Colors: Blue Color

Ambitious graduates and high flying businesses were celebrated at a glittering University of Wolverhampton awards ceremony.

The Business Achievement Awards recognise individuals and companies that have made an excellent contribution to enterprise and the regional economy.

The bi-annual awards held at the Molineux Stadium celebrate business collaborations and academic partnerships, graduate employment support and graduate start-up companies.

The winners on Wednesday, 26 April 2017 included Morgan Motor Company, who clinched Business Collaboration of the Year. The company works with the University to upskill the next generation of craftsmen and women, apply research to current design and manufacturing practices and develop new motor racing cars.

Santander won Strategic Business Partner of the Year. The banking giant has committed £120,000 in funding to the University over three years, which will fund students on an international study scholarship as well as international graduate work experience placements in Europe and South America each year.

The Graduate Start-up of the Year award was voted for by the audience on the night, and dAudio Music Group scooped the £3,000 prize to invest in their business. Broadcasting worldwide, the company works with independent musicians to discover, develop and promote new talent in Birmingham and surrounding areas.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Oakes said: “The Business Achievement Awards enable us to celebrate graduates, employers and organisations who deserve recognition for their excellent contribution to business, enterprise and the economy.

“As a University, we are committed to ensuring our graduates have the best opportunities to gain work experience, internships and access to business start-up support. Our impressive 96% graduate employment rate is testament to the strong partnerships we have built with industry, business and the professions and the commitment of our graduates to reach their potential.

“All of the shortlisted individuals and organisations have made enterprising and innovative contributions to the region’s business landscape and they deserve to be incredibly proud of their achievements.”

A carefully chosen judging panel, made up of representatives from the region’s business community as well as representatives from the University selected the winners.

Ambitious plans to regenerate Tottenham Hale, the first phase of London’s largest Housing Zone, have moved a step closer after developer Argent Related and Haringey Council signed the Strategic Development Partnership (SDP) for the project.

The SDP provides the formal framework for the plans, which include around 900 homes including market sale, build to rent and shared ownership properties to be built over the next five years; the first homes could be available as early as 2020. The redevelopment next to Tottenham Hale Station – with Victoria line, National Rail and potential Crossrail 2 links – will also feature new shops, cafes and restaurants and community facilities. The station itself is undergoing £20 million of improvements, including a new landmark entrance.

Leader of Haringey Council, Cllr Claire Kober, said: This is a significant milestone in our ambitious plans for Tottenham Hale. We look forward to working with Argent Related to deliver hundreds of new homes, jobs and opportunities for Haringey residents.

The wider redevelopment of Tottenham Hale will also also see a new district health centre, an employment and skills programme for local people, improved green spaces and better access to the nearby Lee Valley Regional Park.

Argent Related will shortly begin engagement with local residents, community groups, schools and businesses to explain the vision for the area and invite feedback on various elements of the development.

Haringey’s partnership with Argent Related in Tottenham Hale is the latest in a series of major regeneration milestones for Tottenham, including the £750 million Tottenham Hotspur stadium; the £60 million Grainger Apex House development at Seven Sisters; a £32 million new rail and underground station at Tottenham Hale; town centre and public realm improvements at  Tottenham Green and Holcombe Market, and the opening of ADA, the National College for Digital Skills at Tottenham Hale.

Robert Evans, Partner at Argent, said: This partnership has come about because both Argent Related and Haringey are firmly committed to making Tottenham Hale a better place to live, work and spend time in. We look forward to progressing our plans and to presenting them to the Tottenham community.

Delays and rising costs in the planning system are driving small companies away from house building and slowing down attempts to tackle Britain’s housing crisis, a report claims today.

New research from NHBC Foundation shows that small builders are experiencing “deeply frustrating” delays, with a third waiting more than a year for local authority planning approval and nearly 80 per cent experiencing a significant hike in planning-related fees in the last two years.

The NHBC Foundation report ‘Small house builders and developers: current challenges to growth’ outlines the climate faced by small firms, using the experiences of almost 500 companies who typically construct less than 10 homes a year.

The report highlights the fact that the number of small firms active in house building continues to decline, accounting for just 12 per cent of market share in 2015, compared with 28% in 2008.

Earlier this year, the Government pledged “radical, lasting reform” to tackle Britain’s housing shortage, including accelerating the planning system by making it more accessible and increasing its support for small and more innovative builders.

Commenting on the report, NHBC Head of Research and Innovation Neil Smith said: “While the planning process is recognised as a necessary control, small house builders and developers continue to express considerable frustration with it. The increasing complexity, time taken to achieve a decision, and the unpredictability and inconsistency within the planning process are slowing the delivery of new homes and, in some cases, causing companies to leave this market.

“Greater certainty and more standardised approaches, clarity concerning the fees and tariffs, coupled with a more responsive service from planning departments would increase predictability and significantly help to speed up the process, thereby increasing the number of homes built.”

The report found that the lack of viable building land was also a major barrier for small house builders who raised concerns about shortage of skilled workers and a lack of interest among young people in becoming apprentices.

Black Country Chamber of Commerce are celebrating Dudley Zoological Gardens as their Member of the Week with the renowned tourist attraction currently celebrating their 80th Anniversary.

To mark this special milestone, Dudley Zoo will be holding their annual charity walk, Take A Walk On The Wild Side, which this year will be taking place on 6th May and raising money for their orangutan enclosure. In addition, there will also be celebrations at a post-walk party on the castle courtyard during the afternoon, with retro singers and birthday cake, as well as a display of archive photographs and memories from visitors.

As well as the aforementioned charity walk and party, the zoo will be running a series of celebratory events taking place throughout 2017, including castle talks and tours, as well as paranormal nights.

Furthermore, Dudley Zoo will be redeveloping several enclosures throughout the year, with the recent redevelopment of the capuchin having being completed, whilst work on their lynx and farm enclosures is now also underway.

Derek Grove, Zoo Director at Dudley Zoological Gardens, commented: “Everyone at Dudley Zoo is immensely proud to be celebrating our 80th Anniversary! Since 1937, we have welcomed millions of visitors from across the world to our unique site to visit our animals and 11th Century castle, helping to ensure that we play a vital part in the cultural heritage of the Black Country.

“Moving forwards, we are looking to build upon the resounding success of last year, which saw us welcome more than 310,000 visitors. With the redevelopments that we have planned across the site, as well as the range of celebratory events that we have taking place, our 80th year is set to be one to remember!”

Opening in May 1937, Dudley Zoo is constructed over 40 acres within a 200-acre densely wooded site, which also includes an 11th Century castle. In addition, the zoo is home to more than 200 species, including Asiatic lions, Sumatran tigers, Rothschild giraffes, Bornean orangutans, and Madagascan lemurs.

Black Country Chamber of Commerce wants to support businesses to grow and succeed, and Member of the Week is an initiative to celebrate the great work that our members are doing and to highlight the success stories in the local area.

City of Wolverhampton Council has become the first council in England to achieve the British Deaf Association’s (BDA) pledge 2 status.

It is one of five pledges set out by the BDA’s charter for British Sign Language - and the council is currently working on completing two more. Pledge 2 promotes learning and high quality teaching of British Sign Language (BSL). The BDA presented the award in the Mayor of Wolverhampton’s parlour this week.

The BDA’s Charter for British Sign Language encourages councils to meet several pledges, and in doing so help eliminate unlawful discrimination, support equal opportunities, and build good relations with the deaf community. 

It confirms the council's commitment to three of the five key pledges, which are ensuring access to information and services for deaf people, promoting learning and high quality teaching of BSL, consulting with the deaf community on a regular basis, supporting deaf children and families, and ensuring staff working with deaf people can communicate effectively in BS.

Paul Redforn, Business Development Manager for the BDA, presented Councillor Ian Claymore, Member Champion for Equalities, with the award.

Paul said: "The BDA is delighted to present this certificate of achievement to City of Wolverhampton Council. The council is the first in England to be awarded this certificate and I would like to congratulate the council for their work on including deaf people in its services and improving their responses to deaf people's feedback.”

Councillor Claymore added: “I am delighted City of Wolverhampton Council has achieved BDA, BSL pledge 2. 

“The council is committed to doing all it can to support everyone who lives, works or visits the City of Wolverhampton and the completion of the first pledge puts us on the right track.

“One in seven people in the UK have some form of hearing loss, and by signing this charter, and completing the first pledge, we have underlined our determination to further improve the service we offer to members of the deaf community in Wolverhampton.”

National law firm Clarke Willmott has sponsored one of the UK Housing Awards at a glittering ceremony in central London.

Considered the ‘Oscars’ of housing, the awards, organised by the Chartered Institute of Housing and Inside Housing, recognise the ingenuity, creativity, passion and hard work of housing organisations across the UK.

The sold-out ceremony, celebrating its 20th year in 2017, took place at the Lancaster London Hotel and was attended by over 700 of the sector’s key leaders. The awards were hosted by comedian, author and broadcaster Dominic Holland.

One of the largest providers of social housing legal advice in the country, Clarke Willmott sponsored the ‘outstanding approach to tackling ASB behaviour’ category. The award was presented by the firm’s Head of Housing Management, Lindsay Felstead, to Newham Council, with Stockport Home also highly commended.

Lindsay said: “We are delighted to have sponsored a UK Housing Award. The ‘outstanding approach to tackling ASB behaviour’ recognises landlords that have developed an outstanding and sustainable approach to improving the safety and wellbeing of their communities. This is such an important part of social landlords’ commitment to their local communities, something we witness every day in the work we do with them.

“The work that Newham Council has been doing in this area is very important and they were very worthy winners of the award. 

“Our sponsorship of the award demonstrates Clarke Willmott’s commitment to the social housing sector and the ongoing work of our clients.”

The 2016 winners of the ‘outstanding approach to tackling ASB behaviour’ award, which is in only its second year, was the housing provider Peabody, who set up the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA) with a mission to improve the housing sector’s response to domestic abuse.

As people across the globe prepare to raise a dram in celebration of World Whisky Day on 20 May, it is the perfect time to regain a thirst for the 'Water of Life' and embrace all things Scotch whisky, with some incredible festivals, tours and experiences all in honour of Scotland's national drink.

It is also the ideal opportunity to reacquaint oneself with the classic story Whisky Galore!, originally written as a novel by Compton Mackenzie, which was made into a film in 1949.  It has been re-made for a new audience: the new version starring Eddie Izzard, Gregor Fisher and Game of Thrones' James Cosmo has been shot at various locations in Scotland and will be sailing onto UK film screens from 19 May.

With well over 100 distilleries producing five different blends covering five whisky regions, massive festivals, wonderful attractions, and plenty of amazing bars and whisky clubs to delve into, Scotland is the place to enjoy a dram come World Whisky Day and beyond.

The UK’s slowing economy underlines the concern Greater Birmingham businesses have over exchange rates and their impact on costs, business leaders said today.

This followed the announcement by the Office for National Statistics that the UK gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated to have increased by 0.3 per cent between January and March, the slowest rate of growth since Quarter 1 2016.

Slower growth was said to be mainly due to services, which grew by 0.3 per cent compared with growth of 0.8 per cent between October and December.

In Quarter 1 2017 there were falls in several important consumer-focused industries, such as retail sales and accommodation; this was due in part to prices increasing more than spending.

Production, construction and agriculture grew by 0.3%, 0.2% and 0.3% respectively in Quarter 1 2017 GDP per head was estimated to have increased by 0.1% during Quarter 1 2017.

Paul Faulkner, chief executive of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC), said: “As expected, the UK posted a slower rate of growth for the start of 2017. Nevertheless, we should be mindful of the fact that growth levels in the UK have held up pretty well since the referendum result and this is a real testament to the strong foundations which underpin the British economy.

“It is not surprising to see retailers putting up prices due to higher input costs as a result of the falling value of the pound. However, it is heartening to see the manufacturing sector grow by 0.5 per cent last quarter, although this is unlikely to change the overall direction of growth as the service sector accounts for the majority of the UK’s economic output.

“Both of these overarching trends have been reflected in the findings of our latest Quarterly Business Report; local businesses are increasingly concerned about higher costs and manufacturers in the region have posted stronger growth rates than their service sector counterparts.

“The British Chambers of Commerce are releasing their manifesto on May 2 and we are backing their agenda,  including that with a General Election on the horizon, it is more important than ever that the Government provides a clear plan on how it intends to tackle regional economic imbalances and bring prosperity to the country as a whole.”

A ground-breaking new short film highlighting the need for foster carers who can make a difference to the lives of local children - including those who can help keep brothers and sisters in care together - was launched at a premiere in Birmingham on Wednesday, May 3.

City of Wolverhampton Council is one of 13 local authorities that worked together with Reel Twenty Five to produce ‘Giants’ – a three-minute film telling the story of Jack and Ellie, a brother and sister who want to stay together when they find themselves in foster care.

Councillor Val Gibson, City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “This is an extremely moving film and really helps to get across the urgent need we have for people to come forward as foster carers, especially those who have that extra space to help keep brothers and sisters together. We sincerely hope that people who are considering taking the next step into fostering will be inspired to get in touch.

“We are fortunate that here in Wolverhampton we already have more than 200 people who are fostering local children, but we are looking to recruit at least 30 more carers this year.”

The launch was attended by invited guests from each local authority including foster carers, care leavers, councillors, chief executives and officers, as well as representatives from The Fostering Network and the cast and crew of the film, who all saw the finished film for the first time.

Following the launch, ‘Giants’ is available to view online at, on the Fostering for Wolves Facebook page and on the Wolverhampton Today You Tube channel. A 30-second version will also be shown as an advert on Sky TV to households in the City of Wolverhampton.

The local authorities, who worked together to produce ‘Giants’ are City of Wolverhampton Council, Coventry City Council, Birmingham City Council, Solihull Council, Telford and Wrekin Council, Walsall Council, Leicester City Council, Leicestershire County Council, Sandwell Council, Worcestershire County Council, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Derby City Council and Staffordshire County Council.

The theme of ‘giants’ was devised to depict people who act as role models to young people in care such as their foster carers and teachers, and to highlight the strong bond between siblings as they care for each other in life and become ‘giants’ to each other.

The film launch has been timed to coincide with the start of Foster Care Fortnight, the UK’s biggest foster carer recruitment campaign, which gets underway on Monday, May 8.

After months of debate and commentary, voters in Birmingham will go to the polls on Thursday 4th May, 2017 to vote on who the new mayor of the West Midlands should be. The candidates are: Labour’s Sion Simon, Conservative Andy Street, Liberal Democrat’s Beverley Nielsen, UKIP’s Pete Durnell, Green candidate James Burn and Communist candidate Graham Stevenson.

Prominent policies that have emerged during the campaign include increasing youth employment, developing a proper transport system within the West Midlands and ensuring that there are enough houses to meet increasing demand.

The two favourites for the position of mayor, per the polls are Labour’s Sion Simon, and Conservative candidate Andy Street.  They agree on the key issues, but disagree over how to handle them.

Sion Simon would convene a board of leaders in education in the West Midlands and receive their advice about the best way to approach improving education within the area. He would then implement their suggestions in order to create what he believes to be a more effective and skilful workforce.

Andy Street, on the other hand would meet with teachers and education experts, canvas their opinions and then mould their suggestions to his view of how things should be improved. He would also implement a digital boot camp, to help increase the digital skills of young people in the West Midlands, followed by introducing apprenticeships and youth employment schemes aimed at giving young people a foot on the ladder.

Simon and Street follow a similar path to their fellow candidates Beverley Nielsen and James Burn who would issue bus and metro passes at affordable rates to encourage people to travel by public transport services. They would also propose increasing the metro lines within Birmingham itself.

The issue of increasing the number of houses within the West Midlands is where candidates differentiated themselves. Some like Mr Street believe that houses should be built on the green belt and the brown belt, whilst others such as Mrs Nielsen were in favour of using brown belt sites.

There are still two days left before voting takes place, so there is still time for undecided voters to make up their mind. This election is an important one for deciding the present and future direction of the West Midlands. Make sure to get out and vote for the candidate that you think most benefits you!

By Vivek Rajkhowa


At the break of dawn on Tuesday 2 May, BridgeClimb Sydney and Australian Academy of Tai Chi and Qigong, came together to host the world first Tai Chi class at the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

134 metres above the waking city, Grand Master Gary Khor and Master Aaron Khor, who run Tai Chi schools across Australia, led a group of 14 Climbers, comprised of Tai Chi instructors and students, and health and fitness social media influencers through several serene Tai Chi sequences.

After ascending the famous arches, Tai Chi fans were securely attached to the participants for the ancient martial arts sequences, each marked with the Yin Yang symbol representing two forces coming together, often found in Tai Chi practice.

BridgeClimb hosted the event on the famous coat-hanger, itself a symbol of bringing people together, to celebrate multiculturalism through the Chinese Martial Art that serves as an important form of cultural exchange between nations.

Grand Master Gary Khor and Master Aaron Khor came on board to share their experience and passion of health through the ancient slow moving martial art.

Grandmaster Khor said, “Tai Chi is a mind-body healing art which refreshes and energise your whole being. Tai Chi is a mindful moving meditation which relaxes your body, focus your mind, and lift your spirit. Just like this uplifting feeling on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge on this beautiful morning.

“Tai Chi brings together people of all ages and all cultures to cultivate good health, fitness, relaxation and the ability to move through life skilfully. The tranquillity found at summit of the Sydney Harbour Bridge at dawn, provided a perfect and beautiful setting for our sequences”.

Loren Wattling who participates in the event said, “It was such a beautiful morning on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Very exciting to climb to the top and take in breathtaking views of the city and then so incredibly peaceful to be taken through some Tai Chi moves at the top”.

BridgeClimb was thrilled to host this multicultural health and fitness event, a further demonstration of their ongoing commitment to develop special events catering to all manner of interests, Sydney's festivals and international markets.

In the last few years, BridgeClimb has hosted special limited edition Climbs and one-off special events for local and international festivals and celebrations including, World Yoga Day, Diwali the Hindu Festival of Light, Chinese New Year, Valentine's Day and Vivid Sydney's The Vivid Climb.

The only way was Walsall College for TV personality, James Argent, from ITV2's ‘The Only Way Is Essex’. He visited the Ofsted outstanding college on Thursday 27th April to help promote a celebrity charity football match set for May at Walsall Football Club.

James, along with a host of other celebrities including former boxer Joe Calzaghe, EastEnders actor Jake Wood and former England footballer Wayne Bridge will be playing in the game, with television personality Katie Price and Coronation Street actor Shayne Ward managing the two teams.

The Smiling Saddlers v Compton Wolves match is taking place at the Banks's Stadium on Saturday 13th May in aid of the 'Smile for Joel' and Compton Hospice charities.

All proceeds raised from the event, organised by Sellebrity Soccer and sponsored by Tile Choice, will be split equally between the two charities.

Walsall College Travel and Tourism Lecturer, Suzi Richards set up Smile for Joel in memory of her son, Joel Richards, who was also a former student at the college, dad and brother, who tragically lost their lives in the 2015 Tunisia terror attack.

James said: “It’s an honour to be asked to play in the team as it’s for two great charities which touch many hearts. I’m looking forward to seeing people around Walsall turnout on the day and make it a great atmosphere.”

Smile for Joel aims to support and help families who are victims of traumatic bereavement.

Suzi Richard said: “We are extremely grateful to James and all the other celebrities who have confirmed their attendance at the match. We are hoping to raise a lot so we can continue to help other families in similar situations to ourselves. If anyone hasn’t bought their tickets yet I would encourage them to do so as it will be a great family day out in aid of a good cause.”

According to a poll, conducted by Lancashire baker Holland's Pies, it's suppers and not slippers that will please pops this Father's Day. Proving that food really is the way to a man's heart, almost a third (28%) of UK dads said they'd prefer their favourite pie over a fancy gift this June with a further 30% opting for a chippy tea as their treat of choice.

Surprisingly, a relaxing massage only tempted 14% of dads but 27% did opt for a pint down their local pub to celebrate the occasion.

Leanne Holcroft, Brand Manager at Holland's Pies said: “This research really does show that it's the thought that counts, rather than an expensive or extravagant gift this Father's Day! It's great to see that something as simple as their favourite pie is the way to Dad's heart, and will be especially welcome news to those who are a little strapped for cash.”

More than 25,000 Wolverhampton residents taking part in the city’s Beat the Street initiative are being asked to make a final push to help raise up to £1,000 for Compton Hospice.

Over the past five weeks, one in ten people living in Wolverhampton have been taking part in Beat the Street – the physical activity initiative that encourages people to walk and cycle by transforming the city into a giant game.

With the game finishing on Wednesday, May 3, participants are being urged to break the 196,000 mile barrier to help local charity Compton Hospice land a grand from game organisers Intelligent Health.

Compton Hospice PR & Marketing Officer Charlotte Lilley said: “We are delighted that the people of Wolverhampton have chosen to support Compton Hospice as part of the Beat the Street campaign and want to urge as many people as possible to get involved with the challenge.

“The money will go directly to funding patients and their families living with the effects of incurable illnesses.  This year the hospice is celebrating its 35th anniversary so why not help us mark this milestone by clocking up a few miles yourself?”

Beat the Street participants in Wolverhampton have already walked 140,700 miles for the competition. With 55,300 miles left to go, the organisers will be offering a variety of bonus events and prizes to help the city reach its target.

Councillor Paul Sweet, City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing said: “It’s great to see so many people taking part in Beat the Street, the game really has taken the city by storm. With only one week to go I’d encourage everyone to give it a final push and tap as many boxes as they can. Not only will we be supporting Compton Hospice but we want to see how far the city can travel together.”

It is still not too late to take part and support this amazing cause, so if you haven’t already, pick up a Beat the Street card at your nearest library or council leisure centre and start playing.

Whilst there has been a boom in interest in healthy living, evidently this obsession has not been extended to the wellbeing of the nation’s pets.  But good nutrition is just as essential to dogs in order for them to live a healthy, long life and it is something placed entirely into the hands of their owners. A poor diet can manifest in a number of ways that are detrimental to a dogs’ health, some of which aren’t necessarily obvious.

A shiny healthy coat is a sign of a healthy dog. If a dog’s coat starts to lose its shine and appear dull, it could be a sign that they aren’t receiving sufficient levels of nutrition in their food. If this is the case, it is best to feed them foods like tuna, salmon and sardines that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. You can add these to your dog’s existing meals and should not receive any complaints, dogs find them delicious!

Alternatively, a teaspoon of vegetable oil in your dog’s food can really aid in returning the shine to their coat. Joint problems

Joint problems are a very common problem for dogs, particularly in larger breeds. One of the ways the problem is exacerbated is by dogs being overweight. This causes excess strain and pressure on the joints which causes real discomfort. The main symptom of arthritis in dogs is pain in the joints which causes tension in the muscles. Muscle tension is also a result of over-eating due to the accumulation of waste metabolic products that are produced. It is therefore vitally important to carefully measure the amounts a dog is being fed.

Though you may think it more beneficial to rest the joints, controlled exercise is encouraged as it increases circulation which supplies joints with nutrients and oxygen whilst removing metabolic waste and toxins which cause pain. We would recommend 3-4 times a day in small amounts, activities like swimming, under water walking and physical therapy.

Add a supplement to your dog’s diet to alleviate the pain in their joints.  AniForte Mobility Wonder is high in pure collagen, olibanum and omega-3 as these ingredients counteract the deficiencies that can cause joint wear.


We are a nation of pet lovers to the extreme. Our dogs are like our family and we want to spoil them! But we could be killing them with kindness. You don’t have to look far to find evidence of obesity amongst the nation’s pets. According to a recent survey by the Pet Food Manufacturing Association 81% of veterinary professionals believe the issue of pet obesity is getting worse*. There are a few easy ways to tell if your dog is carrying too much weight.

Make sure you can feel your dog’s ribs and the curve to their lower body is visible. A dog should experience no difficulty when getting up, if they look like they’re struggling to do so - excess weight could be a cause. Beware if you find that when you take your dog for a walk they’re having issues with their breathing or tire out far more quickly than they used to.


Certain feeding techniques like ‘free feeding’ are certainly not advisable, it means you have no perspective on how much your dog is consuming. Food portions should be measured in line with your dog’s weight to ensure they’re having a healthy amount of food each meal time.

Some dog owners feed their dogs the scraps and leftovers of the food they have prepared for themselves. Not all human foods are appropriate for dogs and some are even toxic! Onions for example, can be unsafe for dogs.

Weight loss

If your dog is overweight feed them less carbohydrates and fats as well as abstaining from handing out any snacks in between meals. It is also better to spread the feeding out and give them 2-3 small meals a day, rather than one large meal. Of course, exercise is vital! Controlled activities at least 3 times a day will produce good results.

So many dogs love food and don’t have a sense of when they are full. You could even be led to think they are hungry with begging eyes! The AniForte SlimVital - Weight Loss Supplement contains fibre-rich psyllium husks that swell up in the stomach, helping the dog to feel full and suppressing their desire to beg and overeat.


Allergies can show themselves in a number of ways such as ear infections, itchy skin, or diarrhoea and vomiting. Which foods are triggering the reaction can be hard to work out. It is best to eliminate one at a time to work out what is causing the reaction then avoid feeding them that from then onwards.

A lot of dry pet food contains grain which is an allergen for many animals. Instead it is best to look out for grain free pet food.

A dogs’ digestive tract is developed for protein and fat digestion which makes the starch contained in dry dog food hard to handle. Wet foods that contain a lot of meat can be easier to digest.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is a further result of a poor diet and is noticeable if a dog starts to develop bad breath, a loss of appetite or inflamed gums. Usually, gum disease is caused by the formation of tooth tartar, which is a result of the gathering of waste matter in a dog’s saliva. A dog that is provided with a balanced, nutritional diet will be able to prevent the accumulation of waste matter and in turn tarter.

Despite often being born out of love and a want to spoil beloved pets, what we feed our dogs can have a serious effect on their health. Feeding dogs a nutritious and natural diet will have an all-round benefit to their health and even appearance!

McKee’s crossover success has helped him to achieve millions upon millions of YouTube viewers, underscoring his emergence as one of today’s most unique and influential artists. He has been featured as a cover story in both Acoustic Guitar Magazine in the US and Acoustic Magazine in the UK, and is also the figurehead of the unique Guitar Masters tours. MeKee’s tour dates have taken him through Europe, Asia, Australia and North America, including tours with legendary acts including Price and Dream Theater.

Live performances of Andy’s have become a point of fascination with his loyal followers. So, in late 2015, Andy decided it was time to release a live album. Featuring tracks from his entire catalog, LLive Book was recorded live in December 2015 at The Melting Point in Athens, GA, the Red Clay Music Foundry in Duluth, GA and Workplay in Birmingham, AL. McKee went through the recordings from all three shows and selected the finest takes of each set. Reflecting on the song choices, he looks to provide current fans the chance to relive their favourite shows, and hopes that he can showcase the energy he creates for those who haven’t been able to attend a show and new fans alike.

“I’ve always wanted to do a live album; for quite a few years I’ve felt it’s something that has been missing from my collection of releases,” says McKee. “This album will feature some of my YouTube hits like ‘Drifting’ and ‘Rylynn’, some songs from my 2014 EP Mythmaker, and a cover of a Michael Hedges song called ‘Because It’s There’ played on harp guitar that I haven’t released yet.”

McKee is the first artist to be signed to CGP Sounds, the record label founded by fellow guitarist Tommy Emmanuel.

“I’m honoured to be a part of his label. I heard Tommy 15 years ago at a festival in Kansas and was blown away by his playing and performing, and I still am,” McKee stated. “To be the first person on his label is surreal, and I’m excited and proud to be a part of it.”

Live Book is set to be released digitally in Europe on February 12 and worldwide (digitally and physically) on April 22. The album, McKee’s first live record, will be released through CGP Sounds.