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Birmingham City Council’s residential tower blocks are to be fitted with sprinkler systems and other fire suppression measures following the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London, where 79 people are known to have died.

City Council leader John Clancy has confirmed that the council will as a matter of urgency look at the 213 blocks of flats it owns to assess what work needs to be undertaken to reassure tenants that their homes are safe.

Cllr Clancy said he was prepared to find up to an estimated £31 million to retro-fit measures which reduce the risk of fire and help tenants to feel safer.

The council leader wants Britain’s biggest councils to lobby the Government to help pay for fire suppression measures in all of the country’s local authority residential tower blocks and has written to the leaders of Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield councils asking for their support.

The nine cities plus Birmingham form the Core Cities group, representing the largest councils in the UK and are home to scores of tower blocks.

Cllr Clancy said he hoped Core Cities and other local government organisations would put pressure on the Government to come forward with a financial package to help councils meet investment in fire suppression measures such as the cost of fitting sprinklers.

Cllr Clancy intends to prioritise council spending on a rolling programme to install sprinklers, regardless of whether the Government makes a financial contribution.

One idea under consideration if Government funding is not forthcoming is to pay for the tower block fire prevention strategy from capital receipts – cash raised through selling assets owned by the council.

Cllr Clancy said: “The dreadful events in London have understandably triggered an outburst of public anger and demands that councils need to do far more to protect tenants living in high-rise blocks.

“I became council leader pledging that every child, every citizen and every place matters. Now is the time to underline that promise by recognising that as a council we have a duty to provide the best possible fire protection for our tenants, and we will do whatever it takes to keep people safe.

“But the cost of doing this for all local authorities with tower blocks is certain to be substantial and beyond the means of austerity-hit councils to afford in a timely fashion.

“The Government should accept this is a national emergency that fully justifies establishing a fund to allow councils to fit sprinkler systems as a matter of urgency.

“If the Government fails to respond appropriately, I believe our tenants would expect work on less important building projects to be delayed so that we can make sure our tower blocks are safer places to live in.

“It should also be recognised that a city-wide programme to fit fire-suppression measures will generate significant employment opportunities for Birmingham, creating skilled jobs and apprenticeships and underpinning the council’s commitment to inclusive economic growth.”

UK seasonal fruit and vegetable growers are already experiencing the beginnings of a migrant labour crisis pending the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, according to a specialist employment lawyer.

Kate Gardner, a partner in the employment & HR team at national law firm Clarke Willmott LLP, said there is a fear amongst the farming community that they will not be able to access the labour they need once the EU free movement law no longer applies in the UK.

This combined with the lack of clarity from the Government as to the post-Brexit immigration policy for those citizens of states remaining in the EEA, is leading to fears that the British fruit and vegetable industry could be crippled.

Kate Gardner said: “Whilst a migrant labour crisis in both the agriculture and horticulture sectors is to be expected with Brexit and the loss of free movement of workers, the general uncertainties associated with Brexit as well as the weak pound have already impacted on the seasonal growers, with employers reporting to be experiencing the worst labour shortages since 2004.”

The UK agriculture and horticulture sectors have long relied on migrant labour. Recent surveys estimate that 27,000 people from other EU member states worked in UK agriculture last year.  A further 116,000 EU nationals worked in the UK’s food manufacturing sector. During peak seasons, farmers are further dependent on a large temporary workforce, thought to be around 75,000 strong, to supplement regular permanent staff in harvesting crops.

Kate continued: “The Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme which was introduced in 1945 to address post-war labour shortages, allowed fruit and vegetable growers to employ migrant workers from Bulgaria and Romania to do short-term low-skill agricultural work such as strawberry picking and other fruit harvesting for a maximum of six months.  This was extremely useful and beneficial to UK farmers but unfortunately the Scheme was closed at the end of 2013.

“Submissions have been made to the Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee that a new Agricultural Workers Scheme needs to be implemented with immediate effect. The Government says it currently has no plans to introduce a new scheme but it does recognise farmers’ concerns and advises that farmers should be encouraged to boost productivity by making full use of farming technologies.

“Yet whilst Brexit has given the research and development of technologies such as robots a fresh impetus, experts predict that we are at least five years away from the development of a robot that can pick delicate soft fruits such as strawberries with the speed and delicacy of a human.

“As with any aspect of Brexit, this is an evolving situation and one which we continue to watch carefully.”

Anyone interested in an apprenticeship with Sandwell Council is invited to find out more at an event next month.

The council will be taking on hundreds more apprentices over the coming years. Anyone interested in starting their career with the council is urged to come along to the Council House in Oldbury on Thursday 6 July.

The event, which is on from 2.30pm until 6.30pm in the council chambers, is open to people of any age.

Council apprentices who are already working for the council as well as the council’s employment team will be on hand to give advice, chat about vacancies and how to apply.

Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and investment Councillor Paul Moore said: “Apprenticeships are a great way to earn while you learn, get work experience and put some money in your pocket without leaving you with debt.

"They're not just for school leavers either, we want to hear from people of all ages who want to start a new career, gain experience and hopefully secure a great job for the future.

"Many of our apprentices go on to full-time posts with the council or their apprenticeship helps them secure future employment thanks to their new qualifications. "The apprenticeships we offer range from business admin and finance to grounds maintenance and gas services and everything in between.

“We will have some of our current apprentices on hand to tell visitors what to expect from an apprenticeship."

Two Birmingham-based charities have teamed up to strengthen their support for vulnerable individuals living in the Midlands.

Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice and St Basils have come together for the first time ever, to help raise crucial funding to support the Midlands community.

Collaborating on a first-of-its-kind event, the two charities are working in unison to extend their reach within the Midlands, allowing them to identify and assist more people in need.

The Hospice, which provides vital care and support to families living with terminal illness, and St Basils, which works with young people who are homeless, are hosting a challenging, nine-hour relay race to bring more people together within their local communities.

The ‘Sunset Squad Relay’ event – which takes place on Saturday 22 July at Cofton Park - sees the charities working together equally, with all funds raised going towards the two causes.

Lucy Watkins, events manager at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, said: “Night time is usually the most difficult period for people in a Hospice and for people who are homeless, and it was this connection that initially brought Birmingham St Mary’s and St Basils together.

“Working in partnership has been hugely beneficial - not only are we able to pool our resources but we’ve both been able to connect with more people, helping to raise awareness of the vital services we provide.”

Barrie Hodge, head of fundraising and communications at St Basils, added: “We are delighted to be working with Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice on this event. We love working in partnership and this is an example of two of Birmingham’s most important organisations working together to make our city better for all. It is going to be a fantastic event and we can’t wait to welcome everyone taking part.”

Bullring hosted the first Breakfast Club in partnership with Birmingham Mind. The event was presented by Free Radio's Sparky and speakers included local rapper Smiiffy, Virtual X's Creative Director and Mike Jeffries, a representative from Birmingham Mind. 

Below are some of the statistics that were discussed during the event.

Provided by National Mind and Statistics


·      104 people will take their own life

•       250,000 people will visit their doctor about a mental health problem

•       750,000 prescriptions for antidepressants will be issued


•       Only 14% of people report living with high levels of good mental health

•       More than 4 in 10 people say they have experienced depression

•       Over a quarter of people say they have experienced panic attacks

•       Nearly 3 in 4 people living in the lowest household income bracket report having experienced a mental health problem, compared to 6 in 10 of the highest household income bracket.

•       Nearly two-thirds of people say that they have experienced a mental health problem . This rises to 7 in every 10 women, young adults aged 18-34 and people living alone.


Compiled by the Men’s Health Forum, June 2016 (Updated January 2017.)

•       Men account for just over three out of four suicides (76%) from the ONS total figure for suicides of 6,188 in 2015.

•       12.5% of men in the UK are suffering from one of the common mental health disorders

•       Men are nearly three times more likely than women to become alcohol dependent (8.7% of men are alcohol dependent compared to 3.3% of women).

•       Men are more likely to use (and die from) illegal drugs

•       Men are less likely to access psychological therapies than women. Only 36% of referrals to IAPT services are men.

•       There is considerable debate about the true level of common mental health disorders in men - In a 2016 survey by Opinion Leader for the Men’s Health Forum, the majority of men said that they would take time off work to get medical help for physical symptoms such as blood in stools or urine, unexpected lumps or chest pain, yet fewer than one in five said they would do the same for anxiety (19%) or feeling low (15%)

•       Men report significantly lower life satisfaction than women in the Government’s national well-being survey – with those aged 45 to 59 reporting the lowest levels of life satisfaction.

•       73% of adults who “go missing” are men

•       87% of rough sleepers are men

•       Men are nearly 50% more likely than women to be detained and treated compulsorily as psychiatric inpatients


Pupils from across the City of Wolverhampton have produced some outstanding art as part of a schools’ competition run to celebrate Armed Forces Day.

Students were asked to submit a piece of art based around the theme of the Armed Forces – and entries, including poems, paintings, drawings and flag designs, came in from nine schools.

Sergeant Scott Brooks, Major Sylvia Parkin and Squadron Leader Charlotte Morrison carefully selected the winners in the three categories of best poem, best art and best flag.

All the entries received are being showcased in Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Lichfield Street, this week as part of the armed forces exhibition.

The week started with the Mayor of Wolverhampton, Councillor Elias Mattu, raising the Armed Forces flag.

On the same day, he presented poetry winner, Mya Perry, aged 11, of Bilston Church of England Primary School, with her prize of a £25 Love2shop voucher, in the Mayor’s Parlour, at the Civic Centre.

The judges were impressed by the emotional language used in her poem entitled ‘Daddy Please Don’t Go’, and agreed it was a mature piece of writing for a young lady.

Mayor Mattu said: “It was a real pleasure to present Mya with her award and it is great to see the children in the city honouring our Armed Forces through this art work.

"We owe the men and women of the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force a debt of gratitude. “These Armed Forces Day events are a fantastic way for us all to do that, while at the same time finding out a little bit more about our Armed Forces and recognise the crucial role they continue to play today."

Sami Al Abadie, ten, of The Royal School was the winner in the best flag category and Olivia Greybanks, 11, of Stow Heath Primary School was the winner in the best art category.

Both will receive their prizes as part of Saturday’s Armed Forces Day celebration event at the Mander Centre from 11am to 4pm.

It will feature drumming, rigging, semaphore and drill displays by Army, Air and Sea Cadets and physical training demonstrations by the Military Preparation College, and offer people the chance to meet members of the Armed Forces past and present.

There will also be musical performances by the RAF Cosford Voluntary Band, the City of Wolverhampton Council Choir and vintage vocal harmony trio The Bluebird Belles. Plus, a range of military vehicles on display in Queen Square and Dudley Street, along with a flight simulator.

The renowned Elysium Hotel, located on the Greek island of Mykonos, which predominantly caters to an exclusive LGBT clientele, has recently undergone an extensive programme of refurbishment designed to consolidate its position as one of the premier boutique hotels focussing on the luxury LGBT market.

In addition to this refurbishment, the hotel has also made service-level enhancements to double its staff-to-guest ratio, thereby providing a level of excellence and attentiveness that exceeds its customers' needs.

This philosophy accompanies the guest experience from the moment of booking, and throughout the stay. The hotel offers a unique 'straight-friendly' experience. It presents one of the most extensive entertainment programmes on the island, with daily evening cabaret shows featuring international acts that welcome straight as well as LGBT guests.

The cabaret is now also supported by the Daily Sunset 'Live' programme, where guests can sip cocktails by the pool and on the refurbished terrace lounge, accompanied by live piano performances. Just 300 metres from the UNESCO-listed Mykonos town, the Elysium offers a beautiful panoramic view over the Aegean Sea.

The property features a large swimming pool, fully-equipped Kinesis gymnasium and a pool-side Jacuzzi, hot tub, massage programme and Yoga lessons. There is an on-site restaurant, and the lively Sunset Bar, where the main entertainment is held.

The hotel offers 44 luxurious en-suite guestrooms with free internet access and modern amenities. This refurbishment represents a move to position the hotel as one of the more exclusive and unique accommodation experiences that Mykonos has to offer.

Alkhidmat Foundation Pakistan in collaboration with UK Islamic Mission (UKIM) has successfully distributed Eid Gifts among orphan children in Multan. More than 60 orphan families benefited. At the gifts distribution, Muhammad Ahmad Chughtai (Senior Vice President AKFP Multan chapter), Justice (retired) Zafar Yaseen, Waseem Ul Haq Rimzi (District Officer Health Multan), Afzaal Mughal and Dr. Wali Muhammad (General Secretary AKFP Multan chapter) were present while families of the orphan children were also invited. Grand Iftar dinner was also served among participant at the end of the Eid Gifts distribution ceremony.

Amazon, in partnership with the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), has announced the regional results of the ‘Design a Drone’ competition in West Midlands. Over 1,700 students participated in the competition from across the UK.

Sutherland Primary Academy in Stoke-on-Trent topped the leader-board, taking first, second and third places.

Harley T was awarded the top spot for designing the Angel drone which would deliver food, medicine and plasters to people in need. Second place went to Sapphire G for her Mrs Smile drone, which would safely deliver parcels to children, and third place was awarded to Ellie-Mae L for her Automatic 101 drone.

The successful young engineers were awarded their prizes in a special ceremony during a school assembly. Winning students took home gift baskets of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) prizes. The first place regional winner also earned a cash donation of £1,000 for her school, to be spent on in-school STEM resources.

One national winner will be selected from the 12 regional finalists and have the opportunity to travel to the Amazon Prime Air Lab in Cambridge, UK, where their design will be exhibited for a year.

The competition helped raise awareness of the CAA’s Drone Code, a simple set of rules and guidelines which outline how to fly drones safely and within the law in the UK.

All primary school students in Years Two to Five in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were eligible to enter the competition. Students were asked to design their interpretation of a delivery drone to serve a humanitarian purpose or improve society, such as first-response medical aid, sending flowers to a loved one who is unwell or delivering toys to children in need.

Jonathan Nicholson, Assistant Director of Communications at the CAA, said: “All the entries were absolutely amazing and it was great to see so many students showing an interest in drones. By the time they are adults, drones could well be playing key roles in everyday life. But for that to happen we need everyone who flies a drone now to do so safely.”

Lauren Kisser, Operations Director at Amazon Prime Air, commented: “I’m delighted that the Design a Drone competition encouraged these students to unleash their creative thinking on how drones can be used to improve society. The entries we received were full of innovative and thoughtful ideas that could very well change the world one day.”

Almost 10,000 free tickets have been snapped up for City of Wolverhampton’s inaugural Festival of Food and Drink.

The weekend festival on Saturday, July 8 (1pm-8pm) and Sunday 9 (12pm-7pm) is the flagship event of this year’s packed ‘Visit the City of Wolverhampton’ programme.

It will take place on Wulfruna Street, the Civic Centre Ceremonial car park, St Peter’s car park and the pedestrian area outside the University of Wolverhampton’s Ambika Paul building.

City partners have also come together to entice residents and visitors with a host of other free or purse-friendly activities and offers between Friday, June 30 and Sunday, July 16.

William Power of Street Banquet and Director of E11EVEN GROUP has staged events across the country, and will deliver the Festival of Food and Drink.

He said: “As a local businessman born in the city, I am delighted to be involved in an event that will bring visitors to Wolverhampton.

“The Festival of Food and Drink, as part of Visit the City of Wolverhampton programme, is a brand new entertainment offer for the city and I am looking forward to my family and friends being part of it.”

Other highlights in the Visit the City of Wolverhampton programme include a free afternoon of horse racing at Wolverhampton Racecourse; free entry to the Wolves Football Club Museum; free Super Saturday fitness activities at WV Active leisure centres; and a free tour of Banks’s Brewery.

Plus, there are discounted offers for an evening at Wolves Speedway, Grand Theatre productions, and eating and drinking offers.

Enjoy the ‘Wolves in Wolves’ sculpture trail - a guided fun walk around the city centre showcasing wolves decorated by different artists and placed around the city to create the largest public art event in the City of Wolverhampton.

Browse the shops and indulge yourself in the restaurants, cafes and bars.

Councillor John Reynolds, City of Wolverhampton Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: “Wolverhampton is a vibrant, thriving city with plenty to offer every day of the year.

“The summer Visit the City of Wolverhampton programme has even more on offer and it is a great way to sample places you might not normally think of visiting.

“We are really excited about this year’s programme. It is a great initiative showcasing our great city.”

The most inspiring young surveyors – who make the West Midlands a better place to live, work and visit – are currently being given the opportunity to have their talent recognised nationally and be rewarded with a car to help them in their career.

Surveyors are essential in key areas such as housing, commercial property and our road and rail systems. The national Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Matrics Young Surveyor of the Year Awards launched three years ago, to raise awareness of the diverse range of young talented surveyors, trainees and apprentices working in such areas – aged 35 and under – and helping to shape and improve the communities we live in.

This year, surveyors who enter the 2017 RICS Matrics Young Surveyor of the Year Awards by the deadline of 21 July, are also in with a chance of winning a Volvo V40 D2 on a 23-month lease to further aid their career, courtesy of principal sponsors of the awards, Santander Consumer Finance.

The nine categories to enter are: Apprentice of the Year, Asset and Facilities Management, Building Surveying, Land (Rural and Urban), Mentor of the Year, Property (Residential & Commercial), Project Management, Quantity Surveying and Valuation.

There is also an overall ‘Young Surveyor of the Year’ accolade which is awarded to the professional who has not only achieved great success in their respective role and sector, but also demonstrates an unwavering commitment to improving the industry and the wider profession.

Last year the ‘UK Young Surveyor of the Year’ title went to Matthew Fedigan, 30, Director at Domec Facilities Management in Liverpool. Matthew co-founded the business over five years ago – which delivers technical facilities solutions relating to the management and upkeep of buildings – and it has since grown rapidly with turnover now approaching £3 million. He is an RICS ‘APC doctor’ too, responsible for advising and supporting Building Surveying candidates through their Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) - professional examinations to become a fully qualified chartered surveyor.

Lynn Robinson, RICS Regional Director said: “The West Midlands has some of the very best properties, from our airports, sports stadiums, schools, industrial assets and eco homes, which our talented young professionals in the built environment sectors either help to deliver and, or, maintain.

“To put it simply, surveyors measure, value and protect all our physical assets across the region, which ultimately keeps our towns and cities vibrant and attractive to locals and visitors. These awards celebrate such inspirational talent, which I know the West Midlands has in abundance, so we’re looking forward to recognising and rewarding these role models.”

David Keddie MRICS, Chair of the RICS UK Matrics Board – a networking and support group for young surveyors -  is heading up this year’s judging panel. He commented: “These awards celebrate the very best young role models in our industry who are enjoying hugely successful careers, working on some of the most exciting built projects and initiatives in their respective communities. So they provide an ideal opportunity for companies – however large or small - to showcase the achievements of their young talent and help inspire future talent into the industry. Potentially winning a car too is certainly a bonus for any young professional.”

The Phoenix Newspaper would like to wish all Muslims, wherever they are in the world, a happy Eid al-Fitr.

The waterfront city of Portsmouth is the perfect destination for a family-friendly short summer break, offering a variety of activities from the stunning coastline to the fun filled history, heritage and learning experiences. The wide range of safe yet enjoyable physical activities available include cycle hire, swimming and tennis courts. Good quality family accommodation and family friendly restaurants make the historic city an all-round summer destination.

Emirates Spinnaker Tower

Visitors can start their visit on a high with unrestricted views of The Solent, The Isle of Wight and the rolling hills of Hampshire's South Downs, plus a unique perspective on Portsmouth from 100m above the city harbour at Gunwharf Quays. Experience the thrill of crossing the amazing glass Sky Walk.

Blue Reef Aquarium

Overlooking the busy but beautiful Solent, Portsmouth's Blue Reef Aquarium takes visitors on the ultimate undersea safari,  from the rich variety of British waters to the beauty of a tropical coral reef. Over 40 displays include an otter holt and a giant tropical reef tank that is home to a variety of tropical sharks and stingray, black tip reef sharks, crested horn sharks, terrapins, frilled dragons and much more.

The Pyramids Centre swimming pool

The Pyramids Centre is one of Portsmouth's largest entertainment, leisure and event complexes, located just off Southsea Beach. The venue boasts a variety of activities for all ages with fun leisure pools, funky flumes, wacky waves, pool inflatables and a three-level soft play adventure world filled with mazes, climbing nets and ball pits, as well as a multipurpose gym, fitness classes including Zumba, Yoga and Health Circuits and an in-house spa

His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex  was given a royal welcome as he paid a visit to Birmingham Conservatoire in his role as the institution’s Royal Patron.

The Earl  was the guest of honour at the historic music school and was treated to a special musical performance before being taken on a guided tour of the state-of-the-art new facilities currently under construction at the institution’s £57 million new home.

His Royal Highness was welcomed by Birmingham City University Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Upton Conservatoire Principal, Professor David Roberts, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean for the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media and Conservatoire Principal Professor Julian Lloyd Webber.

On his arrival HRH was led into the Recital Hall where he enjoyed a performance from the Conservatoire’s brass band, before talking with students about their studies and future careers.

The Earl was formally named as the institution’s first Royal Patron last year, reflecting his strong interest in the arts in both his public and personal life.

Birmingham Conservatoire Principal Professor Julian Lloyd Webber said: “It was fantastic to welcome The Earl of Wessex through our doors again and to give him the chance to see our students perform.

“All of us at the Conservatoire are extremely grateful to His Royal Highness for being such a caring and active Royal Patron.

“As our wonderful new building is nearly completed this was the perfect opportunity for us to show him  around the new facility in Eastside and showcase the state-of-the-art facilities that will make our new home a Conservatoire fit for the digital age.”

Part of Birmingham City University and with a history dating back to 1859, the Conservatoire is one of the leading music academies in the country.

Internationally renowned cellist Professor Julian Lloyd Webber took up the role of its Principal in 2015.

The new Conservatoire, which is being built by Galliford Try, will be equipped with more than 70 music practice rooms for musicians and will also be home to Birmingham’s only dedicated jazz venue.

The new £57 million home for Birmingham Conservatoire is being built alongside Millennium Point, adjacent to Jennens Road in Eastside. The development is being taken forward in partnership with Millennium Point and Birmingham City Council.

British painter William Turner is regarded as one of the fathers of Rhine romanticism. Today, his paintings are still ambassadors for the Middle Rhine Valley, which, with its high density of castles, sloped vineyards and the various localities on the narrow banks, has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Yet, Rhineland-Palatinate has so much more to offer: Moselle romanticism certainly has as many benefits as 'Father Rhine' – one more reason to introduce the popular Moselle-Saar holiday region.

The Moselle – home to one of the most photographed castles in Germany Nostalgics from the Moselle region look at the DM500 note they may still possess melancholically. However, this is not only due to its former nominal value. Rather, they miss the vignette of the impressive Eltz Castle, which they were so proud of. Located in a side valley of the Moselle, Eltz Castle is reminiscent of Sleeping Beauty's castle to many a visitor in the area. The stone and timber-frame structure, still in perfect condition, is a source of fascination, especially since it has never been destroyed. The castle has been the family estate of the Counts of Eltz for centuries. Many visitors consider it the Neuschwanstein Castle of Rhineland-Palatinate.

In a bid to help those who have been affected by the Manchester bombings, TOA taxis have raised just over £2000. Half the amount was raised by collecting donations from every black cab driver on the ranks in Birmingham City Centre and Birmingham International Airport. The other half of the money has been kindly donated directly by TOA Taxis, matching the total amount collected by all of the black cabs in Birmingham.

On May 22nd 2017, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device at Manchester Arena following a concert by American singer Ariana Grande. The blast killed 22 victims and left 116 individuals injured. The deceased include 10 people under the age of 20, the youngest an eight-year-old girl.

The whole nation has been shocked by the attack and communities are coming together to support those affected by the dreadful event. Birmingham based taxi firm, TOA Taxis, have been doing their best to collect as much money as they can for the victims and families of those who were killed or were injured. Ram Singh, TOA taxi driver and member of the TOA board of management, has been leading the collection and has been taking time out of his day to walk down the ranks throughout the City and Birmingham International Airport, gathering funds with TOA staff from all black cab drivers to raise as much money as possible in support of the devastating aftermath of the attack.

TOA first formed in 1961, starting initially with circa 25 cabs. The company now boast an impressive 380 cabs, covering the whole of Birmingham.

Imran Akram, Secretary at TOA Taxis, comments: “The Manchester cabbies did a valiant job in taking people from the stadium home for free. This is the least we could do to support the victims of the tragedy.”