Intern warns uni students to stay off the booze

By Alexandra Smith

A student representative is campaigning for fellow students to be more aware of the dangers of alcohol during their time at University.


The journalism and media communications student, Sophie Hamilton, is currently carrying out an internship scheme at De Montfort University that allows her and many others to take part in programmes such as Student Voice.

Student Voice has provided Sophie with opportunities to get involved with events related to the university such as becoming a course representative and running campaigns across the campus.

She is now working on a campaign to make students more aware of the dangers of ingesting too much alcohol and how excessive quantities of alcohol can be damaging.

Along with studying for her course, the second year student has committed herself to eight hours a week collating ideas to educate and inform students about what they are drinking.

Sophie said: “Some of the work we already carry out involves two trained students that are members of Club Crew (the campaign name) going out on a Wednesday night to the local University Club Injunction, to help students that may have had too much to drink or need help getting home etc.

“The team members often have ‘kit bags’ that we hand out to students. These involve lollies to start conversations and leaflets about the effects excessive drinking can have on the body, whether that’s permanent or temporary.”

The Front Runners internship scheme is an experience Sophie would recommend to every student at DMU.

She said: “It opens up different perspectives of the university life I had not thought of or experienced before. It has made me realise the amount of advice and help the university offers to students of their own accord and I am just happy to be a part of that.”

Breakfast show presenter celebrates scooping top radio award

By Emily Barker

A breakfast show presenter is celebrating after winning an award and being presented with it at the O2 venue in London.

Abi Gibson 1

De Montfort University (DMU) third year Media Production student Abi Gibson, 22, has won a Student Radio Award for Best Female Presenter for her breakfast radio show.

Abi said: “It was a big sense of relief when I won. I was the only person nominated from DemonFM and because I took 15 people down there with me, I think I would have felt like I let a lot of people down if I didn’t win.”

Candidates had to create a four-minute demo of their best bits, along with 500 words which was sent to the Student Radio Awards (SRA) where it undergoes two rounds of judging; one round from the SRA and one round from industry officials. Work is submitted in July and the candidates find out if they have been nominated in October. The awards this year were earlier this month.

Abi Gibson 2

In her first year at DMU, Abi was a news reader. In her second year, she became head of news and had her own breakfast show.

Now in her third year, she is station manager for DemonFM.

Abi added: “These awards are a great opportunity for networking, it helps to get our name out there and for someone to have an SRA on their CV, it gives a good impression to the employer.

“I got a lot of email addresses that night. I’m also going to contact the people who judged the awards, when their names or organisations have been released.

“I would love to work in radio in the future, and I feel with student media, you get out what you put in.

“I would love to work at Radio One as it’s every radio presenter’s dream, but I’d also like to work at my local radio station, Key 103, which is based in Manchester.”

You can listen to Abi’s breakfast show on DemonFM on a Tuesday morning from 8am to 10am.

DMU Fashion student seeks to take Leicester to Thailand

By George Picton-Clark

A Fashion Buying student at De Montfort University who as a child helped on projects with orphans in Thailand is urging others to gain their own global experiences.


Skye Coston, aged 18.

At the fragile age of eight, Skye Coston, now 18, was involved in a “nerve-racking but life-changing” experience travelling with her mother and brother on the trip of a lifetime.

To most eight-year-olds, a dream trip would be to Disneyland, not the other side of the world in the poverty stricken rural villages of Thailand.

“We spent four days in a hostel, it was full of animals which could wander in through the doors, the mosquito nets were broken, but luckily I had my jabs before,” Skye recalled.


Skye Coston, aged 8, in Thailand.

For anyone, an experience like this would be overwhelming and stressful, so for an eight-year-old, it is something rarely experienced by someone who is so used to the comforts of home.

Skye described the next day as “eye-opening and beautiful”. It shaped her ever-growing compassion towards relief work.

“We visited the local orphanage. As soon as I came off the bus all the young girls ran over taking pictures of me.

“Nobody spoke English but it was beautiful because language wasn’t a barrier, we played games and sang Christian songs all day.”

Now, as a student at De Montfort University, Skye expressed her admiration for the services which are currently in place through the #DMUglobal scheme for world travel opportunities to places such as India and Thailand.

“I think the opportunities are great, it’s really made me feel like I’m at the right place with people who have similar views and ethics as I do,” she said.

“I’d love to get involved with more trips in the future and expand on the existing trips which are made available.”

For more information on future opportunities and updates about volunteering trips visit or call 0116 257 7613.



Highcross kicks off the festive season in style with unique Frostival event

By Kerri Stevenson

Leicester’s famous Highcross shopping centre got the festive season underway in style on Thursday with a unique festival for people of all ages to celebrate the countdown to Christmas.

This year’s Frostival featured live music, dance performances and stunning light shows, including animatronic puppetry displays and winged ice dancers with intricate light-up costumes.

IMG_20171127_180151The event also included two spellbinding performances of Tchaikovsky’s world-renowned ballet Swan Lake and a stilt-walking double act, the Ice Prince and Princess, who were seen at several intervals during the festival.

One of the main features was a giant animatronic snow lion, which was paraded across the centre of the city, accompanied by an Alice in Wonderland-inspired Red Queen character.

Jo Prosser, who works for events company Maynineteen, who organised the festival, said: “The aim of the event was to give visitors a unique and memorable Christmas experience, something with impact that would surprise and delight children.

IMG_20171127_180407“The most successful aspect in my opinion was probably the snow lion. It was a stunning puppet, big and imposing but with a kind and gentle life-like face, which is why I think it was so popular and drew such big crowds of people stroking the lion and taking selfies with it.”

The event proved successful and was attended by such a large number of people that extra security was brought in to accommodate the crowds and ensure that the acts could parade through the city centre as planned.


It was Maynineteen’s second Christmas activation for the Highcross, and due to its success, they hope to put on a similar, but bigger and better show again next year.

If you wish to know more about the event, contact the Highcross shopping centre on 0116 242 8644 or contact Maynineteen on 0161 848 7878.

To keep up to date with upcoming events, follow Maynineteen and the Highcross on Twitter at @maynineteen and @highcross.

Leicester gets into the Christmas spirit with the annual lights switch-on

By Elliot Leadbetter

People came out in their thousands to witness the Lord Mayor of Leicester, Cllr Rashmikant Joshi, switch on the Christmas lights.

The crowds collected mainly around the Humberstone Gate stage where there was a variety of entertainment on show including, of course, Santa Claus, as well as a choir, dancers, and a closing set from ska band The Paradimes.

Joshua Mucha, a 19-year-old Criminology student at De Montfort University, who attended the event, said: “I always come down to the lights switch on, every year.

“It’s normally a great evening and there is always some form of entertainment provided, just like tonight.

“More than anything it’s nice to just come down and see all of the community out with their families, it feels like more like Christmas now!”

Every year there is speculation over what the Christmas tree will look like, which is traditionally sourced from the Kielder Forest in Northumberland.

This year, the 50ft tree was covered in ‘snow’ and thousands of lights, to match the snow and ice theme the council is adopting across the city this Christmas.

Aside from the lights switch-on, there was a whole host of events across the city centre to get the community into the festive mood.

In the Town Hall Square there was a nativity scene for the family to enjoy, as well as a tableau scene featuring characters from the Chronicles of Narnia.


A large Christmas sign in the Town Hall Square – home of the nativity scene.

Frostival was also providing entertainment in St Peter’s Square, featuring Swan Lake ballerinas, stilt-walking characters, and winged ice dancers, all just a few minutes away from the Wheel of Light.


The Wheel of Light

Last Thursday also marked the start of trading for the new Christmas Market in New Market Square, where there was a whole range of chalets selling homemade gifts and a selection of festive foods.


Some of the chalets selling homemade gifts and food

Next up in the Christmas diary is Leicester’s first real ice rink, which opens in Jubilee Square on December 9.