Colors: Blue Color

John Taylor Hospice has launched a brand new way to raise funds by introducing a weekly lottery draw. The Birmingham-based hospice has teamed up with Your Hospice Lottery to offer people the chance to win weekly cash prizes whilst raising vital funds for hospice care. For just £1 per entry to the weekly draw, lottery members have the chance to win one of 136 guaranteed prizes ranging from £10 to £1,000. There is also the addition of a rollover jackpot which, if not won, goes up by £250 each week - up to an amazing £10,000!

A British-Indian politician has been honoured by both the UK and Indian governments for her contributions to public service. Ludhiana-born Neena Gill, who was first elected to the European Parliament in 1999 was named in the New  Year’s honour list and is to be awarded a CBE by her majesty the queen for her contributions to Politics in a ceremony later this year.

MedicAnimal, the UK’s leading pet healthcare retailer, is warning motorists and gardeners about the consequences of using antifreeze and the potentially lethal effect it can have on cats and dogs. The Met Office has this week issued a severe weather warning to several parts of the UK with temperatures expected to drop below 0 degrees Celsius.  Antifreeze is typically 95% ethylene glycol (EG) and diluted 1:2 or 1:3 with water when added to the car’s radiator or washer fluid container.

As temperatures drop, vets are warning owners not to forget about small pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs that usually live outdoors yet are vulnerable to the cold and damp despite their furry coats. The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and British Veterinary Zoological Society (BVZS) are asking owners with outdoor hutches and runs to be vigilant during cold snaps and make sure that their pets’ living space is well-protected from snow, frost and winter rain.

Community projects in West Midlands are invited to enter an awards programme which could see them share a funding boost of £75,000 to make a real difference in their local area. Now in their fifth year, the Yorkshire Bank Spirit of the Community Awards 2017 is open for applications. Yorkshire Bank will make donations to recognise and support community projects which are going the extra mile.

This spring, Peppa Pig is teaming up with the world’s leading children’s charity, Save the Children, to launch a fundraiser like no other. Between 8 and 14 May 2017, nurseries, early years groups, families and children up and down the country are being encouraged to take part in a Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddle Walk for Save the Children.  Organising a Muddy Puddle Walk is a great way for your little ones to explore the world around them and jump in muddy puddles, like Peppa Pig, for a worthy cause. 

A recently retired Sandwell special school principal has been named in the Queen’s New Year Honours list. Gordon Phillips, who retired last summer after ten years as principal at The Meadows Sports College in Oldbury, was made an MBE (Member of the most excellent Order of the British Empire). Gordon, a father-of-two, started teaching in 1975 at Bishop Vaughan RC School in Plymouth, where he was a former pupil himself.

The way vehicles will access City of Wolverhampton Railway Station will change as of today, as part of the city’s £132 million Interchange improvements. It coincides with the switch to a new entrance for the extended multi-storey car park, which will be operational for the first time on the same day. From Sunday, motor vehicles will no longer be able to access the station via Railway Drive. Instead, they can access the station, multi-storey car park, short stay parking, passenger drop-off/pick-up area and taxi rank via Corn Hill.

Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice is encouraging people from Birmingham and Sandwell to make volunteering top of their New Year’s resolution list. On Tuesday 17th January between 12pm and 2pm, the Hospice will be hosting a drop-in session at Birmingham Voluntary Service Council (B5 6DR) for those interested in making a difference this year. At the drop-in session, members of the public will be able to find out more about the range of flexible volunteering opportunities the charity has available and how they can get involved.

In the new year, we all consider different resolutions to improve our lives. There are the usual get fit, quit smoking, cut down on alcohol or take up a new hobby. We all know them and we’ve all probably tried one of them at some point in our lives, but what about resolutions for our pets? We’ve had a think at our end on some ways to improve your pet’s new year and hopefully you’ll be able to benefit from it too.

Children are being encouraged to start 2017 with a bang by taking part in a popular weekly run for young people. The Wednesfield Junior Parkrun, launched 18 months ago, gives four to 14-year-olds the chance to run, jog or walk a 2km circuit around Wednesfield Park every Sunday morning. Parents can also join in if they wish. Councillor Paul Sweet, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "The Junior Parkrun is a fantastic way for children and young people to get exercise, enjoy some fresh air and make new friends.

Hopefully you have exciting plans for 2017, a year that will be the most important in Cure Leukaemia's history and we hope you will be a part of this transformational period for the charity. Cure Leukaemia has made a commitment to raise an additional £1million towards the £3.4million expansion of the Centre for Clinical Haematology at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. Once established, the Centre’s capacity for research nurse positions, clinical trials and patients treated will be doubled and over 100 jobs will be created.

The last few days have seen freezing temperatures, frost and ice and the Met Office is predicting a frozen start to 2017.  Yet many of us still don't have our water pipes protected against the cold weather - with a few days of the Christmas break left, now is a great time to get things done. As the temperatures drop the ground freezes and then later thaws, and it’s when we have these swings in temperatures that we often see more leaks and burst water pipes.

In the series of Winter Package distribution among needy and poor people of Pakistan, Alkhidmat Foundation Punjab arranged a winter kits distribution ceremony at Child Protection Centre, Rana Town, Lahore. Mr. Ikram Ul Haq Subhani, General Secretary AKF Punjab and Mr. Tayyab, Individual Donor from Germany, distributed winter kits among street children.

Birmingham City Council and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council have successfully bid for £400,000 of government funding to help get people new to the streets the rapid support that they need. The Rough Sleeping Grant will be used to support people by offering them a safe place to sleep, physical and mental health checks and substance misuse screening.  Work will be co-ordinated through a team of nurses, substance misuse workers and housing and support officers and will link to existing outreach and other service providers.