Talesha Chisholm, Derek Hands and Beckie Wait, from Elevate FM. Picture by Carol Bailey

First birthday brings double delight for facilities management firm

A facilities management firm launched in lockdown is marking its first birthday by doubling its workforce. Elevate FM, based in George Street, Birmingham, was set up last June, offering property maintenance services for schools and businesses. Instead of having to find, vet and co-ordinate a host of different contractors, clients were able to contact Elevate FM and get the job sorted in one phone call. The firm started with two people and has now taken on Talesha Chisholm as office administrator and Derek Hands, an in-house maintenance engineer. Director Beckie Wait said a second maintenance worker was due to be taken …

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Frontline pandemic heroes offered fully-funded therapy under new partnership

Frontline key workers whose mental health has been affected by the pressure of working through the Covid-19 battle are receiving fully-funded therapy sessions thanks to a new partnership. Community interest company Hampers for Heroes has joined up with Take A Seat, an organisation giving people access to a network of therapists across the country.Under the partnership, lockdown heroes can be nominated to receive up to 10 sessions of fully-funded therapy. Hampers for Heroes founder Victoria Hanson said: “People have been through such a stressful and high-pressure time and their mental health has been adversely affected. Those issues need to be …

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Owen and Suzy with store manager Richard Kirk. Picture by Carol Bailey

Currys staff raise thousands for Smile For Joel

Staff at Currys in Wednesbury have raised £2,000 to help the Smile For Joel charity after a year in which donations plunged. The staff held various events, including cake and samosa sales and there were collection boxes at the tills. Suzy Evans, from Smile For Joel, said she was delighted with the donation, which was particularly welcome after fundraising was hit by the pandemic. She said: “We are overwhelmed with the support we have been given by Currys at Junction 9. They have not only been fundraising for us, they have also donated very generous raffle prizes. They are so …

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Lee and Danny Dunne, of Payaro

Caring payments start-up set for £1.4 million turnover prepares for second round of investment

A payments technology company which helps children escaping domestic violence with every transaction is set for a £1.4 million turnover in its first year.​ Payaro Ltd  gained initial investment late last year. Due to exponential UK growth, with a month-on-month revenue increase of 40 per cent, expansion plans have been brought forward. That means a second round of investment opportunity came earlier than anticipated.   The Staffordshire-based company backs the Buddy Bag Foundation with a percentage of each sale completed through its innovative sales systems and has pledged an additional donation of £1,000 every year. It is gearing up for a second round of investment following significant growth, and having welcomed new private equity is opening the doors to more backers to …

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Leo Platt, from Hyybab, Jessica Brabant and Ryan Doyle from Park Regis Birmingham and Paul Lloyd, from Hyybab

Birmingham hotel revolutionises client experience with innovative show-round break-through

Park Regis Birmingham has become the first hotel in the world  to offer a ground-breaking new visitor experience – without guests setting foot inside the venue. Ryan Doyle, Group Director of Sales for Switch Hospitality Management Group, which oversees the city centre hotel, said he’d got brilliant feedback from event bookers after piloting the Hyybab innovation. He said the new luxury tech platform had helped the hotel continue to interact with clients throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, in “providing a tangible sensory experience” – remotely. “We’ve been able to continue a new business campaign targeting travel and event managers and personal …

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Appeal to send life-saving oxygen supplies to India

Wolverhampton-based volunteers are raising money to send vital oxygen supplies to India amid the growing Covid-19 crisis there. The SNJ Charitable Trust, based in the iconic building of Lakshmi Sweets & Restaurant on Dudley Road, Blakenhall, has already paid for 100 cylinders and regulators to be sent to struggling hospitals where staff are battling to save lives amid an oxygen shortage. Organisers have set an ambitious £150,000 fundraising target to pay for hundreds more and help as many people as they can in the stricken country. Neena Julka, founder and CEO of the trust, said: “We are urging people and …

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London artist’s compelling Corona diary compared to the work of Samuel Pepys goes global

A stunningly sketched black and white graphic diary of the UK’s pandemic experience has gone global after taking social media by storm and providing 25,000 meals for people in need. Vic Lee’s Corona Diary raised £5,000 for the food charity FareShare when it was self-published in the first months of the pandemic last year. Among hundreds of stories in the unique book, which chronicles a whole 12 months, Vic mentions Marcus Rashford’s work with FareShare and was inspired to donate himself. Now, a year on, a second book has gone global thanks to it being picked up by a publisher …

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Award-winning Birmingham restaurant set to open doors to lockdown heroes

A Birmingham restaurant preparing to reopen after lockdown is offering a free exclusive dining experience to thank the unsung superstars who have helped others through the pandemic. Award-winning Thai restaurant Zen Metro is offering 10 community heroes and a guest the chance to enjoy a newly launched three-course Bottomless Brunch, with wine or Prosecco available during Friday and Saturday lunchtimes. The restaurant, in Cornwall Street, is initially reopening its doors on Monday, May 17, and the special ‘thank you’ event will take place later, once restrictions allow. Jaimon George, managing director, said: “As we emerge out of lockdown and open our doors again to …

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Dr Zia Din with Tracy Scriven

NHS trust gets new cyber security system to improve safety and save time

One of the largest hospitals in the West Midlands with one of the busiest Emergency Departments in the country has signed up to an innovative new security system to improve patient safety. Bosses at the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, which runs the Royal Stoke University Hospital, in Stoke-on-Trent, and the County Hospital, in Stafford, say the new security measures will improve safety and bring peace of mind for staff and patients, by reducing the impact of a cyber-attack. The Trust has linked up with M8 Solutions to have the Ordr Systems Control Engine implemented. It means that …

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Adrian Goldberg

Film calls for change in the law to stop child abuse in sport

Former BBC journalist Adrian Goldberg is calling for a change in the law to help tackle the scourge of child abuse in sport. Mr Goldberg has recently released a film exploring the historic child abuse scandal linked with Celtic Boys Club. In the film, The Celtic Boys Club Scandal, he interviews a survivor and family members of a victim, who claim that senior figures at the club and Celtic Football Club itself must have been aware of the rumours of abuse, but did nothing. While Celtic FC has expressed sympathy for those who suffered abuse, it has always insisted Celtic Boys …

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