Colors: Blue Color

There is nothing quite like getting out and swimming in a pool. However, whether it’s with friends or family, in a pool at home or abroad or enjoying a picnic by a river or swimming in a lake, it’s always important to keep safe. Under the National Curriculum, all children by the age of 11 years should be able to swim 25 metres unaided, ensuring they have some knowledge of safety in the water.

A long-serving Wolverhampton councillor collected her OBE from Prince Charles during a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Councillor Sandra Samuels, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, was recognised for political service and services to local government in the Queen's New Year's Honours List. And she said: “The Investiture at Buckingham Palace was an incredible experience; I was humbled, honoured and extremely privileged.

The real cost of running the average-sized UK home has been revealed by leading home insurers MORE TH>N.  Owning a three bedroom home in the UK comes with average annual running costs of almost £20,000 (£1,634 per month), with rented three bedroom homes only slightly less expensive at just shy of £19,000 per year (£1,576 per month). For a household with two working adults each earning the average yearly salary that means between 43% (rented) and 45% (owned) of post-tax earnings are being spent purely on household bills and the rent or mortgage.

An incredible 17 lots are up for grabs in the Mayor of Wolverhampton's biggest ever charity auction, which is underway and continues until 4pm on Friday 13th May. Goodies ranging from an iPad to theatre tickets, cases of wines and spirits and family tickets to some of the region’s most popular tourist attractions will be up for grabs to the highest bidders – with all proceeds going to local good causes.

Nearly 70% of gardens in the Midlands are stuck in the past with almost 64% of the region’s homeowners admitting their outdoor space has been influenced by previous decades, according to research conducted by paving manufacturer, Bradstone. A nationwide survey of homeowners with gardens revealed that in the Midlands, 68% of gardens’ main features pre-date the 1990s, with 80s wooden slatted fences (42%), 60s manicured lawns (41%) and 50s concrete paths (24%) featuring most prominently as design hangovers from the past.

The winners of Wolverhampton’s unique walking, cycling and running challenge, Beat the Street, raced to Molineux Stadium to collect their prizes at a special awards ceremony. Thousands of residents young and old took part in the seven-week game, clocking up a fantastic total of 196,395 miles – that's the equivalent of 393 million steps, or burning around 20 million calories.

Fans of the iconic Blue Oval are being asked to nominate their favourite Ford model of all time in advance of the Classic Ford Show, which takes place at Santa Pod, Bedfordshire, on Sunday June 5th. Be it a Cortina or a Cosworth, Model T or Mexico, the show organisers are looking to establish which classic Ford is the nation’s all-time number one, with the winner being announced in advance of the event.

A one-day programme to explore how to be a more effective and inclusive role model and ally to LGBT people is to be hosted at the University of Birmingham by Stonewall, the leading charity for lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality. Allies are individuals who do not identify as LGBT and believe that lesbian, gay, bi and trans people should be free to be themselves.

A Sunday dinner-loving Spaniel from Wolverhampton, who is nearly double his ideal weight, has reached the finals of the UK’s largest pet slimming competition - PDSA Pet Fit Club. The heavyweight hound, hoping to lead the way for millions of overweight pets across Britain, has been selected to compete against 12 other fat pets – including dogs, cats and even a rabbit.

MP Jim Cunningham of Coventry South has thrown his weight behind a nationwide campaign which criticises one of the UK’s biggest insurance firms and Tesco over changes to pet insurance policies. Mr Cunningham  has sponsored a parliamentary motion criticising the Royal & Sun Alliance and Tesco over the establishment of a “preferred referral network” that limit customers to one of 28 vet centres across the UK where advanced care or operations are needed.

A Charity Event organised by YMCA North London to help vulnerable homeless young people build a better future. The Crouch End Fun Run & Festival has evolved over the last 25 years into one of the largest community events in North London, a diary must for many.

Relatives of a man who passed away recently are being asked to get in touch with City of Wolverhampton Council. Maurice Franklyn Worrall, who was 72, had lived in a care home for several years in the Penn area of Wolverhampton. It is thought that he may have family in the Southampton area. The City of Wolverhampton Council is trying to trace Mr Worrall’s relatives so that his funeral can be arranged.

With rising human and pet life expectancies, the standard ‘1-to-7’ dog year ratio is becoming obsolete, according to MedicAnimal, Europe’s leading online pet retailer. While most pet owners stand by the “one size fits all” method to gauge their pets’ equivalent stages of life, the reality is more complex, and can negatively affect pet health further down the line.

24 has been revealed as the 'age of payback' - when grown-up children finally start picking up the bill for their long-suffering parents, according to a new study. The research discovered that until that point mums and dads are bombarded with almost daily requests to borrow money for one thing or another. But the tables finally turn when the 'kids' are able to stand on their own two feet – and start chirping up with 'Don't worry, I'll get this ... ' at restaurants, on day trips out, or even lavish holidays abroad.

Generous HomeServe employees have helped raise almost £20,000 for charity Marie Curie in just three months as part of their long-term support for the charity. Staff set to work reaching the mammoth amount by donating spare or unwanted clothes – a scheme that has proven so popular a collection bin has been installed at the company’s Walsall headquarters and Preston site – as well as a host of fundraising activities already this year.

It seems that Brits have a much closer bond with their pets than their partner, a survey has revealed. Eighty per cent of the 1000 people surveyed think that their pet is way cuter than their other half, with three-quarters saying that their pet gives better cuddles. Half admit that they would rather spend a free afternoon with their pet, whilst three-quarters prefer a selfie with their beloved animal.