Colors: Blue Color

House of Fraser’s much-loved, festive winter wonderland raised an incredible £8,100 to support the pioneering work of Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity. The Christmas grotto, which was located on the fifth floor of the department store, was open from the end of November until Christmas Eve and donated £1.20 from every ticket purchased to the charity’s £3.65 million Star Appeal, to help construct the UK’s first paediatric Rare Diseases Centre.

TV presenter Rylan Clark-Neal got up to 'nose' good in a Sainsbury's store in Nine Elms when he pranked shoppers with an animatronic talking Red Nose, for the launch of this year's official Red Nose Day merchandise. Sainsbury's worked with a specialist animatronic company to create the larger-than-life Red Nose character, complete with hidden microphone, moving eyes and mouth. Placed out of sight, Rylan was able to use a remote control to make the Nose come to life, surprising shoppers and colleagues with jokes, banter and even some singing.

Free, cancer advice and support is coming to West Midlands between Tuesday 21 February to Friday 24 February. Macmillan Cancer Support’s mobile service will be visiting the area, with cancer information specialists on hand to answer questions and provide information. The team encourages anyone with worries relating to cancer to stop by, whether you’re living with cancer, or care for someone who is.

A petition calling for the price of University courses to be reduced back to their original £3,000 a year levels from their current £9,000+ a year point has gathered momentum since its creation. The petition on the UK Parliament website states "University fees is too high and the stress of being in dept is what puts individuals off applying for degrees.Now that grants have been removed it makes it difficult for family's who need financial support but can't get that anymore."

Data from the Sexual Relations and Activities Questionnaire within the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing has been collated to examine difficulties with sexual activities and function, attitudes towards sex and details about the current sexual partners of over 50s. The analysis, published by the International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK), University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University, gathered information from over 7000 over 50s which found that whilst self-reported difficulties in becoming aroused steadily increase in women aged 50-79, these then decrease after 80 to below the levels seen in 60-69 year olds.

The nation is coming together for the Great British Spring Clean in March, and you can get involved in Haringey. You can set up your own clean-up event in the borough, or check online to see what is already being planned. The Great British Spring Clean, backed by TV wildlife presenter Steve Backshall, will be held on the weekend of March 3-5. Organiser Keep Britain Tidy is urging individuals, clubs, schools and businesses to get involved and be Litter Heroes.

With a network of water pipes that would stretch around the world it’s no wonder Severn Trent Water customers often spot water leaks before Severn Trent itself. That’s why the water company is asking its customers to help tackle leaks and bursts in the cold weather. Malcolm Whittaker has been finding and fixing leaks across the region for over 30 years.  He explained: “The weather has turned cold and we’ll see more ice and frost towards the weekend. 

New rules allowing EU citizens with subscriptions for online music, games, films and TV shows to access this content while traveling to another EU country have been welcomed by local MEP Daniel Dalton. Mr Dalton was one of the first MEPs to demand this issue be investigated and refreshed, “I always found it bizarre that consumers buying an online sports or entertainment package in the UK found themselves geo-blocked when they went on holiday."

Everyone loves trees, and The National Forest offers the perfect Valentine's Day gift this year: give a National Forest Plant a Tree package and you'll be supporting a whole forest! Plant a Tree gives you the chance to plant a tiny tree in the Forest yourselves. First, add your personal message to a certificate available online on The National Forest website to present to your loved one on Valentine's Day.

The RSPCA is reminding cat owners of the importance of having their pets microchipped after a Coventry family were reunited with the beloved puss two and a half years after he went missing. The animal welfare charity was contacted on 29 January after a member of the public spotted what they believed to be a stray cat with an injured leg in Common Way, Coventry.

Forget the retirement dream of moving to the countryside or heading to the coast – more than half (52 per cent) of the residents of the UK’s biggest cities want to stay exactly where they are when they stop work, according to new research by Prudential. The findings – which are taken from Prudential’s exclusive research comparing attitudes to finance and the preparations workers are making for retirement in the UK’s biggest cities – show that most people are happy to retire in the city in which they currently live.

Nationwide efforts to reduce child traffic casualty rates have been boosted in Birmingham with the launch of a new road safety early learning book. ‘The Conies: Walking to School Safely Journal’ features an inspirational family of traffic-cone-shaped cartoon characters - The Conies – whose creators hope will become national or even international heroes of road safety for children.

Research from Royal Mail has revealed the UK’s most popular hiding spots for Valentine’s gifts in the home. At the top of the list is the “wardrobe” (21 per cent) with “under the bed” (13 per cent) coming a close second. Wardrobes were the favourite secret hiding place for adults in the north east. Over a quarter of respondents from the north east (28 per cent) confessed to finding their Valentine’s gifts hidden in the wardrobe.

The Yorkshire market town of Otley has teamed up with Children's Heart Surgery Fund to raise money for the charity by offering 'Personalised Poems for a Pound' in the run up to Valentine's Day, 2017. Otley is thought to be the only town in the country with its own official poet – and local bard Matthew Hedley-Stoppard will pen the personalised poems in return for a minimum £1 donation to the charity. People wishing to use the service simply upload the name of a loved one when a donation is made and Matthew will craft a bespoke poem in their honour.

A three-tiered service for Birmingham’s Community Library have been drawn up following feedback from citizens during a recent public consultation. Initial plans (with opening hours and staff support reduced in tiers 2 and 3) were put forward as part of the council’s effort to respond to reduced funding from central government and would have seen the libraries at Aston and Sutton closed – reducing annual expenditure by £1.9million by 2018/19.