This week’s newsletter intro is brought to you by me, Scarlett, FU Media’s very own Apprentice. This seems quite appropriate in a week when America’s host of the Apprentice – Mr Trump – got fired and first year students across the UK question whether they might have been better signing up for an apprenticeship, rather than an enforced stay at University! Fingers crossed everyone gets back home in time for Christmas.
Perhaps one of the biggest changes lockdown has brought for me, is the introduction of online learning. My apprenticeship is a mixture of work experience, coursework and training courses – all of which have had to move online. Zoom may not provide the perfect learning environment, but from my experience, taking part in the online courses has given me a welcome distraction from the world’s craziness – it’s been almost meditative!
Remote classes have also reminded me of how much I do miss learning, which seems weird considering how much I hated any form of Maths or Science class when I was studying for my GCSEs. I don’t think my 16-year-old self would have ever thought I’d be admitting to enjoying learning, but if 2020 has proved one thing, crazier things can happen!
It’s amazing how much you pick up from being in the same environment as colleagues as well – we’re great at keeping in touch at FU – we’re constantly Zooming and WhatsApping, but I do miss being in an actual office! I count myself lucky having friends, family and colleagues to keep me motivated and make me feel better when coursework gets tough, when the to-do list seems never ending, or the world just seems all too much. Having that support around you – physical or virtual – is essential. Managing your mental health, as well as your work or your education, isn’t easy at the moment and if lockdown has taught me anything, it’s how important our mental health is. That’s the biggest lesson I’ve learnt.
Stay positive, and keep your heads up,
Scarlett and the #FUFighters
OBLIGATORY BAD JOKE
What did the grape say when it was crushed?
Nothing, it just let out a little wine.
BULLRING STILL OPEN FOR CLICK AND COLLECT AS WELL AS TAKEAWAY TREATS
Following the latest update from the Government, Bullring & Grand Central is open for essential retail, Click & Collect from selected stores and takeaway/delivery from selected restaurants and cafés. Find out who, and how you can get free parking here.
DINE AT HOME THIS DIWALI
It’s Diwali this weekend, which means fireworks, colour, and family celebrations (within guidelines, natch) – it’s the brightest of India’s many festivals and loved by Indians everywhere. It is also a celebration of good triumphing over evil, something we need to reflect on all with all that is going on in the world! DLUXE Dining Correspondent, Anita Champaneri, shares her favourite places to order a ‘celebrate at home’ Indian feast here.
FOOD CHARITY URGENTLY NEEDS VOLUNTEERS
FoodCycle, the charity that fights food poverty and loneliness is in urgent need of volunteers in Birmingham. Due to isolating or shielding from the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteer numbers in Birmingham have dropped significantly. Without volunteers, FoodCycle cannot provide a vital service to the community who have come to rely on their weekly meals and food provision- find out how you can help here.
SELFRIDGES LAUNCHES ITS CHRISTMAS GIFTING SERVICES AT SELFRIDGES.COM
With Halloween and Bonfire night passed, Christmas is officially now on the agenda. To start the celebrations, Selfridges has unveiled its uplifting ‘Once Upon A Christmas’ campaign. The campaign launches physically in its store windows and digitally on selfridges.com, bringing together old traditions and new ideas – find out what’s instore here.
REFUGEE WOMEN CREATE ARTWORK @ MAC
30 girls and women representing over 20 nations have taken part in an ARTconnects project, supported by MAC, giving them a voice to express themselves creatively during the ongoing COVID-19 Crisis. Hear their stories here.
HELP MAKE CHRISTMAS MISSIONS POSSIBLE FOR MIDLANDS AIR AMBULANCE
Local lifesaving organisation, Midlands Air Ambulance, is ensuring Christmas shoppers get their stocking-filler needs fulfilled with its brand-new range of festive merchandise, and in turn is encouraging supporters to help make Christmas missions possible. Learn how you can help here.
THINGS NO ONE EXPECTED TO LEARN FROM LOCKDOWN
Stuck at home alone with a small child and still very much not on furlough, one of our readers sent in some of their lockdown thoughts and feelings. In the spirit of ‘Oh, thank God, it’s not only me that thought that’, we thought we’d share some of them. If you’d like to send us yours, email [email protected] and we’ll share them – anonymously of course.
- Baking to alleviate boredom is great. Eating it all within a few days is not.
- Some methods of learning for primary children in year 2020 are frankly baffling for someone who left school 30 years ago.
- Actually feeling lucky if you have had the virus but got away with what appears to be a mild version.
- The daunting inevitability of referring to the passing of a 90-year-old celebrity as having had a good innings, then realising your parent is 87.
- Swaying daily over believing the Government advice is the right thing to do, or feeling the response is disproportionate to the actual mortality rate and ending up in some weird hybrid land of partial conspiracy theory.
- Realising just how important physical contact is and the truth about oxytocin release with a good hug – and wondering if you’ll ever have sex again.
- Despite all the efforts of tech to make us feel like we don’t need actual human contact, we do. Look after yourself and each other.
FOKA WOLF AND EVOLVE JOIN FORCES TO SUPPORT CITY’S YOUTH
Exchanging teas for tees, Evolve has teamed up with the region’s infamous satire artist, Foka Wolf, to issue an urgent call to action for Birmingham to support its young people with a limited edition t-shirt; the proceeds of which will go towards funding the social enterprise café’s work-placement schemes for those aged 16-25. Find out how you can get yours here.
ASIAN BUSINESS CHAMBER REVEALS AWARDS SHORTLIST
A bumper crop of businesses will be chasing awards glory, as forty-one businesses and individuals have been shortlisted in eight awards categories, for the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) 2020 annual awards. The winners will be revealed at the online event, which takes place on 26 November – see who’s shortlisted here.
IT’S CRISSSSPMAAAAAS! WALKERS REVEAL CHARITY CHRISTMAS AD IN AID OF FOOD BANKS
Created in partnership with charity, The Trussell Trust, which supports a network of food banks across the region, the ad forms part of Walkers’ pledge to help LadBaby raise more money than ever before at Christmas for the charity – building on the £1 million support already pledged by the brand earlier in the year – find out how here.
MOST PULSE RACING BODICE RIPPERS REVEALED!
From blushing vocab to lip-biting moments, erotic novels have had pulses pumping since Jilly Cooper’s 1985 book Riders. With steamy sentences and intense page turns, experts at OnBuy.com wanted to see how high heart rates soar when reading these sensual stories – find out what should be on everyone’s ‘bonk club’ list. *Sorry, typo, we meant book club list – here.
TALKING SHAKESPEARE RETURNS WITH IAN MCKELLEN, HELEN MIRREN & DAVID OYELOWO
Following the success of the first series of Talking Shakespeare earlier this year, the RSC has confirmed the return of the popular online conversation, from Monday 16 November 2020, with confirmed guests including Ian McKellen, Helen Mirren, Roger Allam, David Oyelowo and Jane Lapotaire with further dates and names to be announced. Find out how you can watch for free here.
THE IMPORTANCE OF KEEPING MENTALLY FIT THIS WINTER
On the back of National Stress Awareness Day last week, Brendan Street, Head of Emotional Wellbeing at Nuffield Health, explains how creating a mental fitness regime can prepare us for the chilly and darker lockdown months ahead. Read what he has to say here.
BIRMINGHAM NAMED AS WEST MIDLAND’S STINGIEST SHOPPERS
Birmingham is the most frugal city in the West Midlands when it comes to buying clothes online, as searches for discount codes and deals surge across the region, according to new data. Find out what savvy shoppers search for to get the biggest savings here.
KEEPING LOCKDOWN DOGS ENTERTAINED
Keeping your animals amused during lockdown is no joke and, as many new puppy owners will confirm, the absence of training classes has led to some boisterous behaviour in the home boardroom. Or should that be bored room… Sarah Plant of Woodland Agility has some advice on canine enrichment – i.e. keeping them occupied; read them here.
APPLICATIONS OPEN FOR MILLENNIUM POINT STEM GRANT SCHEME
Applications are now open for the Millennium Point Charitable Trust Small Grants programme 2021, offering funding from £1,000 to £20,000 to support science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) education projects in the West Midlands. Find out who’s eligible and how to apply here.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
– Maya Angelou