Colors: Blue Color

Birmingham St Mary's Hospice is bringing families from across Birmingham and Sandwell together to remember a lost loved one this Christmas.The Hospice’s ‘Light up a Life’ event gives people the opportunity to celebrate and remember the lives of those no longer with us. Each year, hundreds of people take part in the celebration, whether or not they have been directly supported by Birmingham St Mary's Hospice. Two ceremonies will be taking place on Thursday 15th December at 4.30pm and 7.30pm, lasting for approximately an hour and a half each.

Patients from Birmingham Children’s Hospital were amongst the first to enter House of Fraser’s magical Christmas grotto last night, when it opened its doors for the festive season. The youngsters, which included seven-year-old Matilda Hatton from Walsall and nine-year-old Skye Gardner from Wolverhampton, were invited to officially open the grotto in celebration that £1.20 from every ticket purchased will support the fantastic work of Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.

Children across the West Midlands will enjoy a happier Christmas thanks to the amazing generosity of strangers. Kleeneze agents invited their customers to add a children’s toy to their catalogue orders, to be presented to families supported by Barnardo’s. Hundreds of customers responded to the appeal and donated around a thousand gifts worth a total of more than £3,000.

With temperatures predicted to drop to as low as -10C in some areas, older people’s charity, Independent Age, is urging older people, their families and carers to take extra care during this week’s cold snap. It’s also revised its free advice leaflet on how to stay well in winter, called Being Winter Wise, for 2016. Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) last week found that an estimated 24,300 excess winter deaths occurred in England and Wales in 2015/16.

Putting up the Christmas tree each year is a job for all the family. While many will debate whether to place a star or a fairy on the top, MedicAnimal, the UK’s leading pet healthcare retailer, has put together some considerations on what else you need to think about if you have pets at home.

People across the city have thrown their weight behind a campaign to Orange Wolverhampton and end violence against Women and Girls. The city is taking part in the United Nations' annual 16-day Orange the World crusade to end violence against women and girls. Individuals, groups and organisations have been encouraged to Go Orange and both raise awareness of the problem of violence against others, but also highlight the help and support that is available to victims in Wolverhampton.

As the long winter months get underway, many home owners, landlords and tenants up and down the country will begin to find themselves affected by a range of problems the cold weather can inflict on a property. One of the most common is mould. It might not sound like a particularly serious issue, but for thousands of landlords and tenants in the UK it is a major headache.

In the lead up to Christmas, the independent crime-fighting charity, Crimestoppers, is today appealing to the people of the West Midlands for information on those making, buying or selling counterfeit banknotes. Washroom advertising is being placed in various pubs and bars around Birmingham, Coventry and Nuneaton to compliment extensive social media activity, with the addition of a 40” digital screen carrying the campaign artwork at the Walkabout Bar in Broad Street, Birmingham and The Establishment Bar in Bayley Lane, Coventry to help maximise exposure.  

The University of Wolverhampton will be taking part in #GivingTuesday this year to raise money for its dedicated Neuro-Oncology Research Centre. The Research Centre is leading the way in identifying the genetic causes of brain tumours and the treatments to deal with them. #GivingTuesday is a national day on which encourages people to do something good for charity.

Churches in the West Midlands are inviting their local communities to help bring hope to some of the UK’s most vulnerable children this festive season by supporting their Christingle celebration in aid of The Children’s Society. A number of services are being held at the end of November, throughout December and beyond, and are open to everyone.  All money raised will go towards providing life-changing support for vulnerable children and young people and to make sure their voices are heard.

Sandwell safety chiefs are marking White Ribbon Day with a renewed pledge to tackle domestic violence and support victims. White Ribbon Day – also International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – starts 16 days of activism against gender-based violence. The White Ribbon Campaign particularly seeks the support of men and boys to take a stand against violence against women and girls in their workplaces, schools, communities and families.

Following 12 monthly Prayers Walk for Peace in various areas of Birmingham reaching out to communities on the Weapons Agenda with a simple message “No to Guns & Knives, Yes to Life”, the final walk for 2016 takes place on Saturday 3rd December 2016 in Birmingham City Centre.

As temperatures start to drop, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) are warning pet owners to make sure their dogs and cats are kept free from hidden and potentially fatal hazards this winter. During the winter your pets can be affected by the cold and get ill. To avoid this walk dogs for less time but more often when temperatures drop, and consider putting a dog coat on old dogs or those with thin fur to keep them warm.

A new nine-month trial to tackle litter in Haringey has kicked off, which will see teams of uniformed officers patrolling the borough handing out fines ranging from £80 to £400 to anyone dropping or dumping rubbish or allowing their dogs to foul our streets. The trial is part of our drive to work with the community to make our streets cleaner and will include handing out fines to anyone who drops chewing gum or cigarette butts.

A former heavy hound from Wolverhampton has become the biggest ever loser in a national pet slimming competition after shedding an incredible 39% of his bodyweight in just six months. Oscar the Spaniel once tipped the scales at a colossal 3st 6Ib (21.6kg), making him 80% over his ideal weight (1st 13lb/12kg). He was dangerously at risk from serious health problems and a shortened life span.  But he wowed judges from vet charity PDSA with his amazing 1st 5lb (8.35kg) weight loss during Pet Fit Club 2016. He is now a much healthier 2st 1lb (13.25kg)