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Also inside: Skint Christmas - Fabric reopens - Is it ok to hate your body? - Crocs: love ’em or loathe ’em - Your festive plans


: S O O TATT k Thin before you ink


Bubbly on a budget Donate to the Verve Foodbank Homeless for Christmas

Are BIG boys better? Plus-size male models




Omotolani Shokeye

Leanne Carr

Journalist BA Journalism Second Year

Annabel Grainger

Journalist BA Fashion Marketing & Journalism Third Year

Laura Ann Formby Journalist BA Journalism Second Year

Nick Francis

Journalist/Photographer BA Film & Broadcast Production Third Year

Georgina Childs Graphic Designer BA Digital Media Second Year

Marina Mariano

Graphic Designer BA Fashion Marketing & Journalism Third Year

Samantha Cain


Photographer BA Film & Broadcast Production Third year

With the cold winter nights comes the promise of the holiday season, and there is already a palpable buzz about the city. Some of you may be distracted from your studies with a bit of festive drink, while others might be dreaming of jetting off somewhere warmer. I know you all just want to get your last assignments in, but hang in there, you’ve only got a couple of weeks left. Utilise this time to think about others who are finding the holidays difficult. See p.28 to learn about holiday giving and make a donation to the Verve foodbank, and p.27 to see how many LMU students are affected by homelessness. Read what our Mayor Sadiq Khan says about this on p.8, in an exclusive piece written for London Met students. The festive season is a time to catch up with friends and family, and also time to get some well-needed rest. Whereever you spend the holidays, try not to overdo it. Don’t come back for your second semester even more tired! From all of us, a Happy New Year to each one of you!


a em

gazine@lo n


Justyna Gosch

Semester One is coming to an end – I can’t say the same about the dismal dark nights! I hope you first years have settled well into student life, and have discovered that the uni experience isn’t that daunting. To everyone studying hard at uni, hopefully the workload isn’t too stressful.


Graphic Designer BA Digital Media Graduate

I’m the new editor of Verve, and I’d like to both welcome you to the magazine and give a huge thanks to former editor Victoria for all her fabulous work. I hope this edition will entertain you just as much as our previous issues did, and also provide some food for thought as the holiday season approaches.

email: ve rv

Journalist BA Fashion Marketing & Journalism Second Year

DISCLAIMER: All contributions included in this magazine are those of the writer ONLY and NOT those of London Met SU or its associated trademarks, websites and services. London Met SU does not necessarily endorse, support, sanction, encourage, verify or agree with any comments, opinions or statements or other content provided by users.



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The Rise and Fall of Tattoos they worry that it makes them look “common and uncultured”, the survey said. “Disgusting things, body graffiti! Might seem like a good idea at the time, but fast forward 25 years when you are in a completely different place in your life, your ideas will have changed, and that scrawling would still be with you,” wrote Sandra on

By Kimberley Bastin

Should you think before you ink?


ore than 19 percent of Brits have been inked, according to YouGov. But a staggering 14% have some kind of regret about their tattoo. A report done Today’s generation wants to break the norm and by Premier Laser Clinic stated there has be different. For Londoners in particular, it’s been a 25% increase in tattoo removal all about being creative and standing in the last two years, due mainly I had my out from the crowd. That’s why people to tattooing ex-partners’ names, first tattoo when I between the ages of 15-19 are most misspelt foreign quotes, and, likely to get inked. Cover model oddly, pictures of dolphins. was just 15 at my and Journalism student Aaron friend’s house. Now Morris, 23, from Sunderland, got “I do a lot of cover up tattoos on a big tattoo originally to cover up it’s just a faint blue older people. The most recent a “mistake” on his chest. “I am one was a man who had his two mess completely happy with it,” he says. ex-wives’ names. He was getting married again and so he wanted - SAM GREENHOUGH A new survey of 1,200 people by them gone,” said Tashas Brooks, beauty retailer found 29, a tattoo artist from Cambridge. that a fifth hid tattoos from parents. So it’s not surprising that has seen a 32% Tattoos have become increasingly increase in concealer for body art sales. more popular, with 12% of people taking inspiration “I had my first tattoo when I was just 15 at my from celebrities like Cheryl friend’s house. Now it’s just a faint blue mess,” Fernandez Versini and Kylie said Samantha Greenhough, 24. Jenner, but there is still a taboo. “Now, being a mum, I completely understand why my mum was disappointed at me. My One in six say they want their kids won’t be getting tattoos until they’re at tattoos removed because least 50!”


Journalism student Ivan Neshev (left), 21 and originally from Bulgaria, shows off his “Stay strong” tattoo

Your tattoos, Your Stories By Patrice Winn, Dominika Kubinyova & Leanne Carr

London Met students reveal all... Valentina Gavoni Age: 28 From: Italy BA Int’l Relations & Politics Third Year “In honour of my friend”

Alicia Ribeiro Age: 20 From: Kilburn BA Early Childhood Studies First Year “Meaning of life”

Tracy Bruce Age: 41 BA Sports Therapy From: Tooting Third Year “It’s by Barry Louvaine, London’s famous tattoo artist. I like to get tattoos on holiday”

Ella Cosgrove Age: 23 From: London BA International Relations, Peace & Conflict Studies “No Means No. It’s a protest tattoo, women’s rights!”

Cecilia Dionisi Age: 20 From: Rome BSc Psychology First Year “Tigers are an independent animal, it’s a symbol of strength”

Polina Sidorova Age: 20 From: Dublin BSc Psychology First Year “Egyptian symbol of life”

Dee Chiou Age: 21 From: Greece BA Fashion Marketing & Journalism Second Year “My mum calls me Queen Bee”

Donna Stewart Age: 34 From: Chigwell Doctorate in Counselling and Psychology “Wanted something big and tribal - it took two hours!”

Jordan Hey Age: 20 From: Manchester BSc Medical Bioscience First Year “They’re random cartoons, got them when I was 15”

Jessica Almeida Age: 22 From: Portugal BSc Biomedical Science First Year “In honour of my dad’s death. Infinite symbol as he’s alive in me”

Noa Mokhnachi Age: 20 From: Paris BA Fashion Marketing and Journalism Third Year “It’s a matching tattoo with my brother, he has a T-Rex”

Natalie Duffus Age: 33 From: Hackney BA Early Childhood Studies, First Year “It’s the name of my little boy”

*Do you like/loathe tattoos? Write to us at:




Make the Most ofYour Internship

By Leanne Carr Serving tea shouldn’t be what it’s all about... Most students do internships whilst at university. They can be a great way of making contacts and gaining experience in your field, and having some type of work experience on your CV will put you above the rest when it comes to starting your career. Unpaid internships often come with a bite, with studies showing that only the richest students can afford them. “If internships only go to those with wealthy parents or that live in London, it deprives many businesses of talented young people who can’t afford to work for free,” says campaign group Intern Aware. The Sutton Trust last year estimated that a sixmonth unpaid internship in London will cost you almost £6,000, which is why Labour has proposed banning unpaid ones that lasted more than four weeks. In 2010, the UK had an estimated 70,000 interns – about 14,000 of them were working for squat. Some interns weren’t even get reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses. “If you are doing set hours and tasks in an internship, it is likely that you would be classified as a ‘worker’ under the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 and you must be paid. The length of the internship doesn’t matter – if you do a day of work, you should receive a day’s pay,” says Intern Aware on their website. 6

To add insult to injury, not all internships provide actual job-related experience. Making teas and coffees, becoming best friends with the photocopier and carrying out other mundane duties is part and parcel. While carrying out boring office duties is de rigueur, they shouldn’t take up your whole internship. If you feel you aren’t learning anything new, speak up. Show that you are eager and keen to learn new skills. Demonstrate that you already have many of the skills needed for a position in their company. Gain as much valuable experience as possible.

Living in London is costly enough without having to do an internship that offers little or no pay. Offering your services in exchange for experience is a big commitment, but it can also rewarding if you find the right one. Do your research. And, if you do leave, try to ensure it’s on good terms. You can bitch and moan about it down the pub with your mates.

For help with career planning, see the Careers and Employability Service

Fabric s n e p o Re F

abric was, and still is one of London’s most beloved clubs, playing mostly electronic music and hosting hundreds of DJs every year as well as welcoming more than 6.75 million people in total. Located near Farringdon station, it has been delivering music and entertainment for almost two decades. Islington Council decided to revoke the club’s licence in September, following two drug-related deaths within an eight-week period. One 18-year-old died at the club in June, a second died after collapsing outside the club in August.

But in November Islington Council allowed the club to reopen, under new rules mandating CCTV monitoring, ID scanners and no under-19s. Metropolitan Police’s earlier investigation showed inadequate security procedures, which some say highlighted the ease patrons could enter

By Dominika Kubinyova the club high on drugs and alcohol. Others blamed the deaths not on management failings but on the prevalence of highstrength ecstasy pills in London. Fabric-goers and fans had shown their sorrow about the closure by writing letters and bringing flowers in front of the club’s main entrance as well as signing petitions on Fabric’s Facebook profile. A “Save our Culture” petition circulated by Fabric itself reached more than 150,000 signatures and raised more than £307,000. “Closing Fabric is not the answer to the drug-related problems clubs like ours are working to prevent, and sets a troubling precedent for the future of London’s nighttime economy,” Fabric told the Guardian after the initial ruling to close the club. “We are now satisfied revocation of the licence is not necessary. Fabric has accepted that procedure for searching and drug dealing within the club were not sufficient,” a Council spokesman told Islington Gazette.

New regulations mean that Fabric will be able to reopen...

Fabric has accepted that procedure for searching and drug dealing within the club were not sufficient


Meet the Mayor! Verve sent London Mayor and London Met alumnus Sadiq Khan questions every student wants answered, about rising rent prices, transport fares and opportunities for students. Here is his response:


ome of my fondest memories, as someone who was born and raised in London, date back to my years as a student at the University of North London, now known as the London Metropolitan University.   I grew up on a council estate in South London and my parents both worked incredibly hard to save up so they could buy their own home and give my siblings a good state education. We all benefitted from that education, and their support. It gave me the grounding to study law before going on to work as a human rights lawyer before serving as a local councillor and then as the Member of Parliament for Tooting.

the higher education capital of the world, with more leading universities and international students than any other city and I want to make sure it stays that way.

The vast majority of students who come from abroad to study in London leave as ambassadors for our city, Londoners in their own right, spreading the message across the globe that London is a fantastic place to live, work, study and visit. Now, as Mayor of London, my burning   ambition is that every Londoner gets the same opportunities that this great

city offered me. And our fantastic universities play such a crucial role in doing just that. London is 8

fare means that if you are travelling by bus then you can make two journeys for the price of one within an hour, saving Londoners millions in the process. The launch of the Night Tube means that whether you are studying late, partying or working you can get about our city at any hour quickly and safely.   And one of the best things about our city is that London’s best restaurants, cafes, pubs and cultural hotspots are not just confined to Zone 1 and central London.   I would urge you to make sure you get out and about and discover different parts of the city – there’s always something new and inspiring popping up around every corner. London is the world’s cultural capital, sports capital, entertainment capital and much more, offering a fantastic education in itself.  Enjoy every minute of it.  

Sadiq Khan

That’s why I’ve said loud and clear to the world that even after the referendum vote that London is still open for talent, business and ideas. It is so important to me that all our international students and academic staff know that London is open. I value the enormous contribution they make to our city and I will continue to work with London’s higher education institutions to ensure their needs are properly understood and reflected as we negotiate the right settlement with the EU for our international students and staff.   But there is more that I can do as the Mayor. I know that rent costs and transport fares are a cause for real concern too. That’s why I’ve made it clear that tackling London’s housing crisis is my number-one priority and why I’m paving the way for more affordable homes to buy and rent across the capital – I want students to be able to work towards owning their home when they graduate as well as being able to afford to live in the city while they are studying.    From my first week as Mayor, I was also determined to get on with the job of cutting the cost of transport in London which became the most expensive in Europe. I’ve frozen TfL fares for the next four years as well as urging Government to do the same on the rail networks that they control. My new Hopper

I want students to be able to work towards owning their home when they graduate



The +Plus Size

WoNd Boy



here are all the plus-size male models? The female plus-size model may not be universally recognised yet, but they still have their place in fashion and on a larger (pardon the pun) scale, pop culture. Finally, it seems, things are changing. Meet German fashion blogger and plus size model, Claus Fleissner...

Tell me about yourself... Nine to five I work as a content manager for an online shop. Last year I started modelling, and in December began to write my blog. I grew up sheltered in the countryside near Frankfurt, with my mother influencing me the most. She was a strong woman who gave my sister and me lots of love. She encouraged us to do what we wanted, showed us the world by travelling a lot


by Charlie Dowd

Could you describe your perfect outfit for a plus size man? That’s easy: there is no perfect outfit. We are all different and cannot be lumped together. ​ The perfect outfit is one created out of pieces that he likes to wear and in which he feels comfortable. There are no rules. If you like it, wear it!


bloggers. They encouraged me to write a blog. Blogging for me used to be for people who have too much time – but then I recognised that the girls are a great inspiration, helping plussized women to accept themselves the way they are. So I said: Maybe I can be an inspiration for other plus-sized guys.

You need to be able to deal with rejection, ‘cause if you are blonde and they are looking for a brown-haired guy, you´re out What inspired you to become a plus size model? Becoming a model was the last thing I thought would happen… I’m 37 and weigh 280 pounds! The company I work for is a plus-size online retailer, so I was close to the topic. We took part in a convention in Hamburg, there was a fashion show and I was asked if I would walk the runway as the only man – kind of as a surprise for the audience. Later that evening, I had a quick chat with my present agent, Mona from Curve Model Management. When did you decide to start running your blog, and why?  At the convention I met so incredible women involved in plus size fashion: models, designers and

How has your experience been in fashion? Many think that as a plus size model you can eat what you want, be lazy and not take care of your body. That’s not true! I cannot gain weight, as I need to fit in the sizes that the brands provide. Also, I need to be fit as a day’s shooting is hard work. What advice would you give to an aspiring male model?  You need patiently to find agencies that have plus size models in their files. You need to be able to deal with rejection, ‘cause if you are blonde and they are looking for a brown-haired guy, you´re out.

Article courtesy of


What’s next?The first major changes will take place this year when C Block – an area currently used by staff in IT and Estates – is turned into three floors of modern teaching, learning and social spaces. These new spaces, which will be fitted with the latest tech, will be ready for students in September 2017.

#OneCampus #OneCommunity


ast year, London Met announced plans to bring all students together at a newly-transformed Islington campus. This means that all London Met students will be studying in Holloway from September 2020. The University is investing £125m in the project - called One Campus, One Community – which will see major development of the Holloway campus and improvements to our teaching, learning and social spaces. There are a range of benefits to students that will come from the project, including longer opening hours in the library, more evening activities on campus, and plans for a new multi-purpose theatre. The project is also aimed at boosting the quality of teaching at the University, with significantly improved tech resources for students to enhance their learning. In the long term, One Campus, One Community will do much to improve the reputation of the University, which will increase the value of a London Met degree.

Get involved!

Find out more

Check out the One Campus, One Community website for all info about the project: londonmet.

We want to hear your thoughts on the project so get involved in the conversation. Join the Google+ group or email

When It’s Okay to Hate Your Body by Rhiannon Jones Hopkins


No, this is a story of how I have decided that it’s okay to hate your body, but probably not for obvious reasons. can already hear the sighs… not another article on See, I have spent the last few months watching my beautiful grandmother be ravaged by cancer, rebody image, please! ducing a powerhouse of love and generosity into bouts of pain so bad she begs us to kill Our Facebook feeds are so saturated with her. I have watched my grandmother’s #bodypos, #healthyatallsizes that it’s easy to body truly become her enemy, one debecome immune to problems surrounding I have been at manding constant attention whether it body image. Whether you are an ardent is through pain, fragility or discomfort. body positive proponent or firmly on the war with my My grandmother, always truly beautiside of fat shamers, it’s hard to ignore the body for well ful, both inside and out is now fighting opinions parading across our screens. a battle her body is winning. over a decade So when is it okay to hate your body? Let I look at my own body, which for better me share what truly made me re-think or worse has never betrayed me in this my relationship with mine. way, has always taken me from point A-B with little protest, who deftly deals with How many ways do I hate the enormous amount of stress I put thee? This is a running diit through, whether its binge drinking alogue aimed at my body or sucking on Marlborough Golds. that has run through my I can’t help but feel foolish. head just about every hour of since I was My granny is still breathtakingly about 12 years old. beautiful at eighty years old. She thinks I am beautiful, and I reI have been at war fuse to patronise this belief with with my body for well more self-hatred when my body over a decade now, is so on my side. Now my granderiding it, hiding it ny, who has given her body over and punishing it. I have to six children, who has worked longed for it to shrink, tirelessly for over sixty years, hates alter and finally look the her body. She can’t bring herself to way I think it should, the forgive a body that is going to take way I’ve been told it should her away from everyone she loves, and look. Years of pinching and everyone who loves her. clenching in the mirror only to run away in tears and whisper, alWhen I hold her on an uncomfortable hospital bed most erotically into my own ear, how I would punish it later for its shortcomings, became a and listen to her moan, delirious in pain, I would do anything to take the pain away. I don’t blame her for familiar dance. hating her body now, for making her endure such in I have hated my body so fervently that at times I have tense and tortured suffering. considered never leaving the house, so as not to inflict it onto the world around me. But this isn’t about how I I now see how it is okay to hate your body, when it fails found love for my body through body positivity articles you, when it traps or betrays you. Not because it can’t fit into Topshop size 10 jeans. and classes on radical self-love.   Article courtesy of

Sometimes it’s the right thing to do


Crocs: Love ‘Em or Loathe ‘Em By Annabel Grainger


ondon Fashion Week, home to the rich and famous, the successful, the elite - and the world’s ugliest shoe? Nestled deep within the glitz and the glamour of LFW 2016, more specifically on the runway of Christopher Kane’s SS17 collection, was none other than the legendary Crocs shoe. It can only be assumed that Kane had the models’ health in mind when choosing what footwear to put them in. Add a few gems and sequins and Bob’s your uncle? Maybe. In all seriousness, he could be on to something. According to Crocs, they provide a “comfortable, lightweight, non-marking and odour-resistant” shoe which could really come in handy for many of us hardworking students.

How can something so ugly feel so good?

No matter how ugly they may be, there’s no denying the comfort of those foam clogs. Whether it’s for a night shift at the pub, an all-day lecture or the dreaded weekly food shop, this could be the answer to all your problems. Or so you may think. It recently came to light that Crocs may not be as beneficial for your health as you have been lead to believe. Dr Megan Leahy, a podiatrist, told Huffpost that Crocs are not actually suitable for all day use. She added that the reason for this is they do not adequately secure the heel, which can lead to foot problems including tendonitis, callouses and corns. Could this mean that the real reason for Christopher Kane using Crocs in his show was that he actually likes them? Surely not. Then again, he may be hiding something...

Was London Fashion Week home to the world’s ugliest shoe?

Decorate Your Room on the Cheap!

By Dominika Kubínyová

Everyone knows how it is when you rent a private room or one in halls in London. You get an overpriced 100 sq ft space with the obligatory bed, wardrobe or chest of drawers. If you’re lucky, you might even be allocated a desk with a chair. After mentally preparing yourself for the extortionate lease you’ve just signed, you’ll want to add your own personal touch. But since many of us don’t have the cash to furnish our rooms like something out of an interior design magazine or Pinterest, here are some affordable style ideas to make your cramped box room into a place of tranquility.

Bright: White. Simple. Stylish: If any of these words perfectly describe your taste, this room design is the perfect choice for you. Follow this contemporary approach to make your room look bigger, cleaner and more airy.

Bohemian: Whether you are a spiritual human being, or you just love summer and everything that comes with it, these room decorations will definitely brighten your room and bring more warm days to your life. Think fairy lights, mosquito netting and plenty of traditional, colourful blankets.

Cosy: This classic decorating style suits almost everyone, as it consists of neutral colours and the odd splashes of blue. Mix this with wooden bedroom furniture and various patterns and textures to will make your room the best place for relaxing.


Spotlight on

Cass Graduate

Nathan Hannawin Nathan Hannawin graduated from Cass earlier this year with a degree in Film and Broadcast Production. His new film ‘Scales’ is out soon.

As told to Nick Francis


my second year studying at London Met, I coproduced and directed a feature documentary that I managed to successfully crowdfund. It was called 'Sleaford Mods Invisible Britain' and premièred at Picturehouse Central on Shaftesbury Avenue.

No matter what you study, where you From work or where you are in life, my experience, opportunities teamwork is the are only there if biggest factor you are capable to a successful of making them for yourself. production of any


After I graduated, I did not know where to go next - do I get a job aanswering phones at a production company and hope an opportunity falls into my lap, or do I do it my own way and seek out opportunity? At the end of one interview


for a general assistant role, the interviewer actually told me 'Nathan, I know you're going to f*ck off as soon as an opportunity turns up.’ This fantastic opportunity arose when I saw a short advert for a feature reading, which brings me to my latest film. 'Scales' is a taut drama produced by Anthony Vander and written by Joe Harvey. Anthony graduated from Drama Centre London and Joe wrote his first feature, 'Sweetboy' (directed by Vander), at 21, which screened at the HBOsponsored American Black Film Festival in New York, the San Francisco Black Film Festival and on London Live.

 'Scales' is a total team effort. From my experience, teamwork is the biggest factor to a successful production of any sort. We are crowdfunding 'Scales' now and are looking for all the support we can get, so we can share this exciting and original story with the masses!

Don’t Let Dyslexia Hold You Back Two students give their own stories...

By Laura Formby


Charlotte, also 27, said, “Dyslexia to me is a gift, raduate Nicola Nevin and undergrad despite not being able to even spell the word student Charlotte Creighton see their dyslexia properly most of the time.” as something special and unique. Currently studying Fashion Marketing and “Please try and not see dyslexia as something Journalism, Charlotte found out she was dyslexic that could possibly set you back in life,” when she was just seven years old. She admits said Nicola, a 27-year-old Assistant Fashion that she likes being dyslexic because she thinks Designer. “You are a highly-functioning human differently to most other people and feels like her ideas are more creative. like one of the Xmen.” Originally from Ireland, Nicola was never formally “I was talking to a guy on Tinder for a few weeks diagnosed with dyslexia until she started at thinking he was from Austria when he was London Met. While studying Fashion Design she actually from Australia,” she says, laughing. used to record her lectures on her phone and listen to them at home. “I lived and died by spellThink you might have checker and autocorrect functions,” she said. dy According to NHS Choices, dyslexia is common, with one in every ten to 20 people in the UK having it to some degree. The learning difficulty does not affect intelligence, but can cause difficulties with reading, writing and spelling. Nicola wants to make sure other students are aware of dyslexia. “There are so many resources available to you to make your life easier.”

Don’t for one second think you can’t achieve things because of your dyslexia. Use it as a positive thing

slexia? Nicola’s top five sign s:

1. You struggle to reme mber spellings. 2. You struggle to decip her letters and numbers. 3. Your handwriting is


4. You find yourself mi ssing out letters in words or sente nces. 5. You find yourself ton gue-tied or you unintentionally mash words together as you speak.

Nicola BA Fashion Design

The London Met Disabilities and Dyslexia Service offers support, including screenings, referrals for specific diagnostic assessments, and reasonable adjustments in line with the Equality Act 2010 to help students reduce any barriers to their learning. Call ‪020 7133 2188 or email 25

Home for Christmas? By Patrice Winn

Homelessness can affect everyone, even students


these categories. Single healthy adults are turned away, only being offered advice and information by their councils, and resulting in more rough sleepers.

It is essential

ough sleeping has more that all homeless than doubled since 2010 in Helping Those On the Streets people can get England. Crisis, a national In March, former Chancellor charity delivering lifeof the Exchequeur George the help they need changing services and Osborne announced a £115 and that councils constantly campaigning for million fund to services get the necessary change for single homeless tackling rough sleepers funding to deliver people, are calling on the as part of the new budget. Government to force changes Roughly £100 million is to be on this to legislation to prevent further spent on 2,000 independent homelessness. This difficult situation living spaces for people ready will only worsen as winter progresses, as to move on from crisis centre the weather gets even colder. accommodation, with the remaining funds dedicated to prevention. Patrick Mulrenan, Senior Lecturer in MA Housing and Inclusion at London Met, said homelessness Whilst Crisis are urging the Government to among students is a “hidden problem” – including change legislation so local housing authorities among students enrolled in the uni. can cater for all types of homelessness, it is also calling for a reform of the private housing Currently, councils only have to rehouse people sector. Unaffordable homes and tenants losing who are judged to be “priority” cases – families with their private agreements is the leading cause of children, and households that include someone homelessness, not to mention benefit cuts and a that is vulnerawble because of pregnancy, old continuing housing shortage. age and physical or mental disability. Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, said: “It is Islington Council makes it clear on their website essential that all homeless people can get the help that people looking for housing should not assume they need and that councils get the necessary they will get a council flat unless they fall within funding to deliver on this.”


I was shocked by the scale and experiences of homelessness

Lend London Home Crisis and 24 other homelessness charities came together to create Lead London Home. The campaign for single homeless people kicked off in January this year, and pledges a number of actions to help the most vulnerable. Statistics show that the number of people sleeping on the capital’s streets has risen to more than 7,500 in 2015, up from 3,673 in 2009/10. The campaign hopes Mayor Sadiq Khan will use his budget and powers to create policies to make homelessness a priority.

for homeless people looking to build their confidence and skills to start their new lives. Last year alone it helped 650 people with experience of homelessness find a job.

“It’s the best use of space in Finsbury Park,” said Jack McAuley, 27, who has lived in the area his entire life. Crisis plans to open ten more similar shops across the UK over the next two years.

Hitting London Met A June survey showed that 27 London Met students in just the School of Social Professions were officially homeless – Charity Cafes Meanwhile, Crisis is continuously doing although some  could be sofa-surfing or its part for the communities in the capital. temporarily staying with friends, while they In February, it opened its second café and search for a roof over their heads. With winter shop, this time in Finsbury Park, following the setting in, their lives will be increasingly difficult. success of their original shop in Hackney. “I was shocked by the scale and experiences The shop not only raises vital funds for the of homelessness,” Mulrenan has said, charity, but creates jobs and provides training commenting on the survey.

If you need help, contact the Uni Accommodation Bureau Tel: +44 (0)20 7133 3998 Email: 27

Give So me th ing Bac k th is Ho lid ay It’s that time of year. The high streets are clogged with festive advertising, Oxford Street has turned on its Christmas lights, there’s the smell of mulled wine in the pub, and you’re handing in assignments. The season makes us all a bit prematurely giddy, but at Verve we’re thinking about deeper meanings. The holidays are all about giving. So how can you be less of a Scrooge? By Patrice Winn

Donate to Our Foodbank Most of you have seen the Verve team nagging students and staff to donate some in-date and non-perishable food in the SU. A Christmas foodbank has been organised by Verve and the Students’ Union on behalf of the university, passed on to Islington Foodbank. It’s a community-based project which does terrific work for individuals and families in the borough who are experiencing empty cupboards. Please visit Holloway’s main Tower reception to donate much-needed goods.

Unwanted Gifts

It’s almost a complete guarantee that on Boxing Day you’ll be left with gifts you don’t really want. Why not google “local homeless shelters” and donate that warm hot pink scarf from Nana and that checkered wooly jumper from Auntie Jean? Share the holiday feeling with (and your wardrobe) will be glad you did!

Start Your Own Reverse Advent Calendar If you want to bring the charity spirit home with you, the reverse advent calendar is a good place to start. Add one item to the box each day, starting on December 1st. Then donate it on Christmas Day. It’s also a great idea if you’ve got little ones at home!


Lend a Hand in the Soup Kitchen Christmas can be a lonely time for a lot of people, particularly if you haven’t got a roof over your head. Crisis, a national charity for single homeless people, tries to relieve some of the stress for many by providing hot meals or someone to listen over a cuppa. Crisis say you don’t need much experience but just the desire to do some good over the holidays. The capital has 10,000 volunteer positions available, whilst various UK cities are also looking for an extra pair of hands. Why not check if your hometown is on the list? Further information and registration is available on their website - visit Similarly, the ongoing university foodbank also needs a few pair of hands in sorting out the food and getting it down there. If this interests you, get in touch with Student Services.

Skint Christmas Christmas is ruddy expensive. From buying last-minute presents to travelling home, pinching pennies where ever you can is a must for a lot of us. The festive season is well and truly kicking in so if you’re looking forward to enjoying the festive spirit on the cheap, here are a few things you could do: By Patrice Winn & Leanne Carr

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London has more outdoor ice rinks than you have fingers on both hands. Check out Somerset House or the Natural History Museum. If you’re looking for some history with your skate, try lovely Alexandra Palace or the Tower of London.


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Christmas Markets are nearly as much of a tradition as putting up the tree now, and the capital has plenty to choose from. This year, Winter Wonderland celebrates its 10th anniversary in Hyde Park.



All images courtesy of Creative Commons.

Swimming in water less than 4 degrees Centigrade might not sound like your idea of fun, but watching other people do it is. The Peter Pan Cup, going strong since 1864, takes place on Christmas Day by members of the Serpentine Swimming Club. Spectators are advised to wrap up warm (and bring a flask of hot port!).

Kew Gardens is magical year round. But over the holidays this iconic attraction is transformed into a botanical wonderland. Christmas at Kew is an evening event which runs until January 2nd. Book in advance.

Ever wondered why you’re meant to kiss under mistletoe? The Geffrye Museum in Bethnal Green has the answer. This free quirky exhibition takes a look back at Christmas in British homes over the last 400 years. Lastly, the pantomime. Whilst some of us might have outgrown it, it’s still a great day out if you have little ones. A star-studded cast features in Cinderella at the London Palladium, look for matinee performance deals. If not, the famous Hackney Empire is hosting Sleeping Beauty with tickets starting at only a tenner!


What are Your Festive Plans? Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, most London Met students and staff will be making festive plans to spend the winter holidays with friends and family. What will you be doing to mark the season? Watching ‘Home Alone’, maybe? (Donald Trump makes a cameo appearance in ‘Home Alone 2’ - a reason not to watch?) By Omotolani Shokeye & Justyna Gosch Jennifer Newton Head of BA Criminology and Sociology Country: England Family dinner - expecting new members to arrive as grandchild on the way. Husband is doing most of the cooking.

Harley Manning Age: 24 Sociology and Social policy Third Year Country: England Dinner and spending time with family, watching favourite Christmas film ‘Die Hard’ Marta Giordano Age: 26 Human Nutrition First Year Country: Italy Loves shopping and Christmas atmosphere and hopes to get a new laptop to help her with her studies. ‘Home alone’ is a festive favourite.

Marco Gelsumini Age: 24 BA Psychology and Sociology Third Year Country: Italy Traditional Italian lunch with all the family eating some special family favourites. Cecilia Fasciani Age: 21 International Relations Third Year Country: Italy Will also be watching a favourite Christmas film, ‘Home Alone’

Lillith Campbell Age: 24 Health and Social Care First Year Country: England Just decorated her own home for Christmas for the first time. Plans to “pop out” to spend some time with her mum.

Mariamu Fundi Marek Morzuch Age: 22 Age: 24 Journalism Games, Modelling, Animation Third Year Effects Country: Congo Second Year Loves shopping and giving presents, Country: Poland fan of Christmas food and movies Traditional Polish dinner on such as ‘Home Alone’ and ‘The Christmas Eve, working next day, Grinch’. Loves playing blackjack. then time with the family.


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VERVE - Dec 2016