Share spooky stories with DMU Bookstore this Halloween

By Dan Ableson

Creative writing enthusiast are encouraged to show-off their skills in a spooky stand-up event to celebrate Halloween.

The DMU Bookshop, attached to Hugh Aston building on campus, is hosting an open-mic session for all students to showcase themselves and tell their most terrifying tales in front of a live audience.

Branch Manager Katie Parkin said: “We wanted to run an event to coincide with Halloween that would also engage with the students, so we thought an open-mic evening would be the perfect format.

“The Bookshop is a relatively unused space after hours and we wanted to start getting more involved with DMU students and start running more events that they can be a part of.”

The event, which takes place October 30, 6pm-9pm, will also feature local writer Daniel Ribot, who will be there to kick start the evening and promote his new book.

Miss Parkin continued: “One of our staff members is part of a writing group based in Leicester and her friend, Daniel Ribot, had just launched his new vampire inspired novel with their group, so we thought he would be a good speaker to start the night off. It will also showcase him as a writer and anyone else that wants to get their name out into the public eye.

“We are looking for a five-minute reading of their own work, with a brief explanation on what their piece is about, their inspiration, and why they chose that genre. We don’t really have any pre-conceived ideas, we just want funny and spooky stories to tell.”

This is the first time that the Bookshop has organised an event of this nature. In the past it has worked closely with university schemes such as Cultural Exchanges and book launches for local writers. It has come in time for the expansion of the shop’s fiction and popular non-fiction sections, as they try to attract people from all over the city to buy, not just students.

For further information on how to get involved, speak to a member of staff, or contact them via Facebook, Twitter or telephone.

Alternatively you can email:

Caring Leicester climber takes on charity challenge

By Bethany Smith

A student from Leicester managed to raise over £600 for charity after climbing the highest mountain in the UK on Saturday.

Robyn Redmond, 21, along with two friends took to Ben Nevis to raise money for Kidney Research UK after becoming inspired by her mother’s six year battle with kidney disease.

She said: “To participate I needed to aim to raise £500 and as of now I have raised £676.39 and people are still donating even after I’ve done it which is really awesome.

“It’s the best feeling ever to do something amazing like that and to raise money for such a good cause at the same time, there’s no feeling like it. My mum was very proud.”

Twelve climbers, including fellow fundraisers, made their way up the 4,409ft mountain and back in an impressive eight hours.

Miss Redmond, who had no previous training, said: “It wasn’t easy, but to be fair I thought it would be so much harder. It’s just a long walk up a steep hill, but it does get so tiring because you’re walking for so long.

“We had an hour at the top and about 30 minutes worth of stops on the way up and down, the guide said that it was pretty good timing.”

Despite having never carried out anything like this before, Miss Redmond is hoping to continue fundraising in the future.

She said: “Now I’ve done it I want to do so much more, I’d love to do something crazy like Kilimanjaro, but that’s a really big step.”

To donate to her cause, visit or to get involved in a fundraising event for Kidney Research yourself, go to

Over 3 million people in the UK are suffering from kidney disease, Kidney Research UK is the leading charity that is dedicated to finding a cure and treatment.

The charity aims to provide 50 new research projects each year with 77 pence out of every pound being invested into research, and 23 pence going towards helping raise more money for the organisation.

They also aim to provide vital health information and advice to those at high risk of kidney failure, kidney patients, their families, carers, as well as medical professionals and researchers.

For more information go to

Coach wins award for commitment to county cricket club

By Bethany Smith

The England and Wales Cricket Association will recognise a young man from Leicester at the end of the month after taking on a major role at his local club.

Ethan Hawkins, 22, of Leicester Road, pitched nominees to the post when he was named Leicestershire and Rutland’s young volunteer of the year for his commitments to Cropston Cricket Club.

He said: “I still can’t get my head around it, it hasn’t sunk in yet. When I received the letter saying I’d won it I was literally so surprised.”

After taking on a new role as Junior Co-ordinator which involves coaching three junior teams, finding club sponsors, promoting participation and managing the website, Mr Hawkins was put forward by his colleagues to receive recognition.

He said: “The club treasurer put me forward for it, I had no clue that they’d done it, things like that do make you feel appreciated. I’ve been at the club for six years now both playing and coaching over 60 juniors from six to 17 years old and have loved every second of it.”

An awards ceremony will be held on the 30th October at the Athena theatre, Leicester where he will be presented with an official framed certificate.

Mr Hawkins, along with other regional winners, were also invited to the Natwest Outstanding Service to Cricket awards at Lord’s Cricket Ground for a guided tour and three course meal in celebration of the sport.

He said: “As soon as we got there we were greeted with champagne and made to feel special. We heard numerous influential guest speakers and were personally shown round the grounds, the whole thing was just surreal, definitely an experience that I won’t forget.”

As a coaching graduate from Sheffield Hallam and now a teaching assistant he says the skills he picked up in doing his degree has helped him to win him the award.

The England and Wales cricket board awards players each year both regionally and nationally in 12 different categories including Coach of the Year, which was also won by a Leicestershire man, Club of the Year, Heartbeat of the Club and Outstanding Contribution to Coaching.

To learn more about the ECB awards, visit



Demon broadcasters scoop four award nominations

By Lily Thake 


Proud student broadcasters of Demon FM, at Leicester’s De Montfort University, bagged four nominations for student awards.

The award-winning student radio station Demon FM was shortlisted for four Student Radio Association (SRA) awards at a Midlands event, on Wednesday October 7.

The event was hosted by Capital FM’s breakfast presenters Dino and Pete.

Demon FM was nominated for the following, Best Interview: Ollie McGrath; Best Entertainment Programme: Dave Murphy and Ricky Lount; Best Technical Achievement; and Best Male Presenter: Dave Murphy.

Ollie McGrath, Demon Media Representative and nominee, said: “It’s an honour to be nominated for an award. It just doesn’t feel real. I am glad Demon FM received so many nominations. Dave Murphy really deserved his. There has been a nice atmosphere around the studio too, which is great.”

Ollie was nominated for an award, after placing a demo in the competition, for his interview with Matthew Barzun, US Ambassador in the UK.

The Ambassador made a speech at DMU’s graduation this July, Ollie submitted his details and was lucky enough to get an interview with him.

Ollie said of Mr Barzun, “He’s a really nice bloke. The interview went from formal to informal. We talked about Obama, the UK/US relationship and then we spoke about his trip to Glastonbury! He loved Florence and the Machines.”

Despite Ollie being slightly intimidated by Mr Barzun’s security team, he said it felt like a normal interview and “like a chat”.

On Thursday November 5 nominees, including Ollie, could receive a significant award, at the concluding event, held at the O2 Arena in Greenwich, London.

Ollie said: “I would get to keep the award for Best Interview if all goes well. Demon FM might even get one for Best Tech, which will be amazing for them. I can’t wait for the O2 event. It gives me a chance to celebrate in London and get all dressed up.”

Hannah Rowe, Head of News at Demon FM, is proud of the success achieved by her colleagues and wishes them all the best in November.

Miss Rowe said, “I am absolutely thrilled for all of the team who’ve worked so hard. It’s not only a brilliant reflection of all the work individuals in the station have done, it also shows Demon FM is going from strength to strength as a station.”

Students wear their birthday suits in live art activity

By Alison Hart

DMU students stripped off last week in an unusual studio-based live art class.

The 17 drama studies and performing arts undergraduates used only paint and their bodies to create pieces of artwork on canvas.

The workshop, held in the Campus Centre studios on Friday 16, is part of the drama and performing arts third year degree programme and shows how the human form can be used in art.

Drama student Ceara Asbury-Dunn, 20, said: “We could take off as many clothes as we felt comfortable with. One guy kept all his clothes on and just painted with a brush and his hands. It was interesting though because at the end he said he felt uncomfortable being fully dressed.

“You would assume the half-naked people would be the uncomfortable ones, but as everyone was in the same boat nobody cared.”

Many students felt happy in their birthday suits as they were covered in paint and filled their canvases with colour.

Miss Asbury-Dunn said: “My end piece was quite messy, whereas other people had a single imprint of their body in the centre of the canvas. My friend made a landscape-like painting using his footprints which looked pretty cool.”

The session lasted from 9am-12pm and also included artist research as well as giving the students time to set up the studio ready for the activity.

A three minute ‘free writing’ exercise was held at the end where students had the chance to write any thoughts down about the workshop without thinking too much about it.

They had to pick a sentence out from the paragraph and then select three words from the sentence which made the titles of their artwork.

The creative activity was inspired by artists such as Yves Klein, a pioneer in the development of performance art whose work famously features women’s bodies covered in blue paint and pressed onto a canvas.

Miss Asbury-Dunn said: “It was definitely different and a little embarrassing at first, but once everyone felt comfortable it was really fun.

“Taking your clothes off is definitely a good icebreaker too! Some of the drama students didn’t know the performing arts students too well and the activity allowed us to get to know each other.

“Discovering how the body can create art and performance by doing it ourselves will certainly benefit me throughout my course.”