Talented artist boosts mental health in the community with sensational artwork

by George Kirk

A Leicester artist has been placing envelopes with artwork inside around the city, in an attempt to improve mental health.

Spreading a message: Anton Levy Amoo with one of his cards

The envelopes contain key messages of support and inspiration as well as on the actual art, with the main goal being to point people who are struggling in the right direction to get support, as well as to motivate people.

Anton Levy Amoo started these acts of kindness just before the first lockdown after an increase in suicides were being reported in Rowlatts Hill area of Leicester.

Anton said that it made him think to himself “How can I use my heart to make a positive effect.”

It started off with just two a week around his local area with Anton eventually branching out to Leicester as a whole as well as other cities around the UK.

This led to him being spotted by BBC Radio Leicester and brought onto one of its shows.

Eye-catching: Artwork featured inside one of his envelopes

Anton said that working in a school for 10 years made him understand the importance of mental health and want to make a difference in society.

The work he has done so far has made him connect with a lot of people already.

He explained how a man suffering with agoraphobia found his artwork around the city and it helped boost his confidence and forget about his issues.

As well as this, an NHS worker was uplifted by messages of love and kindness on his artwork after a bad day at work.

Anton said that the sole aim is to raise awareness for mental health. He said: “People aren’t finding art, but art is finding them.”

You can follow Anton and his work through the links below:

Instagram- @Antonlevyamoo.art

Facebook- fb.com/AntonLevyAmoo.Art

Website- www.antonlevyamoo.co.uk

Helpful: Anton wants to support others

Flu season panic – more Covid-19 tests being taken but fewer Leicester positives coming up

The autumn spike in positive Covid cases in Leicester seems to be falling away. Liv Slomka looks into the statistics which show testing levels nevertheless staying high.

Flu season panic – more Covid-19 tests being taken but fewer positives coming up 

DSU helps students in Leicester celebrate world mental health day

By Courtney Stevens

Monday 10th October was world mental health day and DSU planned a Walk to Talk event for students to talk about mental health and wellbeing.

The event involved a walk around Leicester with games and free pizza also involved to allow students to get outside in nature and meet new people.

Aliya Khan and Sarah Underhill getting ready for the event.

Speaking about the event, Sarah Underhill, the DSU advice and well-being coordinator said: “With it being the start of the academic year we wanted to do something that would introduce students to Leicester and provide a platform for people to get to know others.

“We want to support students who may be having a mental health difficulty or concern and signpost who those students can talk to whilst at university.”

After the impact of covid, the DSU is looking forward to holding more events to allow people to come together in person.

Aliya Khan, the DSU welfare executive added: “It’s important for students to have these social events to meet up with new people because over the last three years students haven’t had that aspect of university life, so it’s important to get back in.”

Speaking about what made them take on the role, Sarah said: “Once I graduated, I knew I wanted to do something within the education sector and this role comprised of everything I was interested in.

“We can provide academic advice for students whilst also doing outreach in regards to the psychology side of things, so it just seemed like the perfect role.”

Aliya added: “I really liked the idea of helping students and providing that support whilst they’re at university because I feel like it’s important to have that.

“We are kind of the bridge between the university and the students, making sure that information between the university and students is communicated back.”

Walk to Talk is one of many events the DSU has planned for this year, and it has teased about upcoming ideas in the pipeline for students to get involved with that they are in the process of finalising.

Active Oadby and Wigston has post-Covid vision to improve community wellbeing with physical activities 

By Lara Alsaid

The Covid-19 pandemic has shone a light on how important social life and exercise are for people´s physical and mental health, according to an activities group in Leicester. 

Active Oadby and Wigston is an organisation that aims to deliver programmes to get residents within the borough to improve their health and wellbeing. 

Ross Levy, Community Health and Improvement Officer for Active Oadby and Wigston, said: “A group walk for an hour around the park with the sun shining, reduces isolation and improves mental and physical wellbeing. It is fantastic to have that opportunity.” 

Group walks are one of their programmes

Seven district councils in Leicester have similar teams to Active Oadby and Wigston and share the same inspiration to increase activity for their residents.  

The organisation has a close partnership with the NHS (National Health Service) and operates a lot on the module of social prescribing, which is basically a prescription by medical practitioners to someone to do an activity. 

Mr Levy continued: “It is brilliant for people in our programme that have been referred because of low mood or bereavement etc.”  

The group walk is a growing concept within the organisation that has a powerful sense of community and commitment.  

Mr Levy added: “It is lovely how something as accessible as walking can have such a significant difference to people’s lives who participate.” 

After the Covid isolation, people have been excited to get back out and enjoy gentle exercise and have a chat with people from different walks of life. 

Mr Levy believes people have learned from Covid isolation and social exclusion that it is important to raise awareness of this organisation and for people to know their opportunities and what is available to them in their communities. 

Within the programme, participants have a close community with WhatsApp group chats where they inspire and cheer each other on.  

Most of Active Oadby and Wigston’s programmes are free of charge or incredibly low cost.  

Most activities have an age limit of 18 but they do more targeted activities for families, for example during February half term 2022 they organised family activity days in some of the social housing properties within the borough. 

There are a lot of opportunities to volunteer for students as well. The organisation is always looking for volunteers and urged students across De Montfort University (DMU) to contact Active Oadby and Wigston. 

For more information visit its website https://www.activeoadbywigston.org.uk 

Special report: the agonising disease affecting millions of women each day

Excruciating pain.

Unmanageably heavy periods.

Anger and frustration at not

being heard or helped.

The women who suffer this

torment aren’t statistics.

These are their stories.

These are their lives.

Philippa Blakeley reports.

The agonising disease afflicting millions of women each day
Special report on endometriosis