Team on hunt for new foster parents this Easter

Team on hunt for new foster parents this Easter

The Fostering for Wolverhampton team is on the hunt for new foster parents this Easter.

The City of Wolverhampton Council’s fostering service is inviting people to find out more about this rewarding career, including the support and financial benefits on offer to people who foster.

The council’s Director of Children’s Services Alison Hinds said: “Fostering can truly be a life-changing experience, both for foster parents and the children and young people they care for.

“With currently over 200 fantastic fostering households, we are very lucky to have so many dedicated foster parents here in our city – but we have more children who need a foster home.

“We’ve love to hear from people who have both a spare room and, most importantly, love in their heart to offer the most vulnerable children and young people in our city a family home.

“I’d encourage anyone who is interested in becoming a foster parent to visit, follow Fostering for Wolverhampton on Facebook at fosteringforwolves or call the team on 01902 551133 to find out more about this life-changing opportunity.”

Meanwhile, children and their foster families came together for the annual Easter Egg-stravaganza last week.

Organised by the Fostering for Wolverhampton team, it took place at WV Active Bilston-Bert Williams and featured an Easter trail and an appearance by the Easter Bunny, the Wolves play café, face painting, a disco and a variety of sports and art activities.

More than 100 people attended the event, just one of the many social activities organised throughout the year for foster families who are part of Fostering for Wolverhampton.

Alison added: “It was a real pleasure that so many foster families were able to come together to celebrate Easter with the children and young people they care for. “This was one example of the many events we hold for our foster parents, who do such an excellent job of looking after children in care.”

Health monitors installed at libraries and community sites

Health monitors have been installed in a number of libraries, community facilities and leisure centres across Wolverhampton.

They give residents the chance to accurately measure their height, weight, BMI (body mass index), heart rate and blood pressure. No appointment is necessary and the checks are free, self-service and confidential, with results printed on a slip of paper for users to take away with them.

The health monitors are available at Central, Bilston, Warstones and Wednesfield libraries, the Bob Jones Community Hub, WV Active Aldersley, WV Active Central and WV Active Bilston Bert-Williams, and offer a valuable alternative to attending medical settings for low level and non-clinical interventions.

Staff at the various locations will not be able to provide clinical advice, but will be able to signpost residents to relevant information and advice.

Where appropriate, blood pressure monitors are also available to loan to enable people to monitor their blood pressure for free at home.

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Wellbeing, said: “We want to make it as easy as possible for our residents to take control of their own health and wellbeing, and this is one of the ways that we are giving them access to the tools they need to do just that.

“It is hoped these devices will encourage residents to prioritise getting their blood pressure checked, even if they have no apparent symptoms, as high blood pressure can lead to serious health issues like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and vascular dementia if left unchecked.”

Councillor Bhupinder Gakhal, Cabinet Member for Visitor City, added: “Our libraries, leisure centres and community facilities offer a wide range of services and facilities to residents, and we are delighted to have been able to expand it further with the introduction of these health monitors.

“They are free to use, and we hope they will prove popular with, and also useful to, customers.”

Showing off some of the health monitoring equipment available at Central Library are Councillor Bhupinder Gakhal, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Visitor City, Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, Cabinet Member for Adults and Wellbeing, and Robert Johnson, Head of Community Information.

Major £9.7million investment set to improve Wolverhampton’s road network

Major £9.7million investment set to improve Wolverhampton’s road network

Nearly £10million is set to be invested in extensive works to improve, maintain and repair Wolverhampton’s highways during the coming year.

Included in this cash boost is a dedicated fund of £500,000 which has been set aside to tackle potholes affecting the city’s roads.

This additional dedicated funding will support the city’s existing pothole budget and ensure repairs are carried out within the council’s set timeframes.

Potholes are a priority for the council to manage, and over the past year more than 6,800 have been repaired on routes across the city.

In total, during the past decade, more than 53,000 pothole repairs have been made in Wolverhampton, with 94% of potholes in the city dealt with within the set deadlines.

Other proposed highway improvements planned for 2024/25 include major maintenance and resurfacing schemes across the city, road safety and traffic management work, upgrading the council’s car park management system, street lighting improvements and the delivery of further Safer Routes to Schools programmes.

There will be improvements to ring road and city centre signage as well as structural reviews and works on a number of city bridges. In addition, there will be the completion of the council’s programme to convert older streetlights to LEDs to reduce carbon emissions. More than 24,550 streetlights have already been converted.

The council will carry out the work under the next phase of its Highway Capital Programme, which has a total budget of £9.7million. Funding for the programme has come through external grants and council resources.

Councillor Craig Collingswood, cabinet member for environment and climate change at City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “This is a major investment in our transport network and shows our commitment to providing a smooth and seamless journey through our city. We know that the condition and safety of our roads really matters to our residents, and it matters to us too. This is why we’re making the most of all available funding by ensuring this additional £500,000 helps to tackle potholes, a problem which affects roads both here in Wolverhampton and all across the country.

The planned improvements are pending approval and will be discussed at City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet meeting on Wednesday 20 March.

Time to nominate your Young Citizen of the Year

Time to nominate your Young Citizen of the Year

Nominations have opened for the 2024 Wolverhampton Young Citizen of the Year awards.

The awards, now in their 11th year, recognise the achievements of young people in the city who have gone that extra mile to help others.

Previous winners include youngsters who have raised funds for charity, supported other members of their community, and made a difference to the people around them.

The awards, which are run by the Rotary clubs of Wolverhampton, were launched in memory of Tom Warren, a former Rotarian and the city’s Education Director for a quarter of a century.

Vice chairman of the organising committee, former Wolves player Mel Eves, said: “The Young Citizen of the Year awards have gone from strength to strength over the years. Last year, we selected ten young people as finalists and invited them with their guests to an awards ceremony, with many others receiving a certificate of commendation for their efforts.

“This year, we look forward to seeing plenty more fantastic nominations.”

This year’s awards ambassador, Wolves Captain Max Kilman, said: “Young people who use their initiative and show kindness to others deserve to be recognised, so I am very pleased to support the awards.”

There are two age categories for the awards, 13-18 and 19-25. Anyone can nominate candidates, who must live or go to school or work in Wolverhampton.

This year’s awards are backed by, Collins Aerospace, the Wolves Foundation, the Express & Star, Wolverhampton City Council, Carvers Building Supplies, the James Beattie Charitable Trust, WCR fm and West Midlands Magazines.

A ceremony will take place later this year, to reveal the winners of these prestigious awards.

For more details and to make a nomination, visit:

Photo shows Wolves Captain Maximilian Kilman with previous winners Luis Enache, Imane Sbihi, Eva Abley and Ex-Wolves player, Mel Eves from the Young Citizen of the Year Committee

National recognition for primary school in Sandwell

National recognition for primary school in Sandwell

A primary school in Friar Park has been celebrating after gaining four accreditations in recognition of teaching standards and values.

During the last year, The Priory Primary on Dorsett Road, Wednesbury has been awarded The Artsmark Gold Award from Arts Council England, a Primary Geography Silver Quality Mark to teacher Jennifer Credland-Ballantyne, Enhanced Quality Mark as a Values-based School and the RE Quality Mark Gold for religious education. The Priory Primary is currently rated as ‘Good’ by Ofsted.

Councillor Simon Hackett, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education visited the school in recognition of the awards and to thank staff for their efforts and hard work. He said: “The Priory Primary is working hard to give children the best start in life and these national awards are recognition the staff really care about providing quality education. Well done to all involved.”

Headteacher at Priory Primary School, Phillip Butcher is very proud of the efforts made. He said: “Rather than resting on our laurels, it is practice here at The Priory that we proactively assess and validate the quality and impact of our curriculum through a variety of external quality assurance processes. These rigorous external evaluations serve as a testament to our dedication and validate our belief in the strength of our educational provision.

“Recent accolades and awards received underscore our relentless pursuit of excellence. The awards not only recognise the hard work and collaboration of our team but also confirm our own evaluation of our curriculum’s efficacy.

“External assessors have praised our school for its “innovative and forward-thinking approach” and applauded our efforts to engage students in meaningful learning experiences. Their feedback highlights our commitment to providing enrichment opportunities that extend beyond the traditional classroom.

“These awards serve as significant milestones, reflecting the dedication and passion of our entire educational community; including teachers, students, parents, and governors. However, we recognise that maintaining high standards requires ongoing dedication and effort.

“As we move forward, our commitment to excellence remains steadfast. We are determined to not only meet but exceed these high standards, ensuring that we continue to provide the very best education for our students. At The Priory School, we understand that standing still is not an option – only by pushing the boundaries of innovation and excellence can we truly progress.”

National recognition for primary school in Sandwell

Cancer awareness events to help residents spot signs and symptoms and get screened

A series of free community events are set to take place during February and March to help residents across Walsall increase their awareness of cancer, identify signs and symptoms and encourage screening.
The events will take place at Willenhall Chart Centre on Wednesday 21 February, Pelsall Community Centre on Wednesday 6 March and Bloxwich Active Living Centre on Friday 22 March, all from 10am to 2pm.
The events have been organised jointly by Public Health Walsall and the Black Country Integrated Care System (ICS). Each event will raise awareness of cancer screening and support services available, how residents can reduce their risk and create opportunities for anyone affected by cancer to meet others, as well as getting support from clinical specialists, local providers and experts.
Free health and diabetes checks will also be offered at these events.
Councillor Gary Flint, Portfolio Holder for Wellbeing, Leisure and Public Spaces at Walsall Council, said:
“All events are drop-in, and you will have the opportunity to talk to a range of NHS providers, independent organisations and charities about screening, how to spot signs and symptoms and prevent cancer, as well as getting support.
In addition to the community events, a double-decker cancer bus run by the Black Country ICB will make a stop in Walsall Town Centre on Wednesday 28 February from 9:30am to 4pm. Located on Park Street, the bus will offer information on cancer screening and general health and wellbeing advice to people in and around the town centre.
National recognition for primary school in Sandwell

New childcare recruits in city to be offered £1,000 sign-on bonuses

The City of Wolverhampton Council has been chosen to take part in a pilot scheme offering £1,000 tax-free payments for those starting childcare jobs.

The ‘Do Something Big’ recruitment campaign has been launched by the Department for Education.

As part of the campaign a trial initiative – covering 20 local authorities including Wolverhampton – will see new-starters and those returning to childcare roles given a cash bonus payment shortly after they take up post.

It aims to help ensure nurseries and early years providers have the staff required to offer more childcare places for parents.

The move comes ahead of April when eligible working parents of two-year-olds will get 15 funded hours on top of existing childcare provision –­­ ultimately putting more money in parents’ pockets at the end of the month.

The rollout is set to save working parents using the full 30-hour entitlements up to £6,500 a year.

Councillor Chris Burden, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “We welcome the opportunity to take part in this national pilot scheme.“The recruitment drive will help support our efforts to ensure nurseries and early years providers have the workers they need to be able to offer more childcare places for parents as provision is expanded.

“This will allow more parents to stay in work, supporting the local economy in the knowledge their children are receiving good childcare, laying the foundations for them to achieve their full potential.”

The campaign will look to boost recruitment across the sector by highlighting the array of childcare career routes and progression opportunities offering on-the-job training and flexible hours.

Wednesfield Magazine marks 10 years since first issue!

Wednesfield Magazine marks 10 years since first issue!

Dear Reader, well…we made it!

10 years ago, I had the daft idea to start a magazine and as I live in Wednesfield, I thought that would be the ideal place to start.

They said it wouldn’t work…They said there wouldn’t be enough content to fill a magazine every two months. Others said, give it a try and see what happens.

I did and we’re still here. And it’s all down to you, the readers, our hugely valuable advertisers and those who contribute…So thank you for being part of the adventure. Read more about this journey on page 16 of this issue.

The next issue will cover April and May and will be out on 29th March so if you want to be in it, please contact me by 8th March.

Simon Archer
West Midlands Magazines Ltd.

Council works to inspect and protect more than 250,000 city trees

Council works to inspect and protect more than 250,000 city trees

More than 250,000 trees across Wolverhampton have been carefully inspected and mapped to help protect the city’s green landscape for the future.

The far-reaching inspection programme has included all 258,295 trees that fall under the direct care of City of Wolverhampton Council.

It covers a diverse range of species that are located in streets, near public buildings, in cemeteries and at various parks and open spaces throughout the city.

The inspection programme, which has taken two years to complete, firstly involved identifying the exact number and location of the trees that fall under the care of the council.

Tree inspectors then assessed each tree to determine its specific management needs. Every tree has undergone a thorough health and safety review and any necessary maintenance has been identified and planned in accordance with the council’s Tree Risk Management policy.

The result is a comprehensive city-wide record which will help provide information about any tree under the council’s care.

In addition, the council has also launched an innovative interactive tree inspection map which allows both residents and stakeholders to access real-time information on tree locations and inspections.

Councillor Craig Collingswood, cabinet member for environment and climate change, said: “This is a huge achievement which has been made possible by the dedication of our arboriculture team alongside the development of a digital platform to manage the tree inspection programme and ongoing maintenance.

“Thanks to officers’ efforts in inspecting, cataloguing and tailoring strategies for each one of our 258,295 trees, we are ensuring both public safety and the wellbeing of the trees themselves.

“This comprehensive record and new interactive map will now be vital tools to help us with risk management, maintenance and expansion of our tree stock. This is important work that will benefit generations to come.

“Trees play a vital role in our commitment to tackle climate change. They capture carbon, provide a habitat for wildlife, reduce the effects of summer heat and offer a way to limit the risk of flooding.

“Not only are there huge environmental advantages, but there are health and wellbeing benefits too. Getting outside and creating and enjoying green spaces in our neighbourhoods can make a real difference to peoples’ physical and mental wellbeing.”

The council’s arboriculture team responds to more than 1,600 customer enquiries each year about trees.

These include queries about pruning, fallen and damaged trees, diseased and unhealthy trees and requests for planting.

For more information about the council’s tree service visit