Posts Tagged ‘Midland Heart’

Free Active Citizens Training Course

Posted on 14th November 2012 by

A free training course is available for Neighbourhood Forums and active citizens. The course will cover:

  • Management Committee Skills
  • How to be an effective resident led group
  • Funding opportunities
  • Communication techniques
  • Understanding City Council structures
  • Working with partner agencies
  • Role of elected members
  • How to influence decision making processes

The course will be delivered by the Workers Educational Association in partnership with Midland Heart Housing Association and Neighbourhood Consultancy Ltd.  There are 4 training sessions and you must be available to attend all the sessions to take place on Thursday 22nd November, Thursday 29th November, Thursday 6th December and Thursday 13th December. All sessions will start at 6.30 p.m. and finish by 9.00 p.m. The venue will be at Lozells Methodist Church Centre, 163 Gerrard Street, Lozells, B19 2AH.

To register or for further details please ring Rajinder Rattu on 07515 531 272 or email

Local community action at its best in Handsworth

Posted on 21st May 2011 by

I attended a community event this morning which I was invited to held in Brunswick Gardens in Handsworth.

Local residents have been working for months with West Midlands Police, Midlands Heart, Groundwork and Birmingham City council to claim back the alleyways that run between Albert Rd and Herbert Rd.

Through neighbourhood management we were able to get some funding to clean up the area and put in new fences and get an alcohol restriction sign up.  

At the end of neighbourhood management local residents led by Sonia Hymen, Marlene Graham and Selwyn Clarke were keen to keep on with their plans to transform this area.

They have been working with Wilkes Green Infants School and Groundwork to create some mosaics which have just been fitted on site this week.

In the next few weeks the iron art panels will be fitted along the metal fence to really help change the feel of the alleyway when you walk through. The designs have been chosen by local people and represent the diversity and culture of Handsworth; Handsworth park, Handsworth carnival, Vaisakhi, cricket & music etc.  

These will be painted once they go up lovely bright colours.

Slowly but surely residents plans to improve this area are beginning to take real shape. Sometimes it is these small things that make a big difference to local people so it was great to see how wonderful the mosaics look. It was also great to see so many kids enjoying the games provided by Groundwork Street games team.

Next steps for the residents is to try and get agreements in place to keep the alleyways clean and  to take over management of the small piece of land adjacent to the alleyway. Good to see the residents supported by the new councillor for Lozells and East Handsworth Waseem Zaffer and Srg Dan Wickenden & PCSO Stacie Muir from West Midlands Police.

New fencing is up in Albert Rd Alleyways

Posted on 4th March 2011 by

I have just popped down to the albert rd alleyway to have a look at the completed clearence and new fencing for a project that I have been working on with local residents and partners such as Midland Heart & Groundwork. It was lovely as it is so sunny today and this part of the alleyway looks so much better – much lighter.

Part of the work that has been done inculdes a new gate for residents on Herbert Rd who back on to a small section of the alleyway. Here is the new gate.


We have also helped the owner of one of the properties that run along the side of the alleyway put up a new wooden fence this looked dreadful before.

We have also helped Midland Heart clean up their garden that runs along the other side of the alleyway. This area was regulary used by young people for drinking, had high level of dumped rubbish & litter, overgrown shubs. The difficulty is that many of the gardens in Handsworth are very large, this makes it hard for tennants to manage. This type of partnership working with residents provides a really good opportunity to clean up the area by working together.  We are really grateful to staff at Midland Heart who have heldped us take this project forward.

Below is two photos I took a few weeks ago and then the cleaned up photo from today.

Groundwork have come up with some designs to help improve the actaul public footpath of the alleyway after talking to residents ; this will inculde creation of 6 mosaic tiles, painting the lamp posts and and some laser cut panels that could be fitted to metal fence. Children from Wilkes Green school will be helping design and create the floor tiles.

This part of the project will hopefully help people feel it is a nice clean space where people feel safe walking through. You can view the Groundwork design by clicking here

Consultation on Green Spaces in Handsworth

Posted on 15th February 2011 by

Earlier this year Groundwork was successful in gaining funding to deliver a project within Handsworth that aims to empower local residents to improve their local area. The focus has been on four key areas;

  • Oaklands Youth Centre – outdoor space
  • New Inns – communal garden area
  • Centenary Drive
  • Albert Rd to Herbert Rd Alleyways

Over the last few months Stephen Cook from Groundwork has enaged with local residents to work up some intial designs for improvements at these sites. I am attaching the designs below which are just a first attempt and will develop following more conversations with residents.

It is wonderful to start seeing these designs and that residents are shaping  the projects. It would be great to see some of the projects now taken forward to actual improvements on the ground. A big thank you to all have been involved so far particulary Midland Heart, Groundwork, Wilkes Green Resident Association, Beverlie Weston, Lincoln Moses and Oaklands Youth Centre.

Oaklands Design

Design for Alleyway

Centenary Drive – Initial Design

New Inns – Initial Design

If you would like to comment on these designs or get involved contact Stephen Cook  from Groundwork on 0121 430 5500 or my self on 0121 303 3401.

Pannel Croft Retirement Village in Newtown

Posted on 24th November 2010 by

500 People attend Newtown Retirement Village Information Day This Week

500 older people and their families from Birmingham’s Newtown viewed plans and shared views at a major community information event featuring the £22m Pannel Croft Retirement Village which began initial construction works this month.  The event was hosted by The ExtraCare Charitable Trust and Birmingham City Council as part of an ongoing consultation process to help ensure the Village meets local peoples’ needs and aspirations.  The event included: 

  •       Plans of the completed Village, including details of homes and communal leisure facilities
  •       Opportunities for visitors to talk to City Councilors, ExtraCare support and activity staff and      residents from existing ExtraCare villages.
  •     Feedback areas for questions and comment
  •      Activity areas which include free health checks, benefits advice and entertainment 

If you are over the age of 55, living in Birmingham and would like to register your interest in the Village application process please phone, 0870 777 4800

Pannel Croft Village opens in Spring 2013 and will provide 180 affordable homes for rent (80%) and part-purchase (20%).  Properties will surround a community-based Village Centre with a wide range of facilities including a gym, restaurant, craft room and woodwork area.  Care will be available in the Village for those who need support. 

The Village will create over 50 ExtraCare jobs and an additional 36 funded-apprenticeships, on site during construction with house-builders Frank Haslam Milan. Other partners who have contributed to the scheme’s development are Urban Living (£2.4m), The Homes and Communities Agency (£6.4m) and The Department of Health (£3.2m). 

Councillor John Lines, Cabinet Member for Housing, said:  “I am delighted to be able to share our plans for the City’s second retirement village for our older people in Newtown, one of five planned for the City. The event will provide an opportunity for prospective residents, their families and friends to meet with ExtraCare staff and residents of other villages to see what village life can offer.

 “The Village will not only provide new homes but provide much needed training and employment opportunities for local people in this difficult time”

Pannel Croft is the second of five planned villages across the City, a £200m development partnership between Birmingham City Council and The ExtraCare Charitable Trust.  The first 260-home Village, New Oscott (developed with Midland Heart), opened in March 2010 and is now oversubscribed.  A third 241-home village, off the Hagley Road in Harbourne, is awaiting the outcome of a planning submission.      


Newtown Village Centre will provide a social hub for local older people – especially those who suffer isolation or have limited means. This Village Centre requires £2m funding through ExtraCare’s Smile Appeal – an appeal which is helping to fund five ExtraCare Village Centres, regenerating older peoples’ involvement in community life across the City.  For more information about The Smile Appeal, please contact Alison Whittingham on 024 76 506011.


Handsworth highly commended in Homes & Communities Awards 2010

Posted on 24th September 2010 by

Last night I attended the Homes & Communties Awards 2010 in London. Earlier this year Urban Living’s Sense of Place Project was shortlist as a finalist for Leadership of Place category. This project was a partnership between a consortium of partners, local community researchers and Birmingham City Council. The area of focus for the project was Dudley & Soho Rds and used partcipatory arts activties and digital recording to enage with local residents. The aim of the project was to empower local residents to make a difference to improving the local neighbourhoods.

We were delighted on the night to receive a Highly Commended award for the Sense of Place Project, this is great for Soho Ward and handsworth to receive recogition for some of the important work that is going on within these neighbouhoods to bring about improvements.

It was also great too see so many projects from Birmingham, I think that we had more nominations in the finalist stage than any other area.

Aston Hall won Flourishing Places

Balsall Health Forum won Stronger Communties

Urban Living highly recommended Leadership of Place

With the New Oscott Retirement Village & Midland Hearts Raleigh Close (handsworth) work also finalists in two categories.

Nick Corbert & Peter Latchford Urban Living

Adnan Saif, Urban Living, Noha Nasser, Cudos & Tracey Thorne, Birmingham City Council

Supporting the Midland Heart nomination Cllr Paulette Hamilton attend along with Paul Street & Jason Chapman from West Midlands Police. They were delighted that the work at Raleigh Close had been recoginsed by the H&C Awards .

Regent Rd alleyways in need of some TLC

Posted on 24th March 2010 by

On Monday following various issues raised by local resident members of the Handsworth Safe, Clean & Green Group which included Deb Parsons (Environmental Warden), Tracey Thorne (Neighbourhood Manager), Michael Wood (Midland Heart) and two PCSOs from East Handsworth Team went on a walkabout to take a look at some of the sites of Rookery Rd.

We visited two alleyways off Rookery Rd and found a lot of dumped rubbish, overgrown shrubs & weeds as well as evidence of street drinking. These alleyways have not been cleaned for sometime and were desperately in need of a clearance. Some of them back on to shops which is a concern when they are selling food as build of this kind of rubbish and overgrown shrubs will be perfect place for rats.

Clean up of alleyways is the responsibility of local residents Birmingham City Council offer fortnightly green waste collection and FREE bulk waste collection 0121 303 1112.

We really need local residents support to keep areas like this clean if you see someone dumping call 0121 303 1112

To report dangerous trees call 0121 464 8728

We have a team of Future Job Fund Trainees now working in Handsworth who have on this occasion been able to help clean this area up and will removal all the waste. This is fantastic service but please help us to help you use the services above.

Future dumping and littering could lead to enforcement action being taken 

Regent Rd, Handsworth