Health & wellbeing
14 Jan 2021 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

When the Air Ambulance flies patients to hospitals in Birmingham

At least three Air Ambulance services fly to the hospitals in Birmingham, over the last decade or so. The main one of course is the Midlands Air Ambulance (red helicopter). There is also the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (yellow helicopter). Plus sometimes the Wales Air Ambulance (red helicopter with green). They go to either Birmingham Children's Hospital or QEHB.

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When the Air Ambulance flies patients to hospitals in Birmingham





At least three Air Ambulance services fly to the hospitals in Birmingham, over the last decade or so. The main one of course is the Midlands Air Ambulance (red helicopter). There is also the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (yellow helicopter). Plus sometimes the Wales Air Ambulance (red helicopter with green). They go to either Birmingham Children's Hospital or QEHB.


Midlands Air Ambulance

It was during May 2011, when I got my first photo of the Midlands Air Ambulance. It was on the helipad near James Watt Queensway. On one of my many walks from work to get some lunch, saw it as I came off Aston Street (Aston University). Only had my then mobile on me. Police usually stop all traffic around the area. Including Corporation Street and at the Birmingham Children's Hospital on Steelhouse Lane.

 

The next time I saw it was around April 2013. Again mobile shots as I didn't want to take my then big camera to work with me at the time. This view of the Midlands Air Ambulance from Ryder Street.

Crossed over the lights on James Watt Queensway and got this view towards the Birmingham Children's Hospital.

Caught it taking off as I walked back to work via the Aston University grounds. Corporation Street to the left.

The Midlands Air Ambulance was on it's way as seen from James Watt Queensway. I think this was near a bus stop. The new Aston University student accommodation phase 2 was under construction at the time, and the old Stafford Tower would not get demolished until 2014.

 

In July 2014, I saw the Midlands Air Ambulance from the Aston Webb Boulevard in Selly Oak (the Selly Oak Bypass). It was heading towards the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

 

During April 2017, on a walk down the Merritt's Brook Greenway in Northfield. Saw the Midlands Air Ambulance fly overhead. I was near Meadow Brook at the time. This was not too far from Ley Hill Park.

 

In December 2017, I saw this Midlands Air Ambulance heading to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

Would assume the Midlands Air Ambulance was heading to the helipad, although I've never seen it myself.

This one is G-OMAA. It is a Airbus Helicopters H135. It is operated by Babcock MCS Onshore.

 

Saw the Midlands Air Ambulance again, this time during July 2018. The view from near the Bourn Brook Walkway in Harborne and I was on Arosa Drive at the time. Was walking to Quinton Road. It was G-OMAA again.

 

In May 2019, near The Bull Ring Indoor Market, was a Midlands Air Ambulance car (7064), next to a West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust ambulance (4323). They were seen from Edgbaston Street and Gloucester Street, also near the Bull Ring Outdoor Market (the Rag Market is to the left off camera).

 

A few months later, during August 2019, and I was in the Library of Birmingham, getting views from the Secret Garden. When I zoomed down to Bridge Street between Arena Central and the Hyatt Regency Birmingham, and saw the Midlands Air Ambulance car (7064) again. That was the year when the Westside Metro Extension to Centenary Square was getting completed. Library Tram Stop opened here by December 2019.

 

Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance

I first saw the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance in February 2012. I was on Moor Street Queensway, and had my then bridge camera on me, so got some decent views. It was near Hotel La Tour and the McLaren Building, heading to the helipad at Birmingham Children's Hospital.

Seen here passing the McLaren Building. Years before Exchange Square was built they could fly around here, but this route is no longer possible for Air Ambulances.

 

In August 2013 I saw the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance on the helipad from James Watt Queensway. Again a mobile shot, on one of my lunchtime walks from work to get lunch. As per usual, the Police sealed off all the surrounding roads, as the paramedics took the patient to the Birmingham Children's Hospital.

 

Wales Air Ambulance

I first saw the Wales Air Ambulance landed on the helipad at Birmingham Children's Hospital from James Watt Queensway during November 2014. This one is a bit rare coming to Birmingham. The Teenage Cancer Trust building is behind.

 

The last time I saw the Wales Air Ambulance was from Bournville during September 2019. I was on Oak Tree Lane, walking from Selly Manor to the Serbian Orthodox Church during Birmingham Heritage Week. I haven't seen this helicopter again since then.

 

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

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60 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
13 Jan 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.

'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. 

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

'Forward in Unity' Print (A1 or A2)

'Forward in Unity' Video/Book Folder

'Forward in Unity' Book (2nd edition)

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

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70 passion points
Health & wellbeing
13 Jan 2021 - FreeTimePays
Introducing

Message our World - 13 January 2021 update

In this, the first of our Message Our World posts, we explain the Covid challenges that we have set ourselves and invite you to help in addressing these challenges by becoming a contributor.

As a contributor, we would like you to share your Covid linked story, that of your community or that of someone or something that has inspired you to take up the challenge.

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Message our World - 13 January 2021 update





In this, the first of our Message Our World posts, we explain the Covid challenges that we have set ourselves and invite you to help in addressing these challenges by becoming a contributor.

As a contributor, we would like you to share your Covid linked story, that of your community or that of someone or something that has inspired you to take up the challenge.


Covid challenges

These challenges, as we now all too well aware, are huge and will be with us for some considerable time to come.

Community has rallied in many ways and we are looking to pool this hugely valuable community resource as we continue to fight the pandemic and then recover from the pandemic.

 

Challenge 1:

Stop the spread of mis-information

 

Challenge 2:

Tackle the impact of Covid on mind and body

 

Challenge 3:

Tackle the social, economic and educational impact of Covid

 

How we will help at Message Our World

(1)

Community engagement

Using existing social media channels and our own FreeTimePays online communities, we have connected with over 100,000 people.  Message our World will tap into that resource and the large and growing connections made by our communities. 

(2)

Accessible bank of resource

We have built a massive bank of imagery that can be used time and time again in messages we put out. More importantly we will open up and share this resource with others in a joint strategy aimed at re-inforcing those messages in order to achieve the desired changes in behaviour and beliefs.

(3)

A showcase of inspiration

With connections already made, we are in touch with so many people and so many communities that are doing amazing work as we all face up to the Covid challenge.  We will continue to showcase the fantastic work they do.

(4)

Community of contributors

The digital tools and solutions we have built are shared with community which allows us to come together to achieve so much more where engagement, action and change is time critical.

(5)

Community collaborations

Collaboration is central to the work we do across FreeTimePays communities and we will promote and create even more collaborative working.

(6) 

Recognition for a job well done 

People do what they do for many different reasons but it is still great to be recognised for a job well done.  Through gamification, community awards and through our constantly trending #PeopleWithPassion messaging, we recognise people for the time they put aside for a common cause.

 

Get in touch with us

Pick up the phone and let's chat.  0121 410 5520

Email:  jonathan.bostock@freetimepays.com

Connect HERE online.

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30 passion points
Health & wellbeing
12 Jan 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Introducing the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham

The Birmingham Super Hospital was built on a site in Edgbaston close to the old Queen Elizabeth Hospital from 2006 to 2010 by Balfour Beatty. It was opened in the summer of 2010. Built to replace the old QE and Selly Oak Hospital, it was given the name of Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. It is linked to the University of Birmingham. The hospital is part of the UHB NHS Foundation Trust.

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Introducing the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham





The Birmingham Super Hospital was built on a site in Edgbaston close to the old Queen Elizabeth Hospital from 2006 to 2010 by Balfour Beatty. It was opened in the summer of 2010. Built to replace the old QE and Selly Oak Hospital, it was given the name of Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. It is linked to the University of Birmingham. The hospital is part of the UHB NHS Foundation Trust.


Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham is located in Edgbaston, Birmingham on Mindelsohn Way. The Selly Oak Bypass, known as the Aston Webb Boulevard, along with New Fosse Way and Hospital Way was completed between 2010 to 2011. There is a roundabout nearby called Queen Elizabeth Island.

The nearby Cross City Line includes University Station, which can be used to get to the hospital and the University of Birmingham. As well as the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, the nearby Ariel Aqueduct and railway viaduct are also close by.

Construction of the Birmingham Super Hospital took place by Balfour Beatty between 2006 and 2010. It was named Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, as the Royal title had to be before, and not after, so it could not be called Birmingham Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

The move to the QEHB started in June 2010, and this was completed by November 2011. At the same time, they were moving out of Selly Oak Hospital and the old Queen Elizabeth Hospital (parts of which are now the Medical School of the University of Birmingham).

The hospital is part of the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.

 

The Birmingham Super Hospital seen during May 2009 while it was still under construction. It had been about 6 months since my brother passed away from cancer, and we were at the old QE, to see an art exhibition. While there, I took these photos of the new hospital from the outside.

 

In December 2009 I saw these views of the Birmingham Super Hospital from Selly Oak Triangle. Near the Sainsbury's car park and the Battery Retail Park. Used to be a B & Q at the retail park at the time.

 

Next up, views taken during June 2010, the month the Queen Elizabeth Hospital was first opened. These views from Selly Oak, over the allotments.  Probably taken from the Harborne Lane Island.

 

Some April 2012 views of the QEHB. First up, a couple of views from the Aston Webb Boulevard (Selly Oak Bypass). Plus a couple of views from around Mindelsohn Way.

 

A couple of February 2013 views of the QEHB near the bus stops. The main entrance to the hospital is to the far right.

 

Some views in later years. This one of the QEHB taken from Mindelsohn Way during December 2017 (on Boxing Day). Many bus routes head around this road, with the bus stops on the right. Today you can get the 76 to Solihull, or the 1A towards Acocks Green. Other bus routes serve the bus stops behind.

 

In December 2017, I saw this view of the QEHB from the footbridge at Selly Oak Station. This was two days after the previous time I saw the hospital. There was some snow in Selly Oak that day.

 

This view taken from the bus stop during March 2018 of the QEHB. Taxi rank on the left, bus stops on the right. Was waiting for a no 76 bus back towards Yardley Wood and Hall Green.

 

Now for some views of the QEHB seen over the years from Beacon Hill at the Lickey Hills Country Park.

The view from May 2013, of the QEHB and the BT Tower.

 

By January 2018, you could see the construction to the right of the QEHB of The Bank Tower 2.

 

A November 2020 Lickey Hills 2nd lockdown walk down Beacon Hill started with the skyline view first. The QEHB, was joined by the completed Bank towers, while The Mercian was shooting up Broad Street.

 

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

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110 passion points
Health & wellbeing
11 Jan 2021 - Daniel Sturley
Inspiration

"Photography has become my mental health medicine!" - Daniel tells us why!

Daniel Sturley, autistic and an award winning photographer, is the first of our 'People with Passion' to share his story about how his ‘special interest’ has helped him with his mental health challenges,  He also gives some great tips for producing wonderful photography. 

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"Photography has become my mental health medicine!" - Daniel tells us why!





Daniel Sturley, autistic and an award winning photographer, is the first of our 'People with Passion' to share his story about how his ‘special interest’ has helped him with his mental health challenges,  He also gives some great tips for producing wonderful photography. 


'Bonnie', one of our family cats in 1988

From the age of about 7 I have been fascinated by photography, and had my first camera by the age of 10, an Halina 110 film format with two built-in lenses and a flash. I would take photos while on family holidays in Wales and I particularly enjoyed capturing the rally cross meetings when visiting the local motor racing circuit.

1987, Lydden Hill rallycross circuit, Dimi Mavropoulus's crazy Audi S1

An equaly mad Metro 6R4

I would send off the films for processing and had to endure an almost intolerable wait of a couple of weeks for the prints to arrive. When they did arrive it was better than birthdays and Christmas!

'Old Harry Rocks' near Tunbridge Wells, part of a college photography assignment in 1989

It was not until I went to college that I did any ‘serious’ photography, including developing and printing. I did several photography projects at college and with my first portfolio I was able to get a summer job doing baby and child portraiture in Mothercare, Boots, and BHS, taking and then selling photos to parents. I received very positive feedback about my photography but I was determined to seek a career in TV and Video Production, and taking photos was purely a hobby. I sold my camera in the third year of university for beer money and almost instantly regretted it.

The view from the top of the Sears (Willis) Tower in Chicago 1997

In 1997 I went to Chicago with my father and took a small 35mm snapper. I took many photos of the huge buildings there, I was obsessed with skyscrapers and still am. I wanted to capture the feeling of standing at the base of a massive skyscraper unlike anything I had ever seen.

I had found myself in Birmingham starting my first job in the television industry in 1994 and, although I had the typical south-east view of the place and had never been before, I very quickly fell in love with the city and felt moved to use my photography as a way of dispelling all the negative myths about it. Inspired by my trip to Chicago I started to photograph what has become my adopted home city.

Victoria Square in December 2003

In 1998 at the age of 30, I was diagnosed with autism (Asperger’s syndrome) and started to understand more about my challenges and how to manage my anxiety levels better. I also understood why I had ‘special interests’, photography of architecture was definitely one of my strongest, and I adore maps and have seventy two different atlases, I love skyscrapers and satelite photography, I can't get enough of Google Earth and I can't wait till I can afford a VR kit!

In November 2005 I went to New York and Chicago for ten days working but still came back with 39 rolls of 36 exposure film!

Looking up at the 450m Willis (Sears) Tower in November 2005

It was my birthday on this trip and I was feeling rebellious so I took this one on Fifth Avenue, November 2005

I bought my first digital SLR camera in 2008 and started to accumulate a large collection of photos of Birmingham. I showed some of them to friends and family and was overwhelmed by the positive feedback and encouragement I received.

Cambrian Wharf with the Flapper Canalside Pub in 2009

In 2010 I produced a set of ten Birmingham postcards, had 200 of each printed and managed to get a few small city shops to sell them. The venture didn't succeed very well and I lost interest in photography.

I was encouraged by a good friend to develop a distinctive style and I had already identified several things that I naturally did like framing with thirds, juxterpositions, high colour, because I liked the resulting photos. But I also realised that there was the 'no people' aspect of my photography and how it reflects how I see the world.

In 2011 I found myself alone for Christmas Day and whilst I was a bit down, I wasn't lonely. As an autistic person I have a base state of alone, so I took the opportunity to indulge my 'special interest' of city photography and to wander the streets of Birmingham city centre to get some shots. Serendipity intervened to gift this set of rare photos.

CHRISTMAS DAY 2011 GALLERY

In 2013 I whad been working as a freelance video editor for a large company consistently for 18-months. The 3-hours of driving every day and extremely difficult working conditions resulted in so much stress that I became ill with clinical depression and anxiety disorder and had to cease work as a freelancer.

As part of my recovery, I was encouraged to indulge my ’special interests’ and chose to further my Birmingham promotion project by publishing my photography through social media. I published some of my archive of photos of the city but also started to take many more on a regular basis. I had fantastic feedback, I have continued ever since,  my Twitter account now has over 1400 followers and I have sold some of my photos as printsprints.

In 2015 I became a regular contributor to the new @BirminghamWeAre Twitter account and have gone on to become a full development partner with the parent social media platform FreeTimePays.com.

My photography has been considered as a large contributory factor in the success of their community engagement project which encourages others to send in their photography of the city.

 

I seem to be able to see photographs waiting to be taken, I can 'frame' a scene instantly in my mind so I just need to use the camera to capture it. I love to use the 'rule of thirds' with my compositions, I like to find great juxtapositions, colours, reflections and odd 'muddles' of things that are hard to work out what's going on at first glance.

The Birmingham Pyramids, April 2016

In 2016 I visited Edinburgh with my mother and came back with many great photos of the city.

Edinburgh, a Sea of Chimney Pots - April 2016

In  May 2016 I was honoured to win ’The Cube Photographer of the Year’, after submitting one of my photos of the iconic building.

My winning submission for the Cube Photographer of the Year 2016

Later in 2016 I was also contacted by a gentleman from Price Waterhouse Cooper in Birmingham inviting me to display my photos of the construction of their new headquarters at Paradise Birmingham, One Chamberlain Square, as a timeline gallery at their current base.

My photos on the wall at PwC with Matthew Hammond, Chairman, PwC Midlands in June 2018

The Demolition of the Central Library, June 2016

The Construction of PwC's One Chamberlain Square during May 2018

I continued to photograph the construction of the building and was invited by PwC to collaborate on a 'coffee table' book about the building using mainly my contruction photos photos.

This was completed in January 2020 and I went to the opening of the building where the book was distributed to lots of people and I got one to take home.

As part of my extra-curricular work with BirminghamWeAre I have produced five 'Birmingham Gems' charity calendars.

 

More recently, apart from publishing almost daily photography of Birmingham and especially since the pandemic restrictions, I have tried to develop several themes in my photography that have happened serendipitously over the year's. 'Reflections' is one that I have posted recently about, read more here: Reflections of Birmingham

Reflection of the Library in the part frozen pool in Centenary Square on 25th December 2020.

'Birmingham Lamps' is another, there are so many different types around the cityI

On or off, I like lamps, here one by the Arena Birmingham on the Canal.

I have also collected a lot of photos that show the architectural or general muddle that is the city of Birmingham I am calling 'Muddle Earth'

The view from Grand Central on 25th December 2020

In 2020 I uploaded a total of 3,378 photos of Birmingham taken in 2020.

I have a great passion for city photography and love to go on photography visits. I have created many galleries of my photos from these trips, please click below to view.

CITY PHOTOGRAPHY

Below are some examples.

Edinburgh, the Queen's Birthday Gun Salute, taken from Princes Street Gardens on a 300mm lens, April 2016  EDINBURGH GALLERY

Glasgow, September 2018, the view from the Necropolis, but what's a tomb and what's a building in the distance?  GLASGOW GALLERY

Cardiff, August 2017, one of the newly painted red dragons on the ornate obelisks outside City Hall.  CARDIFF GALLERY

Leeds, July 2017, one of the magnificent gold owls at the Civic Hall  LEEDS GALLERY

Paris, November 2011, the view Down the Champs Elysees  PARIS GALLERY

Amsterdam, August 2005, a tram jam in Leidseplein  AMSTERDAM GALLERY

Roma, April 2002, the Ruins of Il Tempio die Dioscuri ROMA GALLERY

Tivoli, April 2002, the Tivoli Gardens  TIVOLI GALLERY

New York City, November 2005, on my best ever birthday, the view north-west from the Empire State Building  NEW YORK CITY GALLERY

 

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