FU Loves The Midlands #5 - We were bad...We went out...
We were bad. We went out...We did a click and collect at B&Q for an essential plumbing part to stop a leak and, Oh My Word, it was thrilling! Our local store didn’t have stock, so we had to go to the next branch, which involved a 20-minute car journey – what bliss! We drove down winding B-roads and looked at fields we weren’t allowed to walk through; pretty villages we weren’t allowed to meander amidst and sped past pub beer gardens where, for once, every table was free - not just the ones in the shade by the bins. Our first trip out for over a month and I am still living on the high of such giddiness. I’ve not known such excitement since I sorted out the recycling!
Anyway. Welcome to this week’s newsletter! Thanks for all the positive feedback, we really do appreciate it. With everything starting to settle down and things becoming clearer, we have decided to carry on with the newsletters on a weekly basis rather than twice weekly. Wednesday’s will be the day moving forward, but the mix of advice, news, humour, tips, activities, and entertainment will continue.
Get in touch! Silence is not golden, so talk to us; share your stories and tell others about the newsletter if you’ve enjoyed it. You can reach us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org; by calling 07713 740 272 or you’ll find us on social media.
Enjoy what is set to be another sunny weekend. Stay home, stay safe and stay positive.
Jon, Kevin and the #FUfighters
OBLIGATORY BAD JOKE
What did Winnie the Pooh say to his agent?
"Show me the honey!"
EMPLOYERS MAKING A CLAIM FOR JOB RETENTION SCHEME SHOULD READ THIS
If you haven’t already done it, the government have produced a step by step guide that explains the information that employers need to provide to HMRC to make a claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). It also describes the processes involved. We did ours on Monday and it was pretty straight forward.
You can read it here.
‘TWI-NIGHT IN’ RAISES £45K FOR LOROS
LOROS Hospice broke new ground on Saturday evening when they held their ‘Twi-Night In’, an online, live version of the charity’s annual Twilight Walk around the city. It has, so far, raised more than £45,000!
Accompanied by music, tribute acts, Zumba and Clubbercise, thousands of LOROS supporters tuned in to Facebook and YouTube on Saturday at 7pm to do 10,000 steps in their own homes instead of 10km across Leicester. With LOROS patron, comedian and actor Greg Davies setting Taskmaster challenges for the viewers at home, and local-boy-turned-Hollywood-actor Charlie Clapham performing ‘quarantine karaoke’, supporters were also treated to fun and silliness as well as raising money in memory of their loved ones.
Laura Betts, Fundraising Manager at LOROS said, “People have been very generous and we’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us, as well as our sponsor, Dunelm. We would love to hit £60,000 as this would pay for 100 days of care for our patients, so please do consider supporting us.”
You can still add your donation here.
WIN! A £5000 PUBLICITY PACKAGE WITH FU MEDIA & DLUXE MAGAZINE
Publicity specialists, FU Media, and luxury magazine, DLUXE, have joined forces to offer an exclusive competition to win a year-long publicity package – worth over £5000.
To be in with a chance of winning, simply CLICK HERE.
T&Cs apply. Competition closes 31st May 2020.
BELGRADE LAUNCHES ONLINE ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAMME FOR LOCKDOWN
Belgrade Theatre has launched an online programme of activity to inspire and entertain its audiences during the lockdown period. Called, Between Stages, the new online content hub will feature a range of shows to watch online, as well as craft activities and educational projects to try at home. The hub also includes behind the scenes podcasts, blogs and videos, and even a virtual exhibition.
Highlights so far include the critically acclaimed Wise Children, which is now available to watch on BBC iPlayer as part of BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine programme. Co-produced by the Belgrade Theatre with Wise Children, the Old Vic, Oxford Playhouse and York Theatre Royal, this “big, bawdy tangle of theatrical joy and heartache” sees director Emma Rice bring her exuberantly impish vision to Angela Carter’s last great novel.
Keep up to date with what’s happening via the Belgrade’s online content hub, Between Stages at www.belgrade.co.uk/between-stages or by following the Belgrade Theatre on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
CORONAVIRUS: A BOOK FOR CHILDREN
A new digital book, ‘Coronavirus. A book for Children’, has been released FREE for anyone to read on screen (or print out), about the coronavirus and the measures taken to control it with illustrations drawn by Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler. It’s been written by staff within the Nosy Crow publishing company with expert input from Professor Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine who acted as a consultant, and advice from two head teachers and a child psychologist.
The book answers key questions in simple language appropriate for 5 to 9-year olds:
What is the coronavirus? How do you catch the coronavirus? What happens if you catch the coronavirus?, Why are people worried about catching the coronavirus?, Is there a cure for the coronavirus?, Why are some places we normally go to closed?, What can I do to help?, What’s going to happen next?
Nosy Crow wants to make sure that this book is accessible to every child and family and so the book is offered totally free of charge to anyone who wants to read it, although do point out that donations to help our health service would be useful at www.nhscharitiestogether.co.uk/
LEICESTER ACTION FOR MENTAL HEALTH
With demand for their services soaring, Leicester’s Action for Mental Health Project (LAMP) is asking people to give the cost of a coffee or the lunch they might have shared with a colleague or friend today to help support people experiencing mental distress across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
You can donate here.
They have also produced a free Webinar in partnership with Mattioli Woods PLC that gives advice on health and wealth in these times- watch it above.
NEW COVID-19 REDUNDANCY AND RECRUITMENT SERVICE
The Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) along with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP); Leicester City Council and Futures (who manage local careers support for the National Careers Service) have teamed up to launch a new COVID-19 Redundancy and Recruitment Service. The service will help match people who are facing redundancy due to the impact of Coronavirus with opportunities in sectors that have seen a surge in employment demand.
Despite the Government’s Job Retention Scheme, redundancies are still being made, leaving people out of work. At the same time, demand for staff is increasing in sectors vital to the fight against the virus outbreak – including food production and retail; logistics and distribution; and social care. The new service will work with local employers in these vital sectors to help those facing redundancy make a smooth transition into new work.
Employers who want to access the COVID-19 Redundancy and Recruitment Service should go to: bizgateway.org.uk/our-services/support/coronavirus-covid-19
FREE ONLINE DJ COURSES WITH LISA LASHES SCHOOL OF MUSIC
Are you: 24 or over? Not employed?, Not in Education?, Love Music? Lisa Lashes School of Music have 30 fully funded (ie FREE) places available, so if you are interested – or know someone who might be - and meet the criteria, they can help your DJ dreams come true!
The 12-week program, run over Zoom, will connect students with industry professionals and IT equipment is available FREE of charge to anyone that needs it. This is a once in a lifetime chance for a fantastic opportunity to study from home, whilst in lockdown! Applications close on the 30th of April 2020.
Visit lisalashesschoolofmusic.com to apply
SUPPORT MATRIX LAUNCHED
Tom Mangan Wealth Management have produced a ‘Government Support for Individuals and Businesses Matrix’. It includes announcements from a select few insurance companies that will help those at risk of catching COVID-19 in their workplace attain Life Insurance, Income Protection and Critical Illness cover.
Download your free copy here
HELPING CHILDREN COPE WITH BEREAVEMENT
As the Coronavirus death toll continues to rise, more and more youngsters are having to cope with the loss of a loved one.
Former primary school teacher, Catherine Lynch, of education resources and lesson plan experts,PlanBee, has step-by-step advice for parents or guardians.
Read her guide here.
GET QUIZZICAL FOR MIDLAND’S AIR AMBULANCE
Midlands Air Ambulance Charity is pleased to announce that national broadcaster and local lad, Richie Anderson (pictured), will be donating his time to host a brand-new, virtual quiz to raise funds for the charity.
Midlands Air Ambulance Charity is inviting you to be a ‘virtual supporter’ and take part for free. The live online quiz is taking place on Facebook Live, via the charity’s Facebook page: facebook.com/MidlandsAirAmbulance on Friday 24th April 2020 at 7:30pm.
Prizes are available from the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity range of merchandise and a goody bag will be given to the team with the best team name.
BIRMINGHAM ART COMPETITION LAUNCHES ONLINE IN LOCKDOWN
With the lockdown forcing many of us to spend more time at home, Birmingham Museums Trust has moved this year’s Inspire Art competition online to encourage people of all ages to get creative for their well-being and be inspired by what they can see.
Inspire 2020, is the fifth annual competition and, for the first time, there are no age restrictions. The theme is ‘What I Can See’ and has been designed to help us think differently about our surroundings - and even explore our imaginations and thoughts.
Art submissions could be a poem, a still life, a painting in the garden, a portrait, photo, video, mud sculpture, or a pen drawing … there is no right or wrong! The competition is ideal for school pupils and families looking for activities to do together and for older learners who want to test out their skills, as well as anyone looking to find a way to get their creative juices flowing.
The Inspire 2020 deadline is Sunday 14 June. Submissions will be showcased online, with the aim of eventually showing winning entries at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, once it is back open. While the team are keen to see artworks from everyone for the online gallery, the competition element will be limited to those living in the West Midlands region.
Find out more about the competition, including information about prizes and a guide to submitting entries, atwww.birminghammuseums.org.uk/blog/posts/inspire-20-now-open
FU MEDIA OFFER FREE ‘30-MINUTE MENTORING’ SESSIONS
Talking to your customers, appealing to new ones and promoting what you do as a business in an engaging way is what will give you the very best chance of surviving this difficult period and emerging in fighting-shape on the other side. Those that quietly hibernate will be slower to respond, giving you advantage when the good times return, which is why FU Media has announced the launch of a new service: ‘30-Minute Mentoring’.
Watch the video to find out more.
Feel free to pick up the phone on 077137 40272 (Kevin Urquhart)/ 0772 5809654 (Jonathan Fraser) or email directly on email@example.com / Jon@fu-media.co.uk to book your free, ‘30-Minute Mentoring’ session today
THE SHOW MUST GO ONLINE! CURVE IN CONVERSATION LAUNCHES
Alongside making available recordings of previous performances, Leicester’s Curve have launched a series of videos and podcasts, which sees Artistic Director, Nikolai Foster, hosting in-depth interviews with leading creatives and performers.
Released every Wednesday and Friday, ‘Curve in Conversation’ is already live with Nikolai interviewing writer, Hanif Kureishi, as well as an interview with legendary West End actress, Jodie Prenger. Future interviewees include Anita Dobson, Stephen Mear, Lesley Joseph, Akram Khan, Sarah Travis, Ben Cracknell, Michael Harrison, Kay Magson, Grant Olding, Arlene Phillips, Dakota Blue Richards, Catherine Russell, Colin Richmond and Cathy Tyson.
Visit www.curveonline.co.uk to find out more.
MUSLIM HANDS PARTNERS WITH FARESHARE TO PROVIDE 240,000 MEALS
UK charity Muslim Hands and FareShare (the UK’s largest food redistribution charity) have partnered to provide enough food to create 240,000 meals during the Coronavirus pandemic. The food will reach those who are most vulnerable and ensure that people in disadvantaged communities in the Midlands do not go hungry.
Muslim Hands' donation will enable FareShare Midlands to deliver food to over 500 frontline charities across the East and West Midlands at a time when demand has increased since the pandemic began. The lockdown has resulted in many families facing financial hardship, putting them at increased risk of hunger.
VOLUNTEER: Sign up to volunteer at one of their 25 warehouses to tackle hunger in the face of this crisis
GIVE FOOD: They need more surplus food & require donations of ambient and packet food from food businesses, as we anticipate many more charities will need to supply food parcels to those who are self-isolating. If you are a food business, please get in touch
DONATE: They need emergency funding to do more than we've ever done under pressure and with limited resource. Your donation will help us get good food to vulnerable people, via a UK-wide network of local charities and community groups
GET BAKING! LEMON AND THYME LOAF CAKE
This yoghurt-based loaf cake is a perfect light bake. This version is lemon and thyme, but you can mix it up with orange zest and ground cinnamon or lime zest and desiccated coconut…
Lovely with a sour cream lemon icing but it works equally well as a drizzle cake or just a sponge. If you’re making this in the height of summer, you don’t want to be spending too long in a hot kitchen.
Get the recipe here.
LEICESTERSHIRE DISTILLER SWAPS GIN SPIRITS FOR SANITISER
In response to the Covid-19 crisis, and the subsequent shortage of available hand sanitiser, Market Harborough based independently run distillery Union Distillers has expanded its production line to produce approximately 30,000 litres of hand sanitiser a week. It is providing to local hospitals in Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire areas, as well as Nursing Homes and large building site contractors in London.
The Union Distillers antibacterial hand sanitiser is made to the exact ingredients, method and guidelines set out by the World Health Organisation (WHO). It is also an HMRC approved recipe for the use of Denatured Ethanol normally destined to Gin and Vodka production.
The hand sanitiser has now been made available for personal use online at www.twobirdsspirits.co.uk in a 2.8 litre pouch with tap ideal for refilling spray or pump applicators.
EMERGENCY FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR EAST MIDLANDS DANCERS
Are you an independent artist, practitioner or producer working in dance, based in the East Midlands and in need of emergency cash? Are you perhaps ineligible or waiting for payments from other means of support and experiencing hardship during this time?
Dance4 has allocated some financial reserves to offer 32 payments of £250 to those who truly need it. Independents working in dance that are based in the East Midlands can apply if they are facing immediate hardship due to their planned work being cancelled because of the pandemic. Recipients of the support will be asked to contribute one day of work to Dance4 in the next 12 months – seems like a good deal to us.
They say, “If this fund speaks to you, we want to support you. No proof of hardship will be required, only trust. We understand that a lot of people need help, and this is a small pot for emergency situations, so please consider your position in line with others who might be struggling. This is not to cover bills that can be deferred, it is a real need for basics such as food”.
Visit https://www.dance4.co.uk/dance4-emergency-support-news/ to find out more.
If you are in a fortunate position, and instead can offer funds to support those working in dance in the East Midlands who are in need, Dance4 are looking for generous donations so that they can extend this offer to more people. If this is you, please visit the Dance4 Emergency Support Just Giving page. Please add gift aid if you are eligible to make your donation go even further.
ADVICE OFFERED BY MAZARS
During this time of uncertainty, business leaders need a source of reliable information to help meet the challenges they face. To help, Mazars is creating a series of useful insights written by experts in each subject to offer advice, guidance and practical support.
SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND
FREE HARRY POTTER AUDIOBOOK FROM AMAZON- JUST ASK ALEXA TO
READ HARRY POTTER BOOK ONE!
Pic: Easy Rider, New Orleans
TAKE YOUR VACATION VIA VIDEO
Life in lockdown means that many of us are house-bound and in search of entertainment and escapism. While regular travel is on hold, keep your appetite for travel satiated and dive into a destination-led blockbuster or classic movie and get transported from your living room to some of the most magical locations in the world.
Here’s our pick of movies that’s sure to satisfy your wanderlust
THE GOLDEN GIRLS ARE BACK!
Everyone’s favourite feisty femmes are being re-run from Season One on Channel 5 each lunchtime at 12.40, starting on Monday 27th April - that’s the entire seven seasons, including all the recap episodes! Thank You for being a friend in our times of need.
FREE AUDIO BOOKS TO HELP YOU ESCAPE FROM HOME AND EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS
For those staying at home during the pandemic, OnlineCasinos.co.uk has compiled a list of free audiobooks – from literary classics to educational texts - and virtual tours that can expand your horizons, even when you can’t go out.
Click here to see the list and download your copy.
WORDS OF WISDOM
“A somebody was once a nobody who wanted to and did.”