Church opens it’s doors to the homeless

St. Andrews Church in Leicester are appealing for volunteers to take part in their ‘Christmas sleep in for the homeless’.

The church will be opening their hall to 10 different homeless people for a month, beginning on the 10 December.

Volunteers will be needed every night to settle the guests into their home for the night and in the morning to make and serve breakfast.

Reverend Canon Karen Rooms said: “We’re desperate for volunteers to help us with this project, at this time of the year it’s so important to give what we can to those less fortunate than ourselves.

“We did this a couple of years back and since I’ve moved to the parish I decided it would be a good idea to bring it back and create a community spirit again.”

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The church, on Jarrom Street is opening its church hall doors to 10 homeless people every night for a month during the festive season after it was revealed that there are 4,400 homeless people in the East Midlands

The project will be the second time that the church and its congregation have decided to take part in this. Four years ago, the parish decided to try this for the first time.

Ben Matthews was one of the homeless who attended the first night, said :”Being welcomed by people and getting help even if it is for only one night, is fantastic for us. It’s nice to know that people actually care about us.”

Volunteers are desperately needed for the nights to run smoothly and to make the people feel welcome in the hall, as if it were their own home.

Action Homeless is the charity working alongside the church to ensure that homeless people are aware that the church is available for them to sleep in.

Vice Chairman of the Leicester based charity, Alex Payton said: “It’s fantastic that the church has decided to do this. It’s really important that we get the volunteers we need.”

At least 10 volunteers will be needed each day, but more are welcome to join. The church is also asking for people to sleep in the hall with their guests overnight.

Alex added: “I encourage everyone to take a few hours out of their time to give back to people who will be incredibly grateful.”

For more information, contact Rev. Karen Rooms on 0116 255 3823.

Hospitality LCFC tickets given to DMU students as a thank you

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By Grace Morgan 

Select students from the men’s and women’s football team at De Montfort University (DMU) were given hospitality tickets to Leicester City’s clash with Middlesbrough.

The tickets included a three course meal before the game in the Legends Lounge.

Beaumont Town, the home venue for the DMU football players’ matches, is currently still closed and as a thank you for their patience and co-operation captains and chairmen were offered the tickets.

Hannah Curwen the women’s team chairwoman said: “It was a fantastic opportunity for us and it meant a lot to be shown that sort of appreciation from the university.”

The university offers out tickets to games via a ballot which is offered to staff and students for every home game and a limited amount of tickets are given away at random.

Beaumont Town is currently shut after complications between Beaumont Town Football Club (BTFC) and DMU over facility use and security issues.

The temporary closure of the facility has meant disruption for the football teams, including training cancellations and fixture re-arrangement.

Hannah said: “We have had to re-arrange a lot because of the closure, but we fully support why DMU have closed the facility and they have worked so hard to ensure we aren’t put under too much strain or caused too much disruption.”

The tickets were given to ten students who are involved in the football teams and they each received a free program for the game, an advent calendar and other free merchandise from the club.

Ellie Prendergast, the women’s football 2nd team captain said: “I’m not a Leicester fan but I thought it was such a nice thing for the university to do for us, and made us realise that they really care about us and how things affect us which is nice.”

The men’s and women’s football teams both tweeted out a thank you directly to the vice chancellor Dominic Shellard.

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Are students being taken advantage of?

By Sam Coleman

Student accommodation has never been known for being luxurious, however at what point do landlords and letting agencies begin to take advantage?

Leicester is a thriving student city with lots of student accommodation for all budgets, but those with small budgets can often end up in very poor housing.

Charlie Baskott, 21, a third year finance and accounting student at De Montfort University expressed ‘disgust’ and ‘anger’ at the way his landlord had treated him and his flatmates.

He said: “I don’t think they take us seriously because we’re students, I can’t imagine a family being treated the way we have been, we all pay the same money it shouldn’t matter.

“Our oven hasn’t worked for two weeks now and we’ve spoken to him every day yet nothing, there’s only so many meals I can make without an oven and I definitely can’t afford to eat out every day.”

Mr Baskott pays £105 a week for his accommodation so is paying a lot more than the average student.

James Evans, 29, a Markfield resident and graduate of the University of Leeds lived on a far lower budget whilst at university.

He said: “My rent was £70 a week so as you can imagine it wasn’t the best, there was always problems from leaking sinks to no water but that didn’t bother me.

“That’s what university is supposed to be like, you’re not doing it right if you’re living in luxury what does everyone expect?

“Saying that from some of the stories you told me that’s not right, I rent out a few properties now and if my tenants have an issue I sort it straight away.

“Students, families it doesn’t matter if they’re paying they deserve to be treated right.”

There are numerous different letting agencies specifically for students such as letting4students and codestudents, however when looking for the cheapest option going elsewhere often offers less support and so companies may take advantage.

Mr Evans said: “Always read the fine print of the contract before signing so you know what you’re entitled to, you don’t want to be left responsible for sorting the issues yourself.”

 

Inspiring poet returns to the stage at DMU

By Olivia Whaley

Famous poet Benjamin Zephaniah returned to De Montfort University to help motivate students with an inspirational lecture on Wednesday November 30.

benjamin-zAll students studying creative writing at the university were invited to listen to a lecture about the poet’s life.

DMU Student, Alexandra Kilcran attended the lecture, said: “The lecture by Benjamin Zephaniah was so inspirational. It is so important to have such successful writers come and speak to the students at DMU.”

The poet and musician spoke out to students about the challenges he faced growing up as a black man in England during the 1970s.

Benjamin shared with the students how he had been expelled from school at the age of 13 for challenging his teachers when they said that ‘Christopher Columbus discovered black people’.

Alexandra added: “Benjamin discussed with the audience how he approaches poetry and novel writing. I found it fascinating to hear about his work.”

The poet also addressed the challenges he faces due to his dyslexia, but said this ‘contributes to his unique phonetic writing style’.

Just last year, Mr Zephaniah was awarded an honorary degree by DMU for helping to make poetry relevant and accessible to all.

When awarded this, he said: “Poetry is everywhere. People see it in books or being studied and define it only in this way. But for me, we are all poets.

“You might wake up and think ‘why is the grass green? What would happen if it was red?’ That’s a poetic thought and these occur to people all the time; that’s my theory.”

In the lecture, Benjamin also addressed the multi-culturalism in Leicester and praised the city for being able to ‘live peacefully together’.

Third year creative writing and film studies student, Matt Dale also attended the lecture. He said: “Benjamin is such an engaging and funny speaker. It was great to listen to his story.”

Benjamin also covered the importance of understanding the business side of creative industries, referring to when he had work stolen, as he had not read his contract thoroughly.

Matt added: “He even stressed the importance of understanding business as well as having the passion to create stuff.”

Other students from DMU took to Twitter saying that the lecture had ‘really showed that following your dreams always pays off’ and ‘that it was the best lecture’ during their whole time at university.

 

Middlesborough and Leicester fans take the fighting off the pitch

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Police intervened on the fighting fans 

By Mark Farmer

Clashes between Leicester City and Middlesbrough fans broke out on the evening of Saturday 26 November after their team’s game at the King Power Stadium.

Fan-recorded videos emerged on social media shortly after the final whistle.

Rival supporters can be seen in a stand-off leading to punches being thrown by both sets of supporters before police intervened.

The match, which ended in a 2-2 draw, saw the home side salvage a point late on through a 94th minute Islam Slimani penalty to cancel out two Alvaro Negredo goals.

Both teams have found themselves embroiled in a relegation battle, despite Leicester’s title winning heroics last season.

This does not excuse the behaviour of the supporters, however, who began fighting inside the stadium before piling together on the terraces outside the ground.

One Leicester City season of ticket holder of 11 years, Vicki Connelly, said: “There were about 50 people fighting inside the stadium and stewards were trying to split them up.”

“There were large groups outside that were trying to get at each other.”

Footage prior to the skirmishes showed Leicester fans chanting, ‘dirty northern b*******’ to antagonise Middlesbrough supporters into fighting.

Scenes like these have threatened to drag the sport back into its dark ages that were more commonplace in the 1980s with hooliganism rife on football’s terraces.

One twitter user Lee Lowery, 20, took to the social media site to voice his concerns.

He said: “Seeing Leicester and Boro fans fighting yesterday after the game and thinking what a disgrace, don’t even call yourselves fans of the sport.”

Vicki reiterated this after she revealed a male Middlesbrough fan threatened to ‘knock her out’ after she was overheard praising his team.

She said: “I don’t think these people represent football fans at all, because most of them don’t know how to behave.

“I get that people are going to be passionate about their team because I am, too.

“I saw fans chanting at each other, and that’s fine because it was all light-hearted, but as soon as it gets physical its gone way too far.”

Leicestershire Police confirmed two men, aged 18 and 33, were arrested following the incidents on Saturday.

They have been released on bail pending further inquiries.