Birmingham’s ‘alternative’ Christmas market returns with foodie and music feasts

A vibrant independent street food market in the heart of Birmingham is back. City Social returned on 25 November as an underpass has been transformed to welcome revellers for culinary and musical treats. Now in its sixth year and after a break because of Covid, it’s getting under way in the Suffolk St Queensway underpass next to The Mailbox, from midday to 9pm each Wednesday to Sunday until Saturday December 18. Traders this year include the award-winning Laghi’s Deli, City Social Bar, and Roastie Toastie’s – roast dinner in a sandwich. There’s also a chance to browse Christmas gifts and ready made-up trees. Mulled wine, hot chocolate, cider and …

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Caring Birmingham company gives children’s charity new home

A charity that helps children fleeing domestic violence has a rent-free new HQ thanks to a caring Birmingham company. The Buddy Bag Foundation (www.buddybagfoundation.co.uk) now has an office space on Maybrook Road in Minworth, near Sutton Coldfield thanks to Graham Johnston, director of logistics firm The Haulage Group. Founder and CEO of the foundation, Karen Williams OBE said: “We had been dreaming of a new space where we could base the charity. It was vital that the Buddy Bag Foundation had a place to call home, not only so we could have a dedicated space to pack our bags but …

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Bank worker Laura’s passion for art transforms children’s lives

A financial crime investigator has followed her passion for art to help improve children’s mental health after the pressure of lockdown.   Laura Brown, 33, who works in the City of London, has founded an illustration company alongside managing her career in finance. Since starting LHB Illustrations, Laura has created a fun activity book for children filled with animal facts and watercolour illustrations – My Emotions Activity Book. Her work has proved a massive hit with high-profile childcare experts. Among them are specialist play teams at Great Ormond Street Hospital, who now use the Activity Book with their patients’ families within …

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