Colors: Blue Color

A drive to make sure people recognise hate crime and know how to report it is under way in Sandwell. A best practice forum held as part of National Hate Crime Awareness Week highlighted concerns about under-reporting of incidents. Organisations including Sandwell Council, West Midlands Police, Rights and Equality Sandwell and Victim Support agreed to raise greater awareness, especially around how to report incidents.

With bonfire night only a few weeks away and Christmas and New Year on the horizon, many pets will feel anxious with the looming firework displays. Lots of animals are afraid of the loud sounds and flashing lights that accompany fireworks, but there are lots of ways to make sure your pet feels as comfortable and safe as possible on the night.

People who want to combine volunteering with discovering England and Wales are being offered a free holiday as part of YHA's Working Holiday programme. The youth hostelling charity, YHA (England and Wales), is offering up to five nights' free accommodation at 40 of its properties throughout England and Wales in exchange for volunteers' time to help them get Youth Hostels ship-shape for spring 2017.

Black Country Chamber has taken action after receiving a number of reports from members relating to crime in the Bilston area. The crimes included break-ins at businesses which have resulted in criminal damage and theft. This impacts heavily on local industry and can result in companies considering relocation if problems persist. To support local Black Country businesses, Craig Fowler, a Black Country Chamber Relationship Manager, contacted the Wolverhampton Business Crime Reduction Group to advise them on the issues businesses are facing.

Drivers in the West Midlands commit more emotion-related road offences than any other UK region, according to new research from motoring experts The survey of UK drivers revealed that 4.5 million motorists admit to committing motoring offences, such as running red lights or speeding, as a result of feeling emotional. And it turns out 23% of drivers in the West Midlands alone do this.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson is co-hosting a special event on modern slavery. The all-day conference will detail a victim’s journey from their first contact with the trafficker right through to rescue and aftercare. Experts from the police, West Midlands Anti Slavery Network and more will share their knowledge and best practice. The event – hosted by the PCC, West Midlands Police, West Midlands Anti Slavery Network and Barnardo’s – will take place on Tuesday (18) at Tally Ho, Birmingham.

A team of international artists will be transforming Blenheim Palace into an illuminated wonderland as part of a magical new festive trail this winter (November 25th – January 2nd). 'Christmas at Blenheim' will see the Oxfordshire estate lit up by a series of stunning outdoor attractions including a scented fire garden, dancing cascades, sparkling hedgerows, fairy-lit arbours, singing Christmas trees and a lake aglow with brightly-lit boats.

With numerous businesses being targeted by cyber criminals in recent weeks and a continuous rise in threats from social engineering, keeping our personal and private information out of the wrong hands whilst working and socialising online is becoming increasingly difficult.  Cyber crime has not only grown in its capability to do serious damage to both businesses and individuals, it has also become so sophisticated that the difference between a legitimate request and a downright scam isn’t quite as apparent as it once was.

Six months after the introduction of compulsory microchipping of dogs in England, Andrew Bucher, Chief Veterinary Officer and co-founder of MedicAnimal, the UK’s leading online pet healthcare retailer has questioned elements of the scheme and whether it can be effective in the long term. Figures reported last week by animal charity Dogs Trust show more than 4,700 stray dogs in the UK last year couldn’t be reunited with their owners, due to outdated microchips.

BIRD is most definitely not the word, according to a new study. British women want to banish ‘bird’ from the social dictionary with nearly 60 percent branding it their most hated pet name. Taking to task phrases they deem derogatory, a survey of more than 2000 British women placed ‘mumsy’, ‘hormonal’ and ‘ball breaker’ among the top 10 words they would like to see banned from day to day vocabulary.

The role of Black Country factories as part of the war effort is explored in a new exhibition at Bilston Craft Gallery. The Work in Wartime show highlights the scale and importance of factories in Wolverhampton and Bilston during the First and Second World Wars. The exhibition features dozens of archive images and original items including Villiers engines, a motorcycle and bicycle used by the British Cyclist Corps during the First World War and a very rare Sunbeam military dispatch rider’s motorcycle on loan from the Black Country Living Museum. 

German and British children will come together this weekend to remember the victims of the First World War – including those killed in aerial attacks. The annual Anglo-German Service of Remembrance and Reconciliation is organised with the support of the Royal British Legion's City of Wolverhampton Central Branch and the Mayor of Wolverhampton and involves students from the High Arcal School in Sedgley and its partner school, the Academy of English in Oldenburg, Germany.

“Black History Month is always an opportunity for us all to reflect on Britain’s diversity and rich culture, as well as serving as a reminder of the inequality that still exists. This year, more so than others, the significance of Black History Month cannot be overlooked.  Following the referendum result we have seen a rise in racist attacks and xenophobic hate crimes reminding us that we must remain vigilant against division, and always celebrate our differences as well as our shared humanity and compassion."

A main thoroughfare in Birmingham will be awash with colour as Soho Road, in Handsworth, welcomes the annual festival of light with Diwali 2016. Hosted by the Soho Road BID team, it is expected that this, the West Midlands largest Diwali festival will attract thousands to the inner-city street that will spread from Holyhead Road all the way to Soho Hill - caters to approximately 250,000 residents in the vicinity.

“I was always looking forward to Black History Month 2016, as it will provide, as it does every year, the opportunity to learn more about the history and heritage of our communities here in Britain. At the heart of the Labour Party is the promise to always campaign for equality, equality of rights and opportunity for all. As a lifelong campaigner for equal rights I will do all I can as Leader to ensure the Party delivers on that promise."

Older residents in Haringey who need a helping hand for jobs around the house can call on a new service being unveiled by Haringey Council, Haringey Clinical Commissioning Group and Homes for Haringey today. The new service allows residents aged 60 and over to get a range of DIY jobs carried out easily and quickly at an affordable price. The service has been jointly commissioned by Haringey Council and Haringey Clinical Commissioning Group to be carried out by Homes for Haringey until April 2017 and replaces a previous scheme that was run by Age UK.