‘Homeless people are just like everyone else – they’re just having a tough time. We want to help them & give them a second chance’

Riverside Café has partnered with Change Please to tackle homelessness in the UK – through their love of good quality coffee. Maryam Goncalves reports.

Change Please launch at Riverside Café

Riverside Café, one of the coffee shops in the DMU campus, has recently partnered with Change Please, a social enterprise which invests 100% of their profits into making the lives of those experiencing homelessness better, by giving them a living wage job, training, housing, and opportunities to progress.

Change Please CEO, Cemal Ezel, was at Riverside on Wednesday, January 26, to explain the enterprise, the coffee, and the lives they have changed.

Ezar talked about one of the most impactful cases he has ever seen – the case of Adan Abobaker, a former homeless man who jumped into a frozen river Thames to rescue a woman who attempted to commit suicide.

After risking his life, having his clothes and possessions stolen, and contracting hypothermia due to the low temperatures he braved, Abobaker was presented with the highest civilian award for bravery.

The former chef then shared a flat with his partner, thinking his life was coming back together. But the relationship came to an end, and Abobaker found himself back on the streets while battling depression.

This is when Change Please came along and offered Abobaker a part-time job as a barista on a coffee cart in Borough Market, London, which gave him a second chance to improve his quality of life.

“It’s incredible that we can walk past someone like Adan on the street and we don’t stop to think who they are or what value they can have on society,” Cemal Ezel told the crowd at Riverside.

“In Adan’s case, he won the highest civilian award for bravery and is a real hero. Yet because he was on the street he was disregarded with the same stigma as all homeless people.

“Homeless people are just like anyone else – they are people who have fallen on incredibly tough times. Change Please is trying to help as many like Adan as possible – people who we walk past every day – and give them a second chance at life.”

Restaurant review: ORSO Leicester… does it live up to the hype?

During Leicester Restaurant Week, Ana Goncalves pays a visit to ORSO Leicester to see if the place lives up to the hype after tirelessly hearing numerous recommendations.

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Leicester’s Christmas ice rink returns next month

By Em Brooks

Leicester’s Christmas ice rink is set to return to the city centre next month.

The ice rink has been a big part of Leicester’s festive events in recent years with more than 25,000 tickets being sold for it in 2019 alone.

Last year, due to Covid the rink did not appear. However, due to restrictions being lessened this year, it is returning.

Appearing alongside the ice rink will be a Ferris wheel with various other holiday themed items appearing in the city.

Reacting to the news, a Leicester mother said about taking her daughter to go ice skating: ‘’It’ll be a great experience.’’

Another older couple added that they’re both: ‘‘Glad to see it return,’’ despite not planning on skating themselves due to previous injuries.

Holly Dobson, a student at De Montford University said: ‘’I cannot wait to get back on the ice.’’  

As with previous years the ice rink will be hosted by Icescape.

The rink opens from Thursday, December 2, to January 3, in Jubilee Square. It will be open to all ages, both night and day, sessions last 45 minutes on the rink with hired ice-skates and skate-aids available. There are also quieter sessions available as well as reduced prices for off-peak sessions.

Black Friday sales take over Leicester Highcross

By Ollie Churm

Leicester’s Highcross was filled with shoppers this Friday, November 23, as stores took part in the annual Black Friday sales.

Black Friday originated in America and takes place on the day after Thanksgiving as a way to encourage shoppers to spend more money in the run up to Christmas by reducing prices for one day only.

In America, it is usually the busiest shopping day of the year and in recent years, the tradition has made its way across the pond to the UK, where shops and websites have lowered their prices for a 24-hour period.

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50% OFF! – A Sale at Urban Outfitters in the Highcross on Black Friday

Leicester city centre was besieged by shoppers on Friday, November 23, as hundreds of stores around Leicester took part in Black Friday.

Casey Ellis, an employee of Urban Outfitters in the Highcross, said: “It has been busier than usual. I mean, we haven’t seen the crowds that you see in America, but compared to an average Friday, we’ve had a lot more sales.

“We had some items that are being sold at 50% off, so we did expect a lot of people to be coming in and we weren’t wrong.”

Mr Ellis continued: “I think it’s a great way for not only the shop to bring in money but also for people to grab a good bargain and maybe get some discounted presents in before Christmas.”

Black Friday was given the name as it is often the day that shops “move into the black”, meaning they have enough money to cover their costs while reducing prices.

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Massive Black Friday sales – A 20% off sale on everything at H&M

Erin Howell, 20 and a student who went shopping in the Highcross during the sales said: “I think it’s really good. Some people really struggle financially at this time of year so having a day where prices are reduced on almost everything, can really help people out.”

“I went to the Highcross and made a few purchases that were in the sale and to be honest the only thing is I saw some things that I bought the other week at full price that are now on sale, so that was a bit annoying,” Miss Howell joked.

Black Friday isn’t something all shops decided to take part in however, with supermarket ASDA no longer taking part in the 24-hour event due to an incident that occurred at a store in Wembley where customers were caught wrestling over a television.

George Osborne, 21 and an aspiring bodybuilder and online training coach said: “I’m not too keen on Black Friday if I’m honest. Sure, it’s nice getting some discounted trainers or whatever, but for me and my business it’s not ideal.

“I’ve felt a bit pressured this year to reduce my prices on Black Friday. There have been tonnes of comments on my Youtube asking what deals I’ll have going on and yeah it’s nice to help people out don’t get me wrong, but I’m trying my best to start a company here, so dropping my prices, which I try my best to make reasonable year-round, isn’t great.”

How to haggle in Hong Kong

Temple Street Night market PICTURE: Toby Jeffery

By Ross Barnett

Not only did Hong Kong open my eyes to the natural beauty of the state and surrounding area, it also threw me into the world of having to haggle at Temple Street Market, Stanley Market and the Ladies’ Market in Mong Kok.

Less common in in the West, haggling is the skill of reducing the cost of souvenirs to a mutually agreed price between the buyer and the vendor. Particularly prevalent in Asian countries, what may seem like pennies in Britain, may mean the world to the family of the seller in other countries.

The ability to haggle is one of the essentials when visiting the markets of Hong Kong. A successful ‘haggle’ can turn a rubbish deal into a bargain and there’s no better feeling than halving the price of an object.

Having learnt to haggle the hard way there were several things I noticed during the trip to the market:

1. Making a mental note of the price of an item in each stall
As a stereotypical tourist, everywhere I go I collect key rings. Probably the most popular low cost souvenir, the markets in Hong Kong were filled with them, making it more difficult to remember the price at each stall. When in an unknown location it’s difficult to get your bearings and therefore impossible to remember where the best price is. Although it has to be said that, as most of the markets sell similar items, the price usually much the same.

2. Vendors are desperate to sell
I am slightly confused as to why the vendors are so desperate to sell their stock, but by walking off, or threatening to, the vendors that I dealt with often panic and knock off huge amounts of money. Of course, they will still make a profit but it is possibly the thought of losing trade to another vendor. Use this to your advantage.

3. If they accept your first offer first, you’ve been ripped off
It’s a sinking feeling when you suggest paying HK$100 for a plastic snow globe but by then it’s too late to review the price. Many people take the tactic of halving the price first initially and bargaining from there. As many vendors have caught on to this tactic, they have considered this in their original asking price for the item.

4. Local expertise
Gaining local expertise is a sure way to avoid getting ripped off. Of course, make sure this ‘insider’ is trustworthy or else this will just increase your risk of paying extortionate prices. Their knowledge will inform you of an estimated value of the item allowing you to make a calculated decision as to whether haggling with the vendor is worth it.

5. Let them make the first move
as they are desperate for a sale, if you show a slight interest in the product, it will show the vendor that you need convincing before making a purchase. They are well aware of the possibility of buying from another stall. By not showing a definite interest, you’re more likely to secure a better discount.