Colors: Blue Color

In the lead up to Christmas, the independent crime-fighting charity, Crimestoppers, is today appealing to the people of the West Midlands for information on those making, buying or selling counterfeit banknotes. Washroom advertising is being placed in various pubs and bars around Birmingham, Coventry and Nuneaton to compliment extensive social media activity, with the addition of a 40” digital screen carrying the campaign artwork at the Walkabout Bar in Broad Street, Birmingham and The Establishment Bar in Bayley Lane, Coventry to help maximise exposure.  

The University of Wolverhampton will be taking part in #GivingTuesday this year to raise money for its dedicated Neuro-Oncology Research Centre. The Research Centre is leading the way in identifying the genetic causes of brain tumours and the treatments to deal with them. #GivingTuesday is a national day on which encourages people to do something good for charity.

Churches in the West Midlands are inviting their local communities to help bring hope to some of the UK’s most vulnerable children this festive season by supporting their Christingle celebration in aid of The Children’s Society. A number of services are being held at the end of November, throughout December and beyond, and are open to everyone.  All money raised will go towards providing life-changing support for vulnerable children and young people and to make sure their voices are heard.

Sandwell safety chiefs are marking White Ribbon Day with a renewed pledge to tackle domestic violence and support victims. White Ribbon Day – also International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – starts 16 days of activism against gender-based violence. The White Ribbon Campaign particularly seeks the support of men and boys to take a stand against violence against women and girls in their workplaces, schools, communities and families.

Following 12 monthly Prayers Walk for Peace in various areas of Birmingham reaching out to communities on the Weapons Agenda with a simple message “No to Guns & Knives, Yes to Life”, the final walk for 2016 takes place on Saturday 3rd December 2016 in Birmingham City Centre.

As temperatures start to drop, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) are warning pet owners to make sure their dogs and cats are kept free from hidden and potentially fatal hazards this winter. During the winter your pets can be affected by the cold and get ill. To avoid this walk dogs for less time but more often when temperatures drop, and consider putting a dog coat on old dogs or those with thin fur to keep them warm.

A new nine-month trial to tackle litter in Haringey has kicked off, which will see teams of uniformed officers patrolling the borough handing out fines ranging from £80 to £400 to anyone dropping or dumping rubbish or allowing their dogs to foul our streets. The trial is part of our drive to work with the community to make our streets cleaner and will include handing out fines to anyone who drops chewing gum or cigarette butts.

A former heavy hound from Wolverhampton has become the biggest ever loser in a national pet slimming competition after shedding an incredible 39% of his bodyweight in just six months. Oscar the Spaniel once tipped the scales at a colossal 3st 6Ib (21.6kg), making him 80% over his ideal weight (1st 13lb/12kg). He was dangerously at risk from serious health problems and a shortened life span.  But he wowed judges from vet charity PDSA with his amazing 1st 5lb (8.35kg) weight loss during Pet Fit Club 2016. He is now a much healthier 2st 1lb (13.25kg)

People across the region are being asked to kick off their work shoes and snuggle into their slippers on 9 December to raise money in support of homeless families. This year there are over 3,600 children homeless in temporary accommodation in the West Midlands this Christmas. 46% increase in last year. Shelter is calling on local businesses and community groups to take part in this fun and easy fundraiser and support the charity’s work in the area.

Community-minded Snow Champions will be helping to keep Sandwell clear of ice and snow for the sixth year running. The council is providing snow shovels and salt shakers to people willing to clear pavements and pathways to help out in their communities this winter. Five hundred kits, which include 6kg of salt, a shovel and a high-vis vest, are available for new Snow Champions who haven’t applied to join the scheme in previous years.

Abbeyfield is marking its 60th anniversary with the launch of its national Companionship at Christmas campaign for isolated older people living in the communities around its 500-plus houses and homes across the country. The older people's charity is holding nationwide events where Abbeyfield houses will be offering plenty of festive food-focused events, from coffee mornings to mince pies and carols, as well as overnight stays for over-55s who would otherwise be waking up to an empty house on December 25.

The results are in for the Safer 6 campaign’s fourth week, which had a special focus on West Bromwich. Community clean-ups, tackling knife crime, speeding and anti-social behaviour and promoting fire safety and crime prevention were among the key achievements of the week. The council, fire service and police, together with councillors, health and probation services and community and voluntary groups, all support the six-week Safer 6 campaign – a campaign that promotes safety, crime prevention and healthy living as the nights draw in.

A group of young disabled people from Birmingham have enjoyed a supported short break in Gloucestershire, organised by national disability charity Sense. 10 holidaymakers, supported by a team of experienced leaders and volunteers, travelled to Macaroni Wood in the south west of England for a week of active and stimulating indoor and outdoor experiences, including woodland walks, cooking classes, a circus skills workshop, musical sessions and a visit from a travelling zoo.

Opening to the public this Friday 25 November, Christmas at Birmingham Botanical Gardens is a stunning outdoor event that celebrates Chinese heritage and the tradition of handmade lanterns. Visitors will enter through a giant 12-metre wide lantern entrance, before following a stunning trail around the gardens. A visual spectacular never before seen in the region, visitors will see everything from a giant peacock that stands at 12 metres wide and three metres high, to a 12-metre wide lantern scene featuring penguins, snowmen, Christmas trees and baubles.

The Commonwealth will help member countries access funding and innovative solutions to make the Paris climate agreement a reality, Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland will tell delegates at the global climate change conference this week. The Secretary-General will speak at the high level segment of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conference, COP22, on 17 November.

A new home built to the latest building regulations can cost half as much to heat as a Victorian house of the same size, according to a new report by the NHBC Foundation. The advantages of new homes is based on a survey of 2,000 people who had recently moved into a new home and were asked what they considered the advantages of new homes to be. Many pointed to the energy efficiency benefits of new homes - the better standards of insulation enhanced draught-proofing and improved ‘airtightness’ that help to lower household annual energy bills, and improve levels of comfort.