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Ahmet hangs up his tape measure An exclusive interview with Lois Burley

Made to measure retirement for tailoring legend Ahmet Yusuf Edgbaston’s legendary master tailor Ahmet Yusuf is hanging up his tape measure after more than 62 years in business. The genial, modest, softly spoken craftsman whose bespoke tailoring has been worn by top professionals including many high profile celebrities and sporting heroes - has decided to close the shutters on his acclaimed specialist menswear shop in Chad Square to enjoy retirement with his wife Muriel and extended family. And at the age of 83 years, it is more than deserved according to his daughter Deniz, who has worked alongside him for the past 25 years handling the retail side of the business. She said, “It was a hard decision for Dad to make because he just loves his work so much, but it will be lovely for him to be able to spend more time with the family- including his eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren- both here and in Cyprus.” Ahmet Yusuf arrived in Birmingham

in 1954, leaving behind a simple farming background to live with his brother in Birmingham and eventually fulfill his dream of becoming a tailor and owning his own business. He was born at Mora near Nicosia and at the age of 13 had been apprenticed to a cousin in the tailoring trade where he learnt to ‘cut’. It was this rare talent that was to make the name of Ahmet Yusuf a national institution in the industry and in 1976-77 see him crowned ‘Tailor of the Year’, taking the title away from Savile Row for the first time. An achievement which he modestly admits, was one of the greatest of his career. The superb quality of his work and outstanding personal service inevitably resulted in a long list of loyal clients who will testify, ‘there is nothing like a bespoke tailored Yusuf suit.’ The pockets lay so flat you can hardly see them, the button holes are beautifully finished and the hang of the cloth and the fitting is second to none.

Above: Ahmet with his wife Muriel Below: Ahmet at work

Ahmet Yusuf and his daughter Deniz

This superb tailoring has been carried out in the busy workroom at the back of the shop by Ahmet and his small team of talented specialists. He glows with pride when recalling the many skilled and successful tailors he has trained over the years. Indeed ‘teamwork’ and providing the highest levels of personal service have been key to the success of this unique

family business. “We have been like one big family and I can’t thank my clients enough for their loyalty.” said Ahmet. In addition to the city’s top business professionals, celebrity clients have, over the years, ranged from Jimmy Tarbuck and Ronnie Corbett to Sir Cliff Richard and boxing champion Muhammad Ali.

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To meet changing trends Deniz was instrumental in adding high-end ready to wear menswear to their offering and a selection of these top quality suits, trousers, shirts and accessories will be included in the current closing down sale before the doors of this highly respected Birmingham business finally close in March.


Connected communities achieve the incredible Hello and Welcome to February 2020

It seems such a long time since the festive season and we at HEM Life had a few weeks break. February is not only the month for love and half term for schools and colleges - it’s our 6th birthday. To kick off our first issue for 2020 we have not one but two opportunities to WIN one months gym pass and a Holiday for Two (pg 9 & 11). We think the two go hand in hand so, get your entry in – be fit and fabulous for your holiday. Our front page story is for a very special man, if you don’t know Ahmet I’m sure you have heard wonderful things about him and his skills. We wish Ahmet a happy and healthy retirement. This issue also highlights local businesses that are new, growing, celebrating, providing a great service, introducing new products and making a difference in the community. Thank you for continuing to use and support your local businesses, please continue where and where you can. StreetLife (pg 4) Is an opportunity to tell us and share with our readers what’s happening where you live - who are your local heroes? Children’s hospital welcomes a Royal visitor (pg 19). If you have a story, don’t keep it to yourself, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch – We love a good story

Until next time...

Angela, and the HEM Life Team Next issue published Friday 6 th March 2020

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Life Stories


Just the Ticket!

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street says stunning plans for a revamped University Station in Edgbaston will put the area on the map. Plans have now been submitted to Birmingham council chiefs for the new-look station, which has become one of the region’s busiest rail transport hubs. Mr Street, who heads up the West Midlands Combined Authority, said, “These striking plans reveal a station that will provide a fitting gateway to visitors to an area which is seeing huge amounts of growth. It will also help lower the amount of traffic on roads in the area, which is a big concern locally. “The University of Birmingham and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital are two landmarks of the West Midlands, but the fact is they have outgrown their 49-year-old station. “With a new life sciences campus on the way and the university and hospital continuing to expand, this area needs an impressive new station for students, staff, visitors and the Edgbaston community. That is why we are putting this investment in place and are committed to getting it done in time for the Commonwealth Games. “Edgbaston is showing huge growth and deserves a state-of-the-art railway station that reflects that growth. The tabling of the proposals with council planners is a significant step towards making this a reality for local people.” The current University Station in Edgbaston is used by 3.3 million passengers a year – vastly more than the 400,000 it was designed for in the 1970s. The expansion of the University of Birmingham, together with the on-going development of University Hospital Birmingham and major regeneration of the surrounding area, have all played a part in driving the huge growth in passenger numbers. The West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE) and Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) are leading the project to create a station fit for the future capable of handling 7.2 million passengers a year. The new station building, located close to the existing station, will offer a bright and

comfortable space and new facilities for passengers. Platforms will be connected by a wide footbridge which will also provide direct access from the station across the canal to the University campus. The new station is expected to be completed and open by the end of 2021, in time for the 2022 Commonwealth Games when the University hosts the hockey and squash competitions. It is one of a number of significant rail improvements being driven by Mr Street, including plans to reopen stations in Kings Heath, Mosley and Hazelwell.

Artist’s impressions of how the new University station will look.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street says the new University Station in Edgbaston will provide a fitting gateway to the area.


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Life Stories



Changing the way we give Moseley Alternative Giving Campaign (MAGC) was set up in 2014 with a government grant to tackle street drinking and aggressive begging. It’s run by volunteers who help administer a small grant scheme, paid for by donations. They also secured additional funding to employ a part-time support worker – Anji Page – who has been working directly with homeless and vulnerable people in Moseley since the spring of 2018. MAGC is managed by Moseley Community

Development Trust, which ensures we have minimal administrative costs – meaning almost 100% of money donated goes towards supporting vulnerable people in the community, or to funding their supportworker. MAGC is overseen by a volunteer panel, which includes people with direct experience of working with the homeless. The panel reviews and approves grant applications, which must be made via support workers, to ensure money is properly spent.

MAGC finished 2019 with a lot of positive and good things happening, the team with community support are looking forward to 2020.

2019 Highlights

“When one of your guys who has been rough sleeping or living in hostels for years gets the keys to his new home”

“Thanks to Al-Khair Birmingham for their amazing Christmas donation enabling MAGC to purchase gas and electric top ups”

www.moseleyalternativegivingcampaign.com Tweet @MoseleyGiving


MAKE A WILL MONTH 2nd - 31st March 2020

Write or update your will for a suggested donation and help local people live well with life-limiting illness

Local charity, Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, has partnered with big-hearted solicitors across the West Midlands to offer you a cheaper way to sort your will – all whilst raising funds for the hospice.

From Monday 2 to Tuesday 31 March, a number of solicitors and will writers will be taking part in the Hospice’s ‘Make a Will Month’, in which they’ll be waiving their usual fees and asking for a charitable donation to be made to the Hospice instead.

For further information please visit www.birminghamhospice.org.uk/make-a-will or call 0121 752 8779 504156 Make a Will Hem Life Magazine Advert 131 x 170mm v2.indd 1

29/01/2020 16:38

The generous initiative will give you the opportunity to write or update this important document for a much cheaper price – for example, suggested donations are £100 for a single will which typically cost £185, or £125 for a joint will which costs £225 on average. For wills requiring more specialist advice, the solicitors will agree a donation in advance. You will be able to sort your will by arranging a home visit, completing it online, or even visiting the solicitor at their office.

All donations will go towards Birmingham St Mary’s, which provides vital care and support to local people and their loved ones who are living with life-limiting illness. The Hospice cares for and supports 500 people every day across Birmingham and Sandwell, providing care in people’s homes, in the community and at the Hospice itself. It will cost £9 million to run the Hospice’s vital services this year, 64 per cent of which must be raised through voluntary donations.

To take part in Make a Will Month, visit: www.birminghamhospice.org.uk/make-a-will

OPEN EVENT Saturday 22nd February 2020

10:00am -12 Noon 3 Norfolk Road and 28 Harborne Road A leading provider of early education to children aged 3 months-4 years

3 Norfolk Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 3PS

28 Harborne Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 3AA

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E: enquiries@norfolkhouseschool.co.uk

E: enquiries@norfolkhouseschool.co.uk



Life Stories

Having Fun in Brum There is a most interesting Exhibition of Photography currently in place on the main concourse of New Street Station and set to remain there until February 28th

The 54 photographs were taken at last summer’s Birmingham, Sandwell & Westside Jazz Festival and perfectly catch the mood of folks having fun in Brum. They are the work of leading Dutch documentary photography Merlin Daleman, whose ties to the City go back some 25 years when he first studied photography at Birmingham City University. The festival’s photography project is sponsored by Calthorpe Estates.

FEBRUARY 2020 HARBORNE, EDGBASTON, MOSELEY & NEIGHBOURING AREAS During the Jazz Festival The Village in Moseley once again becomes the Home of Happy Feet

It’s always a poignant moment when Potato Head Jazz Band from Spain take their end of show bow, all standing on one leg out of respect for their amputee drummer, Luis Landa

In the grand tradition of show-boating drummers, here’s Harry Weston-Cottrell of Ricky Cool and The In Crowd

You’re Never Alone With A Uke is what the festival names its ukulele workshops, seen here working their magic at The Children’s Hospital

The Jim Dandies hail from Bassano Del Grappa in Italy, here’s singer Alessandra Perozzo

Jim Simpson – Big Bear Music

Buildings lit up green to banish the blues

31 Calthorpe Road, Birmingham, B15 1RX From left: Odin Bailey, Kristian Pedersen, Geraldo Bajrami, Harlee Dean and Wes Harding

For more information contact admissions@sgse.co.uk or via telephone on 0121 625 0398

West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) called on buildings to go green to support mental health on what is said to be the most depressing day of the year. The third Monday of January (January 20), has been dubbed Blue Monday due to the depressing effects of postChristmas bills and debt, long cold nights and failed New Year’s resolutions. In addition to lighting up building’s organisations encouraged people to wear a green ribbon on the day, a symbol of mental health awareness, or green clothes to work. Birmingham City FC stars also helped raise awareness of the issues of mental health by

swapping their blue shirts for green. Five players, Geraldo Bajrami, Odin Bailey, Kristian Pedersen, Wes Harding and club captain Harlee Dean temporarily changed their kit to urge people to think about mental health issues. - This year’s Blue Monday was also the first anniversary of the WMCA’s This is Me mental health campaign which urges employers in the region to commit to support staff and reduce the stigma of mental health in the workplace. In just one year the campaign has grown from signing up 17 organisations to 108, from a range of sectors including government, education and construction

Brittain Opticians showcases latest collection – Article One

At Brittains, Matt and his staff like to seek out the very best eye-wear for their lovely customers, but also love it when they find a company that not only make beautiful, handcrafted frames but also believe in slow fashion, designing something that lasts, whilst also donating a chunk of their profits to charity. Handcrafted just for you Article One is an American company, who were founded to raise awareness of Vitamin A deficiency in developing nations. 500,000 children go blind from Vitamin A deficiency globally and astonishingly, just 1 dollar will pay for a years worth of supplements for 1 child. So far Article One has donated $17,000 to this worthy cause. Away from Article One’s charitable work, they also create very well made fashionable frames. The final product is handcrafted in a small, family-owned factory in the Italian countryside. Just 12 master craftsmen work there and put care into each frame in a quality you can really feel.

So, make sure you pop in on Thursday 20th February For one day only, Brittain Opticians will have the whole of the Article One’s wonderful collection in store for you to try. If you need an eye test or even some style advice please call: 0121 427 1007 to arrange a date and time to suit. If not, just pop into Brittains and browse this wonderful collection from a little company that really cares. We’d love to see you!

Matt Rose Brittain Opticians Tel: 0121 427 1007

NEW BRAND in store...


ARTICLE ONE, EXCLUSIVE TO BRITTAIN’S – THE FIRST STOCKIST IN THE WEST MIDS 0121 427 1007 hello@brittainopticians.co.uk 97 High Street, Birmingham, B17 9NR



Life Stories


Chinese New Year – Year of the Rat

We welcomed in the Year of the Rat at Birmingham’s Chinese New Year Celebrations. Various events full of striking colours took place between Friday, January 24th and Sunday 26th guaranteed entertainment and lots of fun for all ages.

To mark Chinese New Year, the China Institute hosted a celebratory concert in the Bramall at Birmingham University with world-class musicians Di Xiao (piano), winner of the Chinese X-factor Mary Jess (vocals), and Ruth Angell (multiinstrumentalist) and Sid Peacock (guitar) who brought together traditional Chinese and Western Music to celebrate the year of the Gold Rat with a spring-themed concert. The city had a fantastic buzz with lion and dragon dances ,classical fan and umbrella dances, face changing performances, Shaolin Warriors, light up stilt walkers and a Wish tree were among the many performances throughout the weekend. Pantomime and Corey Baker’s Hong Kong Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet – Chinese New Year Collaboration were performed and enjoyed at The Hippodrome.

Birmingham University acts

Think of the children Seymour Luke, the residential property experts, is proud to confirm the launch of it’s Private Client and Wills Department

None of us likes to think that we will not live to see our children grow up, yet, tragically for some, it is a reality. What is concerning is that the majority of parents have made no plans to deal with such a possibility. Whilst most people, when they think of making a Will, tend to focus on the distribution of their assets, whether it be property, shares, personal possessions or money in the bank, they rarely think of their Will as being used to provide protection for their most precious treasure, their children. By making a Will, as well as providing for your children and other loved ones financially, you can formally appoint a trusted family member or friend to act as the Legal Guardian for your children. The Guardian’s role is to raise, care for and mentor your children until they reach the age of eighteen.

We offer advice and assistance in the following areas: • • • •

Wills and codicils Lasting powers of attorney General powers of attorney Court of protection applications

• Elderly client matters • Residential conveyancing • New build / Off plan purchases

For further information call us on: 0121 456 3696 or visit our website www.seymourluke.com

Seymour Luke Limited

Seymour House, 15a Frederick Road, Edgbaston, B15 1JD

A correctly drafted Will ensures that your wishes are adhered to, whether those wishes are to benefit someone who would not normally benefit under the intestacy rules (the rules which dictate what will happen to your estate if you die without a Will or with an invalid Will) or to ensure that someone who would otherwise benefit under the intestacy rules does not. Making a Will gives you more options and freedom to meet your specific needs and wants and it makes things simpler for the loved ones who you leave behind. We are based in Edgbaston, were formed in 2008 and, until recently, dealt solely with private residential matters. In June 2019 Eve Gold joined the company, as a Director and Head

of Department, and established the Wills and Private Client Department. Eve qualified as a solicitor in 2010 and specialised in family law and private client matters providing her with a substantial amount of experience dealing with sensitive matters, elderly and vulnerable clients in a friendly, yet professional, manner. All matters are dealt with in a relaxed, friendly, courteous and professional manner where the time is taken to discuss the particular wishes that you knew you wanted in your Will, or Lasting Power of Attorney (a subject dealt with in previous editions of HEM Life), and some that you may not have even thought about. I will ensure that you receive a truly bespoke and top rated service. Eve. t: 0121 456 3696 e: eve@seymourluke.com

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10 Business Life Be aware of 2020 changes The biggest change concerns the employment statement of particulars or contracts you are required to provide when someone starts working for you.


Have Your Say

Artist Impression Victoria Square

It’s not surprising that entrepreneurs often spend hours and hours researching various options before with Ralph Savage FCA making decisions DRS Business Solutions LTD about their businesses.

HR with

Omar Rashid HR Dept.

From 6 April, these will need to be given on or before the first day of employment (rather than within eight weeks), to everyone starting to work with you, whether they are permanent employees, fixed term or those categorised as workers. Another important change is the length of time to break continuous employment, the benchmark for many employment rights. This will be extended from one week to one month. The employment particulars will be required to have additional information about the right to sick leave and pay, maternity or paternity, days and times of working and notice periods. Holiday pay has always been a thorny subject for employers. And to iron out fluctuations in pay, the reference period for calculating will be extended from 12 weeks preceding the holiday to 52 weeks. Agency workers too will be entitled to a key facts statement outlining their entitlements. Parents who suffer the loss of a child under the age of 18 will be entitled to two weeks paid statutory parental bereavement leave. Finally, a change which, at the time of writing, has not been confirmed but is likely to be introduced, concerns cases where personal services companies are used. Responsibility for IR35 tax compliance will shift from the company to the client or intermediary, which brings yet another headache for employers. e: Omar.Rashid@hrdept.co.uk www.hrdept.co.uk

Don’t wait until it’s too late!

Birmingham businesses, citizens and visitors are being encouraged to take part in a public consultation over plans for a £25m regeneration of the city centre, which opened on 13 January. New images of how New Street, Temple Street and Victoria Square may look have also been released to coincide with the launch of this consultation. The outline business case for Birmingham City Council’s plans to improve to the city centre’s public realm ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, was approved by Cabinet on 29 October 2019. The full business case is due to go to Cabinet in April. Public consultation drop-in events will be held in the city centre so businesses, citizens and visitors can find out more about the proposals on: Wednesday 12 February at Rooms 3 and 4, Council House, Victoria Square, 3.30pm-6.30pm. The proposed works will be carried out in two phases. The first stage will include improvements to Victoria Square, Colmore Row, Bennetts Hill, Waterloo Street, New Street, Ethel Street, Lower Temple Street and Temple Street. The second phase will incorporate areas around Temple Row, High Street, Union Street, Union Passage,

Warwick Passage and Needless Alley. The works programme will also include permanent hostile vehicle security (HVM) measures as part of a comprehensive safety and security strategy for the city centre, which through this project will be integrated into the street scene, replacing temporary measures that have been in situ for several years Public realm assets and areas around the city centre are in need of improvement, and as such these proposals will help create a gateway to the Commonwealth Games, providing a lasting legacy for Birmingham by creating a place that will enhance the city centre visitor experience, support retail business and a cleaner environment. For anyone unable to attend the events, all consultation material will be live following the first consultation event via the council’s Birmingham Be Heard consultation website at www.birminghambeheard.org.uk Those unable to access the internet can pick up a consultation leaflet and paper questionnaire at the Library of Birmingham from today. The consultation closes at 11.59pm on Friday, 21 February 2020

A feeling of pressure to achieve perfectly successful outcomes can often mean that decision-making processes become enormously time-consuming. This can then distract entrepreneurs from other areas of their businesses, potentially putting the success of their other projects at risk. All business owners need to ensure that their decisions are based on the most accurate data available. However, there comes a point where you just need to take the plunge and make a decision based on your team’s analysis of the numbers and your gut instinct. If you spend hours avoiding decisions, you might lose crucial opportunities to take your enterprise to the next level. It’s important to accept that commercial perfection is impossible. After all, many businesses are testing out new ideas that their competitors haven’t even thought of yet. The best objective to aim for is progress. You want everything that you and your team are doing to contribute to pushing your enterprise closer to your growth targets. Some of your decisions will achieve – or even surpass - these targets. Others might not. So long as your wins are bigger than your losses, you’ll be OK. If you all agree that a great opportunity to grow your business is on the horizon; go for it! Nobody wants to be left writing that autobiography about missed opportunities and business regrets.

m: 07774 548822 www.drs-business-solutions.co.uk

Don’t settle for anything less 

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    

    

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    

Acc-Unique Solutions is a modern accountancy practice with a difference. Our investment in cloud technology has enabled us to develop a totally paperless system which is GDPR compliant, environmentally friendly and extremely efficient for our clients and staff. As many business owners will agree, ‘great bookkeepers’ are hard to find.

Traditionally bookkeepers were expected to be organised and reliable with a sharp attention to detail. Those qualities are still very important, as is a sound understanding of the double-entry bookkeeping system. However nowadays a bookkeeper’s role requires much more. Business owners rely on their bookkeeper to take charge of their company finances, ensure they meet every deadline and maintain a system that complies with auto-enrolment pension duties, minimum wage regulations and making tax digital… the list is endless! In order to keep the business ahead of the competition the bookkeeper needs to be innovative, have excellent IT skills and be ready to embrace the very latest software and technology. He/she must be able to provide professional, accurate reports for important business meetings as well as up to date figures from the touch of a smart device. At Acc-Unique Solutions we train our staff and our students to have all these qualities.

Fiona Wilson Director

Students who enrol on our Sage accounting programme have the opportunity to learn basic, intermediate and advanced Sage skills at our offices in Harborne. For businesses we can assess your new or existing employees and deliver a tailor-made training programme to suit your exact requirements. Anyone looking to gain qualifications can join us to follow the Sage University learning route. Students that show commitment and have the qualities required to become a ‘great bookkeeper’ are offered work experience in our organisation and have the opportunity to work with our clients under our guidance. If you are looking for a ‘great bookkeeper’ or you want to be a ‘great bookkeeper’ call Fiona Wilson on 0121 684 7618 or visit our website at www.Acc-Uniquesolutions.co.uk


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Charter launched to champion good design

Life Stories 11

From left: Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street; Jane Findlay, President Elect Landscape Institute; Sarah Weir CEO Design Council; Immy Kaur founder of Civic Square and Nick Walkley, chief executive of Homes England

A pioneering initiative to promote, inspire and encourage good design across the West Midlands was officially launched on Thursday Jan 23. As part of Harborne Village Business Improvement District’s #healthyharborne campaign, the Harborne Village team have paired up with Harborne Pool & Fitness Centre to give one lucky HEM Life reader a month’s membership for free! To be in with a chance of winning a month’s free membership at Harborne Pool and Fitness, all you have to do is sign up for

Harborne BID’s newsletter at: http://harborne-village.com/ healthyharborne/ A winner will be selected at random on the 20th March and notified by e-mail. The winner will receive 1 months membership of Harborne Pool & Fitness Centre. *Terms and conditions apply. The prize is as stated and no cash or other alternatives will be offered.

Headmaster, Alistair Lyttle

It’s all about the boys 1

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On 11th May 1895 West House School opened its doors for the first time. Three lucky boys were booked to attend but B W L Owen was unwell so just two pupils turned up – G P Achurch and J M F C Pound. From its earliest days the school has occupied the same site at the heart of Edgbaston’s leafy Calthorpe Estate and now welcomes 350 pupils aged between one and eleven. During 2020 West House will be marking its 125th birthday with highlights including an Anniversary Recital in the Ruddock Performing Arts Centre and a celebratory service at Birmingham Cathedral. “We have plenty planned for current families and Old Boys of the school are invited to become involved,” comments Headmaster, Alistair Lyttle, an Old Boy of the school himself. “We are extremely proud of our history and have stayed absolutely true to our roots in terms of the ethos and values we wish to promote. It seems only right to involve the whole community, past and present, in our celebrations.”

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showed that the sector had seen a bigger growth than any other region outside London, increasing by 83% between 2010 and 2017 and contributing around £503m a year to the local economy. The Charter’s six themes and 12 principles have been developed in close collaboration with the WMCA’s members which include 18 local authorities and three Local Enterprise Partnerships. It will provide an extra tool for local planning authorities to secure good urban design and high quality development. It will also be used as a guidance document for developments funded through the WMCA’s Single Commissioning Framework – a funding pot of several hundred million pounds. Much of this funding is being channelled at housing and commercial schemes on the region’s former industrial (brownfield) sites, helping to relieve pressure on the Green Belt. In 2020 the WMCA is supporting the national Housing Design Awards and seeking exemplar West Midlands projects while seeking to promote local designers on a national and international stage.

125 Not Out!

C E L E B R AT I N G 1 25 Y E A R S O F E D U C AT I N G B I R M I N G H A M ’S F I N E ST B OYS

W E ST- H O U S E- S C H O O L

Some of the UK’s leading design experts gathered at Birmingham’s Mailbox complex to endorse the new West Midlands Design Charter which has been developed by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) in partnership with the region’s local councils. Building on the West Midlands’ heritage and proud legacy for iconic design and creativity, the Charter sets out to secure high-quality design in housing, civic architecture, urban spaces, parks and transport infrastructure. It will also serve as a springboard to grow a range of key design sectors such as digital media, graphic design and creative industries including advertising and screen (film, TV and games). In supporting the region’s wider design sector, it is also intended to drive investment and inclusive economic growth while combating global warming by promoting low carbon, energy efficient and climate resilient design. Research from the Design Council found that the West Midlands has a strong design industry with a focus on industrial, product and craft design. Figures

@ W E ST H O U S E S C H O O L

13/01/2020 16:43

West House School’s claim that it has educated some of Birmingham’s finest boys is hard to dispute. The names of Martineau and Cadbury sit alongside those of politicians, international sportsmen, television personalities and notable musicians. Mr Lyttle continues, “The West House experience is a fantastic journey, rich in opportunity. We have a fine sporting tradition and all eyes are currently focused on Oliver Lawrence and the development of his rugby career with Worcester Warriors.” The school has been led by just five Headmasters in its 125 year history, the significance of which is not lost on Mr Lyttle. “West House is very much in the blood,” he continues, “I absolutely loved my prep school days and feel honoured to be leading the school in such a significant year.” For further information, please contact Miss Kim Stevenson on 0121 440 4097.


Rubric Lois King Solicitors

When in-laws get outlawed January is, allegedly, a peak month for divorce lawyers, spending the Christmas and New Year period with spouses often being the final straw for people. Just recently, I read that even more people change their wills early in the year. Large amounts of time spent cooped up with relatives can cause underlying tensions to increase and result in arguments or damaged relationships. So how do you stand if you wish to exclude someone from your will? The answer depends in part on the closeness of the relationship. Excluding a child, for example, requires more careful planning than excluding a distant cousin. The law permits some excluded parties to make a claim for reasonable provision from an estate. Proper advice at the time of making the will could save your estate from an expensive claim after your death. Your reasons should be expressed in a separate document which, although not legally binding, will be of assistance in answering a claim. It is best to have this drawn up by the solicitor who prepares the will. The law does not expect you to provide for your children’s spouses, although many do. If a child predeceases you their legacy may be directed to their own children. The use of a trust may assist if the grandchildren are minors. Trusts, coupled with a letter of wishes, can also be invaluable where there are concerns about relatives. A potential beneficiary may have behavioural issues now but be a responsible person at your date of death. Benefitting friends and charities instead of family may cause upset and requires careful wording to achieve the desired outcome. It is your will and guidance as to the best way of ensuring your wishes can be put into effect. Rubric Lois King Solicitors t: 0121 450 7800 www.rlksolicitors.com


Buckets of Positivity

On Saturday 25th January 2020, Deputy Head of The Priory School, Edgbaston and Doctor of Education student Sarah Mullin welcomed educators from across the UK to Birmingham to celebrate the launch of her Amazon number 1 best selling book ‘What They Didn’t Teach Me on My PGCE.’ Guests enjoyed presentations from leading professionals including Penny Rabiger, Co-Founder of the BameEdNetwork, Hannah Wilson, Head of ITT at the University of Buckingham and an inspirational keynote speech from Professor Sam Twiselton OBE, Director of the Sheffield Institute of Education, Vice President of the Chartered College of Teaching and Chair of the DfE ITT Content Group. @BAMEEdWestMids representatives take a selfie with the author

Sam said, “It was an absolute delight and honour to speak at the launch of this wonderful book, brought together by the inspirational force of nature that is Sarah Mullin. I spend a lot of my time working with new teachers and know how important the messages they will get from this are - to them and to the children they teach. There has never been a time when such positivity and support is so needed, and this was on show in buckets on Saturday. Sarah Guests celebrated being part of the should be so proud of what she has teaching profession achieved and so happy that the impact of this will ripple out to so many teachers and children.” Sarah Mullin is renowned for supporting teachers and school leaders nationally and recently received the ‘Contribution to Education of the Year’ award by the Birmingham Awards.

with DEREK CASE Company Chairman Mortons Funeral Directors

New ways to announce funeral arrangements

Back in the day there was really only one way to announce when and where a funeral would take place - much telephoning and writing to known associates and cover everyone else by putting a formal announcement into the local newspaper. Now there’s nothing wrong with placing an announcement in the local paper, but if you want it seen by a wider audience you would do well to think about other options too. So what are they? Well, the most obvious way of contacting specific people is by text message or email, these things having overtaken phone calls and letters as the more convenient, efficient and cheaper way to contact people. If you’re trying to communicate with people around the globe, then Whatsapp may be the thing for you, as it allows text messaging and calls free to anyone in your contact group who also subscribe to the free Whatsapp service. Of course, social media is another avenue to explore because, love it or hate it, it forms a large part of many people’s lives and is a great way of getting messages out there. Even if you are unfamiliar with Facebook, Twitter and the like, you almost certainly know someone who will be - just ask them for help. Most good Funeral Directors should be able to offer you this online funeral announcement facility. Our own clients can use our website to announce the funeral, complete with a photograph of their loved one and details of times, dates and location maps for funeral venue, or venues, and after service gatherings. Friends and family can also be clear regarding any wishes concerning dress code, flowers and/or donations etc., and can even leave tributes. Just one word of caution, always be mindful that there are some unscrupulous people out there, so be careful about giving out information that can alert unsavoury characters to the time and place of an unoccupied home. t: 0121 476 9111 e: info@mortonsfunerals.co.uk www.mortonsfunerals.co.uk

Do you know a child who is going through loss?

GROWING TOGETHER Bereavement support for children & young people • Is your child grieving the loss of a loved one? • Could they benefit from exploring their emotions through open conversations and creative activities in a safe and fun group environment? Contact us today to find out how we can help your family with a range of emotional and practical support: childrensservice@birminghamhospice.org.uk | 0121 752 8753

Here’s why a peer support group may help. Photo: Beth Hopkins is a Children’s Counsellor at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice

Grief is a complex and emotional process for anyone, regardless of your age. But for children and young people, experiencing grief can be a particularly difficult and confusing process. As a parent or guardian, it’s not possible to protect your child from the pain of loss but it is possible to support them through their grief, helping them to build healthy coping tools for the future. Beth Hopkins is a Children’s Counsellor at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice. In her role, she helps run ‘Growing Together’ – a peer support group for grieving children and young adults. She discussed why peer support groups can be hugely beneficial to young people as they learn to navigate their way through grief… Companionship and honest conversations When a child is going through a bereavement, it can feel like the loneliest time. Peer support groups can help children to see that they are not alone and there are people who are also going through something similar. This can be hugely beneficial to young people, as it provides companionship with people who just “get it”. Sometimes, children will want to protect their family so will hide their feelings for fear of upsetting them. Groups give children a chance to talk openly and honestly, without having to filter their feelings. Learning to cope It’s important for children and young people to develop their own coping strategies to help

process their grief. At group sessions, they’ll get the chance to talk to experienced workers and volunteers who have specialist training in supporting grieving children. This will give them an opportunity to learn more about the skills and techniques that they can use to manage their grief, as well as get a better understanding of what works best for them. It’s good for parents and guardians too If you’re supporting a child through bereavement, chances are, you’re grieving too. This can feel like a huge weight, especially as you’re trying to manage your own grief and your child’s. Knowing that your child has access to professional support can give a little peace of mind but did you know that some child support groups will run one for adults too? For many parents and guardians, this can be a safe space to express worries and concerns, as well as an opportunity to meet others in similar situations. ‘Growing Together’ is organised by Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice and is a free-of-charge, peer support group for bereaved children and young people. The group is open to all children, whether or not their loved one was supported by the Hospice, and there is also group support for parents and guardians too. To find out more, please contact the Hospice’s Children’s Team t: 0121 752 8753 e: childrensservice@birminghamhospice.org.uk

Open Morning Saturday 29th February 2020 10am-12.30pm 0121 440 4103 admissions@prioryschool.net prioryschool.net

14 City Life


Shine a Light on Community Champions

The search is on for the unsung heroes of the West Midlands who are making a difference to other people’s lives. Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street has launched the region’s first Community Champion awards, calling on residents to nominate someone who has made a significant contribution to their local area. Organised by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), the aim of the awards is to shine a light on how the wide-ranging community work in the West Midlands is bringing people from different backgrounds together. Anyone can nominate an individual living in the WMCA area who they feel has had a positive impact on their community. The Mayor said, “In our Faith Action Plan, I pledged that we would recognise people of all faiths and none who are making their local communities stronger and more resilient. “There are so many outstanding people in the West Midlands who work tirelessly every day to help others, without expecting any reward for themselves. “The Community Champion awards are a brilliant opportunity to celebrate the amazing achievements of these unsung heroes. I’d urge residents from across the region to nominate someone from their area, so that we can share these inspiring stories as widely as possible.”

There are six award categories: 1. Interfaith: for individuals who have brought together people of different faiths and created long-lasting interfaith relationships. Nominees may be people of any faith or none, but who recognise the value of harmony between the many diverse faiths and religions in the region. 2. Intergenerational: for individuals who have brought older and younger people together to form lasting friendships, understanding the knowledge and skills that each generation brings and the value of sharing experiences.

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street with youngsters from Harborne Cricket Club, ahead of the Mayor’s intergenerational Cricket Cup last September. Picture courtesy of Ravi Masih, Warwickshire County Cricket Club

3. Cross-regional: for individuals who have helped people look beyond their postcode area to extend their view of the world and open their eyes to new friendships and different opportunities. 4. Social mobility: for individuals who have improved access to opportunities for others by going into communities and actively encouraging people, supporting them and following their progress. 5. Mentoring: this category is supported by the Mayor’s Mentors programme. There

are two awards. The mentor’s award is for people who have made an exceptional effort to help develop others and their careers, while the mentee’s award is for those who have made the most of the expertise they have gained from their mentors, using it in a positive way to enhance their lives. 6. Lifetime achievement: for individuals who have worked for a significant time on a specific social issue in the region, achieving success that would not have happened without their perseverance and tenacity.

The awards are the latest in a series of initiatives organised by the WMCA to bring communities across the region together, such as the Mayor’s intergenerational Cricket Cup last September, and the Mayor’s Community Weekends over the past two years. The deadline for nominations is February 19th and the awards will be announced at a special event on March 5th. For more information and to nominate someone for an award, visit:


Lets Talk Weddings On Sunday 1 March, Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice will be hosting a bridal fayre at the iconic venue, The Cube.


WEDDING FAYRE Sunday 1st March 2020 11.00am-3.00pm Canalside, The Cube, B1 1RN

Book your tickets today at www.birminghamhospice.org.uk/wedding

Budding brides and grooms can find inspiration for their wedding at Birmingham St Mary’s ‘Wedding Fayre’. Supported by:

The local charity is inviting wives and husbandsto-be to meet over 25 local suppliers, including florists, cake specialists and photographers. It’s a great opportunity to meet the experts, get advice and find inspiration for the big day. Even better, the cost of your entry ticket will go towards the Hospice, which provides care and support to local people living with life-limiting illness.

There will also be an opportunity to purchase the charity’s wedding favours – a beautiful way to show your support to the Hospice whilst giving guests a meaningful keepsake of your special day. Date: Sunday, March 1st Time: 11am - 3pm Venue: The Cube, Birmingham City Centre, B1 1RN Standard tickets: Only £5 Or you can upgrade to a VIP ticket: Only £10 which includes a glass of Prosecco and a Goody Bag. To find out more, visit: www.birminghamhospice.org.uk/wedding


Life Style

Life Stories 15 FEBRUARY 2020

Birmingham Set To Rock - Again

Broad Street will welcome the opening of another weekly live music venue on Friday 14th February when Birmingham Rocks at The Bulls Head opens for business...

It will be the noisy younger brother of Henry’s Blueshouse, which operates every Tuesday at the same venue. The music policy will be straightforward, to help sustain the belief that Birmingham is The UK Capital of Rock and Roll and what better way to kick off than to celebrate the release of the one album that marked the very beginning of a music style that changed the face of popular music forever? That style was Heavy Metal and the creator was that most important of all Birmingham bands – Black Sabbath. Exactly 50 years and one day before the launch of Birmingham Rocks, on Friday 13th February 1970, the album Black Sabbath burst onto the world’s album charts and went on to not only create the worldwide Heavy Metal movement, but to inspire the creation of dozens of other music styles, such as Death Metal, Thrash Metal, Black Metal and Nu Metal. The commemorative event will be headlined by the Black Sabbath disciples from Manchester, Sabbra Cadabra, whose first set will be a faithful reproduction of that first album, complete with the legendary opening thunderstorm. The second set will feature the follow up Paranoid album in its entirety. There will be talks and Q&As from people who worked with Sabbath

at the beginning as well as memorabilia from that time. It all kicks off at 7pm and admission will be free. Once the dust has settled, Birmingham Rocks will settle into its new home with performances every Friday, from 7:30pm, initially featuring The Busby Babes (21st February), Melvin Hancox Band (28th), The Lost Notes (6th March), The Frenzies (13th), The Garage Band (20th) and The Quiet Men (27th). The Bulls Head is on Bishopsgate Street, just off Broad Street – and admission is FREE Jim Simpson

Black Sabbath disciples from Manchester, Sabbra Cadabra

Photos: Bradley Henry

Exclusive by JIM SIMPSON www.bigbearmusic.com

Create an entrance


Oak Lodge Buildings, Furnace Hill Halesowen B63 3LZ

0121 550 1444

Design your dream door online: www.oaklodgedoors.co.uk

Stylish. Secure.

16 Life Style Health


Protect your eyes with MATT ROSE Brittain Opticians

with JANET EASTWOOD Janet Eastwood Acupuncture

with JOHN HILL Fit Brummie Bootcamp

with PHILLIP MORRIS Confidents Denture Clinic

Matt Rose Brittain Opticians 0121 427 1007

Janet Eastwood BA (Hons) LicAc MBAcC janetacupuncture@hotmail.co.uk 07707 878 549

John Hill, S.A.C Dip Diet & Nutrition 07540 368060

Phillip Morris RDT CDT RCS (England) GDC146046 0121 426 3500

Cold snap ahead

Sunglasses in the Winter?

Surely just an excuse for looking cool... Not really!

People forget polarised prescription sunglasses are extremely important when it comes to protecting your eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays - which over time can result in the loss or deterioration of your eyesight. In the winter, the sun can be as bright, if not brighter than the summer sun as it sits low in the sky. Driving can become problematic as the low sun can reflect off wet roads, snow and ice. Polarised lenses are designed to counteract this. You can use your polarised sunglasses for all your daily activities, for driving they’re a must, if you’re sporty you can give yourself a competitive edge while playing outdoor sports. Eliminating glare allows your eyes to relax so you can react quicker and enjoy your sport more. Polarised sunglasses are great for everyday use, whether its watching your child’s football game, walking the dog or just enjoying the great outdoors. Most people think that the darker the lens, the better it will work at combating bright sun, a polarised lens will often be much lighter but work better, instead of dimming colour and clarity they will actually enhance it, as well as cutting through unwanted glare. There’s plenty of choice out there. So, pop into your Optician and they’ll be able to style and fit you with your very own prescription polarised sunglasses. www.brittainopticians.co.uk

Make sure you are prepared this year by giving your immune system a boost and getting every bit of winter sun possible. More people are finding they are vitamin D deficient and this can affect not only energy levels but also sleep, mood and your immune system. Acupuncture offers seasonal ‘top ups’ to help keep your body and mind on track, no matter what the weather is doing outside. Acupuncture helps your body and mind to work better for you. So, if it’s the winter blues or a physical ailment such as osteoarthritis that is troubling you - give acupuncture a try. This time of year also awakens thoughts of new beginnings. The will power that helped start that exercise plan on the 1st of January and the drive to cut down on sugar and alcohol might all be needing some extra support. Acupuncture can help refocus that energy into the actions you want to move forward. For couples struggling with fertility this time of year is just another reminder that things are not moving. Acupuncture can support you at this time both with natural and assisted fertility programmes. In Chinese medicine the Kidneys and the Bladder are the organ systems of the water element, which relates to the winter season. It is especially important to support these systems at this time of year to help maintain a healthy mind, body and spirit. Keep your lower back warm and eat nourishing warm foods, root vegetables and dark-skinned fruits. Also consider a seasonal acupuncture treatment to keep you on track. www.acupuncturejanet.com

Why New Year Resolutions Fail

Dentures or Implants?

Just going to the gym or doing another diet isn’t going to cut it!

Most people who have to make this choice wish they had their own teeth back but, that’s not possible, the best they can hope for is a solution that looks natural and is comfortable. Experience, professional, reliable and an empathetic approach is what patients should consider when enquiring to replace missing teeth. Someone who understands that not everyone necessarily wants to go down this route and has the desire to ensure that each individual need is personally tailored to their requirements and to use high quality materials. Just like our own teeth dentures and implants will have wear and tear over a period and may need repaired or replaced. Patients should bear this in mind when choosing a practice and opt for a practice who offers the same high quality, personal service in aftercare and maintenance. Dentures: There are a vast number of options when choosing the right dentures that look totally natural and the best fit, be it complete or partial dentures. Maintaining your dentures will ensure they fit comfortably for many years to come. Implants: An implant replaces the root of your tooth and is surgically inserted into the jaw and functions the same way as natural teeth. If properly maintained they will last a considerable number of years, if not a lifetime. Make sure you have all the facts required to make an informed decision, speak to a clinical dental technician to discuss the right option for you. Keep Smiling



Statistically, about 75% of the people who started some fitness or health kick in the new year will have quit by the time you read this. - Scary, right? If you understand weight loss and fitness like I do, it’s not that surprising. In my over 10 years’ experience of coaching weight loss backed up by own personal journey where I lost five stone, there is one main factor that causes the most problems when it comes to new years resolutions (or any change if I am honest) Ready? Most people have ZERO clue why they want to change/lose weight/get fit. If you have failed on numerous occasions to lose weight or get fit, ask yourself why you did it in the first place. If you come up with answers like “health� or to “look better� then we may have found the problem. The truth is that MOST people have these goals They are quite generic and don’t really spur up a fire inside you to make the necessary changes. Change can be hard and for a lot of people it’s almost impossible. In order to stay the course, you need strong reasons for why you are doing it. If you need help and support with this, a good quality coach is the ideal way to go.

First Impressions

Far more than a Denture Fitting Service – from as little as £300


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Confidents Denture Clinic is a family business owned and run by Phillip Morris and his wife Denise who offer a professional, personal and friendly service to all their clients. With over 37 years in practice, a happy customer base of over 2,698 and growing, we are proud of the complete service we provide. Giving You Something To Smile About Denture repairs, fitting and dental implants is a personal service, something that shouldn’t be a cause for stress. Whatever your dental needs, we understand how important it is to provide a personal service tailored to you. Our surgery facilities the latest, our clinical dental technician is industry leading and our customer waiting facilities are relaxing, comfortable and bright. Our services include: There are many reasons why you might be losing your teeth, but that doesn’t have to be an issue. Whatever you may need, we provide a full range of dental services including, new or replacement dentures, reliable denture repair, cleaning and stabilisation as well, partial or complete and dental implants. We cater for the full spectrum, ensuring you get the perfect fit for you.

How else can we help? The best possible teeth for you - Look no further We take great pride in our work, giving you natural-looking teeth that fit perfectly. Our dental expertise doesn’t stop at fitting your new teeth. We’ll be on hand to maintain your teeth and make sure they continue to fit comfortably for years to come. When the time comes for you to replace your teeth, you can be sure of getting the same high level of personal care and attention when we guide you through the options and treatments. Enjoy a coffee on us whilst we work our magic and get back your smile!

Denise & Phil For more information, please get in touch either by calling us on: 0121 426 3500 or visiting us at: 19 Albert Road, Harborne B17 OAP www.confidentsdentureclinic.co.uk

Jonathans in the Park Authentic Victorian Country House Restaurant Tearoom by Day and Restaurant by Night Breakfast • Lunch or Brunch • Afternoon Tea • Evening Meals

Jonathans in the Park Quintessential Afternoon Tea

Experience this classic establishment’s revival ambience and the taste of yesteryear nestled amidst the acres of natural beauty in and around Lightwoods Park.

Being served every day, with tea and coffee inclusive refills £17.50 per person. With refills and a 200ml bottle of Prosecco each £22.50 per person.

Simply Great British Cuisine - Saturday Evenings from 7pm Victorian Country House Dining - Our home style traditional British recipes are to the original Jonathans Restaurants unique food style and the ambience of the Victorian era. We buy locally, always using high quality ingredients and produce. The inspiration for the menus comes from many directions and from chatting to our guests. Herbs and plants from our Victorian kitchen garden grown expertly by co-owner John are used in many of our dishes, and we eagerly await the harvest of our William pears, Victoria plums and Cox’s apples which we use in our menus.

Fools & Fawlty Towers Friday 29th and Saturday 30th May at 7:00 pm. Tickets £39.95 includes Show and a 3 Course Meal Phone 0333 666 3366 to book or ask in our Restaurant

World Class Live Music - Wednesday & Friday Evenings (7pm – 11pm) Irish music performed whilst enjoying authentic traditional Irish dining washed down with some of the finest Guinness, finished with the BEST IRISH COFFEE EVER! (selection of spirts & soft drinks available too). Wednesday: The world famous Two Pats (Irish Folk and Ballads) Friday: Madra Trad (Irish Traditional Music).

Rooms with an ambience of the past - for up to 65 people Wedding, Birthday, Conference, Business Meeting or a Gathering of any kind available

Jonathans Quality Corporate Catering OFFICES – BOARDROOMS – STUDIOS FILM SETS – EDUCATIONAL STAFF ROOMS etc Great British Cuisine, High  Standard Crockery & Cutlery  Fully Licensed, Free Delivery & Collection Phone 0121 420 1888 to book or ask in our Restaurant

Jonathans in the Park

Lightwoods House, Adkins Lane, Bearwood, Smethwick B67 5DP Telephone: 0121 420 1888 www.jonathansinthepark.com

Tearoom Opening Times

Restaurant Opening Times

Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm Saturday 10am to 5pm Sunday 10am to 5pm

Wednesday Irish Dining 7pm Friday Irish Dining 7pm Saturday Victorian Country House Dining 7pm

Relaxed Traditional Sunday Breakfast 10am - 12 noon Sunday 3 course Lunch 12 noon - 4pm Please book in advance to ensure you are not disappointed

Jonathans in the Park

Lightwoods House, Adkins Lane, Bearwood, Smethwick B67 5DP Telephone: 0121 420 1888 www.jonathansinthepark.com


Entrance to car park is on Adkins Lane B67 5DP *Vegan, vegetarian and allergen awareness are important factors to us, we strive to maintain a very high degree of mindfulness when dealing with these areas of concern.

18 Life Style


Where there’s an ‘R’ in the month!

Tips for managing your cashflow

with Zoe Franklin Travel Club Elite

with Fiona Wilson Acc – Unique Solutions

People often ask, when is the best time to book a holiday? My advice is ‘whenever there is an R in the month, but you’ll also be welcomed with open arms by any travel agent in, May, June, July and August!’ Many people in business are reporting a definite lift in confidence and a surge in orders, now that there is some degree of certainty on what our future may look like. There does seem to be a lift in the national mood, shopping centres were heaving at the weekend, new Kitchen-suppliers report solidlybooked appointments and at Travel Club Elite we’ve just had a record January, booking excited holidaymakers for the highlights of their year. In parks and gardens, there are snowdrops, the first hint of crocuses and beyond my kitchen window, even two rosebuds – something I’ve never seen in January!

We’ve been through a national trauma, to say the least and whatever your own views, it’s my hope that we can now have some peace and reconciliation and return to focusing on the value of our families and neighbours. But no need for a sermon from me, everyone seems to be doing this instinctively. Travel and holidays are so very important for us all, a time to reconnect with our loved ones, to meet new people, recharge our batteries, reflect on the past and plan for the future. Whatever your own plans for the forthcoming year, I wish you – Happy travelling!

t: 0121 213 0012 www.travelelite.com

Cashflow management is essential to sustain a healthy business. By using the tools available in your accounting software, you can prepare for tomorrow’s problems today. Regular bank reconciliations can be carried out quickly using the automatic bank feeds that link your accounts to your bank. Changes to Direct Debits and other unexpected costs can then be identified immediately. The purchase order, project costing and budgeting modules in your software will enable you to account for committed costs, set budgets at the quotation stage and compare actual costs to planned costs. Exporting reports to a spreadsheet allows you to use Excel functions and formulae to analyse where things may be going wrong. Use automatic emailing to send your sales invoices directly to your customers. Remember to add purchase order numbers when required, otherwise your invoice may be put on hold. Always credit check new customers before agreeing terms. You need to be paid for your hard work! Implement an effective credit control system, including monthly statements, follow up calls and reminder letters. Aim to receive payment before payment is due for materials. Remember the VAT element of your invoice is not yours! Consider transferring it to a savings account so that you are prepared when your VAT payment becomes due. Keep your accounts system up to date. You can then use it to see how much you owe your suppliers, how much your customers owe you and how much money is in the bank. Your projections will be wrong if your system isn’t up to date.

Fall prevention

YOU need to be coachable!

Live well in your own home with Steve Michael Senior Home Solutions

Career & Life with Clara Wilcox The Balance Collective

35% of people over the age of 65 fall in a year and nearly 23% of those break or fracture bones. How? A slip or trip, caught off balance with nothing to grab hold of, slipped getting out of the bath, tripped on a mat, the stair carpet or even over a pets or stray objects on the floor. Why? Our homes were not designed for an ageing population, stairs are steep, steps into bathrooms, lighting and access in and out of our homes. We really need to adapt our homes so that we can live independently and safe. Does the fear of change and ageing outweigh the reality of ensuring we live independently and safer? Well the truth is, if we don’t change and adapt then the chances of falls become greater. There are many things we can do to help prevent, or at least limit falls in and around the home; some are very simple. Get some help and advice, ask a family member to walk around your home and look for hazards, ripped stair carpets or rugs, check your ability to get in and out the bath or off the loo, look at lighting and loose cables. Home or Hospital... I know what I would choose. Take a minute or two and think about it. Keep safe. Steve.

t: 0121 684 7618 www.Acc-Uniquesolutions.co.uk

t: 0121 4275216 www.seniorhomesolutions.co.uk

If you want to be coached successfully you need to be coachable. What’s the one thing that can guarantee you reach your goals with a coach? Big budget? A year long programme? No! YOU need to be coachable! If you don’t believe in the process, it won’t work! Over the years, I have noticed a few common qualities within my coaching clients. It’s not education, gender or age, but key personality traits: Growth Mindset; They are open-minded and believe that talents can be developed through hard work, good strategies and the input of others. Responsible; They are prepared to engage with the process and put into place the actions and tools shared during a session. This is about budget; not just money, but the time and effort they are prepared to spend. Inquisitive; They are curious and want to unpick why they do what they do! It’s the job of the coach to make the client feel safe during this process; but if they aren’t curious about themselves, it’s going to be superficial exchange. Self-motivated; Long term changes are only possible when a person is able to stay motivated! Whilst it can be useful to check in with a coach regularly for a “boost”, successful clients are able to drive themselves forward using what they have learned. Ultimately, the success of a coaching relationship always comes from the willingness, attitude, and behaviour of the person to be coached. It’s very simple, but it makes all the difference! e: hello@thebalancecollective.co.uk www.thebalancecollective.co.uk

January Auction Highlights By Jennifer Pardoe FGA DGA Auctioneer & Jewellery Specialist

This year at Biddle & Webb we knew we were going to have a cracking January Jewellery, Silver, Watches and Interiors auction so we were raring to go when 2020 rolled round. Jewellery was a strong start with plenty of high quality pieces to entice the buyers. Glorious enamel butterfly brooches in blues, purples and greens alongside opal rings displaying superb play of colour. Diamonds as solitaire rings, cluster rings and eternity rings, ranging from contemporary to turn of the 20th Century, the majority selling within or exceeding their auction estimates. My favourite piece had to be our Art Deco style sapphire and diamond cluster ring. It attracted huge attention pre-auction so I was excited to get up on the rostrum and see where it was heading. In with an estimate of £500-£800, after some extremely competitive bidding it eventually sold to a telephone bidder for £1,100. The best part of this is that I couldn’t have been working for a nicer vendor which always gives you extra fire in your belly when inching out that last bid!

Later on in the auction we sold a collection of Moorcroft. A name often talked about in the antique community and a sure sign of quality. The collection comprised mostly of limited edition pieces from one of our probate jobs. My favourite was a piece designed by Paul Hilditch called ‘Bobbing Boats’. It was a step away from Moorcroft’s traditional floral and fruit designs, but still maintained their signature style. After the Moorcroft came the substantial collection of coins. Again from the same probate valuation we conducted last year, the collection was extremely comprehensive, all boxed and in immaculate condition. This was the second extensive coin collection we have found in a loft over recent years. A tricky space to empty, but worth the effort for our vendor and solicitor. So what will February bring? We’re covering all bases with two properties, another collection of coins, wonderful jewellery, Scandinavian interiors and intriguing antiques. Our next Jewellery, Silver, Watches, Property & Interiors auction take place on 8th February and 14th March 2020.

t: 0121 455 8042 e: info@biddleandwebb.com www.biddleandwebb.com

Life Style 19


Stunning series of stained-glass windows

Birmingham Children’s Hospital welcomed Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall to its hospital today (Wednesday 22 January 2020) to unveil a unique stainedglass window installation, featuring some of Roald Dahl’s most iconic characters, specially designed by the worldfamous children’s illustrator Sir Quentin Blake The charitably-funded project is the brainchild of Felicity Dahl, wife of the late author, who often used to visit the hospital as a child with her father Professor Alphonsus d’Abreu, then Dean of the Medical Faculty. She approached Sir Quentin Blake who was delighted to be involved and generously donated his original designs, which have now been transformed into a stunning series of stained-glass windows – the first-time Sir Quentin’s work or Roald Dahl characters have ever been produced in stained-glass. The stained-glass windows installation marks the launch of a new hospitalwide arts strategy, which highlights the benefits of bringing the arts into clinical environments to aid patients’ healing and recovery. Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity launched a campaign to raise the £234,000 needed to make the windows a reality, which captured the imagination of supporters, including key donors The Roald Dahl Story Company and Roald Dahl’s family. Once the money was raised, work was able to start and the final installation is now housed inside Waterfall House,

a state-of-the-art building, which is home to the world-class Children’s Cancer Centre and the UK’s first Rare Diseases Centre for children. Upon arrival, the Duchess was greeted by Sarah-Jane Marsh, Chief Executive of Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, and was able to get a closer look at all of the windows, which feature favourite Roald Dahl characters that every child and parent will instantly recognise. The Duchess was also able to meet patients, project donors, as well as staff members, including Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s four Roald Dahl Nurses who specialise in rare diseases. These nurses are funded by Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity of which the Duchess is Patron. Sarah-Jane Marsh said, “It was so special to have Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall join us today to unveil our stunning new windows. The beautiful designs, based on Roald Dahl’s best known stories, will transform the environment for the hundreds of children and young people who visit our hospital every day, impacting on their healing and overall sense of well-being.

HRH walking down the Roald Dahl corridor with Trust CEO Sarah-Jane Marsh

HRH meeting patients Callum Read 17 Carter Chatting 7 Seb Whatton 11

“We’re so thankful to the force of nature that is Felicity Dahl, plus Sir Quentin Blake and all of our donors for making this project a reality, and of course to Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall for sharing in such an important moment in our history.” Felicity Dahl, added, “When I first

thought about this project, I really wanted the magic of Roald’s muchloved characters to comfort the brave young patients and their families arriving at the hospital, and provide some distraction to why they are visiting, putting their minds at ease. I am so thrilled with the magnificent windows, they are absolutely stunning.”

Matilda Hatton 11 presents HRH with a posy alongside Felicity Dahl

Join us at our

Open Weekend 15th to 16th February 10am - 4pm Meet with our care team, take a tour around our home and discover what makes Sunrise so special. Can’t make our Open Weekend? Call 0121 728 2366 to arrange a tour, or pop into our home at anytime. We look forward to welcoming you.

Sunrise of Edgbaston

5 Church Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 3SH Visit SunriseEdgbaston.co.uk for more details.

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20 FEBRUARY 2020


PAINTER & DECORATOR • Over 30 Years Experience • Cleanliness Assured • Written Quotes on Request • O.A.P s • Interior and Exterior

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Selly Oak Nursery School Rated as ‘OUTSTANDING’ in our last four OFSTED Inspections, we offer Full and Part Time places for 3 & 4 year olds. Visit us and see the quality of our Teaching and Learning, our wonderful environment, the Forest School area. Talk to our children and parents. Visit our website.

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New Menu Launch Offer Mela Restaurant, Harborne Authentic Indian and Bangladeshi Cuisine 30% OFF voucher valid until 31st March www.themela.co.uk/dining-offer.php

For our 6th Birthday we are offering Not one, not two, but... three cost effective options to connect with past, present and potential customers. Reach out to the community. We don’t need or have reps or canvassers. We don’t pressure you. We advise you on promoting your business large or small. Let our readers know what you and your business is all about. So give us a shout. Email: advertising@hem-life.co.uk Or call 0333 366 0279 to be included in the next issue.

REGISTER NOW! We also have a Breakfast and After School Club Come and see what makes us so special! Car Park available

The Walk Mens Hairdressers 8 Albert Road, Harborne, B17 0AR Open until 6pm

Harborne Dog Walkers We Walk Woofs offer daily and one-off dog walks in an around Harborne at times to suit you and your dog. Experienced, reliable, flexible.

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Sunday 1st March

We publish on the first Friday of the month. Next issue Friday 6th March. Distribution areas: See page 26 *ALL ADVERTISEMENTS MUST BE PREPAID ON CONFIRMED BOOKINGS

TfWM director of network resilience Anne Shaw with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps

The new centre provides a single hub for the West Midlands transport authorities and agencies, emergency services and bus, rail and tram operators to manage the network during major events and incidents. Managed by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), the RTCC is the first of its kind to bring together real time information across all modes of transport in one place working with existing control centres around the West Midlands to provide up to the minute journey information for residents, businesses and visitors. Giant screens and CCTV links relay the information to staff who can then coordinate action on the ground, such as rephasing traffic lights to clear bottlenecks, organising additional buses with operators to support emergencies, and provide useful information direct to travellers via social media and mobile apps. It is now fully open following successful pilots monitoring and managing congestion during the 2019 Cricket World Cup matches at Edgbaston and traffic build up around the Birmingham Christmas markets last month. The RTCC will be overseeing the network when thousands of visitors come to the region during Coventry City of Culture in 2021 and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Diversions and planning around major road and infrastructure works, such as the up and coming regeneration of Perry Barr or construction of Metro tram extensions will also be supported. Following his tour of the RTCC, Mr Shapps took a tram to see the newly opened West Midlands Metro extension to Centenary Square and view progress on the further extension along Broad Street to Five Ways. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said, “With the eyes of the world turning to Birmingham in 2022, it is essential that we have a reliable, green transport network in place which allows the Midlands to realise its huge potential. “As we look ahead to this exciting event, our ongoing investment in the region continues to bear fruit with the new Transport Coordination Centre putting better journeys front and centre and the Westside Metro extension underlining this Government’s determination to be the greenest on record.”


The Regional Transport Coordination Centre (RTCC), part of a £22 million project to improve coordination across public transport and road networks and manage congestion in the West Midlands, was officially opened on January 17th by Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps.


Congestion busting transport centre opens

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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps riding the Metro tram with TfWM managing director Laura Shoaf

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The RTCC was first outlined 18 months ago in the congestion management plan and was delivered with support from the Department for Transport’s Transforming Cities Fund. The travelling public can receive live updates on the region’s transport networks through social media and the West Midlands Network website. TfWM is encouraging all local residents to follow @WMNetwork and @WMRoads on Twitter or Facebook. By providing reliable information in one place it aims to improve people’s daily journeys and cut congestion across the region. Further work by TfWM and its partners will now begin to improve the monitoring capability of the RTCC such as upgrading traffic signals and replacing road sensors at congestion hot spots. The centre will continually store the data it gathers and will be used by all its partners to plan future transport projects that support TfWM’s goal to create an integrated transport system that’s reliable, affordable and accessible to everyone. Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) is working with multiple partners including Highways England, Network Rail, local councils, the emergency services, HS2 and rail and bus companies through the RTCC.

Memberships from £45 For m ore i n form ati on cal l

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22 Life Style


Which wine should I drink with...?

2020 Holocaust Memorial Day

THE WINE MAN with CLIVE WITCOMB Berkmann Wine Cellars clive.witcomb@berkmann.co.uk

One of the most discussed and carefully considered aspects of wine is which wine to have with which food. As ever, it’s all rather a matter of personal preference – taste buds are as individual as fingerprints, and there are no hard and fast rules around food and wine pairing. There are, however, some generally accepted guidelines, and these are always a good starting point. In this article I’ll also give some of my own personal thoughts and suggestions, and I hope these will be helpful. The most important thing for me is that you should be able to taste and get the best from both the food and the wine – if one overpowers the other you’re simply wasting your money somewhere. So you wouldn’t have a light, fragrant white with a spicy curry, or a big Barolo or hearty Rhône red with white fish! If you avoid such extremes, it really does then come down to personal taste. And yes, you are allowed to have white wine with red meat and vice-versa, because you also should consider the sauce and the other ‘components’ of the dish before you. There is also such a large range of flavour profiles within white and red wines that some big whites can feel more flavoursome on the palate than light reds. For fish and seafood, however, a good Chilean Sauvignon Blanc or a Picpoul de Pinet from the Languedoc are safe bets. For richer white meat dishes such as pork, or chicken in a creamy sauce, a lightly oaked Chardonnay from Australia or a peachy Viognier from the South of France will do very nicely. For Thai food, look to the aromatic grape varieties such as a Gewürztraminer or dry Riesling from Alsace, or an Albarino from Galicia in Spain. I also find that New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc delivers with Oriental cuisine, being zestier and more exotic than some of its counterparts from

elsewhere in the world. Rosé is often overlooked as a wine to go with food, but it does cross the bridge between white and red, and why not “think pink” – salmon for example? My advice would be to stick to the drier offerings, such as Pinot Grigio Rosé, Rioja Rosado, or even an elegant, pale rosé from Provence. I’d avoid the ubiquitous Zinfandel rosés as the sweetness may well overshadow the more subtle flavours of the food. A few personal pointers on reds are – the subtle oak of a Crianza Rioja with lamb, a juicy Pinot Noir with duck, and a round, fruity Cabernet Sauvignon with roast beef. And Malbec from Argentina with steak is a marriage made in heaven. For a spicy curry dish you can’t go far wrong with a robust Australian Shiraz, but if you prefer white wine a Gewürztraminer from the New World, with lychee and mango to the fore, won’t let you down. For vegetarian dishes I would normally favour a light red with just a touch of peppery spice, maybe a Tempranillo from La Mancha in Spain as a red, or for a white option a Chenin Blanc from South Africa with all its ripe tropical fruit character. Wines from a particular country or region often go well with food from the same area, and using this principle as a guide when choosing form the wine list can often work. For example, Montepulciano D’Abruzzo and Chianti Classico are great partners for Bolognese, Lasagne and other Italian favourites. So the message for 2020 is this – eat what you enjoy, and drink what you enjoy. Don’t be afraid to experiment and think outside the box. And if once or twice it doesn’t quite work for you – what’s the worst that can happen...?!

FEBRUARY HALF TERM Wrap up warm and join us this February Half Term for some winter fun in the Gardens.

17 – 21 February 2020 There will be lots of fun activities for all weathers such as; Arts & Crafts, Bug Hunting and Story Trails! For more information please contact reception or visit us at;

birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk/whatson Find us on: Your support keeps the Gardens growing

The Lord Mayor of Birmingham lead the city’s Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations at the Council House on Sunday, 26 January. Holocaust Memorial Day commemorates the victims and survivors of the Holocaust and Nazi persecutions, as well as other genocides around the world. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and the 25th anniversary of the genocide in Bosnia. The theme for this year’s event, which took place in the Banqueting Suite, is Stand Together, which explores how genocidal regimes throughout history have fractured societies by marginalising certain groups, how these tactics can be challenged by individuals standing together with their neighbours and speaking out against oppression.

Cllr John Cotton hosted the free ceremony where all were made welcome. Visitors were invited to light a candle in remembrance before the start of the ceremony. The programme featured a testimony from Mindu Hornick, a Holocaust survivor, prayers and music Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr Mohammed Azim, said, “Holocaust Memorial Day is an opportunity for everyone to pause, reflect and learn lessons from the past and apply them to the present day, to create a safer, better future.”

MBE for Edgbaston Resident with

PETER ARNOLD Chairman Calthorpe Residents Society

CRS congratulates CRS member and Edgbaston resident, Mindu Hornick, who has been awarded an MBE in the Jan 2020 Honours List. Mindu is a survivor of Auschwitz Concentration Camp and of slave labour at an ammunition factory in north Germany. Following Nazi occupation of Slovakia, Mindu’s father was conscripted and was never seen again by his family. In 1943, when Mindu, her mother, two brothers and sister were transported to Auschwitz , Mindu and her sister were immediately separated from her mother and brothers and never saw them again. After liberation, Mindu and her sister returned to Prague in search of surviving family. They found an aunt and uncle who had survived. They cared for Mindu and her sister. In 1948, when the Czech borders were closing under the Communist regime, Mindu managed to get a place on Dr Schwenfeld’s transport taking 150 war orphans to England on a stateless passport. Mindu was given a home by an aunt and uncle in Birmingham, but sadly she was separated from her sister, who went to live in Australia with her Prague family. In 2018, Mindu received an honorary doctorate from the University of Worcester for her tireless work to raise awareness of genocides that have occurred elsewhere in the world. For the last 20 years, Mindu has told thousands of young people about the horrors of the Holocaust by addressing them in schools, colleges and universities as well as speaking at corporate events. Now 90, Mindu is as busy as ever!. www.calthorperesidents.org

Getting Ready for Spring

The milder winter we’ve had so far means we’ve been able to get cracking with quite a few jobs – there’s nothing like that sense of achievement of a job well done! We’ve pruned plants in the Tropical House so that they don’t block out the light and take over the space – it also keeps the glasshouse looking tidy and encourages more flowers in the spring and summer. The team has also improved the Aviary winter bed, thinning out some of the Christmas Box, which was smothering some of the other plants, and moving some of the Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’ (twisted hazel) from the middle of the border to the front, so its wonderful twisted stem silhouettes can be appreciated more. Once again, the fantastic BMET students have provided invaluable support to the Gardens team by helping to mulch the Pinetum steps and shrub borders with bark chips, to keep the area tidy and to suppress weeds. With February now here, we’ll continue to plant in the new Alan King Alpine Garden, ready for the spring opening. We’ll also be busy, preparing for

planting in the Mediterranean House: first, we’ll take the spring bulbs in the nursery, ready to move in a few weeks, then we’ll replace the Pelargoniums with new plants we grew last summer. Towards the end of the month, weather permitting, we’ll cut back some of the ornamental grasses in the Grass Garden, before the new shoots appear at the base.

If you have chance to start getting your garden ready for spring, here are a few jobs to consider:

• Get a head start on the borders by getting rid of any perennial weeds – roots and all – to try to stop them in their tracks before the weather warms up • Cut back any deciduous hedges before the birds start to nest • Cut back ornamental grasses down to just a few centimetres from the ground • Prune winter-flowering shrubs and remove faded flowers from winter pansies • If you grow vegetables, it’s time to chit potato tubers and net any fruit and veg crops, to keep the birds off. The Birmingham Botanical Gardens www.birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk t: 0121 454 1860

Home Life

23 FEBRUARY 2020

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24 Home Life ‘Boris bounce’ bumps up UK house prices




Love Your Postcode

The recent landslide result has brought some spring into the property market, but how will this affect house prices across the UK? Sparks were flying after the election but this month the housing market has ignited, with the so-called ‘Boris bounce’ providing the match. 2020 has started on a high with the housing market posting a posted a 1.9 per cent annual rise in January, beating December’s 1.4 per cent climb. Analysis shows that in 52% of postcodes in England and Wales there has been a huge surge in demand since the recent election. Many of the areas that have seen the increase are affluent areas where potential buyers may have feared a higher tax regime under a Jeremy Corbyn government.

‘Step change’ in sentiment

When buying Art

Choosing colours for your kitchen

with When buying art for home, there are quite a few things JAANIKA OKK to keep in mind. Firstly, you Okk Arts need to decide if you want to have – a statement piece or a decoration?

with If you are planning a kitchen update, there DARREN BRODIE are many factors to Solid Wood Kitchen Cabinets consider and decisions to make. One that can have a huge impact on the look of your final design is the colour – but how do you choose the right shade for your home?

Location – where do you want the artwork to go. Is there enough room to properly see the artwork or perhaps you just need a generic decoration instead of an artwork?

Preference – what kind of art do you like? Is it

abstract or depictive, painting or print or drawing? What kind of size are you after? What colours do you prefer? What is the overall ‘feel’ you want the artwork to have?

Budget – This is good to keep in head when

browsing, but also directs you where to look. If your budget is, let’s say £100, then there is no point to go to the commercial art gallery and look for an original painting which is framed and 25 by 15 inches. However, you can get perhaps a limitededition digital print of that painting.

People who have been hesitant amid the political uncertainty of recent years are now finally making their move. Traditionally January can always be a slow month, but the signs for the Spring as a whole are very promising. There is a huge amount of pent-up demand in the market and we are already seeing it start to come through. Crucially, even aspirational movers are coming back to the market, a clear indicator of how sentiment has improved.

Where to buy – This is very much linked to

Bobby Singh t: 0800 862 0870 www.loveyourpostcode.com

Jaanika Okk t: 07795 871 205 www.okk-arts.com

your budget, but also, how much time do you have to look. We can go easily go online and buy something with next day delivery. However, would this have the same value (I’m not referring to monetary value) than buying directly from the artist? Once you have thought about these it will be much easier to find the suitable one which will compliment your home.

Seasonal gardening tips

Think about the space you’re using. Do you have a narrow kitchen? Low ceilings? - You may want to consider lighter colours to make the room appear bigger. Those lucky enough to have a larger space may want to play with different shades a little more – but think carefully about light sources when considering which colours to use. A south-facing kitchen with plenty of windows will benefit from warmer light through the afternoons and evenings. A north-facing room can be lacking in natural light later in the day, and the sun in the mornings will generally tend to be cooler. This can mean that blues, greys and greens can appear colder in kitchens facing this direction.

What kind of kitchen style are you looking for? Traditional designs look great in a neutral palette and more contemporary looks are a great option if you want to work with a wider variety of shades. Utilise a showroom that offers a free, no obligation kitchen design service to get an idea of wwhat your room will look like with your chosen colour scheme. Darren Brodie - Smethwick Showroom t: 01215 584583 www.solidwoodkitchencabinets.co.uk



Ashcroft Gardening Services

February is a good month as long as ground isn’t frozen to plant some raspberries, blackberry canes, shallots and Jerusalem artichokes as long as ground is not water logged. It is also another good time to cut back the lawn ideally to 15 to 20 cm before the new shoots appears. Deadhead any winter bedding plants and start to get seed beds for spring vegetables patches ready.

March March is when the garden will start to come back to life, so the most important job is to get the sowing done. Plant summer flowering bulbs in a hole 3 to 4 times their height. You can sow hardy annuals to fill in gaps in beds and borders. Plant early potatoes and some vegetables but remember when the weather warms up to plant vegetables like carrots etc. Tomatoes and cucumber can be sow in windowsill or greenhouse before planting out as soon as the risk of frost as gone.

April April can be very unpredictable with the weather, ideally this is the time for planting up and sowing vegetables like sweetcorn, courgettes, peppers. Adrian Badham t: 0121 559 5375 m: 07721 502 985

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Last few remaining! Our retirement apartments at Hadley Lodge are selling fast, so now’s the time to visit us and see how good retirement living can be. Make the first move towards Churchill Retirement Living today – you’ll be surprised how easy it can be. HADLEY LODGE Quinton Lane - Open Tuesday to Saturday - 10am to 5pm. CALL TODAY TO REGISTER YOUR INTEREST

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26 Life Sport & Motors


Commonwealth Games legacy to help heal mental ill-health Mental health and sport and physical activity leaders have pledged to champion groundbreaking work across the West Midlands promoting how sport and getting active can prevent mental ill-health and improve wellbeing. Around 200 delegates, including academics and researchers, representatives from sporting organisations, local and national government, came together for the Mental Health Through Sport Symposium at Birmingham’s Newman University. Prompted by the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and the ambition to create long-term wellbeing and physical activity legacies, they discussed the benefit being physically active in preventing and improving mental ill-health and how to improve access for people with mental health problems. Ian Reid, chief executive of Birmingham 2022, speaking at the symposium, said, “All of the partners involved in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games are committed to delivering a strong legacy for the city and the region as we absolutely must make the most of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that hosting this event will provide. “A key part of our mission for Birmingham 2022 is to use the Games as a way of inspiring people from across the West Midlands region to improve their health and wellbeing and so

Dodging the bad weather by Phil Court Club Chairman

After the Christmas and New Year break, the teams should have already played a few January fixtures, but the waterlogged pitches have meant that for many of the teams our training sessions have been the main focus over recent weeks. There have been a few matches to report, that have dodged the bad weather.

L to R: Mike Chamberlain (Sport Birmingham), Dr Amanda Gatherer (Chief Psychologist, BSMHT), Professor Peter Childs (Acting VC, Newman University), Dr Adam Benkwitz (Head of Sport and Health & Social Care, Newman University), Ian Reid (CEO, Commonwealth Games), Ian Braid (MD, DOCIAsport), Simon Hall (WMCA Physical Activity Lead)

events like this symposium are a fantastic way of sharing ideas and looking at how we can all work together to achieve this aim.” Delegates heard how the sport and physical activity sector needs to lead the way in normalising mental ill-health and that awareness is everyone’s responsibility. Dr Amanda Gatherer, the Trust’s chief psychologist, who chairs the Mental Health Through Sport Network, hailed the progress made as a result of the partnership during the last 12 months. Highlights have included the launch of table tennis sessions at the Trust’s Juniper Centre in Moseley, through the BAT Foundation, as a therapy for sufferers of dementia and other memory and brain functioning loss. The symposium saw the launch of the West Midlands Sport, Physical Activity and Mental Health Network, led by Sport Birmingham with funding from mental health charity Mind and Sport England. The network brings together organisations from both sectors to work together to increase the number of groups across the region who are equipped

Our under 18s team have struggled as of late results-wise and the boys have not got the reward that their efforts deserve. There’s a real determination in the group to succeed, however, and with a couple of key fixtures coming up over the next few weeks, we look forward to having something positive to report in the next issue of HEM Life.  Our under 16s group have put in a few great performances in recent weeks, prior to and after the Christmas break. The boys had a thumping win in the County FA Cup over in Chelmsley Wood before Christmas against a team that

with the skills to support and engage people with mental health problems in physical activity. Mike Chamberlain, chief executive of Sport Birmingham, said, “As the city’s Active Partnership, Sport Birmingham works to use the power of sport and physical activity to improve lives – we support all local clubs and organisations who help make Birmingham more active, and it’s essential that all providers are knowledgeable and confident to understand the positive impact they can have on mental health.” Professor Peter Childs, acting vicechancellor of Newman University, Bartley Green added, “The university is delighted to be hosting the second annual symposium. “It is also very exciting to launch the West Midlands Network for Sport, Physical Activity and Mental Health Network which plans to bring together people and ideas to transform access to sport for people with mental health conditions.”

played very well and gave everything. Our boys were well up to the job and we went over to Coventry in the next round of the Cup in January. On a very small and heavy pitch, the opposition made a good start and put us under a fair bit of pressure that resulted in a goal for the home team. Their lead could have increased but for some resolute defending from our team and we got back into the game with a great team goal before half-time. We turned in a great second-half performance and ran out comfortable 4-2 winners and we are now into the last 16 of the Cup. Well done to all concerned!! Regular readers of HEM Life will now that Harborne Youth FC is a grassroots football club that aims to provide a safe environment for young boys and girls to play football and have fun. Visit us for more information at: www.pitchero.com/clubs/harborneyouthfc/ Contact Phil Court on 07907 781581

University Heading for Promotion by Paul Raymer Birmingham University seconds continue to lead the men’s Midland Premier division unbeaten after two more victories at the start of the second half of the Warwick Printing Hockey League season.

They beat Barton 4-3 and Boots 6-1. The University’s third team are in second place in Midlands 3 with six wins out of 12 matches. In January they lost 5-4 at Coalville but defeated Belper away 4-1. Bournville continue to struggle in the Premier division and are in danger of relegation as they are in the bottom two with just one win from 11 games. Their first two matches of 2020 resulted in a 7-2 thumping at Leek and a 6-3 defeat at Stourport. Edgbaston have conceded 52 goals in their 12 matches in Midlands 1 of which they had won five. They began the second half of the league programme with their heaviest defeat of the season – 10-6 to Hampton-inArden - and claimed a 4-2 victory over bottom side Old Halesonians. Harborne seconds are halfway down Midlands 2. In January they lost 7-5 to Stone and drew 3-3 at Loughborough Town. The team’s leading scorer with 11 goals is AJ Kotlarzewski. The men’s and women’s national league programmes restart this month. GB international Lily Owsley who this season transferred from Birmingham University to Hampstead and Westminster, has won the women’s senior performance player of the year award.

Three Bears join Birmingham Phoenix Women Warwickshire captain Marie Kelly and fellow academy graduates Issy Wong and Ria Fackrell have been announced by Birmingham Phoenix in the first wave of domestic signings for The Hundred. Alongside Lancashire opening batter Eve Jones, they join fellow Bear and England wicket-keeper Amy Jones, Kirstie Gordon, Georgia Elwiss and Sophie Devine in their team’s squad, with Phoenix still to announce two overseas players and the remainder of their domestic players. Kelly, who captained the Bears to the Vitality Women’s County T20 last year, said, “It’s a big honour to be playing for Birmingham Phoenix in the first year of The Hundred. It means a lot to me to captain Warwickshire and I’m happy that we’ve been able to retain those local

links, with Issy and Ria also signing. We know that Eve’s a really good competitor, as well, so she’ll be a big asset to the team. It’s going to be a really exciting tournament and hopefully it will be another big step forward for the women’s game.” Fellow Bear Georgia Davis has also secured a place in this latest round of player announcements in The Hundred by joining Northern Superchargers.


Distributed on the first Friday of the month. Next Issue: Friday 6th March 2020

Harborne: Golf & Cricket Clubs Edgbaston: Golf & Priory Sports Clubs, Warwickshire County Cricket Club. Moseley: Rugby & Golf Clubs Selly Oak: Revolution Gym Club

Also in Community Centres, Libraries, Private Clinics, Gated Community Villages, Selected Restaurants, Cafés, Bars, Hotels, Private Schools, Businesses and Supermarkets. Main Supermarkets are re-stocked while stocks last. Complimentary copies go fast, ensure you get your copy early!

Harborne, Edgbaston, Moseley, Bournville, Bearwood, Five Ways, Hockley, Selly Oak, Kings Heath, Kings Norton, Stirchley, Northfield, Longbridge, Quinton, Barns Hill, Halesowen, Black Heath, Cradley Heath


New Leaf from Nissan

The biggest worry for most drivers thinking of buying an electric car is running out of power before reaching their destination. So much so that it’s given rise to a new motoring phrase: range anxiety. And it’s a phenomenon it’s hard to get over when you get behind the wheel of a car that you can’t fill up with petrol or diesel. The tendency, at least when you first have the car, is to continually watch the gauge showing the battery power reducing as you drive along. But manufacturers are getting wise to the problem and addressing it. The latest Nissan Leaf for example, the e+ version, now comes with a much larger battery and is designed to allay fears of range anxiety suffered by so many electric car owners. With its 62kWh battery this long range Leaf can cover some 239 miles on a full charge, a massive improvement on the 168-mile range of the 40kWh battery fitted to rest of the Leaf range. There is a downside of course. The new model is more expensive. The frontwheel-drive Leaf e+ is only available in top-of-the-range Tekna trim and at £36,670 it’s some £5,000 more than the smaller battery model in the same spec. But it’s not just improved range that you get with this latest version but dramatically improved performance too. So much so that motorists who previously would never have considered an electric car believing them to be a bit slow off the mark are now having to think again. With a 0-62 miles per hour time of 6.9 seconds - a full second faster than other Leaf versions - it’s much quicker than a lot of petrol/diesel-powered hot hatches. And the top speed is also higher, up

from 89 miles per hour to 98mph. In Tekna trim the Leaf is a very well equipped car, boasting features like leather and suede seats, heated front seats, heated rear seats and even a heated steering wheel not to mention a whole package of hi-tech safety features. And the Leaf is an ideal family car as there’s plenty of space inside for five people, with generous head and leg room for all as well as sensible boot space capable of accommodating 420 litres of luggage with the rear seats backs in place and 1161 litres with them folded down. On the road the new Leaf e+ gives a smooth, comfortable and - stating the obvious - very quiet ride. It’s got plenty of pulling power even with five people on board, particularly if you switch off the eco drive system. This spec model also comes with Nissan’s magic e-pedal, which means you drive just using one pedal, to both accelerate and brake. Press the accelerator to increase speed, take your foot off to brake. And while that might sound worrying to some people it works very well. It just means you have to read the road ahead more. And there is a point to it because every time you take your foot off the accelerator the resultant braking puts more energy back into the battery. And if you really don’t like it you still have a conventional foot brake, not to mention the option to turn the e-pedal off and drive the Leaf e+ as a conventional automatic. Most buyers will opt to have a 7Kw wall box fitted at their home for quicker charging, although even this will

take 11 hours 30 minutes. A fast charge from a commercial 50Kw quick charging point, however, will double your range from under 100 miles to well over 200 in around 30 minutes. And more and more of these are springing up almost weekly in towns and cities all over the country. The only problem of course is if someone is already charging their car as you arrive and someone else is waiting - in which case you could be looking at an hour’s wait before you even get started.



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Harborne, Edgbaston & Moseley Life, February 2020  

Hyperlocal community newspaper. News, Business, Property, Lifestyle & Sport, where connected communities can achieve the incredible.

Harborne, Edgbaston & Moseley Life, February 2020  

Hyperlocal community newspaper. News, Business, Property, Lifestyle & Sport, where connected communities can achieve the incredible.

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