Storm Callum causes chaos on Mount Snowdon

By Alice Warner

A fundraising team from the Co-op managed to sing and dance their way up to the halfway house on Mount Snowdon, despite being affected by the worst storm in 30 years

The team of Co-op workers from around the Midlands braved storm Callum on Saturday, October 13 and started their adventure up the Llanberis route on Mount Snowdon.

Trevor Rigley, Co-op store manager and event organiser said: “Going was slow as the rain was coming down fairly hard, and the wind was so strong at times it would take you off your feet.

“I think in all honesty this just added to the adventure and we literally just stuck together and laughed at it.

“It wasn’t long before we were all absolutely soaked to the skin. It wasn’t cold so nobody really minded but the wind continued to get stronger.”


The team trekking in storm Callum trying to get to the highest point in Wales

Trevor is tackling Mount Everest next month in aid of Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice, Coventry and his team were all very enthusiastic about wanting to help train and fundraise.

So Snowdon was suggested for him to get a little taste of what was to come.

Little did they know that they were about to attempt climb the highest point of Wales in the worst storm of 30 years.

Mr Rigley added: “By the time we’d reached the halfway house we were meeting other trekkers coming back down who were explaining how bad it was going further up. At that point, on the advice of the guides, we reluctantly turned back.

“My team were amazing. They gave everything, they danced, they sang, nothing could dampen their spirits.

“A huge thank you to Maria, Chloe, Lee, David, Leanne and Abby for not only raising close to £1,000 for Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice but for their energy and enthusiasm.”


Spirits are high as the team battle with the weather

Leanne Bosworth posted on Facebook: “Closed roads, power cuts, stupidly strong winds and graveyards with lights flickering.

“Being up close and personal with Storm Callum on the side of a mountain is definitely one to remember. We did this all to help a very special charity, Zoë’s Place.”

Trevor now has only a fortnight to go until he climbs to Everest base camp in Nepal, and is definitely more excited and prepared than he was for Snowdon.

He said: “The challenge is huge but I’ve trained hard, I’m really looking forward to learning about the culture and walking through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.

“And who knows, I might get close to touching the sky.”


The storm took over as the team got to the halfway house on the Welsh mountain

A few years ago Trevor lost his father to cancer and, in those moments before he died, he told Trevor that he himself hadn’t said ‘yes’ to enough in life and he urged Trevor he needed to really live his life.

A year ago, Trevor received a call from Muna Chauhan, a Corporate Manager at Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice, asking him if he wanted to climb Everest in aid of the hospice.

Trevor explained: “I visited the hospice, saw the amazing work they do with the special babies and was entirely moved by it.

“The families faced challenges I couldn’t even imagine.”

As a father to be, he decided it was time to help, and he said ‘yes!’

Advice from Trevor is to just start with ‘yes’. He said: “You don’t even have to know how you are going to do something, once you’ve taken the first step with ‘yes’, it all falls into place.

“Anything becomes possible when you just have the bravery to say ‘yes’.”

Visit Trevor’s Just Giving page to read his full story.

Debut EP release for student

By Ollie Heppenstall

A De Montfort University (DMU) student and promising singer-songwriter has released her debut EP.

Kait Baker-Smith, a 21-year-old English Language and Creative Writing student, released ‘Wildflower’ on Friday (Oct19) at popular city centre venue The Shed.

Speaking a few days before the launch, she said: “Wildflower is about being different, learning to accept who you are, and finding where you belong. The title comes from a song of the same name which I really like, by Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes

“It’s partly inspired by my own attempts to find where I belong.

“I’ve always known I was a bit different to everyone else and knew that there have been places where I fit in better than others.”

44391362_473849769688763_1116596509463281664_nShe added: “It’s taken just over a year to write and record everything.

“I started writing in the summer between first and second year, and was recording almost as soon as I started my second year. Having to balance everything was fairly easy, even if it’s been the main reason why it’s taken this long to finally get it out.

“There were some months where myself and Tom Snell, who handled the technical side of the recording process, wouldn’t record at all because neither of us were able to find the time to get into the studio.

“We ended up recording more tracks than there are on the album itself, but we didn’t finish them in time to get them on – I’d love to get them out there somewhere in the future.”

She also said: “I love Dodie Clark’s music and writing style, she’s been a huge influence on how I write and perform – it was her material that got me to appreciate the ukulele more than I already did.

“The writing came reasonably easy, sometimes I’d be up first thing in the morning with an idea and I’d be desperate to get it written down.

“There aren’t any plans to tour it just yet, I’ll stick to gigs around Leicester.”

Miss Baker-Smith also said that she was ecstatic with how her EP has turned out, particularly certain tracks.

“I think my favourite track on the album is Mind Over Matter, which is partly inspired by people who live their lives in a very different way and are comfortable with it, they’re not afraid to do their own thing at all.”

DMU student chased and assaulted near Bede Park after social

By Tyler Arthur 

A student of De Montfort University, Leicester, was chased by a group of men who were hanging around near Bede Park in the early hours one morning.

Whilst walking home from a night out, Sam Pullen, 18, passed the attackers who were stood on a street corner, before they began to run after him.

The first year Forensic Science student was on his way home from the Students’ Union bar, after a Wednesday night social, when the incident occurred at approximately 3.30am on October 11.


Sam, 18, on the bridge between Bede Park and the DMU campus, next to which the attackers were stood.

Mr Pullen couldn’t remember the events with complete clarity because he was trying to run away, and was still only just sobering up from his night out.

He said: “After I walked past, I heard people running, which made me turn around to see these guys chasing after me.


Eastern Blvd: The corner on which the men were stood before they attacked Sam.

“I was still slightly drunk, and so I got scared and ran towards campus.”

Before he could get to the relative safety of the DMU grounds, the men caught up to him.

“They struck my back and were hitting me as I tried to run away in what I believe was an effort to knock me to the ground – but I managed to get to the campus, and they stopped following me.”

Due to the time, there weren’t many people on campus, but the attackers didn’t follow Mr Pullen once he’d crossed the road into the university.

“They stopped following me, and instead started throwing eggs at me, but they didn’t follow me any further.

“I kept moving, and once I knew they were far enough away, I went straight home,” he concluded.


SAFETY: Sam managed to make it to the campus, and his attackers stopped chasing him.

This attack occurred on October 11, during a month which has been filled with news of numerous incidents, especially in-and-around the area of Bede Park.

Since these attacks started, every DMU Society and Sports Team has been sharing a warning with all of their members urging them to stay safe by avoiding that area as much as possible and staying together on their way home.

Leicestershire Police have spoken out on the issue and said: “We urge people to stay in well-lit areas when out late and into the early hours of the morning, and to walk in large groups.”

Leicester’s New Walk Museum opens two new revamped Ancient Egyptian galleries

By Jake Olner

Leicester’s New Walk Museum opened its new Ancient Egypt exhibition this week following a massive revamp of the old gallery.

The new galleries, called ‘Life and Death in Ancient Egypt’, opened last weekend allowing the public to come and see displays of mummified bodies, hundreds of ancient trinkets and even the three Egyptian amulets which were excavated here in Leicester.

A keen museum-goer and follower of Egyptian history who had brought her children for a family day out was Sabiha Dawjee, 45, Evington, who said: “I read that there’s a new exhibit here and I’ve come before but then it was in the smaller room so I came today to see what’s new and what they have.

“This (mummified girl) is really interesting. I love watching the programs on Egypt and this is kind of nice to see in real life.”


MUMMIES: Ta-Bes was a teenage girl in the seventh century BC at the Ancient Egyptian city of Panopolis

The original gallery that opened in 1994 had become outdated with its low lighting and red walls that were never truly able to display the full extent of the museum’s collection of Egyptian artefacts.

The museum on Leicester’s New Walk has since enjoyed an investment of £200,000 which has allowed the creation of the two new galleries.

Deputy city mayor Cllr Piara Singh Clair said: “New Walk Museum is home to the most important collection of Egyptian artefacts in the whole of the East Midlands but, up until now, we’ve only been able to display around a third of the items in our collection.

“I hope that these new galleries will prove to be even more popular than our previous Egyptian gallery, and that they’ll give visitors opportunity to not only learn about the tombs and mummies of ancient Egypt, but also to understand more about the vibrant lives that these people led.”

The first of the two new galleries focuses on life in Ancient Egypt, documenting life from the earliest evidence of life all the way through to the Byzantine period in the first millennium AD.

The second focuses on death, detailing how bodies were mummified and even allowing the public to see the mummies and their tombs.

Entry to the museum and to the two new galleries is free and open seven days a week.

New society receives over 100 recruits in first week

By Ross Barnett

De Montfort University’s latest society, DMU Gymnastics, received more than 100 sign ups throughout its first Freshers’ Week.

dmu gymnasticsNassar Kaliisa, a media and communication student, was the inspiration behind the setting up of the society.

He said: “We got a lot of people at the Freshers’ Fair. I started it by putting a message in all of the Freshers’ groups and Alannah [Christianson] saw the message and did a good job in getting some of the dance people involved.”

They meet at New College Leicester at 8pm on a Friday night plus there are stretching classes on Thursdays that are open to anyone.

All abilities are welcome at the society, as Ritu Varier explained: “We’ve got loads of people who have never experienced gymnastics before so we have to try to accommodate everyone.

“If you have done gymnastics before, then the coach allows some time to be allocated to what you know and likewise, those who haven’t are able to practice what they have learnt in those sessions.”

The women can take advantage of the full four set which includes the floor, vault, balance beams and uneven bars. For men, the full six set is available which includes the floor, vault, parallel bars, rings, pommel horse and uneven bars.

“I wasn’t really [surprised that DMU didn’t already have a gymnastics society],” said Nassar. “What really pushed me [to set it up] is that I have a strong social media following.

“I was always aware there was no gymnastics at DMU but I had friends who encouraged me to set it up and basically told me that I might as well start it.”

Alannah Christianson, a third year dance and art and festival management student, explained how it helped her in her dance classes: “I find it helps with some of the stuff that I am unable to do in my dance studio classes as I can head to the gym and practice so I would say that gymnastics has been beneficial to me for my course.”

Despite the society only being a few weeks old, Ritu says they are looking towards entering competitions for the first time.

“It depends on what members are interested in [if we enter any competitions] . However, there is one in Birmingham on December 9 and another in Leicester on the February 10.”