Food Meals Green Papaya Salad

Volunteers wanted for new Meet & Eat Lunch Club @ St Mary’s

We are seeking open-minded, sympathetic and friendly volunteers for our new venture, The Meet & Eat Lunch Club @ St Mary’s, to be launched soon.

The project (developed by volunteer co-ordinator, Tippa Naphtali) will be delivered in collaboration with Access to Heritage Art and Culture (ATHAC), St Mary’s Church Hall and others. Volunteers would act in the role of serving, hospitality and support at the sessions.

The Service Summary:

The proposed Meet & Eat sessions are essentially an extension of Birchfield Big Local’s (BBL) Elders Programme (working collaboratively with others) but the sessions would also be open to any local residents regardless of age.

We feel that this level of integration is important for several reasons:

  • Loneliness and isolation, whilst often prevalent within older members of the community, is not exclusive to this group

  • There is something very important about opportunities for inter-generational and cross-cultural integration which can only assist community cohesion and relations

  • Building better relations across the age, culture and race spectrum is at the heart of BBL’s mission

  • The Meet & Eat initiative will help BBL and involved third parties to identify what local people feel is important to them in terms of critical service provision, whilst also providing a valuable and much-needed local service

As the project develops, some of the additional activities will include:

  • Health & wellbeing talks, workshops or external visits delivered or hosted by third party organisations or practitioners

  • Arts and creative sessions (e.g. tie dye, t-shirt printing, visits to exhibitions, museums and recreational grounds etc)

  • Healthy eating and taster sessions encouraging participants to think about what they eat and the impact on their physical health

  • Incorporating BBL annual Christmas meal and choir events as an integral part of the activities of the Elders Group

To express an interest please contact:
Andrew Simons (community development worker)
Mobile – 07421 994752
Email –

Training will be provided as part of the volunteer selection process.

Birchfield Big Local is run by local people with the goal of helping all members of the community. It is funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

Article Image Credit : mapichai at

Social Enterprise Meeting

Birchfield Social Enterprise Hub

Following a very productive workshop in December at Grosvenor Road Studios looking at social enterprise in the area and how we can nurture and support it in the future, we are planning monthly sessions in partnership with UnLtd.

The first session will be 10am – 12.30pm on Thursday 7th February at Grosvenor Road Studios and will look at Marketing your business and branding.

For more details please contact:

Andrew Simons – 07421 994752
Carol Reid (ATHAC) – 07977 880132
Victor Shaw (UnLtd) – 07841 779981

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.”

Volunteers Colorful hands

We are seeking volunteers @ Birchfield Big Local

We are seeking volunteers for two of our community projects which support people over 50 years of age, and job seekers within the Birchfield Big Local (BBL) area.

These current opportunities are as follows:

Role: Stepping Forward Job Club Volunteer Assistants
Four role positions available:

Birchfield Big Local (BBL) is re-developing the Stepping Forward Job Club, and is seeking enthusiastic and experienced people who will have a positive and proactive commitment to providing a friendly and relaxed environment in which local people living in the BBL area can improve their employment prospects for the future and explore the opportunities available to them.

Along with relevant experience, skills and knowledge to undertake the role, volunteer assistants will also be required to undertake training in job club principles as part of the induction process. Other training will be made available that is appropriate to the role.

See full details here >


Role: Role: Elders Activity & Social Group Volunteer Assistants
Three role positions available:

Birchfield Big Local (BBL) is re-developing the Elders Activity & Social Group, and are seeking enthusiastic and experienced people who will have a positive and proactive commitment to providing socialising and informational activities for people aged 50 and over from a range of backgrounds and cultures, living in the BBL area.

Along with relevant experience, skills and knowledge to undertake the role, volunteer assistants may also be required to undertake training in senior citizens support practices as part of the induction process. Other training will be made available that is appropriate to the role.

See full details here >

Please join us and help make a difference!

Article Image Credit : Jack Moreh 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.

Half-Term Youth Activities

Half-Term Youth Activities

A selection of photos from the Young People’s Half-Term Project on Arts and Heritage run by Birchfield Big Local and Ifa Yoruba Contemporary Arts Trust.

The young people visited Soho House and Aston Hall – and engaged in music, dance and drama sessions at Grosvenor Road Studios.

For more information about future youth activities please contact Russell on 07419213430

Birchfield Ward Forum Meeting

Come and have your say at the Birchfield Ward Forum Meeting on Wednesday 21st November at Grosvenor Road Studios, 16 Grosvenor Road B20 3NP. The meeting starts at 7.00pm.

Key items on the agenda are issues arising from some Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO’s) and contributing ideas for the new Ward Plan.

Please come along and share your ideas with other residents and Councillor Mahmood Hussain.