Overcoming loneliness the DMU way

by Kate Goodyer, Andre Sobol, and Beatriz Ferreira



Almost half of UK students admit feeling lonely during their time at university, according to a recent report by Sodexo.

The majority of students experiencing loneliness were first years or international students, who are moving away from home for the first time and are likely to struggle with language and cultural barriers.

Students at De Montfort University (DMU) have mentioned the importance of Freshers’ Week events to help freshers getting involved in university life, but also suggested that it can lead to other students feeling left out if they do not relate to the activities available.


Since students are required to pay for most Freshers’ Week activities or to join societies, financial problems can also have a negative impact on their social life because it can prevent students from getting involved.

One DMU student, who didn’t want to be named, said: “If you don’t have the money to go out there are not that many other options so I think that some people just avoid being with others.”

She added: “Also, for students that don’t live in campus, who stay at home, they lose part of the experience of staying in an accommodation and meeting people, it’s harder to make friends.”


De Montfort University Students’ Union mission statement for student well-being.

Derrick Mensah, the Students’ Union’s Vice President for Student Activities, admitted feeling lonely during his time as a University student,.

He said: “It is hard to identify a student that is lonely but in most cases if that person is willing to expand themselves and come into the office we can see what they want to get involved with and hopefully point them in the right direction.”

Top 3 tips to fight loneliness:

1. Join a society

Joining a society can help students meet people with the same interests as their own.

2. Ask for help

There are several places available around campus such as the DMU Wellbeing Service or the DMU Mental Health Inclusion Team where you can look for support or find someone to talk to.

3. Try new things

Don’t be afraid of getting involved and trying different activities.

If you are experiencing loneliness, make sure you schedule an appointment with the Mental Health Inclusion Team at Gateway Building or visit the website http://www.dmu.ac.uk/current-students/student-support/wellbeing-disability/mental-health-support/index.aspx

With the closure of many a shop on Leicester’s High Street is Christmas the lifeline?

By Ehren Chapman, Collins Wetende and Oliver Taylor

As Christmas looms and local business trade picks up, is the end of the year the lifeline that independent businesses need to survive into the new year? We went onto the streets to find out.


“I hope he does well but not today”- can comeback Claudio conquer former club Leicester City?


By Adam Rear, Luke Norman and William Webb

Tonight (WED, DEC 5) marks a momentous occasion as Claudio Ranieri faces off against Leicester City for the first time since his exit from the Midlands club.

Ranieri, who many Leicester City fans describe as a ‘club hero’, skyrocketed Leicester City to a Premier League title win back in the 2015-2016 season. an achievement which club legend Gary Lineker described as: “The biggest sporting shock of my lifetime”.

This evening, Ranieri’s new Fulham side host the Foxes.

Despite the amazing achievement of winning the Premier League on 5000/1 odds a season earlier, Ranieri was sacked by Leicester just nine months later after a poor start to the 2016/17 season.

Leicester City released a statement explaining why they sacked the manager: “This has been the most difficult decision we have had to make in nearly seven years since the King Power took ownership of Leicester City.

“But we are duty bound to put the club’s long term interests above all sense of personal sentiment.”

The football world reacted poorly to the sacking of Ranieri after his heroics of the season before.

Leicester and England football legend Gary Lineker said: “After all that Claudio Ranieri has done for Leicester City, to sack him now is inexplicable, unforgivable and gut-wrenchingly sad.”

It is not unusual for a Premier League manager to be sacked the season after winning the League as it also happened to five other managers, including Ranieri, four have happened within the past four years. This is what prompted England legend Gary Neville to describe winning the league, “the new poison chalice”.

Fulham appointed Ranieri as manager to try and help lift them from the bottom of the league; a win is desperately needed against his old club Leicester who sit 9th.

Leicester City fans had a lot to say about their ex-manager.

Jack Church, 20, said: “Obviously, I want Leicester to win tonight, but I wish no harm to Ranieri, I wish him well. At the end of the 90 minutes we still want the win”.

Joshua Taylor echoed a similar response: “Tonight’s a special night for Claudio, he got the greatest achievement possible from a club that had odds of 5000 to 1, and now he has to face them.”

The highly anticipated game between Leicester City and Fulham kicks off at Craven Cottage at 7:45pm.





Festive Leicester gets into full Christmas celebratory spirit

By Emma Guy, Molly Kerridge and Emily Rooney

Preparations for the festive season are well underway in Leicester city centre, with the lights already switched on and the Clock Tower tree up, as well as attractions such as the Wheel of Light.


As Christmas falls fairly soon after the Diwali celebrations in the city, this makes for an exciting and diverse festive season full of both council-run and independent events.

The main events are also the longest running, with the Ice Rink running from the 6th December to the 6th January and the Wheel of Light running from the 16th November to the 7th January.


There are also other events such as the Christmas play “White Christmas” at The Curve Theatre, a concert at Leicester Cathedral, and a funfair on Humberstone Gate.

Maggie Shaw, Activities Officer for Leicester City Council, said that during the festive season there will be “a lot of coordination, a lot of work with different partners, and a lot of programming throughout the city.”

She added: “It’s about everybody coming together to put the Christmas offer on for Leicester.


“There will be lots to do in Leicester, businesses will be booming because of the additional people coming into the city centre.”

For more information about the Christmas celebrations, go to the Visit Leicester website at https://www.visitleicester.info or go into the Visit Leicester building at 51 Gallowtree Gate.

Deputy Mayor defends environmental policy amid increased protests

By Luke Pawley, Samuel Gill and Reece Stafferton




The Deputy Mayor of Leicester has today defended the city council’s plans to cut down trees in the Cultural Quarter area of the city.

Environmental campaign group Leicester Friends of the Earth are planning to protest this Sunday (December 9) against the removal of trees from St George’s churchyard, although Cllr Adam Clarke insisted that the move would actually improve the area by creating more open and biodiverse spaces.

“It’s a very different issue in an urban environment, there are always competing demands,” Clarke said.

“We have 150,000 individual trees in our city and that doesn’t count the woodlands that we also have on top of that.

“Leicester is a very tree-rich city, St George’s Churchyard is a very specific case.

“It is also a site of anti-social behaviour and crime and there’s also an opportunity there to open up the churchyard to actually make it more biodiverse by putting in a wildflower meadow in the churchyard and creating something that is actually probably more environmentally appropriate for the area.

“But that does mean taking down some trees to open it out and make it a place where people want to be positively rather than those negative activities that are happening at the moment. But that is such a minor scheme given the vast tree management work that goes on under our trees and woodlands team in the city.”

While plans are in place to reduce the impacts of climate change across Leicester, Cllr Clarke has called on the government, business and other local authorities to work together to make a positive environmental change.

“We can’t act alone as a city, we need support from the government, we need support from business to help us all work together, and from other cities and other nations coming together to combat the impacts of climate change because it is a very real issue.

“We know what we do here not only has an impact here, but will also have an impact around the world in some of the most needed communities. It is incredibly important that we are part of the climate change agenda and making sure that we are doing our bit.”


Photo: Facebook / Friends of the Earth

While Leicester Friends of the Earth will be protesting against the council’s decision on Sunday, Cllr Clarke said he speaks regularly with Friends of the Earth about “their desires” and making sure that he understands “where they are coming from.”

Clarke also highlighted Leicester’s “excellent track record” to date in terms of fighting climate change, including the fact that Leicester was named as Britain’s first environment city and have since developed a positive reputation to reduce climate change through flood mitigation and transport infrastructure works.

In a written statement issued to the Leicestershire Press, Leicester Friends of the Earth said: “It is not too late to avert disaster, if we act decisively enough.  Individual lifestyle changes will not be enough; however, we need political action; and major changes to our social and economic system.  So, while encouraging and supporting individual lifestyle changes, Friends of the Earth’s primary focus is on political action.”