Colors: Blue Color

Helen Brook, founder of Brook - the UK’s leading sexual health and wellbeing charity for young people - has been honoured in the BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour Power List for her crusade to help unmarried women in the 1960s. This year’s Power List celebrates seven women who have made the biggest impact on women’s lives over the past seven decades. The first Brook clinic opened in 1964 with the aim of offering accessible support and contraception to unmarried women and reducing the number of illegal abortions.

It’s the busiest social time of the year, with many of us looking forward to catching up with family, friends and colleagues. Or are we? For a new study by Fisherman’s Friend suggests that as many as two out of five in the West Midlands (40.42%) will have no qualms about inventing or exaggerating minor ailments in order to get out of unwelcome parties and social functions this Christmas.

The second series of a six-part ITV documentary set onboard a Princess Cruises ship will air from Thursday January 12 at 8.30pm. 'The Cruise' reveals what life is like for crew and guests onboard the 3,560-guest Royal Princess. The second series was filmed in the Mediterranean this summer. Hugh Bonneville, who provided the voiceover for the first series, will reprise his role for series two. Royal Princess was launched in 2013 in Southampton by HRH, The Duchess of Cambridge.

Impulse buying is putting the health and welfare of millions of West Midlands pets at risk, according to new research from the UK’s leading vet charity. The latest PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report reveals that over a quarter (27%) of West Midlands pet owners no research at all before taking on a new pet, compared with the national average of 24%.  This means that many do not know enough about what’s needed to ensure their pet’s health and welfare.

Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, will be delivering hampers to homeless dogs this Christmas after 170 homelessness organisations requested parcels for 1200 dogs. With the number of people rough sleeping in England doubling since 2010, this service is as vital as ever. The charity will be delivering gifts to homelessness organisations in Birmingham for almost 30 dogs.

A local couple’s generosity will put a roof over the heads of some of Birmingham’s most vulnerable people over Christmas. Steph and Matthew Neville have donated a house where people can live while they seek asylum in the city. After seeing the plight of asylum seekers left homeless and destitute on the streets of Birmingham, the couple decided to donate their house. To help cover the costs of maintaining the house, the couple have also raised nearly £5,000 with family, friends and other local people.

Generous Tesco customers got into the festive spirit by donating more than 2.8 million meals to people in need during the ninth Neighbourhood Food Collection, which took place between 1 and 3 December. This collection brings the total number of meals collected by Tesco customers to an astounding 41 million since the programme began in 2012. The collection provides essential food for people in need over the festive period and beyond, and will now be redistributed through foodbank charity, The Trussell Trust and food redistribution charity, FareShare.

Christmas comes early to Central Library with an afternoon of festive fun and games for younger visitors. It is holding Christmas Crackers on Thursday 22 December, featuring Christmas story-telling and crafts, a magic show and balloon making, and carol singing with the City of Wolverhampton Council Choir. There will also be the chance to win a family ticket to see this year's big pantomime, Aladdin, courtesy of the Grand Theatre by taking part in a wordsearch competition.

John Taylor Hospice is looking for craftspeople, DIY experts and artists to run workshops for patients, families and local people. The workshops and groups will all take place in the hospice’s newly launched Moments Shed, which is housed in the grounds of the hospice in Erdington. The inspiration for Moments Shed came from John Taylor’s Well-Being and Heart of the Hospice Teams to encourage patients and families to find emotional support through coming together and enjoying practical tasks.

One in three vets who treat pets have seen puppies they believe to have been illegally imported from overseas in the last year, according to figures released by the UK's leading body for vets the British Veterinary Association (BVA). BVA’s Voice of the Veterinary Profession, which surveyed over 1,000 vets from across the UK, revealed that vets’ suspicions had been raised for several reasons including foreign microchips and the puppy’s age not matching the age given in its passports, with some vets also citing the puppy’s health as a problem after seeing cases of parvovirus and kennel cough.

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.