FU Loves The Midlands #4


Is anyone else marking the passage of time by how many times you’ve put out the bins?Thursday just seems to come around so quickly (and also soooo slowly) these days. Just me? Worryingly it’s become the highlight of my week! Organising the recycling, cramming the wheelie bin full of the other stuff and making ‘must go to the tip, one day’ piles in the garage. I’m finding it strangely cathartic!

With another week of lockdown under our belt we think we should all say well done. It’s not been easy and if anyone had said a few months ago that 99% of the country would willingly stay home and not socialise then I’m not sure I would have believed them, so it’s an amazing achievement by all of us. This week, when clapping for our emergency services, add an extra clap in for yourself too. #clapforME

Give yourself another clap if you’ve already been in touch to book in a FREE Thirty Minute Mentoring session with myself or Kevin. We’ve had a great response and have spoken to some lovely people – just click here to get the ball rolling and start talking.

As we keep saying, Silence is not golden, we’ve all got to keep talking! Once again, if you’ve got a story that you’d like to share, or if you just want a chat, get in touch by email: [email protected] or [email protected] or call us on 07713 740 272

Enjoy what’s set to be another sunny weekend, stay home and stay safe, but in the meantime, we hope you enjoy the content below.

Take care

Jon, Kevin & the

obligatory bad joke
I’ve just started reading an amazing book about lubricants.
It’s non-friction.


A campaign by Voluntary Action LeicesterShire – in partnership with Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council – has seen an unprecedented response from its appeal for volunteers.

In just two weeks, over 2000 community-minded individuals have responded to the call-out, offering their help, expertise – or sometimes just an ear to listen – to crisis-stricken charities and voluntary groups across the city and county who have seen their normal support network collapse due to the Coronavirus outbreak and lockdown measures.

So far, Voluntary Action LeicesterShire – who are the Nationally Accredited Volunteer Centre for Leicester and Leicestershire – have been able to ‘match-make’ the skills of 639 of the 2000 to voluntary groups or projects who have initially stepped forward – including a major project for Loughborough University.

But today, they are making a fresh appeal…

The Leicester-based ‘charity hub’ is, today, making a fresh appeal to charity projects or voluntary groups themselves, who may be struggling under the radar and who could be supported through this initiative, to get in touch as there are a further 1300 willing volunteers yet to be placed – be that in providing front line assistance, back-office support or for DBS-linked work.  VAL are also keen to stress that these individuals come with a VAL assurance and due diligence has been operated, which means the right person (or people) can be matched to the right group.

Kevin Allen Khimani, Executive Manager at Voluntary Action LeicesterShire comments; “Despite the much-needed support that was announced by the Chancellor last Thursday, the reality is there are thousands of charities here in the city and county that won’t qualify for this help; they fall between the cracks.  Couple this with the fact that their normal infrastructure has disappeared without warning and there is a very real risk of these individuals and micro-charities having to cease their invaluable work in the community.  The extended lockdown period only compounds this further”.

He continues; “We, at Voluntary Action LeicesterShire, have an army of volunteers on stand-by to support our sector.  We would not only urge charities and voluntary groups to get in touch if they need support and assistance, but also the general public to help us identify those groups or individuals who need help urgently.  In making a five-minute call to the support team, we can mobilise the right support these charities are crying out for.  Simply, we’re urging them to #AskVAL”.

Voluntary Action LeicesterShire can be contacted on 0116 257 5050 or www.VALonline.org.uk


The show must go online at Curve and we’re thrilled that they will be sharing an archive recording of the 2017 Made at Curve and Theatre Royal Bath co-production of Joe Orton’s contemporary classic, What The Butler Saw – especially as we never got a chance to see it!

What the Butler Saw was Orton’s final play, completed just a month before his untimely death. This Made at Curve production, directed by Nikolai Foster, was performed 50 years after the death of the celebrated Leicester playwright.

Archive recordings are made by theatres on a single camera at the back of the auditorium and are never usually intended for public broadcast, so it’s a real treat to see! The video is also available with captions, so everyone can enjoy it. The captioned archive recording will be live here from 7pm on Sun 19 April.  Join the conversation online with #CurveButler



Join in with your local community and help Solihull BID celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day from the comfort of your own home.

VE Day, otherwise known as Victory in Europe Day, marks the day towards the end of World War Two when fighting against Nazi Germany came to an end in Europe.  It’s such a momentous milestone, they’ve even moved the Bank Holiday this year.

Solihull BID – the Business Improvement District for Solihull town centre – has put together a handy guide, so you can still celebrate this huge moment in history whilst staying at home as part of the national effort against the Coronavirus pandemic.

Click here to see how you can celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day from your own home.


The Royal Shakespeare Company is inviting audiences from across the globe to share their love of Shakespeare in whatever way they choose. Whether performing a soliloquy; baking a cake; painting a picture; serenading a neighbour over the garden fence or teaching your dog to bark Macbeth, #ShareYourShakespeare will bring together individuals as well as famous faces from the RSC’s celebrated performance history to produce the biggest, Shakespeare performance delivered by and for the global community on the Baird’s birthday- 23rd April, as a virtual celebration of shared creativity, community spirit, and the enduring power of storytelling.

Audiences everywhere are invited to Share their Shakespeare by film or photograph, in any way they like and upload it to Instagram, Twitter or YouTube, tagging @theRSC and using the hashtag #ShareYourShakespeare from now.


Publicity specialists, FU Media, and luxury magazine, DLUXE, have joined forces to offer an exclusive competition to win a year-long publicity package – worth over £5000.

To be in with a chance of winning, simply CLICK HERE.
T&Cs apply.  Competition closes 31st May 2020.


East Midlands Chamber of Commerce is still very much open for business and its website has an excellent section devoted to helping businesses affected by the Covid-19 outbreak including downloadable templates, legal advice, grant and funding information and health and wellbeing information – you can access it here


You’ve not had the full lockdown experience unless you’ve watched at least one James Bond film in the last couple of weeks, but did you know that Burt Reynolds turned down the iconic role of 007? Using Deep Fake technology, you can get a glimpse of what it might have looked like – our minds are blown! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foqeQM-7PSg


Friends and families from across Birmingham are being encouraged to enjoy the Great Outdoors, albeit in their own back gardens, whilst raising money for charity. The Big Brummie Camp Out will take place on the May Bank Holiday (Friday 8 May), with the aim of bringing a little light relief into lockdown, whilst also raising money for one of the city’s key homeless charities.

Launched by SIFA Fireside, Birmingham’s main day centre for homeless and vulnerably housed adults, the Big Brummie Camp Out focuses on the importance of “home” at a time when we’re all being forced to spend more time than usual in our own. Whether you’re pitching a tent in the garden, building a DIY den on your balcony, or creating a cushion castle in the living room, everyone is being urged to get involved!

The campaign is being launched as part of #SIFASurvives, an emergency appeal by SIFA Fireside, which has seen a dip in income due to the Coronavirus epidemic. Looking to raise £50,000 over the coming months, money raised will ensure that the Digbeth-based charity can continue providing homeless and vulnerable adults access to key services such as showers and health clinics, whilst also helping them to work towards a brighter future.

To sign up, ‘campers’ will be asked to donate a minimum £5 to the appeal, in return for access to an exclusive digital download pack filled with fun activities like leaf printing and a DIY campfire, as well as homemade bunting to decorate your ‘campsite’. The pack will have everything needed for an evening under the stars, including family-friendly recipes created by SIFA Fireside Patron, Alex Claridge (The Wilderness) and a bread making recipe from Sarehole Mill, as well as a guide to moon phases from Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum.

To sign up to the Big Brummie Campout, visit bit.ly/BigBrummieCampOut


There With You is a new fund that launched yesterday in conjunction with Randal Charitable Foundation  and LeicestershireLive that aims to help support those in Leicestershire who find themselves in need due to the Covid-19 crisis.  It’s providing access to small grants (up to £300), to provide everyday items that most of us take for granted.

The fund aims to raise £250,000 via individual and business donations and was launched on the back of a grant from the Randal Charitable Foundation, which will see £96,000 made available for grants immediately.

You can donate at https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/ThereWithYouFund or businesses can contact Charity Link at [email protected]


Market Harborough’s, Braybrooke Beer Co, started in 2017 with one aim: to make really good lager. Their belief is that beer doesn’t have to be complicated, so long as it’s made in the right way with commitment to quality – and that’s exactly what they’re doing.

We are loving their beer home delivery service – yes, you read that correctly – that’s open to homes within a 20-mile radius of the brewery in Market Harborough and are currently offering 25% off for NHS workers during this difficult time.
All the beers are available to shop here https://www.braybrookebeer.co/shop


To help the business community through the Coronavirus challenge, DIB is creating the ‘Downtown Den’ – where business folk from across the West Midlands can share their thoughts and opinions through webinars, podcasts and blogs.  Over the coming weeks, they have some inspirational content from some of the city’s leading business brains – so definitely check it out.  Join them for an insightful afternoon on the 24th April, for example, hearing from some of Birmingham’s charities that have been adapting to change and supporting our communities during these uncertain times.

Find out more @DowntownBusiness


As you may have gathered by now, FU Media like to talk and if you’ve met us in person then you know that’s definitely true!  Since 1999, we’ve championed the idea of keeping in touch and staying connected – and it’s more critical now than ever before, be that for the preservation of your business, sanity or both!
Talking to your customers, appealing to new ones  and promoting what you do as a business in an engaging way  is what will give you the very best chance of surviving this difficult period and emerging in fighting-shape on the other side.  Those that quietly hibernate will be slower to respond, giving you advantage when the good times return, which is why FU Media has announced the launch of a new service: ‘30-Minute Mentoring’.

In this one-to-one Zoom session, you are openly invited to talk about you and your business needs with the FU founders, Kevin Urquhart and Jonathan Fraser.  Areas of advice might include: Social Media and Website Updates, PR and Press Releases, Marketing & Advertising, Design, Mentoring and Access to Professional Services:

Feel free to pick up the phone on 077137 40272 (Kevin Urquhart)/ 0772 5809654 (Jonathan Fraser) or email directly on [email protected] / [email protected] to book your free, ‘30-Minute Mentoring’ session today. 


#KindnessChallenge is in collaboration with +HEROES which invited people to nominate an NHS or frontline hero from their local communities. Selfridges will regram the most moving and uplifting posts and pick HEROES each week to receive a gift brimming with special treats and pampering products, kindly delivered by @helpthemhelpus_

To nominate your hero, simply post a picture on Instagram or Instagram stories, using #kindnesschallenge. Please also tag @theofficialselfridges @helpthemhelpus_ and your nominee, including their location – and don’t forget to explain why this person deserves a shout out! 


Another thing that’s fast become a lockdown tradition is baking Banana Bread; our Instagram feeds are currently flooded with banana bread galore and it is B-A-N-A-N-A-S! So, whether you have hopped onto the trend already or are yet to dabble, Aldi has upped the ante by adding a bit of blueberries and booze to the mix – and we’re right on board!

If you fancy indulging in something boozi-ful and sweet, Aldi’s Triple ‘B’ Banana Bake is straight forward and easy to make with the key ingredients of Bananas, Blueberries and Booze! A scRUMptious choice ideal to whip up in the afternoon, before catching up with friends via Zoom and showing the result on the ‘gram.

The Triple ‘B’ Banana Bake

Ingredients: 150g blueberries, x2 ripe bananas, 140g self-raising flour, 140g caster sugar, 140g Aldi’s Perfect for Cake spread, x2 medium eggs, 1tsp baking powder and 50ml of Spiced Rum – try Aldi’s Old Hopking (£10.49).

Method: Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line the side of cake tin with non-stick baking parchment. Peel bananas and chop. Whisk bananas, rum, eggs, spread, caster sugar, flour and baking powder until smooth or blend in a food processor. Put a third of the batter into the bread tin and sprinkle over a third of the blueberries. Repeat this until you have used all the ingredients. Bake for 40 minutes, or until risen. Allow to cool, then slice, serve and enjoy!



Graysford Hall in Stoneygate  and Claridge Place in Solihull  have committed to an initiative to help feed the vulnerable. Run by Sanders Senior Living, the team, who care for older people, including those living with dementia, wanted to do their bit during the lockdown period so reached out to local charities, volunteer organisations and their local council to work together and form a recipient list for their meals on wheels service, which began earlier this week.

The chefs and their catering teams each aim to provide an extra 200 hot meals per week, delivered from door to door by volunteers from the homes’ local area.  Those receiving meals can look forward to dishes such as shepherd’s pie; chicken in mushroom sauce and beef stew.  Recipients so far include those in sheltered housing, isolated elderly people and deprived families.

For more information, and to make contact with a Sanders Senior Living care home for ways to be involved, please visit www.sandersseniorliving.co.uk


Quorn’s Jane Barbeary is a television journalist, news reporter and newly qualified wedding and naming celebrant.  Here she explains what celebrants do, and the growing trend for more personalised ceremonies.


With regular dental check-ups off the radar for the time-being, it’s crucial to take extra-special care of your gnashers on lockdown.  The expert team of dentists at Together Dental have created a ‘Top 10’ of things you can do to maintain good oral health from home.

  1. Moderate your diet
    Increase the amount of vegetables that contain healthy fibre; reduce the frequency of consumption of sugary and also acidic foods and drink such as fruit teas and fizzy drinks.


  1. Don’t go to bed without brushing your teeth
    Brushing before bed leaves your mouth clean overnight, when your mouth becomes drier, and bacteria begins to multiply.


  1. Brush-up on your brushing technique
    Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day, when you get up and before you go to bed, for two minutes to help keep your teeth and mouth healthy.


  1. Slow down!
    Most people brush their teeth in a hurry. To do a good job of cleaning your teeth it is important not to rush it. Work slowly in soft, gentle, circular motions.


  1. Go electric
    A manual toothbrush is effective so long as you brush ALL the surfaces of ALL your teeth and gently angle the bristles towards the gumline. Electric toothbrushes take the effort out of brushing, allowing you to focus on your technique.


  1. Fluoride, fluoride, fluoride
    Use fluoride toothpaste. Adults should use a toothpaste that contains at least 1,450 parts per million (ppm) fluoride.


  1. Floss
    Flossing once a day reduces plaque in between teeth, the gumline and helping to lower any gum inflammation in your mouth.


  1. Stop Smoking and Moderate your Alcohol intake
    Smoking is not just bad for our general health but puts us at risk of oral cancer. Smoking and drinking together increases the risk of mouth cancer by up to 30 times.


  1. Sensitivity
    Tooth sensitivity is usually caused by exposed dentine and can be caused by over-zealous tooth-brushing. Changing to a softer brush and using a sensitive toothpaste may help.


  1. Think of looking after your teeth as part of your positive personal routine
    Habits such as getting up at a regular time, following the same personal hygiene routine, eating and exercising at set times can all help to support a positive mindset.

What you plant now, you will harvest later.
Og Mandino
You May Also Like