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Not being able to communicate well in English is one of the biggest problems encountered by people new to the community of Sandwell. It affects everything: registering with a doctor is difficult, communicating with your children’s teachers is a challenge and catching a bus is tricky if you can’t read the timetables. . Now, thanks to new funding from The Charles Plater Trust, Brushstrokes will be increasing the support it provides to migrants, refugees and asylum seekers to communicate well in English and to settle and integrate in Sandwell.
Thank you to all those who nominated Brushstrokes Community Project for the Thrive Mental Health Star Awards 2020. On the 29th January we were selected not only as a finalist for the Black Country team but also, at the end of a wonderful evening at West Bromwich Albion, then chosen as the winner!
The Mayor of Sandwell, Councillor Ann Jaron, was among the invited guests as Brushstrokes Smethwick marked the opening of its new building on Smethwick High Street with a celebration event.
In 2018 Brushstrokes Community Project was involved in carrying out local research on behalf of the United Nations Development Programme to explore the reasons for irregular European migration from Africa.
The final UNDP report is now ready and can be downloaded following this link: https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/librarypage/democratic-governance/ScalingFences.html
We are very happy to announce that Wolverhampton-based theatre company, Studio 61, have kindly chosen Brushstrokes as a charity which they will support throughout the rest of this year. A proportion of the income from their plays will be forwarded to us for our work with vulnerable and destitute people. Thank you to all concerned at Studio 61. Please find a link to their forthcoming productions here:
The USE-IT! programme
“The USE-IT! programme has enabled Brushstrokes to provide an IELTS course for individuals with overseas health qualifications. The course started in January and we have 25 learners who are a mix of doctors, nurses, dentists and other health care professionals studying with us.
As part of the UseIt Project, Health professionals have been attending workshops at Brushstrokes over the summer to help them prepare for the academic IELTS exam.
Tabor House, the only permanent night shelter in Birmingham opened in September.
Choir with No Name
Pete from the choir sang at Brushstrokes. The choir is made up of people who are experiencing or affected by homelessness.
The Big Lunch
60 people attend the Big Lunch at Brushstrokes to bring and share food.
New Member of Staff
Blanka Steverson has joined the team as the new Outreach Support and Home Coordinator
8 volunteers from Brushstrokes were recognised for their hard work and dedication and received certificates at a Sandwell presentation