Colors: Blue Color

Months of planning, dedication, hard work and vision were realised on Saturday 5th December 2015 at The Phoenix Newspaper 5th Anniversary Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony at Bethel Convention Centre, West Bromwich. Backed by main sponsor McDonald’s, as well as Crownsway Insurance Brokers Limited, the cold day did nothing to chill the spirits of those present. The morning quiet was broken with the vibrant sounds of the Dhol Blasters heralding the arrival of HRH Nana Agyemang Nyamekye Amlak, the Aduana Head of Kwakye Dida Nsuta Ashanti in Ghana.

Renovation of run-down restrooms and the unveiling of a hidden burial ground will take centre stage in the next wave of Haringey Council’s improvements for Tottenham.Monument Way toilets improvements. Former public toilets on Monument Way have been earmarked for conversion into a new cafe or bar in a bid to bring the elegant unused Victorian building back into use.

Fresh from its triumphant year as European Green Capital 2015 – the only UK city ever to hold the title – Bristol is destined to remain in the spotlight during 2016 thanks to its dynamic programme of events and some exceptional new attractions, restaurants, and experiences. Here are some of the best reasons to visit the city in the year ahead.

Playing fields in the West Midlands are being protected against development, new data published has shown. The latest figures, compiled by Sport England, which works to safeguard playing fields for community use, show that 92 per cent of all resolved planning applications in the West Midlands involving a playing field in 2013/14 resulted in improved or secured facilities.

Three-fifths (62%) of older people in the Midlands say they feel more isolated and/or go out less in winter. Meanwhile, just under half (46%) of those aged 65 and over say they have gone to bed early to stay warm at least once. That’s according to a new survey by older people’s charity, Independent Age, to launch their new Winter Wise advice leaflet for older people, their families and carers.

The winners of a competition for youngsters to design the Mayor of Wolverhampton's official Christmas card have been announced. Four-year-old Eliza Hallam, a pupil at St Anthony's RC School, was declared the winner with her colourful, hand-printed Father Christmas stating "I'm going to my favourite place next... Wolverhampton". She won a pack of 20 cards featuring her own design, along with a family ticket for a ride on the Severn Valley Railway.

As December finally arrives, postbags up and down the country will be straining under the weight of millions of Christmas cards and parcels. With that in mind, sight loss charity RNIB is calling on the nation to save their used stamps to help raise vital funds. The charity wants everyone to help it deliver first class support services by donating their used stamps to support the two million people in the UK living with sight loss, including more than 166,000 people in the West Midlands.

A new fund to support Restorative Justice projects in the West Midlands is being launched by the police and crime commissioner. Grants totalling £375,000 will be available to organisations who work with victims, enabling them, if they want to face their offender, to explain how the crime has affected them. Restorative Justice (RJ) also gives ex-offenders the opportunity to make amends for their crimes and repair the harm they have done – by apologising, returning stolen money, or undertaking community service.

Offenders doing Community Payback put in more than 1,200 hours for this year's Safer 6 campaign, clearing more than 33 tonnes of waste across Sandwell's six towns. The offenders, who are supervised by Staffordshire and West Midlands Community Rehabilitation Company, cleared 33.6 tonnes of waste – including collecting rubbish and tidying up overgrown bushes and paths – from 14 sites over 1,242 hours.

HRH The Princess Royal attended a special event hosted by national deafblind charity, Sense. The event, held at Birmingham’s Opus Restaurant  marked the charity’s 60th anniversary and announced the upcoming construction of a new community centre in Selly Oak that will provide specialist care to people with sensory impairments, and also serve the wider community.

New research from THINK! shows that while half the population (51%) would not consider consuming any alcoholic drinks before driving, a shocking one in ten people would consider having two or more drinks before they get behind the wheel.  This increases to one in five among men aged 18-34 (19%). The government has launched a new campaign to tackle drink driving, targeting those who do not recognise that even a small number of drinks before driving can be deadly. 

Organisations in Wolverhampton are organising ‘orange events’ in support of the United Nations’ Orange the World:  End Violence Against Women and Girls campaign. The 16 days of action started on Wednesday 25 November - International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – continues until Thursday 10 December, 2016, which is Human Rights Day.

Anyone who uses or has used one of Birmingham’s housing advice centres is invited to have their say on the future homeless and housing advice service. Cabinet member for Neighbourhood Management & Homes, Cllr John Cotton, said: “We currently have four housing advice centres across the city, however some people have experienced delays in receiving the support that they need and we want to make sure that everyone receives a consistent service.

The following is a statement from Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, on the latest developments in the plan to welcome 50 Syrian refugees to the city… “I am pleased to announce that following a robust procurement process we have appointed Refugee Action to provide support services for the 50 refugees we will be welcoming to Birmingham through the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation scheme.

Paloma Blanca conveys a message of hope and love with her new novel, which follows a family’s struggles while the wheel of “Karma” goes on. It shows how people are affected by loss, by sudden change and the things they must do as they themselves experience transitions, all while having only each other as anchors for turbulent times.