MASKS, MOVING FORWARD AND MAKING A CHANGE – FU LOVES THE MIDLANDS #17
Rupert’s not too keen on wearing a mask for his walks… thankfully, we’re not at the stage where he’ll be asked to, but for the rest of us the message is clear…ish: yet again, we must use our common sense and keep ourselves and those around us safe. If you have any masks, then please wear it when indoors in a public place and start wearing it NOW – not in 9 days’ time.
It was great to see our friends within the beauty industry, tattoo artists and gyms be allowed to open this week. Fingers crossed there’ll be good news for Leicester city at the end of this week and that the process has begun to get the city well and truly back on track.
One positive we can take from all of this is that (finally) action will be taken to look after factory textile workers and pay them properly in the city. The presence of these sweatshops has been called an ‘open secret’ and we’ve all driven past these factories, not just in Leicester, and not really thought about the people inside them. How can we help? Stop buying fast fashion. We’re all complicit: we know that for a T shirt to cost £2 that someone, somewhere is being exploited. Whether it’s in our city or our country should not matter, it needs to stop. Let’s make that one of the Covid legacies.
Fingers crossed for the coming days.
Stay safe, stay positive and pop your mask on.
Jon, Kevin and the #FUFighters
OBLIGATORY BAD JOKE
What do you call a chicken that counts its eggs?
CARPARK CONCERT SERIES EXPAND WITH OFFERING WITH MARC ALMOND, RUSSELL WATSON, BEVERKEY KNIGHT AND KT TUNSTALL ADDED
More events have been confirmed for Utilita Live From The Drive-In line-up at the Resorts World Arena Car Park. Live Nation is reimagining the live experience during a time of social distancing by allowing fans to enjoy events in a one-of-a-kind drive-in setting from their own private individual viewing zones next to their cars. Designed to comply with all official guidelines, Utilita Live From The Drive-In will deliver the U.K.’s premier drive-in experience featuring a series of music concerts, theatre performances, comedy shows and family experiences this summer.
You can see the likes of Tony Hadley, Marc Almond, Those Damn Crows, Boyzlife, Sigala, Beverley Knight, Russell Watson, Bjorn Again, Grennan, Dizzee Rascal, Gary Numan, The Zutons and KT Tunstall live from August.
Tickets on sale via www.theticketfactory.com or by calling 0344 338 8222 *Calls to 03 numbers typically form part of your inclusive calling plan. However, call charges may vary – refer to your service provider for current charging information.
CREATIVITY AND RESILIENCE OF LEICESTER CELEBRATED IN POETRY
Curve has released a digital project created in collaboration with award-winning Leicester poet and Curve Breakthrough Artist, Jess Green.
Not Something That Other People Do, originally written by Jess for the launch of Leicester City Council’s Cultural Prospectus, celebrates the creativity and resilience of the city and its communities. The video features footage sent in by Leicestershire residents showing how people have remained connected to culture and creativity during this time, as well as clips from Curve Affiliate groups Nupur Arts Dance Academy and Sidekick Dance.
HOSPICE CALLS FOR HELP WITH EFFECTS OF COVID-19
Birmingham St Mary’s, Birmingham and Sandwell’s hospice charity, has launched its ‘Resilience Fund Appeal’ to help cope with the effects of COVID-19 and keep its services running after the charity has seen a huge drop in its income during the pandemic. All 17 of its charity shops had to temporarily close, and all community activities, corporate partnerships and fundraising events have been postponed. It costs £23,288 to run the hospice every day; £14,000 of this coming from fundraising and donations.
The Resilience Fund Appeal is a call to the people of Birmingham and Sandwell for urgent help to keep these vital services running. The appeal’s logo is a white feather, symbolising the memories of loved ones who are no longer with us, but also as a sign of hope and determination that brighter days are ahead. Birmingham St Mary’s has created ‘Remembrance Feathers’ and is asking the local community to write messages of personal remembrance and celebration, to then be sent back to the Hospice. The team will then create a moving display at the Hospice in Selly Park in loving memory of those who have been lost.
As a thank you for donations received to the Resilience Fund Appeal, Birmingham St Mary’s is offering to send donors a white feather pin badge, so local people can show their support for the Hospice. These pin badges will also be available directly from Birmingham St Mary’s, for a suggested minimum donation of £3 per badge.
People wanting to find out more about the appeal and donate should visit birminghamhospice.org.uk/resilience or call St Mary’s fundraising team on 0121 752 8779.
EAT YOURSELF HEALTHY WITH A RAINBOW
Trying to consume a nutritionally complete diet can be challenging at the best of times, but not eating yours and everyone else’s feelings during lockdown takes a miracle! However, if you start associating food colours with vitamins and minerals you could improve your diet!
Vitamin B6 – Red Vitamin B6 helps produce red blood cells so the colour link is easy to remember. Get your daily dose through foods such as bell peppers, red cabbage, radicchio and red potatoes.
Vitamin C = yellow/orange When we think of Vitamin C, we tend to cast our minds to acidic tastes like oranges and lemons. However, there are sweet fruits that also contain this important skin and cell protector such as apricots and honeydew melon. Don’t forget yellow peppers, too which are low in calories due to their high water content.
Vitamin K and iron = green Kale is a versatile veg that can be baked, juiced or cooked, and is a good source of vitamin K and iron among other vitamins and minerals. Other green veggies that contain both include broccoli, spinach and Brussels sprouts.
Vitamin A = orange Orange vegetables are generally high in carotene which gets turned into vitamin A in the body. Found in foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes, orange peppers and pumpkin, this vitamin is important for good eye health
Potassium = white The mineral potassium is known for regulating the balance of fluid in the body, muscle contractions and the impulses of nerves. Most people know that a good source of potassium can be found in bananas, but it can also be found in potatoes, parsnips, white beans and onions.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED IN LEICESTER TO SUPPORT WITH COVID TESTING
Volunteers who can speak Gujarati, Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi are urgently needed and proving especially helpful in engaging with the local population and encouraging them to get tested from Coronavirus.
Public Health England are actively looking for people to help support Leicester Local Lockdown and have said; “Once again, volunteers have done an extraordinary job today in Leicester, supporting and encouraging the community to have a test for COVID-19. We simply could not do this without them.”
To find out more and to volunteer your time visit https://www.volunteerleicestershire.org.uk/
SOLIHULL POLICE GET RADIO BOOST THANKS TO THE BID
Solihull Police have received brand new radios thanks to funding applied for by Solihull BID. The Business Improvement District for Solihull town centre work alongside the Police on the Retail Radio scheme to help shoppers and premises remain safe.
Aware of the need for up to date and reliable equipment, the BID successfully applied for backing from the Active Citizens Fund launched by the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner. The funds were used to purchase state-of-the-art radios for Solihull neighbourhood policing teams including those who cover the town centre.
Businesses across the town centre are linked in with the Police, the BID Street Wardens, Solihull Council’s enforcement officers, the Touchwood and Mell Square security staff and CCTV operators via the retail radio system.
FILL YOUR HOME WITH VINTAGE CHARM – LEICESTERSHIRE DIFFUSERS ARE HEAVEN SCENT
Created initially as a hobby by mother and daughter team, Jo Lyle and Francesca Scott of Lutterworth, Vintage & Bespoke is now a thriving online business and has been featured and recommended within Country Homes and Interiors.
The team have created a collection of bespoke home diffusers that repurpose lovely old bottles to add some vintage charm to match their heavenly scents. Teamed with handmade, long lasting diffuser flowers, they diffuse fragrance far better than reeds, just like a real flower. Unlike real flowers though, the sets are reusable with customers encouraged to make the most of the flowers and only opt to buy refill fragrances.
Customers can choose from three price levels of antique bottle with special requests welcome – Jo and Francesca love the idea of each fragrance diffuser set being bespoke to each person.
Diffuser flower packs cost from just £10 plus the cost of an antique bottle – available from just £10.
FIND OUT HOW TO HOST AN AMAZING EVENT WITH FREE WEBINAR FROM LEICESTER BUSINESS FESTIVAL
Find out everything you need to know about running an event in the LBF, from using the digital platform and what might work well in the Festival, to the key sectors, support for event organisers and how to get started at a free webinar to be held on the 16th July from 12-1pm.
This informal event will run through the application process, and everything you need to consider when planning your event as part of the annual two-week festival. This year’s LBF will run from Monday 2nd November to Friday 13th November and will incorporate a wide range of free business events, run by the local business community. The Festival aims to showcase what the region has to offer, drive economic growth and support local businesses.
WEST MIDLANDS’ THRIVING FESTIVAL SCENE BRINGS 2020 CELEBRATIONS TO FESTIVALGOERS’ HOMES
Festivals across the West Midlands are currently unable to welcome back visitors with many major cultural events and outdoor festivals such as Birmingham Pride, Download Festival and Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell Jazz Festival in 2020 either cancelled or postponed, causing an unprecedented impact to culture across the region.
But whilst COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the sector, artists and organisers across the region have been busy finding innovative new ways of bringing the festival experience to you at home with live online performances and artist interviews, digital workshops and even beer deliveries!
Almost Jazz Funk & Soul 2020, 10th – 12th July Unable to host the Mostly Jazz Funk and Soul festival in Birmingham’s Moseley Park this Summer, the team has created Almost Jazz Funk & Soul – an online festival that’s taking place this weekend. Expect live performances, DJ sets, artist interviews, 2021 announcements, interactive zooms, big giveaway competitions, craft beer delivery and street food for locals. The line-up is still to be announced but with previous headliners including Sister Sledge, Burt Bacharach and Chaka Khan you know it’s going to be a good one!
Sofasonic Festival, 17th – 19th July The team behind Supersonic Festival, hailed the “UK’s best small festival” by The Guardian in 2019, is bringing you a weekend of online events on 17-19 July. The line-up includes a new Kids Gig (Live Stream) with one-man-band extravaganza ICHI, an immersive mediation and yoga from Do.omyoga (Kamellia Sara) and bingo hosted by hosted by Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs. These events are Pay As You Feel, with 25% of all proceeds being donated to The Trussell Trust, which supports a nationwide network of food banks.
Simmer Lock-down Festival, 18th – 19th July Simmer Down Festival this year comes to your living rooms, as a free live stream via YouTube Live and Facebook Live on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th July. Usually held in the beautiful surroundings of Handsworth Park, Simmer Down is a family music and arts festival, which celebrates Birmingham’s rich cultural diversity by paying tribute to the centrality of reggae and other musical genres that have contributed to Birmingham as an international city of culture.
This year’s line-up has artists, DJs and poets from across the globe as well as the best local talent, including sets from Make It Happen Dance Company, Freetown Collective and Rhythms Del Torro.
You can find more details about these festivals and the other great activities taking place virtually across the West Midlands via makeitwm.com
FIRST TRACK AND TRACE APP FOR VENUES AND CUSTOMERS AVAILABLE
With the Government admitting that their contact-tracing app will not be ready until the winter, the first track and trace app for venues that can be downloaded from Google and Apple has been created by a British software developer. It allows pubs and restaurants to securely collect the customer data they need while also automatically alerting people if they have been in the same place as someone presenting with COVID-19 symptoms.
SafeVenues is easy to download for both venue and customer and it makes sure the data is centrally stored under strict GDPR conditions rather than kept in a drawer in a restaurant and can immediately be made available to the NHS when requested.
The app has a built in symptom reporter and notification system that will automatically notify the venue if a customer as developed Covid-19 and any customer there at the same time as the patient.
The SafeVenues platform creates a QR code for each venue that signs up, enabling customers to self-scan as they go into the venue using the SafeVenues app on their mobile phone, which is free to download. Once registered, the platform will retain a record of the name and email address of each customer who has scanned in coupled with the date and time they attended the venue. The data will be securely held on the SafeVenues system for 21 days and be provided to the NHS on request.
Venue owners can register at SafeVenues.co.uk for a small fee and will be supplied with the QR code and signage to display at the venue, advising customers of how to scan in and out of the venue.
The app is available to download at Apple App Store and the Google Play store by searching SafeVenues.
£24M GRANT FUNDING APPROVED FOR LEICESTERSHIRE
The Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership Limited (LLEP) have announced that £24.43m of grant funding is to be awarded from the Leicester and Leicestershire Business Rates Pool fund. The fund is managed by the LLEP on behalf of local authorities and grants are allocated for priority economic projects that drive productivity and growth across the Leicester and Leicestershire area.
The projects include improvements to town centres and public realm areas, development of transport and highways infrastructure including cycleways and footpaths, upgrades to public wi-fi in town centres, targeted employment initiatives and development of arts, cultural and leisure facilities.
Some of the projects being supported by the funding across the county include £750k to provide grants up to £10k to businesses in the county to assist their recovery from Covid19, £3.75m and £100k to support the Superfast Leicestershire broadband project.
Leicester will see £4m for the Transforming Cities Green Growth Corridors programme that will see investment in sustainable transport schemes to support economic growth and £2.5m to expand and refurbish Jewry Wall to create a national quality Roman Leicester museum along with two new galleries at New Walk museum.
SLADE RETURN TO BRUM FOR BEST CHRISTMAS EVER SLADE
Without doubt one of the most well-known bands to come out of the West Midlands, Slade will be back home for Christmas with their unique blend of perfect pop rock’n’roll, outrageous flamboyance and pure fun.
Led by founder member Dave Hill on Lead Guitar with John Berry, Russell Keefe and Alex Bines, the band will perform a roller-coaster ride of pure unadulterated rock’n’roll at the Birmingham Asylum on the 18th December.
STOP PRESS- KITCHEN DISCO TOUR AND ALBUM ANNOUNCED
So popular have the kitchen disco’s been that SEB has announced an album and tour based on the phenomenon. Bringing together all of Sophie’s disco hits in one along with popular covers from the lockdown concerts such as Madness’s Our House and Favourite Things from The Sound of Music. The album will be released in October but you can book tickets on the tour here.
SOPHIE’S SCHOOL’S OUT CELEBRATION KITCHEN DISCO
Whoop whoop!! School’s out for summer (well it would be if schools were on in the first place) so let’s have a party! Sophie Ellis Bextor has decided to revisit her amazing lockdown kitchen concerts and do a one-off kitchen disco to celebrate reaching the summer holidays alive. Let’s dance! Expect the usual kids, chaos, fun, dancing, music and sequins from 6.30pm on Friday on Instagram Live.
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NUFFIELD HEALTH HOSPITAL LEICESTER OPEN FOR BUSINESS
Has lockdown meant you’ve been putting off sorting out an existing medical problem? Nuffield Health hospital on Scraptoft Lane, Leicester is now open for new referrals and are offering online, virtual and face to face consultations to patients.
Whilst the hospital continues to work supporting the NHS, some of the award-winning healthcare services from the UKs largest provider have relaunched to help assist patients with expert consultants offering services in a safe and secure environment. Specialists in Orthopaedics, Gynaecology, Ophthalmology, Urology, Ear Nose & Throat, Dermatology are now available to speak to.
To book your appointment or enquire about other specialities call today on 03001311416 or visit https://www.nuffieldhealth.com/hospitals/leicester
AN INDIAN SUMMER FESTIVAL LAUNCHES AIS OPEN
An Indian Summer, the UK festival celebrating South Asian culture, has now launched the new inaugural open art exhibition An Indian Summer (AIS) Open marking the 10th edition of the festival.
Artists from across the world have submitted work exploring the theme of Freedom as part of the first AIS Open. 20 artists from across the globe were selected to have their works shown and a panel of prestigious judges are to choose four finalists along with a winner who will be given a £500 cash prize.
The AIS OPEN will be live on An Indian Summer Festival’s website until 23 August 2020.
Click here to view it.
BOX SETS MAKING YOU BILIOUS? GET YOUR FILM FIX
Did you know you can still get your fix of independent and avantgarde film from Phoenix but at home during lockdown? Each week, a curated programme of cutting-edge cinema is made available to stream for free, at a discounted rate or with profits split between the cinema and distributor. This week’s programme includes new releases Clemency and In Her Hands as well as the National Theatre’s productions of Amadeus and Birdsong.
Click here to see the full programme.
SUPER SNAPPER HELPS PUT JOBSEEKERS IN THE FRAME
Birmingham photographer Edwin Ladd is helping job seekers made redundant because of the Covid-19 pandemic with a free photo shoot to support their search for work.
Edwin Ladd of Mr Ladd Media is asking for people to come forward so he can capture and supply professional images to highlight skills and expertise, to be used in job applications or on social media posts to underline their skills and experience.
Edgbaston-based Edwin said: “Ever since I have been in business, I have wanted to support others. When I saw someone post on LinkedIn they were now out of work and the strength of feeling supporting them, and others. I knew I needed to take action.”
Edwin is offering a free professional photo shoot that reflects the area of work that is being looked for. All shoots will take place in Birmingham city centre. Anyone interested in finding out more can contact Edwin on 07828 475591 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
JOIN THE SPACE RACE!
On 16 July 1969, the Saturn V rocket blasted off taking Apollo 11 to the Moon, making global history and marking one giant leap in the Space Race. Did you also know that on 17 July 1975, Astronaut Thomas P. Stafford and cosmonaut Aleksei A. Leonov made a historic handshake in space as part of the first docking of the Apollo and Soyuz spacecrafts, seen by many as the end of the Space Race?
Join the National Space Centre online to discover more about the Space Race, with live lessons, videos, craft workshops and downloadable content to support at home learning.
Click here to join the fun.
CAROLE BASKIN FURY OVER TRICK
Someone needs to tell legend of lockdown TV, Carol Baskin, to be discerning and researching when sending out paid for birthday wishes on video messaging service Cameo.
Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.
– A. A. Milne