2 March 2018

Donating: a few links

People are generous. No doubt about it. I help admin a few groups on Facebook and it is amazing to see how many times people ask where they can take donations of various items. I thought it might be helpful to put a page together with a few links and a little information. The information and the links are not intended to be comprehensive and I apologise for any omissions. I do not intend a slight to any organisation or charity. If you are reading this and feel you should be included too please post full details as a comment and I will update this post. Thank you.

To anyone who wants a home for their donations just click on the links!

Food and more.....
The foodbanks are always looking for donations. A go to page is The Black Country Foodbank. They have over 20 locations and there are three in Walsall and one in Aldridge. Current shortages can be found HERE and a full list of items that they would like to receive as donations HERE. Please note that they do accept a wide range of non-food donations. Just click the link for more information.
For Aldridge people THE THOMAS PROJECT is part of the Black Country Foodbank and donations can be taken directly to them.

The Thomas Project as well as accepting food donations also take donations of adults clothing, children's clothing and school uniform. Their Facebook page gives full details of their opening times.

The Glebe Centre in Walsall is part of the Black Country YMCA Group. The Glebe Centre is a multifunctional hub from where a variety of services are delivered that serve vulnerable adults in Walsall. They cater to help with homelessness, mental health problems, drugs and alcohol addictions and problems and also unemployment. They also accept donations of food including fresh in date food. The Glebe are also always grateful to receive donations of small sized adult clothing, toiletries, female sanitary products and also money! Oh and don't forget any unwanted make up. Their Facebook page can be found HERE.

Connected to The Glebe Centre in terms of raising cold hard cash for them is Hands to the Homeless a Facebook Group. They also accept donations that go to help any people in need in the area. They will take donations of furniture. It's always best to contact one of the Admins first to arrange delivery especially for large items. It also gives them chance to arrange a suitable home for larger donations.

Perhaps you fancy donating a pizza or fish and chip supper to some youngsters that have found themselves homeless and are now living in supported accommodation? If so, then the YMCA Sutton Coldfield is the place to go.

Toy donation can be a bit of a problem now due to health and safety concerns, which is understandable. Your best bet is to donate toys and games to one of your local charity shops.

The Pathway Project in Lichfield provide invaluable services meeting the needs of adult, young people and children affected by domestic abuse. They take a vast array of different types of donations, a list of which can be found HERE. Their Facebook Page is here.

Finally, as I write this there is a blizzard raging outside and temperatures have been sub zero for a week. Many people are having to make decisions as to whether to eat or heat. Some people are homeless. Donations to the foodbanks and homeless charities will be most welcome at this time. Here are few details of people who help people week in week out and are successful because of their volunteers.

Walsall Night Shelter is now open for another month. Donations for them can be made through The Glebe Centre. 
As -Suffa Outreach provide assistance to the vulnerable irrespective  of race or religion. They provide hot meals week in week out to those who need them. Their Facebook page is HERE where you can find details of how to donate and they also have an Amazon Wishlist.
Walsall BME Welfare & Advice Centre (WBWAC) provides a dedicated service to individuals from disadvantaged communities which include Black Minority Ethnic groups, new migrants, homeless and vulnerable individuals living in Walsall and surroundings. They run a community kitchen for the homeless and those in need. Their Facebook page is HERE

I hope this proves useful to anyone looking for somewhere to donate items. My only plea is please make sure your donations are in a good usable condition and are clean. Thank you

1 March 2018

Labouring at The Manor House

It's been a while since I last blogged about Aldridge Manor House but last night I noticed something in Walsall Council's planned and now agreed capital expenditure programme for 2018/19 that fair blew my breath away!

As many of you know following the closure of the much loved youth club, the Manor lay empty for a little while and is currently occupied by residential tenants keeping it safe from vandalism.

It appears however that Labour led Walsall Council has some big plans for the Manor and the land that surrounds it and are to make a whopping investment in the building and therefore Aldridge.

The detail I happened upon lies on pages 7, 54 and 74 in this LINK. Basically in the budget passed by full council last night, £4,766,000 has been earmarked for capital expenditure during 2018/19 and a further £83,000 in 2019/20 for "Aldridge Manor House – development into a commercial opportunity for the Council to fund and own, and one that will create a rental income stream for the Council in addition to the generation of business rates and council tax". This will be funded by the Council borrowing £4.77 million in 2018/19 and £0.08 million in 2019/20.

The figures are mind boggling and so I attempted to gain some clarification on Facebook last night. Unfortunately, fine details of the proposal are commercially sensitive however, Councillor Lee Jeavons, Portfolio Holder for  Regeneration did kindly answer my queries and he had this to say:

"The development is a mixed use development which would be a great addition to Aldridge. There will hopefully be a Quality retailer, living space and a restaurant type development. The investment involves some land assembly but will provide us with rent, business rates and council tax and bring back into use a grade 2 listing hopefully in a sympathetic way, that adds to Aldridge and benefits the borough as a whole"

He added:

"The outline of this project is available in cabinet papers but the fine detail on finances is subject to private session and I cannot comment on that. Planners have been involved on pre-app advice and I believe that this scheme is an addition to Aldridge."

I have tried to find the appropriate papers on the Council's web site but have been unable to locate any further information.

I have to admit I have some reservations about how the land surrounding the Manor House will be developed however, I am positive that any restoration of the actual House, will be sensitive due to its Grade II listed status. Hopefully, all will become clear as more information and plans are published. I also admit that although I may be a little skeptical until more information is known, I am also impressed that a Labour led Walsall Council is making these plans and investing in Aldridge. 

I suppose this is a similar type of scheme that the Labour led Council came up with for the Saddlers Centre in Walsall. I just wish more information about what is planned was available in order that the incessant rumour mill that surrounds The Manor House would cease. Watch this space!