VIDEO: Normality edges closer as next steps out of lockdown are announced

By Jayden Whitworth

Stage 3 of easing lockdown restrictions is set to go ahead on Monday, May 17, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the UK was on track for all restrictions to be lifted on June 23. 

It is at this stage that pubs and restaurants will be able to fully reopen their doors and welcome in customers both indoors and outdoors.

Indoor entertainment is also being given the green light to reopen its doors, with museums, theatres and cinemas opening up for the first time this year. 

Stadiums are also set to reopen to limited capacity with fans preparing to get to their first game in over a year.

Two households will also be able to meet indoors whilst the outdoor limit will rise to 30 people.

This will undoubtedly be welcomed by residents of Leicestershire who will be eager to get back out and things they enjoy doing.

For Leicestershire residents this will be a luxury they are unfamiliar with having spent most of the last 14 months in lockdown or localised lockdowns.

Ruben Wilson, 18, from Corby, said: “I think it will be very good to get back to pubs and restaurants with friends and family.

“With figures being the lowest they’ve been in months; I feel like we just need to get back to normal.

“I’m a little bit apprehensive but not too much.

“Obviously I’m looking forward to the pubs and restaurants being open indoors, but I’m looking forward to getting back to cinemas, it’s been a long time since I’ve been there now.

“It’s different to your pubs and restaurants but it’ll just be good to get back having a good time with your friends.”

The government will continue to look and analyse the data ahead of a safe return to normality on June 23.

Courageous recovery from painful condition sprouts a positive crystal and hand crafting business

By: Tracey Ugwueru

A woman who found inspiration from battling her severe gynaecological conditions set up her own Amore Designs crystal and handcrafts business.

Sheryl Hanger suffers from dysfunctional uterine bleeding as part of her symptoms and doctors believe she may also suffer from other conditions such as endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory disease.

She is still waiting for an operation after several years as due to the side effects of her condition the operation kept getting postponed.

She said: “It’s a physical condition which in 2011 took my soul and life’s purpose away. But in the midst of all the chaos, I found a passion for crystals – using a complementary holistic approach, which gave me a therapeutic outlet allowing me to get creative, have fun aiding my journey to healing, recovery and spiritual discovery.”

Sheryl said the process includes handcrafting her pieces and working directly with semi-precious gemstones which provided her with clarity and brought her peace.

The positive energy she received from the crystals while working with them she said “empowers and enables me to share a little piece of my heart returning much love into each piece as I create them.”

She explained how it allows her to contribute and give back to her society for pure satisfaction. When people like her work it gives her motivation to do more and more each day.

She also said the hand crafting contributed to easing her depression.

“I started handcrafting my pieces to help me with my anxiety and depression. I was very fragile.”

People have different ways to create self-peace such as yoga, meditation and going to the gym but Sheryl said: “I use earth’s natural healing powers transmitted via the crystals to bring me that Zen and balance that my mind, body spirit and soul craves.”

She is very appreciative of everyone who supports her business and said it wouldn’t mean as much if people didn’t interact with her products, as she states in her Impressum: “Without you I wouldn’t be in the place I am now.

“I wouldn’t have been able to grow and reach for the stars as you all provided me strength to carry, giving me a purpose in life again.”

Talent showcase event ‘One Mic Leicester’ opens to DMU students

By : Tracey Ugwueru

An event has been created for DMU students who are upcoming artists to have a platform to showcase their talent.

Project manager Theodor Saint John said he and his PR team’s initial plan before Covid “was to have somewhere where students can perform.”

The event will be showcasing those aged 18 to 23 years old, upcoming and new artists, including comedians.

Theodor said: “We are planning to have it every year, and show commission is received so they feel like they are part of a show.”

Supported by artist development Shyon Gredley and Daniel Gaston as artist manager, Theodor said the idea had been on their minds to set up a platform not only to reward artists but also for them to use the event as a stepping stone in their future paths and careers.

He said they look at the background of the individual through the application form and look at how well the artists market themselves and manage their talent.

He said this year they have received 60 applicants for the showcase, the final line consisting of 15 artists selected.

The line up will be different each year, Theodor adding: “Moving on next year we try to make up a new batch of artists.”

Working with music ethics for two years with Kunmi Dada, they created ‘LOOT’ a company he created to push entertainment.

Their event takes place on May 28-30 at the Festival2Funky where music is supported by the Arts council in Leicester as a marketing partner.

Virtual model casting event open to student’s spark

By: Tracey Ugwueru

The Black History Experience is an annual event that happens in October and is open to DMU students who have an interest or passion for modelling.

Organiser Akeel McIntosh said: “I had to enable young creatives to be given a platform to showcase their talents and small businesses owners to be given the chance to promote themselves and create continuous custom.

“Their mission is to promote, empower and educate – promote businesses and artists, dancers, models and other creatives, empower and spread the ‘CAN DO’ attitude, and educate, allowing the audience to understand who we are as a people, where we have been and where we are going.”

He added: “Models do not need previous experience just a willingness to learn as we have model choreographers that train models for a few months leading up to the event.”

The Black History Experience, he said, is very inclusive and from a model perspective is easy to get into.

The artists and designers aim to do well within their craft and have the wow factor to draw the audience into what is being showcasted.

The Black History Experience is his team’s only event, but they plan to progress in the future, and also have their own Freedom Photography and Freedom Model Agency.

Focus charity takes a nomination in Leicester Comedy Festival

By: Tracey Ugwueru

The Focus charity has been nominated for one of the Leicester Comedy Festival awards.

Harsha Acharya, the Leicestival project manager, has worked alongside Shenese Barzey, the project assistant manager of Focus Charity, together with youth members to take part in comedy competitions as part of activities for the community.

Focus first began in the 1980s with Oxford University first providing opportunities.

Being nominated after this year’s festival follows on from the charity winning the community award in 2017 and winning Leicestershire charity of the year in 2019 as part of the niche business awards.

 It has been an exciting movement and all procedures according to Harsha have said to be fair.

She said being nominated creates sustainability, recognises the amazing work it does striving to deliver programmes, focuses more on young people and delivers as many opportunities as possible.

Harsha was first involved with the Comedy Festival as a youth worker and she hopes the achievement will help them to get new people to join.

She said: “Children don’t get to go to the comedy festival as sometimes they don’t have the opportunity to do so. It’s good to see children up on the stage and their families proud to see them.

“We are always looking for volunteers, having had four new volunteers join the charity over the past year. It includes training and other requirement such as the VBS check, catering for face to face and online sessions.”

Their next induction will be just after summer or early autumn this year.