Urban university events planner Uncle Teo moves into real estate

By Joshua Solomon

Leicestershire events planner Uncle Teo has decided to move into real estate since Covid-19 put a halt to his successful party operations.

Uncle Teo (Theodore St-John) ,24, studied at De Montfort University before deciding to create an events company that has hosted some of the biggest raves in the Midlands’ university scene.

Last March, Teo had to cancel an event for the first time due to Covid-19 and instead of panicking about his business staying afloat he decided to invest in property development.

He said: “I didn’t have time to panic and I don’t like uncertainty. So, I had to restrategise and decided to get into property, which was always the plan, but the pandemic sped up the process.”

Teo partnered with RST group, a property developer based in Leicester that specialises in building luxury student studios, and now he is a group asset manager for them.   

Ten months later, he announced that his first refurbished property in Leicester will be available to rent out in March, with more than 50 luxury studios, a gym, cinema and communal area. He said students have already filled the waiting list in the hope of acquiring a room.

He has announced plans for another property, this time in Loughborough, where development will begin from next month.  

Uncle Teo created his Leicester-based company UncleTeo Promotions Ltd on August 22, 2018, and it has since been a powerhouse for university raves, parties and other events in the Midlands.

It boasts 95 successful events, with 42,705 tickets sold and a reach of 767,354 website clicks.

His new venture into real estate, however, does not mean he has closed shop on his events company. He said: “I cannot wait to throw parties again, I miss the nightlife and putting on a show for students.”

Pfizer vaccine miscommunication causes unnecessary travel

By Kira Gibson

A woman who is shielding endured a wasted 45-minute trip to get the coronavirus vaccine – only to discover a lack of information on the online booking form meant she could not have it.

Corinna Gibson, 48, went with her boyfriend to Littlewick Medical Centre, Ilkeston, on Saturday, after booking a few days earlier to get the vaccine. 

Frustrated: Corinna Gibson

After a 45-minute drive, Ms Gibson arrived expecting to get her vaccine only to be told that she could not have it, due to having an anaphylaxis reaction to a drug, with the nurses unsure whether she would have an allergic reaction to the vaccine. 

The website for booking the vaccine tells users not to get it if they:
* have received a flu vaccination in the last seven days
* currently have a fever
* have a history of allergic reactions to vaccinations
* or have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last four weeks. 

“I believe that if there had been a couple of questions on the booking site prior to booking to ask about medical allergies, then my wasted journey wouldn’t have happened,” said Ms Gibson.

“The risk that myself and my family were put under for me to be turned away is no joke.

“Maybe I could’ve done some digging prior to the vaccination, but we are all reliant on the NHS to do the right thing and we all want this to go away, so I trusted that this was right. I returned home with my partner feeling very angry, upset, and, to be honest, embarrassed.”

People who are clinically ‘extremely vulnerable’ and in shielding are not supposed to travel anywhere, unless for an essential purpose, such as to get vaccinated. 

Ms Gibson said with people being sent all over the place to get their vaccines, being sure they are able to take it safely is a must.

She said she now has to wait for the Oxford vaccine to become available, with the real possibility that she might not be able to take that one either, due to the same risk. 

DMU Labour hosts first virtual ‘Women in Politics’ event

By Thomas Carter

DMU Labour Students, a political society at De Montfort University, held their first online event of 2021 on Thursday(JAN21), which was a discussion-based webinar titled ‘Women in Politics’.

The event, which is usually held in person but instead took place via Zoom, featured female speakers from the political world sharing their experiences and debating key contemporary issues.

DMU Labour Students host the ‘Women in Politics‘ discussion over Zoom on Thursday evening

Topics discussed include how the political climate has changed, what needs to be done to achieve equality in government and featured a Question and Answer session in which students could pose questions to the speakers.

Emily Fox, co-chair of DMU Labour Students, said: “I was delighted to organise this year’s event as the first woman Chair of the society.

“I really enjoyed hearing the personal experiences of these inspiring women in local politics.

“The discussion affirmed for me how women should stand up as they can do absolutely anything they put their mind to.”

Speaking at the event, Arianna Giovanni, the deputy director of the DMU Local Governance Research Centre, said: “We need women in politics, now more than ever, because we need new perspectives.

“This is especially important at the current time, with socio-economic inequality on the rise.”

The online webinar is evidence of how DMU Labour like so many other societies at DMU, is attempting to retain the social aspect of university life even during a national lockdown.

More information on DMU Labour Students and its activities can be found on its Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DMULabour

Leicester City Council supports the needy during winter pandemic

By Shantelle Gondo

Leicester City Council is trying to make a difference for households struggling this winter during the pandemic, by establishing the Covid Winter grant.

The ongoing national scheme was established on December 2 and ends on March 31. It aims to give financial support to households who are struggling over the winter during the pandemic.

The scheme covers food costs, energy bills, water bills and other essentials, but only for those eligible.

As part of the scheme, those eligible must be a resident of Leicester with affected household finances due to Covid-19 and can only be referred by one of the Leicester City Council partner organisations. You are eligible if you have:

  • been furloughed and your income has been reduced
  • been made redundant
  • had working hours cut
  • had to self-isolate and had a test and trace support payment declined.

An adult gets up to £42 a week towards food, fuel and water/sewage and a family of four will get up to £145 a week, for up to four weeks.  It also involves a one-off payment to help with keeping warm, providing coats, duvets, and blankets.

The city council warned if any false declaration or statements to circumstances are provided, it may be an offence under the Fraud Act 2006.

To find out if you are eligible and for more information, email C19support@leicester.gov.uk or visit https://www.leicester.gov.uk/your-council/coronavirus/coronavirus-support-for-residents/covid-winter-grant/

Thurmaston hit by floods after Storm Christoph arrives

By Abigail Beresford

Parts of Thurmaston were left underwater last week, due to the recent heavy rainfall from Storm Christoph.

Flood warnings had been issued in advance by the Environment Agency ahead of January 19, when Storm Christoph hitting Britain in the middle of last week.

The agency was proved correct with 31.2mm of rainfall recorded in some parts of the country, leading to areas experiencing severe flooding.

The Railway Bridge on Churchill Road in Thurmaston was closed due to the flooding.

The road closure proved to be disruptive for the villagers, with flood wardens advising people to take alternative routes, and to allow extra travel time to ensure their safety.

Flooding under the Railway Bridge, Churchill Road in Thurmaston (Danette Topham)

“I go under that bridge every day to go to work,” said 51-year-old Danette Topham, from Thurmaston.

“I don’t drive, so I have to take my wellies with me so that I can get through. But the path under the bridge is very narrow.”

There was 31.2mm of rainfall recorded in some parts of the country, leading to areas experiencing severe flooding.

Various other areas of Thurmaston were also affected by the floods.

Watermead Country Park in Thurmaston found its paths and green spaces underwater.

“It has been a bit of a nightmare trying to walk the dog around Watermead Country Park, but it’s to be expected as a canal runs through it,” said Graham Dwyer, from Thurmaston.

Watermead Country Park has became popular for residents to visit for their daily exercise, during the current coronavirus lockdown measures.

You can find out how to stay safe during a flood or report a flood to Floodline on 0345 988 1188.