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City Council Want Your Bra!

12 Oct


Bra recycling challenge

University of Birmingham students Eleanor Bower, Laura Bass and Vicki Holmes join Sharon Lea (Birmingham City Council's Strategic Director of Environment and Culture) to promote the council's Olympic-inspired bra recycling challenge. (Image courtesy of BCC News Room)


Yes, you read that right! (I’m going to try very hard to avoid any distasteful punnery here!)

Birmingham City Council launched bra recycling bins last month, and they have already been stuffed with over a thousand unwanted bras. The innovative bra recycling scheme raises funds for Breast Friends, a Sutton Coldfield based group offering support to women with breast cancer. The bras are sold to traders in developing countries via a local recycling company, meaning women in these countries gain access to garments they might not normally be able to afford.

BCC are asking the women of Birmingham for a marathon effort in collecting and recycling even more bras. Literally. They want to try and collect enough bras to stretch the length of an olympic marathon, 26 miles and 385 yards, before the start of the games in London in 2012. This would mean a donation of 46,145 unwanted bras in the next 22 months!

So if you have any such garments that you no longer need, you can take them to the Bra Bank at Sainsburys on Frankley Beeches Road in Northfield.

Strategic Director for Environment and Culture at Birmingham City Council, Sharon Lea, said “I urge everyone to take up our challenge and enable Birmingham to go for gold with our marathon challenge between now and 2012.”



Full list of citywide bra recycling points – tell your friends!

– Sainsbury’s, Castle Vale Retail Park, Chester Road, Castle Vale, Birmingham, B35 6HB
– Sainsbury’s, 1059-1061 Alcester Road South, Maypole, Birmingham, B14 5TN
– Sainsbury’s, Frankley Beeches Road, Northfield, Birmingham, B31 5AA
– Tesco, Ridgeacre Road, Quinton, Birmingham, B32 1EG
– Cocks Moors Woods Leisure Centre, Alcester Road South, Kings Heath, B14 6ER
– Tesco, Coleshill Road, Hodge Hill, Birmingham, B36 8DT
– Sainsbury’s, 1 Chapel Lane, Selly Oak, Birmingham, B29 6SJ
– Lidl, 33 Kings Road, Sutton Coldfield, B73 5AB
– Silver Street Pay & Display car park, Kings Heath, Birmingham, B14 7QU
– Four Oaks railway station car park, Off Lichfield Road, (A5127), Four Oaks, Birmingham, B74 2TD
– Tesco, 278-299 Aston Lane, Witton, Birmingham, B5 5QR.



Frankley CLC Funding Doubts

10 Oct

Students currently studying at the pioneering City Learning Centre in Frankley are in doubt of what their future holds.

In September 2008, Frankley CLC started piloting The 14-19 Higher Level Diploma in Engineering, taking its first 32 students from five local schools. The centre is also involved with other exciting and innovative projects, such as F1 in Schools,  E-Missions in partnership with the National Space Centre and the Netbooks Project.

The Year 11 group of 09-10 was the first to complete the Diploma and they graduated with the highest grades in the UK, many wishing to go on to study the Advanced level. The CLC was established with central government funding as part of the Labour government’s Excellence in Cities scheme.

Labour councillor for Longbridge, Ian Cruise told me, “Imagine the shock when at the Diploma presentation, I found that funding has been pulled from March 2011. This will mean there is only enough money to fund the CLC until the end of this academic year. The current year 11 students will be able to complete their diploma, however the year 10 will be left in the lurch.”

Councillor Cruise is hoping to help the centre to secure funding so it may continue to thrive,  “I have raised the issue with both Richard Burden [Labour MP for Northfield] and the Shadow Ministerial team whist at [Labour party]conference. We will be lobbying hard to get the decision reversed.”

B<31 Local News 21/9/10

21 Sep

Plans for multimillion pound youth centre on Longbridge Lane have been submitted to Birmingham City Council
Plans submitted for £5 million Longbridge youth centre |

Former Rover workers to sign beam at new Bournville College to maintain historic link:
BBC News – MG Rover link with £66m Bournville College.

And yet more Papal news….!

Around a hundred people treated during Birmingham papal visit:
Birmingham Mail – Almost 100 people treated during the Pope’s visit to Birmingham.

Brum makes around £12.5milliion from event:
Birmingham Mail – News – Top Stories – Birmingham’s £12.5m boost after Papal visit.

Northfield teen says God spoke to him & welcomes Pope’s visit:
Birmingham Mail – ‘God spoke to me’ says Northfield teen.

Pope blesses Oratory cat:
BBC News – Pontiff’s visit ‘did Birmingham proud’.

Bostin Heroes Champion Local Dialect

17 Sep

Bostin Heroes. Click for larger image

The Bostin Heroes comic strip has been used as an example of English dialect in a new English language text book for college students. The graphic novel is produced by Rubery IT and Business Consultant Donato Esposito, in partnership with writer Matthew Craig and illustrator Jack Davies. Continue reading

Frankley Lymphoma Blogger Up For Award

7 Sep

After the birth of her son in May 2009, 28 year old Roz Barnwell from Frankley was finding returning to normal very difficult.  After he was born, she celebrated with a glass of champagne and noticed a bit of a shoulder pain but dismissed it as nothing. By July she realised she was experiencing pain each time she had even a few sips of wine and googled the strange symptom. All she came up with was Hodgkins Lymphoma and made the first visit to her GP who had never heard of the symptom and sent her home. Roz says “I refrained from mentioning ‘The Hodge’ as I didn’t want to sound like a know it all!”

A week later, she was back. “This time, I went in armed with a case study I had found basically about a guy who’d had the same symptoms as me, and even though bloods were coming back clear, he was still diagnosed with Hodgkin’s once he’d had a chest xray. The doc just glanced over this, and sent me for some bloods anyway. When the bloods came back normal, he told me to come back in a few months if it was still happening. Well it stopped happening, because I stopped drinking, because every time I drank it hurt – notice the vicious circle here?” Continue reading

The Great Wall of Cofton

5 Sep

I was hoping to get over to Cofton Park yesterday, as I was aware that a larger area was going to be closed off from today, and wanted to get more pictures of how things are developing. Unfortunately, I was unable to and now this has happened……!

Building the Pope Wall, Birmingham

Image courtesy of nicnac1000 via

Looks like I won’t be getting many pictures over that 11 foot fence! (Wonder if it’s visible from space?!)

Luckily Donato of Bostin T-Shirts did pop over yesterday and tweeted a few images, which you can see on his plixi account.

If you have any photos of the disruption,  *ahem* I mean, developments in the park which you’d like to share, upload them to flickr and add them to the B<31 flickr group so they’ll appear in the group pool feed down there –>

Or email them to me if you don’t have a flickr account or you’d like me to post them directly onto the blog.

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