Holiday Activity Fun!

The Government has allocated Dudley Borough with £1,200,000 from the Holiday Activities and Food Programme funding to be spent by the end of 2021 on activities and refreshments for income eligible, free school meals pupils for a week at Easter, 4 weeks in the summer and a week at Christmas. 

The approach we have taken in Dudley is to work with children, young people, their families, and schools and providers to ask what activities children and young people would really benefit from. 

We want this to be an enriching experience that gives many of our children a chance to try new things they may not have tried before or visit places they may not have had the opportunity to visit. 

This is the first year the Holiday Activity Fun (HAF) has ever run and we are delighted to have worked with 103 schools, over 50 providers and been able to offer over 50,000 sessions to nearly 4000 children and young people.  

There is a real pick and mix variety of activities, with something for everyone! There are school holiday clubs, where little ones can let off steam and take part in action-packed sports and activity camps, are being organised in selected schools. 

At Baggridge Country Park, children can try out the High Ropes adventures and will be invited to join a summer sports camp where they can try karate, fitness and exercise, indoor soft football, dance, yoga and rugby. 

Many parents, young people and children told us how they would love the opportunity of a day out together, so we have worked with Dudley Zoo, The Black Country Museum and The Canal Trust to offer great family days out for people who may not normally be able to afford it. 

For our SEND children with have a make your own afternoon tea with Kayleigh (who is a young person with Learning Disabilities who gives a tutorial on how to make the scones and put the afternoon tea together) there is also the opportunity to try golf and animal petting.  

For our teens we organised a Mocktails and Tapas with a Black Country twist! A group of young people got to make their own alcohol free mocktails, learn about Spanish food and compare it to traditional Black Country offerings such as faggots and Liver and onions! We also encouraged them to have a go at making their own fakeaways, healthy versions of KFC, Pizza Hut, Nandos and a curry. Once they ‘rate their plate’ and send us a photo and review of their finished dish we send them a voucher for the real thing to ‘treat their mate’ 

A number of other universal activities have also been organised for all children across the borough. There will be ‘Diddy Dinosaur’ craft sessions at Dudley Museum, a Fairies and Dinosaur Day at Himley Hall and Park, play and adventure at Sycamore Adventure and sports and swimming activities in leisure centres.  

HAF is offering children and young people the much-needed opportunity to build their confidence, socialise and have some fun this summer and the feedback from families has been overwhelmingly positive. 

“Thank you for giving this opportunity to our children, they’ve really suffered whilst being in lockdown so this extra bit of help for those who struggle sometimes more than others is really appreciated” 

We have a number of social media platforms to stay connected so please do give us a follow, like and share! /

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Working Together for Change

cropped-smile-changeIn 2014 Dudley CVS began a journey to support parent carers across the borough to have a voice, influence decisions and collaborate with professionals to ensure that services improve for children and young people with disabilities and their families.

I can honestly say that this has been one of the most joyful, humbling and enlightening aspects of my work. It is a privilege to work alongside parent carers, their passion, energy and honesty knows no bounds. They are so committed to working with professionals so that together they can figure out how to make things better, look at what’s working well and also be honest about what’s not working so well.

Over the four years through Working Together for Change – Dudley Parent Carer Forum parent carers have given over 1,704 hours of their precious time to influence decisions that effect so many lives.

In 2017/18 parent carers through the forum have attended over 32 strategic meetings where they have been heard and collaborated with senior decision makers. Once again we have built on the success of previous years and increased our reach with over 2,182 views on our website, 240 followers on twitter and 169 followers on Facebook.

None of this would have been possible without the support of the forum parent carers especially the steering group who have been there from the start and are still hanging in! They inspire me every time I have the privilege to be in their company.

Any parent carer within Dudley borough can become a forum member. Its free to join and you can become a member on your terms, so you could opt to just receive information, or you can get involved in consultations, join a task and finish group or represent the forum locally or regionally.

More information about Dudley Parent Carer Forum and our annual report can be found here or you can give Donna a call on 01384 573381

Having a Blast! Making an Impact!

As the Children, Young People and Families in Communities team enters its sixth month together we are taking the time to celebrate the progress we have made during this time. It’s been a blast and we are loving every minute, we wanted to share some of our highlights and achievements with you!

What an honour!
The team attended Dudley’s Centre for Professional Practice’s staff recognition awards at Himley Hall. It was a wonderful event which celebrated the achievements of staff and recognised those that go the extra mile. CYIC award
What was really special and humbling was that the Centre for Professional Practice gave an award to recognise people who work with children and young people in the community and…WE WON!!!!! It was really an honour to be recognised by partners and the award takes pride of place on the fireplace in our office at Dudley CVS. Read more about the award on our blog:

Spill your beans over coffee and cake

Smile change
Dudley Parent Carer Forum has been getting out and about in a bid to meet new parent carers and share the great work they have been involved in. The Forum is an independent organisation that is facilitated and supported by the team at Dudley CVS.

Members work together to ensure that the voices of parent carers are heard.
We now have termly carer’s coffee morning slots run by parent carers which we support at Penn’s Meadow & Old Park Special School and we are delighted to be invited to join The Sutton Schools parent’s forum. We hope to ensure that everyone in Dudley borough knows about the forum and all parent carers know that information, support and an opportunity to have their say is available.

We are also working hard to ensure that professionals know that we are here and we now have a professional e-bulletin distribution list that sends information to over 103 professionals including those within Dudley CCG, Local Authority, Schools, Colleges and Voluntary Sector organisations, which has been really well received.

“What a fabulous, uplifting email! Thanks so much for passing this on, it really shows how well things are working and I really value the hard work that people are putting in, to help and support others.” Councillor Anne Millward – Lead Cabinet Member for Children’s Services

For more information about the Dudley Parent Carer Forum or to get in touch visit

Young people take up the challenge!Morgan take over

The Takeover Challenge puts children and young people into decision-making positions and encourages organisations to hear their views. In Dudley borough we are committed to building an infrastructure for all young people to have opportunities to participate, share their views and influence decisions that affect their lives regardless of their backgrounds, experiences or abilities.

During November and December 2017 the number of organisations involved and the number of opportunities offered increased by 400%, thanks to the 36 professionals who agreed to be taken over! A variety of CVS staff got involved including the Chief Officer Andy Gray who supported Molly to take over the Children’s Alliance Board meeting.

Partners from Dudley MBC, Dudley CCG, West Midlands Police, West Midlands Fire Service, political figures, Members of Parliament, schools, colleges and Lunch on the Run all provided a variety of opportunities for young people to get involved and takeover.

Over 5lunch on the run takeover0 young people between the age of 13-19 from a third of secondary schools across the borough, three colleges and a university student participated. Young people with different backgrounds and abilities took part, including young people involved in Dudley Care Council, Dudley Youth Council, Care Leavers Forum, Young Health Champions and Police Week Students. Children looked after, young people with disabilities and additional needs and mental health illnesses participated fully.

pc paul takeoverIt was incredible to see the young people in our borough being given the opportunity to shine, even though a few did say that they were exhausted by the world of work and left with a headache at the end of the day! We asked people what they enjoyed most about the Takeover Challenge. Professionals enjoyed being able to offer opportunities for young people, hearing about the excellent things young people are involved in and the difference they are making, giving young people a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity such as being Mayor for a day, and learning directly from young people. Young people enjoyed learning about different roles, meeting different people and how welcoming the professionals were.

A massive thanks to all those professionals and young people that made it happen. We can’t wait to do it all again bigger and better in November 2018!

We are sure you will agree that we have been keeping busy, staying out of trouble, getting involved in lots of exciting projects and working with some incredible people. We are so proud of the work we do and that it plays a part in improving the lives of the children, young people and their families.