Mubu Music back in town

Sutton Coldfield Charitable Trust back ‘Live in the Lodge’ event

A programme which provides free music tuition for youngsters with its ‘Live in the Lodge’ initiative has received a major cash boost from a Sutton Charity.

Sutton Coldfield Charitable Trust, the organisation that awards grants to local groups and charities to alleviate hardship and support other needs in the community, has provided Mubu Music with a grant of £32,000 over two years to help fund their community investment project ‘Live in the Lodge’.

SCCT first granted an award to Mubu in November 2019, although prior to this the Live in the Lodge project was run by Birmingham Town Hall Symphony Hall (THSH) their first grant being in February 2016.

Sutton Coldfield Charitable Trust has funded Mubu Music over the course of five years, helping to enhance the lives of people living in and around Falcon Lodge.

Mubu Music recognises that playing and learning music is such a valuable and important tool in helping to improve social cohesion, community and mental health.

The provision of free music tuition means that this is more accessible to Falcon Lodge’s local community.

The Trust’s grant has allowed for the programme ‘Live in the Lodge’ to be created to provide free music lessons across instruments such as piano, guitar, drums and ukulele for ages as young as five years old, all the way up to individuals in their mid-80s. In addition to this, ‘Live in the Lodge’ has been able to create a community choir and host high-quality music performances across the local area.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the not-for-profit organisation was unable to provide its music services in person. Following this, the Trust’s grant has allowed Mubu Music to help bring people together again through music and raising the aspirations of those living in the area of Falcon Lodge.

Sam Slater, founder of Mubu Music said: “The support of the Sutton Coldfield Charitable Trust has allowed ‘Live in the Lodge’ to keep running for the community throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In addition to this, the Trust and funding has also played a huge part in helping the programme to start, grow and develop into a really valuable social and musical intergenerational programme all year round. The programme has helped to create so many positive health, social and education benefits for everyone in and around Falcon Lodge.”

David Cole, Grants Manager at Sutton Coldfield Charitable Trust, said: “Mubu Music’s grant exemplifies what the Trust is all about in helping to improve the lives of those in Sutton Coldfield, through creating positive change through projects such as ‘Live in the Lodge’.

“This project is a perfect example of how we are always looking for exciting organisations to gift grants to that give back to the community of Sutton Coldfield.”

For further information about Sutton Coldfield Charitable Trust or media enquiries, please contact Emily Burnett or Antonia Hall  

Monster Halloween event for Sutton

Farmers Market special with 50 stalls set to line the Parade.

And there will be plenty of spooky fun at the market on Sunday, October 30th – with characters Jack Skellington and Sally Finkelstein, from The Nightmare Before Christmas, towering above shoppers on stilts.

Even the stallholders will be getting into the Halloween spirit, with prizes on offer to the best fancy dressed trader and the best spooky stall at the market, which is being organised by Sutton Coldfield Business Improvement District (BID).

Michelle Baker, Sutton Coldfield BID Manager, said “We were absolutely blown away by the fantastic response to our first Farmers Market in September, and the next one is already going to be much bigger – with a third more stalls.

“We asked local residents to come along and support the first event and thousands turned out. We had brilliant feedback on the quality of the stalls, the atmosphere, and the way the market brought the feelgood factor to the town centre.

“As a Business Improvement District, we are exploring lots of ways to boost footfall in the town centre and introducing these quality speciality markets, selling local produce and artisan gifts, is already providing a reason to visit Sutton Coldfield.

“Now the market on October 30 should be even more fun, with all kinds of spooky Halloween fun, including free music and face painting and even more stalls.

“I would urge residents to come along and check out the brilliant stalls and support an event that is breathing life into the town centre.”

The speciality market is just one of the BID’s ideas to raise the profile of the town ­– following the launch of a vibrant new ‘Visit Royal Sutton Coldfield’ brand – with special events, competitions and improvements designed to make it a destination to spend time, eat, drink, shop and relax.

The market was launched as a three month trial which, if supported by the local community, will become a year-round event, 12 months of the year.

For Christmas, the BID has also announced six weekends of free town centre attractions, including a giant snow globe, Breakfast with Santa events and festive characters including the Grinch.

If you are interested in trading at the new Farmers & Craft Market please contact Michelle Baker email

Some of the traders confirmed for October 30th

On The Breadline

Mangia Mangia Italian Cuisine

Bak4Lov Vegan Cakes

Beaudesert Park Farm

Brummie Honey

Brook Farm

The Cheese Cavern

Nick The Fish

Brockleby’s Pies

Military Chef Chocolate

Lumberjaxe Food

Cheshire Pie Company

Franks Sauces

Nick The Fish

Cake A Daisy

Yvette’s Cakes

Blackridge Coffee

Bramble Berry Fairies

JustinTime Coffee

Mermazing Bath Bombs

Paul Meadows Photography

Karen Handmade Memories

Meal’s Bead Cove

Bespoke Wreaths

1945 Wines

Sutton Coldfield six weeks of festive fun

Grinch in town as town centre transformed

Sutton Coldfield town centre will be spreading the festive fun this season, with events every weekend over the Christmas period – including a visit from the Grinch.

Instead of a one-day Christmas lights switch on event, organisers at Sutton Coldfield Business Improvement District (BID) will be spreading the Christmas magic over six consecutive weekends, so that more visitors and families can enjoy the festive activities in Sutton Coldfield town centre.

Starting on November 19 and running up to and including Christmas Eve, the BID is funding six weekends of Christmas fun and entertainment for festive shoppers in the town centre.

The extended Christmas activities are part of the new Visit Royal Sutton Coldfield programme of year-round events which aims to encourage more people to choose the town centre as a destination to spend time, eat, drink, shop and relax.

Christmas activities will include an amazing life-size snow globe in the town centre over a three-day period, which shoppers can step inside for a free Christmas photograph.

And Christmas characters will be roaming among shoppers, including giant Christmas Penguins, life-size Gingerbread Men, Father Christmas and The Grinch.

The town’s Christmas lights switch on event has historically been funded jointly by Gracechurch Shopping Centre and Sutton Coldfield Business Improvement District (BID) but the event did not go ahead for the last two years due to the Covid pandemic.

This year Sutton Coldfield BID would be the sole funder and has taken the decision to do things differently and spread the Christmas magic over six weekends instead of focusing one evening of entertainment.

It is hoped this change will benefit local businesses and boost footfall each weekend in the run up to Christmas.

Bid Manager Michelle Baker said: “We’re aiming to make Sutton Coldfield town centre a big attraction, with regular events to bring people in.

“So, we thought for Christmas this year instead of putting all of our efforts into one lights switch on evening, we would do something different and make the fun last throughout the festive season, with something every weekend.

“Residents will love the visitors and attractions we have lined up for Christmas – we just hope the Grinch doesn’t spoil everything!”

Our mission is to support the people of Sutton

Tina Swani, CEO of Sutton Coldfield Charitable Trust discusses the problems causes by the cost-of-living crisis

The aftermath of the Covid19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine have been major contributors to the current global cost-of-living and energy crisis and as a result, SuttonColdfield Charitable Trust expects to receive a greater influx of applications from organisations and individuals applying for grants from the Trust.

We are proud to say that over the past two years, we have continued to award well over £1,000,000 in grants each year to individuals and organisations to support residents living in Sutton Coldfield. This has included over £74,000 of school clothing grants, amongst other grants to schools and non-profit community organisations. Our grants have enabled more people to access arts, culture, employment, foodbanks, sports, emotional wellbeing support, and activities to reduce loneliness. 

We have also awarded grants to non-profit organisations that have put sustainable initiatives in place such as low energy lighting and heating as these are both cost-reducing and also support the environment. 

We anticipate that the volume of grant applications will continue to increase as demand grows, but recognise that not all organisations and individuals in Sutton Coldfield know we can help. 

The mission of the Trust is to alleviate hardship and improve the quality of life for residents of the Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield through the provision of housing and grant awards to support individuals and community organisations. 

We support individuals experiencing a range of circumstances such as ill-health, disability, or other disadvantage, and anyone in these categories can make an application for items such as domestic equipment, further education, childcare costs or for other necessities. 

“Inclusion is a big priority for the Trust. We understand the state of the current economic climate has meant that many individuals and families are struggling to afford the basics, so we want individuals and organisations to know how to make a grant application – particularly those who may not have reached us in the past. 

“The application deadline for school clothing grants closed in June 2022 and re-opens in March/April 2023 – more information will be advised nearer the time. 

“Our website sets out how to apply for a grant – please visit the grants page on

Who are we?

The principal objectives of the Trust are the provision of Almshouses, the distribution of funds and other measures for the alleviation of hardship and other needs for inhabitants and organisations within the boundaries of the former Borough of Sutton Coldfield.

The Trust’s origins can be traced back to Tudor times. Throughout a long history it has improved the lives of generations of people in Sutton Coldfield, particularly those in the greatest need.  It has sustained its core priority to alleviate suffering, while redefining and extending its benefits to reflect changing times and needs.


Bishop Vesey, a native of Sutton Coldfield, persuaded Henry VIII to grant a Charter in 1528 establishing a Warden and Society (Corporation) to govern the Town.  The Corporation was obliged to use rental and other income to provide poor relief and improve the locality. Over the next four centuries, other bequests and endowments came within the Corporation’s oversight.  


Thomas Jesson, a local merchant, left land and money to provide apprenticeships for boys and to distribute bread to Sutton’s poor. 


After a long and famous legal action, the Corporation’s charities were reorganised and enriched by lands acquired in the 1825 Enclosure Award.  From this time, Almshouses were built and the Charity provided elementary schools (including teaching and uniforms) for Sutton’s children.  Practical necessities such as coal, blankets and boots were widely distributed.  In pre-welfare state days, the charities financed nursing and medical care for needy people and made grants to widows.


The Town became a Borough and the Trust took over the Corporation and various related charities within one body.  This operated closely alongside the Council and was administered by the Town Clerks.  New Almshouses were built, including two in the 1890s from a bequest by Frances Lingard.


At the time Sutton Coldfield became part of Birmingham, the independence of the Trust was safeguarded, ensuring the continuing provision of benefits for individuals and organisations within the former Borough boundaries.  Although the separate historic charities have been consolidated into one charity, the Trustees’ fundamental aims and priorities are still very similar to those pursued by Bishop Vesey and his successors over nearly five centuries.


The name of the organisation was changed to Sutton Coldfield Charitable Trust to more appropriately reflect the Trust’s role within the town as an independent charity, which no longer has a direct association with the local authority.

Sutton cancer support centre search for new home

Price rise forces move

A centre which supports people with cancer across the West Midlands has launched an urgent hunt for a new base after a huge increase in fees meant it could no longer stay in its home of 11 years.

The Cancer Support Centre in Sutton Coldfield has around 500 clients, with an army of volunteers and a team of specialist therapists who help them deal with the trauma of a cancer diagnosis.

The centre offers therapy and wellbeing sessions, information, advice and a friendly safe space for people looking for reassurance or support.

The charity was set up 21 years ago and for the past 11 it has been based in Lindridge Road, within the St Giles Hospice Supportive Care Centre.

The lease ends in January but as the cost of living increases, the price of rent and room hire has also gone up and the charity can not afford to stay.

Marie Moore, vice chair of the CSC trustees, said: “Our priority is to reassure our clients, volunteers and staff that our service and support will continue and our huge thanks goes out to them in this time of change.

“After 11 years of sub-leasing space at Lindridge Road, St Giles, our landlord, has given notice for us to quit by January 17. We have been actively working with them over the past two months to identify if there is a way in which we could continue to share the building.

“Sadly, a workable solution has not been found and the new price to rent the space is well beyond our reach.

“We are now in the challenging position of having to find an alternative home very quickly to make sure there is no disruption to our service.

“Our intention is that we will remain in Sutton Coldfield, or the immediate surrounding area.”

Marie said the charity survived through the Covid pandemic by moving some services online through Zoom sessions and YouTube videos and this would continue regardless.

“We do need our face-to-face support to continue though,” she added. “It’s so important for our clients – sometimes all they want is a cup of tea and a chat in person. We can offer support, advice and reassurance and that’s all better done face-to-face.”

The charity has enlisted the support of Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell and the trustees are now calling for the community to get behind them and help in the search.

Marie said temporary premises would be accepted in the short term if a search for a long-term home was not immediately successful. She urged anyone who is aware of any suitable premises or who can help in any way to get in touch.

“With the help of our teams, clients, supporters and the public, we hope to end this uncertainty quickly,” she added. “If we work together, this will be easier to cope with and manage.”

Anyone who knows of suitable premises or who would like to make a donation should call 0300 012 0245 or email

For more details about the centre, visit

Superheroes assemble in Sutton Park

Hundreds gather for fundraising walk for St Giles Hospice

Hundreds of heroes assembled on Sutton Park on to raise vital funds at the St Giles Hospice’s Hero Walk.
The fun day on Saturday 24 September attracted over 100 brightly-dressed walkers and their doggy sidekicks, and helped to raise vital funds for patients, and their families, who are living with a terminal illness.
Amongst the crowd of heroes was seven-year-old Joshua Motum-Reynolds, who took part in Hero Walk after his grandma died at St Giles Hospice just a few days before the event.
He said: “I wanted to take part so that I could raise money in memory of my grandma – I’ve raised £565.”
Josh attended the event with support from his brother, mum and dad. Josh’s dad continued to praise the care that St Giles Hospice staff provided for his mother, badging them as “awesome”.
Walkers enjoyed refreshments and family photos at the ‘Hero Hub’ before the army of fancy dress fundraisers set off on their walk at 11am, whilst being cheered on by the Mayor of Sutton Coldfield, Councillor Janet Cairns.

She said: “I was absolutely thrilled to attend St Giles Hospice’s first event in Sutton Coldfield – it was a fantastic event and the stalls and the volunteers supporting were absolutely brilliant. Everyone who took part is a hero for raising money for St Giles Hospice.”
Throughout the four kilometre walk, heroes that attended were tasked with a series of challenges to complete along the way from spotting the St Giles superhero, to posing for a super selfie.
The event featured entertainment from the Rock Choir, along with a warm up with Vanessa from Core300 in Sutton Coldfield and some motivational anthems from DJ Rob Taylor.
Six-year-old Leo Garsed was the first person to cross the finish line. He completed the walk with his mum, dad and brother, Enso, to raise money for St Giles Hospice.
Zoe Wright, Events Manager at St Giles Hospice, said: “We had a fantastic day for our first ever St Giles event in Sutton Coldfield – thank you to our amazing fundraisers who crossed the finish line and picked up their medals.
“Each year the Hero Walk gives people the opportunity to pull on their capes and show they care by celebrating the hero in their own lives. They can be members of their family, someone they’ve lost, nurses, teachers – anyone who has made a difference to them who deserves a special thank you.”
If you’d like to take part in an event or raise money for St Giles Hospice, please visit for further details.