VIDEO: DMU student reflects on Wembley trip for FA Cup final

By Oliver Taylor

De Montfort University student Luke Pawley was one of the 6,250 Leicester City fans at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, May 15.

Luke was selected as one of two lucky journalism students to attend the FA Cup final.

With tears in his eyes, Luke watched as the club he has supported for his entire life lifted the trophy for the first time in its history.

Luke said: “I got a message about it first and I thought someone was winding me up! I then got a call and had it confirmed.

“I was there working for DMU as well so I knew I had a job to do there, but the overriding feeling was just pure, personal excitement.”

Video: Vegan market comes to Leicester

By Olivia Messum

Leicester opened its doors to an outdoor vegan market on Sunday (May 9) to give Leicestershire locals the chance to enjoy vegan foods from all over the country.

This event was held in Knighton and it was hosted by Vegan Events UK in order to give plant-based companies the opportunity to get recognised nationwide.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Vegan Events UK were not able to host their annual vegan festival in London.

Instead, they have been setting up food stalls in various cities across the country so that the usual festival-goers are still able to enjoy the atmosphere of the event.

Holly Swift, a DMU student and Leicestershire resident, attended the market and said: “Because I’m not vegan, it was a new experience.

“I never would have tried any of the foods I had if I didn’t go there, so it was really nice to try all new foods. And they were all really nice as well.”

Holly also discussed the effect that this event will have on her future eating habits. She said: “I don’t think I could ever be fully vegan but the food was really nice so I would definitely be more inclined to choose the vegan option on the menu.”

With an admission fee of £4.48 per person, anyone can attend this event in the future. To learn more about Vegan Events UK and their upcoming markets, visit https://www.veganeventsuk.co.uk/events/ or contact their Facebook page: @VeganEventsUK.

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.

Video: De Montfort University student grabs gold for campaign to solve United Nations sustainable development goal

By Alexander Hodgkins-Jones

Veronica Heaven announcing the winners on Tuesday (NOV17)

A De Montfort University student is celebrating after she was announced as a winner of a national ‘sustainable futures’ competition on Tuesday (NOV17) as part of an initiative called Brief Cases.

Jade Burrell won the gold award in the Sustainable Futures: Design and Print category for her beach-saving campaign ‘For Shore’.

The Brief Cases scheme, which is run yearly by The Heaven Company, tasks university students from across the country with producing a video, print and social media campaign around one of the United Nations’ 17 sustainable development goals.

For Shore targeted goal 12, responsible consumption and production.

The 20-year-old communication arts student was shocked to win as she hadn’t felt her work was worthy of submission to the competition.

Luckily one of her tutors, Jenny Hibberd, saw the value of the project and submitted it on her behalf.

Jade said: “When I heard my name and saw my project, I couldn’t believe it.

“I didn’t know how they had got it, but there it was. I am so happy though.”

Jade Burrell with her beer mat concept which was a hit with the judges

Of her concept, Jade said: “The beaches are depleting due to sand consumption and the idea behind For Shore is to recycle used glass bottles by turning them back into reusable sand.”

Jade also had the clever idea of using beer mats to spread the message of the proposed campaign.

“Drinkers would hopefully see the mats and think to donate their empty bottles,” she said.

“And it would give pubs an incentive to work with us.”

Fellow DMU classmate Callum Dingley secured a bronze award for his campaign aimed at housing the homeless.

Veronica Heaven, founder of Brief Cases, said: “[Our] projects are underpinned by the message of sustainability – and this year has been no different.

“We wanted students to show that creating design and print can be commercially viable, engaging and exciting and at the same time have a future focussed approach.

“We had so many amazing responses and a wonderful range of project outcomes.”

Communication Arts lecturer John Coster told Jade on Monday (NOV16) to watch the show when it premiered the following day as she may be “surprised”.

The pandemic forced the show to switch from an in-person event to a pre-recorded awards video.

“Through this whole period we’ve been reminded about the need and the importance of humanity and being able to care,” said Veronica.

Information about next year’s Brief Cases competition can be found here.

Leicester nightclub and venue receives funding after being closed for months during COVID-19 lockdown

by Molly Kerridge

A local Leicestershire music venue was granted money from the Government as part of the Cultural Recovery Fund last week, meaning it can hopefully open its doors again in 2021.

The front entrance of The Shed in Yeoman Street, which has been closed for months.

Elisabeth Carley-Leonard, venue owner at The Shed in Yeoman Street, applied for the fund after struggling to pay staff and bills to keep the music venue and nightclub running during the lockdown months this year.

Watch the full video interview here:

She said: “Getting the Cultural Recovery Fund has been such a huge, huge relief for me.

“Everything, absolutely everything was weighing on this application, I think we were down to the last 50 quid in our bank account, and I still had staff and bills to pay.”

The Cultural Recovery Fund is a £1.57 billion sum that has been funded through the Government and Arts Council England to help music venues, from small grass root locations such as The Shed, to venues such as the Royal Albert Hall.

Before the application was accepted, Elisabeth decided to sell old furniture, clothes and other items from the club to make some extra money to help her and her family survive until the venue could safely open again.

She continued: “You had to go through the most convoluted application process ever, so I spent a week literally sobbing at my computer because I was so stressed.

“I found out last week that we’d finally got it, which meant everything. We originally applied for 65,000 and was awarded 50,000 which is still a huge amount of money, which means we can safely survive the winter, and be able to open in the spring next year.”

During the application process, Elisabeth had to gather comments from people explaining why they should get the funding for the venue. She put out a post on Facebook, which accumulated a huge amount of comments from regulars and people in the community.

She said: “I thought we’d get maybe 20 or 30 comments, but we got over 200 comments from people saying how much this place means to them.

“It’s not just a place where you go and see your mates’ band anymore, it’s a second home to some people, it’s so much more than four walls and a PA.”

People have also offered to work for free behind the bar, or on the sound system when the venue opens again, to make the process easier.

Elisabeth said: “This place means so much to so many people, and yes, this year has been shitty, yes, this virus is an asshole but what it has given me is a new found love, respect and admiration for this venue and the people who come. It hardly seems like a business anymore, it’s my whole heart.”

While The Shed stays closed currently due to current Coronavirus restrictions, Elisabeth remains hopeful that they will be able to open safely in the spring next year.