Freshwinds Pathway to Care Course


Free accredited training available for individuals claiming Job Seekers Allowance, Income Support or ESA (Work Group).


Course includes: –

CIEH Health & Safety Level 2

EDI Level 1 in Employability Skills

First Aid Level 2 or Food Safety Level 2


This course is ideal for people wanting to access employment in domiciliary care, hospitality & catering and retail.


On completion of the course you will receive one to one support to access the career of your choice which includes help producing a CV, completing application forms and preparing for interviews.


For further information and to book an appointment call 0121 415 6682 email

BRO-SIS join 50 years of Jamaican Independence celebrations

The Freshwinds BROSIS project has been active throughout this summer attending events across Birmingham, celebrating the 50 years of Jamaican independence. These have included, BEXlive, Flyover Event, as well as many other community events throughout the city.




These events have been an unique opportunity for  the BROSIS project and Freshwinds Community Health Champions to promote health and wellbeing in the community, as well as actively seeking volunteers to support Freshwinds in this specialised area of work.

Freshwinds BROSIS project focuses on offering culturally sensitive substance misuse support to the BAME communities in Birmingham, with a particular emphasis on African Caribbean community.

More information about BRO-SIS  as well as volunteering please visit the Freshwinds website or contact us directly.

Volunteer Story – Chris Armshaw

We would like to introduce you to Chris Armshaw, who has been volunteering with the IT department since February. Chris has also helped design the template for Fresh News, our new monthly newsletter.

I am a volunteer web developer and assist with the building of websites for Freshwinds IT.

I studied computing at university so had a reasonably good knowledge of web design/development, but there were plenty of areas I wanted to improve upon.

When I started at Freshwinds, WordPress was still quite new to me but as a volunteer I was able to develop these skills through self teaching and support from those around me.

As my skills have developed, I have been given more responsibility which has helped me gain more confidence and experience in this field.

FreshwindsIT meet Skills Minister

As FreshwindsIT reaches its 1,000th learner, we were invited to meet Skills Minister John Hayes and UKOnline staff to celebrate the overall project success of reaching 1,000,000 learners.

One million new online citizens celebrated

A special event, attended by Skills Minister John Hayes, was held yesterday to mark a major milestone in the quest to close the digital divide.

UK online centres have supported one million people to use computers and the internet since April 2010, saving government £184 million in the process by encouraging people to do more online. The Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning popped in to celebrate such a major milestone – achieved 9 months ahead of schedule – and to meet some of the million whose lives have been changed by their news skills.

One learner who attended the event was Mary Westwood, from Birmingham, who first visited her local UK online centre, Freshwinds IT, three months ago. She says: “At first I was absolutely terrified of computers, I’d never used one before and I just thought I’d break it. But I actually found it easier than I expected. Now the scales have fallen from my eyes and I feel like I’m finally living in the 21st century!”

A secondary benefit to helping people to use computers and the internet has been the huge impact on the economy, driving down the cost of delivering online public services by encouraging people to do more online. Since April 2010, UK online centres has supported 460,000 people to transact with government online, bringing about a total saving of £184 million in the past 27 months.

On top of this, 8% of the learners they have supported since April 2010 – which equates to 80,000 people – have also found work since gaining skills at a UK online centre, boosting the economy further.

The organisation supports some of the hardest to reach people in the country (187% of UK online centres learners have one or more indicators of deprivation, 30% have a disability and 16% are from BAME groups), through a network of 3,800 local venues or outreach locations where people can gain the skills they need to use computers and the internet.

From left to right: Nyree Scott – Project Manager, Cambridgeshire Library Lerning Services; Roger Hamilton – Activity Development Worker/IT Trainer, St Mungos; Vicky McDougall – volunteer tutor, Cambridgeshire Library Learning Services; Helen Milner – Chief Executive Online Centres Foundation; Jason Hogarth – Department of Bussiness, Innovation and ; Dolly Westwood – learner, Fredhwinds IT; Lord (Jim) Knight of Weymouth – Chairman Online Centres Foundation; Adam Lloyd, IT Lead, Freshwinds IT; Roger Darlington – Online Centres Foundation Board Member; John Hayes MP – Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning; Dominic Steingold – tutor, Essex Libraries; Charlotte Wheat – Director of Business Development, Online Centres Foundation; Jan Cripps, tutor – Ashton Learning Centre; Martin Wilson – Director of Policy, Go ON UK; Shannon Smith – volunteer tutor, Ashton Learning Centre

John Hayes MP, Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning, was on hand to congratulate UK online centres on their achievement, and see first hand the real impact being online can have on the lives of individuals. He says: “Most of us take for granted using the internet to stay in touch with friends and family through Facebook, find a new job or order shopping. However more than one in ten people have no access leaving them cut off and isolated.
“That’s why it is fantastic news that UK online centres have helped more than one million people to access the web. Digital skills change people’s lives for the better helping them to feel part of a modern society”.

Mr Hayes also took the opportunity to announce a six-month action research project, which will be managed by Online Centres Foundation that will test thinking around eReading Rooms. These eReading Rooms centres will provide free and friendly access to computers, where individuals and communities will be able to use the power of the internet to discover and explore any subject of their choosing. Twenty UK online centres will be involved in the project which will Include robust evaluation, with Online Centres Foundation providing recommendations to the Government on how this might be rolled out nationwide in 2013.

Helen Milner, Chief Executive of UK online centres says: “Reaching this milestone – nine months ahead of our target – is a huge achievement, and seeing some of the great learners who have benefitted from being online has been a great reminder of why this is so important.

As more people learn to use computers and the internet, digital skills are becoming more of a priority and not less, and I’m passionate that this is something that needs continued support in the coming months and years. I’m delighted we have reached such a momentous milestone, and the eReading Rooms pilot is a sign that we continue to move in the right direction, but with 8 million people offline, and many millions more lacking the basic skills to use computers and the internet, we still have a long way to go.”

For more information, please contact Chris Andersson on 0114 296 5584 or email

Yoga Courses

What is Yoga and how can it help me?

Yoga is more than just exercise. It provides a holistic approach to body, mind and spirit, typically through stretching, breathing and relaxation. Yoga aims to improve our physical and emotional wellbeing, and complements any conventional treatment you may be receiving for specific medical conditions.

What is different about this yoga class?

This class is specifically tailored to the needs of those attending, and is taught by British Wheel of Yoga Teacher, Jenny Charlton. Since graduating from her degree in Complementary Therapies in 2004, Jenny has worked as a complementary therapist in hospice and palliative care settings and lecturer in Reflexology at the University of Derby. Jenny currently works for Freshwinds in the role of Complementary Therapy Coordinator.
The course consists of 10 yoga classes; however, each class stands alone so there is no need to worry about ‘catching’ up if you miss one (or more). Unfortunately we will not be able to refund payment for classes which have not been attended.

Welcome Dr Haider Hilal

We are very pleased to welcome Dr Haider Hilal to Freshwinds in the role of Prevention and Health Improvement Officer. Dr Hilal will be working to support the growth in our public health work and the development of prevention services and we wish him every success in his new role.

I completed my degree in Medicine from Pakistan and received a Masters degree in Public Health. My emphasis is upon Public health promotion and its impact on the general population. I am honoured to be given this post and to become a part of the Freshwinds family and will do my best for the benefit of population of Birmingham and the organization itself.

New Staff Member: Helen Bickley

We are pleased to welcome Helen Bickley  to Freshwinds as Graduate Trainee Development Intern to assist us in the development and growth of Freshwinds. We are looking forward to her working with us and to seeing what skills and impacts she can bring to our charity.

I graduated last year with a degree in Sociology from the University of Nottingham.  I’m keen to pursue a career in the third sector and have volunteered for a number of charities.  I’m particularly interested in fundraising so I’m excited to be assisting the development team in the growth of Freshwinds.  I hope to learn new skills and get involved in challenging projects.

I look forward to working with everyone.


Birmingham Pride Ball Support Freshwinds

Freshwinds is pleased to announce that the Pride Ball has supported us with a donation of £4,036 raised from the ball in March 2012. We have been very grateful for the support that we have received from the committee and the people who vote for the charity they wish to support at the event for past few years and we are pleased that we have received this support again in 2012.

The funding that we receive helps us to support our HIV hardship fund which makes grants to individuals living with HIV who are destitute and in the greatest need. The fund is delivered jointly with our partners ABplus and The Terrance Higgins Trust Birmingham. Whilst the fund only makes small grants, the grants it makes have a significant impact for the recipients in terms of enabling them to buy essential items such as food, warm clothes, baby products and other vital items. This funding is particularly important to us as it is very difficult to secure these funds from elsewhere and provide us the ability to make grants immediately when crises occur and when people need them the most. The funds also support our targeted work in the LGBT community.

Steven Moralee, Director of Development said ‘we are really grateful for the continued support we receive from the Birmingham Pride Ball and what this enables us to do, it really makes a significant positive impact for people living with HIV who need desperately need help in Birmingham as well as supporting our work in the Birmingham LGBT community’

For the article in Midland Zone magazine, please click here

Or if you would like to donate to the HIV Hardship Fund, please contact Steven Moralee on 0121 4156670 or

Freshwinds 20th Anniversary Video’s

This year sees Freshwinds celebrating 20 Years of serving our communities. To mark this occasion we have created a special ‘20 Years’ video page. This video page tells the journey of Freshwinds right from the very beginning to how it has become the embodiment of solutions, enablement and hope to so many people today. I do encourage you all to take some of your spare time to watch these video’s as they provide an amazing insight in to how Freshwinds became the entity that it is today.

You can view this video page using the following link:

Become a Community Health Champion

The ‘Community Health Champions’ programme is being delivered by Freshwinds as part of the Community Cohesion Portfolio, funded by the Joint Mental Health Commissioning Team, tackling health and well-being issues across Birmingham. Through training and support Community Health Champions voluntarily bring their ability to relate to people and their own life experience to transform health and well-being in their communities. Within their families, communities and workplaces, they empower and motivate people to get involved in healthy social activities, create groups to meet local needs and sign post people to relevant support and services. Community Health Champions help others to enjoy healthier lives by raising awareness of health and healthy choices, sharing health messages, removing barriers and creating supportive networks and environments.

Read more…