Colors: Blue Color

The City of Wolverhampton is gearing up for a free event for all the family to mark the national Armed Forces Day celebrations taking place at the end of the month.

Armed Forces Day, which takes place on Saturday 26 June, is a chance for people to show their support for the entire armed forces community – including those currently serving, their families, veterans and cadets. The countdown to Wolverhampton’s celebrations will begin with a flag-raising ceremony at 11am on Monday 21 June outside the Civic Centre when the Armed Forces Day flag will be proudly flown.

On Armed Forces Day itself, West Park will be buzzing with activities for people of all ages as it becomes the focus of family celebrations between 12noon and 4.30pm. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, people must pre-book their free tickets for the event in order to control the numbers attending.

There will be live music from Chris Westwood, The Bluebird Belles and Helix Acoustic and a military drill and inspection in the event arena at 1pm. This free family fun event, hosted by well-known local radio presenter Dicky Dodd, will also feature a fun fair, street food traders, bars, face painting, an appearance from Wolves FC mascot Wolfie, climbing wall and escape room.  

There will also be the chance to meet and chat with local forces as well as information stands. The finale of the event will be a skydiving display from The Wings Parachute Display Team which takes place at 4.30pm (weather permitting) with four parachutists jumping from a helicopter and landing into the event arena.  

Mayor of the City of Wolverhampton, Councillor Greg Brackenridge, said: “As a city, we have a special relationship with our armed forces.

“Armed Forces Day is an opportunity to celebrate all that the forces do to defend the nation at home and abroad and as an ex-serviceman myself, this is something that is close to my heart. We have a fantastic event planned to mark Armed Forces Day.

“I would love to see as many people as possible come along and have a great time with their families while showing their support for the forces and thanking them for all they do for our city and country.” Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year the event will be ticketed in order to control numbers attending.

Tickets are free but must be booked in advance.

HS2 has launched a national vote to name the project’s third Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) which is set to create a one-mile twin bore tunnel under Long Itchington Wood in Warwickshire.

Three names have been shortlisted from over 180 entries submitted by people in Warwickshire, who were asked to nominate the names of women closely associated with the county. The vote is now open, with the online competition running until the end of June. The names are:

·         Anne – named after Anne Hathaway, who was the wife of the country’s most famous playwright, William Shakespeare. She was born in 1556 and her childhood home nearby in Stratford-upon-Avon was bought by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in 1892 and turned into a museum. Suggested by a resident from Nuneaton.

·         Dorothy – named after Dorothy Hodgkin, who in 1964 became the first British woman to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Her discoveries included confirming the structure of penicillin, and her work with insulin paved the way for it to be used on a large scale for treatment of diabetes. She died in 1994 in Shipston-on-Stour in Warwickshire. Suggested by a student at Warwickshire College Group.

·         Mary Ann – named after Mary Ann Evans, better known by her pen name George Eliot, who was an English novelist, poet, journalist, translator and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era. She was born in Nuneaton and her novels, most famously 'Middlemarch', are celebrated for their realism and psychological insights. Suggested by a pupil at North Leamington School.

HS2’s Civils Director, Mike Lyons, said: “The naming of this TBM marks a crucial milestone for the project, with the tunnel under Long Itchington Wood the first significant piece of Britain’s new high-speed railway to be built in the Midlands. The 170 engineers working on the TBM during its construction and assembly are amongst the 16,000 people employed by the project.

“I’d like to thank people in Warwickshire for suggesting a great selection of interesting and inspiring women who have such a close connection with the county. I look forward to finding out who the British public choose as the winning name later in the summer.”

The Long Itchington Wood TBM will begin tunnelling under Warwickshire later this year and will be operated by HS2’s main works contractor for the West Midlands, Balfour Beatty Vinci (BBV). The 2,000-tonne tunnel boring machine, which has been manufactured in Germany by Herrenknecht, will be around 10 metres wide and will take around five months to complete the first bore of two parallel tunnels.

Balfour Beatty VINCI’s Managing Director, Michael Dyke, said: “With the Tunnel Boring Machine set to start its critical journey later this year, we’re delighted to have engaged with the local community in Warwickshire to uphold the engineering tradition of naming the 2,000-tonne machine, after a notable woman.

“Alongside HS2, we’re now calling for members of the public across the UK to choose one of the three carefully selected names – and play a role in this key milestone, for Europe’s largest infrastructure project.”

The Long Itchington Wood tunnel avoids disrupting the ancient woodland located above the tunnelling works. Once the first bore is complete, the TBM will be extracted at the South Portal before being transported by road back to the North Portal to commence the second bore. The final section will become a ‘green tunnel’ – also known as a cut and cover tunnel – where a soil ‘roof’ is built around the tunnel entrance to integrate the portal into the natural landscape.

This is the third HS2 tunnel boring machine that will be put to a public vote to name it, with the first machine already tunnelling under the Chilterns. They were named after two famous local Buckinghamshire women: Florence Nightingale – the founder of modern nursing who spent many years living in Buckinghamshire; and pioneering astronomer and astrophysicist, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, who was born in Buckinghamshire.

The national vote will close at the end of June, with the winner expected to be announced later in the summer. Traditionally, tunnelling machines are always named after women.

With temperatures predicted to continue to soar over the weekend, Brits across the country are planning how to make the most of the ongoing warm weather – but a leading UK vet charity has issued a warning for pet owners in this sweltering weather.

According to PDSA Vet, Lynne James, heatstroke can unfortunately be a huge issue for dogs at this time of year, and in severe cases can be fatal. If a dog’s body temperature gets too high above the normal 38.6°C (101.5°F) they can become seriously unwell and need emergency treatment. Signs of heatstroke vary from excessive panting, trouble breathing, stopping suddenly, confusion, bright red gums, foaming at the mouth, collapse or even seizures. While this is a scary prospect, there are plenty of things we can do to keep our dogs out of harm’s way in the warm weather.

Lynne’s top five tips:

1) Avoid the heat of the day

“One of the biggest heatstroke triggers is too much exercise in hot weather. Though your dog might typically enjoy long walks and frolicking around the garden, it’s best to stay indoors for the hottest part of the day. This is generally around mid-afternoon, so aim for outdoors time in the early mornings or evenings. When you do venture out, avoid strenuous exercise like running or games of fetch. Instead stick to gentle walking and allow your dog plenty of time to sniff, keeping their brain active as well as their legs.

2) Provide access to shade and water

“If you’re planning on heading out of the house, make sure to pack a supply of water for your dog so you can hydrate them throughout the day. Even if you’re just going out for a short time and it doesn’t seem that warm to you, it’s really important to take a drink for your dog in case they get thirsty.

“Whether you’re embarking on a stroll along a coastal trail, country lane or inner-city street, try to find areas of shade and rest more often than you would if you were walking without your pet – imagine how often you’d take a break if you were hiking in a fur coat!

“Cooling your dog down with a splash of water can help them maintain a comfortable body temperature – just ensure it’s not freezing cold as this could induce shock. Allowing your dog to paddle in a shallow pool or stream is also a great way to help them stay cool- just make sure the water is safe and clean before they venture in.

3) Be wary of hot spaces

“Whatever the weather, you should never leave your dog in small, unventilated spaces, particularly cars, caravans or sheds. Even humans find it unbearable sitting in a conservatory for too long on a hot day. When you’re at home with your dog, try keeping windows and doors open on the shaded side of the house where it’s safe to do so. This will allow plenty of fresh air to filter into the room. If you’re leaving your dog for a short time at home, make sure they’re in a cool, shaded room – draw the curtains, put a fan on a high shelf out of reach or leave them a pet-safe cool mat to make sure they don’t get too warm while you’re gone.

4) Cut back on the coat

“For dogs with thicker fur, hot weather can be especially uncomfortable. During the warmer seasons, consider having your dog’s coat groomed or clipped short to help prevent them from over-heating. It’s also important to be aware that flat-faced breeds such as Bulldogs, Pugs and Shih Tzus are at a higher risk of heatstroke, as they can’t cool down as effectively through panting.

5) Watch their weight

“Though this is more of a long-term issue, watching your pet’s weight is crucial as overweight dogs are more at risk of heatstroke. Keeping your dog at a healthy weight will not only help to prevent a number of additional health problems, but also stop them getting as hot in warm weather so they can enjoy some fun this summer.”

PDSA is the UK’s largest vet charity. We’re on a mission to improve pet wellbeing through prevention, education and treatment. Support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery helps to reach even more pet owners with vital advice and information. 

If you’re looking for a special gift for your dad this Fathers’ Day, shop in store or online with Midlands Air Ambulance Charity and support its lifesaving missions at the same time.

Midlands Air Ambulance Charity is not just a service committed to saving lives, the charity’s five high street shops are offering a promotional offer of three for two on all menswear, to help save you some pennies as well.

With Fathers’ Day coming up on Sunday June 20, Midlands Air Ambulance Charity wants to ensure you get your hero a lifesaving gift this year, as well as help keep the charity’s heroes in the skies and make their future missions possible.

The charity has a range of appealing merchandise that would make the perfect gift to celebrate Fathers’ Day and commemorate the charity’s 30th anniversary. This includes branded clothing, lifesaving mugs, exclusive cufflinks created by heritage Midlands jewellers, Deakin & Francis, and beer from local Birmingham Brewing Company.

Anil Gupta, head of retail for Midlands Air Ambulance Trading Ltd, said: “As a dad myself, it’s always lovely to receive a thoughtful gift from my son, and Fathers’ Day is a great excuse to support the charity by visiting one of our shops or making an affordable purchase online.

“2020 was a tough year for our high street shops due to multiple temporary closures to comply with local and national Government restrictions. That’s why we are excited to continue welcoming customers safely back to our stores and offering them some of the best deals for Fathers’ Day.”

Two local champions of grassroots sport - England’s first hijab-wearing boxing coach and a blind fundraising runner - have been named as Hometown Heroes, inspiring local champions of community sport celebrated by the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Haseebah Abdullah coaches at Windmill Boxing Gym in Smethwick. Haseebah has been key in promoting and developing female participation in boxing in her community, having also played a huge role in changing official dress code rules to allow women to wear a headscarf and full-length clothing. Known for making others feel welcome and comfortable, Haseebah has seen the confidence of the club members soar and membership numbers increase.

Haseebah said: “It feels absolutely amazing to have been selected as a Hometown Hero. My aim has always been to provide a service, a home, a safe haven and a platform for equality in my sport and community.

“I’ve fought really hard to earn my place as a boxing coach, challenging stereotypes and overcoming many barriers. Receiving this recognition proves to me that we should always be the change we wish to see! As a coach I will continue to dedicate my time to create positive noise, break down barriers, accommodate different needs and be a driving force for equality and participation.”

Sandwell’s second Hometown Hero is Black Country legend Dave Heeley OBE, or ‘Blind Dave’ as he is more commonly known. Dave lost his sight at a young age but never let this hold him back. One of his greatest achievements was becoming the first blind man to run seven marathons on seven continents in just seven days, raising staggering amounts of money for charity in 2008. Since then, Dave’s determination to raise money via gruelling challenges has never wavered. In 2011, Dave covered 1,000 miles, conquering 10 marathons and 750 miles of tandem cycling in just 10 days, travelling from John O'Groats to Land's End. In 2015, Dave persevered in the Marathon des Sables - known as the toughest race on the planet, it consists of six days across the Sahara Desert, running over 160 miles. Still a local legend at heart, Dave has inspired hundreds of people, many in similar positions to him, to take up running and fitness, and often giving up his time to help, encourage and support others on their own journeys.

Dave said: “I’m so pleased and proud – I’m a Black Country boy, and to have the Commonwealth Games here is amazing. It’s absolutely brilliant to have the opportunity to represent my home borough and be a part of this little bit of history.”

The Hometown Heroes campaign by Birmingham 2022 celebrates and recognises the diversity of the region by shining a spotlight on those that go above and beyond to develop sport, encourage participation and promote physical and mental wellbeing in their community.

To celebrate their inclusion, each Hometown Hero will be profiled on Birmingham 2022’s website and social media channels over the coming weeks and will each receive a special glass award to mark their achievement.

Sandwell Council deputy leader Councillor Maria Crompton said: “I’m so proud of our Hometown Heroes. Haseebah and Dave for me sum up the spirit of Sandwell: that determination to overcome challenges and build on the diversity of our community to create a better place to live.”

Ian Reid, CEO of Birmingham 2022, said: “I’m in awe of our Hometown Heroes. Their generosity, whether that’s giving up their time or just being a listening ear, is inspiring. Birmingham 2022 promises to be the Games for Everyone, and while it’ll be an event that brings together the best athletes in the world, we are also aiming to inspire the next generation. Shining the spotlight on these devoted individuals will no doubt encourage participation in sport and physical activity across the West Midlands.”

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will be held from 28 July until 8 August 2022. The Games is already proving to be a catalyst for transformation across the West Midlands, attracting new investment and funding, creating jobs and apprenticeships for local people and new opportunities for local businesses, as well as accelerating projects that will ensure the region is ready to host a fantastic sports and cultural celebration.   

If you want to be part of history, you can apply to be one of the 13,000 spirited, dedicated and dynamic volunteers required to be the heartbeat of the Commonwealth Games. Volunteering at Birmingham 2022 is an opportunity to give something back, inspire a generation and be a part of something special - like our Hometown Heroes do every day.

The Barbados High Commission UK, in partnership with 2nd Generation of Barbadians & Friends Birmingham present Let’s Talk About Windrush

Speaker - Dr Alan Combley

Time: Jun 22, 2021 06:00 PM London

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