‘This has broken all our hearts’: candlelit vigil for Brianna Ghey held in Leicester

By Shaikha Rahimi

A candlelit vigil was held in the city centre to remember transgender teenager Brianna Ghey, who was stabbed to death in Cheshire earlier this month

Brianna’s vigil in Leicester.

Mourners gathered at the Clock Tower in Leicester on Saturday to pay tribute to murdered 16-year-old Brianna Ghey.

Vigils have been held across the UK in memory of Brianna, a transgender girl from Birchwood in Warrington, who was found with fatal stab wounds on a path in Linear Park, in Culcheth, Cheshire on Saturday, February 11.

The organiser of the Leicester vigil, Abi – who did not want to share her full name – told Leicestershire Press: “The vigil gave people from Leicester’s trans community the opportunity to pay tribute to Brianna and grieve together.

“The death of Brianna has broken all our hearts, especially of those who are the same age as her. The healing starts now. We won’t forget her and we won’t let hate towards us win.”

Local community comes together to honour and remember Brianna.

Bouquets of flowers were left by the Clock Tower. Many of the well-wishers held signs with messages to Brianna. One read: “Rest in pride.” Another said: “Trans rights are human rights.”

Among those who were present was Zak Fiken, a 21-year-old student at DMU. He told Leicestershire Press: “What we saw happen to Brianna was abhorrent and beyond comprehension. Above all else, she was a girl with her whole life ahead of her, which has now been taken.

“The trans community are some of the most marginalised in our society, and transphobia is becoming increasingly mainstream, Even at the vigil we heard transphobic abuse being shouted at us. Every line used against the trans community today was used against the gay community in the 80s.

“We will continue to fight for trans rights, and let Brianna be the last person to be killed.”

Dozens lit candles to remember the 16-year-old.

A boy and a girl, both aged 15, have been charged with Brianna’s murder. They appeared at Liverpool Crown Court on Wednesday, February 15, where a trial date was fixed for Monday, July 10.

Following her tragic death, Brianna’s family paid an emotional tribute to her, describing Brianna as “strong and fearless.”

They said that a “massive hole” had been left in their family after her death. The full statement issued through Cheshire police said: “Brianna was a much loved daughter, granddaughter, and baby sister.”

Leicester barber believes future is bleak in event of second lockdown

By Samuel Gill

Barber Cameron Hallam in his shop on Evington Road before the pandemic.

Among the industries to be hit the hardest by the Coronavirus pandemic is hair and beauty, especially in Leicester where the restrictions have lasted longest.

Leicester-based barber Cameron Hallam, who has owned Cameron’s Cutz since 2005, spoke to Leicestershire Press and believes that businesses closing is inevitable if a second lockdown or a circuit breaker is introduced.

“I feel that is in the air. I’ve just got the same anxious feeling. I’d not be surprised if they did this circuit breaker. I hope I’m wrong, I think it’s definitely possible,” said Hallam.

“The general government have got to support the local government to support the local business. If they do that in the right time frame which I doubt they will because it took a long time to get support when it went into lockdown before. If they don’t, you’ve got to start thinking, I can’t keep doing this.”

“There’s no furlough, that doesn’t exist for any small business or anyone like myself. You’re going to wander up high streets and you’re going to see places closing. The rent doesn’t go away.”

Hallam due to his reputation is often booked up but since the lockdown, his usual turnover has gone down and he believes there is a main reason for this.

“I would say it has impacted me up to 25% less than I’d usually take in turnover. If you look it across the board, people are doing less. I think people are worried for their jobs and their futures. I always think of a haircut as a luxury. It’s a treat because you want to feel good and look good. People are not going anywhere.”

Reopening was heavily impacted by a local lockdown for Leicester and he believes that as a city, they were treated poorly.

“That was probably the toughest thing from all of this for me personally. When they initially gave me the date of July 4 for Hair and Beauty to reopen, I thought ok I’ve got the date there, there’s a light at the end of it all. Then to get the local lockdown, that took the wing out of my sails that was tough,” he added.

“Psychologically that impacted me. I felt Leicester got done a bit as well. I feel we were a bit of a social experiment.”

Leicester cafe MedEx sees increase in students trying CBD to help battle stress and anxiety

By Adam Rear

With CBD products recently becoming legal, Leicester is seeing a rise in students using CBD cafes and shops. 

One of the first CBD cafes that opened in Leicester last September, MedEx, has seen an increasing number of student visitors. 


CBD, short for cannabidiol, can be found in every variety of the cannabis family, including hemp. 

Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabidiol, the primary psychoactive element in cannabis), CBD is non-psychoactive and will not produce the ‘high’ that is typically associated with cannabis use. 

Instead of getting its users ‘high’, CBD has many physical and psychological health benefits. 

Mental health social worker and employee at MedEx, Lamees, said: “There are multiple health benefits when it comes to CBD.

“It can help people manage anxiety better, aid people who struggle getting to sleep and can relieve symptoms of panic attacks.

“I myself struggle with anxiety and suffer from panic attacks. When I have a panic attack, I take a few drops of CBD oil and within about three seconds I feel much calmer.

“CBD can be consumed in various ways; it can be taken in oil form, edible forms such as chocolate, honey and dried fruits.

“It can also be consumed in a drink form such as fizzy drink cans, coffee, tea and even in protein shakes. CBD can also be smoked in its flower form.”

Due to CBD products only becoming recently legal in the UK, there is still a lot of stigma and skepticism towards its use.

“We have seen a lot of students coming in and trying our CBD products, which is really nice to see.

“Having a shop like this helps students escape the stigma of mental health and it provides a safe haven where people can talk about their feelings.”