Drive to tackle community isolation after lockdown

People left isolated or lonely during the Covid pandemic are being offered a lifeline as a project to bring them together expands. SNJ Charitable Trust, based in Wolverhampton, has increased its Chat and Chai Bringing People Together sessions, with one now taking place every day. Bringing People Together (BTP) is a network designed to connect people and was set up by the organisation Transforming Communities Together (TCT). TCT, which covers Staffordshire, the Black Country and north Shropshire, set up BPT after the success of its Places of Welcome initiative, where members of the community are invited to get together at …

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Training plan to bridge the ‘digital divide’

People in Bilston will be offered free training in how to use technology as part of a new drive to ‘bridge the digital divide’. The SNJ Charitable Trust, based in Wolverhampton, found that the Covid pandemic had had a huge impact on some communities in the area. And many had a fear of computers and digital technology, leaving them isolated and unable to access vital services. SNJ founder Neena Julka said: “We identified a big need and found people could not use digital technology to connect to each other or use the internet to access essential health or care services. …

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Vet’s campaign to tackle ‘silent killer’ of pet dogs with online Big Walk

Millions of UK dog owners are facing the heartbreak of having to say goodbye to beloved pets years earlier than necessary due to the failure to spot and act on early signs of the ‘silent killer’ disease arthritis. Award-winning vet Hannah Capon is now leading a campaign to help dog lovers spot the telltale signs and learn how to manage the condition before it goes too far. Left untreated, canine arthritis can result in unnecessary suffering and premature euthanasia as dogs lose their quality of life. But just a few simple steps could add years to their lives, said Hannah …

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Fundraising drive as demand grows for cancer support centre

A support centre offering a lifeline to cancer patients across the Midlands has launched a new fundraising drive as it prepares to reopen post-lockdown and meet growing demand. The Cancer Support Centre, in Sutton Coldfield, was unable to run its normal fundraising events during the pandemic, but it survived thanks to grant aid and individual supporters taking part in sponsored events. Now with demand growing again, it is looking to raise even more funds and is setting up a new dedicated team to help raise £150,000 or more to support people who have been affected by cancer and delays in …

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Run For Joel colour blast fun run is back

The Smile For Joel charity run returns to Sandwell Valley Country Park this year and entries are now open. Run For Joel will take place on Sunday, September 5, starting at 9am. There will be a 5k and a 3k option to suit all ages and abilities. Last year the run was held remotely, with people taking part at home because of Covid. This year the runners can attend in person again and there will be a colour blast, back by popular demand. The event will raise money for Smile For Joel, the charity set up by Suzy Evans and …

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West Midlands railway communities on track to fitness in pioneering scheme

Communities around six Birmingham railway stations can embark on a journey to improved health as experts lead a series of free fitness and wellbeing events and activities. The ‘Thrive Stations’ initiative has launched with the backing of West Midlands Railway and funding has been provided to support a programme of activities until October. The aim is to provide accessible fitness and wellbeing services direct to the community. Areas served by the stations – Perry Barr, Duddeston, Jewellery Quarter, Aston, Witton and Hamstead – will be the venues for the wellbeing pop-ups, designed and operated by wellbeing experts Parveen Talwar from Communities …

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Julie Naismith

Most dog owners would pull a sickie to care for their pet, new research highlights

The vast majority of dog owners would consider pulling a sickie to care for their pets as they prepare to return to work post-lockdown, new research has shown. Almost three quarters are worried about how returning to work will affect their pet, the survey revealed. The poll by leading UK separation anxiety expert and author Julie Naismith is a snapshot of how dog owners are feeling ahead of an anticipated widespread end to working from home as UK bosses plan to boost post-pandemic productivity. The survey revealed more than 85 per cent of the 900 people surveyed would consider taking …

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Family firm with £4m turnover forecast shows virtual car sales giants how it’s done

A family-run Midlands car sales firm is giving the giant virtual showrooms a run for their money as it heads for a £4 million turnover in just its third year of trading. Find & Finance, based in Aldridge, is growing beyond all expectations and has launched a major recruitment drive. Until now the firm has been a four-person, family firm, but director Mike Kirby said he hoping to have a team of 10 before the end of the year. “We have a new vehicle inspector who has started and we are recruiting for two new business development managers and marketing …

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New social enterprise is offering free support to those made redundant by Covid-19

Jobseekers can now receive free expert career coaching thanks to a new community enterprise. The Pay it Forward Enterprise, based in Coventry, offers career advice, CV and cover letter writing as well as proofreading, interview practice and follow up support, all with a focus on improving the jobseeker’s confidence and mental wellbeing. With over 800,000 people in the UK unemployed due to Covid-19, and the West Midlands hit particularly hard, bosses hope this will throw a lifeline to those who need it most. The community project is supplying its services free of charge so is calling for corporate sponsors and …

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How I ended my botched boob job nightmare in lockdown

A mother-of-two has told how she has found a new lease of life after a botched boob job by an infamous surgeon has been put right – after a ‘nightmare’ seven years. Leah Maynard had breast augmentation surgery back in 2013, in the hope it would give her a confidence boost. Instead, it left her embarrassed and ashamed, destroying her trust in plastic surgeons. She had been operated on by Amedeo Usai who was struck off after five complaints relating to botched surgeries and emails that hit out at patients with vile sexist slurs. Luckily Leah had not been targeted …

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