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Displaying until 01 Sep 2021 - FreeTimePays
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Love our parks - get involved!

As Lockdown rules start to enable more people to enjoy their parks and green spaces, we all want to ensure that these wonderful places of natural beauty are protected for all to enjoy.  This community collective will share some of the brilliant initiatives running across the UK and show just how, together, we can make a difference for the benefit of all.  Connect with us.

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Love our parks - get involved!





As Lockdown rules start to enable more people to enjoy their parks and green spaces, we all want to ensure that these wonderful places of natural beauty are protected for all to enjoy.  This community collective will share some of the brilliant initiatives running across the UK and show just how, together, we can make a difference for the benefit of all.  Connect with us.


Over the next month and for the remainder of 2020, we will be growing our reach and pull together information and details on all the great work being carried out across communities as they collectively protect their parks.  

This will grow into a massive 'community-led' resource for people with a shared interest and passion for their local parks and green spaces.  

Here's just a few of the ideas and initiatives we will be telling you more about so we can share and get more people actively involved.

Litter picking groups - they do a fantastic job.  We'll connect you with your local group.

Art & Culture Trail.  We'll help you set up your trail and showcase your parks.

Walking clubs. We'll connect you and bring in more friends.

Park angels.  Volunteering with a difference.  We'll tell you more.

Creativity and green spaces collide.  Let's look at how art, music, photography and creativity in all its forms can help promote and protect our parks. 

Parks and mental health.  A walk, ride or jog in the park can do so much for your mental health.

There's something for everyone.

Connect with us and help us protect our parks. 

 

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FreeTimePays Art; Culture & creativity
01 Feb 2021 - FreeTimePays
Introducing

'Forward in Unity' mural - Brilliant initiative in so many ways

The 'Forward In Unity’ mural was started on Friday 22nd May 2020. It was completed by artist Gent48 on Monday 1st June 2020. Not only has the project in Digbeth received some fantastic media coverage, it has helped raise awareness of the virus and its devasting impact on the community as well as raising a vast amount for local charities.

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'Forward in Unity' mural - Brilliant initiative in so many ways





The 'Forward In Unity’ mural was started on Friday 22nd May 2020. It was completed by artist Gent48 on Monday 1st June 2020. Not only has the project in Digbeth received some fantastic media coverage, it has helped raise awareness of the virus and its devasting impact on the community as well as raising a vast amount for local charities.


'Forward in Unity' is a great example of how to bring people together in a massive shared effort against a common enemy, as the Covid-19 virus must continue to be regarded.

The project has helped raise awareness.

The 'Forward in Unity' initiative has raised awareness of the virus and brought people together in recognition of the front-line heroes fighting the virus for the protection of our community.

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'Forward in Unity'.  Photography by Paul Cadman.

The project has helped bring people together.

The initiative and the significant coverage it has received has attracted the attention of people, not just in Birmingham but across the UK. 

This and other initiatives all have a vital role in tackling the views of those who, despite clear evidence of the devastation caused by the virus, still act and behave in a way that is not in the interests of their community. 

The project has enthused and inspired others to be creative.

During a time when people have been asked to make huge sacrifices and stay at home, the project and the media coverage received has inspired many to check out their own creativity.

Whether through photography, art, craft-making or the written word, such creativity has become hugely important for people's mental health.   

As an example, the Birmingham Gems Charity Calendar for 2021 dedicated a page on the mural in recognition of the city's amazing artists and creative talent. 

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The project has raised much needed funds for local charities.

Prints of all sizes can be purchased in order to support local charities, 

In addition to the prints, a book in celebration of those behind the initiative and across community has also been produced.

Connect HERE and get hold of your very own print (signed, limited edition or unlimited) or your 'Forward in Unity' book.  Help support local Birmingham charities. 

'Forward in Unity' A0 Limited Edition Print

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'Forward in Unity' Print (A1 or A2)

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'Forward in Unity' Video/Book Folder

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'Forward in Unity' Book (2nd edition)

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Connect HERE to make a donation to Art4Charity and support local charities.

Paul Cadman, one of the founders of Art4Charity, was the inspiration behind the 'Forward in Unity' mural. Paul is active across the City and involves himself in many charities that need our help during these challenging times.

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Elliott Brown Art; Culture & creativity
04 Dec 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The Annatomix Birmingham street art trail

Annatomix is one of Birmingham's most well known street artists with her unique style of foxes done in origami. Her pieces can be found around Digbeth and Southside. There is also a Birmingham mural in Grand Central, just as you exit or enter from the ramp. She is also known for her David Bowie pieces.

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The Annatomix Birmingham street art trail





Annatomix is one of Birmingham's most well known street artists with her unique style of foxes done in origami. Her pieces can be found around Digbeth and Southside. There is also a Birmingham mural in Grand Central, just as you exit or enter from the ramp. She is also known for her David Bowie pieces.


ANNATOMIX

Come with Birmingham We Are and one of their followers of street art Elliott on a digital tour of the street art of Brummie legend Annatomix. Known for her distinctive origami style foxes. She also famously did a piece of David Bowie in Southside (which she had to repaint after multiple vandal attacks). Why can't they leave her art alone?

More digital street art trails coming soon. So watch this space.

 

Digbeth

Location: At Warwick Bar (on the opposite side of the River Rea Aqueduct) on the Grand Union Canal (Digbeth Branch). Close to The Bond, Fazeley Street, Digbeth, B5 5SE. 

Date found: February 2018.

Annatomix Origami Fox

dndimg alt="Annatomix Fox" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Annatomix Canal Fox (Feb 2018).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Location: Under the Bordesley Viaduct, Custard Factory, Digbeth, B9 4AA.

Date found: April 2018.

Annatomix Origami Fox

dndimg alt="Annatomix Fox" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Annatomix Custard Factory Fox (Apr 2018) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Location: Under the Bordesley Viaduct, Custard Factory, Digbeth, B9 4AA.

Date found: April 2018.

Annatomix Origami Rabbit

dndimg alt="Annatomix Fox" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Annatomix Custard Factory Fox (Apr 2018) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Location: Close to Heath Mill Lane entrance and Greenhouse, Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Digbeth, B9 4AA.

Date found: February 2019.

Annatomix Giant Origami Cat and a Small Rabbit

dndimg alt="Annatomix Cat" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Annatomix Custard Factory Cat (Feb 2019).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Southside

Location: Close to Birmingham Master Locksmiths, Dudley Street, B5 4RU.

Date found: February 2016.

Annatomix Bowie

Her original tribute to the late singer David Bowie who passed away in January 2016, age of 69.

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Location: Close to Birmingham Master Locksmiths, Dudley Street, B5 4RU.

Date found: January 2019.

Annatomix Bowie

Version 2, as vandals kept damaging the 2016 piece, but they would target this one as well.

dndimg alt="Annatomix Bowie" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Annatomix Bowie (Jan 2019).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Location: Close to Birmingham Master Locksmiths, Dudley Street, B5 4RU.

Date found: February 2020.

Annatomix Bowie

A repair to the eyes scratched out with a blindfold, sadly vandals kept targetting her work.

dndimg alt="Annatomix Bowie" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Annatomix Bowie (Feb 2020) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Detail of the new blindfold and black star above Bowie's head.

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Location: Next to Rodroj Fish and Chips, 25-27 Smallbrook Queensway, B5 4HE.

Date found: November 2020.

Annatomix Origami Fox

Sadly vandalised by the time of my visit, hopefully she can fix it.

dndimg alt="Annatomix Fox" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Annatomix Fox Smallbrook Qway (Nov 2020).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Grand Central

Location: Opposite NatWest, East Mews, Grand Central Birmingham, B2 4BF.

Date found: February 2019.

Annatomix Mural of Birmingham

Featuring the Library of Birmingham, Rotunda, Selfridges, Birmingham New Street Station and Birmingham Canals (passing people in the way at the time).

dndimg alt="Annatomix Birmingham Mural" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Annatomix Grand Central (Feb 2019).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Location: Opposite NatWest, East Mews, Grand Central Birmingham B2 4BF.

Date found: November 2020.

Annatomix Mural of Birmingham

With the Library of Birmingham, Rotunda, Bullring Bull and Selfridges (no people in the way due to lockdown).

dndimg alt="Annatomix Birmingham Mural" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Annatomix Grand Central (Nov 2020).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Street art by Annatomix. Click the link to the left to visit her website.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown.

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Jon Police People & community
14 Oct 2020 - Jon Police
Introducing

It's your community (Kings Heath & Moseley) - an interview with Fareeda Khan - PCSO with West Midlands Police

Jonathan from Birmingham We Are caught up with Fareeda Khan, a PCSO with West Midlands Police operating in the Moseley and Kings Heath Neighbourhood. Here’s a brief insight to Fareeda’s work with community and how she feels Kings Heath and Moseley can really benefit from Birmingham hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2022. 

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It's your community (Kings Heath & Moseley) - an interview with Fareeda Khan - PCSO with West Midlands Police





Jonathan from Birmingham We Are caught up with Fareeda Khan, a PCSO with West Midlands Police operating in the Moseley and Kings Heath Neighbourhood. Here’s a brief insight to Fareeda’s work with community and how she feels Kings Heath and Moseley can really benefit from Birmingham hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2022. 


Q.  Can you tell me a little about your work as a PCSO Fareeda?

“As a PCSO we are very visible in the community.  Our role is very much community based and we are the eyes and ears of the community. 

I particularly enjoy engaging with young people through schools and youth clubs.  Young people now understand our role a lot more and I like to think they have a lot more trust in us and are more forthcoming in approaching us.”

Q.  Fareeda, you cover Moseley and Kings Heath.  Can you tell me a little about your patch and the community?

“Moseley and Kings Heath are sometimes referred to as bohemian neighborhoods.  There’s a lot of culture and a lot of community get-togethers with street parties and festivals. They are very creative places to live and visit. People are always helping each other out.

It is a very friendly and inviting part of the city and a great place for people to visit.”

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Photo: Welcome to Kings Heath courtesy Christine Wright

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Photo: Moseley Bog courtesy Elliott Brown

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Photo: Highbury Hall in Moseley courtesy Elliott Brown

Q. How can we ensure that these communities are best able to benefit from the City attracting more visitors with events coming up such as the Commonwealth Games?

“I think more awareness and more outreach work in the community. Raise awareness as some communities may feel a little isolated and that it’s not for them.  Perhaps there could be a showcase of the opportunities for younger people and parents and information on how they can get involved.

Perhaps opportunities via schools and colleges nearer the time so that young people can understand how they can get involved.”

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Young people on National Citizen Service visit Art Rooms in Kings Heath 

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Photo: The Orchard, Highbury Park courtesy Christine Wright

Q. Do you think the police could have a big role to play in helping the local community maximize the opportunities presented by the Commonwealth Games?

“Because we do a lot of work with the community and work with many different agencies to build trust and confidence, people know they can come to us.  Another way they can connect with us is through something like sport and different types of outreach work.  If the police can get more involved, we can help community get more involved.”

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Photo: Woodworkers from the Moseley and Kings Heath Shed courtesy Christine Wright

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Photo: St Mary's Church, Moseley courtesy Damien Walmsley.

Q. How important are community leaders to the work that you do?

“We have different types of leaders in the community.

We have business leaders, religious leaders, leaders in education and other community leaders such as neighborhood watch co-coordinators etc. We have done a lot work around active citizens and identifying those key people in the community that have a special role as the voice of a local group who can make a real difference. 

The Active Citizens Fund managed by the Police is there to support the work of such groups.”

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Photo: Kings Heath Park courtesy Christine Wright

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Photo: Moseley Farmers Market courtesy Elliott Brown

Q.  Would you be able to help our work at Birmingham We Are in introducing young people on programs such as the national citizen’s service to the culture within the local community?

“I would be delighted to help in any way I can. Moseley and Kings Heath are certainly places to experience and enjoy the culture of Birmingham.”

Thank you for your time Fareeda. 

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This is one of a series of discussions taking place by Birmingham We Are as an introduction to people as influencers who can make a massive difference to the City and the community in which they live or work. 

Our interviews with PCSOs operating across the City has the full support of West Midlands Police. 

For further details on our work contact Jonathan.Bostock@PeopleMattersNetwork.com.

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FreeTimePays History & heritage
03 Sep 2020 - FreeTimePays
Did you know?

J.R.R. Tolkien in the Library of Birmingham

On Level 4 in the Archives & Collections section of the Library of Birmingham at Centenary Square you can find material related to Tolkien.

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J.R.R. Tolkien in the Library of Birmingham





On Level 4 in the Archives & Collections section of the Library of Birmingham at Centenary Square you can find material related to Tolkien.


So popular is the novelist that J R R Tolkien’s classic fantasy tale The Hobbit was chosen as the first book to grace the showpiece Centenary Square building in a poll carried out prior to the Library opening.

At Birmingham Repertory Theatre next door to the Library, a blue plaque commemorates Dr J. Sampson Gamgee, a local surgeon and founder of the Birmingham Hospital Saturday Fund.

‘Sam Gamgee’ was the name chosen by Tolkien for Frodo’s faithful companion in The Lord of the Rings.

The surgeon’s widow lived opposite Tolkien’s aunt in Stirling Road and therefore he would have been familiar with the name.

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