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Mother’s Day Yesteryear

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MARCH 2020

40th Anniversary Celebrates with Blue Plaque HRH Princess Alexandra returned to Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice to round off celebrations marking Birmingham St Mary’s 40th anniversary. The Princess officially opened the Birmingham Hospice in 1979 and on Thursday 13 February, she returned to unveil a prestigious Blue Plaque to honour the charity’s founder.

The Princess – who has a keen interest in health and social care – was greeted by the charity’s nursing director, Helen O’Halloran, who took her on a guided tour of the Hospice’s facilities. There she met the expert team of doctors, nurses and more who provide care, as well as joined patients and volunteers in the Day Hospice to see therapeutic arts in action. Lynne Stephenson was just one of the patients who met and chatted with the Princess on Thursday. She said, “It was lovely to see HRH Princess Alexandra visit the Hospice today, especially as she opened the Hospice 40-years-ago. She was wonderfully chatty, and it was really nice that she took the time to speak to everyone. “I have been a patient at Birmingham St Mary’s for over two months and during that time, it has made a positive on impact to my life. As I’m sure the Princess would have seen during her visit today, the Hospice is a wonderful place full of love, laughter and life.” The Princess also spoke to Eileen McCann – a dedicated volunteer who

has been supporting the Hospice since 2011. Eileen is a collection box volunteer, in which she encourages local shops, supermarkets, pubs and cafés to raise money for the charity by hosting collection tins. Eileen said, “It was wonderful to welcome Princess Alexandra to the Hospice and show her how much the Hospice has grown over the past 40 years. As a fundraising volunteer, I enjoyed sharing with her the success of our collection box scheme, which has raised over £230k since it started in 2012. Today has been a really special day and will be one that I remember fondly.” The visit took place 40 years after the Princess officially opened the Hospice on 10 July 1979. The royal returned to honour the charity’s founder, Monica Pearce, by unveiling a Blue Plaque – which was awarded by the Birmingham Civic Society – in her honour. Helen O’Halloran, nursing director at the Hospice, added, “It’s been a real privilege to welcome Princess Alexandra to our Hospice and show her how much we’ve adapted and evolved our

HRH Princess Alexandra visits Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice

services – both at the Hospice and out in the community – to meet patient needs over the last four decades. We were delighted that the Princess was able to unveil Monica Pearce’s Blue Plaque, recognising our founder’s unwavering commitment to transform care across our city and beyond. We’re incredibly proud of our history, so thank you to Princess Alexandra and the

Birmingham Civic Society for choosing to honour Monica Pearce’s wonderful legacy today.” Birmingham St Mary’s supports people to live well with life-limiting illness, by helping them to remain comfortable, pain-free and as independent as they can be. It can also support family members, loved ones and carers too.

Moving Home? Rubric Lois King Solicitors has a team of property experts to offer advice and oversee your sale or purchase. We are based on your doorstep and cover all aspects of conveyancing. Please call Amrit Bhogal, Head of Property and Conveyancing , or one of his team, on 0121 450 7800. Or pop into 26 Calthorpe Road, Edgbaston B15 1RP.



Connected communities achieve the incredible Hello and Welcome to March – Spring has Sprung

Spring flowering bulbs are popping up everywhere spreading a ray of sunshine around us, within our communities there’s also a whole lot of sunshine from adults and children making a difference, creating new friendships and having fun (pgs 4,6,10,12,22) to mention a few. Tell us and share with our readers what’s happening where you live - who are your local heroes? Page 4 is waiting to share your story. Dates for your Diary Sunday 22nd March - Many of us will be celebrating Mother’s Day with family and friends to make more memories and remember happy moments of the past – all moments to treasure. Sunday 29th March - Clocks go forward 1 hour. If you have a story, don’t keep it to yourself, we’d love to hear from you.

Until next time...

Angela, and the HEM Life Team Next issue published Friday 3rd April 2020

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Life Stories



Why BCC is promoting local apprenticeships City council pledges to ring-fence its apprenticeships for residents of Birmingham As National Apprenticeship Week 2020 (February 3-7) got underway, Cllr Tristan Chatfield, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, writes on a new council policy that aims to boost the prospects of potential apprentices from Birmingham. As a council, we have a clear vision for Birmingham, which is to create a city of inclusive growth where every child, citizen and place matters. To achieve this, the council needs a highly skilled workforce and that means having people with the right skills, delivering the right service, at the right time.

Creating apprenticeship opportunities is a vital part in how we will do this. Apprenticeships give people from every background the opportunity to learn and grow, bringing fresh ideas and innovation into the organisation as well as supporting their own personal development. The city continues to grow, with an exciting and wide range of businesses serving the local and national economy. Therefore, it is important that Birmingham City Council, one of the very small numbers of organisations that serves each and every citizen, leads the way in prioritising job and training opportunities for local people.

So, as National Apprenticeship Week 2020 begins, we are making a pledge in this regard. Being a strategic leader in the city, we want to improve the number of apprenticeship opportunities being made available year on year for the residents of Birmingham.

Cllr Tristan Chatfield, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources

We formally pledge to use our own Apprenticeship Levy* to ring fence all of our externally advertised apprenticeship posts for Birmingham residents only. If someone already works for the council, and would like to apply for an apprenticeship, they don’t necessarily have to live in Birmingham. This will help local people to develop new skills and share in the city’s economic growth making Birmingham an entrepreneurial city in which to learn, work and invest. Apprenticeships also play a pivotal role in enabling our existing workforce to develop new or existing skills. We must keep pace with the challenges posed by budget cuts, increased demand and technological advancements. Apprenticeship training for existing staff will help us ensure we have a workforce equipped to best meet the needs of our citizens. We are committed to being a learning organisation and apprenticeships are central to that commitment. We hope other organisations follow our lead for the good of the city and its people. The new policy was officially unveiled during the Birmingham Apprenticeship event held at Villa Park for students, parents, teachers and careers leaders on Wednesday (February 5). To download new policy visit: www.birmingham.gov.uk/downloads/ file/15117/apprenticeship_pledge


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Life Stories



Connected Communities Do Achieve the Incredible

StreetWatch is a community-led initiative supported by PCSOs from West Midlands Police helping be a visible presence to deter crime and anti-social behaviour. Local residents volunteer a minimum of 2 hours a month to walk with neighbours and get to know their area, and it’s up to the group how much or how little you do. Left: Hagley Road Village Neighbourhood Watch and Harborne StreetWatch volunteers learn about policing with PCSOs Henry & Ali. Operation Barlia ANPR checks disrupted criminal activity with 2 vehicles seized and 1 person in custody! An arrest a day keeps Sgt Khalil at bay. Thank you HRV for the refreshments.

There are 1,400 members across Birmingham supported by 385 officers. Thank you Bartley Green, Edgbaston, Harborne and Quinton Street Watch groups for keeping our constituency safe and improving community spirit, and to all the new Junior PCSO groups helping reduce parking issues around their schools.

Below: PACT meetings held in Edgbaston and Harborne to discuss community policing issues. Great to see local councillors and residents joining forces to tackle crime, including StreetWatch recruits.

Diary date: Tuesday 31st March, 3 - 7pm Come for a chat and cuppa and find out more about all the community groups operating near you. West Midlands Police Active Citizens, Moor Pool Hall, Harborne B17 9DY. If you would like to improve where you live, make new friends or get fit, contact: e: streetwatch@westmidlands.pnn.police.uk w: www.west-midlands.pnn.police.uk Twitter: @StreetWatchWM

Above: Members from three of our most experienced Harborne StreetWatch groups conducting a night patrol around Harborne High Street with PCSOs. Great to have a social catch-up afterwards.

Above: Welcome to all the wonderful people who joined StreetWatch across the constituency since the start of the year. Our new recruits are working hard in all weathers to improve community spirit and make their areas feel safe.


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

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We provide early education and care to children between the ages of 3 months and 4 years. We offer a range of extra curricular activities including Baby Ballet, Rhythm Time, Pyjama Drama, Mini First Aid and Toddler Tennis. We engage a Clinical Nutritionist and a Registered Health Visitor to provide specialist advice and guidance. At the heart of everything we do is an uncompromising commitment to providing your child with the fullest opportunity to learn and develop in a safe environment.

28 Harborne Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 3AA 0121 454 8714 3 Norfolk Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 3PS 0121 452 1485 www.nhnursery.co.uk enquiries@norfolkhouseschool.co.uk


Life Stories


Raising the Roof on Edwardian Heritage Gem

Pictured L-R: Kat Pearson, Sadim Garvey and Viv Harrison from Moseley Road Baths CIO. Copyright Historic England

Thanks to partnership working between community groups, national and international organisations and Birmingham City Council, the Gala Pool in the Grade II* listed Moseley Road Baths has undergone extensive roof repairs. This is the first time in 17 years the press and public will see this structure without scaffolding. Historic England has so far grant aided £707,000.00 one of its largest grants to a project in the Midlands, to ensure the roof is safe and secure, preventing any further weatherrelated damage to the pool area, which closed in 2003. After a year of specialist repair work, the stunning Edwardian architecture takes centre stage again and the Gala Pool is now able to play an important role as an arts and culture venue while its long-term future is decided. With the roof repairs complete work can take place on restoring other elements of the Gala Pool’s deteriorated infrastructure, including the balcony area. This will sit alongside on-going repairs and maintenance of the rest of this magnificent building. Moseley Road Baths are

the oldest of only five Grade II* listed swimming baths operating in Britain and an iconic element of this part of Birmingham. They are the only baths in the country built before 1914 to have continuously hosted swimming since they opened. The smaller pool, now operated by the community formed group the Moseley Road Baths CIO, is open for public swimming. It has taken a coalition of the CIO, Friends of Moseley Road Baths, Historic England, National Trust, World Monuments Fund and the building’s owner Birmingham City Council, which has contributed £100,000 to a programme of repairs, to ensure the whole of the building was saved from closure. The baths were first opened in

1907 and have been on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk register since 2005. The baths are so significant because of the architectural quality and remarkably complete interior. Rare fixtures and fittings are still intact, including an almost complete set of 46 private washing rooms known as the ‘slipper baths’ – the only complete set in the country. The oak ticket offices and attendants’ kiosks, and possibly the only surviving steamheated drying racks in a British swimming pool, also remain in place, making this space a real time capsule. The hope is that now the Gala pool space is weatherproof, it can be used for events and fundraising activities to help with the costs of running the baths.

February 2020 - Essential repairs to the roof and ornate iron structure inside the Gala pool at Moseley Road Baths, Birmingham are complete thanks to a £707,000 Heritage at Risk grant from Historic England and £100,000 from a coalition of partners. Copyright Historic England

Below left: Historic photograph of the Gala pool in use, taken at a Brownies gala in the 1980s. Contributed by Deborah Taylor to the Friends of Moseley Road Baths’ National Lottery funded “Pool of Memories” project 2010-2013. Photo credit: Friends of Moseley Road Baths’ “Pool of Memories”

Below right: Moseley Road Swimming Baths, Balsall Heath, Birmingham, no date [1900s - 1920s] Photo credit: Library of Birmingham Archives & Collections

Moseley Road Baths, Balsall Heath, Birmingham. February 2020. Copyright Historic England

50% off your nd 2 set of lenses when you purchase 2 complete pairs of glasses

You wouldn’t own just one pair of shoes so why would you own one pair of glasses? For different situations, you’ll often find you need different glasses- Varifocals to wear all day, sunglasses when its bright out, or a pair of just reading glasses when you want to relax and read a book for a long period of time. Brittain opticians has got just the offer for you! For the whole of March, if you order 2 complete pairs of specs you will receive a 50% discount off your 2nd set of lenses. Why not use this opportunity to purchase a new pair of sunglasses to compliment your everyday specs? Or maybe some computer or reading specs for when you want something a little more relaxing than your top of the range varifocals. Perhaps you just fancy a second pair of varifocals- you could have a pair of

beautiful, super lightweight, Lindberg rimless glasses for work and daytime tasks, then transform seamlessly from day to night with a sparkly pair of Bvlgari frames – the best thing is, the cheapest pair of lenses will have 50% off. Whatever your requirements it would be foolish not to take advantage of this terrific offer. Call 0121 4271007 if you need an eye test or even just some style advise or just pop in for a browse.


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Life Stories


Birmingham Tree City of the World Looking to get your 2020 health and fitness goals back on track?

Win a FREE 28 day transformation program with the Fit Brummie Bootcamp for you and a friend. (worth £194)

The exclusive women’s only fitness program the Fit Brummie Bootcamp is offering one lucky HEM reader the chance to win a 28-day transformation program with us. And….You can even bring a friend along as well. To be in with a chance of winning a 28-day transformation program with us, please enter your details at: www.fitbrummiebootcamp.com It’s as simple as that! A winner will be selected at random on the 21st March and notified by e-mail. *Terms and conditions apply. The prize is as stated and no cash or other alternatives will be offered.

Harborne Walkway

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) along with the Arbor Day Foundation has recognised Birmingham with Tree Cities of the World designation. Birmingham is now one of just five UK towns and cities to have earned prestigious Tree Cities of the World status. The international programme celebrates cities across all continents that meet core standards for the care and planning of urban trees and forests. To achieve recognition, Birmingham met the five core standards: establish responsibility, set the rules, know what you have, allocate the resources and celebrate achievements. The city council announced its bid for the prestigious status last July – the same month in which it was revealed that the city’s parks and open spaces had a value of £11billion. Cllr John O’Shea, Cabinet Member for Street wScene and Parks at Birmingham City Council, said, “Within Birmingham, we know our parks and open spaces are some of our greatest assets, adding value to all aspects of daily life. “Outside of Birmingham, our fantastic environment isn’t one of the things that people

identify us with – by securing this status, our profile in this respect will be elevated hopefully attracting many more visitors to the city, to see what we have to offer. “The review of our tree policies in early 2018 went some way to proving how we met the five required standards, critical part of this was our partnership work with stakeholders including Trees for Cities, Birmingham Trees for Life and the council’s recently-formed Tree Warden Group (The Birmingham Tree People).” Cllr Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, added, “The decision to recognise Birmingham with ‘Tree City’ status is a great achievement, but we will not rest on our laurels, there is still much work to be done to get our Urban Forest fit to meet the challenges of future climate trends. Our Climate Change Taskforce will look at how to best capitalise on this prestigious recognition.” Details of the UK towns and cities with the status can be seen at: www.treecitiesoftheworld.org/tree-cities.cfm?chosen=GBR

Bourn View Care Home FOR THE BEST IN RESIDENTIAL, DEMENTIA & RESPITE CARE Situated in an elevated position overlooking a waterfall and stream and Bournville Village, Bourn View is a real home-from-home with a friendly community and innovative reminiscence activities as therapeutic care for those living with dementia. • Comprehensive Well-being Programme to support an active and healthy lifestyle • Daily events, community involvement, and trips out in the private minibus • Professional chefs provide nutritionally balanced restaurant quality dining everyday • Spacious and airy en-suite accommodation with a range of communal areas • Hair salon and cinema room • Sunny and enclosed landscaped gardens with well-stocked flower beds

Call 0121 4184062 or Search ‘Bourn View Care’ online Bourn View Care Home | 47 Bristol Road South | Bournville | Birmingham | B31 2FR


10 Business Life Employment law changes in April?


3 Reasons why learning is key to business success

Appeal to restore historic bandstand

It may not have been top of your agenda so far, but now’s the time to understand if any of the upcoming employment law changes will impact your HR with business. Omar Rashid The government’s Good HR Dept. Work Plan was introduced in December 2018 and is said to be “The future of the UK labour market”. It commits to improving the quality of work and giving clarity to employers on their employment obligations. As it’s the biggest shake up in employment law for two decades, some of the recommendations have already been implemented. These, and the changes coming into effect from April 2020, will have an impact on many businesses up and down the country. 1. Employment contracts will need to be given to employees on, or before, the first day of employment (rather than within eight weeks). 2. Parental bereavement leave and pay “Jack’s Law” have a right from day one of employment to two weeks of bereavement leave if they lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy. However, to be eligible for statutory paid parental bereavement leave, bereaved parents must meet criteria, which includes at least 26 weeks of continuous employment. 3. Holiday pay for all those who work irregular hours will now be calculated based on 52 weeks or total number of weeks worked (as opposed to previous calculations based on 12 weeks). 4. All agency workers are now entitled to comparable pay to permanent employees after 12 weeks. 5. Employment businesses will be required to provide every agency worker with a document known as a “key facts page”. 6. Hourly rates for both National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage will increase. e: Omar.Rashid@hrdept.co.uk www.hrdept.co.uk

Left - Elizabeth Frostick development director of Birmingham Botanical Gardens - with Kim Hill marketing and events manager at the Gardens

Birmingham Botanical Gardens has launched a fundraising appeal to raise £75,000 towards the cost of restoring of its historic bandstand, as part of ambitious plans to preserve and develop the prestigious 15-acre site. The Taking A Stand! Campaign aims to return the bandstand to its original 1874 glory so that it can be used as an all-weather outdoor space for school groups and be a platform for music and other events. The grade II* listed natural garden landscape and iconic glasshouses in Edgbaston welcomes more than 120,000 visitors and 17,000 school visits a year and is one of the UK’s most historically important botanic gardens. However, the grade II listed bandstand, where Neville Chamberlain gave his first public speech as Prime Minister in 1937, is in a poor state of repair and requires extensive restoration work, including roof repairs and reinstating some original features. Elizabeth Frostick, Development Director at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, said safeguarding the historic feature will also improve the access for visitors, as well as enhance its educational and social value. “Taking a Stand! is a first step in our masterplan to protect the Gardens. It’s vital that we safeguard this outstanding cultural asset for future generations. We’ve carried out significant research and have identified a number of projects that we want to complete and the first is the

bandstand. Its previous use was as an air raid shelter in the Second World War, the elements and lack of investment has put the core heritage infrastructure at risk and it urgently needs to be restored. “As a charity, we receive no regular public funding, but we rely on the income we can generate, grants we can secure and the generous donations of people who want to ensure the Gardens are preserved for the enjoyment of the local community and visitors to Birmingham, every donation makes a difference.”  The Gardens is home to The British National Bonsai Collection and The National Cyclamen Collection and is the only place in the UK to feature the fern Dicksonia ×lathamii, which was raised by W. B. Latham, an ex-curator, more than 100 years ago. A JustGiving page has been set up to receive public donations: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/ takingastand Visitors can also make a cash or cheque donation at BBG in one of the donation boxes or it can be given to a member of staff. Donations by post: Cheques payable to “Birmingham Botanical Gardens” and attach a covering letter with your contact details to: Finance Manager, Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Bandstand Appeal, Westbourne Road, Edgbaston, B15 3TR. UK taxpayer can ask their donation to be subject to GIFT AID, which boosts the donation by 25%, thanks to Government funding.

In life and in business, with you learn something Ralph Savage FCA new every day. Learning a wide range DRS Business Solutions LTD of skills and techniques from other professionals is essential to growing your business. Here’s why. Learning Helps You To Make Friends Nobody likes to be lectured about how they could improve their business by someone who they’ve only just met. If you lecture everyone at a networking event about their sector, you won’t make friends or influence people. The same goes for endless brags about your sales numbers. However, if you approach networking with an open mind and a willingness to share knowledge, you will almost certainly develop friendships with like-minded people. These relationships are essential for building profitable long-term commercial partnerships. Avoid Repeating Mistakes You might be about to land your biggest client yet. On the other hand, a stressful cash-flow crisis could be facing you head on. Either way, you need to make the best decision for your business as quickly as possible. Talking to other professionals who have been through what you’re going through will help you to avoid repeating any mistakes that they may have made. An honest conversation can be the difference between exponential profits and crushing losses. Innovate More Quickly You can’t improve popular business strategies if you don’t about them. Knowing what’s been done before is crucial if you want to create a better tomorrow. Learning to love learning will give you annual accounts that you’ll treasure forever.

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

Don’t settle for anything less 

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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

The Priory & Edgbaston Hospitals

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17/09/2019 15:51


Rubric Lois King Solicitors

Can inheritance be made less taxing? With the change of government, changes in inheritance tax may be afoot. In January, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Inheritance & Intergenerational Fairness released a report. The report recommends the abolition of inheritance tax (IHT) and that it be replaced by a gift tax regime. Currently everyone has a tax free allowance of £325,000 with tax at the rate of 40% being paid on anything above that. Money left to a spouse is free of tax and in many cases the surviving spouse’s executors can claim unused allowances on death. The group has proposed taxing lifetime and death transfers of wealth at 10% where estates exceed the nil-rate band. So far so good but there is, of course, a downside. They also proposed removing several current allowances. Business property relief and agricultural relief may not concern a lot of people but the Capital Gains Tax uplift on death is a different matter. There are many people today who own houses worth many times the price they paid for them. Currently there is no capital gains tax on that increase in most cases and beneficiaries inherit the property at the date of death valuation. If the estate is worth less than £325,000 they pay no IHT either, a nice tax free windfall. The nil-rate band would be changed and ultimately replaced by a ‘death allowance’. The report also proposes to abolish potentially exempt transfers (PETs) which enable gifts to be given tax free if the donor survives seven years. Instead, gifts under £30,000 each year would be tax-free, and gifts above that taxed at 10% immediately. On death no further tax would be due on those gifts which would enable more certainty in planning. The proposed changes aim to simplify the process but don’t bank on it! Rubric Lois King Solicitors t: 0121 450 7800 www.rlksolicitors.com


Caring and Sharing Pupils at Priory School Edgbaston undertook three obligations over half term: to pray, fast and give alms. Pupils participated in a plethora of activities including Empathy Week, a series of events which encouraged children and young people to create positive change in society, whilst Sixth Form students lead a myriad of fundraising initiatives raising money for CAFOD, an international charity which reaches out to those living in poverty.

Children are learning about the importance of empathy.

Priory School’s Student Parliament and the Model United Nations Committee are leading a campaign to protect the environment by eliminating the use of single use plastic across the school and pupils took part in a prayer competition during their Religious Education lessons. On Friday 28th February 2020, pupils were invited to abstain from their usual luxurious meals at lunch time, instead consuming a simple bowl of home cooked soup and bread. The money that would have been spent on their lunch time meal will be donated to those in need as children reflect and appreciate what the less fortunate experience on a daily basis.

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

with DEREK CASE Company Chairman Mortons Funeral Directors

How to Stress Less Attending a funeral, particularly that of someone you’ve been very close to, can be a stressful experience, so I would encourage you to take some of the pressure off yourself by sharing any worries with your Funeral Director. We often hear things like; “I’d love to say a few words about what a wonderful father he was, but I don’t think I’d get through it without falling to bits.” This is an entirely understandable concern – wanting to do the ‘right thing’ but being afraid of being overtaken by emotion on the day. Standing up to speak in front of friends and family isn’t for everyone, so instead of fretting about it, why not write down the things you want to say and give a copy to whoever is going to lead the funeral. You should find that they will be more than happy to read your words at the service on your behalf; you will have made the personal tribute you wanted to, without the anxiety of having to deliver it. Hymns or songs at a service can also be an area of concern – will everyone know the tune, will they join in, will it all sound ragged and tense? It’s true that music can be a wonderfully uplifting part of any service, but it doesn’t have to be an ‘audience participation’ element if you don’t want it to be. You could opt to have a favourite album track played, or some well loved classical music. There may be restrictions about the type of music or lyrics you can choose, depending on where you hold the funeral service, but your Funeral Director will be able to advise. Remember, the funeral of a loved one should be a fitting occasion for you to say goodbye in whatever way you feel comfortable t: 0121 476 9111 e: info@mortonsfunerals.co.uk www.mortonsfunerals.co.uk

How to support a bereaved child this Mother’s Day Photo: Sally Roberts, Children’s Worker at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice

On Sunday 22 March, many of us will be celebrating Mother’s Day with our loved ones. But for children and young people who have sadly lost their mum, the day is another stark reminder of life without them. Sally Roberts, a Children’s Worker at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, shares her advice on how to support a grieving child at this time of year… Open up conversations

If you are supporting a child or young person whose mum has died, please be brave enough to acknowledge their loss. Children will miss their mum and more often than not, they’ll want to talk about her with others. By encouraging conversations and asking them how they want to celebrate their mum on this special day, you’ll be showing them that she will always be a significant person in their life. Of course, if the child doesn’t want to talk then that’s fine, but even just acknowledging their mum can make a big difference.

Do an activity

Going for a walk in mum’s favourite park, cooking a meal she loved or reading a book she treasured could help your child to celebrate mum’s memories in a really special way. Something as simple as laying flowers at the grave or significant place can help too. Remember, you will not hurt a child by reminding them of their loss – they don’t ever forget it – but giving them

the opportunity to talk if they want to can be crucial in their healing.

Teachers can help too

I often hear how teachers will remove Mother’s Day card-making from the agenda as they don’t want to upset a pupil who has lost their mum. I know that this will have been done with the best intentions but actually, I would advise to have open conversation with the child beforehand and offer them the chance to get involved if they want to. When a person dies, it’s important we still create connections to them, and so card-making could help with this. By giving them the choice to participate or not, you could help them to feel less isolated and less ‘different’ from their classmates. Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice has recently launched ‘Growing Together’, a peer support group for bereaved children and young people. The group aims to increase your child’s confidence, reduce isolation and help them to manage any difficult feelings they may be experiencing. The group is open to all children, whether or not their loved one was supported by the Hospice. To find out more, please contact the Hospice’s Children’s Team t: 0121 752 8753 e: childrensservice@birminghamhospice.org.uk

A C O - E D U C AT I O N A L I N D E P E N D E N T S C H O O L F O R C H I L D R E N A G E D 6 M O N T H S - 1 8 Y E A R S



0121 440 0256






14 City Life


Independent review into council waste collections is published The findings of the first phase of an independent review into waste collection services were endorsed by Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet on February 11th.

Conducted by Wood, a leading environmental consultancy, the review looked at all aspects of the service and was commissioned as part of the agreement which ended the industrial dispute that affected bin collections in early 2019. A series of recommendations, both short-term and longterm, are made in the review. As well as endorsing its findings and work to address them, Cabinet will also be asked to back the second stage of the process – a review of the system and frequency of bin collections, given it seems likely the new Government will require all councils to offer a weekly food waste collection service.

Cllr John O’Shea, Cabinet Member for Street Scene and Parks, said, “We are grateful for the work that has been independently carried out over the past few months. It has offered a fresh perspective on things and confirms many of our beliefs about how the waste service can be improved and supports the improvements we have already started to put in place, such as the replacement of our ageing vehicle fleet. “We are already making progress and despite some challenges over Christmas and New Year, the trend on a number of key performance measures, such as missed bin collections, is heading in the right direction. This report gives us the reassurance we are on the right track and has also given us further points to consider to ensure we deliver on the top priority for the people of this city – clean streets. “In terms of taking things forward on our improvement journey to achieve that aim, we do need to look at a range of possible options for the waste collection system itself. “The likely introduction of a weekly food waste collection by the Government means now is the right time to do this. Absolutely no decisions have been taken on the future of waste collection, but we do want to look at how we can help tackle the climate emergency by improving our recycling rate. All the options that will be explored include retaining a weekly waste collection.”

The review and related documents can be found on the council website: www.birmingham.gov.uk

Milestone reached at Five Ways underpass

From left, Maria Ion, Project Lead for the Birmingham Westside Metro extension, Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and Councillor Waseem Zaffar, Birmingham City Council

The first stretch of tram track has been laid in Five Ways underpass as construction of the West Midlands Metro extension to Edgbaston continues at pace. About 100 metres of track has been installed in the underpass, which closed to traffic in late spring 2019 to allow the Metro works to take place. It means 10 per cent of the line for the second phase of the Birmingham Westside Metro extension, which will run from Centenary Square to Hagley Road in Edgbaston, has now been laid and welded into place, marking a significant step forward in construction. Construction for the new route commenced with the closure of the underpass in June 2019. It is being planned, designed and delivered, along with a number of other tram extensions in the region, by the Midland Metro Alliance on behalf of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which


Peak and off-peak available


Access to the extensive gym with a free personal programme

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Over 150 classes per week from Body Pump to yoga Squash bookings included Access to exclusive gym services such as personal training


is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and has embarked upon an ambitious plan to regenerate the region, providing new opportunities for residents and businesses by transforming public transport in Birmingham city centre. When the route opens to the public in 2021, three new tram stops, connecting passengers to Brindleyplace, Five Ways and Hagley Road, will follow from the current Library terminus, which opened for passenger service ahead of schedule in December 2019. West Midlands Metro services will then operate between Wolverhampton and Hagley Road in Edgbaston, improving transport links across Birmingham and parts of the Black Country, making journeys faster and more accessible, in turn helping businesses and supporting more jobs.

Spacious and private changing rooms Member discounts on swimming lessons and classes Plus much more!

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Discounts available for University of Birmingham students, staff, alumni and over 65s.

JOIN NOW COME AND EXPERIENCE EVERYTHING SPORT & FITNESS HAS TO OFFER WITH A BESPOKE TOUR. Choose a convenient slot, then our friendly sales team will show you around the club and answer any questions about the facilities or membership.

TRAIN IN 2s Join with a friend and only pay one joining fee (£35) between you.

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BOOK YOUR TOUR NOW sportandfitness.bham.ac.uk/book-tour-calendar OR 0121 414 4117

Home Life

15 MARCH 2020


rental options No need to sell No chains!

Can’t wait to live life to the full? (Now you don’t have to)

With our flexible new rental options you can be enjoying your retirement to the full, sooner than you think. You can unlock the McCarthy & Stone lifestyle at your pace, without chains or having to sell your family home, and with no long term ties. No wonder so many are choosing to rent with us.

Rent or buy - we’re here to make it happen

Join us at our Botanical Bingo Event

Thursday 19th March, from 11am - 2pm Join for a trip to the Botanical Gardens in Birmingham with a hosted bingo session followed by a tour of our beautiful development with refreshments. Ryland Place, 27 Norfolk Road, Edgbaston, B15 3AY Apartments for sale from £174,950# or to rent from £1,770 pcm# To book your place, call now on

0800 201 4195

or visit mccarthyandstone.co.uk/rylandplace #Subject to availability. Rental prices are inclusive of the monthly service charge and ground rent. Correct at time of print.


16 Home Life


Spring property seller

You don’t need art in your home...



Love Your Postcode

If you are keen to sell your home, you are not alone - Property owners will be busy in spring if they wish to sell.

An increased number of buyers is beneficial when planning to sell your home. Firstly, the more buyers that are present in the market, the greater the chances of someone seeing your property and taking an interest. Secondly, the greater the level of competition in the market, the more likely you can sell fast and for the best possible price. Some homeowners will be looking for a quick sale but the most pressing issue for many property owners is to maximise the price they receive when selling their home, and this is a factor why spring is an ideal time to place your home on the market.

You will also find that there are practical reasons for selling your home in spring. Any property owner that is keen to be settled into their new property by summer, or who has summer plans in place, will find that selling in spring fits their schedule.

... you should want to see artworks in your home. Why?

Latest trend slimline kitchen worktops with


Having a piece of artwork at home is not something that you need to have if you don’t want to. There is nothing wrong with having completely blank walls. Perhaps you are surrounded by a lot of visuals in your workplace and you just want to relax your eyes at home. Perhaps your interior design is very minimalist and having a piece of artwork feels out of place. In this case, have a look at the colour scheme of your interiors.

Maybe you would just want one colourful feature wall? Having art at home it is not a ‘must’, but it would make a great difference if you do have some. The main thing is to have an emotional connection with the piece. Otherwise, you might as well have a wallpaper or just a colourful feature wall. Look at beyond its decorative purpose and see what the art does for your mood. Does it make your mind wander and enlighten the imagination? Does it remind you of some event or place which makes you feel good? Does it help you to calm and collect your thoughts or gets you energised for the day? Art evokes reactions – if it doesn’t, then it is purely decoration. There is no point in having art at home just for art sake.

If you have a deadline in place, it is best to work backwards from this date to find the most suitable time to sell your property.

Have a look around your home, are you proud to have every piece of art you currently have? If the answer is no, then it’s probably not for you. Only buy artwork that makes you proud.

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

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

with As the trend for contemporary style DARREN BRODIE kitchens continues Solid Wood Kitchen Cabinets to grow in popularity, so do worktops with a thinner profile. Thin kitchen worktops are becoming the go-to choice for contemporary cooking spaces, and with that in mind we’ve added a number of slimline worktops to our range in our Smethwick Showroom recently. Solid laminate worktops Ultra-thin Solid laminate worktops measure just 12mm thick and are constructed from numerous layers of laminate bonded together. As a result, they are an incredibly practical option as they are completely waterproof, resistant to a high level of heat and are durable against abrasion and impact. Combined with their stylish slimline appearance, this makes them perfect for busy households looking to achieve a contemporary aesthetic in their kitchen. We’ve now got 15 surfaces in our ever-growing collection - all of which are on display in our showroom. Thin laminate worktops These are a slightly more affordable option than solid laminate and offer all the same benefits as regular laminate worktops in terms of being incredibly durable, easy to clean and easy to maintain allied to their stunning 22mm slimline profile. Our range includes white and grey super matt worktops that have a luxuriously smooth anti-fingerprint finish as well as our eye-catching Grey Quartz effect worktops which feature a fantastic sparkling gloss finish. Whether you’re getting a completely new kitchen or refurbishing your existing one, make sure you browse the huge range of the latest slimline worktops available.

Darren Brodie - Smethwick Showroom t: 01215 584583 www.solidwoodkitchencabinets.co.uk

Timely Tips with

Daffodils and several ADRIAN BADHAM spring bulbs should Ashcroft Gardening Services be blooming but remember - so do the weeds so, you need to make sure that you remove them as spring begins to take hold. Plant out any forced flower bulbs in the garden, such as hyacinths and daffodils which have finished flowering indoors. If any of your garden plants will need supporting this year, put the supports in now so the plants grow up through them. Sow your flower seeds now so they are ready for planting out in June, some will benefit from first being started off in pots or trays in a greenhouse, whereas, others can be sown directly into the open ground. Plant bare root roses. Newly planted trees and shrubs should be top dressed with compost or manure. Deciduous trees and shrubs can be planted until the end of the month. Planting of fruit trees should also be completed during March. Finish cutting back shrubs grown for their colourful winter stems, cut them back to their bases. Plant snowdrops in the green to brighten up your winter garden next year. Adrian Badham t: 0121 559 5375 m: 07721 502 985


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, Quinton Open Tuesday to Saturday - 10am to 5pm. CALL TODAY TO REGISTER YOUR INTEREST

0121 514 8771 Visit churchillretirement.co.uk

• Lodge Manager • Owners’ Lounge with coffee bar • Guest Suite for friends and family • Landscaped gardens • 24-hour support • Video entry system • Free parking • Lift to all floors

Life Style

17 MARCH 2020

Edgbaston’s Botanical Gardens

Exclusive by JIM SIMPSON www.bigbearmusic.com

Whenever any visitor to our city asks for suggestions of what they should visit, then Edgbaston’s Botanical Gardens, a Victorian park in 15 acres of landscaped greenery, figures high on my list.

It is a constant source of amazement that such an oasis of pastoral calm can exist so close to the cacophony of modern big-city life. The gardens delight on so many different levels. They are home to The British Bonsai Collection which features as its star the 233 year old Omiya Tree; the Himalayan Cedars raised from seeds donated by James Watt junior in 1840; the assorted Tropical and Mediterranean glasshouses: exotic birds aplenty and a tribe of peacocks. But the local point of these magnificent gardens is the splendid bandstand, still in regular use, constructed in 1874, which makes it only 42 years younger than the gardens themselves. Taking A Stand is a recently-launched fundraising appeal with a target of £75,000 to restore the Grade Two Listed bandstand to its former glory and to develop it as an outside space for visiting school groups. This is part of their masterplan to protect and update the Gardens. Meanwhile, on The Bandstand, it will be Business As Usual this summer, with their famously-varied concert season set to come into play on Sunday 5 April and continuing through to September 27th with performances every Sunday and Bank Holiday between 2pm and 4pm.

Opening the series will be the dixieland band Chase Jazzmen, followed by Billie Baker’s Swing Café [12th], former Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming with his Jazz Lobbyists [13th], blues rockers The Nitecrawlers [19th] and traditional brass band The West Midlands Concert Band [26th]. The summer programme continues with Jazz, Blues, Swing, Folk and Brass Band performances. Make a diary note to look out for The Whiskey Brothers [May 24th], Crazy Doctor Bruce and the Sidewinders [June 28th], Dirk Diggler’s Blues Revue [Aug 16th] and those swinging folkies The Lost Notes who will eventually bring down the curtain on this year’s Botanical Gardens concert series Jim Simpson

Create an entrance


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0121 550 1444

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

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18 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

Weird words your optician uses


Why we make excuses

It can often be a confusing experience, when you visit you optician for your eye exam, so I thought it would be helpful to explain some of the most commonly used words you will hear during your appointment. Accommodation – The process by which the eye increases its power to focus on a specific object. Astigmatism – When the cornea at the front of the eye is unevenly curved, often resulting in a rugby ball shaped eye, causing blurred vision. Dioptre – The unit of measurement of refractive power of a lens Inter-pupillary distance – The horizontal distance measured between the pupil centres. Essential when making up spectacles. Retina – The light sensitive layer of cells lining the back of the eye. Often likened to the film of a camera. Myopia (Near Vision) – The ability to read/carry out close work, usually at a distance of 33-40cm, you would expect most people to know this but a lot of people don’t realise a near prescription only works for this distance and not for computers or walking around in. Ophthalmoscope – A hand held instrument for viewing the eye in particular the retina. Slit Lamp - An instrument used to examine the eye under high magnification. Also used in contact lens practice. Presbyopia – This occurs when the lens inside the eye loses some of its flexibility so that it becomes difficult to focus on close objects. This is linked to accommodation, as we get into our 40’s our eyes start to lose the ability to accommodate.

Acupuncture for babies and children ‘Shonishin’ is a specialised, gentle form of acupuncture, specifically designed to treat babies and children. Adapted by the Japanese from ancient Chinese methods in the 1700’s using specially crafted, noninvasive needles to work gently and carefully with young bodies. Shonishin can be used to help with many of the problems encountered in infancy such as: • Colic • Failure to thrive • Excessive night-time crying • Night terrors • Ear infections • Constipation • Diarrhoea and unsettled states. Older children often benefit from this gentle form treatment with problems such as: • Asthma • Eczema • Bed wetting problems • ADHD Treatments are very short as ‘less is better’ for small children and can often be continued at home by carers, after instruction.

My advice? - Don’t beat yourself up for making excuses for not doing something that isn’t suitable and spend your time finding something that is. You are less likely to make excuses then.




As a fitness professional with 10 years’ experience, I have heard a lot of excuses. In fact, last month I did a video training for our bootcamp on this very subject. So why do we make excuses? Well, it’s quite an in-depth subject, so let’s keep this simple for now. One of the major reasons why people make excuses when it comes to exercise and eating well is, they are not clear on what they want. If you are not clear on what you want, you may pursue diets and/or fitness programs that are not suitable. If something isn’t suitable, you find more reasons to make excuses for not doing it. On the other hand, if you are clear on what your outcomes and pay offs are, you tend to find a program/system that works for you. Let’s be honest here, there are HUNDREDS of diets and fitness programs out there. There are dozens of gyms that open 24 hours and cost next to nothing per month. We don’t lack the resources for getting fit and losing weight. What people lack is the “right� solution for their problem.

Why replace your dentures? Over time your denture teeth wear away, as you chew your food. Not only do your denture teeth wear but, also your mouth is altering all the time little by little which is why some patients experience their dentures getting looser after time. In the case of complete dentures, for patients who have no natural teeth of their own it can prove more difficult to function, especially when eating and unlike partial dentures where your natural teeth stabilise a denture. If a patient is a complete denture wearer, they almost always find the lower denture the most difficult to cope with. This is usually due to the fact it is rare to get any kind of suction on a lower denture due to the amount of muscles in the floor of the mouth, and under the tongue which move the denture when swallowing and chewing. That said this should not be a reason not to replace dentures. Although the stability of dentures cannot always be improved greatly, if left over longer periods this can lead to more serious problems like a protrusive lower jaw, creases developing in the corners of the mouth which can only be improved by having new dentures but made slightly increased in height to compensate for the wear that has taken place. Patients should realise the more wear, the bigger the dentures and the more difficult it is to get used to the new dentures.


Find out the facts


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NHS Blood and Transplant is urging people in the West Midlands to find out the facts about organ donation and the upcoming law change, which is due to come into effect in England from later this spring. Several posts and messages recently shared across social media and WhatsApp have contained incorrect information about the change in the law about organ donation. Some messages claim that ‘the deadline is tomorrow’ and that all residents in the UK are now automatically on the NHS Organ Donor Register. These messages have been reported particularly within black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. In fact, there is no deadline – people will be able to register their decision at any time before or after the law change – and people are only included on the NHS Organ Donor Register if they have formally registered their decision to opt in or out. An exact date for the law change to take effect is expected to be confirmed by Government in coming weeks. Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, says, “Organ donation remains a choice and families will still be involved in any donation decision. It is absolutely an individual’s choice whether they want to register as an organ donor or to opt out. We want to ensure that people are making the right decision for them based on facts rather than misinformation. Once a person has made their decision, we encourage them to

let their friends and family know and consider registering their decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register.� From the time the law changes, all adults in England will be considered as having agreed to donate their own organs when they die unless they record a decision not to donate, what’s known as ‘opt out’, or are in one of the excluded groups. Those excluded will be people under 18, people who have lived in England for less than 12 months or who are not living here voluntarily, and people who lack the capacity to understand the change. Wales already has an opt out system, after changing their law in December 2015. Jersey introduced the opt out system in July 2019 and Scotland will also be moving to an opt out system from Autumn 2020. Over 6,000 people are currently waiting for a transplant, and yet only 1% of people die in circumstances where organ donation is possible. Of those who join the register, only a small percentage go on to become an organ donor. Organ donation would only ever go ahead with the family’s agreement and once all life saving measures have been exhausted and clinicians confirm that the patient has died. For more information visit: www.organdonation.nhs.uk/uk-laws/organ-donationlaw-in-england/ Or call: 0300 303 2094.

Jonathans in the Park

Authentic Victorian Country House Restaurant and Tearoom Sunday


March 15th 2020

March 22nd 2020

St Patricks Fund Raiser

Mothering Sunday

Helping the Mayor of Sandwells chosen charities

3 Course Irish Traditional Sunday Lunch

3 Course Sunday Lunch Only £27.50 per person BOOKING ESSENTIAL

Only £27.50 per person BOOKING ESSENTIAL

Relax with your loved ones and

Live Irish Traditional Music

Jonathans in the Park

throughout from 1pm until 5pm With Patsy Moloneys Madra Trad 0121 420 1888

will Cook, Serve and Wash Up

0121 420 1888

Experience the Taste and Ambience of Yesteryear REGULAR HIGHLIGHTS

Jonathans in the Park Quintessential Afternoon Teas Jonathans Quality Corporate Catering Tearoom Opening Times Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm Saturday 10am to 5pm Sunday 10am to 5pm

Restaurant Opening Times

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.

20 Life Style


Only Bad Clothing!

Have you considered outsourcing your payroll?

with Zoe Franklin Travel Club Elite

with Fiona Wilson Acc – Unique Solutions

Well, we’ve just had a wash-out at half-term and whilst there is much to be said for the advice that there is ‘no bad weather, only bad clothing’, it’s only natural that the Brits are always looking for a bright, new, sunny dawn, if such a concept hasn’t been done to death by politicians! It does mean that at this time of year, as the days lengthen, snowdrops and crocuses bloom and the temperature slowly creeps up, thoughts turn to our precious holidays. There is more inspiration than ever from celebrities making programmes on travel and holidays. We all owe a great deal to the likes of Julia Bradbury, Michael Portillo and Jane McDonald for showcasing the wonderful range of destinations and experiences, which are so easily within reach. Older viewers may have been thrilled to see that the fondly-remembered Greek Islands of their youth have still largely held on to that ‘Gerald Durrell’ unspoiled magic. Michael Portillo has re-opened our eyes to the wonders of rail travel, that marvel of Victorian progress that we take for granted. Such fascinating places to discover, both in the UK and overseas, with wonderful rail-based package holidays. It’s heartening to know that our EU friends have been reassuring the British that they always have a very special welcome for us. Our oldest ally, Portugal has an advertising campaign saying, ‘Brelcome’ and ‘Portugal will never leave you’! There is always some issue of concern affecting travel; They’re all part of our increasingly complex world and often man-made, rather than natural. But my advice is to, ‘Keep Calm and Carry on’!

It can be extremely costeffective. March is the perfect time to prepare...

HMRC require you to have accurate personal information for each employee, so this is an ideal opportunity to get your employee records up to date. Outsourcing will take away the hassle of pension assessments, new tax codes, statutory payments and submissions. Modern advancements in cloud payroll software allow payslips to be uploaded directly to the employee while reports are provided directly to you. Payroll figures can be exported directly into your accounting software so month end reports will be completely up to date. Compliance with updated tax statute and HMRC regulations is compulsory and as updated laws are introduced for the new tax year, consider the peace of mind and benefits that a reliable payroll specialist can offer.

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

Career & Life with Clara Wilcox The Balance Collective

Take a look around your house, what do you think would help you? The Centre of Ageing Better reports that home aids and adaptations play a significant role in enabling people to stay mobile and independent for longer. Aids and adaptations can include anything from handrails, grab rails and lighting improvements to stairlifts, wet rooms, level access showers, kitchen modernisation and accessible gardens. Are you put off by the idea of adapting your home? Ipsos MORI reports that many people are put off by their perception of home adaptations. The Centre for Ageing Better shows that once adaptations are installed, they can have a lifechanging impact. As well as reducing the risk of falls and increasing mobility, adaptations also help people to feel more independent, more in control and, in some cases, enable people to increase their social participation. Adaptations around your home can make you feel safer and give you independence so you can enjoy living at home. There are modern aids available that do not look clinical. I would like to hear from HEM reader’s about their concerns as they consider adapting their homes to suit their needs in later life.

Focus on what you do best and most importantly do not stress! t: 0121 684 7618 www.Acc-Uniquesolutions.co.uk

Free Valuation Day

Are you planning to work remotely?

Our home is where our heart is We are encouraged to make lifestyle changes as we get older… Exercise more, reconsider sugar and alcohol intake. But what about preserving our ability to stay in our homes?

Changing at other times of the year can involve complicated year to date figures but on 6th April it’s a brand new tax year.

t: 0121 213 0012 www.travelclubelite.com

Our home is where our heart is

t: 0121 4275216 www.seniorhomesolutions.co.uk

There was a time where work had a permanent base. Many people aspired to the ‘corner office’, or an open-plan space with funky beans bags (or was that just me). But in time where working wellbeing is at the forefront of our minds, as well as the very practical issues of needing to work around a family or other caring commitments, working from home is something that has become a must-have! Here are four things to consider when working remotely: Be tech-savvy! When you are going online, it’s best to tether to your phone 4G to keep your data (and that of your clients) safe rather than use the local WI-FI. Have an agenda Like any working day, consider what you need to do, your deadline and that you have everything you need to make it happen (hello laptop charger!) Be polite You may have a local coffee shop that would fit the bill. I always recommend asking if it’s OK to work there, and obviously buy drinks and a snack as a “thank you “ to the owners! Get some inspiration Don’t limit your concept of where else you can work from. There are times you want to think differently. So how about an Art Gallery? Or have a walk in the park and record your thoughts as a voice note? So, with all this in mind how would it feel to mix up not just WHERE you work, but HOW you work? e: hello@thebalancecollective.co.uk www.thebalancecollective.co.uk

Vehicle auctions, then and now

Winterbourne House & Gardens University of Birmingham

58 Edgbaston Park Rd, Birmingham, B15 2RT

As of February 2020, Biddle & Webb have begun hosting dedicated vehicle auctions, but we are no stranger to bringing vehicles to the saleroom. Realised






Wednesday 1st April 10:30AM - 1PM Free no obligation valuation with the option to consign to an auction on the day

0121 455 8042 www.biddleandwebb.com

While we may be better known for our jewellery and antiques valuations, our probate services, or our property sales, our commercial auctions have brought vehicles to our bidders for years. No two cars are ever the same. From a Renault Clio to a Mercedes Benz M-Class realising £25,750, there’s no car we won’t take to auction - crucially, though, our auctions aren’t limited exclusively to modern cars. We have seen several vintage vehicles, including a renovated Morris JB van, a vintage Zundapp R.S. scooter, and a number

of motorbikes from brand names like BMW and Matchless. Farm equipment, including cultivator blades and even a second-hand tractor, have also made up a significant portion of our lots. With this experience at our back, we knew it was time to expand. Throughout the latter half of 2019 we have undergone development on an acre of land beside our Icknield Square building. After completing work in January, we were finally able to organise our very first vehicle auction on the 7th of February. Having realising £3600 for a Fiat 500 Lounge, and £3100 for a Toyota Yaris. It’s safe to say that our hard work has paid off. With the rest of the year ahead of us, we look forward to taking in more vehicles of all kinds, and we can’t wait to see how our vehicle auctions will grow. t: 0121 455 8042 e: info@biddleandwebb.com www.biddleandwebb.com

Home InsteadCare SeniorisCare is proud to be the onlyhome home care provider in the to receive Home Instead Senior proud to be the only care provider incountry the country tothe receive the Queen’s Award! Award! Home Instead Senior Care is proud to be Queen’s the only home care provider in the country to receive the Lord Lieutenant David Briggs, who Majesty's is Her Majesty's representative for Cheshire, presented HomeHome InsteadInstead with the accolade Queen’s Award! Lord Lieutenant David Briggs, who is Her representative for Cheshire, presented with theand accolade and

said: has "The been Queen so hasimpressed been so impressed with your single-mindeddetermination determination to give the elderly what they wantthey – to cherish said: "The Queen with your single-minded to give the elderly what want –orto cherish or Lord Lieutenant David Briggs, who is Her Majesty's representative for Cheshire, presented Home Instead with the accolade and dare I say to love and to truly care for them – and for that you are today presented with the award. You have also understood dare I say to love and to truly care for them – and for that you are today presented with the award. You have also understood that one of the biggest killers is loneliness and so you are not just there to clean or to cook or to change the person being cared said: "The Queen has been so impressed with your single-minded determination to give the elderly what they want – to cherish hat one of the biggest killers is loneliness and so you are not just there to clean or to cook or to change the person being caredor for – there but are asand a friend and they time talking and getting to to know the client, they develop a relationship and dare I say to love andthey toastruly care for them – andspend for that you are today presented with theclient, award. You have also understood or – but they are a there friend they spend time talking totoand getting know the they develop a relationship and become a friend. And it is for that that you have an award for innovation – relationship care – matching the carer to the client and that one of the biggest killers is loneliness and so you are not just there to clean or to cook or to change the person being cared become a friend. And it is for that that you have an award for innovation – relationship care – matching the carer to the client and of course making sure thatand the same carer sees the talking same client over a long forcourse – but they are there as athe friend theysees spend toover and getting to know the client, they develop a relationship and of making sure that same carer thetime same client a longperiod." period." become a friend. And it is for that that you have an award for innovation – relationship care – matching the carer to the client and At Home Instead Senior Care, overof 25% of offices our offices thecountry country have been ratedrated as “Outstanding” by CQC (Care Home Instead Senior Care, over 25% our ininthe been as “Outstanding” by CQC (Care ofAt course making sure that the same carer sees the same client over a long have period." Quality Commission) compare with the national average of 4% we are proud to have the highest number Quality Commission) compare with the national average of 4% - we are proud to have the highestofnumber of rated offices in country! At Home Instead Senior Care, over 25% of “Outstanding” our offices in the country have been rated as “Outstanding” by CQC (Care “Outstanding” rated offices inthe the country! Quality Commission) compare with the national average of 4% - we are proud to have the highest number of Instead Senior Care is committed to making a differenceand and regards regards it as a special privilege to look after people withpeople love, with love, Home InsteadHome Senior Care is committed to making a difference it as a special privilege to look after “Outstanding” rated offices in the country! care and compassion. high of provided care provided is basedon on sound sound knowledge and understanding of what people in the care and compassion. The high The level oflevel care is based knowledge and understanding of what people in the area need to maintain their independence in the comfort of their own home. With the support of dedicated CAREGivers they have area need to maintain their independence in the comfort of their own home. With the support of dedicated CAREGivers they love, have Home Instead Senior Care is committed to making a difference and regards it as a special privilege to look after people with improved the quality of living for many people in Birmingham, and have provided a realistic alternative to full time residential care. mproved the quality of living for many people in Birmingham, and have provided a realistic alternative to full time residential care. care and compassion. The high level of care provided is based on sound knowledge and understanding of what people in the area need to maintain their independence in the comfort of their own home. With the support of dedicated CAREGivers they have  Transportation  Medication assistance  Companionship Transportation assistance  of Companionship improved the quality living for many people in Birmingham, and have provided a Medication realistic alternative to full time residential care.  Dementia care  Shopping  Hospital appointments  Dementia care  Shopping Hospital appointments  Transportation  Medication assistance  Companionship  House keeping  Celebratory Events  Meal preparation  House keeping  Celebratory Events  Meal preparation  Dementia care  Shopping  Hospital appointments  care Respite care  Personal care  Convalescence Support  Respite  Celebratory Personal care Convalescence Support House keeping  Events  Meal preparation

Respite care

Personal care

Convalescence Support

22 Life Style


The Alphabet of Wine

The next in an occasional series looking at little known facts from the world of wine.


Steps towards a brighter future

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


PETER ARNOLD Chairman Calthorpe Residents Society

is for …


Lagrein is a black grape native to the Trentino-Alto Adige region in North East Italy, and related to the Syrah and Pinot Noir varieties. The terrain there is so mountainous and steep that only about 5% of the land can be cultivated, but grape vines thrive in the valleys and plains of the Adige River. The red wine Lagrein produces is often dark, brambly and velvety, with pronounced tannins. A Lagrein rosé (rosato) is also made, and is typically full flavoured yet perfumed and elegant. Other countries that grow the Lagrein grape include Australia and the USA, but the best examples hail from its homeland.


Languedoc-Roussillon is the vast stretch of land in the South of France ranging from Nimes to the border with Spain. As well as including several designated Vin de Pays regions (Aude, Hérault, Gard, D’Oc etc.) it is also home to some distinguished appellations such as Minervois and Corbières. Much of the land is hilly and mountainous, and grape vines often cling to rocky outcrops amidst the famous “garrigue” (scrubland) of the region. Best known for earthy, voluptuous and heavily scented reds made with Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre, there is increasing production of whites from Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier, not to mention the sea-food friendly Picpoul-de-Pinet from the coast. Another “L,” Limoux, is celebrated for its historically important sparkling wines, Blanquette de Limoux, and Crémant-de-Limoux – both of which are superb options when you’re tired of Prosecco.


Few places in the world can boast a longer and richer history of winemaking than the Lebanon, where the Phoenicians were fermenting grapes more than 5,000 years ago. Its main region, the Bekaa Valley, is home to two of the most important wineries, Château Ksara and Château Musar. Musar only missed two vintages during the country’s civil war (1975 to 1990), and only then (it is said) because the army were parking its tanks in the vineyards! Located at the Eastern edge of the Mediterranean, Lebanon’s climate favours French black grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Mourvèdre. White wines are less common but can be aromatic and elegant, made with Chardonnay, Viognier and Muscat, as well as the native Merwah variety.


Lombardy (or Lombardia) is a wine region in Northern Italy, with its principal city Milan. Located between the more familiar Piemonte and Veneto regions, Lombardy is perhaps best known for its elegant sparkling wines from the Franciacorta and Oltrepo Pavese areas. White, rosé and red still wines are also produced there, using a range of international grape varieties as well as native grapes such as Trebbiano for its whites and Nebbiolo for the reds.


Wednesday 15th APRIL 2020 11.30AM – 3.30pm

See Peter Rabbit™ during Story Time sessions, led by a narrator, at intervals throughout the day. Peter Rabbit™ © Frederick Warne & Co. Limited and Silvergate PPL Limited, 2020. All rights reserved.

For more information or to purchase general admission tickets, please visit:

birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk Find us on:

Your support keeps the Gardens growing

On the 6th of February 2020, CRS hosted its second Traffic & Parking event at the Tally Ho! Conference Centre. Its special guests were Cllr Deirdre Alden, Alex Read (Mayor advisor, WMCA – West Midlands Combined Authority), Danny Gouveia and Richard Mayes from Transport for West Midlands, Monica Guise and Sally Brooks from the University of Birmingham, three members of the City Council’s Transport Department, namely Alison Kennedy, Naomi R Coleman and Joe Green, and our famous “Robocop” PC Mark Hodson, from West Midlands Police.

cause minimal obstruction on the few, narrow roads around the campus. The university meanwhile relentlessly educates its student cohorts about green commuting to help alleviate Edgbaston’s congestion.

PC Hodson gave a talk on Community Speed Watch, explaining how any member of the public can video or photograph someone contravening the Highway Code, such as speeding or ruthlessly parking where they shouldn’t, and then report that evidence to the nearest police station. The police then send a warning letter to the offender, explaining that the police are aware of the offence so they should not try that again. If that does not work, then the police intervene directly! Power to good citizens!

Overall, the forum was a success as the attendees had the opportunity to vent, learn and offer ideas to those who can make a difference to their lives, and participation was strong and worthwhile. All unanswered questions were collected and then addressed, notably by Cllr Deirdre Alden, who pursued many of them expertly and resolved promptly quite a few of the pressing ones. Answers have been given in a document circulated to CRS members.  Quite a feat, enabled by the forum and the willingness of our experts to engage with our residents.!.

Monica Guise and Sally Brooks followed with a talk on the University of Birmingham’s new developments and how they shouldn’t affect current campus parking provision. They are also hoping the contractors’ vehicles will

Forum attendees then had the opportunity to gather their thoughts and bugbears on all matters Traffic and Parking, from congested roads, parking issues, and the cycling lanes to the Clean Air Zone (CAZ). They then directed all their burning questions to a panel made of all our special guests.


Time to get in the garden and enjoy spring

February was quite the challenge, thanks to storms Ciara and Dennis, but fingers crossed for a more settled March – traditionally the month when we gardeners start ramping up our horticultural activities, ready for spring and summer. We’ll be re-potting the orchids in the Subtropical House Orchid Case. Early spring is the best time to re-pot them as by now they have finished flowering and new stem growth is about to come through. We’ll take them out of their pots, remove all the old compost and trim off any dead roots before selecting a big terracotta pot that has enough space for two years’ growth. We’ll cover the plant in orchid compost, which comprises 10 parts medium grade pine bark, five parts fine grade pine bark, 1½ parts of perlite and ¼ part granulated charcoal. We also use bark because many orchids are epiphytes growing on tree branches in the wild for support. We’ll be moving the daffodils that have been grown in pots and cold frames over the winter into the cool greenhouse. To stop the tall flowers from falling over, we’ll be staking them with green garden canes and string.

Here are few things you could be doing in your own garden this month: • If your soil isn’t frozen, add a 5cm layer of wellrotted manure or compost to prepare for the coming growing season. It’s also a good idea to add a general-purpose fertiliser. • Lift and split herbaceous perennials and ornamental grasses. Not only does it increase your stock, it also allows you to fill up any bare areas in your garden. If you only re-plant the younger growth and discard the old material it will also provide the plants with renewed vigour to grow. • Turn your compost heaps and it enables the layers of material to mix together, helping material to rot. • Start planting summer flowering bulbs such as lillies and gladioli. • Prune your roses to an outward facing bud. • If you didn’t get round to sowing hardy annuals, such as sweet peas, in the autumn, do it now as April will be too late. The Birmingham Botanical Gardens www.birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk t: 0121 454 1860

Great news if you are looking Absol for something exciting, fun ute b e g i n and creative to do! Improners to Learn to Paint & Draw Just Li vers... ke You People & Places ! Over this 14 week course you will explore four different media: Drawing, Painting with Watercolour, Acrylics, & Oil Pastels. Discover how to paint faces, figures, friends, family and stunning landscapes. Learn artists’ secrets needed to create beautiful pieces of original art.

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Monday Club The Mortons Monday Club, meets regularly on the first Monday of every month. It’s an informal gathering, with tea, coffee and biscuits in the Ivy Suite at our head office in Northfield from 11.00am to 12.30pm. The Club is open to all, especially those looking for some mutual support and advice having suffered a bereavement. Feel free to join us – and bring a friend if you would like to.

Tel: 0121 476 9111 www.mortonsfunerals.co.uk Head Office, 705 Bristol Road South, Northfield, Birmingham B31 2JT

Asian Women Festival

Friday 4th April Last year the first-ever Asian Woman Festival, an event that celebrates what it is to be an Asian woman and aims to smash stereotypes, took place and was the first event of its kind in the UK! This year it returns even bigger and better to Walsall Football Club on the 4th April to empower even more South Asian Women.

For 2020’s event the Asian Woman Festival team, led by their inspirational founder Shani Dhanda, has landed major backing of Birmingham’s leading property group Love Your Postcode, run by Bobby Singh. Esq. While this sponsorship opens up amazing opportunities for the festival to reach a wider audience, with more high profile speakers and exciting talks, it also opens up a bigger conversation around how men, and maleowned businesses, have a huge role to play in supporting female causes. The feminist movement has gained significant momentum over the last few years and while this has often been driven forward by the actions of women, it is now more important than ever that boys and men play an active role in dismantling in equalities in our society. After all, as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pointed out, feminism is ‘‘the knowledge that when we are all equal, all of us are free.” At the heart of feminism, and indeed the values of the Asian Woman Festival, is that once we are able to unshackle both men and women from their confining gender roles, we will create a fairer society. This is why it is so significant that ahead of this year’s Asian Woman Festival that the event has been backed by a male-owned business. The festival team only hope that this will encourage more and more people to see that the endeavours of the team are not just a female issue, but when both genders come together so much positive change can come about.

Tickets for the highly anticipated festival are available at: www.asianwomanfestival.com

Let our readers know what you and your business is all about.

Give us a shout. Email: advertising@hem-life.co.uk Or call 0333 366 0279 to be included in the next issue.


As the 2020 wedding season gets underway The Sleep Council has some handy hacks for brides and grooms about to get hitched.


Say ‘I Do’ to sound sleep

“A great night’s sleep will leave you feeling great and looking fab on your big day,” says chief advisor Lisa Artis. “Weddings are known to be one of the most stressful life events and worries about it can leave couples struggling to sleep. This can have a detrimental effect on the way we look – and bloodshot eyes, dark circles and a blotchy complexion are not what you want on your wedding day. Nothing beats a good night’s sleep and a smile to keep you looking your best.” So, here’s how to say ‘I Do’ to a great night’s sleep the night before the nuptials: 1. Getting a good night’s kip – at least six hours – is essential. Feeling stressed about the little things, something not going to plan or being too excited won’t help. Create some ‘me’ time: have a warm bath, listen to quiet music, or do some yoga. These will all help to relax mind and body. 2. Switch off your phone, iPad etc and avoid using social networks. As much as people want to wish you a happy wedding day on Facebook, Twitter and Insta, or by texting/emailing, using technology before bed is proven to hinder sleep. Instead read a book, concentrate on relaxing and enjoy your last night as a singleton. 3. Tempting as it might be, don’t succumb to a second hen/stag night on your wedding-eve. Go easy on the alcohol and get an early night – remember it’s called beauty sleep for a reason.

4. If you’re staying in a hotel or unfamiliar environment, do your best to anticipate what sort of conditions you’ll be sleeping in and plan or pack accordingly. You might not be able to entirely eliminate sleep disturbances such as noise and bright lights but being well-prepared can help (think ear plugs and eye masks). 5. Adopt the same bedtime routine as you do at home: use the bed only for sleeping, avoid watching TV or using other technology, steer clear of caffeine and don’t exercise just before bed. And if you really can’t sleep, don’t lie there worrying about it. Get up and do something you find relaxing until you feel sleepy again – then go back to bed. 6. Hopefully you’ll spend the night in a comfy bed – an uncomfortable one can rob you of up to an hour’s sleep. Remember, a great new bed is a must start way to married life.

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26 Life Sport & Motors


Mixed fortunes for university teams

Quinton’s Community Spirit Quinton is about to benefit from the development of a large multi-use games area (MUGA) as phase one of the development of Highfield Farm Park nears completion. Phase two, a climbing frame, adult swings and outdoor gym equipment should then follow. this development, which has been 6 years in the making, will mark a huge step forward in plans to develop quinton’s community spirit. Our History Between 1988 and 1998 a flourishing Quinton little league operated on Saturday mornings when 6 teams aged 9 – 13 played on the Quinton playing fields in a highly successful community run and local business/police supported football league, this later expanded to teams aged 13 - !5 in an inter league until a lack of facilities led to closure. Little League had 13 players in each squad. The League was set up to be local, no travel and to give local boys of all abilities a chance to play football. It was well supported by the local community. Teams included PMG Astrals, Leeks Lyons, Bearwood Beavers, Grinham Giants, Prudential Players, Lex Brooklands, KJS Players, Brampton Lions, RB Greens, Hunter Albion, Brampton Boys.

Dodging more bad weather by Phil Court Club Chairman

Reading the February edition of HEM Life recently, the article about Harborne Youth FC mentioned the poor weather and the impact this has had on our fixtures. Unfortunately, things haven’t changed much in the last few weeks! Having said that, there are plenty of positives as the club has been running training sessions as often as possible across the different age groups as well as playing the odd fixture.

by Paul Raymer

L- R Kerry Rickerby (local resident) community development worker, Ben Crouch (local resident) community worker Quinton Youth for Christ Zoe Pope (Bartley Green) Founder of The Alternative Learning Foundation, Music for All Communities, Krafty Kids Community and Co-Founder of Birmingham Says No.

Pre-season there was a selection process as the 5 oldest boys left each year. There was a league before Christmas and one after. If the winner before was different to the winner after there was a play off. At the end of each season there was a Cup Final and a 5 side Competition for the 5 oldest (leaving) each team. A representative team was picked to play other little leagues.

Past Players Success

The Lescott brothers progressed to professional level after starting in the Quinton Little League. Aaron Lescott was signed by Aston Villa before moving to Sheffield Wednesday, Stockport County (2001 – 2004) and Bristol Rovers (2004 – 2010). He finally played at local Halesowen Town (2011). Brother Joleone Lescott played for Wolves (2000 – 2006), Everton (2006 – 2009) Manchester City (2009 – 2014) West Brom

Under 18s put in a good performance against Bournville Warriors and got a late equaliser in a 2-2 draw. Under 16s got the same result against top of the table Sportsco in the Premier League and continue to play well. The boys are also in the last 16 of the County Cup competition, so we wish them well for that. Across the other age groups from under 7 through to under 14, the under 7s, 8s, 9s, 10s, and 11s have played matches recently and the under 12s had a good away win against Coldlands Colts. Under 13s and 14s have also played league matches and the under 14s had an exciting 3-2 win against Hampton. Off the pitch, we are really pleased to have renewed our FA Charter Status award and this shows that we do things right as a football club . 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

(2014/15) Aston Villa (2015/16) AEK Athens (2016) Sunderland (2017). He represented England at u17, u18, u20, u21 levels then England B before going on to play 26 times for .

The Future is Bright

The Quinton Little league demise in 1998 was a big loss to community spirit and is fondly remembered. The MUGA offers the chance to rekindle that community spirit and fun and, who knows, might reveal a future England Player. It is hoped that the boys from then, who are now parents themselves, will see the opportunity to provide their children with “free 5/6 a side football” or other activities on the all-weather surface the MUGA provides Visit us on Facebook/twitter at: fourdzforum or email: Kerry: kezra6@msn.com. Ben: ben@quintonyfc.co.uk. Zoe: zrlwright@hotmail.co.uk

Busy and Buzzing by Lydia Fletcher Club Captain

It has been a busy few months for the Harborne Hornets. Following a successful Christmas Social in December our next event was to watch the England Roses play in the Nations Cup. It is always so inspiring to watch them play and we were guaranteed a great game where we learnt so much. We also had a hilarious social to Bongos Bingo. We didn’t win much but we did leave with a space hopper so training will be fun!

Birmingham University men’s and women’s teams are enduring very mixed fortunes with the men’s seconds leading the way in top position in the Midland Premier division. Both the women’s teams in the Investec national league are struggling and the men’s first team are just below halfway in the national Division 1 North. Their third side in Midlands 3 are also mid-table. In their latest round of matches, the Midland Premier side defeated Bournville 6-0, Beeston 2-1 and then suffered their first setback losing 1-0 to Loughborough Town. They returned to winning ways with a 4-1 defeat of Leek. In an exciting clash at Leeds the men’s Division 1 North first team fought back from a goal down to win 4-2 scoring three goals in five minutes. This season the University’s women’s first team in Investec Premier are heading for relegation. They are bottom having won only two of 13 matches. In their first match of the year they lost 3-1 at home to Hampstead & Westminster. The second team in women’s Conference West won their first games in 2020, defeating Team Bath Buccaneers 2-1 and Basingstoke 3-2. Harborne are fourth in the men’s Conference West having drawn 3-3 against Cheltenham and beating Khalsa Leamington 4-2 with two of their leading marksmen Matt Shuttleworth and Louis Morris on the score sheet. Harborne seconds were positioned half-way in Midlands 2 in mid-February having lost to leaders Telford & Wrekin 7-4, defeated Leek 3-1 and Coventry North Warwicks 5-2 and drawn 1-1 with Burton. Bournville are joint bottom of Midland Premier having won only their second match – 2-0 against Warwick University. Edgbaston are sitting half-way down Midlands 1 having won seven and lost seven of their matches, the latest being a 2-1 defeat at Bridgnorth.

Being sociable and mixing amongst teams is the backbone of our club ethos. So, any players looking for a sociable club are welcome to join us! We were proud to give something back to the local community recently. Clare our 4th team Captain organised a collection for the fabulous Women’s Aid Birmingham and Solihull and we were overwhelmed with the generosity of our players. At a time of year where people can feel the pinch it was a true sign of our Club’s ethos by the amount people managed to give. Thank you to all and to Clare for organising. We were thrilled to welcome back Lorraine to our coaching team. She has been busy captaining the England Women’s Over 50s side (football), what an incredible achievement! We are so proud of her but really pleased to have

her back as her energy is infectious and the spark, she brings to our sessions is immeasurable. The season has restarted with success for all teams and we look forward to battling it out over the next few months. Summer League begins in April and we hope for some warmer playing conditions! Fingers crossed! Lydia Fletcher e: harbornehornets@gmail.com


Distributed on the first Friday of the month. Next Issue: Friday 3rd April 2020

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

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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


More space for you and your luggage There was a little bit of the old adage “if it’s not broke don’t fix it” thinking in the Renault camp when it created its new Clio... So even though the latest model is all new both inside and out you will still instantly recognise it. Which is perhaps hardly surprising when you remember that the car has been around for 30 years and more than 15 million have been sold in that time so a totally new look could have spelled disaster. Not that the car hasn’t changed dramatically in the intervening years but the changes have been evolutionary rather than revolutionary. The new Clio Mk5 is wider, sleeker, more hi-tech and more upmarket than its predecessor while at the same time boasting more space for both passengers and luggage. As with all great models that achieve longevity the changes to the exterior have been subtle with the radical new design cues saved for the inside. The profile of the new car is more dynamic, however, thanks to an 8mm reduction in the roof line while the front end is more athletic with a bigger grille and sculptured ribs in the bonnet. Three petrol engine models are available - a 72bhp, a 100bhp and a 130bhp - and one 85 bhp diesel. Prices start from £14,295 for the entry level model. Renault also plans a hybrid version which will be available later in the year. The most popular is expected to be the 1.0-litre, three cylinder turbocharged 100bhp in Iconic trim at £16,295, and that was one of two models I tried at an event organised by the French car maker. As soon as you hit the road you can see why it’s expected to be the best seller because, despite its diminutive engine, it punches well above its weight and never feels lacking. Keep the revs up and it buzzes with power and is eager to please.

And the nice thing about this car is just how quiet the cabin is at all times. There’s a five rather than six-speed manual gearbox but it suits this engine perfectly and it boasts a top speed of 116 mph and will hit 62mph in 11.8 seconds. At the same time this car will average an impressive 62 miles per gallon. Anyone looking for more power will opt for the 1.3-litre, 130bhp model which hits 62mph in 9.0 seconds and has a top speed of 124mph while still averaging 53mpg. I drove one with a seven-speed automatic gearbox in the top-of-the-range sporty R.S. Line trim at £20,295, a model which delivers smooth refined power and good acceleration on kick down. There are paddles behind the steering wheel if you want to change gear manually and on this model you have a choice of sport or eco driving modes as well as the option to key in individual driving preferences. The ride on both models is impressive. Soft enough to offer comfort but firm enough to ensure good sporty handling when you need it. All the lower spec models have a centrally mounted 7-inch touch screen while the higher spec ones come with a classy new 9.3-inch portrait shaped iPad-style infotainment screen as well as a 10-inch TFT digital instrument binnacle in front of the driver. With the latter you can change the format of the dials or even introduce the satellite navigation map between them when on a long drive. Other hi-tech features on this model include a 360 degree view around the car when reversing to ensure you don’t hit anything. The new Clio now has a far more upmarket interior thanks to the introduction of 25 per cent more soft touch surfaces and

more comfortable seats, which are narrower to increase rear passengers space. Usefully luggage space has been increased from 330 litres to 391 litres and the whole range now features full LED headlights. On the safety front the new Clio gets the top five-star Euro NCAP rating, adding to what is already an impressive package and should ensure the Clio goes on for many more years to come.



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