Lozells and East Handsworth Ward Advisory Board Needs You!

Posted on 4th October 2011 by

Lozells and East Handsworth Ward Advisory Board is a way that you can help improve your area through working in partnership with your councillors on issues and services that affect you in your neighbourhood. The Board usually meets once every two months and members contribute their knowledge and experience with assessing Community Chest grant applications and to highlight issues that affect residents such as highway maintenance and keeping the streets clean and tidy.

Representation is being sought from the organisations in Lozells & East Handsworth ward that represent older people, women, people with disabilities, an advice giving organisation, an organisation working with children up to the age of 16 or if your organisation does not represent any of those as long as it is a voluntary or community group your application will be considered.

All expressions of interest in writing to Yvonne Wager by email yvonne.wager@birmingham.gov.uk or by post to Perry Barr Constituency Office, Tamebridge House, Aldridge Road, Perry Barr, Birmingham, B42 2TX.

Please note the closing date for expressions of interest by Friday 28th October 2011.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Ward Advisory Board please contact Yvonne Wager on (0121) 303 9841.”


New Edition of the Hands on Handsworth Magazine Out Now

Posted on 15th September 2011 by

The new edition of the Hands on Handsworth magazine is now available. It is available at Handsworth library and other fast food shops, sweet centres and venues in Handsworth. If you can’t find a copy please email karlgreenwood@multistory.org.uk. A PDF copy of the magazine is here –  PDF of HOH 5th edition

HealthWatch- strengthening the voice of patients and the public

Posted on 13th September 2011 by

National and Local Health Watch

With their White Paper, Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS (July 2010), the government attempts to “strengthen the collective voice of patients and the public” by bringing forward provisions in the forthcoming Health Bill to create HealthWatch England.

HealthWatch will be a new independent consumer champion and a statutory part of the Care Quality Commission (CQC), to champion services users and carers across health and social care.

Through these proposals the Government wishes to create:

“a strong local infrastructure” that will enhance the role of local authorities in promoting choice and complaints advocacy, through the HealthWatch arrangements they commission”.

The government will look at existing mechanisms, including relevant legislation, to ensure that public engagement is fully effective in future, and that services meet the needs of neighbourhoods. They want to avoid cases where “patient and staff concerns were continually overlooked while systemic failure in the quality of care went unchecked”. As part of the new proposals, the Government will build on existing structures and “strengthen arrangements for information sharing”, whilst “local HealthWatch will also have the power to recommend that poor services are investigated”.

The HealthWatch proposals in the White paper seem to have been influenced by the experiences of the existing Kent HealthWatch. For more information visit: http://bit.ly/HealthWatchKent

The role of HealthWatch

At local level:

  •  Local HealthWatch organisations will ensure that the views and feedback from patients and carers are an integral part of local commissioning across health and social care
  • Local authorities will be able to commission local HealthWatch or HealthWatch England to provide advocacy and support, helping people access and make choices about services, and supporting individuals who want to make a complaint. In particular, they will support people who lack the means or capacity to make choices; for example, helping them choose which General Practice to register with.
  • Local HealthWatch will be funded by and accountable to local authorities, and will be involved in local authorities’ new partnership functions, described in chapter 4. To reinforce local accountability, local authorities will be responsible for ensuring that local HealthWatch are operating effectively, and for putting in place better arrangements if they are not; and
  • Local HealthWatch will provide a source of intelligence for national HealthWatch and will be able to report concerns about the quality of providers, independently of the local authority.

At national level:

  • HealthWatch England will provide leadership, advice and support to local HealthWatch, and will be able to provide advocacy services on their behalf if the local authority wishes.
  • HealthWatch England will provide advice to the Health and Social Care Information Centre on the information which would be of most use to patients to facilitate their choices about their care
  • HealthWatch England will provide advice to the NHS Commissioning Board, Monitor and the Secretary of State and
  • Based on information received from local HealthWatch and other sources, HealthWatch England will have powers to propose CQC investigations of poor services.

Phase One: ‘Sounding Out’

This initial stage of the transition to HealthWatch takes the form of an informal consultation process; attempting to seek ‘open’ views of a range of stakeholders as to suitable consultation and engagement arrangements relating to the establishment of Healthwatch and the review of consultation and engagement arrangements around care services and the wider wellbeing agenda.

As part of this process stakeholders are asked a few simple questions, these can be found below.

‘Sounding Out’ Questions

We are asking those citizens who are involved in their communities:

  1. How are you currently involved?
  2. What do you like about the ways you are involved at the moment?
  3. Do you feel you have helped to improve anything, and if so how?
  4. What don’t you like about the ways you are involved?
  5. How do you think we could better seek views?
  6. If you wanted to get involved in improving health and care services where would you start?

We are asking citizens who are currently not involved in their communities:

  1. Do you want to get involved in developing public services?
  2. Do you know how to get involved?
  3. How would you like to get involved?
  4. What currently stops you getting involved?
  5. What would show you that you have made a difference?
  6. If you wanted to raise a concern or find out how to influence health and care services where would you start?

Take part in the Sounding Out process, complete the questions online here: http://bit.ly/HealthWatchSO

We shall be following the Sounding out phase with a formal consultation on proposals for HealthWatch.  If you would like to take part in this process please contact: consultation@birmingham.gov.uk

Do you want to be a local journalist?

Posted on 8th September 2011 by

The Hands on Handsworth Community Journalism project is still looking for people to contribute in any way they can. This can range from writing and generating content, taking photographs to distribution or just sending in stories. If you would like to be involved please call 0121 533 7195 or email karlgreenwood@multistory.org.uk

Whats on this Easter in Handsworth

Posted on 22nd April 2011 by

Looking for something to do this Easter weekend in Handsworth then here are a few suggestions:

Sunday 24th April –  Vaisakhi in Handsworth Park

Processions and cultural entertainment mark the beginning of the Sikh New Year in this colourful celebration. With stalls and displays, music, sport and food. Entrance is free starts at 12.00 finishes at 6pm for more details about the event click here

Visit Soho House & Museum which re-opened in April for the summer season – see opening time by clicking here. 

Monday 25th April – Full Stream Event, Easter Monday family steam fund Day at Soho House from 12 until 4pm, special free entry

Fancy a walk then there are a number of options

Or fancy a swim than joining Be Active and you can swim for free at Handsworth Leisure Centre

Hands on Handsworth Community Journalism update

Posted on 15th April 2011 by

The community journalism project  is going from strength to strength as we now have a core team of talented and knowledgable journalists to generate content for both the magazine and the blog. I know we’ve been a bit quiet on the blogging but I and the team will be uploading a lot more content over the next couple of months. Tracey Thorne left her post last month and we all wish her well in her new role although she will still be part of the steering group  and play an integral role in the project. Tracey has been instrumental in getting this off the ground so we want to do her and the project proud by continuing her good work.

City College have kindly donated a temporary office space for the journalists to use as a place to research, carry out tasks and write and develop stories and ideas for the magazine. I would like to thank Anthony Gribben, Carole Douglas and the rest of the staff at City College for helping us set up the office which can now be used by the journalists. We are getting a phone line and internet connection this week. Very exciting!

There are still lots of things to do and things that are needed for the project such as new computers but we will take it step by step and with the support of local people and organisations we can only improve and look for ways to continue the project after August 2011.

We are starting to design the next edition of the magazine over the next couple of weeks so keep a look out for the April edition. We are still looking for contributors, photgraphers, designers, and anyone who wants to take part to help find the best and most interesting stories in Handsworth. It doesn’t matter if your literacy skills are not that great, as we just need characters with good ideas and imagination to find stories and make Hands on Handsworth a magazine everyone wants to get their hands on.

If you would like to be a part of the team, have ideas for stories or would like further information then please contact Karl Greenwood at karlgreenwood@multistory,org.uk

Great Launch of New Handsworth Heritage Trail

Posted on 15th March 2011 by

New trail launch went well last Friday opend by Cllr Paulette Hamilton pictured below. Big thanks to everyone that came along and those that had ago at the walk which was led by Ian Braisby guide from Birmingham Tours

Make it Happen Thursday 24th March @ Handsworth Library

Posted on 4th March 2011 by

This looks like a really great event at Handsworth Library. On Thursday 24th March 12 until 5 you will be able to watch films on the new vintage movie bus. The event is organised as part of the Flatpack Festival with lots of events happening across the city over that weekend.

For more information see the poster below

Handsworth Poster

#Local Government Challenge coming to #Handsworth tomorrow

Posted on 16th February 2011 by

Local community or neighbourhood groups up for a challenge

Birmingham City Council has been selected to host one of the five annual Local Government Challenges. Starting in January 2011, 10 short listed contestants from local government across the country will take part in the challenges, run along the lines of the hit TV show, The Apprentice.

 Working in partnership with the Chamberlain Forum, local community and neighbourhood groups were invited to set the challenge for Birmingham. It could have been developing an action plan or business plan, researching and writing a funding bid, undertaking some local consultation, or anything else that would benefit their group.

 The two chosen winning challenges were Hands on Handsworth Resident Network and Second to None based on the Hagley Road, Edgbaston. Both challenges will take place tomorrow the 17th Feb.

We are expecting our team of five contestants to arrive in Handsworth at about 11.00. They will meet local residents who have put forward the challenge.

The Challenge: Residents are challening the contestants to help them take forward plans to improve the alleyways between Albert and Herbert Rd in Handsworth. Staff from Birmingham City Council and Groundwork will be on hand to support the team.

You can follow events during the day on hands on Handsworth twitter or the LGChallenge twitter

A Poet Called Benjamin Zephaniah

Posted on 26th January 2011 by

 Interesting blog post by Benjamin Zephaniah handsworth poet

via A Poet Called Benjamin Zephaniah.