Colors: Blue Color

Jacksons Lane Arts Centre will enjoy continued support from Arts Council England until at least 2022, the organisation has announced.

The arts centre in Jacksons Lane, Highgate, is one of hundreds across the country to be announced as part of the Arts Council’s National Portfolio (NPO), which gives financial support to arts and culture organisations and helps to develop new cultural programmes.

Jacksons Lane, hailed as the country’s leading venue for contemporary circus, said remaining a part of the National Portfolio will enable it to develop and expand partnerships to support the future of the circus and arts sector.

The Arts Centre has also been awarded a £165,000 development grant to help it develop detailed plans for large-scale improvements to the building. The council has also committed to supporting Jacksons Lane’s improvements.

Haringey Council Leader Claire Kober said: “Huge congratulations to Jacksons Lane. Everyone in Haringey recognises the tremendous contribution the Arts Centre makes to culture not just in Highgate and Haringey but also across London, and throughout the country.

"It’s fantastic to see the Arts Council also recognising this with ongoing National Portfolio support and grant funding that will help Jackson Lane draw up more detailed improvement plans for this much-loved venue.”

Qatar Airways has celebrated 10 years of unparalleled service to the United States by illuminating the Empire State Building in its signature burgundy and white colours. The airline will continue its celebrations with a series of activities including, special offers from the U.S. to more than 100 destinations worldwide, as well as bonus Qmiles for Privilege Club frequent flyer members.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive His Excellency, Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: “We were honoured to display our colours on one of the most iconic skyscrapers in the world, and the headquarters of our USA and Americas Regional offices, the Empire State Building. We believe this is a true testament to our positive presence and fantastic support in the United States.

“Qatar Airways is proud to have provided a decade of quality international service for our valued travellers in the United States, and we are looking forward to serving the Americas for many more years to come.

“Qatar Airways continues to expand and grow; with upcoming planned services to both Las Vegas and San Francisco. Never has Qatar Airways’ commitment to the American market been stronger, and providing a vital international link between the USA to Qatar and beyond remains our goal.”

Qatar Airways’ first flight to the U.S., on 28 June, 2007, was to New York City, this was closely followed by service to Washington, D.C., the following month. 2016 was a particularly busy year in the U.S. for Qatar Airways as it launched flights to Los Angeles, Boston and Atlanta taking the total number of gateways into North America to 10, including Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Miami and Philadelphia.

As part of its continuing expansion efforts within the country, Qatar Airways is planning to launch services to San Francisco and Las Vegas in 2018. The American expansion is just part of the overall airline growth plans, which include new routes to Canberra (Australia), Chiang Mai (Thailand), Douala (Cameroon), Libreville (Gabon), Rio de Janeiro, (Brazil), Santiago (Chile), as well as many other exciting destinations.

To further strengthen its position as an industry leader, Qatar Airways has just launched the groundbreaking Qsuite to London and will bring the patented product to New York City in September.

Birmingham Museums Trust has secured Arts Council England investment of over £4million for the next four years (2018 – 2022), through the funder’s new national portfolio.

The Trust was recognised as outstanding throughout many areas of the application, including the creative case for diversity, which asks organisations to enrich the work they do by embracing a wide range of diverse influences and practices to reach new audiences.

Funding will allow Birmingham Museums to continue to care for and develop the city’s museum collection and venues, as well as working on ambitious plans for the future of the organisation.

Ellen McAdam, Director of Birmingham Museums Trust, said: “We are thrilled to hear about our funding settlement and our status as a National Portfolio Organisation.

“This announcement confirms Arts Council England’s confidence in Birmingham Museums Trust and our plans for the future, which include the re-development of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery to attract growing and increasingly diverse audiences.

“Despite challenging economic circumstances Birmingham Museums Trust has continued to adapt and thrive, inspiring learning, creativity and enjoyment for the people of the city and across the region. We care for one of the three greatest civic collections in the UK, and Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery is the most visited civic museum in England. This funding allows us to forge ahead with our plans, while continuing to welcome our visitors to experience the outstanding collection and learn about our shared heritage across our nine sites.

“Museums should be for everyone and Arts Council England’s continued support highlights their commitment to this.”

Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England said: "Birmingham Museums Trust cares for one of the most important civic museum collections in England. Its sites help preserve local histories alongside exhibitions that share international stories. We're delighted to be investing in its work over the next four years, and look forward to seeing the Trust continue to draw visitors from around the world to Birmingham."

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s smash hit West End production of School of Rock – The Musical will hold open auditions on 15 July in Birmingham and 23 September 2017 in Liverpool, for the opportunity to join the band as part of the kids’ cast of the hit musical currently playing at the New London Theatre.  If you’re between 8 – 12 years old and play the drums, keys or the electric or bass guitar, they want to hear from you!

Tom Abisgold, 13 years old from Cheshire, one of the original West End cast said: “I’ve had the best time ever being part of the band at School of Rock.  I made my West End debut playing the guitarist Zack – how cool is that?!  When I auditioned for the part I never imagined that I’d be joining an actual band and working with Andrew Lloyd Webber and the rest of the amazing cast and crew.  I am so glad that my Mum and Dad encouraged me to audition in the first place. I have been on TV, walked red carpets and won an Olivier award*.  It’s been hard work and we practise hard but it’s really a dream come true, and I’d encourage any kid who plays one of the band instruments to come and audition, you’ll have the time of your life!”

Jessica Ronane, Children’s Casting Director, said: “We look forward meeting with the next generation of rockstars, as we continue our auditions in Sheffield, Birmingham and Liverpool.  If you can play the drums, keys or the electric and bass guitar, we want to hear from you, and if you’re nervous about skills just get in touch and we can give you more details.  Come and ‘pledge allegiance to the band!’”

School of Rock features music from the movie, as well as new music written by Andrew Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Glenn Slater and a book by Julian Fellowes.   The production was winner of the 2017 Whatsonstage Best New Musical Award and is nominated for three 2017 Olivier awards, winning Outstanding Achievement in Music for the Kids Bands in the show.

Based on the iconic hit movie and with a rocking new score by Andrew Lloyd Webber, School of Rock – The Musical follows slacker and wannabe rock star Dewey Finn turn a class of straight-A 10 year old students into an ear popping, riff scorching, all conquering rock band!  Dewey poses as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school to make ends meet, and when he discovers his fifth graders’ musical talents, he enlists his class to form a rock group and conquer the Battle of the Bands.  As Dewey falls for the beautiful headmistress, can he and his students keep this special assignment secret as they learn to fully embrace the power of rock?

For a third time since its West End premiere School of Rock - The Musical recently announced a further booking extension with tickets now available to 14 January 2018.  Acclaimed by audiences and critics alike, the record breaking West End production of School of Rock - The Musical opened to rave reviews in November 2016 and has played to packed houses every night, with the cast also making appearances on some of the UK’s biggest TV shows including The X Factor, The One Show, Michael McIntyre’s Big Show and Tonight at the London Palladium.  In New York, the Broadway production now in its second year, continues to play to packed houses at the Winter Garden Theater.

School of Rock — The Musical is produced in the West End by Andrew Lloyd Webber for The Really Useful Group and Warner Music Group & Access Industries with Madeleine Lloyd Webber as Executive Producer.

To register your interest and for more details visit www.schoolofrockthemusical.co.uk/opencall

Ask any pet owner and the thought of losing their pet is their biggest fear, that’s why Pets at Home has launched an innovative 24 hour pet finding service, Find My VIP, that allows lost pet alerts to be sent via the Pets at Home app, making printing off lost pet posters a thing of the past.

According to research*, one in three pets will go missing at some point, so, the new app, the first of its kind in the UK, will improve the chance of finding a pet quickly.

The app works by using Pets at Home’s VIP Club, consisting of 5 million members, who effectively become one huge search party. To use the service, owners simply need to purchase a Find My VIP collar ID from their local Pets at Home store or online at www.petsathome.co.uk/findmyvip, and register the unique 8 digit ID on the tag online or via the Pets at Home app, which is free to download, to activate it.

If the worst happens and your pet goes missing, you can immediately then send out an alert to VIP members in your local area notifying them. They will receive a notification with your pet’s missing information including a photo of your pet, their name, breed, temperament and last known location.

With more than 5 million VIP members, your missing pet’s information will be circulated quickly to a network of likeminded owners who will then be on the lookout for your missing pet. If one of the search party, a VIP member, finds your pet they can call the 24 hour finders helpline and reference the unique 8 digit code, found on the back of the collar ID.

If your pet needs to go to the vet as a result of going missing, Pets at Home will cover the cost of any treatment given** and the finders helpline will then arrange for the owner and pet to be reunited as soon as possible.

Peter Pritchard, CEO of Retail, said: “Find My VIP is a revolutionary service, the first of its kind in the UK, that will give owners peace of mind. If the unthinkable happens and your pet goes missing then you know you can rely on a network of more than 5 million pet owners to help find your pet quickly.”

Cineworld Birmingham Broad Street is pleased to announce the arrival of action-packed blockbuster, Spider-man: Homecoming, in the multi-sensory cinematic experience of 4DX from 5 July 2017.

Stimulating all five senses, 4DX works in perfect synchronicity with the film to give the viewer a true taste of the onscreen action in a truly distinctive and personal way. High-tech motion seats will have the audience gasping as they experience the effects of wind, water, fog, snow, tickling, strobe lights and vibrations in sync with Peter Parker. There are now a total of 10 Cineworld 4DX screens in the UK.

4DX has been adopted by the big Hollywood Studios with more than 75 movies, including recent blockbusters such as Fast & Furious 8, Transformers: The Last Knight and soon Despicable Me 3 all screened in 4DX. Projected to be one of the most immersive experiences in 4DX yet, Spider-man: Homecoming will be available in both 2D and 3D formats, and 4DX, which is exclusive to Cineworld.

The 4DX auditorium at Cineworld Birmingham Broad Street houses 269 specially designed seats, plus a curved screen – bigger than a double decker bus.

Paul Millington, General Manager at Cineworld Birmingham Broad Street, comments: “Over 600,000 people have tried the 4DX experience and loved it, so we’re really excited to give our visitors the chance to experience Spider-man: Homecoming in this format. We’re continually improving and updating the sensory effects available to our customers, with the hotly anticipated Spider-man: Homecoming film sure to thrill fans in 4DX. 4DX is exclusive to Cineworld in the UK, and we cannot wait to see customers’ reactions when they watch this film!”

Spiderman: Homecoming will be available in 4DX at Cineworld Birmingham Broad Street from 5 July 2017.

In response to the Manchester Arena terror attack, tattoo artists from across the country have come together in unity to support the Manchester Tattoo Appeal. The campaign has now raised an incredible £519,762 which equates to 10,000 bee tattoos and makes it the 5th largest crowdfunding page on the site.

Tattoo parlours across the UK pledged their own time and resources to tattoo as many Manchester Bees as possible as a lasting symbol of Manchester's courage, strength and defiance to raise money for the families affected by the terrible tragedy.

On the JustGiving page it says: “There has been an overwhelming response from studios across the UK, Europe and the World who have opened their doors in solidarity.

“We are hugely grateful to all the studios and artists taking part, and we ask that all funds raised are donated through the official Manchester Tattoo appeal JustGiving page, so as to keep an accurate running total.”

A supporter who left a message on the site said: “I had my tattoo today and donated £50. It just shows at this tragic time we all support each other and stand together.”

In total, over £4.7 million (including gift aid) has now been raised, from over 900 online JustGiving fundraising campaigns and over 143,987 donations, to support the victims and their families.

Oscar-nominated actress and UK Global Dementia Friends Ambassador Carey Mulligan and Alzheimer’s Society announce today that a staggering two million people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have united to become Dementia Friends.

This includes Birmingham, Solihull, Coventry and Warwickshire where 343 Dementia Friends Champions, who are volunteers aiming to help raise awareness about dementia, have helped 61,225 people become Dementia Friends.

Alzheimer’s Society’s initiative Dementia Friends was launched in 2013 to tackle stigma that results in social exclusion for people with dementia and since then it has been transforming the way people act, think and talk about the condition.

Dementia is the biggest health and social care crisis facing society today. Someone develops the condition every three minutes and too many are facing it alone. The award-winning star has experienced first-hand the devastating impact of dementia, and is speaking candidly for the first time since her grandmother died with the condition earlier this year.

Carey Mulligan said: “Dementia can devastate lives – I’ve seen first-hand through my grandmother exactly how hard it can be and find the idea of people with dementia being excluded from society deeply distressing.

“Dementia Friends has made huge strides in tackling the social isolation many people with dementia experience and the two million milestone is an incredible achievement – but we have a long way to go before society is fully accepting and need people everywhere to unite against the cruel stigma associated with dementia.”

Carey became a Global Dementia Friends Ambassador for Alzheimer's Society in 2016, having been a long-term supporter of the charity. Her grandmother Margaret, known as Nans, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2004 and sadly passed away with the condition earlier this year. In her role, Carey has been committed to spreading greater awareness of the condition across the world and bringing continued attention to the urgent need for a dementia friendly society.

Steve Hayward, Services Manager in Birmingham and Solihull at Alzheimer’s Society said:

“It’s encouraging to see what a difference can be made when people become Dementia Friends. Up and down the country, many people are no longer being excluded in their own communities

“The public response so far has been phenomenal, but we must not lose momentum as dementia continues to be the biggest health and social care crisis of our time. We need all of society to unite with us against dementia by becoming a Dementia Friend.”

A plan to make it as easy as possible for residents to dispose of waste at the city’s five Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) will see businesses using vans charged to dispose of their waste from 10 July 2017.

The proposal, devised in recognition of the fact it is the law for firms to have suitable waste arrangements, means the HRCs will continue to be free of charge for all Birmingham citizens wishing to dispose of household items. The change will also enable better management of queues at busier times, reducing the time visitors will have to wait to dispose of their waste.

Under the new system, anyone with a van will need to call by telephone to pre book a slot. For residents this will continue to be free, but for businesses there will be a cost of £75 per visit. Businesses will also only be permitted to use James Road HRC in Tyseley.

Timeslots for residents wanting to take their waste in vans to the HRC will be Monday to Friday (10am-6pm) and weekends (8am-4pm).

Timeslots for firms wanting to take advantage of the service will be Monday to Friday (8am-10am and 6pm-7pm).

Standard “Transit”-sized vans and minivans will be accepted on site – but “Luton” vans, cage vans and tipper vans are all prohibited. Anyone hiring a van to take advantage of the new chargeable service is advised to book their slot before booking their van, to ensure they don’t get the wrong type of vehicle as per above.

Cllr Lisa Trickett, Cabinet Member for Clean Streets, Recycling and Environment, said: “The key point about this new service is that there will continue to be no charge for Birmingham’s citizens who have waste from their own home that they wish to dispose of. The £75 charge for vans will only apply to businesses depositing waste at the HRC.

“This is about ensuring fairer use of our HRCs and ensuring that taxpayer money is spent in the most effective way possible. Businesses have a legal obligation to dispose of their waste responsibly and this offers an easy and convenient way for many firms to do this.

“By creating a hub for this service at the Tyseley site, we will also be releasing some of the pressure than can build up at our other sites during peak times.”

Award-winning Birmingham artist Reuben Colley will be transferring his fine art onto a 3 Dimensional sculpture for the first time, after it was revealed he will be designing one of this year's The Big Sleuth bears.

The Big Sleuth, so named because sleuth is the collective noun for a group of bears, is the highly-anticipated sequel to The Big Hoot, which attracted more than 800,000 visitors in 2015 and raised over £625,000 in total for Birmingham Children's Hospital Charity.

During his 20-year career, Reuben has become a well-respected artist in the Birmingham area and is now set to make his mark on the city once again with this unique project which gets its paws into the region from 10 July.

Reuben grew up in Birmingham within sight of the Aston Expressway and is now celebrated for his gritty Birmingham cityscapes. He describes designing this bear as a nostalgic process for him.

“I chose to paint this landscape on the bear as if the bear was actually there, and the painting is a reflection of its surroundings.

“Areas of scrubland amongst the city always gives me a sense of freedom. It demonstrates there is still a part of the city which hasn't been tamed, a reminder of childhood and a brief return to nature. Yet at the same time the Aston Expressway forms a continuous loop around the bear, never ending and inescapable.”

The bear, named Xt as a reference to a piece of graffiti which appears in the painting, is sponsored by business relocation specialists and The Big Sleuth logistics partner, Harrow Green.

Xt will also be printed as a limited edition landscape painting with just 50 available to buy and a percentage of all sales donated to Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity. Reuben has been so touched by the charity, he has also donated his artist fee straight back into the fundraising pot.

Presented by Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity in partnership with creative producers Wild in Art, The Big Sleuth will see up to 100 beautifully designed bear statues appearing throughout the region over a 10-week period this summer with satellite trails in Solihull, Sutton Coldfield, Sandwell and also at Resorts World.

Louise McCathie, Director of Fundraising at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It’s really special to have such an incredibly talented and renowned artist such as Reuben involved in The Big Sleuth. We are really grateful for his support throughout this project. The Big Sleuth will encourage residents and tourists to get active, enjoy being outdoors and explore parts of city they may not have been to before. We also hope to raise over half a million pounds at the auction to support the pioneering work we do here every day.”

Sally-Ann Wilkinson, Director of Wild in Art, said: “One of the fantastic things about The Big Sleuth is that it showcases well-known artists like Reuben alongside undiscovered talent.  Our public art projects also have a proven track record of increasing community engagement and were excited that residents and visitors alike will not only get to discover many artists, they will also discover the city through this visually stunning sculpture trail.”

Birmingham City Council’s residential tower blocks are to be fitted with sprinkler systems and other fire suppression measures following the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London, where 79 people are known to have died.

City Council leader John Clancy has confirmed that the council will as a matter of urgency look at the 213 blocks of flats it owns to assess what work needs to be undertaken to reassure tenants that their homes are safe.

Cllr Clancy said he was prepared to find up to an estimated £31 million to retro-fit measures which reduce the risk of fire and help tenants to feel safer.

The council leader wants Britain’s biggest councils to lobby the Government to help pay for fire suppression measures in all of the country’s local authority residential tower blocks and has written to the leaders of Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield councils asking for their support.

The nine cities plus Birmingham form the Core Cities group, representing the largest councils in the UK and are home to scores of tower blocks.

Cllr Clancy said he hoped Core Cities and other local government organisations would put pressure on the Government to come forward with a financial package to help councils meet investment in fire suppression measures such as the cost of fitting sprinklers.

Cllr Clancy intends to prioritise council spending on a rolling programme to install sprinklers, regardless of whether the Government makes a financial contribution.

One idea under consideration if Government funding is not forthcoming is to pay for the tower block fire prevention strategy from capital receipts – cash raised through selling assets owned by the council.

Cllr Clancy said: “The dreadful events in London have understandably triggered an outburst of public anger and demands that councils need to do far more to protect tenants living in high-rise blocks.

“I became council leader pledging that every child, every citizen and every place matters. Now is the time to underline that promise by recognising that as a council we have a duty to provide the best possible fire protection for our tenants, and we will do whatever it takes to keep people safe.

“But the cost of doing this for all local authorities with tower blocks is certain to be substantial and beyond the means of austerity-hit councils to afford in a timely fashion.

“The Government should accept this is a national emergency that fully justifies establishing a fund to allow councils to fit sprinkler systems as a matter of urgency.

“If the Government fails to respond appropriately, I believe our tenants would expect work on less important building projects to be delayed so that we can make sure our tower blocks are safer places to live in.

“It should also be recognised that a city-wide programme to fit fire-suppression measures will generate significant employment opportunities for Birmingham, creating skilled jobs and apprenticeships and underpinning the council’s commitment to inclusive economic growth.”

UK seasonal fruit and vegetable growers are already experiencing the beginnings of a migrant labour crisis pending the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, according to a specialist employment lawyer.

Kate Gardner, a partner in the employment & HR team at national law firm Clarke Willmott LLP, said there is a fear amongst the farming community that they will not be able to access the labour they need once the EU free movement law no longer applies in the UK.

This combined with the lack of clarity from the Government as to the post-Brexit immigration policy for those citizens of states remaining in the EEA, is leading to fears that the British fruit and vegetable industry could be crippled.

Kate Gardner said: “Whilst a migrant labour crisis in both the agriculture and horticulture sectors is to be expected with Brexit and the loss of free movement of workers, the general uncertainties associated with Brexit as well as the weak pound have already impacted on the seasonal growers, with employers reporting to be experiencing the worst labour shortages since 2004.”

The UK agriculture and horticulture sectors have long relied on migrant labour. Recent surveys estimate that 27,000 people from other EU member states worked in UK agriculture last year.  A further 116,000 EU nationals worked in the UK’s food manufacturing sector. During peak seasons, farmers are further dependent on a large temporary workforce, thought to be around 75,000 strong, to supplement regular permanent staff in harvesting crops.

Kate continued: “The Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme which was introduced in 1945 to address post-war labour shortages, allowed fruit and vegetable growers to employ migrant workers from Bulgaria and Romania to do short-term low-skill agricultural work such as strawberry picking and other fruit harvesting for a maximum of six months.  This was extremely useful and beneficial to UK farmers but unfortunately the Scheme was closed at the end of 2013.

“Submissions have been made to the Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee that a new Agricultural Workers Scheme needs to be implemented with immediate effect. The Government says it currently has no plans to introduce a new scheme but it does recognise farmers’ concerns and advises that farmers should be encouraged to boost productivity by making full use of farming technologies.

“Yet whilst Brexit has given the research and development of technologies such as robots a fresh impetus, experts predict that we are at least five years away from the development of a robot that can pick delicate soft fruits such as strawberries with the speed and delicacy of a human.

“As with any aspect of Brexit, this is an evolving situation and one which we continue to watch carefully.”

Anyone interested in an apprenticeship with Sandwell Council is invited to find out more at an event next month.

The council will be taking on hundreds more apprentices over the coming years. Anyone interested in starting their career with the council is urged to come along to the Council House in Oldbury on Thursday 6 July.

The event, which is on from 2.30pm until 6.30pm in the council chambers, is open to people of any age.

Council apprentices who are already working for the council as well as the council’s employment team will be on hand to give advice, chat about vacancies and how to apply.

Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and investment Councillor Paul Moore said: “Apprenticeships are a great way to earn while you learn, get work experience and put some money in your pocket without leaving you with debt.

"They're not just for school leavers either, we want to hear from people of all ages who want to start a new career, gain experience and hopefully secure a great job for the future.

"Many of our apprentices go on to full-time posts with the council or their apprenticeship helps them secure future employment thanks to their new qualifications. "The apprenticeships we offer range from business admin and finance to grounds maintenance and gas services and everything in between.

“We will have some of our current apprentices on hand to tell visitors what to expect from an apprenticeship."

Two Birmingham-based charities have teamed up to strengthen their support for vulnerable individuals living in the Midlands.

Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice and St Basils have come together for the first time ever, to help raise crucial funding to support the Midlands community.

Collaborating on a first-of-its-kind event, the two charities are working in unison to extend their reach within the Midlands, allowing them to identify and assist more people in need.

The Hospice, which provides vital care and support to families living with terminal illness, and St Basils, which works with young people who are homeless, are hosting a challenging, nine-hour relay race to bring more people together within their local communities.

The ‘Sunset Squad Relay’ event – which takes place on Saturday 22 July at Cofton Park - sees the charities working together equally, with all funds raised going towards the two causes.

Lucy Watkins, events manager at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, said: “Night time is usually the most difficult period for people in a Hospice and for people who are homeless, and it was this connection that initially brought Birmingham St Mary’s and St Basils together.

“Working in partnership has been hugely beneficial - not only are we able to pool our resources but we’ve both been able to connect with more people, helping to raise awareness of the vital services we provide.”

Barrie Hodge, head of fundraising and communications at St Basils, added: “We are delighted to be working with Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice on this event. We love working in partnership and this is an example of two of Birmingham’s most important organisations working together to make our city better for all. It is going to be a fantastic event and we can’t wait to welcome everyone taking part.”

https://www.facebook.com/bullringbirmingham/videos/10154611004023053/

Bullring hosted the first Breakfast Club in partnership with Birmingham Mind. The event was presented by Free Radio's Sparky and speakers included local rapper Smiiffy, Virtual X's Creative Director and Mike Jeffries, a representative from Birmingham Mind. 

Below are some of the statistics that were discussed during the event.

Provided by National Mind and Statistics

·      THIS WEEK IN THE UK

·      104 people will take their own life

•       250,000 people will visit their doctor about a mental health problem

•       750,000 prescriptions for antidepressants will be issued

•       ACROSS THE UK

•       Only 14% of people report living with high levels of good mental health

•       More than 4 in 10 people say they have experienced depression

•       Over a quarter of people say they have experienced panic attacks

•       Nearly 3 in 4 people living in the lowest household income bracket report having experienced a mental health problem, compared to 6 in 10 of the highest household income bracket.

•       Nearly two-thirds of people say that they have experienced a mental health problem . This rises to 7 in every 10 women, young adults aged 18-34 and people living alone.

 

Compiled by the Men’s Health Forum, June 2016 (Updated January 2017.)

•       Men account for just over three out of four suicides (76%) from the ONS total figure for suicides of 6,188 in 2015.

•       12.5% of men in the UK are suffering from one of the common mental health disorders

•       Men are nearly three times more likely than women to become alcohol dependent (8.7% of men are alcohol dependent compared to 3.3% of women).

•       Men are more likely to use (and die from) illegal drugs

•       Men are less likely to access psychological therapies than women. Only 36% of referrals to IAPT services are men.

•       There is considerable debate about the true level of common mental health disorders in men - In a 2016 survey by Opinion Leader for the Men’s Health Forum, the majority of men said that they would take time off work to get medical help for physical symptoms such as blood in stools or urine, unexpected lumps or chest pain, yet fewer than one in five said they would do the same for anxiety (19%) or feeling low (15%)

•       Men report significantly lower life satisfaction than women in the Government’s national well-being survey – with those aged 45 to 59 reporting the lowest levels of life satisfaction.

•       73% of adults who “go missing” are men

•       87% of rough sleepers are men

•       Men are nearly 50% more likely than women to be detained and treated compulsorily as psychiatric inpatients

 

Pupils from across the City of Wolverhampton have produced some outstanding art as part of a schools’ competition run to celebrate Armed Forces Day.

Students were asked to submit a piece of art based around the theme of the Armed Forces – and entries, including poems, paintings, drawings and flag designs, came in from nine schools.

Sergeant Scott Brooks, Major Sylvia Parkin and Squadron Leader Charlotte Morrison carefully selected the winners in the three categories of best poem, best art and best flag.

All the entries received are being showcased in Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Lichfield Street, this week as part of the armed forces exhibition.

The week started with the Mayor of Wolverhampton, Councillor Elias Mattu, raising the Armed Forces flag.

On the same day, he presented poetry winner, Mya Perry, aged 11, of Bilston Church of England Primary School, with her prize of a £25 Love2shop voucher, in the Mayor’s Parlour, at the Civic Centre.

The judges were impressed by the emotional language used in her poem entitled ‘Daddy Please Don’t Go’, and agreed it was a mature piece of writing for a young lady.

Mayor Mattu said: “It was a real pleasure to present Mya with her award and it is great to see the children in the city honouring our Armed Forces through this art work.

"We owe the men and women of the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force a debt of gratitude. “These Armed Forces Day events are a fantastic way for us all to do that, while at the same time finding out a little bit more about our Armed Forces and recognise the crucial role they continue to play today."

Sami Al Abadie, ten, of The Royal School was the winner in the best flag category and Olivia Greybanks, 11, of Stow Heath Primary School was the winner in the best art category.

Both will receive their prizes as part of Saturday’s Armed Forces Day celebration event at the Mander Centre from 11am to 4pm.

It will feature drumming, rigging, semaphore and drill displays by Army, Air and Sea Cadets and physical training demonstrations by the Military Preparation College, and offer people the chance to meet members of the Armed Forces past and present.

There will also be musical performances by the RAF Cosford Voluntary Band, the City of Wolverhampton Council Choir and vintage vocal harmony trio The Bluebird Belles. Plus, a range of military vehicles on display in Queen Square and Dudley Street, along with a flight simulator.