Happy Autumn Equinox… 🍂 FU Loves The Midlands #27
Hands up if you’ve done – or are doing – the Keto diet? I know so many people who are feeling fabulous and shedding pounds on this plan, which I believe is based around the idea of cutting out carbs? We’re tempted and with yesterday being National Fitness Day, it seems like the perfect time to start making some positive changes to our food and fitness habits as we head into the hibernation months. We’d be interested in your thoughts, recipes and recommendations.
Coincidentally, our Director, Jon, is directing a fancy fitness-based photoshoot and interview this week with two ex-Olympic athletes from the region, so it really is all about health, health, health atm. Our lips are sealed about this project, but we’ll tell you more as soon as we can!
The health of our food and drink venues is also on the tip of our tongues since Tuesday’s announcement. Upon talking to some of the owners of our best-loved venues, what came across loud and clear is that we (and they) must eat what’s on our plate, if you pardon the pun. A 10pm curfew and the Rule of 6 is far from ideal, but not impossible to manage, so long as we can all adapt to the new rules and modify our habits and behaviour. These owners were adapting plans and getting creative to ensure they could keep the lights on. It was inspirational to hear. We certainly plan to continue to support our food and drink venues through this new chapter in the pandemic, albeit without carbs.
Talking of support, all the stories featured in this week’s newsletter are from here in the region. We’d love you to click the links, read the stories and get involved – even if it’s just liking and sharing the story, or following a page or person on Facebook. In doing so, you give everyone (including us) an extra reason to keep doing what we do.
Happy Autumn Equinox.
See you next week. Stay safe, fabulous and keep fighting.
Kevin, Jon and the FU Media team #FUFighters
OBLIGATORY BAD JOKE
What do you call a dog that does magic tricks?
ART.QUARTER ON THE LOOK OUT FOR ART.BARBERS
Digbeth’s art.quarter is looking for barbers to join its fabulous new salon, but hurry as you’ve only got until the end of the day to apply! Applications can be made here https://www.artdotbarbers.co.uk
FREE STOP SMOKING ADVICE VIA APP
It’s been 12 years and the best thing we ever did. Quitting smoking can be tough, but now Birmingham City Council have made sure you’re supported on your journey to cleaner, healthier lungs. They’ve launched a 24/7 on-demand, artificial intelligence stop smoking service called Quit with Bella – find out more here.
5 ENTREPRENEURS SOUGHT FOR FREE BUSINESS COACHING FROM DMU
DMU’s Castle Business School is offering Leicestershire entrepreneurs the chance to take part in five business and personal development coaching sessions with two of the university’s world class coaches. The coaching and mentoring programme is free to fully funded and is structured into five sessions where you can develop your goals and business plans. To register your interest, click here.
BYE BYE BRIDGE!
Times are a’changing… the 1970’s footbridge spanning Burleys Way opposite St Margaret’s Bus Station is due to be dismantled, as part of the wider £10 million St Margaret’s Gateway scheme, to regenerate the city centre site.
The site of after hour chip throwing following a night out at Krystal’s; the main staggering route to The Pineapple for the delights of dockyard drag queens and insalubrious strippers; and the stage for many a cry of ‘leave it out Tracey it just ain’t worth it’, the bridge will be replaced with a ‘super crossing’ which will surely struggle to invoke so many colourful memories, but you can’t stop progress.
BIRMINGHAM ENTERPRISE COMMUNITY LAUNCHES £50K SCHEME TO UPSKILL YOUNG WORKFORCE
‘Skills for Tomorrow’ is designed to equip those aged 18-30 with the tools to thrive in the changing workplace. Birmingham Enterprise Community hopes the initiative will be welcome news for the city’s young people and businesses alike. Find our how you can apply here.
NOMINATE A FAMILY IN YOUR AREA IN NEED OF A FREE HOLIDAY
Do you know a family, NHS or frontline worker in your area that has been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and needs a break? As part of the nation’s emotional and wellbeing recovery from the pandemic, the national charity YHA (England & Wales) wants to give away free holidays to families – find out how you can nominate a family you know here.
SOLIHULL HOSPITALITY OWNERS REACT TO LATEST COVID-19 MEASURES
From today all pubs, bars and restaurants must operate table service only (except for takeaways), while a 10pm curfew has also been introduced. Read their views here.
SPOOKTACULAR SURPRISES BY DAY OR NIGHT AT WARWICK CASTLE
Warwick Castle always do a fabulously spooky Halloween and 2020 will be no exception with eerie new attractions including a new haunted house walk-through with a trick or treat in every room, creepy characters around every corner, a shocking scare maze and frightfully good evening entertainment including fire-breathers and live music on the Main Stage. Find out all the spooky details here!
COAST TO COAST RIDE RAISES OVER 10K FOR CHILDREN’S CHARITY ALEX’S WISH
A group of intrepid cyclists have completed a Coast to Coast cycle ride in aid of Midlands’-based charity, Alex’s Wish, raising over £10,000 in the process. Richard Frape, Richard Fielding, Darren Eaton, Andrew Rowland and Mal Rooney took part in the two-day challenge, which saw them cycle across England – Coast to Coast.
Alex Wish was set-up in late 2012 to eradicate Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy – a serious muscle-wasting disease affecting 1 in every 3,500 boys born. It’s 100% fatal and children are unlikely to live beyond their twenties. The charity has already raised over £1.1 million to fund research and trials that are dedicated to conquering Duchenne. Find out more on www.alexswish.co.uk
HOME IS WHERE THE LOCKDOWN HEART IS
Home security company, Ring, famed for making doorbells smarter than smart, have found that more than half of UK homeowners are viewing their homes in a more positive light since the initial stages of lockdown.
During a time that has been isolating for many, it makes sense that 67% are viewing the home as a place of comfort and sanctuary with it playing, for many, an emotional role in their lives. In fact, 61% of consumers see their home acting as an extension of themselves.
Lockdown has seen 57% of consumers adapt their homes to serve new purposes, such as home offices, gyms, craft spaces or for starting up a new small business with many investing in multipurpose modular furniture like stow-away beds and tables.
£600,000 AWARDED TO WEST MIDLANDS ARTS PROJECTS AHEAD OF BIRMINGHAM 2022
A share of £600,000 has been awarded to three West Midlands organisations to create inclusive arts and cultural projects linked to the Commonwealth Games, following a collaboration between the Olympic legacy funder Spirit of 2012 and Birmingham 2022. Find out which projects benefitted here.
MIDLANDS SCORES MORE GREAT STARS FOR 2020
Midlands-based food and drink producers have swept the board at this year’s Great Taste awards. Out of a record breaking 12,777 entries from 106 different countries, 42% were awarded a highly prized Great Taste accolade and a remarkable 381 are based in the Midlands.
Among the Great Taste Midlands winners are Clarkes of Queniborough for their pork pie topped with caramelised onions and blue stilton; Fosse Meadows Farm for their 98-day free range duck and Belvoir Fruit Farms for their elderflower presse.
This year’s winners have been found through a combination of remote judging and socially distanced judging sessions, after the lockdown began just one week into the schedule. See all of this year’s winners at www.greattasteawards.co.uk
STREET FOOD LINE UP RELEASED FOR LANE 7
A permanent street food court will become part of Leicester’s newest entertainment venue, Lane 7 with burgers, steamed buns, fried chicken and waffles lining up alongside bowling, gaming and bars. Find out more here.
WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR @ BMAG
The Wildlife Photographer of the Year is coming to Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (BMAG) from Saturday 17 October and tickets are now available to book. This world-renowned exhibition is a key part of the museum’s reopening programme, so we urge you to support it. We’ve got all the info here.
ONE STOP VEGAN SHOPPING FESTIVAL COMES TO CITY NEXT MONTH
Leicester Vegan Festival is set to be a real inspiration to those thinking about going vegan or wanting to try vegan food for the first time. This fun family event is for everyone to enjoy whether you’re flexitarian, veggie, vegan or a meat eater. It features everything the aspiring vegan could wish for, including a mouth-watering selection of global vegan food, the latest vegan fashions, beauty products and amazing gifts… Find out more here.
‘I MAY BE AN OUTLAW, DARLIN’, BUT YOU’RE THE ONE STEALING MY HEART’: GREATEST MOVIE CHAT UP LINES EVER REVEALED
Mars have revealed the UK’s favourite fictional chat-up lines, as well as the ones most likely to work in real life. The study also revealed that men are more likely to be flattered by someone using a chat-up line on them, while women are more likely to think the person is cheesy. Read the best, the worst, the funniest, the cheesiest and the most offensive chat up lines of all time here.
KEEP YOUR HEAD IN THE CLOUDS WHILST STAYING AT HOME
We love these ethereal wallpaper murals that are made to measure by muralswallpaper.com. From the soft blues of a clear morning to the fiery orange hues of sunset, clouds, much like florals, are a soothing way to incorporate nature into our homes and perfect for those not fortunate enough to have access to outdoor spaces. Each of the seven designs is named after a type of cloud and are hand-painted with a watercolour textured finish.
All murals are made to measure and priced from £37 per sq/m. and available here. https://www.muralswallpaper.com/wall-murals/landscape-mural-wallpaper/
SAD NEWS ALERT: The REP ANNOUNCES THE POSTPONEMENT OF NATIVITY! THE MUSICAL
Boo. Hiss. Birmingham Repertory Theatre has announced that Nativity! The Musical, due to play at the venue from 17 Nov 2020 – 3 Jan 2021, has been postponed to Christmas 2021. Find out what to do about your tickets here.
BANDSTAND RESTORATION WORK BEGINS AT BOTANICAL GARDENS
After a 12-month campaign to raise £138,000, the restoration of the historic bandstand at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens is due to begin next month. The local landmark, which nestles in the Gardens’ Grade II* listed 15-acre grounds in Edgbaston, is in a poor state of repair and requires extensive work, including roof repairs and reinstating some original features, by conservation specialists.
The project received a substantial donation from The Peter Sowerby Foundation, and generous support from the Garfield Weston Foundation, GJW Turner Trust, 29th May 1961 Trust, Feeney Trust and Grimmitt Trust – as well as money from members of the public.
Now, with just £7,500 needed to reach the target, work is due to start on the historic bandstand at the beginning of October. You can donate here – every penny helps! JustGiving
PAYBACK TIME: CAN YOUR BUSINESS MANAGE ITS DEBT BURDEN?
With 1.2 million businesses having borrowed over £50bn under government-backed lending programmes since March, many Midlands’ firms are now concerned this debt burden could damage their future prospects, especially SMEs.
Begbies Traynor will be holding a webinar to look at how your company can manage its debt burden to survive and thrive in the post lockdown economy and why it’s important that companies take a proactive approach to managing their debt.
The Webinar will take place on the 29th September at 12.00pm. Book your place here https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/6115997337201/WN_8SFRUNP0SdC9TnO3viN67w
BLACKINK NEW WRITING COMPETITION WINNER ANNOUNCED
A fantasy about friendship and self-empowerment has won a short fiction writing competition by Serendipity in partnership with Writing East Midlands for writers from the African and African Caribbean Diaspora.
Sarah Kelly-Olatunji’s Yemi Can’t Swim: Something in the Water along with runners up, Lloyd Harry-Davis with The Way The World Works, and Iris Sankoh-Douglas with Humility is a Healer, will be published in BlackInk magazine for Black History Month in Leicester in October 2020. For more information and how to pre-order your copy of BlackInk visit www.serendipity-uk.com/store
ITIHAAS EXTEND EAT OUT TO HELP OUT – ONE WEEK LEFT TO GO!
Following the huge success of the government’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme in August, Itihaas in the city’s Jewellery Quarter partnered with Cobra beer to extend the scheme throughout September. Diners have been taking advantage of a £10 discount per person when spending over £30 per person on food, plus you can buy one Cobra beer and receive another one for free! Take advantage and book your table now! Check out the menu here.
HOME TO THE THRONE- MOST INSTAGRAMABLE ROYAL RESIDENCES REVEALED
With Her Majesty The Queen vacating her 828,821 square foot Palace and relocating just a little over an hour down the road to Windsor Castle, HeatingForce.co.uk wanted to see which of the royal residences were most instagramable. Find out here.
CELEBRATE WITH 20% OFF A CHIPPY TEA IN OCTOBER
Market Harborough’s award winning, The Cods Scallops, is turning a year old at the end of the month and to say thank you for all of their customers’ support, they are giving 20% off all food, every day, all day throughout the month of October. Cod and Chips twice please, extra vinegar, hold the pickled egg.
SHOES BY SUBSCRIPTION – FULL RECYCLABLE RUNNING SHOE SCHEME LAUNCHED
We’re already big fans of the On range of super-light and supportive running shoes and now the Swiss-based high-performance running brand, have launched the world’s first, subscription-based service to allow subscribers to receive and wear the latest in running sportswear and then return end-of-life products back to On, in exchange for the latest version. Once the used item is returned, it will be fully recycled by On, who will reuse the materials to create new running gear. Brilliant. Get involved here.
THE PERFECT PUPPY? THE TOP FIVE THINGS TO TEACH YOUR NEW PET
Many of us have decided that the extra time spent at home during lockdown has been the right time to introduce a new pet to the family. Bringing a new puppy home is undoubtably an exciting time for the whole family, but it’s also extremely important to be prepared to ensure everyone gets off on the right foot [or paw]. Luke Chapman Managing Director of Vale Pet Foods offers his top five things to teach your new puppy, read them here.
THE HUNT IS ON THE FOR THE NATION’S BEST TEACHER
Adapting traditional teaching methods and bringing education online throughout home-schooling, all whilst trying to keep students motivated and engaged, has seen our beloved teachers going above and beyond their usual job spec through lockdown.
To celebrate World Teacher Day on 5th October, thortful.com is on the hunt for the UK’s Best Teacher. The teachers who have gone above and beyond for their students, whether that’s keeping them engaged in their studies in lockdown, motivating them from a distance, or helping keep their spirits high during these strange times.
Think you know the best teacher? All you have to do is enter the competition and let them know why your teacher is the best – to be in with the chance of winning them a £150 spa voucher from Spa Seekers. Full competition details can be found at: https://www.thortful.com/competition/world-teacher-day-competition
WEST MIDLANDS WEEKENDERS RETURNS THIS SATURDAY
Artists from across the region will take part in the West Midlands Weekender, an event put on by the West Midlands Culture Response Unit and designed to celebrate young creatives in the West Midlands. The weekender features a collection of performances, films, dance, poetry and stand-up, where the region’s young talent is put centre-stage to share their art and highlight the issues affecting them including lockdown, health, Black Lives Matter, and the power of communities. Find out who’s involved here.
This Week’s Motivational Quote
“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”
– Ruth Bader Ginsburg