Anyone who lives and works in Birmingham will probably notice air pollution. The smell of exhaust fumes and the dust on our windows and streets are obvious, what is less visible is the damage done to our health.(more…)
It’s the people that make an area – and in Balsall Heath and Sparkbrook there are some wonderful people from all walks of life, who have plenty of stories to share! Inspired by the Social Media phenomenon ‘Humans of New York’, we’ve collated some portraits of people living, loving and working in our neighbourhood – Humans on the Heath from our launch event at City Farm, Balsall Heath:(more…)
Why are some people active and others not? And if it’s true that young people play less outdoors, what’s stopping them? I talked to half a dozen ten year old children after school over a game of badminton & archery.(more…)
I’ve always enjoyed seeing conductors at work preparing choirs and orchestras for musical performances, but today is I think the first time I’ve seen a choreographer doing their thing and it’s a joy to watch. It’s certainly the first time I’ve been choreographed. Yes, I made it through the rehearsal of the pre-show pop up performance for Tuesday’s world premiere of Rosie Kay’s 10 Soldiers. What a life-enhancing experience! I’m so pleased to have been able to do it and to enjoy it. This may sound odd but I wouldn’t done if I hadn’t had ME/CFS. When I was well it would not have occurred to me to put myself forward for anything like this. I would have thought ‘That’s not for someone like me, it’s for dancers.’ There are so many things I struggle to do now that I’ll consider anything that is possible.
I don’t want to blind anyone with science here, but the way choreography works is that someone tells and shows you how to move and you do your best to move in that way. I know, crazy isn’t it. With Rosie we also had fun and focusing warm up, walking and marching exercises and some readings of World War I poetry that informed the piece, which really helped to set the mood and feeling for the performance. I also enjoyed having some time to talk to Rosie about the days when we were in the early days of our careers and working together regularly, something that I totally took for granted at the time and treasure such a lot in retrospect. Her no-budget dance film ‘The Wild Party’ was one of the first things I edited and is still one of my favorites. Then there was that time I was concussed but hadn’t noticed, Rosie did and drove me to hospital. Great days.
For me, the big question was, could I even get to the end of a day of dance rehearsal? I started by speaking the person responsible looking after us, Liz Leck, another face from my film-making past. Pretty much the last project I did was for Liz and the Hippodrome’s Education department. She had supported me wonderfully through that, and was similarly supportive today. So in a Hippodrome wheelchair I learned all of the choreography and did practically all the warm up. I only switched to standing for the in situ rehearsal in the foyer. I hope I’m not giving too much away by revealing that the performance involves a fair amount of marching. This does put a strain on the legs but I only actually experience symptoms of this when I stop, so it’s the standing still after the marching that is most challenging. The knees do begin to complain and shake. Happily, using the chair for most of the day meant that I was fresh enough to get through two run throughs and even walk to the bus afterwards.
Thanks Rosie, thanks Liz, thanks to all of you who helped me today and everyone with whom I spoke, especially the person who said nice things about my previous blog! I’ll see you all on Tuesday.
They say that when trying to make changes in life, personal goals are a must. Those on a diet have a target weight, runners train for a target distance and I, along with 119 other members of the public, have a dance performance in 36 days time.(more…)
Juyoung Lee, our intern at The Active Wellbeing Society from Seoul Korea, is studying Social Policy at The University of Birmingham. She joined a meeting at Fletchers Bar near Kings Heath’s High Street on Friday 5th April discussing Clean Air. The meeting was hosted by Kings Heath Business Improvement District (BID) Chair, Brett Rehling.(more…)
It’s ten years since Friends of Witton Lakes (FOWL) was started – I spoke to Linda Hines MBE, one of it’s founders to find out more about the people who care for a pair of former drinking water reservoirs between Perry Common and Erdington.(more…)
St Paul’s Community Development Trust are happy to announce that following lengthy discussions with a number of organisations agreement has been reached with The Active Wellbeing Society (TAWs) that will secure the long term viability of the Balsall Heath City Farm.
Threatened with closure since December 2018 St Paul’s have been working with a number of organisations to try to secure the long-term viability of the City Farm. Now agreement has been reached with TAWs which means that the farm which has operated in Balsall Heath for over 40 years will remain open.
Working with St Paul’s TAWs want to create new opportunities for people to become active and engaged in society and there will be a focus on using the farm as a place to bring people together.
Chief Executive of St Paul’s David Cusack said “We are delighted that we have agreed a partnership with The Active Wellbeing Society that keeps our farm open and will allow both children and adults to use the facilities as a place to learn, volunteer, develop new skills and to just enjoy the facility. I’d like to thank TAWs but also the many people who have rallied around to look at ways to secure the farm’s future, we will continue to raise money through the newly established “Friends of the Farm” to improve the facilities at the farm”
The Active Wellbeing Chief Executive Karen Creavin said “ The City Farm is a vital space for children and families in Birmingham. We are really pleased to be able to work collaboratively with St Pauls to ensure that this project has a future and can contribute to the increased wellbeing of our citizens. We are working with Sport England and Birmingham City Council on an initiative called Active Communities. The city farm, and the ongoing partnership with St Pauls, will both be a key element of how Active Communities comes to life in this part of the city”.
The Active Wellbeing Society are working together with The Real Junk Food Project to bring a community kitchen to the Farm, offering meals on a Pay as you Feel able basis. The kitchen will be up and running in time for the summer holidays and will play a vital role tackling food poverty over the summer.
For more information about Balsall Heath City Farm please contact:
Chief Executive David Cusack
0121 464 4376
John Nightingale is 76 years old and received a bike from The Big Birmingham Bike project a few years ago. Now John is looking to take part in the 100 mile Velo Birmingham in May on his Big Birmingham Bike. Read his guest blog below……(more…)
#LitterHeroes across Birmingham are making a difference to help improve the environment on our own doorstep. As part of a month of litter picking #GBSpringClean aims to inspire 500,000 people to help safely dispose of litter from our streets, parks and beaches, recycling as much as possible. I joined two local groups to find out more…(more…)