Social prescribing is set to reform Leicester as Oadby community activities expand

By Zarina Ahmed

A programme of linking people to social activities in their community such as group walks has arrived in Oadby to better the mutual well-being of the community.

Known as social prescribing, the Active Oadby and Wigston scheme will support various events with a focus on the social needs of people, connecting them to community services.

Getting together: people gather for one of the community events

Ross Levy, Community Health and Improvement Officer, said: “The programme is already suggesting a great success.

“We provide opportunities, allow the ability to work with other social prescribing agencies, and let people socialise in an active and sustainable way.”

The programme is made up of different activities, such as group walks, tennis events for those with disabilities, football, gardening and more.

Most programmes are entirely free, and are held across different times to ensure a wide availability for people to join in.

The newer events started three weeks ago, meaning not only are they are accessible in terms of price and times, but they also allow people to join in at different times.

Mr Levy said the scheme could also be very useful to help students who move to the city to study to become more aware of wider community activities.

He said: “To step outside the student bubble can be overwhelming, and you’re often detached from the community.

Getting outdoors: one of the walking groups

“Most students might not be aware of social prescribing, so this allows them to join in, to understand it, and to be part of it which could go on to improve their links to the community as well as their own well-being.”

Active Oadby and Wigston has welcomed many participants over the recent year after the coronavirus lockdown and, as a result, he said social prescribing within this community scheme has become a positive event to look forward to.

“Social isolation substantially increased, challenging our programme but our programme improves mental well-being because it’s important,” Mr Levy added.

The group walks, one of the most popular events, commence from 10am on Tuesdays, while a newer scheme, Let’s Grow, begins at 1pm on Thursdays.

For more details about the Active Oadby and Wigston project, visit the Our Programmes section on its website www.activeoadbywigston.org.uk.

Leicester celebrates 50 years since the arrival of Ugandan Asians

By Courtney Stevens

A new exhibition is set to open in July at Leicester Museum and Art Gallery to mark the 50th anniversary of Ugandan Asians arriving in the city.

In 1972, more than 27,000 Ugandan Asians arrived in Britain after being expelled from their country by the former dictator Idi Amin.

The exhibition will be created by the local arts organisation, Navrang, and has been funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The project has also been supported by Leicester City Council and aims to celebrate the impacts the community has had on Leicester.

Nishil Saujani, member of Navrang arts group, expressed how important the exhibition is for the community: “It’s really important for the people who came over here to be able to tell their stories.

“To be able to hear exactly what happened to them and the trauma they went through and coming over here and having to start from nothing.”

Navrang previously worked on the 2012 project celebrating the 40-year anniversary of Ugandan Asians arriving in Leicester, called ‘From Kampala to Leicester’.

Mr Saujani also spoke about how the exhibition has given him the opportunity to tell his own family’s story.

He said: “My parents came over from Uganda, so being able to tell their story using their own voices is a great opportunity for me.

“We aren’t just celebrating the impact that the community have had over these past 50 years, it’s also a way for them to meet with others and revisit situations that they may not have seen or heard about for a very long time.”

The exhibition will highlight the impact the community has had here in Leicester and its influence on the culture and businesses in the city.

The previous project that was created to celebrate the 40th anniversary is still on display at Leicester’s Newarke Houses Museum and the new exhibition is set to open in early July at Leicester Museum and Art Gallery, with plans to tour it around the country.

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Leicester to have a smashing time this weekend

By Zarina Ahmed

Leicester’s Stokes Wood Allotment will be holding a pumpkin smash this weekend aiming to motivate locals to take part in environmental impact reduction.

A pumpkin smash offers the chance for any leftover pumpkins from Hallowe’en to be smashed and composted, reducing food waste.

So far, the organiser of the event, Carry on Composting, have collected over 100 pumpkins for the event, with another 40 at a local school.

Last year, 100 pumpkins were collected, with local schools joining in for the event, according to Rod Weston, an active participant in community composting.

Mr Weston said that small efforts done by groups, such as Carry on Composting, have been influenced by charity hubs that encourage the reduction of food waste.

He said: “We’ve been encouraging composting for years.

“I’ve been doing this for 10 years now, and similar events have always been successful.”

Going to various universities, schools and events, he and other groups have been encouraging others about leftover food waste, especially after Hallowe’en, which is a peak time to compost and reduce food waste.

The non-profit organisation has been set up to promote the reduction of food waste and the amount of waste sent to landfill sites.

The pumpkin smash is one of a number of similar events taking part across the city.

Leicester City Council, which has promoted the event, estimates: “That 15 million pumpkins are binned in the UK every Halloween – but the flesh, seeds and even the stringy bits can be used to serve up some delicious treats instead.”

Councillor Adam Clarke, Leicester’s deputy city mayor for the environment, said that across the city, there are: “Thousands of dedicated allotment-growers who are committed to reducing food waste, so it’s great to see these events happening that will help spread the message.

“We’re keen to encourage people to recycle more.”

The pumpkin smash will be held on Saturday(NOV13), from 10.30am to 12.30pm at Stokes Wood Allotment in Leicester.

Girls Night In: A Night to Fight Against Club Drink-Spikers

by Abigail Beresford

Students in Leicester plan to boycott clubs in the city this week, to raise awareness of the ‘scary’ increase of drink spiking cases in clubs.

Campaign group “Girls Night In” took to Instagram to create a social media movement to encourage girls throughout the UK to boycott clubs for one-night only to raise awareness for the growing cases of drink spiking.

“We would like to reinforce that our boycott is not a stay-at-home order. The purpose of our boycott is to encourage all local clubs, bars, and pubs to re-examine their precautions, to ensure that all members of the community can feel safe again,” said a spokesperson for the Girls Night In movement.

“We also want to clarify that our Instagram page is to raise awareness of spiking, whilst also providing a safe platform for people to share their experiences.”

The action of boycotting clubs hopes to make it a legal requirement for nightclubs to thoroughly search guests upon entry, to ensure the safety of those attending.

The movement has created a storm throughout the UK, with 50 locations joining in, including Leicester, Birmingham, and London, to raise awareness of the ever-growing problem and pave the way for a solution.

“We have been taken aback by the continued support and hope that we can all stand in solidarity,” added Girls Night In.

Students in Leicester planned a boycott of clubs on Tuesday(OCT26) night, to stand in solidarity with women up and down the country who have frequently fallen victims of drink spiking cases.

“Personally, I have never been spiked, but I know many girls who have,” said Hannah Phipps, 22, a second-year Interior Design student at De Montfort University.

“It’s scary what is happening right now. When I go on a night out, I want to be able to go out and have a good time, and not ensuring that my thumb has to be over my bottle or focusing on my drink 24/7.”

To sign the petition to make it a legal requirement for nightclubs to thoroughly search guests before entering, visit petition.parliament.uk/petitions/598986.

To see if your local area is participating in the boycott, search @girlsnightin on Instagram, followed by your city.