Colors: Blue Color

Volunteers of all ages are being asked to donate their time and support to their local library. Sandwell’s 19 libraries need people willing to help out in a variety of roles - from sorting books and filling shelves, to helping put on events or volunteering at the café at Central library.

The online fundraising platform JustGiving has announced its top fundraisers of 2015 – and John Taylor Hospice’s CEO Kate Phipps is delighted to be one of them. Out of 532,124 fundraisers worldwide, Kate’s JustGiving page for her tandem skydive was one of the most successful last year, raising more than £14,000 for John Taylor Hospice.

Birmingham’s Chinese community is preparing to welcome in the Year of the Monkey today, Sunday, February 7, with an afternoon of celebrations aimed at the whole family. Organised by the Birmingham Chinese Festival Committee in conjunction with Southside Business Improvement District (BID) and supported by Birmingham City Council, the event will include Chinese music, stalls, dance and performance.

New research has revealed that most Birmingham residents may be unaware of an energy efficiency scheme being delivered by British Gas which provides free gas boilers to low income households. British Gas will provide free or low cost gas boilers as part of its commitment to delivering energy efficiency measures to homes across Britain in 2016. This will include homes in Birmingham.

Tettenhall’s popular Make It or Bake It market has scooped a top national award. The event was crowned Best Small Community Market at the Great British Market Awards organised by the National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA) at a ceremony in Birmingham yesterday. Make It or Bake It began in 2014 and there have so far been four events attracting thousands of visitors.

Wolverhampton police have unveiled their latest weapon in the blitz against violent partners – hairdressers, which has been backed by The Mayor of Wolverhampton. In the first pilot scheme of its kind anywhere in the West Midlands, police have drafted in the city’s beauticians to help uncover those who abuse their partners.

The Giant Wiggle encourages children to get active and have fun Leading charity Action for Children and The World of Eric Carle™ are encouraging children’s centres, nurseries and groups for under-fives in West Midlands to host a ‘Giant Wiggle’ during the week of 21-27 March to celebrate the UK’s best-selling children’s book, ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar™’.

Dozens were killed and buildings were destroyed as bombs rained down on the Black Country during the First World War 100 years ago. And this weekend, civic leaders, historians and the local community will hold a series of events to commemorate all those who lost their lives in the Zeppelin bomb raids on Tipton, Wednesbury, Bilston and Walsall.

Ethical pet retailer Pets Corner is to provide the first ever pet and human first aid training course to their team of 600 shop floor staff. The family run pet shop, which has over 100 stores across the UK, has teamed up with First Aid Support Training and The Canine First Aid Company to develop the specially tailored course, which will be rolled out across the company from January.

WATCH (Working Actively To Change Hillfields) a Coventry-based charity that provides support and resources to some of the most disadvantaged individual’s in today’s society has received funding of £33,328 from People’s Health Trust, using money raised through The Health Lottery. This funding will enable WATCH to deliver a Community Action Project in Hillfields until July 2017.

Work has started on the on-road improvements being delivered as part of the Birmingham Cycle Revolution scheme with the aim of making cycling an everyday way to travel in the city. When complete, the current package of work on the Lichfield Road ‘main corridor’ will comprise mainly of cycling facilities within existing bus lanes, following the A5127 from the City Centre to Erdington via Lancaster Circus, Corporation Street, Dartmouth Circus, Aston Road, Lichfield Road and Salford Circus.

Green-fingered citizens are being reminded it is still not too late to sign up for Birmingham’s garden waste recycling service – and earn a £2 discount in the process. Anyone who subscribes online for the 2016 season will have to pay just £33 for the service, which offers 20 fortnightly collections between February and November, rather than the £35 for anyone booking via the council contact centre.

MedicAnimal, the UK’s largest online pet healthcare retailer, is warning pet owners to take action against pet obesity this January. Pet obesity is on the rise. A Pet Food Manufacturer’s Association’s (PFMA) 2015 report found that 73% of vets believe the problem of obesity is getting worse and pet owners are seemingly unaware of the life-limiting effects of obesity. The main cause of obesity in pets is generally too much food and too little exercise.

Her Majesty The Queen celebrates her 90th birthday later this year and City of Wolverhampton Council has given residents an extra reason to celebrate. The council is believed to be the first in the country to waive costly licence fees if people apply for a road closure to be able hold a street party. The move will save party organisers up to £690 and the council hopes it will encourage as many people as possible to organise a knees-up for the Queen.