Square Mile volunteers get to know their local community

BY TIM INCE

A hot lunch and a range of thought provoking discussions were on offer today at the Leicester Centre for Integrated Living’s latest Social Media Café.

LCiL, on Andrews Street, teamed up with DMU Square Mile volunteers for the event to provide visitors with talks from Seven Trent Water and the police, as well as a meal from The Real Junk Food Project Leicester.

John Coster, the project manager for LCiL, said:  “We had a good turn out today and it is great to see volunteers and people from the community immersing themselves.

“It is still early doors but obviously people are willing to come in and be introduced to what a community should be.”

Social Media Cafés run every Friday from 11am-3pm with a different theme each week such as ‘Health and Wellbeing’, ‘Products and Services’ or ‘Get Yourself Active’.

Jasper Pan, 20, a second year Economy and Finance student, said:  “I came to volunteer because my friends recommended it.

“I had also heard that it is an opportunity to help people and I really wanted to do something for the community.”

It is not just information provided though, with The Real Junk Food Project on hand each week to show people what you can do with ‘waste’ food.

Alison Preston, 29, a founder of the Real Junk Food Project in Leicester, said:  “We are on an environmental mission to reduce food waste.

“The Real Junk Food is a community interest project with bases all over the country and everyone can help in some way, whether it is scraping plates or playing music in Buskers Corner.”

The volunteer project intercepts food destined for the landfill and uses it create delicious meals sold on a ‘pay as you feel’ basis, allowing customers to spend what they think it was worth.

However, the cafés are just one of the things LCiL does to empower disabled people and organisations to tackle disability and equality issues across society.

There are already a host of events planned for the coming months, most notably a 24 hour newsroom that will run from December 2 at 6pm till the same time on December 3.

Taylor Crosby, 22, Events and Social Media Co-ordinator and graduate of DMU, said:  “We are encouraging students in psychology, politics, education, health and social care and anything else to get involved.

“This event is to raise awareness about disability and we are looking for students who want to learn and can go to companies and say ‘I know about disability and this is how you can improve.’”

For more information on how to volunteer with the Social Media Cafés visit http://www.dmusquaremile.our.dmu.ac.uk.

To get involved with other LCiL events visit http://www.lcil.org.uk.

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