Brum Ting is a sure thing for enterprising teens

Four enterprising Birmingham teenagers have launched their own business selling a range of tourist merchandise promoting their beloved home city. Charisma Meehan, Decrae Simms, Alex Yang and Ethan Widgery-Powell all met at the free@last youth club, which was set up to help young people in the inner-city Nechells area. Aged just 15, 16 and 17, they created Brum Ting as a way of making some money and learning about business. It is already proving a success and they have big plans for the future with their sights set on turning the brand into a global franchise. John Street, founder and …

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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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Business’s big ‘thank you’ to suppliers for support over lockdown

A business launched in lockdown has said a special thank you to all the suppliers that helped it thrive during such a difficult period. Bosses at Elevate FM threw a big party for around 35 suppliers and their guests to thank them for their support and service. Dave Warren, director of the Birmingham-based facilities management company, said: “We invited all the people that have helped us over the past 12 months. We wanted them to feel appreciated and part of the team. “It’s easy for people to thank their customers, but people forget about the people who have helped you …

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Young blood wanted for Round Table group

Young men in Wolverhampton are being urged to sign up for the area’s Round Table group to ensure it can continue its vital community work. Tettenhall Round Table chairman Shiv Passap wants to double the number of people involved in the group and is appealing to young men who may not realise what the group has to offer. He said joining up offered men as young as 18 a great opportunity to gain life skills and give back to the local community. “Once our members get to 45 they move on, so it’s vital that we get new, younger members …

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Lockdown heroes treated to brunch at award-winning Birmingham restaurant

A group of lockdown heroes were treated to a slap-up meal at an award-winning Birmingham restaurant as a big thank you for their hard work during the pandemic. The winners were nominated for going above and beyond to make life easier for others during the lockdowns. They were treated to a Bottomless Brunch at Thai restaurant Zen Metro in Cornwall Street, Birmingham city centre, after being selected from dozens of nominees put forward in a competition lanuched by managing director Jaimon George. Jaimon launched the competition when the restaurant reopened after lockdown as a way of saying thank you to …

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Community spirit gets a boost from railway funding

A whole host of community projects in a West Midlands district – from restoring a rare natural amphitheatre in an area that inspired JRR Tolkien to helping youngsters read more – have been boosted thanks to funding from West Midlands Railway. Various community groups in Hall Green, Birmingham, joined forces to enhance the area for residents and visitors with litter picks, planters and a link-up between the library and the railway station. There was already a long-running poetry project, with verses posted on boards in the waiting rooms at Hall Green Railway Station for passengers to enjoy. That is now …

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Station artwork reveals town’s medieval magic

Stunning artwork panels are being installed at Ledbury Railway Station, giving visitors an insight into the history and heritage of the medieval town. The artwork will detail the history of the town and its iconic buildings and structures and explore the town’s railway connection. The work, produced by three respected local artists, will be displayed in a three-panel glazed cabinet set within an existing brick planter at the station, offering a permanent and eye-catching display for rail passengers. Gareth Davies, from public transport user group Rail and Bus for Herefordshire, is the project leader. He said he hoped the artwork, …

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Rail promotion project putting Halesowen on the map

Halesowen is being promoted as a visitor and shopping destination at nearby Rowley Regis Railway Station. Organisers hope that new signs and artwork will drive some of the thousands of passengers that pass through Rowley Regis every day to neighbouring Halesowen by raising awareness of the many attractions on offer. New signs at the station highlight bus, walking and cycle routes into Halesowen; artwork designed by Halesowen students reflecting the heritage of the area is being installed and a new volunteer station adoption team have been hard at work enhancing the station environment. Vicky Rogers, manager of Halesowen BID, said: …

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Artist Jon Stiff

Up and coming artist transforms home into stunning studio and gallery

A renowned artist has converted his terraced home into a stunning space for his innovative work and is all set to reopen it to the public as the pandemic eases. Jon Stiff of Stiffy Art won nationwide acclaim after starring in the Channel 4 series Drawers Off back in the spring of this year. But alongside TV fame, he has been bagging regular valuable commissions from private and business buyers alike. Jon, of Stratford-upon-Avon, who turns 60 next month, also works as a litigator, fighting contentious claims, while also building his artist’s portfolio. He works in various styles – including …

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Students on right track to improve railway station

School students have adopted a West Midlands railway station and are working on a fresh new look with landscaping, artworks and colourful planters. The students from Woodrush High School in Wythall, Worcestershire, set up their own Station Adoption Group at Wythall station as part of a project to enhance the experience for rail users and promote rail safety. As well as planting shrubs and flowers, they are also working on two pieces of art, which will be mounted on to the inside walls of the platform shelters and will portray the history of the area. The school team has been …

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