Mural Project Unveiled

There was an excellent turnout to celebrate the ‘My Endz’ heritage project with young people at the Secret Garden on Saturday 13th July.

To launch the booklet and unveil the mural we were joined by guest speakers Father Bob Stephens, Vanley Burke and Hector Pinkney and young people entertained with words and music. Workshops included Kung Fu, Face painting and Graffiti art.

The project was coordinated by Kate Luxmoore (Ifa Yoruba Contemporary Arts Trust) and Russell Green (Birchfield Big Local) with assistance from Nyah Cole and Daniel Hamilton and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Thanks to all who participated in the project and contributed to the booklet and mural including the artists and visiting speakers – well done all! 

Launch of Creative Civic Change

Birchfield Big Local and Welsh House Farm Big Local celebrated the launch of the Creative Civic Change project at Church Vale, Handsworth, on Sunday 19th May.

Thanks to Birmingham City Council and Amey, the road in front of the shops was closed off and this small public space at the junction of Wilton, Hutton, Robert and Church Vale Roads was transformed for the day.

Activities included: Family arts and crafts with Claudette Holmes, Adlin Shorter, Scylla Parkyn and Danny Webster; live music with Seikou Susso and Phil Bowers; Tree dressing with Faith Pearson; and a specially commissioned exhibition of photographs taken by Vanley Burke. Pete Chaplin was on hand to take free portrait photographs of families on the day.

Creative Civic Change aims to use art and creativity as both a means and catalyst for transformation – connecting the gifts and talents of local people in both communities. It will involve artists in residence working with schools and young people in both areas, providing much needed opportunities to engage with arts and creativity – linking the curriculum with the community.

It will help to enrich home grown initiatives such as the Welsh House Farm Carnival and Birchfield Jazz Festival and enable the two communities to come together and share their experiences.

The two communities will make and share stories through a film club and children’s library and work towards community art commissions aimed at reclaiming and transforming public spaces in the two areas.

Creative Civic Change is a three-year programme funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Local Trust.



Creative Civic Change

Together with Welsh House Farm Big Local we have been selected to take part in the Creative Civic Change programme funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Esmee Fairburn Foundation and Local Trust. Creative Civic Change is about resident-led change and responding to issues and opportunities identified by local people. The idea is to approach these priorities in creative ways – from art, design, architecture, to theatre, music, craft, storytelling and more.

Over the past few months a working group from the two Big Local areas has been talking with groups of residents about what matters to them and how arts and creativity might make a difference. We have been supported by artist-facilitator Heather Peak and also photographer Vanley Burke who has been documenting the project.

We organised a screening at the Midland Arts Centre of the Charlie Chaplin movie – Modern Times – for over 50 residents from the two areas. The working group has also had meetings with various arts organisations in Birmingham including the REP Theatre and Friction Arts. We have jointly submitted a programme of activities for the next three years and now await the outcome. The programme is to be launched between 13th – 19th May.

Thanks to Vanley Burke for the photographs

Elderly AOP Citizen

Turn2us : Help when you need it most!

Turn2us is a national charity helping people when times get tough. They provide financial support to help people get back on track.

Anyone can be a missed pay-cheque, illness or bereavement away from a real financial crisis, which is why Turn2us can help you find the support that you need.

The Turn2us Benefits Calculator takes less than 10 minutes to complete and it will tell you which means-tested benefits you may be entitled to, including tax credits.

The Grants Search can help you look for funds that might be able to give you a grant or other types of help.

Turn2us also award their own grants from the Turn2us Elizabeth Finn Fund, the Turn2us Response Fund, and the Turn2us Edinburgh Trust.

Support is also available through the Turn2us helpline for people who find it hard going online. (Call on: 0808 802 2000, 9.00am – 5.30pm Mondays-Fridays (except bank holidays).

Visit the website >

Article Image Credit : Merelize at

Xmas Event - 2018 - Welcome first arrivals

The Birchfield Big Local Xmas & Student Awards event 2018

This year Birchfield Big Local celebrated the end of the year with a Christmas event that took place at the St Mary’s Church Hall in Handsworth. The event was open to all staff, volunteers, partnership group members and friends of BBL.

We were grateful for the voluntary input of Adlin Shorter, Nasreen Reshma and Dean Richards on the day, which helped the whole event to go smoothly.

Catering was provided by Lynda McFarlane and entertainment by Winston Harris.

All those in attendance had a great time, enjoying good food, good company, entertainment and a raffle.

See more images on our Facebook page here >

Andrew Simons (BBL community development worker) said;

“Thanks to all for the Birchfield Big Local Christmas meal at St Mary’s Church Hall, Handsworth. This is the first time we have held it at St Mary’s and were well impressed with the facilities – especially the kitchen!

“Thanks to Lynda (Vegan Vybes) for providing a fabulous Christmas meal and to Winston Harris for the music and entertainment.

“The meal was attended by the Elders group and English Class participants and was an opportunity to celebrate the students achievements in attending 14 weeks of conversational English classes planned and led by volunteer tutors – Mehnaz, Salema and Cherrelle.

“Well done to all. Many thanks to Tippa for organising the event and to all the volunteers who helped on the day.”

Xmas Santa

Help During Christmas & New Year

source: Find Food Banks Brum
originally published: 19 November 2018

Birmingham-based community group, Find Food Banks Brum, have published some useful information and guides for the Christmas & New Year period.

These include an online guide to managing within your means, Christmas dinners, other services, volunteering opportunities/appeals and more.

To read more please visit:

Don’t suffer in silence, help is available!
FindFoodBanksBrum has also compiled this short list of some key organisations and agencies that can point you in the right direction if you need help, advice or emergency assistance. Visit –

See other useful links here >

Article Image Credit : Chance Agrella at

Autumn Fete 2018

Autumn Fete

Thanks to everyone who attended the BRAG Autumn Fete at the Pavilion building, Livingstone Road Allotments. For once the weather was perfect and the attendance better than ever. Phil Bowers entertained everyone with live music and Claudette Holmes ran a children’s arts workshop which was very popular.

There was a display of historical photographs of the area provided by Tom Clements and an opportunity for people to plant up pots with winter flowering plants and spring bulbs with Barbara and volunteers. Thanks to Mehnaz for providing us with some great food and to Albert for arranging access to the Allotment Pavilion for the day.

The event was organised by BRAG – Barbara, Lurlyn and volunteers, with support from Birchfield Big Local. There were some great pumpkins and gourds on display all grown on the Livingstone Road Community Allotment which were sold at the end of the day – proceeds to support the future work of BRAG and the allotment project.