Getting Ahead Primary Skills Day, Bob Jones Community Hub

Getting Ahead Skills Day at Bob Jones Community Hub, January 14th 2019

Today is the first of two Skills Days for groups of Year 6 students participating in HeadStart’s targeted Getting Ahead programme.

This day, taking place at Bob Jones Community Hub, is designed to build the practical, teamworking and problem-solving skills of the young people. The students move around the challenges on a rotational basis, offering each of them the chance to learn new skills and have fun while also learning that failure is a necessary part of developing resilience and making progress!

The skills are:

  • DIY skills: building a set of flat-pack shelves

  • A bead sequencing problem-solving challenge

  • A First Aid workshop

  • A sewing workshop

  • A Virtual Reality challenge


Here’s a glimpse of what the young people have been up to!


The Getting Ahead programme includes a range of residential and other activities spread through the academic year, and brings together selected groups of young people from different HeadStart Wolverhampton schools.

The programme is facilitated and led by HeadStart partner EngagEDU (@EngageduOnline).

Last chance! Visit Gazebo's 'Winter Wonderland' at Bilston Town Hall on Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week!

Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week are your last chance to visit Gazebo Theatre’s fantastic ‘A Winter Wonderland’ at Bilston Town Hall.

This free festive experience for all of the family is open on the following days and times:

  • Thursday 20th December from 12pm until 3pm

  • Friday 21st December from 12pm until 3pm

  • Saturday 22nd December from 11am until 4pm

The Winter Wonderland was imagined, planned and created by HeadStart’s fantastic Mini Ambassadors, aged 10-14, in Bilston East, in collaboration with the team at Gazebo Theatre.

Here’s a glimpse of the sparkly delights that lie in wait for lucky visitors. Don’t miss out!

Great news! Low Hill Community Centre becomes Wolverhampton’s first Healthy Living Hub

WV10’s Got Talent at Low Hill Community Centre

WV10’s Got Talent at Low Hill Community Centre

Great news from one of our HeadStart Community bases at Low Hill; the Community Centre has become Wolverhampton’s first Healthy Living Hub.

HeadStart is working closely with the team at the centre to raise awareness of good emotional health and wellbeing and to ensure that healthy living messages incorporate the importance good mental health too.

Our mini Ambassadors from nearby Moreton School have also been working closely with the centre, including on the recent talent shows - see here for more.

Congratulations to the team at Low Hill Community Centre on this great news.

Press release below taken from City Of Wolverhampton Council

Read the full press release here (released 3rd December 2018)


A community centre has celebrated its 80th anniversary by becoming Wolverhampton's first Healthy Living Hub.

Low Hill Community Centre marked its milestone with a tea party recently, during which the Mayor of Wolverhampton Councillor Phil Page unveiled a plaque officially declaring it a Healthy Living Hub.

It means visitors to the community centre can now receive a wealth of health and wellbeing advice and services, with health champions on hand to show people how to access online support, for instance to help stop smoking or reduce their alcohol consumption, and refer them to appropriate health services such as their GP for an NHS Health Check or community pharmacy for advice on medication or minor ailments.

The Healthy Living Hub also has a dedicated health promotion zone, while the community centre itself offers a wide range of services which support health and wellbeing in some way, including a gym, health and fitness sessions, martial arts and activities for families and young people such as cooking sessions, art and crafts and dance and drama.

Councillor Hazel Malcolm, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "The Healthy Living Hub model enables communities to get involved and help bring about better health outcomes for local residents.

"The initiative at Low Hill is building on the fantastic work already undertaken by the community centre which, for the last 80 years, has provided a focal point for the people of Low Hill, The Scotlands and Bushbury."

Lina Martino, Consultant in Public Health with the City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “The volunteers at Low Hill Community Centre should be extremely proud of their achievements in becoming the city’s first Healthy Living Hub.


"They have demonstrated fantastic leadership in bringing together a range of local organisations to look at ways to support people to improve their health and wellbeing. Their health champions are able to engage with people that may not have frequent contact with health professionals and let them know about what support is available to them in the community.

"It was very fitting to be able to mark their accomplishment at their 80th anniversary celebrations and we congratulate them for their outstanding efforts.”

Tony Blakeway, manager of Low Hill Community Association, said: "It is great that the community centre has come so far over the years and that is down to the dedication of our volunteers who strive to make our community stronger and better.

"We were delighted to host this event to celebrate our history and to recognise our contribution to improving health and wellbeing of local people in line with what people want and need."

The drive to become a Healthy Living Hub came about thanks to a collaboration between a range of partners, including the community association, pharmacies, local volunteers and the Public Health Team at the City of Wolverhampton Council.

It saw members of the community association teamed up with volunteers from Low Hill Nursery to undertake accredited training through Adult Education Wolverhampton to become qualified health champions.

Community organisations interested in finding out more about becoming a Healthy Living Hub are asked to contact Riva Eardley, Pharmacy Support Officer at the City of Wolverhampton Council, by emailing or calling 01902 554208.

Read the full press release here (released 3rd December 2018)

Exploring how religious faith and communities can support mental health and wellbeing: the Interfaith Wolverhampton Conference 2018

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On Saturday, HeadStart was delighted to support the Interfaith Wolverhampton Mental Health Conference, with its theme of ‘Perceptions of Mental Health from Different Faiths’.

The conference took place at The Royal School, Wolverhampton, and featured a range of guest speakers from different faith backgrounds, speaking on their understanding of mental health and mental health issues in their faiths, and how faith communities can support local people.

Common themes from the speakers included:

  • the need for faiths to be inclusive, and to recognise and celebrate the individuality of believers

  • the importance of faith and faith communities in providing hope and belonging to people struggling with mental health challenges

The event was opened by the Mayor Of Wolverhampton, Councillor Phil Page. The keynote speaker was Lesley Writtle, Chief Executive of NHS Primary Partnership Trust.

HeadStart mini Ambassadors from All Saints, Blakenhall, Parkfields and Ettingshall tested the knowledge of delegates with their mental health quiz, and shocked them with statistics about the problems faced by young people today. Well done to them!

Other speakers included:

  • The Right Honourable Pat McFadden, MP for Wolverhampton SE

  • Hazel Malcolm from The Health and Emotional Wellbeing Service, City of Wolverhampton Council

  • Louise Franklin from Compton Care

  • Mai Gibbons from HeadStart Wolverhampton

  • Ven. Tejwant Banti (Buddhism)

  • Mr Bhajan Devsi (Sikhism)

  • Mr Toby (Islam)

  • Jayashree (Hinduism)

  • Reverend Emma Louise (Christianity)

Finally, HeadStart Ambassador Cristina shared her ‘live story’ with delegates, describing her journey from first getting involved with HeadStart to now training as a mental health nurse. Thank you Cristina!

The lead organiser of the event was Councillor Jasbinder Dehar, the Vice Chair of Interfaith Wolverhampton.

It was a fascinating and positive morning, and reinforced how religious faith can and should bring people together. Thank you to Interfaith Wolverhampton for organising the conference, and to all the speakers who made it an inspiring event.

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Mental health issues don’t choose people from particular backgrounds. Let’s not lose the moment.

Quotes from Interfaith Wolverhampton speakers:

We all have mental health, just like we all have physical health
Practise contentment and gentleness
We need to interpret our holy books carefully to make sure that we’re not doing harm to people
Being a faith community is about love and compassion and inclusiveness and honesty
The present is important. It’s today. It’s the here and now … spirituality and faith are part of what makes someone unique.
When I meet someone, it’s important not to see them as their illness. What makes them unique? What makes you, you?

Gallery - click thumbnails to open at full-size

HeadStart Community Consultation Workshops, Wednesday 21st November 2018

On Wednesday 21st November, representatives from the Wolverhampton voluntary sector and other local organisations working in the community were invited to attend two workshops exploring the future sustainability of HeadStart.

The two workshops took place at The Bob Jones Community Hub in the morning, and at Aladdin’s Education Centre in the afternoon.

HeadStart is working with an experienced consultant to kick-start preparations for when HeadStart Big Lottery funding comes to an end in 2020/21. A Sustainability Strategy is being developed for April 2019, and during the sessions community stakeholders were consulted on the impact of the programme, what they have valued in terms of the activities in their area and why. This, along with other information, such as evidence from the formal evaluation, will help inform priorities and areas for potential focus in the Sustainability Strategy.

Attendees at the workshops participated in a range of discussions and collaborative exercises, supported by the HeadStart team and consultant Lisa Williams. The workshops were well attended, and Lisa was impressed with how strategic the community stakeholders were in approaching sustainability questions, as well as how passionate and committed they were to sustaining support for local young people and families.

Consultations on other elements of the HeadStart programme including work in schools and our co-production toolkits, will be taking place over the coming weeks and months.