Video: DMU student signs up to join more than 1,000 others in Leicester 10k Run

By George Kirk

Michal Okonski will be facing his biggest challenge yet in his debut race this Sunday, as he aims to become a competitive runner.

VIDEO: Local litter picking group calls for people to act against littering

By Azim Saiyed

Leicestershire Litter Wombles, a group made up of more than 500 active volunteers, has demanded people take the initiative to help tackle the nation’s litter crisis, after a recent Parliamentary visit to raise their concerns.

Founder Bob Lee, 55, said: “There have been areas neglected for years but we are making progress by encouraging businesses to try and clean as well as use recycled products.”

Litter Wombles Bob (Left) and Scott (Right) give their thoughts on the litter problems.

For more information on group pickings or more details, visit:


DMU Muslim prayer rooms re-open after months of refurbishments

By Alice Wright

The Muslim prayer rooms in the Portland building at De Montfort University have re-opened after undergoing two months of refurbishments.

The new prayer room

The two prayer rooms have been fitted with an induction loop system to assist hearing and have been made more wheelchair-accessible, while also increasing the capacity to about 400 due to high demand.

Imam Mohammed Laher said: “We get approximately 1,000 students and staff, the prayer rooms were too small and there were a lot of students who wouldn’t come because they said whenever we come it’s always full, hence the expansion.

“If it wasn’t for the prayer room the students would be reading in lecture rooms, classrooms, corridors, libraries, so having a dedicated space makes it so much easier.”

The Imam provides religious and spiritual support for students and staff, but general wellbeing and guidance is also provided during the day on a one-to-one or group basis.

The Prayer rooms are open for both students and staff on Mondays to Fridays from 8am until 9pm during term time. The prayer room entrance can be found at the rear entrance of Portland building, through the car park.

Prayers take place four times a day and the times for December can be found here

Hidden disability badge has lost its meaning since the Covid-19 outbreak, say users

By Liv Slomka

Students and many others say the hidden disability sunflower lanyard and badge have lost their meaning since the sunflower lanyard was used as an exemption for masks during the Covid-19 outbreak. 

The lanyard and badge were used as a way to show the public that you have a hidden disability, one which isn’t an easy spot at first.

It was a discreet way of letting people know that you may need some extra support and help or time when doing everyday tasks. 

Joe May, a second-year media student from De Montfort University, said: “I used to wear the sunflower lanyard because I am partially deaf.

“Since it was so overused during Covid-19 for [people with] mask exemptions, I had to swap to wearing a badge at work that says deaf not stupid.

“It helps me avoid customers kicking off or calling me rude. I did prefer having a lanyard with a card that described my hidden disability, but it is no longer an option.” 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, sunflower lanyards were introduced to show that someone was exempt from wearing a mask in public. It was to show they had a health problem which prevented them from wearing one.  

Most of the people who used the lanyards and badges had asthma and other health/ breathing problems which would be impacted by the limitation of wearing masks. 

 Many people who had bad anxiety and suffered from panic attacks and hyperventilation also used the badge to be prepared for any situations which could induce these attacks, or they had panic attacks because of feeling claustrophobic. 

Masks also made people feel claustrophobic and many people did not believe Covid-19 was real because of conspiracy theories at the time. Many people instead ordered the lanyard or badge on Amazon to escape having to wear a mask.  

When wearing the lanyard, people did not have to prove why they were exempt. Which is why so many people had them, which in turn led to the lanyard/ badge losing its importance.  

Many believe it has now led to a negative impact on the hidden disability community. 

Christmas events in Leicester this year

By Vivek Julka

The festive period is here and there are plenty of things to do in Leicester to enjoy yourself over the holidays.

Christmas Wheel of Light – located on Jubilee Square. A ride on the 110ft Ferris wheel lasts about ten minutes with a standard ticket costing £7. It closes on the 2nd of January 2023.

Fun Fair – Humberstone Gate is where you will find this, with rides you can enjoy over the festive period, until 2nd of January.

Traditional Nativity Scene – in Town Hall Square, with free admission. Here you will see all the traditional characters such as Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus, plus hear the nativity story. Closes on 6th January 2023.

Jubilee Square Ice Rink– Get your skates on and enjoy the annual rink. Closes on 2nd of January 2023.

Santa in the Square – in Town Hall Square, free admission, with all children getting a free gift from Santa himself. Closes on Friday, 23rd of December.

Leicester resident Elliot Turner said: “I went on the Ferris wheel for the first time and it was brilliant, I recommend trying it if you haven’t already.”

If you want any more information about these or more Christmas events in Leicester this year, visit