Colors: Purple Color

People are set to join Ushvani Spa, in collaboration with Shilpa Reddy Flower Design, for a special online ‘Garland Workshop’ – a beautiful afternoon of festival-style flower garland making using handcrafted sustainable paper flowers. Perfect for crafty adults and children alike - a brilliant activity to fill the long school summer holidays!
 
Shilpa, the creative director of fashion-forward flower brand ‘Shilpa Reddy Flower Design’ will demonstrate how to create a stunning floral lei in her signature style. Those joining will have the chance to make their very own lei alongside her that will include flowers such as the Hibiscus, the national flower of Malaysia in a nod to Ushvani’s roots.
 
At a cost of £25 per kit (and £15 per additional Garland), participants will also receive a complimentary Ushvani Balm (rrp £35) – to help with the inevitable headache that craft related activities with children might create! A blend of pure essential oils and camphor crystals designed to soothe both mind and body, the balm is based on a traditional Asian ‘cure all’ aromatherapeutic remedy, containing healing oils of rosemary, thyme, eucalyptus and soothing menthol.
 
The workshop, on Saturday August 1, at 2pm, will take place online via Zoom allowing those taking part the chance to interact and share their creations. All materials required will be posted out prior to the workshop and it will also be recorded so participants can access and replay the content when required.
 
Maximum 20 bookings per class and 1 Ushvani balm per booking.

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is in talks with the government to secure a loan of more than £1bn, following a drop in sales during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to reports, the carmaker has been in discussions for weeks about a support package.

JLR, which is owned by India's Tata Motors, has seen sales plunge by more than 30% in its most recent quarter.

A spokeswoman said JLR is in "regular discussion with government on a whole range of matters".

She added: "The content of our private discussions remains confidential."

While the exact size of the loan is not yet clear, JLR said suggestions that the carmaker is seeking as much as £2bn is "inaccurate and speculative".

A spokesman for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: "The government is in regular contact with the car manufacturing sector to assist them through this crisis.

"We recognise the challenges facing the industry as a result of coronavirus and firms can draw upon the unprecedented package of measures, including schemes to raise capital, flexibilities with tax bills and financial support for employees."

JLR has taken advantage of the government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and around 18,000 of its UK workers remain furloughed.

The Coventry-based company employs 38,000 people in the UK.

However, the company does not qualify for the joint Treasury-Bank of England Covid Corporate Financing Facility aimed at large businesses, which requires that firms must be "investment grade rated".

This shows a company's credit worthiness and whether it is at a low or high risk of defaulting on its debts.

In its most recent results for the period to 31 March, JLR said it had £3.6bn in cash and investments as well as an undrawn credit facility of £1.9bn.

It is not known how much that position has changed in the intervening seven weeks.
JLR's facilities have been shut since the end of March, although last week it restarted some production at its Solihull plant and at its engine-making site in Wolverhampton.

Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's recently estimated that JLR will burn through £1bn in cash each month following the shutdown of its facilities and if "severely reduced production" continues over the next financial year.

JLR said sales of its vehicles fell by 30.9% in the three months to the end of March compared to the same period last year. It said the coronavirus pandemic had "significantly" impacted sales.

 

Change into Action, the alternative giving scheme, has raised more than £150,000 in donations to help support homeless people across the West Midlands.
 
The scheme, which supports local specialist charities and street teams working to change the circumstances of rough sleepers and those at risk of rough sleeping, uses donations to pay for items such as clothing, travel to get to medical and other essential appointments, emergency accommodation, and rent deposits.
 
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, donations from generous residents and businesses have continued to come in, with the scheme now passing the £150,000 milestone. In Coventry alone, more than £12,000 has been donated during the lockdown period.
 
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands and founder of the WMCA’s Homelessness Taskforce, said: “I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported our most vulnerable members of society across the region by donating to Change into Action.
 
“The Coronavirus pandemic has been extremely difficult for businesses and residents, but despite this people are still giving generously to Change into Action, which is incredibly heart-warming.
 
“Rough sleepers are at high risk from Covid-19, and it is therefore more important than ever we do everything we can to support them. Change into Action is a safe and easy way for residents and businesses to do that, with people having the confidence that the money they donate will go directly to helping people who are sleeping rough.
“For those wanting to donate to the scheme, the easiest and most direct way is through the Change into Action website at www.changeintoaction.org.uk “
 
Change into Action was initially launched as a pilot in Birmingham in 2017, as a partnership between the Mayor of the West Midlands, the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), and Birmingham City Council. The scheme now covers four West Midlands areas Birmingham​, Solihull, Coventry and Walsall, and Wolverhampton City council runs a similar scheme called Small Change for Big Change.
 
Cabinet Member for Homes and Neighbourhoods at Birmingham City Council and Chair of the WMCA Homelessness Taskforce Members Advisory Group, Councillor Sharon Thompson, added: “This is wonderful news and I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed. Homeless people are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19, and in Birmingham alone, 267 people have received help through the scheme which is fantastic.

“Over the last decade, we’ve seen rough sleeping increase exponentially. While we’ve been working tirelessly to do all we can to support and prevent homelessness, the resources of local authorities across the country, and particularly in the West Midlands, have been limited. That’s why Change into Action is vital. It provides rough sleepers with the type of funding that can be seemingly small but in reality, is life changing.

“As a homeless teen myself, I know first-hand how tough it can be to change your life. Donations, like these, will make a huge difference and will put us one step closer to designing out homelessness in the West Midlands.”

The news comes as the West Midlands Combined Authority’s (WMCA) Homelessness Taskforce urges the Government to act now to prevent a post-COVID-19 surge in homelessness across the region.
 
The Taskforce has called on Government to introduce a range of new measures to support rough sleepers and people at risk of becoming homeless as the pandemic continues. More than 800 existing or potential rough sleepers have been housed by local authorities in the region throughout the crisis and now the Taskforce wants to use the lessons learned during the pandemic to ensure that those who have come in are able to stay in.
 
A West Midlands submission to the Government's homelessness Tsar, Dame Louise Casey, highlights growing concerns that the number of people presenting as homeless could rise due to the virus temporarily ‘bottling up’ demand. In particular, the Taskforce has highlighted rent arrears and wider debt accrued during the lockdown due to the reduction in people’s incomes as two key reasons why people will find themselves facing homelessness as the pandemic continues. The group has also raised the ‘significant risk’ of relationships breaking down during the lockdown phase as another factor leading to homelessness.

Warwickshire County Cricket Club has appointed Stuart Cain as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), to replace Neil Snowball.

Cain is a well-known figure in the West Midlands’ business community and the broader sports and entertainment sector, of which he has amassed more than 20 years’ experience.

He joins the Bears after three years at Wasps Holdings Limited where he held a number of positions, most recently CEO, and helped establish Wasps rugby and netball teams at the Ricoh Arena after the move from London. In that time, he has also developed the Ricoh Arena’s conference, exhibition and concert business, as well as their wider estate masterplan, including the development of additional hotel, retail and leisure space.

Prior to joining Wasps, Cain spent more than seven years with the NEC Group as Managing Director of Commercial Marketing. His career has also included commercial and marketing leadership roles in football with Wolverhampton Wanderers and Glasgow Rangers as well as leading the sports practice of global media agency WPP, which involved working with FIFA on the World Cup in South Africa and initiatives in Asia and the USA.   Before working in sport he was Marketing Services Director at Molson Coors in Burton-on-Trent, masterminding Carling’s sponsorship of the Premier League.

Mark McCafferty, Chairman of Warwickshire CCC, said: “We’re delighted that Stuart will be joining us at the Bears. His experience and achievements in sport, events and venue development will complement very well the existing leadership strengths at the Club and help ensure the delivery of our new five-year plan.

“These are difficult times for everyone to navigate but we appreciate more than ever the huge role that the Club plays in the community and the enjoyment that we can bring to so many when we return.

“It’s very clear that we shall now need to adapt and enhance our engagement with Members, fans, commercial partners and cricket communities locally and overseas. Stuart’s experience will be central to that growth and we look forward to welcoming him to the Bears.

“On behalf of everyone at the Club, I’d like to express our thanks and appreciation to Neil for everything he has achieved over the last few years and for the platform he and the team have put in place for the next stage of our development. We shall look forward to continuing to work with him in his new role at the ECB and wish him every success.”   

Cain is expected to join Warwickshire CCC in August following the departure of Snowball, who will leave Edgbaston after four and a half years as CEO to take up a position as Managing Director of County Cricket with the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

“I’m very excited at the prospect of working with the management team and Board to deliver a new era of sporting success on the field, while working with the wider team to build new levels of community involvement and deliver the next phase of Edgbaston’s development,” said Stuart Cain. “Neil has really moved Warwickshire CCC forward and I’m relishing the opportunity to build on his legacy.

“I’ve been a regular visitor to Edgbaston over the years and witnessed some great games. By a quirk of fate, I have also played cricket at the Edgbaston Community Sports Ground, when I worked in the beer trade, and so I’m looking forward to going back again.

“The Club has very proud traditions and its men’s and women’s teams have achieved great success across all formats of the game.  We need to continue this into the future.

“In Edgbaston, we have one of the world’s great sporting venues, which consistently stage the biggest fixtures in the game and offers outstanding facilities that can be utilised all year round.  Part of my role will be to develop this multi-use philosophy further.

“With the second phase of the master-plan due to get underway soon and a third phase due to be launched in the near future, I’m looking forward to working with the team at Edgbaston and with our major local and national stakeholders to support the development of cricket in Birmingham, Warwickshire and the wider West Midlands.

“Fate is a wonderful thing; little did I know when organising the Neil Abberley Memorial Trophy between Wasps and the Bears at Knowle & Dorridge CC in 2018 that I would end up swapping sides and working for Warwickshire CCC.  I can’t wait.”

The government has announced that self-employed people in the UK whose work has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic will be receiving a “second and final” grant in August.

More than two million people have applied for a single grant of up to £7,500 so far.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has announced that they, and other self-employed people, will be eligible for a second payment of up to £6,570.

It comes as details of the extended furlough scheme were also outlined.

Until now, self-employed workers who qualify have been in line for a grant of 80% of their average profit, up to £2,500 a month for three months.

This is being paid in one instalment.

Those whose work has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic will still be able to apply for the lump sum up until June 13.

Now Chancellor Sunak has announced that applications for a taxable grant will open in August.

This will be slightly less generous with it covering 70% of the applicant’s average monthly trading profits.

It will also be made in a single payment, covering three months and capped at £2,190.a month, or £6,570 in total.

Applicants will need to confirm that their work has been affected by the Covid-19 virus, but they would not need to have taken the first grant to be eligible for the second.

 

The UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has announced that more than two million self-employed people whose businesses have been affected by t5he coronavirus pandemic have applied for government grants, as he told the House of Commons that the value of the claims made so far is in excess of £6 billion.

And, as such, he said that the money would be reaching claimants within six working days.

The Self Employment Support Scheme is designed to support people in a similar way to the scheme for furloughed employees.

The grants are calculated as 80% of monthly profit, which is averaged out over a period of up to three years, and is capped at £7,000.

The money will be paid out in a single instalment covering three months whilst the temporary scheme to be put under review as it could be extended.

The process, being run by HNMRC (HM Revenue & Customs), was originally unveiled after it was highlighted that the government faced criticism for its failure to support self-employed and freelance workers.

In a statement, Chancellor Sunak described the scheme as “one of the most generous schemes in the world”.