Colors: Blue Color

On Thursday, 13th July the Birmingham Commonwealth Association met at Birmingham's Council House. The group which is formed up of over thirty companies from various parts of the Commonwealth meets to discuss issues of importance to the companies and the Commonwealth in Birmingham as a whole, and how they can do more to ensure that the Commonwealth is promoted within the city.

Thursday’s meeting was held to discuss the upcoming arrival of the Jamaican Athletic Team on 28th July and Jamaica In The Square, which is being held to celebrate the 55th anniversary of Jamaican independence from 4th to 6th August, as well as to discuss what can be done to help Birmingham’s bid for the 2022 Commonwealth games.

The first item of discussion was the arrival of the Jamaican Athletic team to Birmingham on 28th July. Their arrival promises to be just as big if not bigger than the team’s arrival in 2012 before the Olympics. Consequently, the discussion mainly focused on preparing for their arrival, where they would stay and the dinner that would be held in the evening for them, and ensuring that they were properly protected throughout the event. A gala dinner is to be held to celebrate their arrival and their achievements, with tickets currently on sale, so if you want to sit next to a world class athlete be sure to book your tickets as soon as possible!

Next came discussions about the Jamaica In the Square event being held from 4th to 6th August in Victoria Square to celebrate Jamaican independence. The discussion centred around how many people were expected, and what sort of things could be expected. If you’re attending this year, expect a lot of high quality music and food, and company.

Finally, on the matter of backing Birmingham’s bid to become the host of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, all those in attendance agreed that they would do what they could to encourage their communities and friends and families to support the bid and speak positively of Birmingham to make the bid as successful as possible.

All in all it was an interesting meeting and one that shows that there is a lot of promise and potential in Birmingham and the wider Commonwealth, just waiting to be tapped into.

The average Brit laughs out loud 5,110 times every year, according to a new study. Researchers took an in-depth look into what makes the nation crack up – and discovered Sheffield is the banter capital of the UK, with people from the steel city chortling 16 times a day on average - that’s 5,840 times a year.

Bristol came second in the laughter stakes, chuckling on average 5,694 times every year and Leeds came third with 5,511 laughs.

In fact, 83 percent of those polled claim Britain has the best sense of humour in the world, with 58 percent saying being able to laugh at ourselves was a valued national trait.

According to the research of 2,000 Brits by Ronseal – which commissioned the study - 90 percent say that when the chips are down, they live by the saying “if you didn’t laugh, you’d cry.”

The poll revealed 73 percent of Brits say they use humour to make someone feel better, 52 percent say they laugh to diffuse an argument, while 46 percent deploy a well-timed wise crack to change the subject.

The data also revealed the majority of those polled (27 percent) say they have the most laughs and banter with their other half, while 15 percent said their children were a constant source of amusement.

When it comes to the people we take the mickey out of most - our best friends are most likely to be the butt of our gags, while 15 percent claimed a work colleague is the person they are most likely to verbally spar with.

A further 18 percent claimed that they are more likely to take the mickey out of themselves rather than anyone else.

According to the poll, we’re most likely to laugh at a friend’s DIY skills (38 percent) – or lack of them – with 16 percent admitting they have botched so many jobs their friends can’t resist a joke at their expense, while 19 percent have the mickey taken out of them because they put DIY jobs off for so long.

A spokesperson for Ronseal, which commissioned the study said: “Banter is a part of British culture and whether we are making fun of situations, our friends or our own predicaments no-one does it quite like we do. DIY featured highly in the research, with us self-deprecating Brits often using our own delays and disasters as fodder for friends looking for a laugh.”

Nearly half of the men polled (48 percent) insist they are funnier that their other half compared to 29 percent of women who think they are more humorous.

Almost four in ten (37 percent) said they joke with a friend or family member about how tight they are with money and 27 percent take the mickey out of friends’ dress sense.

Nearly two in ten (18 percent) joke about a mate’s haircut - while a brave 8 percent admitted they often banter about a friend’s partner.

People send on average four funny text or WhatsApp messages to their mates every day, while 73 percent said the rise of technology and social media platforms have led to more banter and laughs.

And almost nine in ten people felt that our national love of laughs brought us closer together with friends and family.

Teenagers aged between 14 and 19 are invited to a careers event in Oldbury to help them decide what they want to do after school and college.

The Connexions Sandwell Careers Show comes to Sandwell Council House in Freeth Street on Saturday 15 July between 11am and 2pm.

It’s for young people who are thinking about apprenticeships, jobs, Higher Education, alternatives to university or who just want some help to decide on their next steps.

The free event brings together up to 27 organisations including major employers such as BMW, Severn Trent Water, Halfords and Aldi, all offering apprenticeships and training. Local colleges and universities will be on hand to discuss courses.

Connexions Sandwell careers advisers will also be available for impartial careers information, advice and guidance, so young people can discuss their options in details.

Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for children’s services Councillor Simon Hackett said: “These events are really valuable for young people to find out what options are open to them.

“It’s a chance to meet potential employers, find out about what training opportunities and apprenticeships are available and to get some careers advice from our experts.”

Parents and carers are also welcome.  For more information call Connexions Sandwell on 0121 569 2955.

The event is funded through Black Country Impact. Black Country Impact is about helping young adults break down the barriers that may be holding them back from finding work, improving their skills or gaining qualifications.

Black Country Impact involves Sandwell, Dudley, Walsall and City of Wolverhampton Councils and Black Country Talent Match, a project led by Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council and funded through the Big Lottery Fund.

The money for the project has come from the European Social Fund (£17million), from the government's Youth Employment Initiative  (£17million) plus potential match funding of up to £8million from the Big Lottery Fund and other partners.

A £2.2 million Care and Support Specialist Housing (CASSH) Scheme to deliver ten bespoke council houses for families with an adult wheelchair user has been completed.

The council is eager to ensure people in the City of Wolverhampton live independent lives in their own homes.

Four two-and-three-bedroom homes were finished at Lawnside Green, Stowlawn, in July last year, followed by two three-bedroom bungalows at Fifth Avenue, Low Hill, in September.

The final phase has seen four three-bedroom homes recently completed at Dale Street/Russell Street, Graisley, with the tenants now moving in.

The former Heantun Housing Association (HHA), now part of Accord, has a successful track record of designing and delivering family-sized wheelchair housing in the city, and managed the builds on behalf of the council.

The units are part funded by £450,000 of a £900,000 Government Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) grant.

The remainder of the grant has been used by HHA in addition to its own funding to develop a further ten wheelchair accessible homes, which it owns and manages.

Councillor Peter Bilson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Housing and Assets, said: "This is good news for our residents and is the first house building project of this kind for the city council.

“It is enabling people to lead independent and fulfilling lives at home with their families.

“It is vital we are responsive to the range of needs represented on our housing register, and we are determined to do more.”

The properties are fully wheelchair accessible, have height-adjustable hob and sink sections in the kitchen, shower areas in bathrooms suitable for wheelchair users or adults with other disabilities, and allow for the fitting of a hoist if required, as well as any other adjustments suggested by the client’s Occupation Therapist.

Sara Woodall, Accord’s Executive Director of Communities, said: “We were delighted to be part of bringing these self-contained houses and bungalows to Wolverhampton, and it is heartening to see that they have been situated within established residential communities, and have been supported by local Tenant and Resident Associations.”

According to data collected by card seller, Clintons, sales of cards for those in their seventies and above increased by 116% last year. To add onto this, it is expected that more than 100,000 cards will be sold to those celebrating landmark 90th, 95th and 100th birthdays in 2017 as well. This news comes after a family in Norfolk were the first family in the whole of Britain to celebrate the lives of six generations in one year.

With there being half a million people in the UK aged 90 and above, and 14,570 centenarians (a 65% increase in the last decade) these figures should come as no surprise. It is believed that an estimated 1,000 of these 14,570 are aged 105 or over, double the figure in 2005.  It is believed that there are currently 14 million grandparents in the UK, 1.5 million of whom are under 50, with a large proportion of this group believed to become great-grandparents within the next few years.  The increase in the number of people aged over 105, means that the Queen who sends out a card and a letter to each person over this age, has quite the task before her.

Tim Fairs, VP of marketing at Clintons said: “Most people of my generation have no memory of their great-grandparents, yet today many play an active role in family life.  It’s great that younger generations have access to the love, experience and history of their elderly relatives and it’s fascinating that demographics are shifting so rapidly.  The Queen already has quite a task signing all those letters and cards each year.”

With people living longer due to better living standards and improved quality of healthcare, the growing number of people living into their nineties and beyond should not come as a surprise. And with many people living to such ages, the chances for greater family connection and bonding is greater than it has ever been. Clintons plays a huge part in establishing family connection through the sales of their birthday cards, and also helps play a role in showing off some of the societal trends that are beginning to emerge.

Recent data has shown that more cards are bought for senior mums than dads but twice the number of cards are sold to Husband than Wife over the age of 70.  And Clintons continues to lead the way in catering to this trend selling a range of cards for Mums, Dads, same-sex families and one child families.

 

School children in Wolverhampton have been caught up in the wolf mania sweeping the city. Pupils from 35 primary schools, community groups and artists have designed 70 mini wolves as a spin-off from the Wolves in Wolves public art project.

The colourful mini wolves will form part of an exhibition at Wolverhampton Art Gallery from Saturday, July 8 to Sunday, September 17.

The Lichfield Street gallery is also the starting point for the Wolves in Wolves trail, which has been organised by the council in partnership with disability arts charity Outside Centre and Enjoy Wolverhampton.

The Mini Wolves project has been funded by the Big Lottery programme ‘#BigCelebration’.

Dr Paul Darke of Outside Centre said: “The Mini Wolves project is about celebrating Wolverhampton, its sculpture, arts, heritage, community and people. Outside Centre is grateful to the Big Lottery for enabling us to stage this exhibition.

“Each mini wolf is unique and reflective of the school or group they are from, or the artistic vision of the individual artist.

“Schools were also able to create their own map trail around their school - some of which will be on display as part of the exhibition.

“We are grateful to all those who have participated from the city’s schools, as well as the groups and artists.”

Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for City Economy, added: “The Mini Wolves exhibition is a wonderful extension of the Wolves in Wolves project.

“It is brilliant to see so many schools getting involved, as well as the organisations and artists.

“Overall, it is an exciting project that will help put the city on the map as a cultural centre and I would urge families to get along to the art gallery to see the mini wolves pack.

“From there they can take to the Wolves in Wolves trail, get active, discover the city and what it has to offer.”

The schools involved are Berrybrook Primary School, Braybrook Centre, Bushbury Hill Primary School, Christ Church Junior School, Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School, Dunstall Hill Primary School, Edward The Elder Primary School, Elston Hall Primary School, Graiseley Primary School, Green Park School, Hill Avenue Primary School, Lanesfield Primary School, Long Knowle Primary School, Loxdale Primary School, Northern House School, Oak Meadow Primary School, Palmers Cross Primary School, Parkfield Primary Schools, Penn Fields School, Penn Hall School, Perry Hall Primary School, Spring Vale Primary School, St Andrew’s Church of England Primary School, St Anthony's Catholic Primary School, St Luke's Church of England Aided Primary School, St Michael's Catholic Primary School, St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, St Stephens Church of England Primary School, Uplands Junior School, Villiers Primary School, Warstones Primary School, West Park Primary School, Windsor Nursery School, Woden Primary School, Wodensfield Primary School.

Community groups like the The Way, Beacon Centre, City of Sanctuary, Howling Wolves Choir, Wolverhampton Homes, The Haven and Suicide Prevention Stakeholders Forum have also contributed.

The artists involved have long standing links to the city – they live here, trained here or work here.

They include Jasyn Lucas, Nigel James Kilworth, Bhinder Chopra, Harriet and Wilfred Davies, Alex Vann, Claire Rollerson, Helen Brown, Simone Kilworth, Ann Whitehurst, Aimee Millward, Charlie Kelly, Luke Westward, Laura Hickman, Natalie Hawkins, Roy Grew, Julie Fletcher, Pam Fletcher, Rebecca Broomhall, Marie Sewell, Kesia Pennington-Yates, Jo Burgess, Luke Westward, Katie Keith, Jo Burgess, Jemima Mantle, Danielle Robotham, Ricki Hall, Kate Penman, Jade Secker, Ryan Taylor, Carrick Siddell and Meg Gregory.

The RSPCA is poised for a huge increase in the number of calls to its emergency hotline as more hot weather arrives this July - the worst month for incidents of dogs being left in hot cars.

The animal welfare charity - which works alongside 11 other animal charities and organisations to raise awareness of the dangers of leaving pets in hot cars - is predicting a peak in reports of animals suffering in the heat during the month of July - after receiving a huge 2,065 calls in June.

Each year, the RSPCA receives thousands of calls from concerned members of the public reporting animals in hot environments and pets suffering from heat exposure - the majority of which concern dogs left in hot cars. Last year, there were 7,187 reports to the charity’s emergency hotline - with 23% of all those calls coming in just one month.

Every year, the charity sees a surge in calls in July - with call-handlers dealing with more than 1,600 calls in the peak summer month in 2016, 18% more reports than any other month.

The majority of calls relate to dogs - often left in cars, caravans or vans on warm days - but the charity also receives concerns about other animals suffering in the heat, from horses to farm animals to fish.

The RSPCA encourages owners to take extra care of their pets in the hot weather. Animals need constant access to fresh water and shade, and dog walkers should avoid exercising their pets during the hottest part of the day.

The charity’s key aim, through the Dogs Die in Hot Cars campaign, though, is to raise awareness of the dangers of leaving pets in hot environments such as vehicles, conservatories and outbuildings during the warm weather. If anyone sees an animal in distress in a hot car, the advice is to call 999.

Despite this advice, the UK’s oldest and largest animal welfare charity continues to receive thousands of calls every year about incidents of animals shut in confined spaces in the warm weather. In a bid to get the message out to more people, the RSPCA is revealing the country’s worst counties for leaving dogs in hot cars (based on numbers of calls in 2016)

It’s important to remember not to leave any animal in a car or caravan, or in a conservatory or outbuilding, where temperatures can quickly rise, even when it doesn’t feel that warm outside. For example, when it’s 22C outside, within an hour the temperature can reach 47C inside a vehicle, which can result in death.

In an emergency, the group’s advice is to call 999 to report a dog in a hot car to police. As a charity, the RSPCA may not be able to attend quickly enough and, with no powers of entry, we’d need police assistance at such an incident.

 

The 2017 ASTW Awards of Excellence received record-breaking entries this year in a total of 19 categories.

The full list of finalists for the awards, which will be presented at a gala event to be held at Novotel Twin Waters Resort on the Sunshine Coast on Saturday 19 August, 2017 as part of the ASTW Conference and AGM can be found on the ASTW website.

"The ASTW would like to thank the judges, who are non-members from the national and international travel writing industry, and all of the sponsors involved in the awards this year, and who support the ASTW on an ongoing basis."

 

After months of keeping quiet behind the scenes, Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity and Wild in Art have announced that over 230 beautifully decorated sun bear sculptures are ‘pre-bearing’ to prowl on to the streets, parks and open places of Birmingham for the region’s largest ever free public art trail, The Big Sleuth.

For 10 weeks this summer, the sleuths of colourful 5ft-tall bears and 3ft-tall bear cubs will inhabit Bear-mingham and its surrounding areas Solihull, Sutton Coldfield, Sandwell and at Resorts World from Monday, 10 July.

The Big Sleuth, so called because ‘sleuth’ is the name of a group of bears, as well as a detective, unites 100 bears individually created by artists, with 137 bear cubs designed as part of The Big Sleuth Learning Programme.

Each striking sun bear on the trail tells a different story including designs from celebrities and artists, such as the very well respected artists Temper and Reuben Colley, pop-rock band star Bradley Simpson from The Vamps, actor Adil Ray A.K.A Citizen Khan, Birmingham Bears and England cricketer Chris Woakes, adventurer Bear Grylls, and a special Peaky Blinders bear endorsed by the show’s writer Steven Knight.

The trail will attract thousands of residents and tourists to the region, inspiring civic pride and the opportunity for people to spend time together and get active whether it is walking, running or cycling. At the end of the trail, the large bears together with the special celebrity bear cubs will be auctioned off in October to raise vital funds for Birmingham Children's Hospital Charity.

“We’re so excited that The Big Sleuth is finally here, we have been planning the bear’s arrival since the owls left and we can’t bear-lieve it’s finally here!” commented Louise McCathie, Director of Fundraising at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. "We hope The Big Sleuth will encourage people to come together to walk, jog, run or cycle the free trail, and consider downloading The Big Sleuth app which allows you to track your trail, collect bears, unlock rewards and/ or take part in our Super Sleuth Challenges, which will raise money for our hospital.”

Sally-Ann Wilkinson, Director of Wild in Art, said: “We’re delighted that this year’s exciting trail is here. The Big Sleuth brings together business and creative sectors with schools and local communities to celebrate Birmingham’s rich culture and heritage, and will leave lasting memories across the region for generations to come.”

The Big Sleuth’s predecessor, The Big Hoot, raised over £500,000 for the charity at auction, and The Big Sleuth aims to do the same. All proceeds will go towards helping the children and young people treated at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. You can support the hospital by texting SLEUTH to 70007 to make a one off £3 donation or download The Big Sleuth app to kick start your fundraising and track your trail, collect bears and unlock rewards.

Nottingham is an eclectic, urban hot spot surrounded by the legendary tales of Robin Hood and his most renowned hideout, Sherwood Forest.

More legendary tales will unfold this summer when the city hosts a WORLD EXCLUSIVE exhibition, Dinosaurs of China: Ground Shakers to Feathered Flyers. Featuring dinosaur bones and skeletons never before displayed outside of China, the exhibition tells the story of how dinosaurs evolved into the birds that live alongside us today. This is a real must-see in your summer diary.

Magnificent Wollaton Hall, which houses the city's Natural History Museum - and starred as Wayne Manor in the film The Dark Knight Rises - will host the main exhibition, and feature a staggering skeleton that's as tall as three double decker busses.

If that wasn't enough, there's a fantastic FREE satellite exhibition at Nottingham Lakeside Arts. Get involved to learn more about these incredible creatures and their discovery.

Most people moan about ‘red tape’, but artists in Birmingham are using over a mile of the stuff to create a new artwork designed to bring very different parts of the city together and make people think.

ASINGELINE is a large-scale outdoor arts project aiming to join two points of the city together with one long straight line. The 2km red line connects Ladywood, one of the city’s most deprived areas, with the city centre, one of the richest.

The red line, created with heavy duty red tape, crosses everything in its path, including public spaces, such as streets and parks, and private ones such as houses, shops and restaurants.

The project, created by German artists Mamaza, was part of BE FESTIVAL, Birmingham’s European performing arts festival, which takes place from 4-8 July.

ASINGELINE aims to connect communities rather than create borders and as a work of art creates a focal point to bring communities together.

Miguel Oyarzun and Isla Aguilar, Directors of BE FESTIVAL said:

“The arts are a vital way of bringing communities together. A year after the UK voted to leave the EU, and with hate crime and inequality on the rise, it’s the perfect time for this artwork in Birmingham.

“It’s an inspiring project to open up the conversation, joining together two places which are so close together geographically, but so far apart in terms of economics.

“As they’ve created the line over the last few days, the artists have encountered all kinds of people from very different backgrounds. It’s been a great way to start conversations about immigration, community cohesion and Brexit. The interactions were filmed and photographed and we will be showing the results throughout this year’s festival.”

ASINGELINE starts from City Road, Ladywood at the site where three young Muslim men were murdered whilst protecting community property during the Birmingham riots in 2011. The completion of the line literally took centre stage last night at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in the city’s Centenary Square to coincide with the opening of BE FESTIVAL.

Fabrice Mazliah and May Zarhy of Mamaza have previously realized ASINGELINE in Belgium, South Africa and Nigeria but this is the first time they have attempted the project in the UK.

Public Health England (PHE) has launched a ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign in the West Midlands urging people to see a doctor if they are getting out of breath doing things they used to be able to do or if they’ve had a cough for three weeks or more. Either of these symptoms can be signs of lung disease or lung cancer, while breathlessness can also be an indication of heart disease. These diseases are some of the leading causes of death in England, causing more than 150,000 deaths each year combined

Early diagnosis can save lives and improve the quality of life of those living with conditions, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a common form of lung disease that includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. The most recent data shows that in the West Midlands region there are around 111,200 people diagnosed with COPD each year, and almost 200,000 people diagnosed with coronary heart disease (CHD) annually, the main type of heart disease. In 2015, 3,861 people were diagnosed with lung cancer in the region.

The campaign is aimed at men and women aged 50 and above as these people are most at risk of lung cancer, COPD and heart disease. As well as prompting anyone who experiences these symptoms to visit their GP, the campaign calls on people to look out for each other and encourage friends and family to visit the GP if they have either of these symptoms.

This call comes as a new survey found that adults over 50 in the West Midlands are more likely to encourage others to see the doctor than go themselves.

Haringey is set to benefit from thousands of new homes and jobs and improved public spaces and community facilities after Cabinet agreed to set up an innovative development partnership.

The Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) will bring billions of pounds of investment to the borough through an innovative 50/50 partnership between the council and development partners Lendlease.

The partnership will bring:

New and improved homes for existing council tenants, with a guaranteed right to return on equivalent terms 6,400 new homes – with at least 40 percent affordable Thousands of new jobs in a range of industries Reinvestment of council profits in local services and further regeneration New school facilities for Haringey’s children A new health centre A transformed town centre for Wood Green Investment in schemes such as skills training and community support for local people A £20million long-term social investment programme focused on improving local residents’ prospects, health, environment and sense of community involvement

Cllr Alan Strickland, Cabinet Member for Housing, Regeneration and Planning, said:

“We’ve been clear that successful regeneration has to have the best interests of Haringey’s communities at its heart, and that we’re determined to help more Haringey residents live in quality homes in the borough.

“That’s why I’m delighted that the Cabinet have approved this new development partnership, which will enable us to deliver the new homes, jobs and facilities that local people have made it clear they want to see.”

New research has revealed the extent to which the West Midlands are frightened by the effects of dementia on them and their loved ones.

In a survey by Asda Pharmacy, half (49%) said that a loved one being diagnosed with dementia and taken into care is their worst fear. Whilst more than a third said the possibility of being diagnosed with dementia themselves is a greater concern than suffering from a terminal illness, losing mobility, or losing financial security.

However, despite this fear of the condition, people are often reluctant to seek help. Of those suffering from any early indicators that something is wrong, many are hesitant to confide in anyone about it, whether that be a family member or a health professional. Over half of the region (53%) said they would wait some time before speaking to a GP about memory loss. More than one in 10 (11%) said that they would only consider seeing a GP about it as a last resort through fear of wasting the GP’s time.

A quarter (25%) of the West Midlands would also avoid speaking to a loved one about memory health concerns until they had discussed with a Doctor first. However, people’s hesitancy to speak to a GP means many are missing out on early diagnoses, something which is essential to treat the condition effectively. Dementia is the UK’s biggest killer*, but the survey showed that only 12% of the region knew this, instead believing that cancer (50%) and heart attacks (28%) were the most common fatal causes.

In fact, there is an assumption amongst a significant number of the region (60%) that memory loss is just ‘part and parcel’ of growing old. Whilst forgetfulness is a natural occurrence, there is a thin line between this and dementia.

Maq Din, Healthcare Clinical Services Manager at Asda Pharmacy, says:

“Those experiencing age related memory loss will more often than not recall what they have forgotten in time, however dementia sufferers lose their memory much more permanently.”

Asda Pharmacy are training all pharmacy employees to recognise the early signs of dementia to ensure that they are able to spot when patients may be developing the condition. The move is to assist more dementia sufferers in getting the all-important early diagnosis as soon as possible.

As Maq explains:

“Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and dementia is absolutely essential to treat the conditions effectively, which is why at Asda Pharmacy we are training all staff to recognise the symptoms. Quite simply, the sooner a diagnosis is made the more informed and resourced the sufferer and their loved ones can be. By planning carefully for the future and taking the correct medication in good time, you can have far better control over the progression of the illness.”

There are steps and exercises that can be undertaken to give the brain the best chance of avoiding dementia and having an active mind is highly important. However only 29% of the region are currently opting to use such techniques.

Jennie Bond, Television Presenter, has personal experience with dementia as her mother is currently in the advanced stages.  She says:

"She doesn’t know who I am, or who she is. To some extent she has passed beyond the point where she is constantly frightened. She's generally in a calmer, more peaceful frame of mind.”

“We were too late in seeking help for Mother. Perhaps she could have had some medical support if we had asked for a diagnosis sooner.  It's a condition that follows a clear pattern so I'd encourage people to get help as soon as possible and face up to the illness. But it's important to act sensitively and keep in mind quite how frightening it is for the sufferer.”

Parents and carers are being encouraged to become superheroes this summer – by taking simple steps to keep little ones safe.

With the six-week school summer holidays approaching, longer nights upon us and more warm weather forecast, health chiefs are offering top tips to help adults protect younger members of the family.

Councillor Paul Sweet, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles all know that you can’t stop children having bumps and scrapes, but you can be their summer superhero by knowing how to come to their rescue.

“These top tips can give you the super powers you need when they think it’s the end of the world."

The superlative seven include:

  • First aid kit; the first rule of superhero school is always be prepared, so make sure your first aid kit is fully stocked and medicines are in date. A basic first aid kit should include plasters, dressings, a crepe bandage, safety pins, antiseptic cream, bite cream, antihistamine, scissors, and pain relief such as paracetamol, ibuprofen or infant painkillers.
  • Sun cream; don’t just save them, but protect them from danger in the first place. SPF 50 will provide the best protection. Reapply regularly, especially if children are playing in water or swimming. Wear sun hats and stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm if possible.
  • Hydration; avoid heat exhaustion or heatstroke by making sure the family stay hydrated on hot days. Offer water or diluted squash or fruit juice to make sure they have plenty of fluids. If children do become dehydrated, rehydration fluids are available from local pharmacies.
  • Bumps; most bumps are minor and can be treated with hugs, a cold compress and suitable pain relief. If the child suffers any dizziness, unconsciousness, repeated vomiting or a headache which is getting worse, seek advice by calling NHS 111.
  • Cuts and scrapes; many cuts and scrapes can be treated easily with the first aid kit. Wash cuts with clean water, stop the bleeding and apply a plaster or dressing. Seek immediate medical attention if the bleeding is uncontrollable.
  • Burns; minor burns can be treated at home by running cool or lukewarm water over the affected area (do not use ice cold water), and removing clothing close to the burn. If anything is stuck to the burn, avoid pulling it off. Cover the wound in plastic food wrap as it offers protection. Seek immediate medical attention for any burns that are particularly large, deep or that have caused charred or white skin.
  • Strains and sprains; most strains and sprains can be treated with ice, compression and elevation. Seek advice if you are concerned the sprain could be something more serious.

The new walkthrough is home to four different species of lemur. Critically endangered Alaotran gentle lemurs and black-and white-ruffed lemurs and endangered crowned lemurs and ring-tailed lemurs are joined in the exhibit by a new species for Marwell – two endangered green peafowl.

Guests will enjoy sharing the beautifully landscaped habitat of these engaging animals in a new, themed exhibit at the giraffe house, focussing on the evolution of the species. The new experience, with both indoor and outdoor sections, will immerse visitors into a densely planted lemur environment.

The Madagascan creatures have spent the past few weeks settling into their new environment, which aims to closely resemble their natural habitat, encouraging them to leap, climb and sunbathe freely as people walk alongside them. Animal Collection Manager Ross Brown said: “We've designed the enclosure in a way that promotes natural behaviours, which is a key part of it”.

Ross and team have also been taking a close look at the lemurs' diets as the different sub-species have distinct requirements. Alongside this the groups have also gradually been getting used to sharing their space with people, with members of staff spending increasing amounts of time in their enclosures to 'test the waters'.

Zoo staff will be on hand every day until 4pm to teach groups about the loveable lemur troop and their habitats in the 'Evolution Hub'; from learning about the story of lemur evolution and diversity, to taking part in observation and skills-based activities.

Visitors to Marwell Zoo can already meander among marsupials in the Wallaby Walkthrough and enjoy close-up views of diverse birdlife in the walkthrough aviary.

James Cretney is Chief Executive Officer at Marwell: “We are thrilled to open this fantastic new exhibit, which is part of a £17 million ten-year investment programme for the zoo. The programme will create new and improved habitats for the animals and offer more immersive experiences for our guests.

“I'm looking forward to seeing lots of guests, young and old, enjoying the unique encounters in the Lemur Loop over the summer and beyond.”