FU Loves Birmingham #4
Hello to everyone in week 3 of lockdown.
It’s been an emotional week with three things moving us: the 1st was the applause and cheers for our NHS and Emergency Service Workers on Thursday night. We stood, clapped and dried a moist eye. The second was the Queen’s broadcast on Sunday evening. Her message of togetherness was perfectly executed and just what the nation needed right now, even for the non-Royalists out there. Cue, more tears! The third thing has been the kind messages we’ve been sent from people receiving this newsletter – it really means the world to us in these uncertain times. As we keep saying, now is not the time to remain silent. We all need to keep talking, sharing, learning and supporting, so that we can survive and thrive. We are living in history. The events of the last few weeks will be remembered forever, so let’s use this time to cogitate, deliberate and prepare our return, invigorated and up-skilled.
We hope you enjoy this fourth issue of the newsletter; we’ll be back on Friday with a weekend digest and round up of all the stuff you need to know.
Oh, and we’re still loving all the pics of pets on lockdown – you can have a look and a laugh at them here – even better, add your own. The funniest pic will get a £25 Pets at Home voucher. Check them out and submit yours here.
Jon, Kevin and the #FUfighters!
(PS. It’s Tuesday).
TODAY’S OBLIGATORY BAD JOKE…
The past, present and future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
FIRST GRANTS AWARDED TO LOCAL PROJECTS DURING COVID-19 CRISIS
Heart of England Community Foundation has awarded over £15,000 from its Coronavirus Resilience Fund in the first week of operation. The Foundation has received almost £230,000 in donations to support local communities across the region during the current pandemic.The Coronavirus Resilience Fund is open to local community groups and projects who provide vital support across various constituencies, with the aim of easing financial concerns caused by the Covid-19 crisis. The first grants were awarded last week to 11 charities across the West Midlands and Warwickshire, all who received grants up to £1,500. Projects included Gospel Oak Community Centre, Time Out, Dudley Carers Forum and Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust General Charity, all of which needed funding to ensure they were able to continue to run the vital services they offer. The Foundation received an influx of applications to the recently launched fund and with many now having to self-isolate in line with the Government’s health and safety guidelines, people in need are unable to access essential resources without external support from local outreach programmes. In order to deliver this necessary support, many local groups are depending on receiving extra funding from the Coronavirus Resilience Fund. Heart of England Community Foundation is hoping to secure further funding so that they are able to continue to support vital services such as food banks, social eating projects, emergency food parcel deliveries and outreach activities which may have been affected by the pandemic.
To apply to the fund, please visit: https://www.heartofenglandcf.co.uk/coronavirus-resilience-fund/
THE MR MEN HAVE A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT AND WE LOVE IT!
If you're a fan of the Mr Men and those wonderful old public service announcements that used to warn us the dangers of pickpockets and rugs on polished floors, then you'll love this short film by Spoon Jar Films. Might have even made us well up a bit! (Lord, we’re crying again). We love a bit of nostalgia!
A MONTH TO IMPROVE YOUR SALES – THE LOWDOWN ON WHAT YOU CAN DO IN LOCKDOWN
“Let’s be open and honest; the recent Covid-19 pandemic has caused a lot of uncertainty for us all - especially businesses. We have entered a period that none of us could have prepared for and I have no doubt in my mind that no business plans had covered such an episode. One thing is for sure, however, now is the perfect time for any business to solidify their sales and marketing plans and to look ahead to the future. Sure, turnover has dropped and sales have slowed down, but if you own a business, now is the perfect time for you to pick that chin up and push towards the future”, says Rob Spence, author of ‘A Month To Improve Your Sales’ Find out Rob’s advice on how to grow your business in lockdown here.
MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT OFFER LAUNCHED FOR BIRMINGHAM AND SOLIHULL CHILDREN, YOUNG PEOPLE, ADULTS AND KEY WORKERS
NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has announced a range of mental health support for local people during this difficult time.
For many, the current circumstances are uncertain and stressful, and may make underlying mental and physical health conditions worse. New, easily accessible support has now been made available by the local NHS.
The services, which are provided by a range of local organisations, offer emotional help, guidance and reassurance to people in Birmingham and Solihull, who may be finding the current situation we are living with overwhelming.
Dr Angela Brady, Deputy Chief Medical Officer at NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG said: ““These new mental health support services are available first and foremost through a dedicated telephone line and can be accessed by anyone who may need them.”
For more information about how to access the support, including opening hours and contact details please visit: https://www.birminghamandsolihullccg.nhs.uk/your-health/mental-health-support-offer
TAKE YOUR KIDS TO THE MOON AND BACK WITH ROCKET WEEK AT THE NATIONAL SPACE CENTRE
The National Space Centre may have closed its doors, but its space mission continues. Join the team on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for explosive lessons, craft ideas, competitions and a chance to ask those questions about space you always wanted answering #AskUsAboutSpace.
It is a very busy week in space as well, with launches to and from the International Space Station; not one but three important anniversaries; a Supermoon and the birthday of the amazing UK space ambassador, Tim Peake.
Get involved online at https://spacecentre.co.uk/
LOCKDOWN SHOUDN’T MEAN A MARKETING SHUTDOWN
Remember that course in business school ‘How to prepare for a global pandemic’? No. Neither do we. And yet here we are, facing unprecedented challenges from COVID-19. We’re ‘learning on the job’ and, as Mark Robinson, Managing Director of Creative62 tells us, - “…it’s time for some serious creative thinking. Motivational one-liners are all well and good, but it’s our actions now that will move us forward.”
He strongly believes that lockdown shouldn’t mean shutdown, and, like us, advocates the need to keep on communicating! In a recent blog, Mark guides us through three important things every marketer should remember during the pandemic. So, if you’re wondering how to approach this unusual time to get the best marketing results, head over to the Creative62 blog for inspiration. Get ready to make #EyesOnJuly your new mantra.
Click on the link to read more 3 Important things every marketer should remember during COVID-19
STOP THE BARKING WITH SOME BAKING
With just one walk a day leaving many canines feeling cranky the award-winning team behind The Big Bakes are helping dog owners soothe their Shitzus, appease their Afghans and relax their Rotties with free online classes helping owners make simple dog treats at home.
The Big Bakes is the UK's first and only live baking competition, where guests take part in live bake-off events in fully decked out marquees in London and Birmingham. Whilst we are all isolating at home, they are hosting an array of remote tutorials across their Instagram and Facebook channels to get the nation baking.
Eloise Frank, Co-Founder at The Big Bakes commented: “My dogs Luna and Freddie have provided me unconditional love and friendship, making life in lockdown infinitely more manageable which is why it is great to be able to return the favour and spend time together baking their favourite dog treats!”
The baking team will be sharing two pet treat bake-at-home classes each week across their social media channels, airing on IGTV every Monday and Friday – the first recipe being some delicious looking Peanut Butter Dog Cookies! All recipes use the day-to-day ingredients and standard kitchen equipment found in the home.
To take part visit @Thebig_bakes on Instagram or The Big Bakes on Facebook
MAKE THE MOST OF THE SUNSHINE BY GETTING OUT AND GET DETAILING
For the uninitiated, car detailing is the professional approach to car cleaning and car care – taking the quick wash and wax to another level! If you are stuck at home with your car in the drive or parked outside your home, why not roll up your sleeves and discover how the professionals do it. Rutland based www.spautopia.co.uk has put together some special kit offers to get you polishing like a pro during the lockdown! Visit the Advice section on the site to get some expert tips on how to wash your car without scratching and dulling the surface; how to restore colour and gloss to weathered surfaces and how to protect your paintwork from the rigors of the road. You can also take advantage of some exclusive and discounted kits for washing, wheels, interior and exterior finishing, and scratch removal. To find out more about car care and car detailing and to see these exclusive Kit Offers visit www.spautopia.co.uk.
WIN A DETAILING KIT
To win an Exterior Finish Kit with Scholl Concepts NEO Polymer Protection, ‘LIKE’ the @spautopia Facebook page www.facebook.com/spautopia, visit the competition post and tell them what car you have and why you should win. The Spautopia team will select the winning answer after entries close on 14th April 2020. One lucky winner will be polishing like a pro in no time!
STEAM AHEAD IN HOME SCHOOLING
Struggling with home schooling, home learning and keepings kids engaged? Yup, most of us are, so this may be a goodie for you. ‘Learn with Syd’ is a STEAM-powered (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) YouTube channel with dynamic, daily content by award-winning Science Communicator, Educator and Broadcaster, Syd. A qualified (ex) teacher, Syd set up the channel with the aim to reach as many kids at home as she can with her daily, high-level content. The daily sessions begin at 3.30pm at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNQma4TqWRWiXRoq_G26-dg Kids’ submissions required by 6pm on the same day for potential feature in their submissions video. Add your name and #artwithsyd, #sciencewithsyd or #mathswithsyd. Submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org or tag on social media with hashtags.
EXCELLENT ONLINE EASTER AT HARVEY NICHOLS AND SELFRIDGES
The physical shops may be shut but those still looking for something extra special this Easter can still indulge online at Birmingham’s enclaves of exclusivity. Our online baskets are bulging with goodies such as the large Booja Booja Almond Sea Salt Caramel Truffles, £32.99 at Selfridges.com or our favourite Stach Chocolate bars in mouth-watering Gin, Tonic and Lime White Chocolate and Butterscotch and Fleur de Sel Milk Chocolate flavours at just £5.95 each at www.harveynichols.com
DISABILITY ACCESS APP LAUNCHED
Three disabled entrepreneurs have joined forces to create a brand-new app aimed at improving the lives of millions of disabled people in the UK. Access Rating (www.accessrating.com) is an app like no other. In seconds, users can improve the lives of the 13.3 million people around the UK living with a disability and in turn, make visiting venues no longer a source of fear and anxiety. Users simply have to browse through over 100,000 venues to submit their disability access review. It’s quick, it’s simple and you don’t even have to have a disability to use it: able-bodied people are encouraged to submit reviews on behalf of disabled people, too. Not only can users review any venue, but venues who receive consistently poor ratings and feedback can hire Access Rating auditors to do an accessibility audit of the venue and help them to improve the experience for disabled and non-disabled visitors moving forward. Based on user-feedback, the founders, Mark Esho, Rich Copson and Jignesh Vaidya have just launched version 3.0 of the app which now includes geolocation.
Head to the app store on Apple or Android phones to download the app and visit www.accessrating.com for more information.
ONE TO WATCH
Exhausted Amazon yet? We’re hearing great things about director Guy Richie’s, The Gentleman, starring Matthew McConaughey, Hugh Grant, a very un-Downton Abbey-like, Michelle Dockery, Charlie Hunnam and Colin Farrell. The blurb says…’Mickey Pearson is an American expatriate who became rich by building a highly profitable marijuana empire in London. When word gets out that he's looking to cash out of the business, it soon triggers an array of plots and schemes -- including bribery and blackmail -- from shady characters who want to steal his domain’. We’re going to give it a stream - let us know what you think, if you do, too!
WORDS OF WISDOM
We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.