Colors: Blue Color

A hungry hound ended up needing emergency treatment from charity vets at PDSA after getting her tongue stuck in a can of tuna.

Bonnie, a ten-year-old Staffordshire Bull terrier cross, had been given her favourite fish as a teatime treat, but when her owner put the discarded tin in the recycling bin, Bonnie saw her chance for an extra helping!

Owner Louisa Davis (45) from Nottingham said: “We heard some scuffling in the kitchen and the next thing we saw was a tuna can stuck to her face! It was shocking to see. Her tongue was trapped in the can and I tried to remove it myself but the tin was so sharp I didn’t want to make it worse and badly cut her. I called PDSA to see if they could help, and they told me to bring her straight in.”

Louise took Bonnie to Nottingham PDSA Pet Hospital, where vets are running an emergency-service during the Coronavirus lockdown. Bonnie was seen immediately for urgent treatment. She was becoming increasingly distressed, and the stuck tin was causing her pain.

PDSA Vet Sarah Campbell explained that removing the can would be too risky to do with her awake as she was becoming more anxious. She was given an anaesthetic so it could be removed safely by the vet team. She said: “Once she was under the anaesthetic the can was relatively easy to remove. We were able to carefully remove it so the cut to her tongue was small and luckily she didn’t need any stitches.

“It was a very unusual case to see, which could have become very serious if the tin had cut the tongue deeply. But thankfully we were able to remove the can safely and Bonnie was able to go home the same day to recover from her ordeal.”

Louisa said she was incredibly grateful to PDSA for the treatment Bonnie received, especially during lockdown when many vets are only open for emergencies. She added: “Bonnie has never done anything like this before but it’s a lesson learnt and we’ll be keeping a close eye on her to avoid something like this happening again.”

In times of uncertainty and hardship, much-loved pets like Bonnie will still need emergency care. That’s when PDSA steps in to help, but they are facing a crisis and need your help.

PDSA’s veterinary care – which is a lifeline to so many owners across the UK – costs £60 million a year to run. But with retail shops closed and fundraising events cancelled, the charity is losing around £3 million a month in income.

And with the country plunged into financial uncertainly, and more than a million extra Universal Credit claims, PDSA expects the number of pets needing care will increase by around 50,000.

Please help today by donating to ensure much loved pets have a tomorrow


West Midlands faith groups have come together to show their solidarity with the UK’s Black community, following the recent tumultuous events around the world.

The region’s Faith Steering Group, which is convened by Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, has issued a statement of solidarity, calling on all organisations in the region to commit to building an inclusive community.

This was unanimously agreed at the group’s latest online meeting which focused on the theme of community cohesion.

The joint statement of the Faith Steering Group and the Mayor says:“The Mayor and Faith Steering Group are united in offering our support and solidarity to the Black community in the UK. Black Lives Matter, and our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have experienced inequality as well as those who are protesting peacefully.

“Our diversity in the West Midlands is one of our most powerful assets. Our faith communities are made up by people of all races and ethnicities, and we are made stronger by the connections between us. This has been evident throughout the Covid-19 crisis, when people of all faiths and backgrounds have come together to support their communities.

“It is more important than ever that we work together for a fairer and more inclusive future. We must make sure that everyone in the West Midlands has equal access to opportunities and the same chance to succeed in life. We must rebuild an inclusive collective community where everyone respects and values each other.

“We believe that now is the time for action. We ask for all organisations to work with their colleagues, members and customers to review their practices and to commit to making improvements. We must all work to create meaningful opportunities for change.

“Together, we must stand up and reinforce the principles of equality, social justice and compassion and move forward into a fairer future.”

In 2018 the Mayor launched the Faith Action Plan to form the basis for strong collaboration between the Mayor’s office, the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and the region’s faith groups.

The Faith Steering Group webinars have been held regularly since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown to share information, advice and support among religious groups across the West Midlands.


Seven new sites have been added to Haringey Council’s council housing programme, as part of ambitious plans to deliver homes for residents across the borough.

Construction has already started on 331 council homes at seven other sites, and these additional locations will mean that every ward of the borough could have a site for new social housing.

The sites were agreed at a meeting of Haringey’s Cabinet last night, and their potential for development of new council homes will now be explored in more detail.

The new sites are all on council-owned land in Bounds Green, Fortis Green, Hornsey, St Ann’s, Stroud Green and White Hart Lane, and have been identified as potentially suitable locations to build new council homes. Any proposals will be discussed with residents in the areas.

Meanwhile, the Roundway N17 site will be removed from the programme in favour of utilising the land to build a children’s home.

Cabinet also agreed to progress delivery schemes at four additional sites across the borough that had already been included in the Housing Delivery Programme.

Approval was given to appoint Cuttle Construction to convert vacant Council-owned shops into two Council-rented homes at 43 Finsbury Road N22 and 27 Harvey House N8.

NFC Homes Limited has been contracted to complete new build developments of seven Council-rented homes: four at Mount View Court N8 and three at Romney Close N17.

The four homes at Mount View Court will be four-bedroom properties. It is crucial for the council to build large family homes that are so needed in our borough, as so few are delivered by any other house builders.

The council is working hard to minimise the effects of the pandemic on the programme, with the planning authority moving to virtual committee meetings and resuming essential consultations to ensure that crucial projects can continue to be considered and decided upon.

Councillor Emine Ibrahim, Cabinet Member for Housing and Estate Renewal, said: “This council’s priority is to start a new era of council homebuilding in Haringey. After decades without new council homes, the progress made over the last two years is striking – work has started on 331 homes and we’ve identified potential sites right across the borough, in every single ward, to deliver more.

“Now more than ever, we are only too aware of the vital need for safe and decent homes for our residents, and the global coronavirus pandemic has exposed even more clearly how desperate this need is across the country.

“In Haringey, we are determined to address that, and our programme will not just deliver good quality homes, but will also support good local jobs at a decent wage and help local businesses to build Haringey’s economy”.

Sandwell Children’s Trust have launched an innovative new campaign to recruit foster carers, following on from the success of their online ‘Lockdown Stories’ from foster carers, telling of their fostering experiences during the Covid-19 lockdown, which have reached over 20,000 people on Twitter.
The ‘Superheroes’ campaign can be seen in more than 50 poster sites all across Sandwell as well as appearing on video screens outside local supermarkets around the borough, featuring comic book super hero figures commissioned for the campaign.
As Frances Craven, Chief Executive of Sandwell Children’s Trust explains: "Here at Sandwell Children’s Trust, we are passionate about improving the lives of the children and families that we work with every day. 

"We understand the importance of providing stable, secure and loving homes for children and young people who can’t live at home and we can’t thank our current foster carers enough for the amazing things they do.  
"But, we need more special people to become foster carers for us. So, we are proud to launch our brand-new foster carer marketing campaign. Our foster carers are true ‘superheroes’ and we know that there are many more people out there who could be too!  If you or anyone you know has ever thought about becoming a foster carer, please get in touch with us."
The campaign aims to raise awareness of the work of foster carers, who have carried on every day, providing safe, stable, loving homes for children, as we have all had to change the ways we live and work and appeal to more people to take up the challenge and become foster carers for Sandwell.
Or, as Frances Craven puts it: "Learning to support children with home-schooling, becoming proficient at virtual meetings with social workers and helping the children they look after to come to terms with life under lockdown. 

"These are just some of the challenges our foster carers have risen to and just like all the other care workers who have looked after us through this difficult time, we think they are all super heroes.  Now we just want a few more people to step forward and join us."
The Sandwell Children’s Trust ‘Superheroes’ campaign is on display across Sandwell for the next two weeks.  

The UK public feel that any sense of ‘community togetherness’ that has been built during the coronavirus crisis will disperse as soon as it is over says a new study commissioned by the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues at the University of Birmingham .

A poll undertaken by Populus of 2,088 adults in the UK found that older generations and women have felt a stronger sense of community togetherness recently, compared with younger generations and men, who have not felt this to the same degree. Conversely, there was the opposite generational gap identified in terms of those who agreed that community togetherness would disappear after the crisis is over, with those aged 45-64 being most negative (61%), compared with less than half of those aged 18-24 (46%).

This suggests that there has been a marked generational divide in how people have responded to the crisis. This is highlighted further in responses from 18-24 year olds to the valuing of health of older generations today over longer-term economic prosperity. Younger people disagreed with this statement in larger numbers (13%) than those aged over 45 (9%).

The importance of character in times of crisis was highlighted, as 68% of the British public valued ‘being compassionate/caring’ in their top 3 most valued character strengths seen in those around them – an identical figure to a preliminary poll conducted in April 2020; they also valued it the most in terms of personal well-being (25%). Yet, concerns over the lack of community spirit were further emphasised.

Findings showed that less than a quarter of the British public have given their time to benefit others during the crisis. Of those who have, 18-24 year olds and those aged 55-64 have volunteered the most, with women volunteering more than men, and the East Midlands and South East being the areas of the country where people have volunteered the most. There was a decline in the value placed on the civic character strengths of ‘being of service’ and ‘having community awareness’ in the people around us, compared to the April 2020 poll. Instead, the British public placed greater value on ‘being resilient’; this is suggestive that the public mood has moved to one of self-preservation over community togetherness.

Commenting on the findings, Aidan Thompson, Director of Strategic Initiatives in the Jubilee Centre, said; “Strengths of character have helped everyone to negotiate a path through these uncertain and unprecedented times. This poll reflects the continued importance of character in how we treat those around us and those we look up to. Good character development benefits both the individual and the community, so whilst notions of ‘community togetherness’ may seem as though they are dwindling, continuing to provide opportunities to serve the public good are essential to cultivate a character-full society”.

Other notable findings include: 

Good judgement is valued more by older generations than younger ones as important to one’s wellbeing;
Older people have felt a stronger notion of community togetherness during the crisis than younger people, but were more likely to agree that it would disappear once the crisis is over;
The public value having ‘good judgement’ (71%) and ‘being wise’ (40%) in senior leaders and politicians in greater numbers than in the first poll;
A large majority (71%) of the public support following government lockdown guidelines as an expression of civic duty, though only 56% of 18-24 year olds agreed, compared with 87% of those over 65 years.

Over 100 cats from across Birmingham are celebrating being settled in new homes as a result of Cats Protection’s new contactless homing scheme.
Birmingham Adoption Centre was one of the first of the charity’s centres to take part in the new Hands-Free Homing scheme which has formed part of Cats Protection’s response to lockdown restrictions and the impact on its ability to safely home cats. Since the trial began at the end of April the Hollywood centre has homed 103 cats through the new contactless approach to homing.
Informed by government guidelines, the scheme sees photos, videos and descriptions of cats available to rehome posted on the centre’s website Much like online dating, if a match is made virtually, a meet-up via phone or video call is arranged by staffs from the centre who then confirm suitability with a simple welfare questionnaire and series of checks. Once the adoption fee has been paid, the cat will be delivered to its new home by Cats Protection staff, with social distancing rules strictly observed at all times.
Cats available to rehome are all neutered, vaccinated and micro chipped. A special aftercare package with Hands-Free Homing includes follow-up calls in the first weeks to ensure that the cat and new owner are both happy.
Ginger-and-white Tommy, who is around five-years-old, was one of the first cats to be homed from the centre under the new scheme after he had spent almost a year living as a stray before being rescued.
Adopter Dawn Smith from Wednesbury happily welcomed Tommy into her home and introduced him to her other cat, Daisy Belle. It wasn’t long before Tommy had made himself part of the family.  Dawn says: “Tommy is well and truly settled in with me and Daisy Belle. His favourite toy is a brown furry rat that he likes to throw around and ‘kill’ before needing a lie down from all his exertion. He also likes to be brushed and is sparkling white and ginger now, having lost the excess oil in his coat from living outside.
“Tommy has also accepted his cat-cousins who live next door and calls round to visit and hang out in their garden, hoovering up their food if he gets the chance. He’s a gorgeous boy with a big personality and now I have two beautiful munchkins and couldn’t have chosen better.”
Alison Dickenson, Adoption Centre Manager, says: “We’re thrilled to have passed the 100-cats milestone with Hands-Free Homing.  It was particularly difficult when lockdown started knowing there were cats needing homes and potential new families waiting but no way to link them.  Now we have the best of both worlds; it keeps everyone safe and suitably distanced while ensuring cats move to their new homes as quickly as possible once a match is made.”
The centre has a number of cats currently waiting for adoption including one-year-old black-and-white Dezzy who has been at the centre recuperating after a tough start in life. He was found by a group of teenagers as a very young stray living by a stream, covered in mud, hungry, struggling with multiple infections, including MRSA and cat flu.  Now healthy and negative for both, he may have symptom flares at times when he is run down so needs an understanding owner who can help him come out of his shell and learn to enjoy life after his difficult kittenhood.