A GLIMMER OF SUMMER…☀ FU LOVES THE MIDLANDS #26
A glimmer of summer returned to our lovely region this week, with temperatures hitting the high twenties, bringing a much-needed dose of warmth and vitamin D. We made the most of the final hazy days of summer by having meetings outside, lunching al fresco and enjoying what will likely be the last BBQ of 2020. As much as I enjoyed the sunshine, this week has been a bit of a strange one. With the new “Rule of Six” now in force, the city still eerily quiet, the nights drawing in and the warm temperatures a reminder that we haven’t been able to travel abroad this year, there has been a tinge of sadness in the air.
Of course, I don’t want to come across as being all doom and gloom, but I also think it’s important to talk about that feeling of sadness and not let it become overwhelming. This has been a year of extremes, with a lot of people struggling with their mental health for the first time or seeing their existing mental health issues take a bit of a decline. You are not alone.
Take a deep breath, go for a walk, talk to someone you trust, cuddle your pet or your favourite human, bake a cake, have a giggle at our joke of the week or do some classic comedy TV binging- there’s not much that a dose of the Golden Girls or Friends can’t make right. Do something to try and ease that sadness, please don’t drown in it. If you feel like you might need more support, or are struggling more than usual, call your GP or a specialist helpline – there are some amazing mental health charities in Leicester / Birmingham and we’ve popped some details below should you need them.
Until next time. Be kind to yourself (and others) and remember, you’re not alone. Rebecca, Jon, Kevin & #FUFighters
Leicester Samaritans Leicester: 0116 270 0007 Turning Point: 0808 800 3302
Birmingham Mind Birmingham: 0121 262 3555 Forward Thinking Birmingham: 0300 300 0099
FOUNDATION SETS UP NEW COMMUNITY AWARDS FOR LEICESTERSHIRE
The Leicestershire Community Champions Awards, a new event for 2020 aiming to celebrate the amazing people and organisations who have gone above and beyond to help their local communities, has been launched by the Furnley House Foundation. Read more here.
SUIT UP AND SUIT DIRECT
To celebrate the latest retail arrival on Birmingham New Street, Suit Direct are giving one of our lucky readers a wardrobe refresh worth £500! Click here to find out how to enter.
EXPERT WARNS YOUR PASSWORDS ARE FOR SALE OR FREE ON THE DARK WEB
Virtually everyone living in the East Midlands has had their passwords stolen – and they’re all up for sale on the dark web claims David Nicholls, Managing Director of Better-IT. David is urging regional businesses to take greater steps to protect themselves and stop hackers from breaking into their systems. Read how here.
DEVELOPERS LAUNCH CROWDFUND CAMPAIGN FOR EMPOWERING NEW ACCESSIBILITY APP
A trio of Leicestershire tech-entrepreneurs have launched a crowdfund campaign to continue the development of a brand-new app that aims to share knowledge and improve accessibility for the disabled community. Read more here.
BIG THRILLS FOR SMALL BILLS AT DISCOUNTED ESCAPE ROOM ADVENTURE
With life set to look very different for students this academic year, Escape Hunt Birmingham is offering students a 15% discount off tickets to any of Escape Hunt’s indoor immersive experiences on Mondays to Thursdays. Find out more at https://escapehunt.com/uk/birmingham/
LIMITED FREE TICKETS GOING FAST FOR JOURNEY’S FESTIVAL 2020
2020’s Journeys Festival International is set to run from 28th September to 18th October, and there are a limited number of free tickets available to book now! Read our pick of what’s coming up here.
FUNDING TO HELP COMMUNITIES GET FIGHTING FIT
With most of us having piled on a few pandemic pounds, funds have been pledged to help get sports facilities, equipment, and clubs back on their feet post-pandemic. Heart of England Community Foundation – the West Midlands’ leading grant-giving charity – is pledging grants of up to £1,000 to drive forward a health revolution in local communities. Find out how here.
PANDEMIC SEES REQUESTS FOR EQUAL SHARED CUSTODY ROCKET
The family team in Shakespeare Martineau’s Birmingham office has seen an uplift in requests for childcare arrangements allowing for equal care of children from separated families, following the acceleration of agile working. Find out why here.
PPL PRS HOPE TO RESTORE THE RHYTHM TO UK BUSINESSES
PPL PRS Limited, the Leicester-based music licensing company is launching a campaign to encourage businesses to get back to their best after the COVID-19 pandemic, by using music to ‘Restore the Rhythm’. Find out more about it here.
NEW ART HOUSE TO OPEN AT PORT LOOP
A new ‘Art House’ will be opening at Port Loop – Birmingham’s new island community – bringing culture to the doorsteps of new homeowners and the surrounding neighbourhood. Find out more here.
FIZZY PIGGIES GET HUGGY WITH IT
Everyone’s favourite piggy treat, M&S’s Percy Pigs are now available as perfectly huggable plush piggy toys meaning they can not only get in your belly but snuggle up to it too! Find out more here.
BRING THE GARDEN TO YOUR GLASS AT YOUR NEXT AL FRESCO SOIRÉE OF SIX
With UK households spending on average an impressive 16 hours per week socialising outdoors over the summer, three ‘Grow-Your-Own’ Garnish kits from BACARDÍ®, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® and GREY GOOSE® have been launched to connect the garden with your glass. Read more here.
CITY LAW FIRM BUCKS COVID RECRUITMENT TREND
Whilst many law firms are shelving recruitment plans or even making redundancies, one city law firm is bucking the trend and expanding its Leicestershire office – find out who and what roles are available here.
IKON ANNOUNCE UK’S MOST COMPREHENSIVE EXHIBITION BY CZECH ARTIST
Ikon Gallery is holding the most comprehensive UK exhibition of work by Czech artist Krištof Kintera, internationally acclaimed for his sculptural, often kinetic works imbued with a characteristic energy and imaginative wit. Kintera offers an overview of new, recent, and archival works, shown in the UK for the first time. Filling both gallery floors, crafted with a dark sense of humour, Kintera’s artistic practice addresses current affairs. Find out more at www.ikon-gallery.org
2FUNKY OFFER PAID ARTIST COMMISSIONS
2Funky Arts is on the lookout for Black artists, from the East Midlands aged 18+, to develop exciting new work, from Vocals, Rapping, Dance, Theatre and Poetry. You will be paid to create a 10-15 minute performance in response to either the Black Lives Matter Movement or the impact of COVID-19 on BAME communities This will be live-streamed and showcased for Black History Month. Read more here.
GARDEN CENTRE WINS FAMILY BUSINESS AWARD
Enderby-based Palmers Garden Centre were recently named as winners at this year’s Family Business Awards. The garden centre was announced as winners of the Midlands & Central Family Business of the Year in their People’s Choice Awards, which are voted on by the public, as well as winners of the National People’s Choice Champions 2020 award.
KEEP THE SUMMER VIBES GOING WITH PICNIC AT THE CASTLE THIS SEPTEMBER
Catch comedy and live music shows as part of the brand new ‘Picnic at the Castle’ held at Warwick Castle, from September 17th to October 4th. This imaginative festival offers top tunes, big laughs, and delicious locally-sourced picnic hampers (including a medieval-style hog roast to suit the surroundings, all enjoyed from Covid-compliant pergolas – find out more here.
OUTDOOR EXHIBITION SHINES LIGHT ON SOUTHSIDE AND NAIROBI
A multimedia exhibition and graffiti installation has been unveiled in the heart of Southside District, featuring the work of Kenyan artists and Birmingham-based street artist T-Bone. Find out more here.
BRING A BIT OF BOULANGERIE TO YOUR KITCHEN WITH PAUL AT HOME BAKING KITS
Missed out on some good old fashioned holiday gorging at French bakeries this summer? Then fear not, as a new online range from Paul, the much-loved group of French artisan bakeries. Whats more they’ve enlisted Great British Bake Off (GBBO) winner and pro-baker, David Atherton, to produce ‘step-by-step’ recipe video using the bread starter kit for fans to follow along at home. Find out more here.
IT’S NO JOKE- THE MOKE IS BACK AND WE LOVE IT!
56 years after first gracing British roads, the iconic MOKE is back and it’s been engineered in the Midlands. The Beatles, The Beach Boys and Brigitte Bardot have all been captivated by the personality and unique styling of these iconic cars and now UK customers will once more be able to order one of the best-loved symbols of the 1960s. Find out more here.
NEW TAKE OUT APP LAUNCHES IN LEICESTER
Simply Takeout has launched in Leicestershire offering restaurants and take outs a super low commission rate on all orders. Find out more here.
WIN A BESPOKE, HANDMADE SOFA WORTH £2000
To celebrate the opening of their new showroom in Mere Green, Sofas & Stuff is offering you the chance to win a bespoke, handmade sofa worth £2,000, all you need to do is answer a simple question. Find out what here.
RECIPES FOR THE OPEN ROAD- GET COOKING IN YOUR CARAVAN
With many of us discovering the joys of caravanning thanks to Covid, a free new cooking eBook has launched filled with recipes for the road! Find out more here.
CORONA RESULTS IN RETURNING RELATIONSHIPS WITH NEIGHBOURS
A recent survey commissioned by Share To Buy revealed a whopping 65% Brits are closer to their neighbours more than ever before thanks to lockdown. Having surveyed around 1,150 people across the UK, 56% of Brits have spent time getting to know next-door a little better thanks to an increased sense of solidarity from clapping for carers every Thursday to lending a helping hand with tasks during the outbreak.
The survey also revealed that 54% of Renters say they’re much closer to their neighbours after lockdown, 62% of Brits wouldn’t mind a quick chat with their neighbours, 50% of people say they’d be happy to shop for a neighbour with around 15% admitting their neighbours were total strangers before lockdown.
BIRMINGHAM REVEALED AS HARDEST PLACE TO PASS YOUR DRIVING TEST FIRST TIME
A new survey has revealed that Birmingham is the hardest place to pass your driving test with Birmingham (South Yardley) having the lowest first-time pass rate, with just 32.2% of learners passing first time in the UK- over 14% lower than the national average! Tests conducted in busy urban areas are proving harder for new drivers to pass first time, compared with those in quieter rural towns. And the easiest place to pass your test? Kendal with almost 64% of all first attempt driving tests resulting in a pass!
HAIKUS FOR LEICESTER, IN THE MIDDLE OF LOCKDOWN, WE SHOULD SUPPORT THIS
What better, creative way to capture the experience of lockdown than with an artform that celebrates structure- the Haiku! Leicester’s David Pepworth has written one of these tiny poems, each made up of just three lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllables and is now putting them all together in a book which is currently crowdfunding. Find out more here.
SELFRIDGES GETS WRAPPED!
During a major refurbishment, Selfridges Birmingham will be wrapped in a striking, patterned hoarding created by Birmingham born fashion designer and artist, Osman Yousefzada.
THIS WEEK’S MOTIVATIONAL QUOTE
“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”
– Maya Angelou