Carpet Cleaners Support St Giles

Knight & Doyle at St Giles Hospice
(L-R) Knight & Doyle Partners Steve Winkles and Richard Doyle with St Giles Head of Fundraising Chloe Herbert

Aldridge based Knight & Doyle Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning has teamed up with St Giles Hospice to help fund its vital care services for local families.

Knight & Doyle are now corporate supporters of St Giles pledging to donate more than £2,500 to the hospice each year.

The business is also offering St Giles Hospice lottery players a 10% discount through the charity’s Promise Card scheme.

Knight & Doyle, which offers residential and commercial carpet cleaning services across Lichfield, Aldridge and Walsall has  rebranded its vans to promote their support of St Giles and will feature its logo in marketing materials to further raise awareness of the hospice.

Rich Doyle, partner in Knight & Doyle, said: “We wanted to support a local charity and when we looked at St Giles Hospice and the work that it does, we knew we had found the right cause. When we heard about the support patients get in the community and bereavement services on offer to patients’ families, we realised that St Giles is not just a place where people go to die – it’s so much more than that. By helping a vital local charity like St Giles, we can give a little back to support local people.”

Chloe Herbert, Head of Fundraising at St Giles, said “In a tough year which has been so hard for everyone, it’s absolutely wonderful to receive this support from Knight & Doyle, businesses and charities alike have been challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic so their generosity is particularly welcome and inspiring right now, and our message to all of our supporters is that we’ve never needed you more than we need you today.”


The Five Best Hidden Walks In The Local Area

Walsall Magazine
Holly Wood Nature Reserve, Great Barr

The Five Best Hidden Walks in the local area by SMALLHOUSEBIGTRIPS

Correction: This article was updated on 29 March, 2021 to clarify that much of the area of Great Barr Hall is privately-owned and cannot be accessed by the public.

As the New Year kicks in, resolutions for a healthier year begin. How about burning off your Christmas treats and starting 2021 walking around some fabulous local, hidden gems.

We at SmallHouseBigTrips have you covered with some of our personal favourites. But sshhh – remember, it’s a secret!

Great Barr Hall, Sutton’s Drive, B43 7BA

A hidden gem that even we didn’t know about until lockdown in March 2020. Much of the grounds of the Great Barr Hall estate is privately-owned with no public right of way. However, Sutton Drive and the land situated to the East of Sutton Drive are beautiful, public open spaces.

Holly Wood Nature Reserve, Whitecrest, B43 6EA

Enter the nature reserve through a magical gate where you will be greeted with 5 hectares of mixed broadleaf woodland and wet meadow. Trees to climb, a stream to paddle in and the largest blanket of bluebells in spring.

Park Lime Pits Nature Reserve, Rushall, WS4 2HH

A former limestone quarry in the woods, this woodland walk has a rope swing over one of the two clear pools, horses, walking trails and plenty of streams for little ones to paddle in.

For nature lovers, there are over 300 species of plants and it is the home to over 100 species of birds.

Cuckoo’s Nook and The Dingle, Walsall, WS9 0PQ

Cuckoo’s Nook is an ancient woodland over 400 years old full of acidic loving trees like holly, oak, birch and alder, winding picturesque paths and a sea of bluebells during spring. Step into The Dingle part of the walk and you enter an area surrounded by hawthorn, ash, beech and elder trees.

It is the perfect place to learn about geology as you enjoy your walk,through the woodland flowers, by the babbling Longwood Brook running next to the path.

There’s a rope swing and little bridges for children and keep your eyes out for the wishing tree which is decorated beautifully throughout the year. Recently it had Christmas lights, tinsel and other decorations.

Sot’s Hole Nature Reserve, B71 4DE

A fabulous circular route starting at Sot’s Hole Nature Reserve, walking through the ancient woodland, looking at wooden statues and various species of plants, leading through to Sandwell Valley Farm seeing cows and horses, before following the path all the way round back to the car. Fields, woodland and kissing gates. Make for some perfect exploring.

If you would like to follow our adventures, you can find us on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter

Are You A Resident Of Walsall In Need Of Support?

Walsall Community MagazineWould you like someone to talk to?

Making Connections Walsall is a friendly service for people in Walsall that aims to address loneliness and social isolation and other issues that you may be facing.

How does it work?

There are lots of groups, organisations and clubs in Walsall which can support the health and well-being of local people. However, people often don’t know about them. Referrals are processed by the West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) who will connect you to your local hub organisation.

The social connector will contact you and they will discuss with you the types of activities you enjoy and will help you identify not only activities, but projects and services available in your community to support you.

Who is eligible?

– Residents of all ages within Walsall
– Those that are experiencing hardship, loneliness and isolation.
– Families, individuals and older people
– This service is about helping and supporting people to overcome the barriers that are affecting them, providing a listening ear and a helping hand

To discuss or make a referral, please contact: 0121 380 6690

You will be contacted by your local hub within 3 working days. A telephone assessment of your needs will be done, or a face to face assessment if Covid guidelines allow. For more information visit:

Tackling Loneliness Locally

Aldridge MagazineTackling lonliness locally is difficult in a normal year. The onset of winter, dark evenings and Christmas are when many people, especially the elderly, feel loneliness and isolation most acutely. Before the Covid pandemic research was already showing that loneliness and isolation was on the rise.  Now as we enter another national lockdown the impact on the health and well-being of the elderly is incalculable.

Tackling Lonliness Locally

In September 2018 Age UK published their report on Loneliness in Later Life. Follow this link to access the report

Two of the main findings were firstly, there will be a predicted 49% increase in the number of over 50s suffering from loneliness by 2025/2026. Mostly because people are living longer.  Secondly, the research found the risk of being ‘often lonely’ is much higher among people who are widowed, do not have someone to open up to, or are in poor health.

A couple of years ago Walsall Council held a meeting for local residents. The over-reliance on the internet as a source of information was identified as an issue.  At The Pioneer and Great Barr Gazette we agree. If you are not on the internet or IT savvy, this can lead to feeling isolated and cut off from the rest of the world. Yes, we do have our website, but we are passionate about our printed community magazines. We know our magazines provide a life-line of information for many of the elderly residents of Aldridge, Walsall and across our area.

Covid-19 has made 2020 a horrible year.  The cancellation of clubs and events. The day care services provided by organisations such as the Stan Ball Centre in Bloxwich, disrupted. Many of which have only just re-opened, has been a grave cause for concern. People, especially the elderly and those caring for others, rely on these activities for companionship and support.

Help Is At Hand

We believe it is our mission to inform and involve everyone of all ages, but especially the elderly, in what is going on in our local community. Throughout the Covid pandemic we have published articles on many local support groups. Such as Linking Lives Aldridge and Making Connections Walsall and how they have adapted to deliver their services either on the phone or in Covid-safe ways. We’ve also promoted community groups such as the Anvil Chorus in Great Barr and The Aldridge Shed to name but two.

The Community Support organisations in our local area have been outstanding in reaching out the vulnerable and elderly. Here are a few organisations you can contact for help. You can always phone us on 01922 660022 and we will signpost you to someone who can help you.

Linking Lives Aldridge – a befriending service offering friendship and support across Aldridge. Email or call 07307 865973

Making Connections Walsall – aiming to address loneliness and social isolation and other issues you may be facing. To discuss or make a referral ring 0121 380 6690

The Stan Ball Centre – a community centre for older and vulnerable adults operated by the local charity Bloxwich Community Partnership. Call 01922 403351

The Aldridge Shed – a UK initiative for people from all walks of life to come together to pursue their interests and hobbies. or contact Barrie on 07985 188256

If you are feeling lonely please do not suffer in silence, reach out to any of the organisations above and the many others in our area, some are listed on our Communities Directory.  And to all local residents look out for each other and especially the elderly at this challenging time.

Yours locally

Editor Great Barr Gazette

Brother And Sister Stream Concerts To Entertain Care Homes Residents

Streetly Advertising Magazine
Priya and Arun

Walsall siblings Arun and Priya Saini have spent the spring and summer entertaining elderly and vulnerable people living in care homes by staging online concerts.

The duo, from Streetly, have picked up their violins and streamed dozens of recitals to keep care home residents entertained while they were in lockdown, unable to receive visits from their own family and friends.

The idea came after their mother Jyoti, a clinical pharmacist, had to visit homes as part of swabbing teams at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Everyone was in full PPE, which is disconcerting for residents when they can’t see anyone’s faces,” she said. “When I suggested playing for them online, the children were keen to do it and I contacted care homes to see if they were interested.”

The duo – Arun, aged 13, a student at Hydesville Tower School, and 10-year-old Priya, who attends Mayfield School – have played short concerts on Zoom, Skype and Whatsapp to residents as far away as Sunderland.

“Residents have been isolated for so long that we felt it was really important to do something to lift their spirits,” said Jyoti. “It’s not only ensured the children do their violin practise, but also helped elderly people enjoy something a little different, as well as support the hard working carers who look after them whilst sometimes being away from their families.”

They are also raising money for The Care Workers’ Charity and have already raised £645. To help them raise more, visit

Park Hall Area Neighbourhood Watch

Neighbourhood Watch Park HallThe last 3 months have been a challenge for us all, but our community certainly rose to the challenge!  The generosity, kindness and good will of people has been overwhelming and so many have given their time in volunteering to help the vulnerable in our area through the COVID-19 Support Group.

There has also been a great sense of community and friendship from VE day street parties to gathering on Thursday night to applaud our NHS and carers – all socially distanced of course!  We miss the Thursday night ‘clap for carers’ but the friendships made through this, and other activities, we hope will continue for a long time to come.  And, some good news – the police have given the go ahead for Street Watch to resume so the patrols have restarted.  Look out for the yellow jackets!

Why be part of Neighbourhood Watch?

People join Neighbourhood Watch for many different reasons, whether it is to improve safety around their home or to become part of a group and meet new people.  It is widely regarded that being part of Neighbourhood Watch can:

  • Reduce / prevent local crime and disorder
  • Reduce fear of crime
  • Address issues relating to antisocial behaviour
  • Create safer neighbourhoods
  • Build community spirit and cohesion
  • Reassure members of the public
  • Enhance partnership working with other community groups
  • Assist in the detection and apprehension of criminals through members providing information to the police
  • Improve quality of life and the local environment

Perry Barr Trefoil Guild Rallies The Troops

Perry Barr Local Magazine
Member Beryl Bailey with some of the baby hats for City Hospital

Like other organisations and clubs, Perry Barr Trefoil Guild has been in lockdown since the middle of March.  Although they have not been able to meet, they have certainly been very busy.  Not many days in, they were asked to ‘rally the troops’ as an urgent call came for laundry bags for nurses.  Over 300 have been sewn, washed and delivered to Queen Elizabeth, Sandwell, City Coronary Care, Russells Hall, Good Hope, George Elliott, New Cross and the Women’s Hospitals – some even went as far as Scotland. Mask extenders were also made and sent to hospitals with some of these reaching as far as Canada.

The ladies have also been busy knitting and displaying NHS Rainbows, snowmen for a charity, twiddle muffs for Alzheimer patients, hundreds of baby hats for City Hospital Premature Baby Unit and finally, jumpers and jackets for a children’s charity.

Shopping Bags, lunch bags, bead bags have also been sewn, along with reflection for many, sewing ‘Fleeting Moments’ birds to celebrate John Taylor Hospice 110 years.

And the ladies’ skills don’t stop there. Seeds, plants and vegetables are being grown in many gardens whilst others are just enjoying the lovely sunshine and being out-of-doors.

“This is just a small contribution Perry Barr Trefoil Guild has made during these past few weeks and has been linked into our STARS Trefoil Challenge, with many near completion of their 25 clauses,” said Chairperson Wendy Brown.  “But, most of all, the Guiding spirit has shone through all of our 31 members, albeit helping others, or themselves, and always supporting each other.”

The Dads In Charge Of Lockdown Lessons

Walsall Community
Rob, Isabel & Toby Pearson Get To Grips With A Construction Project

Philosopher George Santayana once remarked that ‘a child only educated in school is an uneducated child.’

With lockdown removing most children from the classrooms, home schooling has been the ‘new normal’ for many.

“Opportunities to learn surround us in everything we do – it doesn’t just happen in school,” explained Head Teacher Helen Wright.

“Give a child your time and attention and they will learn and remember more than they will ever in the classroom.”

Parents across the country have risen to the challenge and we catch up with a couple of local dads in charge of lockdown lessons.

Rob Pearson swapped his day-to-day job as a building maintenance systems engineer for teacher when schools closed down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
His daughter Isabel, who attends Park Hall Infants Academy, enjoyed daily lessons from dad, while his school teacher wife Cassie continued her day job.

As well as the 3 Rs, Rob and Isabel enjoyed regular nature lessons – signing up for a five-week bird-watching survey with the British Ornithological Trust (BTO) and planting flowers and tracking them as they grew.

There was also plenty of play-style learning to help keep Isabel’s three-year-old brother Toby occupied, too.

The pièce de resistance for Rob was the science lessons – making different paper aeroplanes and measuring how far they fly, and building a wind turbine out of tin cans.

“I’ve been wanting to make one for a couple of years and as we had the chance to do it, we made it one of our projects,” said Rob, who was placed on furlough in April.

“Isabel helped where she could, with the gluing, looking at the instructions, and holding the pole in place, but I did the cutting and twisting the blades because the edges were sharp. It’s still in the garden now and looks great. I’ve enjoyed doing it for the past few weeks.”

It was DIY and science that Stuart Webb’s children enjoyed when he supervised their lockdown lessons.

The Aldridge dad of two, who works as a service manager for Walsall Council’s leisure services department, worked throughout the lockdown period, but was able to do the lessons when he took annual leave.

Martha, aged eight and in year four at Cooper & Jordan School, and her brother Henry, who is 11 and in year six at the school, have spent most of their time being supervised by their mother Kelly, who works at Bloxwich Leisure Centre as swimming instructor and receptionist.

But Stuart, who admitted he felt guilty about not being able to dedicate the same time to doing lessons with his children because of working, he ensured he did his bit on his days off.

His favourite project? A challenge from the school to create something from marbles – with his children, they collected old timber from the garage and other bits and bobs to make a pinball machine, which worked brilliantly, he said.

“We came up with the idea and they both did the sawing, drilling and hammering to make it – the kids absolutely loved it,” he said.
In fact, Martha enjoyed woodwork so much she enlisted Stuart to help her make a birdhouse from offcuts of wood.

Stuart also enjoyed a wind power science experiment that the children were asked to do at home, with cardboard, string and a hairdryer.

“We’ve also been on plenty of walks and bike rides, while Henry has been able to practise some cricket as the nets opened at Aldridge Cricket Club,” he added.

July Editions Now Available

Advertise Walsall MagazineOur July editions of The Pioneer Magazines and Great Barr Gazette are hot off the press and will be dropping through your letterboxes in the next few days. But, if you don’t receive a copy of our printed magazines or you just can’t wait to see what’s inside, follow the link to your favourite edition and read it online!

The Pioneer Magazine Walsall EditionThe Pioneer Magazine Villages Edition covering Aldridge, Clayhanger, Pelsall, Stonnall, Streetly, Walsall Wood and Great Barr Gazette

These issues are positively brimming with local stories about local people including students at Ormiston Shelfield Community Academy, dads doing home schooling and the amazing work of our NHS Workers, Key Workers and volunteers who have made such a difference during the pandemic.

As always, we are extremely grateful to our Advertisers who even through this terribly difficult time have continued to advertise with us, ensuring that we were able to put our magazines together which we know are eagerly awaited by our readers.

Stay safe.

Local Lockdown Guide To Businesses That Are Open

Walsall Community AdvertiseAll of the businesses on this list are open and working to serve and support our local community.

All businesses are working to current social distancing regulations.

Check back regularly as we will be constantly updating this list.

Food & Drink 
MUM’S KITCHEN Freshly prepared Indian food delivered to your door 0121 769 0869



Butchers & greengrocers. Freshly dug potatoes. Eggs 0121 360 1079
H. & JODIE’S NISA LOCAL, SHELFIELD Telephone ordering available for groceries. Collection or delivery available for local postcodes. Please do not abuse this service; it is meant for those self-isolating or those who cannot get out and it is staffed by volunteers
ORCHARD HILLS BAKERY Bread, sourdough, cakes & pastries 07762 939841
WATER FILTER GUY RO drinking water purification for home on tap 07850 789898
SNAPPY SHOPPER Online order & same day delivery service for homes within 3 miles of WS4 1AT. Download the App from the App store or Playstore or order via the website
STEAK RATTLE & ROLL Delicious steaks and big breakfasts available for collection or delivery 01922 692569
Health & Wellbeing
SMILECRAFTERS Emergency denture repairs by appointment only 01543 448992




Mobility & living aids. Rise recliner chairs/beads & stairlifts. 01922 628222
AFFORDABLE SPECS Open for emergency appointments. Emergency frames repair. We also carry some single-vision lenses 0121 448 6066


Emergency appointments & phone advice including bleeding or weeping. The most common reasons this would occur would be in-growing toenails or in more serious cases diabetic foot ulceration. 07412 372010


ESSINGTON MOBILITY Mobility & healthcare needs. Open for sales & service. 01922 232423
TRUE SELF HYPNOTHERAPY Helping with fears, phobias, stress, anxiety & habit breaking. Working online & by phone 07872 580238


Available for diabetics & acute pain 01922 628952
CARING HANDS Homecare Providers specialising in personal care, companionship, meal preparation, light housekeeping, respite cover 01922 453335
COLIN LEE OPTICIANS Eye emergencies. Emergency repair/replacement of spectacles. Contact lens orders. 01922 454151 (Aldridge)

0121 357 7890 (Great Barr)

THE VILLAGE WELLBEING COMPANY Shopping/prescription collections, wellbeing checks, laundry 01922 429258

07983 526609

EMPOWERMENT LIFE COACHING Stressed or anxious? We are here to help, working online or by phone. 0121 792 8279
NORTON PODIATRY Clinic & home visits available. Urgent cases and anyone in pain 01922 649779
PARMELEE Repair/replacement of spectacles


01922 457421
Community Life & Leisure



High quality pet food delivered 07378 319846
WILLOW VIEW PET CREMATORIUM Open as normal adhering to current social guidelines


07545 818068
Family & Children 



Online Maths & English tutoring for Primary & Secondary students 01922 288288
NU-GEN ULTRASOUND SCANNING STUDIO See your baby in 3D or 4D using the latest iLive technology


01543 379038
House & Home 
1st GLASS INSTALLATIONS LTD Emergency repairs for windows/doors including cracked glass, broken handles/hinges, window/door locks, leaks 01922 452416
ALDRIDGE PAINTING & DECORATING Exterior & interior painting & decorating 07921 871361
A & D ELECTRICAL SOLUTIONS Full/part rewires, fault-finding, fuse boards, smoke alarms, burglar alarms 07453 322065
CITY PLUMBING SUPPLIES Plumbing & heating supplies. Offering a click & collect service 01922 456390
DOWEN’S DECORATING Interior painting & decorating 07504 407416


Boiler installations 01922 685682


Roofing repairs & renovations 07528 263880
VESTASPACE Bedroom storage solutions. Open for design consultations and working remotely. 01922 324050


Emergency plumbing services 01922 691320
MIDDLEBROOK ROOFING Roofing, fascias, soffits & guttering 01543 820346
PELSALL WINDOWS & GLASS Window & door repairs & replacements 0800 488 0703
SWIFT BATHROOMS Open for consultation and queries 01922 443195
WEST MIDLANDS GARAGE DOORS Windows, doors, garage doors, security upgrades 01922 300460
ATEASE UPHOLSTERY Open for enquiries


0121 326 7046

07305 430443

P. WORLEY ROOFING & PROPERTY REPAIRS All aspects of roofing 01922 634876
MOUNTFORD BUILDERS Extensions, new-builds, design & planning 01922 632723
MSB PLASTERING All aspects of plastering 01922 633961
S. MILES ELECTRICAL LTD Emergency electrical work 01922 263202
RAPID INSTALLATIONS Aerial & CCTV installation 01922 693047
NV ROOFING All aspects of roofing, fascias & guttering 07815 294245
PLASTER TECH Plastering, rendering & skimming 07803 570247
HUSSELBEE ELECTRICS Emergency electrical installation & maintenance 0121 353 4499
RKC PAINTING & DECORATING Exterior & interior painting/decorating 01543 274995
OCEAN INTERIORS Bathroom, wet room & kitchen specialist. Open for quotations by email- this will include 3d drawings and estimates 01543 370259
PORTLAND PAINTING & DECORATING Interior & exterior painting & decorating. Domestic & commercial 07811 400669
M & I DOMESTIC APPLIANCES Emergency call-outs for washing machines, fridge/freezers, cookers 07807 094375
FIRST CHOICE PLUMBING & HEATING All aspects of plumbing/heating including emergencies 0121 369 9821
EDWARD HAYNES BUILDING & ROOFING Building & roofing work 07884 327792
PVCU DIRECT LTD Open for enquiries & bookings 01922 744306
BOILERMATE Boiler servicing/replacements/repair 07595 637050
Gardening & Outdoors
AS CLEANING SOLUTIONS External pressure and soft wash cleaning 01922 518443
GUTTERGO Complete guttering service including repairs, replacements & cleaning 07887 705012
APPLECROSS GARDENS Tree surgery & hedge work. Stump grinding 01922 421881
AS TREE SURGERY Garden & grounds maintenance. Tree work 07583 071071
BEACON FARM FORESTRY All aspects of hedge & tree work 07967 006636
BOB JONES LANDSCAPE GARDENER Complete professional hard & soft landscaping service. Open for enquiries. 01922 453283


24 hr emergency drain service 07764 411733
MD GARAGE DOORS Open for emergencies 01922 693702
MD LANDSCAPING All aspects of garden landscaping 07580 000046
TOM MILES TREE & GARDEN SERVICES Garden work & maintenance 07872 833504


Garden Landscaping/fencing/turf laid/garden buildings 07795 697913
RM LANDSCAPE & TREE SERVICES Hard landscaping, tree work, garden maintenance 01922 712440
SPOT ON GARDENING & PROPERTY MAINTENANCE Garden/property maintenance including fencing, pressure cleaning/rubbish removal 07891 582180
ADVANCE PAVING Driveways, block paving, patios, disability ramps 07957 743937
WM WHEAT & SON FLORIST & GARDEN CENTRE Telephone order service available for plants, gardening equipment & products. Online ordering service available for plants. Contactless delivery available for local postcodes 0121 353 7123

Business, Legal & Motoring
ASSURED ACCOUNTING Complete accounting & taxation service 07947 052515
ASHCROFT MEMORIALS Open as normal via email and telephone, for all memorial services 01543 454429

CARPENTER CARNELL FINANCIAL SERVICES Contact us to discuss wills, LPAs, personal trust information 07411 381809
EXPRESS WILLS & TRUSTS LTD Open for business.  LPAs, wills, care home costs, executor services 0121 238 0181

07956 220926

FOSTER & CO ACCOUNTANTS Accountancy, book keeping, VAT & management accounts 01922 457201
ORCHARD ART & DESIGN Photo retouching, business stationery, advertisements 01922 632447
FOUR OAKS FINANCIAL SERVICES Financial advice including pensions, long term care, mortgages, inheritance tax planning 0121 323 2070
JENNINGS PERKS SOLICITORS Open for contact via phone/email 01922 459000


PPE 01922 457421
PARTRIDGE ALLEN SOLICITORS Open for queries via phone/email 01922 452860
RJB COMPUTERS LTD Phone queries welcome 01922 455077


WALSALL UNISON Campaigning for better working conditions and pay. Office closed but contact via email