Black Lives Matter

Calling on Communities to Enable Life – WISE Steps Suicide Prevention

Supported by Birmingham City Council Public Health, Common Unity is excited to announce the relaunch of the Community Connector Suicide Prevention Programme.

If you live or work in Birmingham and wish to secure a place, please contact us for more information.

The aim of the programme is to better enable communities to tackle suicide and the impact of suicide head on in our communities.

Suicide does not discriminate affecting the lives of 1000’s of people across our communities. So, Common-Unity is reaching out again to local community organisations that work across Communities to engage with this opportunity.

This programme will begin in May 2023 with the delivery of the WISE STEPS Gatekeeper Training (first workshop 25th May 2023) to community members and community based organisations in Birmingham before supporting many of these delegates to develop the skills further and look to rolling out their learning to their communities.

What delegates will gain from WISE Steps

  • Understand the impact of suicide and the stigma surrounding suicide.
  • Gain knowledge of the common myths and misconceptions.
  • Have a strong base line knowledge of how to identify those at risk.
  • Gain skills in open and direct dialogue on suicide.
  • Direct those at risk to appropriate support organisations.
  • Knowledge of local and national support resources.
  • Increased confidence in supporting a person who may be at risk of suicide.
  • Understand the vital importance of self-care and personal support opportunities.

Getting Involved

Download and print off our flyer HERE or check out our online flyer HERE.

If you or your organisation are interested in this opportunity please contact us directly to discuss it further.

For more information please contact us.

Caron Thompson,
Phone: 07901 705 801


Terry Rigby,
Phone: 07585 776 800


As part of World Mental Health Day and the Big Inclusive Get Together, Common Unity, Forward For Life & Community Flow are working in partnership to celebrate the wellbeing of our local communities.

This is a free event and everyone is welcome, so why not come along and join us on the day. For more information please visit Common unity : Link

Fantastic experiences you will find on the day:


Date and Time
FRI 8th OCT 2021 – 11 AM – 6 PM

The Midlands Greek & Cypriot Association
Magnet Centre
Park Approach
B23 7SJ

For more information on the Big Inclusive Get Together Festival

For Information stalls please contact

Caron Thompson
07901 705 801

For food stalls please contact

Sonia Parnell

Happy Birthday to us!

At Common Unity & Forward For Life we are celebrating the 6th Birthday of The Waiting Room (TWR). Tailored for Birmingham and Solihull citizens and providing links to over 1000 services both locally and nationally, The Waiting Room has been a huge success.

Thank you for your support

Adopted and supported by Public Health, the Birmingham Safeguarding Adults Network, Birmingham City University, Birmingham and Solihull NHS CCG, the emergency services as well as key organisations in the third sector, TWR continues to grow with new services being added and existent services being updated regularly.

Keep up to date with us

As part of our Birthday celebration we are launching a TWR Updates page that keeps you up to speed with new TWR developments and other related stories.

Getting the message out in many different ways

Getting the message out in many different ways has always been a core message from Common Unity in respect of the importance of good health and wellbeing across communities. However, with the devastating impact of Coronavirus, the importance of getting the messages out there to help people keep themselves and their loved ones around them safe takes on ever greater gravitas.

Charities have highlighted the concern that the core messages regarding this deadly virus are often going unheard by communities whose preferred written language is not English and it is clear that certain BAME communities are over-represented in respect of the number of deaths from Covid 19.

It is therefore imperative that we recognise the importance of getting Health Information responsive to the needs of vulnerable communities. This is of huge significance in the City of Birmingham where there exists 108 different languages spoken across 87 different ethnic groups.

At the point of producing this post, Birmingham has been highlighted as being on the Government’s Covid-19 watch list as a designated “Area of Enhanced Support” meaning the potential for further lock-down in Birmingham and surrounding areas at some point in the future is a very real prospect unless we can get the message out their to all communities.

The Birmingham Public Health team, supported by sector experts and local partners, have stepped up to this challenge with running a series of COVID-19 related webinars for leaders and professionals who have a direct reach into communities and have an established, trusted relationship with them, for example: community leaders, social prescribing link workers and faith leaders.

The webinars, and additional information, can be found on the Birmingham City Council website here:

We at Common Unity have also been doing our bit to get the simple messages out. First through further rolling out Healthy Brums recommendations on wearing face masks in 12 languages (

and now through the key information being translated and dispersed through social media through short videos please see above.

Just remember we are all in this together for the bigger community known as Birmingham.

Stay well and stay safe.


Caron Thompson – Company Director – Common Unity

Our Community recommendations on wearing face masks

It is important that all our communities are aware of the recommendations when it comes to wearing face mask. With the input of Healthy Brum (Public Health Birmingham) here is the most up to date information on wearing face masks in 12 different languages.

Please find below translations in 12 languages, on where and how to wear a face covering.

  • Arabic
  • English
  • French
  • Kurdish (Sorani)
  • Lithuanian
  • Pashto
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Tigrinya

Birmingham & Solihull – World Mental Health Day 2019

October 10th is here again and for this years’ World Mental Health Day event we have amassed many of the key wellbeing services from across from the local area to showcase what they do at The Being Well Works Well Emporium.

Organised by ourselves at Common Unity and hosted in partnership with Birmingham City University, this year’s event will also include 4 back-to-back Masterclasses in the amazing Hive Lecture Theatre as well as light refreshments and a superb awareness raising and networking opportunity for professionals and the general public.

The adopted International Theme for World Mental health Day this year is suicide prevention so with a focus on improved quality of life we are looking to ensure this event makes a real positive difference for everyone. Members of the National Suicide Prevention Alliance will also be available on the day.

The Emporium Stalls

As well as loads of information and fantastic advice being available on the day there will also be interactive Health Check opportunities, a community barber, nail art, henna and opportunities for a bit of a pamper.

Stalls include…
Common Unity, Forward for Life, Roshni, Forward Carers, Citizens Advice Witness Service, Birmingham Mind Community Development Worker Service, A Father’s Child Service, The Pamper Zone, Health & Healing Network, Bipolar UK, Papyrus UK, Creative Wellbeing 4U, New Hope Birmingham, Nehemiah UCHA, RSVP, Cruse Bereavement Care Birmingham, Forward Thinking Birmingham, Health Expo, West Midlands Combined Authority, Spring to Life, Birmingham Mind PURE Project, Life Balance Arts, the BCU Wellbeing Service and more.


The Success of The Being Well Works Well Conference 2018


October 10th 2018 (World Mental Health Day) saw the “Being Well Works Well” Conference come to fruition through the leadership of Common Unity.

Its aims were to provide networking opportunities locally, regionally and nationally in respect of the wellbeing agenda, highlight upstream services being delivered currently under The Connecting Community Networks programme, present new and innovative approaches that seek to ensure early engagement with wellbeing support opportunities and actively promote the opportunity for improved wellbeing in a range of arenas.

….and we believe it achieved this and more.

With in excess of 150+ delegates, 80 represented organisations, a range of experiential wellbeing stalls and a diverse set of forward-thinking speakers from across the board, The Being Well Works Well achieved way beyond our expectations. 

We are still going through all the evaluations but 80% of the attendees that completed theirs told us the Conference was “excellent.”

To sum it all up!

We will be sending out more information in the next couple of weeks about the day and thanks to all of you who attended and made this day the success it was. It showed us that Birmingham and Solihull have a lot to celebrate about when it comes to Wellbeing services.

A special thank you to all our speakers on the day – Cherry Dale, Councillor Paulette Hamilton, Pete Trainor, Adam Page, Terry Rigby and Tom Howell.

Connecting Community Networks

What is Connecting Community Networks All About?

Life can be hard…but for some, because of particular circumstances, and more often than not, through no fault of their own, life can be much harder still. Connecting Community Networks recognises this and looks to protect and enhance citizen well-being and promote life quality. It oversees the delivery of a number of much needed holistic services that has real, evidenced based wellbeing benefits for some of our most vulnerable members in the community. CCN takes a different approach from many other traditional services by starting from a premise of vulnerability and risk due to life challenges and looking to demonstrate a positive resolution for the individual based on improved wellbeing.

The Organisations Behind CCN

Common Unity is the central driving force behind all of the CCN programmes with external expertise being brought into the process to best deliver all elements of each and every programme. This partnership arrangement means that from conceptualisation right through to the point of evaluation, specialist support is realised to demonstrate the potential for such approaches to improving well-being.

What Programmes Are in Place?

  • Urbrum – web based community centred platform, is all about discovering innovative ways of engaging communities with their own health and wellbeing and the health and well-being of those around them. Its approach to engagement, information and intelligence sees communities as both the recipients and providers of health and well-being intelligence with a view that through such an organic process, services and support will continue to best reflect what communities need and want.

  • ASIST/safeTALK – Delivery of the world renowned suicide prevention programmes across specific Birmingham sectors to best identify and support those who are vulnerable in respect of suicidal ideation and behaviour.

  • ManMade: Through The Gates – Utilising the ManMade Peer Led support approach that enables men to survive in modern day society, ManMade: TTG is an exciting opportunity to test the model and its impact with men at HMP Birmingham who are soon to be released back to the community.

  • ManMade: Cruse – Men often find it difficult to engage regarding their losses in life and thus can play a negative part in men coping with crisis through loss. This programme looks to achieve greater resilience and well-being through providing men with the opportunity to engage with the area of loss and bereavement as part of a Peer Led Support Programme led by specialists in the field of Bereavement.

  • Bloom in Birmingham is a unique project aimed at reducing social isolation and improving the physical and mental well-being of women living in Birmingham and at risk regarding their health utilising a peer led support approach.

BBC One Healthy Conversations

Common Unity were approached by the Royal Society for Public Health to be highlighted as a best practice example of an organisation that empowers communities through Healthy Conversation. Common Unity have a longstanding trusted relationship with communities across Birmingham and wider, engaging effectively through a variety of innovative means with communities that are often viewed as hard to reach. One of the ways in which Common Unity do this is by engaging and training community facing professions to pass on positive health messages and signpost post people to services that can best meet need – One such profession is hairdressing, or more specifically, the Barbershop.

This ground breaking work, originally conceptualised in Preston, has recognised that for many African Caribbean Men, one of the only places they would truly talk about their feelings and concerns was whilst sitting at the Barbers’ Chair. Barbershops for the African Caribbean Community are seen as welcoming, safe, social hubs for opening up – Recognising this Common Unity adopted the Barbershop approach in Birmingham through the Barbershop Magazine – written by members of the African Caribbean Community for the African Caribbean Community on topics that were relevant to them.

This Birmingham Joint Commissioning Team NHS funded service has gone from strength to strength since it began in 2007 developing into the City Wide URBRUM Project that through magazines and varied Social Media avenues engages diverse communities across Birmingham on areas of life that impacts on their health and wellbeing. Alongside their Grassroots Associates specialising in supporting communities to support themselves, Common Unity continues to gain a reputation in Birmingham and wider for developing, designing and delivering forward thinking innovative programmes that have the benefit of the community at its heart.

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The Pamper Zone by Common Unity


The Pamper Zone // Pampering Zone

Face painting, Barbers and Hair Styling, Hair Braiding, Nail Art, Head and Shoulder Massage, Mehndi, Henna

The Pamper Zone is a great way for you to look and feel refreshed. Why not relax, enjoy and revitalise the inner you?

The Pamper Zone was established to aid the well-being of communities through using a range of therapists and skilled entrepreneurs. The Pamper Zone was created by Common Unity to offer the citizens of Birmingham an opportunity to engage with their own selfcare and improve their well-being.

Community Events, School Fetes, Organisation Away Days, Promotional Stalls, Grand Openings, Festivals, Themed Events and more…

CDW Journey – Testimonies

A handful of testimonies that talk about first hand experience of the CDW service and how it has benefited there communities and themselves. Working on our own skills, and those of the partners, individuals and communities we come into contact with. This is done directly by ourselves or through linking to training providers. It is about ensuring quality, and about fulfilling potential through the building of confidence and a sense of agency.

To learn more about the CDW Service: click here

The videos explain the partnership of Common Unity and Birmingham Mind for the development of the Community Development workers (CDWs), How the CDWs work, the Assets and community relations, Targeting all audiences and all communities around Birmingham.

The 5th anniversary of Common Unity

Caron Thompson of Common Unity Giving an overview of the last 5 years of being established. This includes aims, achievements, projects partners and future plans.

Common Unity Social Enterprise is a Health and Social Care organisation specialising in working on mental health and wellbeing with ‘hard to reach’ communities. It was established in 2009 by community activists from BME communities who were also mental health professionals, and who had grown up in the inner city areas of the West Midlands.

Our personal and professional experiences have formed our instincts about, and specific insights into, what works in communication with a wide range of audiences. We help individuals, communities and service providers to overcome barriers to communication and the fulfilment of potential, ensuring that services are both accessible and relevant. Common Unity has been commissioned by the Local Authority, NHS Primary Care Trust, and a number of Third Sector organisations in Birmingham and Sandwell, to support them in research and consultation with specific communities.

BBC – Your Voice! in Birmingham


Your Voice!  BBC FREE SPEECH IS COMING TO… Birmingham!

We are a youth debate show looking for over 100 people to join our live studio audience & share their views on BBC Three If you would like to be sent more details then get in touch We will be broadcasting live on BBC THREE on WEDNESDAY 12TH MARCH 2014 You will need to be available between 5:30 and 9:00pm BBC Free Speech is presented by Rick Edwards with social media jockey Tina Daheley.

BBC3’s Free Speech is back, and looking to meet young people who want their voices to be heard. This live political debate show, aims to give young people aged 16-34 a platform to voice their opinions to the people who can help make a difference. The first episode is on the 12th March in Birmingham Central Mosque and will be focusing on the issues that young people want to talk about.

If you’re aged 16-34 and are interested in being part of the interactive audience, you can fill in this short application form (Download Here)
You’ll need to be free from 5.30-9pm on the day. You can check out the show here: