Colors: Blue Color

Giving blood saves lives and during this year’s National Blood Week, Britons will be reminded that the UK needs approximately 200,000 new donors each year to meet patient demands. In England alone, 6,000 blood donations are needed every day to treat patients. Yet, a less familiar reminder is the need to provide donations for pets too. For those considering whether their pet could become a donor, MedicAnimal, the UK’s leading online pet healthcare retailer, has put together some useful tips on what owners need to know.

Sandwell residents are urged to look out for a form in the post to check they’re registered to vote in elections and referendums. The council’s elections team has sent forms to every household in Sandwell. The council has to do this by law – and all people need to do is confirm the details for their household are correct or update them. This can easily be done online, by phone, by text or by post – just follow the instructions on the form.

Digbeth, which is increasingly referred to as 'Birmingham's Shoreditch', is an area on the up. Hip bars and arty coffee shops rub shoulders with independent stores and some of the funkiest clubs in the UK's second city. Young, creative professionals work in huge, converted warehouses where businesses ranging from performing arts companies to new media hubs feel right at home. Art meets culture meets creativity, all with a good-sized helping of retail therapy and top restaurants thrown in for good measure.

Exactly half of Brits will return a child’s lost teddy bear, according to a social experiment recently conducted in towns and cities throughout the UK. 500 teddy bears were intentionally lost in 25 major towns and cities, each in a different location, such as a café, gym or park bench, between May to June this year. All had nametags with a child’s name and contact number, to see which places and type of person were most likely to return a lost bear.

Health regulators have praised Birmingham’s John Taylor Hospice, stating its staff treat people with ‘kindness, compassion and respect’. Care Quality Commissioners, who visited the hospice unannounced, found the hospice to be ‘good’ in all categories and highlighted the caring attitude of staff and volunteers. The commissioners, who visited on May 25, said staff were ‘kind, empathetic, responsive, creative and proactive in providing care and ensuring dignity for patients’.

To mark the official opening ceremony of this summer’s major sporting event, Victorian Arcade in Walsall hosted its very own carnival celebrations. The event brought true Brazilian style to the town as the centre played host to a variety of colourful salsa stilt walkers who entertained shoppers with their impressive circus skills. The shopping centre also supplied an all-round entertainer as well as a full steel band and face painter to help bring some South American sunshine to Walsall.

Over a third of working families in the West Midlands could not afford to pay their rent or mortgage for more than a month if they lost their job, new figures from Shelter reveal today. With little or no personal savings to fall back on, the Shelter and YouGov study found that this means a staggering 313,000 working families in the region could be just one paycheque away from losing their home.

It stands to reason in the digital age that people would prefer to read on a Kindle, smartphone or tablet when on holiday, saving space in their suitcase and taking advantage of cut-price deals on books. But a survey undertaken by RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) has revealed that almost half (46 per cent) of Birmingham residents prefer to stick to the old-fashioned way, choosing to read paperbacks or hardbacks on holiday.

British dogs are increasingly well travelled, with one-in-10 (10 per cent) owners taking their pet abroad, according to new research from Direct Line Pet Insurance.  Over a third (38 per cent) of British vets have reported an increase in demand for pet passports over the last 12 months, handing out an average 26 dog passports and an average six cat passports in the last 12 months.

Over one hundred giant bear sculptures will be leaving their paw prints all over Birmingham next summer, as the city gets set to be known as Bear-mingham in 2017. Following the flying success of The Big Hoot, Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity and creative producers Wild in Art have announced that a second trail is planned for summer 2017, but this time the colourful characters will be sun bears instead of owls.

It is not too late for rural communities across the UK to apply to have reliable, indoor 3G mobile coverage and internet access from Vodafone installed at their local community centre. Whether it is for an independent or community run pub and shop, village hall, scout hut, doctor’s surgeries or visitor centre, mobile coverage is provided through Vodafone’s Community Indoor Sure Signal (CISS) programme and is open to up to 100 rural community hubs.

Hundreds of vulnerable Telecare users have been helped and supported by firefighters who are responding to non-emergency calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The City of Wolverhampton Council commissioned West Midlands Fire Service to provide its mobile Telecare response service in April this year. It sees trauma-trained firefighters responding quickly to non-emergency calls – such as minor falls – from Telecare users across the city.

A unique project capturing people’s memories of food using images and artefacts from Wolverhampton Art Gallery is being published. For the past two years older people have been meeting once a month at the Lichfield Street gallery as part of a reminiscence group to talk about food. The end result is a thought-provoking online book, which captures the city’s past as well as lots of happy shared memories about cooking, eating and drinking.

The bid to transform West Smethwick Park with a £5million restoration scheme has come a step closer. The council has confirmed a £550,000 contribution towards the makeover, which will see the park get a new community pavilion, events area and refurbished toilets - plus improvements to sports pitches and new gym equipment. The council’s cabinet approved the funding at a meeting last week.