Bosses urged to support employee mental health as cost-of-living crisis bites

Employers across the UK are being urged to offer extra help to support their employees’ mental health as the cost-of-living crisis deepens. Emma Tomes says it’s more important now than ever before for people to be able to spot the signs of poor mental health amongst staff – and for individuals to be able to know when it’s time to ask for help. “People are being squeezed more and more at the moment and the pressure is building,” she said. “This is putting a strain on relationships and it can also affect the wider family. People’s stress may not be …

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More families to get energy bill support after campaign by Birmingham company

A Birmingham company which called for action after finding that thousands of families would miss out on the £400 energy bill discount have welcomed the news that all customers will now be eligible. Ginger Energy director Lisa Gregory said: “We are delighted that our calls for all customers to be treated equally have been listened to. It’s great news that everyone will now get some support.” Lisa had discovered many families were classed as commercial rather than domestic customers because they live in apartments or other accommodation supplied by a private supply meter. These customers were not initially eligible for …

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Jamaica’s 60th independence anniversary celebrated with music, poetry and tasty Caribbean treats

Jamaica’s 60th year of independence will be marked in style in Birmingham as a special pop-up venue to celebrate the country’s Commonwealth Games performances is launched. Representatives of the Jamaican High Commission, Birmingham City Council and the Jamaican Tourist Board will be at the event on Wednesday, August 3, as Jamaica House is officially launched at the Glee Club in The Arcadian centre. Visitors will be treated to music, entertainment and some tasty Caribbean treats, prepared by renowned chef Lorenzo Richards, who is there as part of a series of Commonwealth food events organised by Communities Engage and Thrive. Organisers …

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Wolverhampton University student lounge ready to welcome Welsh Commonwealth Team

A student lounge is opening up over the summer for the first time when members of Team Wales move in to Wolverhampton University’s Walsall campus ahead of the Commonwealth Games. The Students’ Union Lounge at the campus is normally only open during term time for students and those on campus to use. Supervisor Naomi Horne said this was the first time it would be open during the summer. “It’s very exciting to be hosting the Welsh team and to be opening up for the first time this summer,” she said. “Student staff are coming in to work and it will …

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Chris Harris outside Millennium Apartments

Double blow as thousands of families miss out on price cap and £400 energy bill rebate

Thousands of UK families are facing a double energy bills blow after finding they will not be eligible for the £400 rebate as well as not being protected by the price cap. Households which do not have their own electricity meter and are supplied by a private supply meter will not get the discount. These households are already facing a bigger than average rise in bills because they are classed as commercial users rather than domestic, so are not covered by the price cap. The new issue has been highlighted by bosses at Birmingham-based Ginger Energy, who launched a petition …

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Nigerian chef to share secrets of country’s cuisine

A Nigerian chef will be sharing the secrets of the country’s cuisine at a pop-up event during Birchfield Jazz Festival in Birmingham. Kingsley Chukwuemeka Ihedioha will be preparing dishes for visitors to sample at the event, part of a city-wide food festival being organised by Communities Engage and Thrive, supported by Birmingham City Council. The event on Saturday, July 23, is the third of 10 being held across the city, each one focusing on a different Commonwealth country, to celebrate its vibrant diversity. As well as sampling the food cooked by Kingsley, from Birmingham-based Glorious Catering & Restaurant, visitors will …

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Lorenzo stirs up tasty Trinidad and Tobago treats at festival

The tastes and sounds of Trinidad and Tobago are coming to Birmingham this month as part of a city-wide food festival celebrating the cuisine and culture of the Commonwealth. Renowned chef Lorenzo Richards will be cooking up specialities of the islands and visitors will be able to sample his creations and take away recipe cards and herbs and spices to make them at home. The event is part of a city-wide food festival organised by Communities Engage and Thrive (CET), a community interest company, supported by Birmingham City Council. There are 10 events in total, being held at venues across …

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Sumathi Sinnapan and Diana Tavner

Stroke survivor grandmother eats for first time in two years following treatment

A Lincolnshire grandmother who thought she would never eat again after a stroke has told how a course of innovative treatment made it possible for her to enjoy her favourite foods once more.   Diana Tavner, 81, was diagnosed with dysphagia and left unable to swallow following a stroke in May, 2019. Her speech was also affected. She had to be fed through a PEG feeding tube directly into her stomach and was only allowed small sips of thickened water due to the risk of choking. After a series of X-rays showed no improvement, she was told there was nothing else …

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Niki Hutchison

Entrepreneur’s free support network reaches 25,000 women and puts her in running for top award 

An entrepreneurial mum of two who started a free Facebook group to support fellow women in business is in the running for a top award after building a community that now reaches around 25,000 people. Niki Hutchison has been named as one of six finalists in the Women’s Champion category of the Digital Women Awards 2022 after her huge success in offering online support. “I was delighted to have made the shortlist,” she said. “To get recognition at a national level really does give you an extra boost and remind you why you’re working so hard.” Edinburgh-based Niki, 43, started …

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Organiser Parveen Talwar with performers Patricia Sahoua, Nicki Reid and Charles James

Crowds flock to first event in city-wide Commonwealth food festival

Crowds flocked to a Birmingham community centre to immerse themselves in the cuisine and culture of Ghana at the first in a series of free, vibrant events celebrating the Commonwealth. Organisers say the inaugural event was a huge success and have thanked all those who gave their help and support. They are now looking forward to hosting nine more events at venues across the city this summer. The first was held at Nechells Pod on Friday, June 3, and focused on Ghana. Families and visitors tucked into tasty Ghanaian food served up by chef Maud Koranteng and they were able …

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