Colors: Blue Color

John Smith's is launching a campaign that is truly out of this world. The best selling ale brand has acquired the first ever pint shaped constellation, made up from 100 stars in the night sky, and is giving ordinary British blokes with extraordinary talents the chance to own one of them.

Parachuting teddies, a Poldark evening and sheep racing are just a few of the entries highlighting the creativity and broad-appeal in church insurer Ecclesiastical and Church Times’ Church Fundraising Idea of the Year Competition 2015. The nation-wide competition sets out to reward the best initiatives that have helped churches and other places of worship to raise much needed money to support their activities, building works, maintenance, etc. The top prize is £10,000, with five runner-up prizes of £2,000.

A study has revealed that British men have square eyes as they consider their television (40 percent) to be something they couldn’t live without – but women are more practical and said they’d be lost if they didn’t have their toothbrush (49 percent). Researchers surveyed almost 2,000 mixed gender respondents who were asked to vote for the things they “couldn’t live without” and would always find the funds for.

Members of the UK Youth Parliament in Wolverhampton are calling on the city’s young people to make their mark. The annual Make Your Mark ballot gives young people the chance to decide what issues their Youth MPs should campaign on and debate in the House of Commons in the year ahead. Last year, more than 5,000 young people cast their vote in the ballot in Wolverhampton, joining around 875,000 nationally – making it the biggest youth consultation in the country.

With eight million British holidaymakers heading overseas for a holiday in August and millions making the most of summer on the UK coastline, ABTA and the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS UK), the drowning prevention charity, are again reminding holidaymakers to follow safety tips and swim safely. In Europe, authorities are warning families and holidaymakers to be especially careful this summer as record temperatures have encouraged people unaccustomed to the water to go swimming.

Volunteers are being sought to become Birmingham Ambassadors during a month of high profile events expected to bring tens of thousands of visitors to the city in September. Birmingham Ambassadors will be the public face of the city for visitors during key events such as the Rugby World Cup matches at Villa Park on September 26 and 27, including at the fanzone at Eastside Park, as well as the opening of the refurbished New Street Station and the Grand Central shopping centre, plus the Birmingham Weekender, among others.

People are being asked to check their store cupboards and donate any spare tins or packets of food and toiletries they may have to help support families in need. Residents are being encouraged to either drop off items at one of the designated collection points or get together with colleagues and organise ‘Bring a Tin to Work’ appeals.

The City of Wolverhampton Council is embarking on a £1.7m scheme to deliver new build council housing on four small derelict sites across the city.

The works will be carried out by the council’s Strategic Construction Partnership (SCP) contractors, who are being given the opportunity to extend their portfolio from housing maintenance and repairs as part of a pilot project. The partnership – Wates Living Space and United Living – will deliver 12 homes by early 2016, at Redcotts Close, Fallings Park; Hughes Road, Bilston North; Welbury Gardens, St Peter’s; and Sunset Place, Spring Vale.

Homeowners today would rather hide their mess as new research from The Co-operative Insurance reveals that cleaning is dying out, with a quarter of modern households struggling to manage an hour of cleaning each week (25%). Today’s home-makers no longer see cleaning as a priority with those aged (45-54 years) most likely to keep abreast of their chores, cleaning for an average of five hours and four minutes per week compared to those aged 25-34, who only manage three hours and 58 minutes.

Britain is apparently a nation of dog lovers but, according to Birmingham’s dog wardens, more than 25 strays a week are being found on the city’s streets. Despite a 26 per cent drop in the number of stray dogs found in 2014/15 (1,375 compared to 1,874 in 2013/14), wardens were still on average having to deal with at least three strays per day.