019

IT@Home – ReCOM

IT@Home – IT@Home is a FREE service providing training for people who are housebound or tied to the house for whatever reason. Our volunteers will provide an hour of support each week for up to 12 visits, tailored to meet your needs. Learn on your iPad, Tablet, Laptop or Computer. All this in the comfort of your own home!

Thursday, September 20th, 2018

Children’s performing arts group – Auckland Hall

Tuesdays 4:15-5:15pm (from 18th Sept 2018)

For ages 5 to 11 years

Thursday, September 20th, 2018

Music group for children with additional needs – Auckland Hall


An inclusive music group for children with additional support needs

Aged 5-10 years

Every Wednesday 4:15-5:15pm

Thursday, September 20th, 2018

Musical Maggie – for parents and toddlers at Auckland Hall

Thursday, June 7th, 2018

In case you missed it: what happened at the VCS Conference 2018

The 2018 Solihull VCS Conference took place on 24th May and attracted 85 people to the Core Theatre in Solihull town centre.

After networking over light refreshments, the audience moved into the theatre for a welcome by Janet Down (chair of the VCS Strategic Reference Group) who explained how the Conference theme VCS-Public Sector Relationships picked up from the previous Conference, which took the theme ‘Keep it Local’.

Local VCS-public sector collaboration

Work done at that time had estimated the financial value of volunteering in Solihull at £26 million per year, before looking at the additional value in terms of external investment through grants and the savings to the public purse realised through interventions by the sector. As a result, there is an economic driver for the local public sector to foster and partner with local community sector organisations.

Janet illustrated her point by describing the work of Meriden Adventure Playground, which she had become involved in supporting, and the benefits being delivered there to the local community, especially its young people, with the active support of the Council.

Calderdale double-act: VCS and council working in partnership

Guest speakers from Yorkshire, Sian Rogers of Calderdale Council and Graham Mynott of Hebden Bridge Community Association, then took to the stage to deliver what they called ‘a double act’. They described the benefits of their close working relationship and the consequent benefit to community delivered from the former Hebden Bridge Town Hall, consequent to the transfer of the asset from the Council to the Community Association in 2010.

They described how the benefits of that new relationship came into sharp focus as the heart of the town was flooded when the River Calder burst its banks in December 2015. The Town Hall became a relief centre with the Council, the emergency services and the community all working together from the building to respond to the emerging crisis.

They both underline the value, for community impact and economic resilience, of a ‘keep it local’ commissioning policy and the development of community anchor organisations.

Working with the Combined Authority

Henry Kippin of the West Midlands Combined Authority was next to the microphone. After an outline of the remit of the Authority, he referred to the imminent launch of its Inclusive Growth Unit, a cross-sector collaboration working together to transform peoples’ lives by developing new ways of positive social change. He went on to explain how collaboration is a key to growth in the region, and the importance of finding approaches that can embrace the contribution of the voluntary sector.

SMBC view: partnership with the VCS for Solihull residents

Alison McGrory, the Assistant Director at Solihull Council responsible for Stronger Communities, then set out the local vision for our communities through creating conditions for strong, cohesive and inclusive communities and networks of co-production and participation. She outlined approaches to locality based working, community wellbeing, voluntary sector development and partnership working as elements of a strategy underpinning a universal offer to residents. Places, she explained, would be shaped ‘with people’.

After a brief question time with the panel of speakers, there were more refreshments for keep delegates fuelled whilst they continued to network and engaged with the speakers.

An average evaluation score of 4.2 out of 5 gave a good indication that the event had succeeded in its goal and been well received.

Conference presentations

The PowerPoint presentations from the event have been combined into one pdf. It can be downloaded (pdf, 7MB) or viewed below.

The Calderdale slides begin at slide 10.
Alison McGrory’s slides begin at 27.

Further discussion

If you would like to discuss any follow-up from the Conference, please contact Dave Pinwell (Colebridge Trust CEO) at or on 0121 704 7860.

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

Solihull Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment – now published

Back in January Solihull Council’s Public Health team asked for comments on its draft Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA).

Comments have been taken into account and have helped create the recently published PNA 2018-2021, which will help ensure residents have good access to local pharmacy (chemist) services.

The document looks at the current provision of pharmaceutical services across Solihull and whether they meet the current and future needs of residents, identifying any potential gaps in services.

NHS England will use the PNA when making decisions regarding applications for new or changes to, existing pharmaceutical services. It will also be used by NHS England, Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the Council to help make decisions about commissioning local pharmaceutical services.

Read the Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment 2018-21 here.

Friday, March 2nd, 2018

Ending FGM Conference – sharing key messages and research

Birmingham & Solihull Women’s Aid’s recent conference on FGM gave key messages from local research that addressed the impact of local work on ending FGM.

The study can be downloaded below. The key messages from the research and the conference are summarised in the following paragraphs.

We had a very successful conference on FGM on Monday 12th February 2018 at Tally Ho. 60 people attended, with many more wanting to attend but unable to do so due to room capacity. Key messages from the conference & Sophie McHale’s research are:

Nasheima Sheikh – Birmingham & Solihull Women’s Aid (BSWA)

  • Female genital mutilation is an issue of violence against women & girls, requiring a sensitive and confidential approach.
  • BSWA has delivered work on FGM since 2010, most recently in partnership with Coventry Haven, supporting many women and learning about effective approaches.
  • BSWA & Coventry Haven have recruited and supported 90 Community Champions from 15 different countries help to raise awareness to end FGM.
  • BSWA is developing an FGM Health Pathway to reach out to women affected by FGM.

Rachel Oluyemi & Ashley Mungai– Coventry Haven

  • Empowerment of women is key to ending FGM – the Haven has developed women’s groups from many different communities, changing attitudes and helping to end the practice.
  • Ashley “don’t underestimate the power of conversation” & start from understanding community perspectives on FGM.

Sophie McHale – University of Manchester and FGM Impact Study author

  • BSWA & Coventry Haven, with whom the research was done, have supported 860 women; developed 90 Community Champions; raised awareness amongst 1,964 people from FGM affected communities and trained 3,500 professionals.
  • Social Convention Theory advocates that we must reach a mass of people before a ‘tipping’ point is reached in changing attitudes – the impact study & PEER research shows that this may have  been achieved within the Somali community but more engagement needs to happen with marginalised and newly arriving communities
  • Professionals in Birmingham & Coventry had a higher reporting rate of FGM compared to a decline nationally – an indicator of the success of FGM training in the region, mainly by Coventry Haven & BSWA
  • A holistic approach is required; focus on health alone can result in a move from Type 3 to 1, but not eradication.
  • Work against FGM has to be nuanced otherwise perverse results can emerge – eg the emphasis on health consequences can also lead to a medicalisation of FGM.
  • Community attitudes have been affected to be against FGM in those who have participated in activities through BSWA & Coventry Haven: 83% had greater awareness and 71% would know how to respond to FGM confidently.
  • BSWA & Coventry Haven’s work has had a significant positive impact on the confidence, health and wellbeing of women affected by FGM.

Gill Squires – WM Police

  • Obtaining an FGM Protection Order is relatively simple – anyone can apply – and it is free. See above attachment for guide.
  • Many different criteria can be included to ensure victims and those around them are properly protected. Breach of an order can result in imprisonment.

Fiona Allen – Birmingham South & Central CCG – Designated Safeguarding Children Nurse

  • There are many health consequences of FGM yet health services are not always aware that the underlying cause of presenting symptoms could be FGM.
  • Women are suffering with PTSD, flashbacks, and other mental & physical symptoms but many health professionals are not confident in asking questions about FGM
  • There are legal responsibilities on NHS staff around FGM.
  • A new health pathway for FGM is being developed with BSWA & GP practices.

Materials from the conference to download:

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

Armed Forces Covenant newsletter: February 2018

AFC News for Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire: Family Day on 8 April

The 5th edition of the Armed Forces Covenant Newsletter for Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire is out now!  This includes details of the Forces Family Day at Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park on Sunday 8th April when serving personnel and veterans, and up to 4 family members, can visit Compton Verney for FREE!

The Newsletter also introduces new staff, a veterans recovery project and details on the new Veterans’ Gateway; the first point of contact for veterans in need of support.

The newsletter can be found here AFC News 5.

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

Solihull Together Fund Grants Awarded

An independent panel comprising three champions of our local VCS, Fidelis Navas of Xoserve, Matyn Garner of Solihull School and Sharon Gray of JLR, met to consider the 2017 Solihull Together Fund Grant Awards. They awarded a total of £3,000 to nine of the organisations which applied.

Some of the things that will be funded are new printer/photocopier for a community group, a First Aid at Work course for volunteers, three Forest School sessions, new flower beds for a Friends of Park Group, a planter for a Friends of Station Group and travel to a Community Cup tournament for a community/disability group.

The money was raised at last year’s Solihull Sustain / AgeUK Solihull Ball. This year’s Ball on Friday 13th July at the St Johns Hotel will again raise money for the Fund.