VIDEO: DMU student attends ‘Sister Programme’ talk at Leicester Mosque


By Alexandra Smith

A Somali Muslim student has praised a motivational talk for young women for helping her tackle the difficulties faced by people of her faith studying away from their homes.

The Jame’ Masjid Mosque held the event ‘Sisters Programme’, a motivational talk for young Muslim women, on Sunday.

Muslim student at De Montfort University (DMU) Hafsa Yassin, 20, attended the ‘Sister Programme’ and labelled it the catalyst for her educational and religious success.

Miss Yassin said: “I feel it is important to remember my culture and religion especially since moving to a different city.”

As a Somali Muslim woman Miss Yassin has received both positive and negative reactions to her faith.

She said: “Being faced with constant negative misrepresentation throughout the media can be draining so it is enlightening to attend positive initiatives set out to help young Muslim women move forward with their life and career.”

Although Miss Yassin has been surrounded by a diverse community since coming to DMU, including that of her own Somali Muslim community, she said that with her family at home she felt she was more committed to her religion.

She said: “I feel like I need to get closer to God, it is a requirement in my religion to pray at least five times a day which I have been falling behind with.”

For Miss Yassin, moving out of her family home was a big step as in her culture women tend to stay at home.

She said: “Family will always remind me of God but, I shouldn’t have to be reminded. My religion is who I am, it’s a part of me that should never fade and I won’t let it.”

Miss Yassin went on to praise the importance of community led programmes like the ‘Sisters Programme’ especially for students whose place of worship had changed and who were no longer surrounded by their family who share their faith.

For more information on local Muslim events taking place in Leicester, visit the Leicester Muslims Facebook page.


Valentine’s Day battles break out

By Bethany Spence

Valentine’s Day celebrations came early for members of the De Montfort University laser tag society this week (Mon 11th) with a lively Prom themed night, featuring roses, hide-and-seek heart tag and couples tag team game modes at Megazone Leicester.

With each of the couples/teams decided via their compatibility rating as measured by an online website, many people in the society were teamed with people they had never joined up with before.

One of the most powerful teams featured chairman of the society, Louisa Stratton – otherwise known as Vader – and sharpshooter Henry Smith, best known for his appearance as a laser-wielding Gandalf at the Halloween event.

Each of the teams came dressed to kill in various suits and dresses, leading to a very suave James Bond-like team roster.

“It was a great way to put a spin on our normal Monday night society meetings, it adds a spark of extra fun beyond the usual,” said Miss Stratton.

“We do what we can to change up the weekly formula through added board game socials at Bean Gaming, quiz nights and even playing unconventional battle music in the arena due to the cooperation of the Megazone staff.

“They seem to get as much enjoyment out of watching laser tag battles to the death, punctuated by well-loved Disney songs, as we do!”



Bean Gaming: Family fun for everyone


By Bethany Spence

This year saw the city of Leicester welcoming brand new tabletop cafe, Bean Gaming, a cosy haven for board gamers of all ages and skill sets.

After a somewhat rocky start on the crowd funding page, Kickstarter, the cafe turned bar and restaurant, opened its doors and received well deserved 5-star reviews from a wide array of customers.

With over 200 board games from the classics such as Monopoly to the more modern games gracing its shelves, it truly is a place with something for everyone.

At just £2 an hour per person, or £5 for a full day of games (4 hours on weekends, due to demand), customers have access to a full range of games and dedicated space for settling into longer sessions.

The gamers paradise also allows the opportunity to order food and drinks or even alcohol from the on-site restaurants.

To further expand their customer base, the cafe has arranged for a parent and baby group, aptly named the Bean Babies, where families may go along to socialise with others and play games in the child area.

In addition to this group, the cafe runs a regular Dungeons and Dragons group run by experienced players.

The aim is to help perspective Dungeon Masters to construct worlds and to allow people the chance to experience a campaign before ever having to create their own.


After running their 6-course Valentine’s Day menu and gaming event this week at £40 per couple, the cafe will have dealt with one of the busiest times of year before preparing for potential Easter events in the coming weeks.

Bean Gaming Cafe can be found at 22 Silver Street.



Ex-Metropolitan Police press officer discusses career with DMU students

by Cristina Olaru

A former Metropolitan Police press officer gave De Montfort University students an insight into the relationship between press officers and journalists.

Will Goddard spoke on the topic of ‘Killing the Story – The Art of Being a Police Press Officer’.

Professor Jason Lee introduced Mr Goddard, who then outlined his career in PR and media relations over 25 years before a Question and Answer session.

He jumped into his media career from academia, specialising in Spanish minority languages and dialect, describing his decision as being motivated by wanting to work in the real world’.

His experience in media includes in-house roles with government agencies, local government, and London agencies. He was a press officer with the Metropolitan Police in Harrow between 2005 and 2016.

Mr Goddard opened the evening by talking about the importance of public communications which he said cannot be done by following policy on a piece of paper, but rather should be based on experience and common sense.

He said: “One of the things we didn’t have was a communications plan because I didn’t really believe in all that kind of stuff. It think it is almost innate and is based upon experience. It is common sense, it’s human interaction, you build up confidence by talking to people, by being a decent person, by being truthful.”


Will Goddard opening the event

Mr Goddard continued by presenting the role of the authorities through an example from his father’s experience, a former South African Commander in 1944, who joined up, driven by his desire to save his brother’s life who was missing, captured by the Nazis.

He said: “We have to doff our hats to the previous generation, to what they did and how they created a safer world, a more peaceful world and more balanced world. It’s all about inspiring the next generation and making the world a better place.”


Mr Goddard with his father’s Commander helmet from 1944

Speaking later Mr Goddard expressed his concern about the massive change’ in the relationship between the media and the police.

Mr Goddard said that a good relationship between the press and the police needs to be built from honesty and understanding.

He urged journalism students: “Be yourself, speak to them [the police] and try to understand, because we operate on different levels.

“But ultimately, whatever you do, you’ve got to be honest and true to yourself. If you believe in yourself and you believe in others, you’ll go a long way.”

Mental Health at DMU


By Elise Fairhurst

Students struggling with adjusting to university life or mental health issues can find support on campus.

Anyone struggling with money worries, emotional issues or accommodation problems can get help from DMU’s Mental Health Inclusion Team.


The staff would assess whether adjustments should be made to teaching, coursework hand-in times or exams to try to reduce the impact that a mental health condition or other issues impact on the students’ studies.

They would offer support through practical goal setting and suggestions of how to address certain issues students’ may be experiencing as well as helping students access local health services available such as the NHS.

The support workers would also signpost different agencies who are able to support students with alcohol and substance use issues as well as signposting counselling services.

Current students at DMU who would like to make an appointment should contact The Disability Advice and Support Team (DAS) or The Mental Health Inclusion Team.

To ensure that students are directed to the appropriate service they must first book a Single Point of Access Appointment (SPA) where their needs will be assessed. They can book an appointment through MyGateway.

An SPA appointment is only 30 minutes long, students will have an opportunity to discuss their situation with a member of support staff within student welfare and at the end of the appointment they will be given an action plan of what they should do afterwards.

Students can find more information through their Twitter account which is @dmumentalhealth which posts tips and a range of information on a range of mental health and well-being issues.