Colors: Blue Color

The search is on to find the UK’s most dog-friendly places, as the Kennel Club launches its Be Dog Friendly Awards 2016. The competition, now in its tenth year, is part of the wider Be Dog Friendly campaign which aims to break down barriers for man’s best friend by encouraging more businesses and public spaces to welcome dogs.  With around 8.5 million dogs in the UK, and around one in four households owning a dog, the great British public are always on the lookout for places where their four-legged family members are also welcome.

The Ageing Better in Birmingham programme, a Big Lottery Fund investment project designed to support isolated people over 50 across the city, was officially launched last week. Ageing Better in Birmingham will be delivered by a partnership of voluntary sector organisations. The Ageing Better Partnership, led by Birmingham Voluntary Service Council (BVSC), was allocated £6million to deliver the six year programme.  

With the Royal Mail’s postmen and women working six days a week delivering letters and parcels to 29 million addresses, dog attacks are unfortunately a common issue which increase by a quarter during the school holidays when children and parents are at home and pets are left to roam the garden. If your postie is worried about their safety when entering your property, they have a legal right to refuse delivery to you.

Musical Connections, a community music and wellbeing project based in Birmingham, is appealing for votes in this year's National Lottery Good Causes Awards. The project, run by Quench Arts and delivered in partnership with Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust’s Community Engagement Team, beat off competition from more than 600 organisations to reach the public voting stage of the awards, which each year look for worthy projects to benefit.

A volunteer counselling scheme that helps more than 100 children and young people a week has been nominated for a West Midlands PCC Outstanding Citizens award. The volunteering team at The What? Centre in Coventry Street, Stourbridge, helps young people aged between 13 and 25 who are troubled or battling mental health issues. All of the volunteers are trained counsellors who give up their free time to help 120 youngsters a week via 5,500 sessions a year.

The Mayor of Wolverhampton is encouraging people to put their little grey cells to the test when he hosts four charity quiz nights over the next few months. The general knowledge quiz is returning by popular demand and will be taking place in the Mayoral Suite at the Civic Centre on Thursdays 1 September, 15 December, 9 February and 4 May.

In an exciting move by YHA (England and Wales), dogs are now welcome to stay with their owners at Youth Hostels that offer camping and cabins accommodation. The move will not only enable YHA to reach new customers but also enable dog owners to take advantage of nearly 60 YHA sites that offer camping pods, cabins, tipis, bell tents and pitch up facilities in their grounds. 

While spring and early summer may bring a welcome break from the shorter days of winter, the rise in the pollen count can cause many humans to suffer from hay fever and other seasonal ailments. However, what is less well known is that pets can suffer just as badly. A survey in 2012 showed almost half (44%) of pet owners didn’t realise their pets can suffer from allergies. 43% admitted they wouldn’t know how to tell if their pet was suffering from an allergy.  

With police recording over 4,500 offences involving stolen dogs in the last two years in England and Wales, ethical retailer Pets Corner has put together an owner’s guide to help safeguard your dog from theft and what to do if an animal is stolen. Lucy Ross is an animal specialist and Head of Training at Pets Corner.  She said: “The emotional impact of losing a cherished pet is profound so if an animal goes missing it can be an incredibly distressing time for its owners.  There are a number of things that owners can do to help protect their pet from thieves as well as procedures they can follow if an animal is taken.”

69% of people in the West Midlands picked seeing friends as the number one reason for bringing a smile to their faces, followed by listening to music and falling in love. Recent research commissioned by Wrigley’s Extra® to mark its partnership with leading charity Action for Children and the launch of oral health workshops shows that spending time with our friends is what makes us smile most.

School children from Ward End Primary spent a day asking speeding drivers to account for their actions, after they were caught breaking a 20mph speed limit outside the school. Over the course of three hours 19 drivers were stopped by West Midlands Police and given the opportunity to face a panel of school children at a ‘Kids’ Court’, or face points on their license and a £100 fine. Those who were driving at excessive speeds of 37mph or more were immediately reported.

The fascinating story of Queen Victoria’s visit to Wolverhampton 150 years ago will be brought to life as part of a series of fun events celebrating all that the city has to offer. Queen Victoria came to Wolverhampton in 1866 to unveil the statue of her late husband Prince Albert which remains in Queen Square to this day and has become an iconic symbol of the city. It is believed that the monarch’s trip to the Black Country was her first public appearance after years of private mourning following the death of her beloved consort.

Next month’s Enjoy Wolverhampton programme includes a footy treat for all generations. You can get free entry to the Wolves Museum on Friday, July 8, between 11.30am and 5pm. The museum includes access to a special interactive Games Zone, History Zone and Cinema Zone. Between noon and 3pm football fans will also have the chance to meet legendary former Wolves players as well as have their football memorabilia valued by some of the leading experts in the game.

The average person from the West Midlands loses more than 3,300 items in their lifetime – including 230 items of clothing and 104 umbrellas, research reveals. A national study into lost belongings of 2,000 adults found we’ll also misplace 394 pens across a lifetime and on average lose four items a month. Keys are the most commonly lost item, followed by mobile phones, pens and glasses.

Conjure up an image of a cartoon rabbit and you will probably picture it chomping on a carrot. But despite the close association, the root veg should not be at the top of the shopping list when it comes to your bunny’s diet – and lettuce, which is dangerous to rabbits, shouldn’t even feature at all! As part of Rabbit Awareness Week – an annual campaign to raise the profile of rabbit welfare – Lucy Ross, Head of Training at Pets Corner, discusses what constitutes a safe and healthy diet for rabbits so you can keep your pet in tip top condition.