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student news



Holly tells of her wait for vital kidney transplant Page 3


Rewarding practice of volunteering in focus Pages 6 & 7


What have Jim Bowen and Comedy Dave got in common? Pages 8 & 9 Student News is brought to you in association with:


Ex-student conquers UK singles and album charts

DUFFY IS TOP OF THE POPS FORMER student Aimee Duffy is taking the world by storm after her single, Mercy, rocketed to top spot in the UK charts.

The 23-year-old soul singer from Nefyn, North Wales, has been hotly tipped as one of music’s brightest prospects after bursting onto the scene with a number one single and chart-topping debut album, Rockferry. Duffy seemed destined for stardom from the moment she left the University in 2007. The limited release of the single, Rockferry, in late 2007 gave the UK a taste of what was to come, and when Mercy hit the shelves and downloads websites in early 2008, it was a massive success. The single raced to number one in the UK on download sales alone, and topped respective charts in seven different European countries, as well as jumping into the top 10 in a further eight. The former Performing Arts student, who has been nominated for two Mojo Awards, studied at both the Warrington and Chester campuses before completing Dip HE studies to follow her dream of becoming a professional in the music business. Head of Performing Arts, Kate

By Richard Ault

Malone Smith, who was Duffy’s Personal Academic Tutor during her time at university, said: “Aimee was always cheerful and energetic, and very proud of her Welsh heritage. I remember her as a delightful and determined young woman with a professional attitude. “She was eager to learn about the business of working as a professional in the music business, and often sought advice from Ben Broughton, a Lecturer in Performing Arts who is also a professional musician. “In Drama, her script-writing was exceptional and highly praised by professional playwright, Sol Rivers, who referred to her as ‘a star, a real star’.” She is now enjoying success in the US market after Mercy featured as the Song of the Week on the American iTunes website. She was also scheduled to perform at the prestigious Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York City in early May.

BRIGHT FUTURE: Former student Duffy took the world by storm in the first half of 2008 and is now on a global tour. Photo supplied.





Jointly funded CCTV installation welcomed by police, students and other residents

Welcome to the ninth issue of Student News, an official University of Chester publication, produced by the University’s Corporate Communications Department. This paper is designed to keep students informed of University news and is designed by staff at Trinity Mirror Cheshire, publisher of the award-winning Chester Chronicle. CONTACT

EDITORIAL TEAM Student News is brought to you by: Richard Ault Jayne Dodgson Andrew Morrison Clare Wildman

JOURNALISTS David Ardill Erin Callaghan Kevin Dillion Charlotte Hudson Eve McCartney Shelley O’Neill Robert Platt Holly Shaw Jane Strand Laura Wigley

PHOTOGRAPHY University of Chester AV team, unless otherwise stated.

WRITE FOR US Any students who would like to write for Student News are invited to get in touch with the University’s Corporate Communications Department on the above e-mail address.

ACCESSIBILITY To obtain this information in an alternative format – large print, on audio tape or in translation – call 01244 511450 or e-mail

SECURITY MEASURE: (From left to right): Cllr David Mead; PCSO Andrew Hein; student Claire Edwards; University Proctor, Steve Clapham; Cllr Sandra Rudd; Cllr Gwyneth Cooper; Cllr Janet Black; PC Steve Baldwin; Area Manager, Debra Brown; and resident, James Priestly. Photo supplied.

Camera investment keeps eye on crime

THE University has helped pay for extended CCTV coverage in the Garden Lane area of Chester as part of its ongoing support towards making the neighbourhood safer for students, residents and traders.

After campaigning by local people and the tireless work of community groups, particularly the Garden Quarter Community Association, a new CCTV camera was installed in the area in an effort to reduce criminal damage and anti-social behaviour. University Proctor, Steve Clapham, said that the camera has helped to make the community a safer place for students who live there.

He commented: “One of the primary reasons for the University supporting the CCTV camera project financially was to ensure that students who live in the area, those travelling through it en route to the University, and members of the local community, can go about their daily lives confident that their personal safety is being protected. “There are divided opinions as to the effectiveness of surveillance by CCTV cameras, but the ‘feel-good’ factor always tends to outweigh the negatives for the majority of individuals. The feedback the University has received from the Police, City Council and local residents’ groups has been very positive.” The new camera means that CCTV

operators are able to spot incidents more quickly. The Garden Quarter Community Association worked hard to gain support for the initiative and raised funds from local people and businesses towards the scheme. The Association’s Ray Noonan said: “We are grateful for the support of councillors, churches, Police, Fire Service and the University, and particularly appreciate the unflagging efforts of the City Area Committee and Area Manager.” Funding for the cameras was provided by the City Area Committee, Chester City Council, Chester Community Safety Partnership and the University.

Councillor Gwyneth Cooper, Chair of the Area Committee, said: "I welcome the additional security for residents.” PC Steve Baldwin, from Cheshire Constabulary, added: “The new camera on Garden Lane provides the police with another valuable tool to help detect crime, and it will also benefit the locals who have reported noise and damage over the years. “I must say a big thank-you to Ray Noonan, who has, as always, been at the front-line regarding getting the funding for this camera, to Cllr Sandra Rudd, who has pushed to get this camera up and running, and to the University for providing a large sum of money.”

Mentoring programme hailed a success DOZENS of pupils from schools across Cheshire have benefited from an inspiring project run by the University. Youngsters at schools in Chester, Ellesmere Port, Warrington, Neston, Knutsford, Northwich and Malpas have this year taken advantage of the University’s mentoring programme, which has seen students working with more than 130 pupils to help them reach their full potential in their GCSE year. Almost 30 students have spent

the past academic year building a rapport with their ‘mentees’, either through face-to-face weekly sessions at their school, or as part of a ‘blended mentoring’ programme, which is part-funded by AimHigher and involves a combination of face-to-face monthly meetings and secure e-mail contact. Maria Skinner, the University’s Mentor Co-ordinator, said: “It is very inspiring to see the help and support that our mentors are able to provide to the pupils

they work with. “The aim of the programme is to support young people who are capable of doing well to fulfil their potential, as well as raising aspirations, building confidence and helping with study and organisational skills.” From improving exam grades to boosting self-esteem, feedback shows that youngsters enjoy various benefits from participation. In many cases, the chance to confide in someone separate from their parents and teachers helps

them to enjoy school life and improve their academic performance. Selected by a rigorous application process, student mentors attend an approved training course, which is paid for by the University and provided as part of the AimHigher National Mentoring Scheme. It benefits the participating students by adding another string to their bow, enhancing their CV and helping them to put something back into the community.




The waiting game After being diagnosed with renal failure in 2004, Warrington student HOLLY SHAW has spent the past threeand-a-half years waiting for the greatest gift of all – the gift of life. The 21-year-old gives Student News a personal insight into her long wait for that life-changing telephone call. “WHEN I was first asked to write this piece, I was wondering how an earth I would fit three years of my life into one article, but I’ll try.

“It all started just after Christmas in 2004. I was taken ill suddenly and was rushed into hospital. Various blood tests and injections took place and eventually a scan of my kidneys, which showed they had shrunk and were no longer doing the job they were supposed to do. “I was told I had end-stage renal failure (ESRF) and needed to go on dialysis immediately, and I would remain on this for the foreseeable future, until a suitable donor kidney was found for a transplant. “This came as a huge shock to both myself and my family, and we were all facing an uncertain future. “Three years on and we are still living with that uncertainty – I am still on dialysis three times a week for three hours at a time, and I’m still waiting for that telephone call saying the transplant is going to take place. “My mum went through the tests to see if she could become a donor for me but she wasn’t suitable. My family has been so

‘LIVING WITH UNCERTAINTY’: Student Holly Shaw is waiting for that telephone call that would transform her life. supportive throughout this and I can’t thank them enough. “Having dialysis means I have to stick to a strict fluid restriction of 500mls per day and a special diet (low in phosphate, sodium and potassium). I also have to take various tablets each day. The dialysis itself is restrictive, time-consuming and has unpleasant side-effects. I have low energy levels, tire easily and suffer almost constant nausea. “The actual haemodialysis itself takes its toll. It involves two needles inserted into my fistula, which is a surgically enlarged vein located in my upper arm. This provides access to the bloodstream for haemodialysis. “The fistula buzzes all the time, which is a good thing as this means the blood is flowing through it freely. “Haemodialysis removes waste

“[Haemodialysis] leaves me feeling wiped out and very often lightheaded, but it’s the only thing that can keep me alive unless I get a transplant.”


TREATMENT: Holly undergoes dialysis three times a week for three hours at a time. products from the blood by passing it out of the body through a filtering system called a dialyser, and returning it, cleaned, to the body, as well as removing fluid from my body (another job the kidneys should do). “It leaves me feeling wiped out and very often light-headed, but it’s the only thing that can keep me alive unless I get a transplant. “It’s not all doom and gloom. I have met so many great people because of my situation, my fellow dialysis patients and, of course, the nurses who do an amazing job looking after me and

essentially keeping me alive. “I try not to let all this get in the way of everyday life. I am enjoying my Early Childhood Studies degree, although I sometimes struggle fitting the workload in with my hospital visits, and my lecturers have been sympathetic regarding my attendance. “My social life is not that of a normal student but I can’t complain, I have understanding friends who are very supportive. “I am also proud to be an ambassador for the Live Life Then Give Life charity (www., which does amazing work by promot-

ing organ donation during various events and selling cool T-shirts with catchy slogans on, such as I’d give you one. “I would love to have my health and freedom back. I’ve got so much I want to do with my life, but without a kidney transplant, I just don’t know what the future will hold. I just have to keep hoping that one day I’ll receive the greatest gift of all – the gift of life. “Around 8,000 people in the UK like me need an organ transplant to save or radically improve their lives. However, due to the chronic shortage of donors, 450 people die each year waiting. “The ever-growing demand for transplants means that waiting lists are rising each year. “So it’s a waiting game for me now, for that phone call that will transform my life.” ■ To read more about Holly’s everyday life as a dialysis patient and life on the waiting list, read her blog at To sign the organ donor register, telephone 0845 60 60 400 or visit

Photo by Manchester Evening News

FACTFile ■ At the end of March 2007, 7,234 patients were listed as actively waiting for a transplant. ■ Although 90% of the population support organ donation, only 22% are on the organ donor register. ■ The average cost of dialysis is £30,800 per patient per year. ■ The indicative cost of a kidney transplant (including induction therapy but excluding UK transplant costs) is £17,000 per patient per transplant. ■ The number of people needing a transplant is expected to rise steeply over the next decade due to an ageing population, an increase in kidney failure, and scientific advances resulting in more people being suitable for a transplant. Source:

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Eco plan sees duo urge firms to push reusable bags

Green light for initiative By Karen Campbell

TWO second year students have been co-ordinating a campaign to encourage businesses in Chester to stop supplying plastic bags to customers, in a bid to encourage the use of reusable bags.

As part of their Work-Based Learning module, Mandy Murphy, a Geography and International Development Studies student, and Business student Andy Leishman, worked in the Waste Management Department at Chester City Council. In their roles as campaign co-ordinators, they have been promoting the initiative, which has been put forward by the City Council in association with Friends of the Earth. The pair have been asking local businesses to recognise their role in the prevention of environmental damage by scrapping the supply of plastic bags. Businesses accepting this challenge were given Carry a Bag

logos, which will be placed in shop windows to show their participation in the enterprise. Mandy and Andy will also be creating environmental awareness, especially among students. Mandy said: “Students can do their bit by reusing old plastic bags or RECYCLING: Student and campaign making their own bags co-ordinator Mandy Murphy. Photo supplied. from old clothes or other materials they have lying around. “ It’s a good way to express your ■ People in the UK use, personality and save the environ average, 25,000 onment at the same time.” plastic bags in their Reusable University bags are lifetime. available from the Chester cam■ Each plastic bag takes pus library for £2.50. up to 1,000 years to deChester City Council bags are compose, and never also available from the Chester completely disappears. Library, next to the Town Hall, for ■ About 100,000 tonnes £2. of plastic carrier bags are You can contact Mandy or Andy thrown away in the UK about the campaign on 07825 each year, the same weight as 70,000 cars. 161535 or 07828 738881.


Students give charities boost THOUSANDS of pounds have been raised for several good causes, thanks to the dedication of students. Countless fundraising activities have taken place to benefit not just local causes, but also those in some of the world’s most disadvantaged places. Initiatives included: ■ A seven-hour charity bowlathon at Megabowl on Sealand Road, to raise as much as £2,000 for the Chester Chronicle-backed charity, Miles of Smiles. ■ Students from the Warrington campus raised cash to help farmers in the developing world. Organised by nursing students, Rosie Peplow and Clifford Bisacre, as part of ActionAid’s 24 Hour Tea and Coffee Break, cakes, sandwiches and Fairtrade coffee was on offer, plus a raffle. ■ At Warrington, students wore fancy dress costumes in a bid to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. ■ Almost £700 was raised during the latest collection for the University’s own charity, TWIN. TWIN assists projects

LIFESAVING CASH: Student Volunteer Co-ordinator Claire Britton is pictured, centre, with volunteer Laura Hardaker (left), and MacMillan Cancer Support’s Aimee Scally (right). at grassroots level across the globe, such as orphanages in Kenya, health programmes in Uganda, and environmental programmes in Brazil and Costa Rica. ■ MacMillan Cancer Support benefited to the tune of £167, thanks to staff and student contributions to Bring a

Pound to Work Day, supported by Dee 106.3. ■ Student Dan Lee has been raising vital funds for a water pumping facility in an Ethiopian village. He hopes to raise £10,000 through charity events at bars around Chester, and in April he took part in the Flora London Marathon.

THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION friends and contacts network

CONGRATULATIONS to everyone graduating or receiving awards in November. University is a shared experience and one from which you should continue to benefit for the rest of your life. The University of Chester’s Alumni Association exists to

promote a network of friends and contacts and to keep you in touch with each other, as well as keeping you informed of the work and progress of the University itself – and you are automatically a FREE member. It is vital that you remember to keep the

University updated with your contact details, to enable us to keep in touch. Meanwhile, take a look at the new pages for former students. For further details, please call 01244 511091, visit or e-mail alumni@


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How’s your driving? In December 2006, the lives of 16-year-old Tristan Cook’s family were turned upside down when he and his friend, Dominic Arnold, were the innocent victims of a fatal car crash. Tristan’s sister, Bryony, spoke to LAURA WIGLEY and DAVID ARDILL about the importance of making young drivers aware of the potentially fatal consequences of their actions behind the wheel.


AST cars, loud music, CRASH VICTIMS: Tristan Cook (inset, top) and his friend Dominic Arnold (inset, bottom) were killed revving engines and in a car crash on the A41. Tristan’s sister is now raising awareness of a new Rate Your Mate dangerous manoeuvres. campaign, launched by Cheshire Police, to encourage young people to drive safely. Photos supplied. All stereotypes that build a pretty standard The police campaign has been wel- on the A41 – the road which claimed British Insurers suggest that, each perception of kids in cars. Regardless of how unfair this ste- comed by the family of Tristan Cook, the life of her younger brother – were day, there are four fatalities or acwho was tragically killed in a road “too depressing”. cidents resulting in serious injury reotype may be, the facts and stattraffic accident, along with friend The road signs inform drivers of the involving young drivers. istics relating to Cheshire’s roads are Dominic Arnold, in December 2006. amount of fatalities that have ocWhile considering these shocking there in black and white: More young Tristan’s sister, Bryony, explained curred on the road, with the aim of statistics and reflecting on the events people have died or been injured on that, having suffered such a tragic raising awareness of the danger. the county’s roads in the last year that have led to the loss of a loving family loss, her reasons for backing Bryony said: “How do they think I than in any other demographic the police schemes are perhaps more feel when I drive down that road brother, Bryony believes that various group. heartfelt than others. knowing that one of those numbers is changes may help in reducing the It was with this frightening thought She said: “I think that it is ex- my brother? People just don’t want to number of deaths on UK roads. Raisin mind that Cheshire Police tremely important for the highways know, and maybe they would un- ing awareness of the dangers of drivlaunched a campaign to raise aware- to be made safer, as so many people derstand why it is necessary to bring ing could help save lives and prevent ness and respect among young are killed or injured unnecessarily on this to the attention of people if they other families suffering the drivers, through a campaign called our roads every day.” had lost someone so special to them heartache of losing a loved one. Rate Your Mate, which has been deBryony has voiced her anger to- on the roads.” She concluded: “We only have one signed to encourage safe driving and ward the large number of people who The campaign has been welcomed life, and for it to be cut short and lost reward those who take heed of its had written into the Chester Chronicle by many, as it comes at a time when due to careless driving is so tragic.” message. complaining that road signs placed statistics from the Association of With the campaign based around a point-scoring website, Emma Turner, of Cheshire Police, explained the concept of, which is set to go live imminently. She said: “Research among young road users has found that they are more worried about killing or maiming their mates than they are themselves. Building on this, and the familiarity of young road users with the internet, we have designed a new website, “The idea behind the site is that young road users build a profile of themselves, their car and other characteristics, and their mates then go on and rate their driving ability. TRIBUTE: A “The site will run for 12 months and those who have got a good rating, and temporary crucially avoided any motoring ofmemorial at fences, will be entered into a draw for Grosvenor Park a number of prizes.” in Chester. Cheshire Police is committed to Flowers and reducing the number of young people messages were involved in road accidents yearly. left by their Emma continued: “Young road users friends and are more at risk of death and serious SUPPORT: Sisters of Tristan Cook, left to right: classmates injury on Cheshire's roads than any Tamsin Cook, Bryony Cook and Katherine Hannible. from Christleton other age group, and we want to Photos supplied. High School. change this.”

Newspaper campaign tells how to make a difference THE Chester Chronicle’s Too Young to Die campaign was set up with the aim of helping to make 2008 the year when fatality and injury rates for under 25year-olds fall in Cheshire. As part of the campaign, The Chronicle has been publishing a series of articles highlighting the need to respect the roads. The paper has also been campaigning for changes in the law and improved education for young people before and after they start to drive. How you can help make a difference: ■ Drivers – Report any reckless driving you see on the roads. Lead by example – drive safely, take care on the roads, check your vehicle regularly. ■ Parents – talk to your child about the risks and responsibilities of being a driver and a passenger, make sure they realise how many young drivers and passengers die on the roads each year. ■ Teenagers – Tell your friends if you don’t like the way they drive. Don’t ride in their car if you aren’t comfortable. Make it clear you don’t agree with the ‘boy racer’ culture. ■ Make it clear that drivers – male or female – who take risks are not attractive.

6 2 Notable examples Student News profiles a small handful of the outstanding volunteers who have contributed so much to the lives of others. ■ Chloe Hynes Second-year student Chloe Hynes shared the Ede and Ravenscroft Award at the University’s Valedictory Service for her dedication to a volunteer project outside her academic field. While studying at Warrington, she volunteered at Opening Doors, and independently set up and ran an arts project for the hostel, which supports homeless young people. It was this experience that inspired Chloe to transfer to a Fine Art course and, subsequently, adapt her career ambitions. The 21-year-old has continued to volunteer on a range of placements, making her an indispensable volunteer, for organisations and societies such as BUNAC and the LGBT society. Volunteer Co-ordinator, Claire Britton, said: “The energy and enthusiasm Chloe puts into her volunteering has made a huge difference in helping those with whom she works. Her commitment to a variety of causes typifies the dedication of all our volunteers.” ■ Bryan Lipscombe After devoting hundreds of volunteering hours to serving the local community, PhD student Bryan Lipscombe has won a string of awards for his efforts. Community champion Bryan, aged 40, travelled to Wembley Stadium for the national Higher Education Volunteering Awards 2007, which celebrate the country’s finest volunteers. Bryan collected the Outstanding Project Award for his Sticky Exhibits initiative, a ground-breaking project promoting environmental awareness through interactive exhibits and resources. The project also saw him awarded £1,500 from the Community Champions Fund, sponsored by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), to construct a renewable energy ‘Power Pod’, a trailer charged by solar panels and a mini wind turbine. At the University’s Valedictory Service, Bryan landed the Business Connection Award and the Santander Community Award for his work. In total, he has completed 258 hours of unpaid work. ■ Bill Sheppard Archaeology student Bill Sheppard, aged 50, shared the Ede and Ravenscroft Award at the Valedictory Service, having been nominated for the Student Volunteering Award at the national Higher Education Volunteering Awards 2007. Bill was recognised for his work to



create a sensory garden at Dee Banks Special School in Chester. Bill took the lead on the project, which also involved other dedicated volunteers and took more than a year to complete. Transforming a disused area of the school grounds, he co-ordinated other student volunteers in designing and building the garden, incorporating children’s suggestions into the design, and recycling redundant materials. The school stated that Bill’s wealth of experience and expertise had altered staff and pupils’ perceptions of the area. Bill also won the Santander Community Award at the Valedictory Service. Chloe, Bill and Bryan were joined by several other volunteers in being recognised for their efforts at the annual Valedictory Service. ■ Criminology student Jessica Hagan volunteers for Chester Youth Club, participating in youth work and tackling youth issues, such as anti-social behaviour. She is joined at the Youth Club by fellow volunteer, Laura Tregoning, who has been described by her placement supervisor as ‘a fantastic volunteer with a huge amount of energy’. Six students won this year’s DEVA Award: ■ Julie Illingworth, who also claimed the McCormick Prize, has been volunteering consistently for Cheshire Probation Service and Impact/SOVA since July 2006, clocking up 453 hours. ■ Matthew James’ work has played a large part in his University life. Matthew has been volunteering as a scout leader since 2000, is a regular supporter of on-campus activities such as campus tours, and for two years has been a University House Manager. ■ Tanya Benson has been volunteering as a Brownie Leader and a member of a Lourdes group, helping sick and disabled people, since November 2006. ■ David Twyman has been involved in a range of media-related placements, including producing a film for the Peace Centre and for local schools. ■ Shantelle Gaston-Hird, also a winner of the Santander Award, is involved in recruitment of volunteers for the Warrington-based Centre Stage theatre group, which put on plays for schools and charities, and also participates in conservation work. ■ Emma Shepherd has volunteered for Sure Start on a project called Multiple Mayhem, helping mothers with twins to go swimming, and has also taken part in a local BTCV group assisting with environmental work. ■ The Santander Community Award was won by Dan Lee, who has been raising vital funds for a water pumping facility in an Ethiopian village.

AWARD WINNER: Bryan Lipscombe is pictured with his Outstanding Project Award certificate, watched by the University’s Maria Skinner.

‘Making a STUDENT volunteers have devoted almost 12,000 hours of unpaid work this past academic year to serving communities across Cheshire.

From Chester Aid To The Homeless and Save The Family to numerous schools, charities and other organisations, more than 200 groups have been the beneficiaries of the students’ generosity since September. Based on the minimum wage for 18 to 21-year-olds, they have clocked up an incredible £54,000 worth of unpaid work in that time, making a substantial contribution throughout the region. Claire Britton, the University’s Volunteer Co-ordinator, said: “During my short time in post, I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the energy of our volunteers, and each and every one of them deserves a huge thank-you. “The words ‘volunteering’ and ‘student’ have a lot in common in that they are often misunderstood. The stereotypes associated with these words often create boundaries and it is great to see that students and staff here are together challenging these stereotypes to make a real and significant difference in the communities in which they live.” The University has a proud volunteering tradition. In 1844, some of the first students

Thousands of hours of voluntary work have been carried out in the local community over the past eight months, thanks to the dedication of student volunteers. Student News takes a closer look at how hundreds of people and projects across Chester have benefited. funded, built and furnished the Chapel which still exists today. Some 234 students are currently registered as volunteers, and they undertake a rich variety of activities. In April, they were praised for their efforts at the annual celebration evening, which was attended by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Chester, and the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, William Bromley-Davenport. The University’s volunteers work in areas including: ■ Running summer schools in a variety of subjects. ■ Visiting local schools to mentor young people towards fulfilling their potential. ■ Holding practical sessions for youngsters in areas including cookery skills. ■ Advising youth clubs, accompanying them on trips and undertaking activities. ■ Promoting a ‘green culture’ at the Uni-

versity and in the city. ■ Undertaking beach cleaning and other conservation work. ■ Transforming disused land at schools into a sensory garden. ■ Painting colourful murals to brighten up children’s wards at hospitals. ■ Accompanying heart attack patients to exercise rehabilitation classes. ■ Helping young mothers in disadvantaged areas to learn about healthy living. ■ Leading Scouting and Guiding groups. ■ Joining the networks of Special Constables in local police forces. ■ Working with organisations such as Chester Aid To The Homeless to raise awareness of sensitive issues in society. ■ Supporting the smooth running of public events, such as Chester Bikeathon. ■ Undertaking various placements abroad.

Jane tells of ‘experience of a lifetime’ Volunteering for a good cause can be a truly life-changing experience. That’s the message from Criminology student JANE STRAND, who swapped her studies for three months working at orphanages in Kenya and Ghana. “SPENDING three months volunteering in Africa was undoubtedly the most amazing thing I have ever done in my life. “Before departing, I took on two part-time jobs to help pay for the travel, vaccinations an d other costs, but I knew it would all be worth it. “I had prepared myself for a culture shock. Everyone who volunteers in Africa says that it really opened their eyes to the world, and that is true, but I don’t think you can really put into words just how incredible and emotional the whole experience is. “I spent my first two months working at an orphanage called Hope House in Nairobi, Kenya, before spending a month at Orphan Cry in Ghana. “Orphan Cry was home to around 70 orphans aged between three months and 22 years, with myself and three volunteers. In many cases the youngsters had lost their parents to AIDS or had been abandoned due to poverty. “I won’t lie. Life there is worse than it is portrayed in the films you see on Comic Relief nights. What is difficult to express is how friendly and helpful the children are. “Although there was a lan-

‘INCREDIBLE’ EXPERIENCE: Jane Strand spent an amazing three months volunteering in Africa. guage barrier, myself and a couple of other volunteers would do our best to teach them numeracy skills and take them on nature walks. What the children really wanted was your love and someone to cuddle, so they would spend the whole time climbing on you. “It was very easy to become attached to them and heart-breaking to think that you couldn’t really do a lot to help. “All they wanted to do was help you. There was no clean water so you had to get

washed at the well, and they would fight over who washed your clothes. They would help in every possible way. “After the volunteering, I had the opportunity to take part in some amazing activities, from climbing Mount Kenya and trekking to Scuba diving and elephant watching. “Overall the entire experience was just amazing, and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. “People think of Africa as this big, scary place, but I

never felt frightened and everyone was very friendly. “I couldn’t be more enthusiastic to travel and see the world. “When I finish my Degree, I’ll be taking another few years to travel and learn more, before hopefully working for an overseas charity. Many people must think that it’s something they’d love to do one day, and all I would say to them is: ‘Do it! You’ll have the experience of a lifetime’.”


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real difference’

‘V’ FORMATION: Staff and students line up to spread the volunteering message.

Litter pickers team up to fight rubbish on the beaches VOLUNTEERS swapped their beach bags for rubbish bags as they embarked on a coastal clean-up in

Lancashire. Two members of staff and six students from the Warrington campus joined

other volunteers from across the region to help preserve the shoreline by removing unwanted

rubbish at Fleetwood Beach. Volunteer Co-ordinator, Claire Britton, explained:

“There was quite a lot of debris, such as quilt lining. “Over the years we have been amazed by what we

have discovered – a couple of years ago we found an entire bathroom suite on a beach at Morecambe.”

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Can’t beat a When studying to become a teacher at Chester in the 1950s, Jim Bowen could never have dreamed of the cult status he would go on to enjoy in show-business. He spoke exclusively to RICHARD AULT about life at Chester, Bullseye’s renaissance, and THAT episode of Phoenix Nights with Peter Kay…


hen ITV’s Bullseye first leapt onto our screens, it was a massive success and made presenter Jim Bowen a household name. Nearly 30 years on, the programme is witnessing somewhat of a revival thanks to digital television, and the former Chester student is once again attracting a large following. The rapid success of the show in the first place surprised Jim, but his quirky catchphrases and funny stories are now entertaining a new, younger audience. While still entertaining the older generations, An Audience with Jim Bowen is now popular at students’ union bars up and down the country. “It’s quite bizarre how popular it has become again. People have really taken to it,” Jim commented. “At a show last year in Edinburgh, there were 16 and 17-year-olds sitting alongside 70-year-olds, even sharing the same cigarette, which was scary! “The show gets the Mickey taken out of it horrendously, but in a nice way. People say things like ‘In one, half a toaster!’ and it’s all a good laugh,” he added. Online games, interactive DVDs and even Bullseye ringtones are all available, as companies cash-in on the new lease of life for the show. The original success took Jim by surprise back in the late 1980s, despite a slow start. He said: “People later just took to it and it became huge. I think they just saw it as normal, relaxing and accessible entertainment. “If Bob Monkhouse had done it, it wouldn’t have worked because he was too good. It was all off-the-cuff. It was funny how catchphrases stuck, such as ‘Super, Smashing, Great’! They were crazy! “At one stage we were doing 26 shows a year on prime-time television, which was madness really.” Such is his popularity once again, Jim has appeared on BBC’s The Weakest Link: Celebrity Edition four times, winning twice, and also joined good friend, Peter Kay, for a memorable episode of Phoenix Nights. The out-takes from the show have become as popular as the episode itself and can be seen all over the internet, and at the start of Jim’s shows. The hilarity of it all still makes

Jim laugh. “There is a video of out-takes, it was so funny. By the end of it we were devastated, absolutely wrecked from laughing! “I kept calling him [Peter Kay] Frank – I’ve no idea where it came from. And I was saying things that just weren’t in the script such as ‘I’ve got a lift that goes right to the top’. By the end of it our eyes were red and our chest hurt we’d laughed that much. It took us 70 minutes to do seven minutes’ worth of filming! “I’ve known Peter for years. He’s a Lancastrian comedian as well. “When I worked on radio he used to come in and was a bit of a fan.” There were few signs of what lay ahead for Jim during his time at Chester. After doing National Service, he decided to pursue a career in teaching which would require two years of study from 1957 until 1959. The first year he spent in Halls of Residence on campus in Astbury House, and he recalls a time when students all sat together at meal times on long tables. He said: “I look back at my time at Chester with affection. I had a fair time there but scrambled through really. The College had a really good reputation, Chester and York St Johns were like the Oxford and Cambridge of teaching institutions back then.” Jim moved out of halls and into digs in Chester for his second year, and was also one of only three students in his year to own a car. He recalled: “I got my first car at the end of my first year in 1958, it was a Ford Prefect. I can remember the registration plate, you always do with your first car. “The Principal at the time wouldn’t let me park it on the bottom of the field on campus. I wasn’t happy with that! I spent my second year in digs in the city centre.” Jim also started a jazz band during his time at college. The College Allstars played regular gigs in the bars of the city centre, and perhaps gave a hint of the stage presence Jim would later show on national television. After completing his studies in 1959, Jim became a PE teacher in Lancashire. A surge of children born since the end of the war was now turning 10 and 11 years of age, meaning teaching jobs were easier to come by at that time. Within a

year he was Head of PE at Caton Primary School in Lancashire, and subsequently he became Deputy Head of the School. A self-confessed disciplinarian, Jim prided himself on high standards. He soon began to expand his teaching skills, adding dance and drama to his increasingly-broad CV. He

spent time at the famous Rudolph Laban School of Dance in London at a time when combining educational drama with English was highly thought of. His first real steps into show-business came a few years later. He continued: “In 1969 I started doing some stand-up in local clubs to get a few quid. I could earn £5 a night

compared to £12 a week teaching. By 1972 I could get up to £25 a night, which was crazy. “I told the school, ‘I’m going to have to have a go at this’. “I was glad to see the back of it. You’ve got to be dedicated to be a teacher now. I got out of it before it got to the stage where kids were nailing the teachers to the desk!”

Jim, now aged 70, takes things easier these days, using his time to do things he enjoys and spending time at home with his wife. Jim explained: “I do things now I enjoy, like working on the cruise ships. I’ve just signed to do some more, nothing glitzy, I leave the Cabaret Nights to other people. It’s normally just me on a stool


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bit of Bowen FACTFile ■ Born: Heswall, Wirral ■ D.O.B: 20/8/37 ■ Now living in: Lancashire ■ Website: ■ Where you’ve seen Jim: Bullseye, Phoenix Nights, Jonathan Creek ■ What you’re likely to hear him say: “Super, Smashing, Great!” ■ Where you may bump into him: Luxury cruises ■ Famous friends: Peter Kay

BULLY FOR HIM: Jim Bowen remains a big hit with students, thanks partly to the return of Bullseye to the limelight. Photo supplied.

with a glass of beer telling stories and answering questions. I don’t even have to tell jokes! “I don’t have to go looking for work now and I don’t worry when I don’t get any. I will happily sit down quietly at home for a month and then the phone will go. As they say, when you don’t go looking for work, the work comes looking

for you. “I’m in a fortunate position where I don’t need to go out and work to get money. It’s not the money I need now, it’s time.” ■ Jim’s autobiography, Right Place Right Time, was released in 2002, and discusses his time at the University in more detail.

Other famous graduates

JIM Bowen and singing sensation Duffy (see front page) are just two of several notable former students of the University. Student News takes a closer look at other alumni who went on to achieve national and international prominence after their studies. ■ Michael Campbell Professional drummer with The Courteeners Graduated: 2005 Subject of study: Television Production Michael is currently enjoying a successful rise to prominence as The Courteeners sell out all of their tour dates, and continue to draw a lot of public attention, having appeared on a range of TV shows, including Sky Sports’ Soccer AM. ■ George Courtney MBE FIFA/UEFA Delegate/Referees’ assessor, educator and mentor Graduated: 1961 Subject of study: Geography Association Football referee at all levels since 1961, George controlled more than a century of international matches throughout the world. He was England’s sole referee in the World Cup Finals in Mexico 1986 and Italy 1990, controlled three UEFA finals in 1982, 1986 and 1989, and refereed the Arsenal v West Ham FA Cup Final at Wembley in 1980. ■ Tracey Neville International women’s netball player Graduated: 2007 Subject of study: Nutrition and Sports Science One of the most capped English Netball players of all time with more than 70 international appearances to her name, Tracey plays for Super League netball team, Leeds Carnegie. The sister of England footballers, Gary and Phil Neville, she has also represented England in the Commonwealth Games. ■ Sir Walter Winterbottom England’s first football manager Graduated: 1933 Subject of study: Teaching Sir Walter became interested in ‘the beautiful game’ thanks to fellow student Eddie Lever’s knowledge and interest of football tactics and theory. After playing for Manchester Utd, he went on to become England’s first ever international manager, from 19461962, taking charge of the likes of Sir Stanley Matthews and Sir Tom Finney. ■ Dave Vitty – Radio One’s Comedy Dave Radio Broadcaster Graduated: 1995 Subject of study: Media Studies & Business Management Dave graduated from the Warrington campus in 1995 after three years studying Media Studies and Business Management. He currently works alongside Chris Moyles on the Radio One Breakfast Show. ■ Matt Greenhalgh Film director/writer Graduated: 1995 Subject of study: BA Media Studies with Business Management and IT Matt’s biggest success to date came in 2008 when he won the BAFTA for Special Achievement by a British Director, Writer or Producer in their First Feature Film, for writing Control, a film-bio about the life of Joy Division front man, Ian Curtis.

ON THE BEAT: Michael Campbell of The Courteeners (second from right).

MAKING WAVES: Radio 1’s Dave Vitty. Photo supplied.

NETTING GLORY: Tracey Neville.

REFEREE: George Courtney MBE. Photo supplied.

Photo supplied.

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An American tale While thousands of Britons travel to Manhattan every year to sample a taste of the Big Apple, one student made the reverse trip to come and study in Chester. A New Yorker born-and-bred, ROBERT PLATT reflects on life in his second home…

“MOST people spend their lives trying to get to big cities like New York, but I did the reverse, leaving New York to attend university in the small English city of Chester. “I found out about Chester when I studied at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. I had become friends with an exchange student from what was then University College Chester, and she convinced me to go to Chester for an exchange year. Within months, I had packed three suitcases and hopped on an Aer Lingus flight from JFK to Manchester. “I instantly fell in love with the small-town feel of the place – the fact that everyone seems to know everyone else. Cashiers in the shops actually smiled at you when you walked inside. This was nothing like New York, and that was a good thing. “It did not take long for me to make friends, and soon I had moved away from US English, spelling words like ‘color’ and ‘favorite’ the British way. By the end of my exchange period, I wanted to stay in Chester to take advantage of cheap airlines and tour Europe, keep my new circle of friends, and finish my degree in Journalism. “After being here for three years, my family likes to make fun of me when I call home because my voice goes up when I ask a question. Apparently this sounds ‘English’. My friends here will quickly remind me of how strong my accent still is, especially when I encounter fellow New Yorkers. “Although I miss New York pizza, bagels, pretzels, and knishes, English food has really grown on me. Each morning I wake up and my housemate is preparing an English breakfast. Bacon, eggs, sausages, beans and toast to start with, punctuated with the stereotypical British cup of tea. English bacon has become a sort of

NATIVE NEW YORKER: Robert Platt has enjoyed his time in Chester after moving to the city from New York. delicacy in my house, which is never empty of it. “I would say, aside from the daunting exchange rate, the hardest thing is being away from my family. It is depressing only being able to go back once or twice a year. However, with my degree almost over, I can see the benefits of having chosen to stay. I have more options on where I can work and I learned much from being exposed to a different culture. Chester will always be a second home to me, and I hope future international students will benefit just as much as I have.”

A tale of two cities City: Population: Covers: Mayor: Gender: Most popular attraction: Nickname: Famous son:

Chester 119,700 173 sq miles Jim Latham 52% female, 48% male Chester Cathedral The Walled City Daniel Craig

New York City 8,200,000 469 sq miles Michael Bloomberg 52% female, 48% male The Empire State Building The Big Apple Robert De Niro

Healthy dose of humour with Laughology

LAUGHOLOGY may not be a familiar term, but the concept is helping people in many different ways thanks to the work of a postgraduate student. Stand-up comedian, Stephanie Davies, is helping to transform organisations and also aiding the rehabilitation of patients through the Laughology model, which applies humour to every area of life to allow people to think and act in new ways. The 29-year-old, from Southport, founder of Liverpool-based company, Laughology, explained: “As

a comedian, you start to recognise humour as a real cognitive thought process. A bad day for a comedian provides about 30 minutes’ worth of material. “If something negative happens, humour allows you to gain perspective in a more controlled and effective manner.” She added: “Stress is prevalent in a lot of working environments these days, people are moving at a faster pace, so they have to do something to combat it and humour and laughter are instant stress relievers. “I use comedy and

humour workshops to enhance the state of mind. “I have also used these techniques to help the rehabilitation of patients. When used together with traditional methods, these techniques can enhance rehabilitation and consequently make patients feel better, as laughter releases serotonin and endorphins. “Everyone enjoys laughing, and it feels really good to be giving that gift to people.” Stephanie’s work was inspired by that of Dr Patch Adams, founder of the Gesundheit Institute in the

US, and she has been invited to speak about Laughology at conferences across the globe. She said: “I can remember going to see the movie, starring Robin Williams, which was based around the work of Dr Patch Adams, and I was so inspired I decided to write to him. As a result, he invited me to train with him and subsequently speak at a conference in Chicago. Since then, I have also travelled to Israel to speak at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Joyce & Irving Goldman Medical School.”

COMIC: Stephanie Davies, founder of Liverpool-based company Laughology.


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Property problems With rising mortgage rates and house prices, will today’s young people ever be able to afford their own home? CHARLOTTE HUDSON gives a personal insight as she looks to join those on the first rung of the property ladder. RUNNING UP A BIG TOTAL: Some 884 students smashed their way into the record books.

Photos courtesy of Chester Chronicle.

Record-breaking Smurfs celebrate their blue Monday

CREATIVE Chester students smashed their way into the history books by setting a new world record for the biggest number of Smurfs ever gathered in one place.

A total of 884 students donned the full Smurf uniform of blue face paint, a white hat, white trousers, white shoes and a blue T-shirt for a record-breaking Beans night at RB’s in the city centre. The total almost doubled the previous record, set by Warwick University. The attempt was the brainchild of Steve Worrall from the Rugby Union team. President of Chester Students’ Union, Steve Westgarth, said: “This has given our students who took part a tremendous sense of pride, as they smashed a record many other universities have tried but failed to break. "To double the previous record is fantastic." Independent adjudicators at RB’s verified that all participants had worn the correct Smurf uniform. Beans organiser, Mike Hannigan, said that it had been a remarkable effort on one of the best student nights he could ever remember in Chester. ■ CSU Vice-President, Eve McCartney, and Kevin Dillion look back on the night Chester’s students re-wrote the record books. “The latest, greatest Smurf

HAVING turned 21 and with the prospect of leaving University looming large, my thoughts are turning to my future and getting my own place to live. These thoughts have now been crippled, however, by the current state of the property market. It has dawned on me that if I was serious about buying a house in today’s market, I would have to take out credit cards or other loans to fund the deposit, meaning that I would be lumbered with not just the mortgage debt, but also the loan used to pay for the deposit. The whole idea of buying a property is very daunting at the moment. Whatever the cause, it seems that first-time buyers are either going to have to save, save, save, or continue to rent and wait to see if the situation gets better. Maybe house prices will fall as a result of the current climate, and make things a little easier for first-time buyers, but until then, the outlook is not good. As for myself, the chances of escaping the family home look to be pretty slim at the moment, and added to this ‘joyful’ news is the prospect of having to pay back my student loan of £9,000. Sorry, mum, but it looks as if I’m not going anywhere just yet!

FULL OF BEANS: Beans organiser, Mike Hannigan, (front) with some of the Smurfs. adventure led the little blue men to the streets of Chester, but these little blue men were not so small. The Chester Smurfs were created by Papa Smurf (Steve Worrell) and the Rugby Union team – so definitely not the tiny Smurfs we’re used to!

“Thanks to some excellent publicity (particularly Facebook), students rallied round and blue fever gripped Chester. “According to Smurf folklore, there are only ever 100 Smurfs in any one place, at any one time. However, Papa

Smurf led 884 University of Chester students into the Guinness World Record books, smashing the previous best set by Warwick University. “The celebration started with Smurfberries, and perhaps the occasional cherry

VK or two being shared into the night. “Papa Smurf is now sat back in his mushroom house, chilling out in his rocking chair. “All in all, Chester smurfed the World Record!”

NOWHERE TO GO: Buying that first house is a daunting prospect thanks to big worries over getting a massive debt.

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Danny’s bid for comedy stardom STUDENT Danny McLoughlin is hoping to laugh his way towards the title of best student comedian in the UK when he heads to the Edinburgh Fringe Comedy Festival, writes Richard Ault. Danny has been included in the line-up of just 10 finalists after winning the Leicester heat of the Chortle Student Comedy Award 2008, which has attracted more than 100 entrants from across the country. The 24-year-old, who studies Creative and Critical Writing at the University, is now eagerly anticipating the final at the Festival, which takes place in August. Danny said: “I’m really looking forward to it, it should be a great experience. It would be fantastic to win it. “My mates have said they will come up and support me in the final so that would be good – they say that every time I perform, though!” Danny has not looked back since first finding himself on-stage in March 2006, when he took part in a comedy gig organised by a friend. Having earned success this year, he now hopes he is on the road to a full-time profession. “My mates were always joking about and saying ‘you should do stand-up’, and I suppose I didn’t want to get a proper job either,” Danny joked. “The nerves don’t really get to me now. I used to have a couple of drinks beforehand but I no longer need to. Once you get your first laugh, you relax and it just goes on from there.” Danny’s relaxed and off-the-cuff style is proving popular at gigs. Regularly performing at the University’s Students’ Union bar, he also appears in the city centre at City Bar, and at venues as far away as Scarborough. Danny is currently studying for a Masters, having previously achieved a Communication Studies and English degree at the University. Having been raised in Chester, there was only one choice of University in his mind. He added: “Chester was the local university so it made sense to come here. They have the courses available that I am interested in, and I’ve really enjoyed my time – not to mention that staying at home means I don’t have to do the ironing like I would in my own place!” Danny is looking for sponsorship to help meet the cost of his trip to Edinburgh. If you or your company is interested in sponsoring him, call 07884 265 993 or e-mail dannymc05@yahoo. com

STAND UP TO BE COUNTED: Student Danny McLoughlin is hoping for a barrel of laughs at the Edinburgh Fringe Comedy Festival. Photo supplied.



‘I have a message and I think this is the way to do it’ After winning a national award from one of the country’s most prestigious film magazines, life behind the camera couldn’t be sweeter for budding film director, Bryan Lomax. He took time out from his latest project to chat to ERIN CALLAGHAN. LIKE other aspiring film directors, Bryan Lomax made a short film and sent it off to a competition, waited anxiously for a few months, and then promptly forgot about it.

A few months later, however, while sifting through Total Film magazine, his anxiety turned to celebration when he recognised a picture from his film. On closer inspection, he found out he had won Best Documentary in the Total Film short film Awards, earning his work a place on a DVD which will be attached to the cover of a future issue of the magazine. Bryan, a graduate of the University, admits that from a young age he wanted to be involved in the film industry. He said: “At first, I thought I wanted to act but then it became obvious that I was meant to be behind the camera. “I have a message and I think this is the way to do it. I am a Christian, and that has absolutely influenced me.” Bryan’s award-winning first film did not have a direct Christian message but it did portray one man’s struggle as a Polish immigrant who had found himself working as a bus driver in Warrington. “On paper this was a dull subject, following a bus driver around, but the guy made the film, his character was great. “He turned up to work every day in a shirt and tie, but his tie was always half-cocked. He was a cool guy.” The 27-year-old from Woolston, who has recently graduated with an MA in Television Production, had already been involved in film production before he won his award. Whilst still at the University, Bryan, along with current business partner Dawn Cundy, advertised for unsigned bands who wanted a music video produced and directed. “The next day we checked and there were 243 messages for us! We were only expecting two or three,” he said. Bryan insists it is a mixture of luck and perseverance that has helped him progress so far. “It really is a case of whether you get off your backside or not,” he continued.

CAMERA ACTION: Bryan Lomax has big ambitions after winning a prestigious award from Total Film magazine. “We all had the same equipment available to us, but we made sure we made contacts and talked to people. “Really, it’s a case of what you put into it is what you get out. If I had my time all over again, then yes, I would take the same degree. We had all this equipment and support, it was great.” Another highlight during his University career was filming a 90-minute live performance of top Bluegrass Country band, Hayseed Dixie. The footage was used for the band’s DVD, which sold worldwide. Bryan

“It really is a case of whether you get off your backside or not. We all had the same equipment available to us, but we made sure we made contacts and talked to people.”


went on to produce two further videos for local bands, The Randoms and City of God. Presently working at the Odeon

cinema as a projectionist, Bryan intends to carry on working to fund his new production company, Cundy-Lomax Productions.


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James sets out vision for time in charge

Media Studies graduate James Kirkby will become only the second Chester Students’ Union President to have studied at Warrington when he takes over in July. ROBERT PLATT reports for Student News on his plans for next year. CONTINUED improvements at the Chester and Warrington campuses will be high on James Kirkby’s agenda when the 21-year-old becomes President of Chester Students’ Union next year.

AT THE HELM: James Kirkby has big plans for his year as CSU President.

FACTFile Date of birth: July 23, 1986 Born: Newham, East London Main goal as President: Continuity and increased identity and recognition

of Warrington campus. Favourite band: The Libertines Favourite football team: West Ham United

A recent graduate of the University, James was successful in March’s elections and, after serving as Warrington's Vice-President this year, he will take over from current incumbent, Steve Westgarth, come July. “I ran for President as I thought it was about time someone from Warrington was in charge,” James said. “Together with both sets of Executive teams next year, I aim to work towards developing accommodation standards, recycling facilities, and library opening hours, by working in conjunction with the University to improve them for students here now, and in the future.” James graduated in Media Studies, and is originally from London. He believes his experience as VP for Warrington this past year has made him aware of how the SU operates, making him more effective at making decisions. When not going to committee meetings or classes, he enjoys watching football and listening to music. James has several ideas on how to improve student life at Warrington and Chester. This year’s Executive team has already managed to stop cars being parked on the field at the Chester campus earlier this summer, and Kirkby would like to secure it as a recreation space. He would also like to work with the University on improving recycling and making sure local and national government schemes are followed, especially in regards to paper waste. Kirkby added that he would hope to introduce a CSU Representative at the Kingsway Buildings by the autumn term. “Enhancing the University’s national presence and its ethos is important to ensure increased student numbers,” he said. “I come into the picture by providing a recognisable face to the Union and enticing students into using the services that we provide, from advice and

guidance to the bars and clubs and societies. “I need to be the person that they believe in, and will have an impact over the next year and for years to come.” Kirkby said he wanted the CSU and the University to invest more at Warrington, and he also envisions what he called the ‘close-knit community feel’ of Warrington spreading to the Chester campus. “I have a feeling that I'll have a long connection with Warrington,” he said. “Next year, although I may not be working in Warrington, it doesn't mean I won't be working for Warrington. “I'd love to be involved in the development of a Warrington, where accommodation and facilities are improved, and student numbers double on campus – that's the vision anyway.” Kirkby described himself as an easy-going guy who always has the time for a pint and a chat. He said his effectiveness as VP has been largely due to his approachable personality, which he feels has gained him confidence from Warrington students. “I feel that the students here have the confidence in me that, when they have issues, I will help resolve them, and that I am always in a pro-active position to answer their expectations,” he added. “I aim to do exactly the same next year in Chester.” Kirkby hopes to eventually move into the media industry, probably going into television or radio. However, he feels that he will have a long connection with Warrington, and would like his services at the University to continue past next year. He added: "I’m very aware of the feasibility of change and that’s why in my manifesto I didn’t promise anything but stated what could and probably should be done within CSU and the University. “I’ve got a great working relationship with Eve (McCartney), the VP at Chester, and we can continue this into next year and hit the ground running.”

NEWSFile Visit to diplomatic hub

INTERNATIONAL Development Studies (IDS) students can look forward to questioning leading international diplomats during study visits to the United Nations’ Geneva headquarters. A trip to the Palais de Nations, the UN’s Swiss base, proved to be so successful that visits to one of the world’s most important international organisations are now an integral part of the course for third year IDS undergraduates. The University is believed to be one of the first Higher Education institutions in the country to make trips to the UN in Geneva a formal part of a programme.

Teaching heralded

CHRISTIAN Youth Work students are receiving some of the best teaching in the country in their chosen subject. The National Youth Agency, which validates the courses, has this year awarded the programmes the highest possible grade, satisfactory with distinction, following its annual assessment. Out of more than 50 youth work programmes across the country, only seven others achieved top marks.

Picture of success

SNAPPER Richard Hind won the inaugural Computer Science and Information Systems (CSIS) photography competition. Richard’s winning photo, which depicts light cascading through the metal grille of a Mac Pro computer, has been put on display in the Beswick Building, next to three other short-listed entries. Head of CSIS, Dennis Holman, said: “The entries were of excellent quality, it has certainly helped us feel more at home in the Beswick Building following our re-location, and has showcased the talents of our students.”

Big win for Ashley

FIRST YEAR Ashley O’Donnell was the guest of honour at Revolution Bar in Chester after winning £2,000 in an exclusive competition. Ashley, aged 21, scooped the top prize in’s inaugural weekly student competition. Every week, one student who enters will win the top £2,000 prize, as well as having a party thrown in their honour. The competition also offer prizes specific to the entrant’s University, such as a free drink, free entry into the local nightclub or a free meal in a local restaurant.

Mountain’s active past

ARCHAEOLOGY students have been digging deep into the past in the first stage of an ambitious project to learn more about a nationally recognised historic landscape in North Wales. Over four days, first-years carried out the first intensive survey of the mining landscape at Halkyn Mountain, which preserves a unique and distinctive ore field area that would have been a hive of activity from the late 17th-century to the 19th-century. Dr Meggen Gondek, Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer in Archaeology, said: “The sheer amount of individual shafts and other features we have recorded in a small area shows us just how active and busy this landscape would have been only a few hundred years ago. “It would have been in very stark contrast to the relative peace and isolation of the mountain today.”

University’s right royal welcome to visiting dignitary Page 14

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Royal guest tours new library By Shelley O’Neill STUDENTS and staff gathered in the library on the Warrington campus to greet a very important guest earlier this spring.

The Broomhead Library was officially opened by His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent and those who attended showed him both the facilities and some examples of students’ work. Although it was a flying visit, the event was a resounding success and the Duke expressed his admiration for the new technology in place in the building. Site Librarian, Emma Walsh, demonstrated the new hi-tech Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system which allows users to borrow and return books without queuing at the counter. Library Information Services Assistant, Ciara Milne, represented the students who work in the library, and said: “I was quite nervous, but the Duke didn’t say too much. He was really nice and asked about the job and if I enjoyed working there. He also asked about my interest in music.” On the landing, Rick O’Connor, who graduated with a Masters in Television Production in 2007, presented his film about a Hull-based Napoleonic War re-enactment society. The Duke spoke to Rick about his work and career before moving upstairs to the Blue floor, which holds the majority of the library’s books. Television Production student David Twyman also played a showreel of his work in one of the Media Viewing Rooms, which are equipped with huge, flatscreen televisions and offer a comfortable and quiet space for students to watch videos and DVDs.

VIP TOUR: His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent talks to Director of Learning and Information Services, Brian Fitzpatrick, and students Ciara Milne (standing); Sarah Jones and Daniel Richardson (seated). David spoke about the advert he made to promote the Muslim Youth Work course, which was screened on satellite TV. The University is the only place in the country to provide a Foundation Degree in Muslim Youth Work and the Duke was extremely interested in what was available. Lecturer Dr Mohammad Seddon explained how he and his colleagues developed the basic youth worker qualification into

something that was more appropriate to the Muslim faith. Programme Leader, Sadek Hamid, said: “The Duke was very interested in what we had to say, he spent quite a lot of time with us. He asked why we had chosen the faith focus to go with the youth work, and we explained about our experiences with young people and how there are very few qualified Muslim youth workers.” Some students from the course

were also introduced to the Duke and they gave a practical view of what the course entailed. As the Duke of Kent is President of the National Stroke Association, the work undertaken by student nurses from the Warrington campus held a particular appeal for him. With a display from the Faculty of Health and Social Care, Senior Lecturers Janet Barton and Vicky Ridgway showcased the activities

ENTRANCE: His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent is escorted into the Broomhead Library by Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tim Wheeler, followed by the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, William Bromley-Davenport. they had designed in conjunction with the charity. Janet said: “We demonstrated our interest in stroke education by showing the different pieces of literature we had produced.” Finally, The Duke was introduced to the Secretary of Padgate Old Students’ Association (POSA), Elsie Newton, who compiled the book The Padgate Story 1946-2006. He discussed the aerial photographs of the site which she

had on display and his interest in the military history of the area. University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tim Wheeler, escorted His Royal Highness on his trip around the Library and presented him with a crystal rosebowl after the Duke unveiled a plaque. The Library is named after Chief Executive of the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), Steven Broomhead, a former Principal at the campus.

Second years campaign to cut offending THE importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is being highlighted to young offenders prior to their release back into the community, thanks to an innovative project with Thorn Cross Young Offenders’ Institution (YOI). Second year students on the undergraduate Advertising programme at the Warrington campus have produced high-quality multimedia films and complementary advice to promote the value of healthy lifestyle choices. Covering areas such as drinking in moderation, healthy eating, and healthy body for a healthy mind, the material was unveiled at Thorn Cross’ Men’s Health Day, and will be displayed regularly on digital signage within the Centre to consistently reinforce its messages. First year Advertising students, meanwhile, have undertaken a major project to develop a communications campaign promoting Learning Support Services (LSS) to students and staff at the Warrington campus. Visiting lecturer and advertising professional, Stephen Lloyd, worked with students on the market research part of the project, to raise awareness of the many benefits to students of using LSS. Students made presentations of their findings in which recommendations were made, and LSS has been invited to display posters produced as a result of the project around the campus.

MARKETING LEADERS: From left to right, students Claire Armstrong, Katie Hogan, Amy Styles, Laura Washborne, Laura Newton, and Avi Jathwa are pictured prior to making their presentation.


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Kerry stars in Fierce firm AN ENTERPRISING mature student launched her own entertainments company to host a charity gig in conjunction with Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture year. Kerry McCoy is based at the Warrington campus and is studying on the first year of the University’s new PR degree. She attracted both professional sponsorship and endorsement from Capital of Culture organisers for her new company, Fierce PR, and staged her first gig, Four to the Floor, in aid of Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy, as part of her course. Kerry said: “I felt compelled to launch my own company to combine my interests in music and public relations. “It was hard work to organise, but the experience has given me a deep sense of achievement because, as a mature student, I have had to overcome a number of barriers to realise my goals.”

SPECTACULAR: Firework displays from major landmarks heralded the start of Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture.

Photo supplied.

Liverpool ‘rebirth’ aims to re-awaken city’s pride S

INCE winning the title of European Capital of Culture in June 2003, the city of Liverpool, with its eye-catching architecture, magnificent music, and maritime heritage, hasn't looked back. Complete with World Heritage status, Liverpool beat 11 other contenders for the European Capital of Culture title, but what is it about the city that makes it stand out from the rest? And what will the Capital of Culture title mean for its future? Helen Jackson, Spokesperson for the Liverpool Culture Company, said: “The judges talked about, when making their decision, the involvement of the local community and how all of the people got behind the bid, and this is why Liverpool was chosen.”’s editor, David Lloyd, agrees, saying it was the will of the people that helped the city win. He believes Liverpool has always been a hotbed of originality, individualism

By Charlotte Hudson and creativity, adding: “The Capital of Culture has reawakened our pride. There’s nowhere like Liverpool in the UK. Many cities, Manchester especially, do try to be mini-Londons, but we couldn’t give two hoots about whether we’re the second city of the UK. We’re Liverpool. "Whether it’s going to have any lasting economic impression, who knows, but that’s not really the point if it makes us realise what a great city we live in, and what a great city it is to visit.” From bidding for the title in 1999 through to winning in 2003, there was a busy path of people coming together to help sell Liverpool’s Capital of Culture bid. In 2001, Liverpool’s cabbies and hotel doormen were encouraged to help sell the proposal, and in 2002, a bio-Liver bird was created in a Petri dish by Liverpool scientists to contribute to the bid.

When asked if he thought Liverpool deserved to be named Capital of Culture, Mike Doran, News Officer for Liverpool Culture Company, said: “Absolutely. Liverpool has made a massive contribution to global culture, be it music, sport, art, language or technology. The city is also using culture to act as a catalyst for regeneration and deserves this platform to tell its fascinating story.” Since winning the title, Liverpool has been awash with investors wanting to open up businesses in the city, all hoping to get in on the action and become a part of the celebration. The most recent development is the Grosvenor project, called Liverpool One, a new £1 billion retail development which is due to open at the end of May, creating 80 new shops, hotels, restaurants and residential accommodation. Between 2000 and 2007, there have been 207 major developments and regeneration projects in the city centre, amounting to a £3 billion

investment and between 8,000 and 10,000 new jobs. The Bluecoat, one of the UK’s oldest art centres, has undergone a £12.5m re-fit, and St George’s Hall has had a major refurbishment costing £20m. The New Museum of Liverpool, expected to open in 2010, is expected to attract up to 750,000 visitors per year when it opens, according to Liverpool Culture Company. This, and many of the other transformations, including investments into the Pier Head area and Kings Waterfront, will boost the city’s economy, generate an influx of people coming into the city, and raise the profile of Liverpool. Council leader, Warren Bradley, has described the change as a “rebirth and a renaissance”. It seems Liverpool has a lot to offer the public, from arts to music, and the Capital of Culture status can only provide the city and its inhabitants with the confidence to continue as it means to go on.

Capital of Culture 2008: Selected Highlights ■ The Liverpool Sound, featuring Sir Paul McCartney – June 1, Anfield ■ Africa Oye Music Festival – June 21-22, Sefton Park ■ Tall Ships’ Races/Open Golf Championship – July 18 to 21, Liverpool Docks and Royal Birkdale ■ King Lear, starring Pete Postlethwaite – October 30 to 29 November, Everyman Theatre ■ MTV Europe Music Awards – November 6, Echo Arena Liverpool ■ BBC Sports Personality of the Year – December 14, Echo Arena Liverpool

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Scene is set for return of plays

THE CITY of Chester looks set to re-establish itself as a centre of theatre and art this summer with the return of its Mystery Plays.

Chester Mystery Plays, which stages its world-renowned productions in the city every five years, will perform a series of 16 Biblical plays at Chester Cathedral from June 28 to July 19. In the city’s first full-scale theatrical performances since the closure of the Gateway Theatre, the community project, one of the largest in the UK, will involve hundreds of volunteers under professional direction, and is expected to draw about 12,000 spectators. Chairman, Jo Sykes, said that the Chester plays were drawing bigger crowds every year they are performed. This year’s series will be only the second to include music, under the musical director, Matthew Baker. She said: “Although the plays consist of many volunteers, the infrastructure is professional, it has to be. “It gets bigger every year. Last time

By Robert Platt

was the first time we set it to music, and it was brilliant.” The plays were originally written by monks in the 13th and 14th-centuries to tell stories of the Bible to people who could not read, but were banned by the church in the late 16thcentury after they became too elaborate and “risque”. Chester is only one of five cities in the UK known to still have the original scripts, and it is, by far, the most complete in existence with 24. Mrs Sykes added: “These amazing treasures were just buried, but in 1951 it was decided that the plays should be performed again. “The city decided that as they were such a success, they should be performed again in 1952.” Patron, the Lord Lieutenant for Cheshire, William Bromley-Davenport, said: “That the plays have traversed time so successfully speaks volumes for their effect and for the people who value them enough to keep them alive. “I am thankful that such a rare


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BIBLICAL TALES: (Above) The opening of Noah and the Flood, and (right) a scene from the Crucifixion. Photo supplied. work, recognised and valued the world over, though borne of Chester, has long been a treasured part of the cultural heritage of not only Cheshire and England’s North West, but of Britain as a whole.” The Chester plays, which attract spectators from all over the world, tell stories of both the Old and New Testaments, from the Creation to the Last Supper. For tickets to the Chester Mystery Plays, call 01244 304618, or send payment to Chester Mystery Plays Box Office, Chester Race Co, The Racecourse, Chester CH1 2LY.

FACTFile ■ Chester Mystery Plays originated in the 14th-century, nearly 700 years ago. ■ Performed regularly in Chester since 1951. ■ Princess Margaret attended the plays in 1962 and 1977. ■ Prince Edward attended in 2003. ■ A play that dramatises an episode from the Old or New Testament is known as a ‘mystery’.

City areas bring back memories in study THREE students invited Chester residents to take a trip down memory lane as part of a research project into people’s favourite locations in the city. As part of their English Literature and Theatre Studies undergraduate degree, Gemma Woolfenden, Isobelle MacKenzie and Hayley Watson carried out a study looking at whether certain places in Chester evoke particular personal memories of times gone by. Gemma said: “Many people have looked at Chester in terms of its importance culturally and historically, but we looked at locations around the city from a personal point of view, and how people associate memories with certain places.” Isobelle added: “For instance, we spoke to an elderly lady who told us that Grosvenor Park was a special place for her, as it brought back strong memories of her husband from their time courting.”

URBAN RECOLLECTIONS: Gemma Woolfenden (front) and Isobelle MacKenzie asked Chester residents to contribute personal memories of particular places around the city.


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Kelly-Jo makes her mark on the airwaves

Claire is cream of the Tourism crop THE champagne corks were popping for one talented student after she scooped one of the most prestigious tourism accolades in the North West. Claire Testi, who is studying Tourism and Marketing, beat competition from across the region to win the title of Most Promising Tourism Student and Apprentice at the Cheshire Awards for Tourism Skills (CATS). Claire, from Chester, said: “I was really pleased and shocked to have won the award, which I feel has recognised the professional grounding you can receive in this field.” The annual awards are organised by Visit Chester and Cheshire and identify outstanding contributions and achievements within the tourism industry. Claire was nominated by her Tutor, Tourism Programme Leader, Andrew Lyon, for her dedication to her work. He said: “The commitment shown by Claire makes her a deserved winner of the award. “Her academic work is very strong, and she is able to apply the practical experience she has gained from helping to run her family business to her studies. “Claire has a strong motivation to do well. I am very proud of her achievement, and she is a great role model to her fellow students.”

First year student already taken on by major broadcaster A HIGH-FLYING student at the Warrington campus is making a rapid rise up the career ladder after being recruited by one of the North West’s leading broadcasting companies.

Although first year student Kelly-Jo Coney only began her course in Radio and Television Production last September, she is already making waves after being taken on by GMG Radio’s Century Radio. After undertaking part-time training as a Technical Operative, Kelly-Jo has now been put in charge of the station’s road crew, as well as working as assistant to Century Radio’s Special Events Co-ordinator, Hayley-Ria Christian. She combines the work with her studies and presenting her own show, The Morning-After Show with Kelly-Jo, on the University’s own radio station, The Cat 1251. Kelly-Jo said: “Working at Century Radio has provided me with a fantastic opportunity and I’m really enjoying it. “In the long-term, I would like to go into presenting and broadcasting, but I’m also really keen on learning about all aspects of the industry. “As part of the road crew, I have been involved with events like the Summer Pops and got to see Amy Winehouse and Bryan Adams live, while I have also met Alison

Moyet, taken part in the Race for Life, and presented on stage in Wigan. “When I began presenting for The Cat, I insisted on having my own show so that I could gain experience in many different aspects of the job.” Originally from Lincoln, Kelly-Jo moved to Singapore with her family a decade ago. She took the opportunity to complete three days sampling life in the radio industry and has been hoping to work in broadcasting ever since. After completing her international baccalaureate, she returned to the UK with the specific intention of studying at the Warrington campus, having been attracted by the specialist nature of the Radio and Television Production course, and the campus’ proximity to Liverpool and Manchester. Kelly-Jo was recruited to work as part of Century Radio’s road crew after an interview and trial road show. She also carried out work with Smooth Radio’s promotions team, commentating over the tannoy and interviewing participants at the Race For Life in Tatton Park. The Cat 1251, the Warrington campus' own state-of-the-art radio station, is presented, produced and run by students, and broadcasts locally as well as over the internet.

ON THE MIC: Kelly-Jo Coney is making a rapid rise up the career ladder.

Former minister gives political insight on visit ON HER BIKE: Former minister Edwina Currie paid a visit to the University to promote the Chester Bikeathon.

EDWINA Currie discussed her experience on the front-line of politics on a visit to the Chester campus to promote this year’s Chester Bikeathon. Edwina, who became one of the nation’s best known MPs during her time as Junior Health Minister in Margaret Thatcher’s government, spoke to Journalism students about the relationship between politicians and the press. During the visit, she took the opportunity to promote the Bikeathon in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care, a

charity which she actively supports, and the Bike the Baltic event in August and September. Starting and finishing at the University on Sunday, June 22, the Bikeathon’s 15-mile route is suitable for all standards of cyclists. All entrants will receive a commemorative T-shirt, drinks and biscuits around the course, a meal, and a medal presented to them by a VIP. For more information or to sign up for the Chester Bikeathon, call Bob Ellis on 01625 859497 or e-mail

AWARD WINNER: Student Claire Testi is pictured with her award for Most Promising Tourism Student and Apprentice, and Tutor, Tourism Programme Leader, Andrew Lyon.

18 2



Mortuary Science Foundation Degree targets professionals already in the industry

NEWSFile Doctors’ distinction

SUCCESSFUL students were in the company of the Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, writer and television producer of Cranford and Pride and Prejudice Sue Birtwistle and Dean of Westminster Abbey, the Very Rev Dr John Hall, when they graduated at Chester Cathedral. The trio, who all enjoy a distinguished presence in their field, were recognised for their outstanding achievements when they received honorary doctorates from the University.

Language learning

STUDENTS have been recognised by the British Council for their work in helping to teach English to pupils in schools throughout Europe. Dean of Humanities, Professor Chris Walsh, presented certificates to students who spent the last academic year working abroad as English Language Assistants, as part of their Modern Languages degree programme. Placements were organised at schools in Austria, France, Germany and Spain.

Church youth activities

TEENAGERS were invited to make their mark in an event organised and funded by Christian Youth Work students. From nail art and designing your own T-shirt to drama and drumming, local young people were able to try something new and express themselves creatively. The event was held at All Saints Church in Hoole.

Dyslexia challenge

MEDIA student Lewis Brennan collected a £50 book voucher after winning Learning Support Services’ (LSS) Dyslexia Awareness competition. The quiz again attracted a good response from both staff and students, with entrants required to pick out the individuals who have or had dyslexia from a list of famous faces. The voucher was funded by LSS and Student Support and Guidance.

Funeral workers top up skills on course A FOUNDATION Degree in Mortuary Science, aimed at professionals currently working in the funeral industries sector, has been launched at the University.

The course, which is the first degree of its kind in the country, is targeted at people such as funeral directors or embalmers. Biological Sciences Departmental Administrator Helen Barker said: “The point of this degree is to broaden the academic knowledge of those who are working in areas relating to mortuary science, and give these people who may not have a formal qualification a chance to enhance their career.” The new Foundation Degree covers a diverse range of subjects, including

By Charlotte Hudson biological chemistry, cell and tissue science, anatomy and physiology, and the biological markers of death and decomposition and systemic pathology. Beyond the core biological and human health sciences, the programme also examines contemporary funeral practices, communication with the bereaved and those involved in working with the bereaved, the ethical, legal and cultural aspects of death and funeral practice, and health and safety, on top of traditional academic disciplines such as study skills, data handling and research methods and ethics. The programme, devised in conjunc-

tion with the British Institute of Embalmers, is delivered through blended learning, meaning that students are able to continue with their full time jobs while studying. The bulk of study is through directed learning based around core textbooks, and supported by additional materials over the internet, with regular contact with tutors and other students. The diverse nature of the modules studied is designed to prepare students for career advancement not only in the funeral industries, but also beyond into related bio-science and bio-medical jobs. Trained embalmers in the UK often find that, although their qualification is suitable for European and Commonwealth countries, it is not necessarily recognised in the lucrative

markets of North and South America. In the USA, for instance, a formal professional qualification is required to work as a funeral director or embalmer. A key member of the course team is retired funeral director David Thompson, who worked in the industry for 40 years before becoming an accredited invigilator for the British Institute of Embalmers’ Examination Board. He said: “This is something that the industry has needed for a long time and could represent a real breakthrough. It is such a diverse course that so many people will jump at the chance to enrol. I’m sure it will be very successful and will establish Chester as the leader in this field.”

SCIENTIFIC APPROACH: The University’s Head of Biological Sciences, Dr Basma Ellahi, is pictured with a selection of the first cohort of students on the Mortuary Science programme.


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Partnership aids study by signing ONE of the first courses in the United Kingdom to be taught and assessed exclusively in British Sign Language (BSL) looks set to go from strength-tostrength under a pioneering partnership with the Church of England. After successfully completing what is believed to be the only course in the country outside of Sign Language and Deaf Studies to be taught in BSL, the first cohort of students has been presented with Church Colleges Certificates in Christian Ministry by the University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Dr Dorothy Marriss. The programme is delivered by a partnership between the University, the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England, and Signs of God, an

organisation which specialises in promoting the use of BSL in Christian settings. Dr Wayne Morris, Senior Lecturer in Theology and Diocese of Chester Reader Training Officer, said: “The course is primarily aimed across

the churches at members of the Deaf community, with BSL as their first language, who are interested in a variety of areas of Christian ministry. “The first year has been very successful, and we’re now hoping to run

it again from September 2008.” The course is a one-year Distance Learning programme delivered through a combination of residential weekends, online learning and placement experience in a church environment.

JOINT EFFORT: Secretary to the Archbishops' Council: Committee for Ministry of and among Deaf and Disabled People, Rev Phil Maddock (centre) and the University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Dr Dorothy Marriss (far right) are pictured with students Marcus Collins, Graham Kershaw, Pat Bougeard, Barry Higgins, and Peter Shaw. Photo supplied.








student news




Sports round-up


Professional looks beyond playing days STUDENTS at the Warrington campus have been rubbing shoulders with one of the country’s leading rugby league stars as he prepares for life after his playing career.

Warrington Wolves player Jon Clarke is coming to the end of his second year studying Sports and Exercise Sciences at the University, as he looks towards a future in sports coaching. Although the degree usually takes three years to complete, close links between the Wolves and the University have allowed the Great Britain international to spread his course out over five years as he juggles studying with life at the cut-and-thrust of the Engage Super League. Speaking about his time at the University, Jon said: “I absolutely love it! The first year was quite challenging because it was eight or nine years since I had been to college, so learning skills like referencing again was tough at first.” The 29-year-old, who was part of the first Great Britain squad in 14 years to beat New Zealand in last November’s Test series, hopes to move into sports coaching at the end of his playing career, although a sport switch is not out of the question. He explained: “I’d like to become a strength and conditioning coach, but

Born: Wigan Date of birth: 4/4/79 Position: Hooker Club: Warrington Wolves Squad Number: 9 Former clubs: Wigan Warriors (1997-99), London Broncos (2000-2001).

By Richard Ault SCIENCE COURSE: Warrington Wolves and Great Britain rugby league professional Jon Clarke is studying at the Warrington Campus. not necessarily in rugby league. That side of the game now is so big, and it’s important in all team sports. By studying at the University, I am starting to build towards the future.” A mainstay in the Warrington Wolves team, Jon is now in his seventh year with the club after previous spells with Wigan Warriors and London Broncos. He is hoping for success both domestically and internationally in the coming months, as he eyes a place in the national squad for the World Cup in Australia later this year. The Wolves’ first team now trains at the Warrington Campus, and the club is sponsored by the University.

TEST MATCH STAR: Jon Clarke (with ball) is tackled by New Zealand players as he represents Great Britain in the November Test series. Photo supplied.

Amy’s bid to hit the heights AN international trampolinist who studies Law has her sights firmly set on the London Olympics in 2012 after representing Great Britain at the under-19 World Championships in Canada. Fresh from finishing 12th at the Championships in Quebec, Amy Sims is hoping to rise to the top of the sporting and legal worlds by combining her studies with training and competing alongside trampolining’s biggest stars. Amy, from Hale Village in Liverpool, is ranked the fourth-best British trampoliner at under-19 level. As well as representing City of Salford Trampoline Club, she is currently studying with the help of a Sports Scholarship, and trains five times a week for up to six hours a day. Amy said: “I’m hoping to go as far as I can in the sport, although my main career goal is to work in law. “Everyone always jokes that I’ll be the trampolining barrister!”

Student News, Summer 2008 - Chester Chronicle  
Student News, Summer 2008 - Chester Chronicle  

Summer 2008 issue of Student News. Published by the Chester Chronicle.