Bloxwich charity shop break-in leaves staff heartbroken

Thieves who broke into the St. Giles shop on Bloxwich High Street last week are estimated to have caused up to £7,000 in damages to the local charity.

The break-in occurred on Monday 5 February with thieves successfully stealing goods, while causing damage to the local store.

Images from inside the Bloxwich charity shop

Nicola Brannen-Mott, Head of Retail at St Giles Hospice, said: “We are heartbroken to face yet another break in, so soon after our Kingstanding shop was targeted in December.

“This has caused more heartache to our community, along with additional bills to pay for repairs – money which should be spent on supporting our patients and their loved ones.”

A JustGiving fundraiser is aiming to help recoup some of the losses >

Bloxwich Adventurers Heading To The Sahara Desert For Charity Mission

Two women from Bloxwich are taking on a monumental task in order to raise money for PAPYRUS, the national Charity for the Prevention of Young Suicide.

Laura Fellows and Natalie Kenn, who have both spent some time working at W Marshall & Son on Bloxwich High Street, will be heading to Morocco in October. Over the course of two days, the pair plan to walk the equivalent of two marathons (52.4 miles) across the Sahara Desert.

“We chose the charity because it’s a charity close to a lot of people, us included. Everyone can understand through their own experiences or others how mental health support and suicide prevention is vital,” Laura told Pioneer Magazines.

“Suicide is the biggest killer of under 35s in the UK and at our age – this is a lot of our friends and people we know. We know people who have taken their own lives and struggle with suicidal thoughts and this is for them.”

Laura and Natalie are hoping to raise £4,600 for PAPYRUS via their Just Giving Page. For updates on their Saharan challenge and to make a donation, visit –

Family Of Aldridge Knife Crime Victim Campaign For Amnesty Bins

The family of James Brindley, the 26-year-old Aldridge man who was stabbed on a night out in 2017, are campaigning for the instalment of knife amnesty bins across the borough.

Knife bin in Halesowen

Via the James Brindley Foundation, the #saferstreets campaign is hoping that money can be raised for 12 bins that allow people to ditch their knives anonymously.

Speaking with the BBC, James’s father Mark said:  “We believe that our streets are safer with knives in amnesty bins rather than in pockets.

“There is only one bin in Walsall at the moment, but there are many more locations where they are needed.”

“We still need donations to fund all of the bins because we want to get them out on the streets, saving lives as quickly as possible.”

James was stabbed to death on 23 June 2017 just 400 metres from his home by 17-year-old Ammar Kahrod, who is now serving at least 17 years for his murder.

The James Brindley Foundation was set up to increase awareness of knife crime and raise money to help reduce crime. If you would like to help, please visit The James Brindley Foundation for further information.

Litter Watch Supporting Men’s Mental Health With Gardening Sessions

Funded by Sandwell-based charity SCVO, Litter Watch has launched a brand-new project aimed at unemployed men.

Based at a West Bromwich allotment, the award-winning local charity is supporting men’s mental health and inviting anyone interested to de-stress in a friendly environment and learn more about gardening.

Sessions start on Tuesday 17 May, 2022 and you can book your place by calling 0121 557 6970 or by emailing

gardening litter watch

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Could You Support Walsall Outreach?

A Walsall voluntary organisation says it could help far more vulnerable people in the borough if it had more volunteers and supporters. Maz Surti, co-founder of Walsall Outreach, talks to Jayne Howarth about its work.

Volunteers making deliveries

A Walsall voluntary organisation is hoping to attract more sponsors and volunteers so it can expand its work throughout the borough.

Walsall Outreach, which was founded by Maz Surti and Nadeem Ashraf in 2016 to help vulnerable people in need, has grown into a respected and well-established organisation that has helped to feed hundreds of families – and its work has increased since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the past two years alone, it has delivered 10,000 food parcels to those who were unable to access food banks or who needed additional support, and also delivered hundreds of home-cooked meals and fish and chips.

Over three days at Christmas, its volunteers cooked and delivered more than 120 hot meals, gifts and food hampers to disadvantaged families, the vulnerable and elderly residents who live alone.

Every week it delivers hot Sunday lunches to 20 elderly people in the town, while on Fridays, fish and chips are delivered to about 40 families and individuals.

Now Maz is hoping more sponsors will come forward to help fund the much-needed meals for those in need – as well as volunteers who can help to deliver them.

“We know there is a growing demand for our weekly hot meals and we urgently want to be able to meet the increased need but to do so we really need businesses and individuals to support us by sponsoring the service and every pound really does go far,” she said.

“Our volunteer chefs are professional cooks who prepare the Sunday lunches every week and we’ve had incredible support from local people, as well as generous donations from the National Lottery, Walsall Council and Palfrey One Big Local.

“These have enabled us to continue providing meals to vulnerable residents, the elderly, refugees and anyone else who needs a meal, as well as organise fish and chips to be delivered every week. But we’d like to do more because we are being contacted about others who need our help.”

Maz said there are stringent systems in place to ensure recipients of food parcels and meals are entitled to receive help and that Walsall Outreach works regularly alongside other organisations, such as the Refugee and Migrant Centre, Walsall Council and Humanity First Walsall.

She said while there is a small band of dedicated volunteers who help to deliver meals, it would like to add more names to the rosters to cover for illness or absence.

“Walsall Outreach is a voluntary service that has actively been supporting the homeless, vulnerable and disadvantaged families in Walsall over the last six years,” explained Maz.

“Our volunteers have supported thousands of families pre pandemic and during it. We continue to support the elderly and vulnerable with our meal services and would like to work with business that can help us reach out to more people that need this service.

“Walsall is a town I grew up in and this service is something that means so much to me. There are so many people out there who are struggling silently; they don’t have any support nor do they have any contact with anyone for days maybe even weeks or months.

“Our service supports those that need help with a hot meal, a friendly chat, guidance and support but most importantly some much needed human interaction.”

If anyone is interested in finding out how to support Walsall Outreach, contact Maz on: You can also reach the organisation via Facebook.

St. Giles Hospice Summer Raffle Launches

Tickets for the St. Giles Hospice summer raffle are now available with proceeds helping to raise money for the local charity.

Each ticket costs just £1 and enables the hospice to continue their work in the community, providing vital care to local people and their families.

Prizes range from a top reward of £8,000 with a second prize of £2,000 and other cash prizes.

One woman delighted to be supporting St Giles and encouraging people to buy a raffle ticket is Sarah Bentley from Burntwood. The 49-year-old and her sister Becky Tolley have been helping to raise funds for the hospice after they helped care for their mum, who spent her final years being looked after by the St Giles team.

Sarah and Becky supporting fundraising after the hospice took care of their mum

Sarah said: “St Giles is such a fantastic, amazing place. Even though we all felt the sadness of parting from mum, we were in a place filled with love and happiness. I’d urge everyone to support St Giles. You never know when you or your family are going to need it.”

“We knew we were going to lose mum, but being at St Giles made it so much easier and more bearable,” Sarah said. “The staff really looked after us. My dad was struggling to accept that mum was dying but the staff spent so much time with him, making sure he was supported.

“Nothing prepared us for what St Giles was like. We didn’t really know what to expect but it just felt like such a safe haven.

“The staff were simply amazing. My mum’s first great-grandson was only a month old but they let us take him in and lay him on the bed with her. It was just priceless.”

Raffle tickets are available until 30th June online, or can be bought over the phone by calling the Lottery Office on: 01543 434020.

The draw will be made on 13 July 2022 and those who enter before 22 April will also be entered into a draw to win one of 20 M&S Gift Cards valued at £20.

Aldridge Home Lights Up For Xmas To Raise Money For Charity

If you want to see a fantastic Christmas lights display and help raise money for a local charity then look no further than Aldridge!

aldridge christmas lights

Every night from 6pm until 8.30pm until Christmas Eve, 70 Westbrook Avenue in Aldridge is lit up for the festive season.

Visitors are invited to attend and to make a contribution of £1 via a coin operated box to view the lights in the front garden, and £2 for adults/£1 per child to view the back garden., where you’ll find Santa, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and much more.

Proceeds raised will towards three fantastic charities: Acorns, The Thomas Project and Help Make Tummies Full.

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, there’s also a special visit from Santa!

Find out more by visiting the 70 Westbrook Avenue Charity Christmas Lights Facebook page.

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Shoebox Appeal Aims To Help Those In Need At Christmas

The Midland Langar Seva Society have kicked off their Christmas shoe appeal with the aim of collecting gifts for the homeless or those who are suffering hardship this winter.

The charitable organization, who are based on Bloxwich Road in Walsall, are appealing to local residents to gather a range of items, including toothpaste, socks and thermals, and soup and drinks.

A full list of items needed can be found on the poster below.

shoebox appeal

The donations can be dropped off at various points. Please contact the people on the poster to find out where to send your donations.

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Walsall Wombles Aim To Clean Up the Town With 250 New Litter Pickers

A community group working in partnership with Walsall Council aim to recruit 250 litter pickers to help clean up the town.

walsall wombles

The Walsall Wombles have already conducted some great work across the area, collecting 15,000 bags of litter already this year and hopes to increase its presence with a new crowdfunding initiative.

Money raised will enable the group to market the project to a wider audience, provide equipment to community members and recruit and train more volunteers.

As well as picking up litter across the town and at heritage sites such as the Sister Dora Gardens, the Walsall Wombles offers the opportunity for local residents to widen their social circles and meet with like-minded souls.

You can get in touch with them via the new Walsall Wombles Facebook page.

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Solstice Walk To Raise Funds For St. Giles Hospice

St. Giles Hospice has announced details of the Solstice Walk, a popular annual event that raises much needed funds for the Walsall charity.

Solstice Walk

Fundraisers Amy and Ellanor Foster prepare for Solstice Walk Your Way

The Solstice walk has been re-branded to “Solstice Walk Your Way” for 2021 with the event being a little different to previous years.

The idea is to raise funds for St. Giles Hospice by walking 5k, followed by a Solstice party to celebrate in your own garden.

Fundraisers are being asked to walk the 5k anyway they like, rather than being part of a large group, which in previous years walked around Lichfield for raise money. Then, to celebrate the achievement, throw a small solstice party with friends, family or people within your bubble.

When you sign up for the Solstice Walk, you get a fundraising pack of goodies, which includes:

  • 5K route maps
  • A lantern to light up at 8pm on 19 June
  • Body glitter and gel
  • Party bunting
  • Cake toppers

Further details can be found on the St. Giles website.

st giles hospice

Chloe Herbert, Head of Fundraising at St Giles Hospice, said: “Our Solstice Walk is our largest fundraising event of the year and always has a really magical atmosphere – and we’re hoping to bring some of that spirit back in 2021 now that people can get together in small groups outside.

“We hope that as many people as possible will get together in their ‘bubbles’ to take part and raise some much-needed funds for St Giles Hospice at a time when we have never needed our community more. A lot of people raising a small amount can make a huge difference to the care we’re able to provide in our community, and the Solstice Walk Your Way is a great way to support us with your family or friends.

“After the difficult year St Giles has faced, we need the Solstice Walk more than ever in 2021 and we’re thrilled to be bringing it back. Although we’d all love to get together again for our annual walk through Lichfield we feel that adapting the event is the most responsible thing to do this year in the interest of everyone’s safety and we’d love for hundreds of people from right across our catchment area to join together virtually for an extra-special Solstice Walk this year.

“People who sign up will receive a fabulous fundraising pack full of goodies to really get them in the Solstice Walk spirit. Shimmer on a 5k in your local area, sparkle at your own fundraising party, and shine for St Giles!”