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Voices CO M M U N I T Y E D I T I O N

Voices is a student-led campaign headed by Falmouth & Exeter Students’ Union, providing a platform for people whose voices might previously have been lost in the noise.



A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR With this volume of Voices, we have

the people in these interviews took a

decided to take a different approach to

moment at the end of their formal dis-

our chosen subject. Rather than have

cussion to exchange numbers and dis-

people talking about their experiences

cuss how they could work together

of living within a community, we had

in the future.

members from two different commu-

To be part of a project that not only

nities: the student body and town lo-

provides a platform to those less often

cals discuss topics that resonate with

heard, but also brings people together in

them. Our hope here was to bridge the

a productive and loving way, is a bless-

gap that exists between groups of peo-

ing. It can feel like “the powers that be�

ple who, although they may live side by

are forcing us all to become obsessed

side, are split by a degree of tension,

with individualism and self, so it is our

for one reason or another. I believe we

duty to work from the ground up to build

have succeeded with this goal, not only

a community that we are proud to live in.

building bridges but forming friendships along the way. After realising that they

Allie Guy

have the same common goal or interest,


Cornwall Esther Wilson  Student Community Officer for the Students’ Union Councillor Grenville Chappel  Mayor of Falmouth Town


Cornwall as a region is hugely proud of its heritage and history. As the world continues to get smaller, it can sometimes feel like we are losing our identities, but it is well known that the Cornish are passionate about fighting to keep theirs. Grenville and Esther discuss their childhoods in Falmouth, the history that permeates every aspect of Cornwall and the unique qualities that set the county apart from anywhere else in the country. But of course, no discussion about Cornwall can start without the mention of a pasty or two.


9 Grenville Well, within 30 minutes you can drive from the south coast to the north coast and they may look the same to a foreigner—anyone who’s not Cornish—but they are different. It’s different weather, different atmosphere, a different lifestyle. Compare Newquay to Falmouth, Newquay is one little area that’s not overly Cornish. That’s what you get if you come to Cornwall. The difference is the moors, the heathland, you can get bit by a nice fresh adder if you like! That’s the difference be-

How important is a sense of regional identity to the Cornish people?

tween Cornwall and anywhere else. I drove people down from Hampshire once and you can actually see the difference as you pass through the coun-

Grenville A sense of regional identity to the Cornish people is very important. It’s one of the

ty borders. Every county is slightly different, but Cornwall is the best.

reasons that we went all the way to Europe to get the pasty recognised as Cornish.

Esther I think it’s the people as well, they make such a difference. I really notice it when I’m not

Esther I think we’re a lot prouder than other

here. You don’t just say “hi” to random people you

people realise. I always say I’m Cornish, not British.

don’t know in London or somewhere. You say “sor-

Now that we have minority status, whenever I can

ry, sorry, sorry” as you’re trying to get past, but you

tick that box, I tick it.

don’t say “hi” like you would down here.

Grenville You hear of the Yorkshire and

Grenville That’s so true. You speak to people

Lancashire people being very proud of their area,

on the street here, whether you know them or not.

quite rightly, but I think the Cornish take it to the

You couldn’t do that in London. You couldn’t do

maximum; we don’t like being called British. And

that in Plymouth even. You’d probably get hit in

definitely not English; we’re Cornish through and

the face! But that’s the friendly Cornish nature. Or

through. Proper job!

at least it is when the holidaymakers are around; maybe that’s just to con the money out of them…

What similarities, or differences, do you think Cornwall shares with the rest of the country?

What about Cornwall makes it such a popular location for tourists?

Esther I think Cornwall is such a unique space,

Grenville We’ve got everything here for tour-

I don’t think there are many similarities with oth-

ists. I think we provide a more relaxing holiday. We

er places. You visit some places which feel sort of

haven’t got an Alton Towers or anything, but it’s

Cornish, but not quite. It’s getting that combina-

more relaxing. I’ve never understood people com-

tion of countryside to coast. It’s just not the same

ing down here with teenage children, but I think

anywhere else.

for the younger children or the older person it’s

CORNWALL an ideal resort. That works both ways though. Just

on a train, be in London in 70 minutes, see a show

look at Falmouth, we’ve got more retired people

and be back in time for tea. With Cornwall, it’s so

now than we do students.

distant. But that’s also an attraction, isn’t it? We’re so far out of it; it makes Cornwall very laid-back.

Esther I think, especially for people that live in

We’re so laid back it’s unbelievable! That is starting

a city, Cornwall is a break from their normal lives.

to fade though, that laid-back attitude. But that’s

It’s not going to another city, in a different country

due to the pace of life, better connections, the in-

but it’s like, I want to go to the countryside and get

ternet. All these things are bringing Cornwall into

away from it all and feel like I’m in a totally dif-

the rest of the world, where before it was distant.

ferent place, all without having to pay thousands of pounds.

Esther That is both positive and negative. It’s good that we’re connecting now, we need to do

Do you think Cornwall is well connected to the rest of the country?

that for our businesses, our prosperity; we wouldn’t have the university here now if we didn’t have access to the internet and those connections, the

Grenville It’s probably one of the downsides of

links that they can make. But, as we all know, with

Cornwall, that we’re so far away from the big cities.

these connections and modern-day broadcasts,

I used to live in Hampshire and you could jump

there are negatives.

11 Grenville I still know people in Cornwall, even today, who think that just going to Plymouth Christmas shopping is a trip abroad. You must know them too.

You both spent your childhoods in Cornwall. How do you think they differed from each other and from people who grew up in other places around the country?

Esther I went to London once when I was seven

Esther I think one of the things I’ve noticed

and then I didn’t go again until I was 22. I don’t feel

from my childhood here, compared to friends

the need, I suppose, to get out.

from other places, is just how much time I spent outside. I don’t really remember TVs and stuff, we

Grenville There are issues both ways with

were always outside playing. I had a childmind-

that. We’re connecting Cornwall, improving the

er for before and after school and she’d take me

economics of Cornwall, and this is shown by the

and my siblings out of the house. She’d pick us

fact that you can now live and work in Cornwall

up from school and we’d go and walk the dog and

in all sorts of trades. But it does bring a lot more

then my parents would get us, and we’d go off and

people into Cornwall. If you look back ten years in

do something else as well before going home. I feel

Falmouth, probably about 80% of the people who

that it was a lot more of an active childhood. We

lived in Falmouth were Cornish born and bred.

didn’t really leave Cornwall except for Christmas

What’s the percentage of that now?

time when we’d go and visit family. The rest of the

CORNWALL time we stayed down here, there was no need to go anywhere else.

Grenville Well, you have days like today in November, I had to go around the town twice to find a parking space. Like you say, that didn’t use

Grenville I think in all of my childhood, except for going to Devon because I had family there, I

to be the case. But these days it bubbles away most nights.

went to the Isle of Wight twice and that was it. I do remember having a TV though, it was an old black

Esther It’s nice, it’s a good level of busy. There’s

and white thing. In 1956, I was eight and my dad

this perception, though, that the town is rammed,

ran the telephone exchange in Falmouth, he was

but it’s not like that at all. You obviously get oc-

a supervisor there. It was the FA Cup final and all

casional times where it’s particularly busy, but in

the supervisors came around to watch it. Me and

winter I think that balance between residents and

my sister were thrown out in the street with bags

students is really nice.

of sweets so they could watch the FA Cup final. That’s my first memory of a TV, it’s very strange; it

Grenville The issue is getting that news out to

feels like a different life altogether. People spoke

everybody. In my role, I get people coming up to

to each other then, before TV came along and the

me saying on a Saturday night, “I’m too scared to

internet. Nowadays most people don’t even know

go out in town because it’s full of students”. Well,

their next-door neighbours.

actually no, it’s full of youngsters; they’re not all students. I went out with the street pastors about

Esther It’s interesting you say about next-door

a year ago. I was very apprehensive about walking

neighbours. Growing up in Mabe, we lived down

through the town after midnight and seeing what

tiny little back lanes and there were only about

goes on. Well, I’ve never been made to feel so wel-

four families. We were round at our neighbours’

come in my life. I didn’t feel at all nervous, I was

all the time.

welcomed by everybody. I’m sure you’ve seen it from the other side through glazed eyes.

Grenville No one locked their doors back then, I imagine.

Esther I have noticed though, it’s maybe got a bit more ‘lively’ recently, which is potentially not

How have you noticed the county change since then?

what we want. Grenville Well yes, and we’ll have a new intake

Grenville Falmouth has changed greatly, obvi-

of freshers soon, which may liven it up more. But

ously. More so in the last nine years or so, since the

I don’t think Falmouth is as dangerous or as scary

university has been here; not to everyone’s liking.

as people think. People just don’t like change.

But it’s an essential thing, it’s made Falmouth the vibrant town that it is now. Esther It’s been interesting for me. I remem-

How would you characterise Cornwall? Esther You have to say the coast, don’t you?

ber it being absolutely dead if you came into Falmouth any time after the summer season. You’d

Grenville I’d say for me, the features of

walk down the street and see about three people.

Cornwall are, yes, the coast, the weather the

So it’s much nicer to see it a bit more busy.

beaches, the people.




Esther The people here are a bigger thing than

Esther There’s actually so much of that here,

we give them credit for sometimes. When you

that history. The more you think about it, there is

leave and then come back you realise; not every-

so much that’s gone on down here.

one is like the Cornish. Grenville If you’re into history, then Falmouth Grenville I’m sure they’ve got characters like

and Cornwall are just absolutely reeking in it re-

everywhere else, but the characters in Cornwall are

ally. It wasn’t until I became Mayor that I realised

something else; they’re amazing. I suppose people

how much happened in Falmouth. You know the

come here for the weather really, the beaches.

Polytechnic? The Poly on the street? The guy who invented the Nobel prize, he demonstrated his dy-

Esther I don’t know why, [the weather]’s not that great!

namite there. They went out to the docks and blew up the first stick of dynamite. And look what that led to; two World Wars and a World Cup, they say!

Grenville You take that for granted when you live down here though. You notice it more when

Esther Walking through the town, there’s

other people come down. When I walk down the

so much around. I think it’s really interesting in

hill into town, I look and everyone is looking at the

Falmouth to look up, not down.

floor or their phones, they’re not looking around. We have this climate with palm trees growing, we have the third biggest natural harbour in the world.

Grenville It’s steeped in history, Falmouth and Cornwall.

People pay £600–£800 a week for an apartment on the front in the summer and we’re ignoring it, taking it for granted. Then we have the modern stuff

Esther And you don’t really have to dig; it’s just there. You just have to look at it.

like the Eden Project and Trebah Gardens. Though Trebah isn’t modern, let’s face it. The history there

Grenville The trouble is that history can stop

with the D-Day landings and everything that took

a lot of things. “You can’t knock that down, it’s

place there. When you stand on the beach, you

historic. You can’t do that because it’ll ruin this.”

can almost feel the American troops going by; it’s

Where really, you’ve got to move on, you know?

something special down there.

We can’t stand still.

Environment Ellie Brown  Penryn Produce volunteer and University of Exeter student Kirstie Mifsud  Member of Plastic Free Falmouth


Across the country as a whole, the past decade has brought about huge changes in the way in which we perceive plastics, rubbish, palm oil, carbon emissions and our impact upon the Earth. We have been able to witness developments in people’s mindsets nationally, yet Cornwall has always been a region which is particularly forward-thinking in terms of its relationship with the environment. Kirstie and Ellie discuss how they each do their part for the planet.


How significant do you think environmental changes have been, in relation to Cornwall? Kirstie I think pretty significant, just because Cornwall has been at the forefront of the campaign, particularly the Plastic Free campaign. When Surfers Against Sewage set up the Plastic Free Coastline campaign last summer, they tried to harness the energy of communities that wanted change, but who weren’t quite sure how to do so. They created a really simple template of five things that you could try to do to encourage change in your own community: working with local businesses to try to change attitudes, engaging with the community through speaking with schools and community groups, working with your local councils to embed changes, running litter picks and beach cleans, and keeping records and data to prove to the government that change is wanted and needed. Cornwall really took that on board. Penzance was first, and now there are loads in Cornwall. We could do a lot, very quickly. A huge amount of change has occurred in the past year


and I don’t think that this is going to go back any

Kirstie You’re right, it is about economics. It

time soon. It doesn’t make any sense, financially or

has to be affordable to make good choices, doesn’t

sustainability-wise, to go back to it. Like the straws,

it? I’m local, a mum of four with a low income,

once businesses have changed it they aren’t look-

and I run a community-based group. We made a

ing at how they can go back to plastic in the future.

decision at the beginning of our campaign that we would be positive and solution-based. I don’t

Ellie I think Cornwall is definitely at the forefront; we see the impact on our doorstep. You can

share the negative things. Most people know all the negative things.

see if plastic is turning up on the beach. It’s dear

They’ve seen the plastic in the dead whales,

to a lot of people’s hearts here. With businesses

they don’t need to hear that from me. What they

such as Un-Rap opening, it’s becoming easier, not

need from me is, “Look at all the wonderful things

only for students but the community as a whole,

these people are doing. Here’s how you can do

to adopt these sustainable alternatives. You’ve just

stuff like this too.” This has a much higher engage-

got to provide it and people will come.

ment. It can become too much sometimes. There’s so much negativity in everything we hear.

Kirstie Simple and accessible. Ellie People connect to stories, rather than Ellie At Penryn Produce, we want to provide

facts or figures. We need to show people what

plastic-free produce to students. If we can make

others are doing. That’s when behaviours start to

things cheap and good, then people will come. It’s

change. It resonates with them more than, “Look

really good how coffee shops have now started to

how bad it is and how much rainforest is being

make it cheaper for people to use reusable cups

destroyed”. I think it doesn’t sit well with people.

instead of a plastic cup.



Kirstie It’s important for a connection with

Kirstie Those long-term effects and the way

people. You see someone doing something good

we have been living for the last for 40, 50 years.

and you find a way to do it yourself, then you can

I mean, I’m 40 and I remember going and getting

be a part of something bigger and embed that be-

paper bags from grocers, and within my lifetime

haviour change.

using plastic bags has been normalised. I vividly remember the first big supermarket opening up

How important are environmental issues to Cornwall?

near me. There’s been a lot of changes in the last 40 years. We don’t really know the extent of the damage, people can speculate but we probably

Kirstie Hugely. I had to give a presentation

won’t know for a while. Some people are saying

to Norfolk Council, who are trying to help set up

that it’ll take 400 years for plastic to break down,

plastic-free communities. They have a completely

that’s a guesstimate, as we don’t really know yet,

different set of issues. They don’t have the same

but it’s not good.

tourism and engagement with local marine life. In Cornwall, we have the longest coastline in the

Ellie But why would we risk it? The predictions

UK. We see it in real terms on our doorsteps. In St

are pretty scary and, personally, I think we should

Austell they have difficulty getting people engaged

just keep on changing things for the better.

and they were saying how lucky we are in Falmouth to get people engaged. And we are lucky, we are

Kirstie It’s been such a minute time of our civ-

surrounded by water, which makes it really easy

ilized human existence on this earth using plastic

to show what happens if you drop your litter. It’s

so why not look back and see what else can be

relatable and relevant to you in your day-to-day

used, like we had previously. I have older people

life. It’s much harder to see this if you’re inland,

asking me what to do with plastic that comes with

somewhere industrial or in a built-up area.

parcels and deliveries and I simply ask what did they use to do with parcels before plastic, when

Ellie Tourism is such a massive industry in

they were younger.

Cornwall. Besides agriculture, we don’t have that many large industries in the area. If we want people

Ellie It’s also important to think about buying

to come back to Cornwall, we need to protect our

local instead of buying from big businesses and

environment. Maybe this makes it more important

supporting local products.

to us in Cornwall than other regions. Going back to farming though, I think it’s important for Cornwall

Kirstie It has to be affordable though. I was

to protect our environment to stop the increased

talking with someone and she was talking about

damage to our land from climate changes through

how she produces a small amount of rubbish

soil erosion and water pollution.

throughout the year. But she understands that she is one person with no children, a fixed income who can afford to make conscientious choices. I can’t afford to get milk delivered by the milkman, you

ENVIRONMENT Ellie, does your knowledge of environmental impact put you off having children? know. There are some things I can’t swap because they’re not affordable to me. Some things become

Ellie I love kids and I would love to have kids if

inaccessible because you’ve got to be able to af-

there weren’t all these issues we have. I think may-

ford it or be able to have certain transport to ac-

be I’d look at adoption because there are a lot of

cess it.

children already who don’t have a secure environment to grow up in.

Ellie It goes back to the true costs of things. It might be cheap to us but not cheap to the planet as a whole. We need to change perceptions.

What will be the greatest issue facing us?

Kirstie That’s how my children feel, funnily enough. Ellie I don’t know how real this is. Even my dad said he worried about what world my children

Kirstie It’s difficult to say, because it’s all

would grow up in and that plays on my mind a lot.

linked. Our timeline for no plastics is significantly longer than the EU’s. If we were to go through with

Kirstie It’s natural for a parent to be fear-

Brexit I doubt that environmental issues will be a

ful and that is just your modus operandi. David

focus. There will be things that are understandably

Attenborough made a speech the other day and

more important. It’s all linked and we can’t pin-

said that we’ve got 40 to 50 years before human

point a singular issue. I eat meat but we try to eat

extinction begins, and that’s very real and terrify-

meat-free twice a week. There’s always a knock-on

ing. That’s the world we are leaving behind for you

effect when we suggest something. If we go back

and it’s why I do what I do, and probably why you

to paper and brown bags are we going to be cut-

do the things you do. You try to make a change,

ting down too many trees? What’s the true impact

not for us now but for our future selves, and giving

of this? Cotton production is hugely destructive,

the kids something better than what we left be-

arguably there’s a huger impact from that as well.

hind. People are busier now, we work longer hours

It’s such a difficult balancing act.

and retire later. They’re expected to work full-time, have and support children, and look after their

Ellie Population growth isn’t something that is talked about a lot but it’s such a huge issue.

parents in many cases. It’s a breakdown of communities and it’s terrible. So it makes total sense for these families to go for the convenient thing, to

Kirstie Me and my four kids. Ellie But it is something. It’s the scale that we need to look at. There’s also the growth of wealth

buy the pre-packaged stuff. Ellie And you’re still not satisfied at the end of the day.

in some countries who wish to have what we have in the Western world. It needs to be looked at clos-

Kirstie The fact is, we can all do something

er, what works for individual areas like the coast.

small, can’t we? Keep the masses engaged; it’s

All the impacts are linked.

getting people like my dad to want to do stuff.


ENVIRONMENT He rang me to tell me he was proud of me and stopped buying Lucozade bottles. It’s just thinking about what you can do to make a difference. It’s

How can students and the wider community work together to be more environmentally aware?

not just all Greenpeace, elitist and hippy to care about the environment. It’s all our planet and it’ll affect us all.

Kirstie This is something we talk about a lot at Plastic Free Falmouth. Community incorporates everybody who lives, works and studies here.

Ellie There is no alternative to me that isn’t

It’s not just somebody who has been here their

green. It has to be. We haven’t got another planet

whole life. I moved here when I was younger from

to be wasteful. It’s about connecting and showing

Hampshire. We’ve got a mixture of local students,

that what is happening is happening to all of us.

business owners, councillors, school teachers and

Maybe indirectly at the moment, but soon we are

other members of the community with a diverse

all about to feel the real changes. There are so

background. We try to make sure that all our cam-

many countries that are already feeling the pres-

paigns are inclusive of the wider community. I

sure and we need to start thinking about how these

went into the University to talk to students so that

issues connect.

we can get a good mixture of students and locals to help. Same with our cleanups, it’s usually 50/50

Kirstie Even in the last five years we’ve seen

actually. It’s good to get people to talk about these

climate disasters that have been devastating, and

issues and ideas. These are people who would

worse than anything I’ve known. We need to start

usually be separated due to where they live and

connecting the dots and say that there has to be

different lifestyles. There are not that many places

a reason and that the way we are living must be

for engagement. We’ve got the one in Spring com-

having an impact. It’s deeply concerning that we

ing up with the help from the University of Exeter,

have leaders who still don’t think this is an issue.

who co-funds it with Falmouth Town Council,

It’s terrifying.

working together to do things en masse, like cleaning up, mass planting, etc. There’s so much to do to get people engaged. Do you have recycling on campus?

25 Ellie We do, but there are a lot of problems

waste. It’s being pushed in the new waste contract

with contamination. We have a group that is look-

to try to unify the process and to fund councils to

ing at how to educate students because Cornish

invest in infrastructure.

recycling is so different from how many have it at home. It’s cool to have events run about how to do

Ellie On the [Penryn Produce] committee we

this properly because students want to do it right,

are just students, but we do have a few community

it’s just many don’t know what the right thing is.

members who buy our products. The challenge is that we run on a Wednesday afternoon when peo-

Kirstie I didn’t understand before why we

ple are working. But we are doing events and trying

couldn’t have big bins like other places in the UK.

to get the community of Penryn together. It’s just

In Cornwall, though, we only have two centers that

to try to get people together who, in their daily life,

sort recycling, and only one machine can sepa-

wouldn’t usually.

rate plastic and metals and the other paper and cardboard. I saw them yesterday, staff were trying

Kirstie It’s great to do these things. It’s im-

to separate and get rid of things that shouldn’t be

portant to keep this going and give people the

there as piles and piles kept coming. It’s a really

opportunity to connect, instead of ships passing

simple setup to do things like recycling and food

in the night.

Music Hallam Smith  Cloud 9 Events founder and Falmouth University student Will Keating  Local folk singer with a passion for Cornish history


Music has a talent for bringing people together but, as technology changes the way music is produced and consumed, is music losing that ability? Will and Hallam discuss how music has affected their lives and their thoughts on whether Folk music and Drum and Bass could ever collaborate.


the culture of singing, men singing together especially. The OggyMen, they were a 30-piece choir, so for me, it’s about retaining those songs that were sung 200 years ago, keeping it going and passing it on to the future generations. From a community point of view, that’s where I see what I do as extension of that, really. Although I am doing new stuff,

How important is music for a community?

I’m still passing on those traditional songs that were sung around Cornwall for hundreds of years.

Hallam Looking at the community aspect of

It does involve the wider community, I suppose. It’s

student life, I remember when I first came here,

a bit different from a student point of view, but

which seems not long ago, but how the three years

then again, maybe when you first come down here

have flown from being in that first year, music pro-

you haven’t heard those Cornish songs… Do you

vides that connection of community. Encouraging

know any Cornish songs?

everyone to come together, either to a Students’ Union [bar], a local pub down the road for a pint,

Hallam I’m afraid I can’t say that I do.

to see live music like yourself, or for a gig. That idea of community is what really brought me to start what I started, and live with the people I am

Will Ever heard of Camborne Hill? Gawn’ up Camborne ‘ill, comin’ down.

friends with, and go to concerts with. Hallam If I had heard of any of those, that Will Yes, it gives you that familiarity, you’ve got

would definitely be my favourite.

something in common initially; it’s a bang! It sees

It’s strange. I don’t know whether it’s because

you through life, doesn’t it? For me, especially in

I’m a city boy who has come to Falmouth, where

Cornwall, it’s about culture and it’s about retaining

there is an element of a stronger community, in the


sense of folk music and that idea of heritage and a sense of belonging, especially with the antholo-

Do you guys think you could ever see a collaboration between your styles?

gy behind the actual music, the musical form and the need to share that. I’m assuming most of these songs have been passed down through time and

Will I know you’re a DJ, but that could mean anything couldn’t it?

still need to be performed. I know it is a different art form to what I do and what we promote as a

Hallam I focus on traditional club night.

more student-orientated nightlife, but it is definitely something that I do feel strongly about in terms of community.









‘wheels of steel’?

Will Especially from a Cornish point of view

Hallam Yes. So, there is that idea of turntab-

and a Celtic point of view. One of the best ways

lism, the vinyl side of things, working on playing

for men to express their emotions, hard men that

some technics, getting back to the old school hip-

had been working down a mine since they were

hop breaks and cutaways and back to the roots of

ten years old, was to sing. To sing about love, to

why I started listening to music. I definitely need

sing about meeting the women of their dreams,

to get more practice of that, but our heart lies be-

sing about being drunk, sing about partying. That’s

hind the electronic side of music. So, dance mu-

how they expressed themselves. Any live music is

sic, hip-hop, funk. I have also been playing more

that, isn’t it?

jungle recently.

Hallam Yes, I definitely agree.

Will I love all music. If someone told me ten years ago that I would be a Cornish folk singer

Will It’s expressing yourself.

I’d be laughing my head off. I’ve got four daughters, so I listen to a range of music and I am also


31 interested in dance music. Cornish dance music is quite interesting because it is a different beat, it’s five-four. So, instead of 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4, it’s 1 2 3 4 5, 1 2 3 4 5, which is unusual, and the Cornish dance

Will Yes, exactly and they’ll learn a damn sight quicker then I will! So, everyone has different opinions on what to use, what system do you use?

goes along with it. I’ve collaborated with many a person, and also, do you know Sam Coleman? He

Hallam Logic mainly. I think that’s what I start-

combined his DJ with Cornish Bazuki, very bizarre

ed on, it was the core of where I began and then

but a nice unusual collaboration. I also produce

moved from that. I agree it’s a hard skill, it’s that

music as well.

idea of plugging away at it until you find what—

Hallam Similarly to that, some of the artists that we manage and look after are really keen on

Will What I think I can do is I know what I want to hear.

sampling at the moment. Some people that I am working with have gone away and found vinyl as

Hallam I’m very specific in the sounds that

part of a trip across Paris, Berlin, etc. and sampled

I want to hear and what I am looking to deliver.

it. We’re doing a launch party for them to release

Similar to the sets that we play, I know where we

their album, which has been based around those

are starting from, to three/four hours later, to

sounds that have come from that iconic area of

where we will be wanting people to finish playing

their travelling. So, I could definitely see something

at. That’s the level of that journey. I’m assuming

similar to what you said with the five four, the off-

it’s very similar to folk music overall, that idea of

beat, coming through that would make a strong

taking people on a journey, or explaining that idea

house track somewhere down the line.

of history, it’s very similar to what we do. Taking people from like… let’s say you’re playing dance-

Will Yes, and put a different spin on it. One of

hall or a slower R&B type of music, so bring them

the things I’m quite passionate about is spreading

up through beats per minute to then take them

the word of Cornish music, because even if you

through till four in the morning and you’re listen-

look at a lot of Celtic festivals it doesn’t really in-

ing to heavy jungle, drum and bass.

volve a lot of Cornish music/artists. I am heavily involved in trying to promote that with various

Will At four in the morning? Christ!

agencies throughout Cornwall. And maybe modernising the music and getting a different spin on

Hallam For me, in a performance. it’s about

things, would be interesting. I do love producing

creating light and shade. It’s not only about keep-

music, I can’t do it myself, unfortunately, I have to

ing it interesting for myself but keeping it inter-

get an engineer, which is expensive. And bringing

esting for everyone else. If it’s just the same, it’s

together different artists with regards to different

boring. I’d get bored of it, so if I get bored of it I’m

instruments, but I am looking at learning how to do

sure the audience would be. Sometimes you have

it, and teaching my children how to do it, so I don’t

to react to the audience as well; there might be a

have to do it and they can do it instead.

song where, once you’ve seen the audience, you think, no, I’ll put this one on instead. You’ll learn

Hallam Pass it down!

that just by putting yourself out there and doing it.

MUSIC Will I definitely agree. I’ve turned up and played

Hallam It’s always a learning process. To hear

gigs where you’re doing it to spread the word and

you talk about selling what you had in order to

trying to showcase your art, and then you realise

perform further, it is similar to when I was much

that what you had in mind might not fit. To be com-

younger, 15/16, and selling clothes to people and

fortable performing in the community, you should

using that to buy equipment. It starts out by play-

look at the people you’re performing in front of and

ing on a little controller in your room, or play-

then gather within the first five to ten songs what

ing with your mates at a house party, and it grows

the mood of the room is. Not everyone is always

from that. People start to ask you to play here and

going to like it, I learnt quite quickly that, espe-

there, sometimes it’s for free or for a little bit of

cially in a pub, most of the time it’s actually about

money, and next you realise you’ve finally made

enjoying it myself. If I’m playing songs to please

that decision in your life to say it’s ‘make or break’

everyone else, although it is pretty selfish from my

now. You either invest time and effort into it, try

point of view not to, often not everyone is listening

and get something tangible out of it, or you keep

anyway. They’re in the pub with their friends and

it as a hobby.

they’re chatting, which is what I do when I’m in the pub, so they’re not all focused on what I’m doing.

Will And that is the proper job.

I’m just the background music really. Whether I’m performing in front of one person or 300, I just make sure I do songs that I love singing.

Hallam Lots of people ask me, “What are you going to do when you leave uni?” Well, actually, this is the plan.

Hallam It must be obvious as well, yours is more of a physical live performance. The music isn’t playing itself.

Will If you’re passionate and you enjoy it, why not? I’m 46 now, it took me until I was 43 to realise what I wanted to do. I still don’t know what I’m

Will You’ve got to be adaptable. The first year

going to do. I don’t foresee myself singing in a pub

that I went out on my own, I left my job, bear in my

on my own for the next 10–15 years. This has ena-

mind I had four children as well, so I put myself in

bled me to tap into my creative side. It can go an-

a position where I had to gig. Luckily enough, I had

ywhere, and the people I am meeting are so open

worked in the brewery industry for five years be-

and available and just amazing. I am in awe of the

fore, so I knew loads of pubs. They were all willing

musicians that I play with, they’re all a hundred

to give me a shot, even if they were going to laugh

times better than me.

at me. All I did was book as many gigs as I could, I didn’t even think about it I just thought: book,

Hallam I literally think the same about my-

book, book. I sold my surfboard and my fender

self, it’s quite funny. I look around at the people

strat, and I bought a PA system with it. I think I did

I play with. I’m very interested in the collectives

84 gigs in the first year, which isn’t bad.

and bringing people together. There are people I have been at uni with for three years now and we

Hallam That’s impressive.

all have these conversations, “What do you play? Maybe we should play together.” You start realising

Will Yes, just for the first year, to learn. I mean, I’m still learning now.

there are some seriously talented people around here that you would never have heard of if they didn’t get up on a stage and sing or perform.



35 Will Maybe something we’re both good at is

the way through and they call time. Even if you’ve

being the catalyst to putting ourselves out there to

finished your set and it’s where you want it to be,

get people together, which not everyone can do,

but you’ve got an active audience wanting more, I

I suppose.

know we say always leave them wanting more, but if the people want it... We have so many people

Can music bring together the different age groups in Falmouth?

here trying to push their art form, or just play for free to someone, to anyone that’s not them in their bedroom alone listening to their own music.

Will In my experience of the last two and a half years, you’ve got to learn what your market is. You

Will I agree. The Kings is in the centre of town,

can’t appeal to everybody. When I’ve been on these

surrounded by accommodation, but half an hour

Instagram or Facebook courses and looking at so-

isn’t going to make a difference from half two to

cial media (and I used to work in a sales and mar-

three o’clock. Would there be a better venue that is

keting background anyway) you have to narrow it

more away from the residential areas?

down at some point. Who are you trying to target? What are you trying to do? Are you trying to sell

Hallam It’s competition mainly. I understand

your music? Are you trying to make a living from

that certain companies and bands may want to

it? How am I going to make a living from it? You

play later in order to maintain that competitive

are always asked to narrow that down. What sort

rates. Especially when you have what I class as

of person are they? What do they wear? How old

the commercial corporations that have come here,

are they? What do they look like? That helps you

the likes of Club I and Mangos, which do affect

gain more followers on Instagram, by following the

business. It depends on what they want to deliver,

things that they’re interested in. So, for me, I don’t

that is ultimately the answer to that question. Are

necessarily expect my music to be liked by your

you trying to compete for that space because you

generation. My children don’t like my music at all.

know your people will stay and they want to listen

Well, two of them do, two of them don’t. So, I don’t

to you? Or are you staying open because you want

think you can. It’s a tough one because I do like

a competitive rate to keep people through your

all types of music, but I wouldn’t go to a club till

door, because down the road you’ve got 200–250

four o’clock in the morning anymore, I just can’t

capacity nightclub that will stay open till three in

handle it.

the morning? You have to know what your venue is truly delivering before you tailor a night around

Do you think that small towns like Falmouth should allow late licenses in their clubs/pubs?

that. Kings is a very specific venue because it has that mixed culture of both locals and students at the same time. It’s not a club; at heart it is a bar. I wouldn’t push to conform to the late licence, if

Hallam You see, my standpoint is probably

people are happy then why change? It’s right next

different to yours. I understand that having late li-

to a church, there are loads of residential buildings

cences in relatively small towns can affect the town,

above it. It is pushed out of the events area where

the culture and the people. But if we’re talking just

Grapes and Games Room are, up to Toast, which

about the art form, we’re taking people on that

is one of the key late-night areas. Spreading it any

journey, that creative journey, and they’ve come

further than that is extending the Falmouth strip.

here for a night out. Then you’re three-quarters of


Hallam I agree, I’d say the same. Will You get the odd t*sser that’s a student, you get the odd t*sser that’s a local. Hallam It is the minority that affects it and it is the stimulus of that night out that fuels the fire behind this campaign for any animosity between locals and students. It is the night out and all the factors that come with that; the excessive drinking, the partying, the euphoria of being off work, or celebrating. You could place whoever, wherever, and still have the same problems that affect smaller towns like this. I do agree, I’m not surprised there

Do you think it is the nightlife that causes tension between the community and students?

are some problems, but I wouldn’t say it is the beall-and-end-all. I’ve walked home from doing gigs at whatever hour and you get chatting to people,

Will No, I don’t think it causes tension between

it’s all very friendly. Cornwall is a friendly place.

locals and students. What causes the friction is the number of students in the town, from the locals

Will It is a very friendly place.

that I have chatted to. They don’t believe it is being managed very well, and it hasn’t been. That’s why

Hallam Most people have got the time for you

the new town plan has come in to stop the HMOs

and most people, when you talk to them, will treat

[houses in multiple occupation]; you now have to

you as you come. There will be problems because

put in planning to have an HMO, whereas before

it is a small town and change happens very quickly.

you didn’t. Every man and his dog were coming down here, buying all the houses and making a killing. They weren’t keeping the houses they were

Will That is it. Incremental changes appear larger within a small location.

buying in a good condition, they were just chucking loads of students in them and reaping the ben-

Hallam The guys that I have worked with came

efits. They were looking a mess, they are bang in

to a small university in a small town and it has sud-

the middle of the residential areas and it wasn’t

denly been expanded and expanded. You’re always

controlled. I think that’s been the major issue. Also,

going to get people harping on about, “I hate the

the expansion of the university and the way that

bloody students” and you’re always going to get

has been done. Other than that, we were all young

students saying, “Well, bloody locals don’t accept

once, we all know there are going to be parties,

us”, but I think it is just the minority.

we all know there are going to be people coming home late at night making a bit of noise, but on the whole I think it works quite well. I don’t think there is that much animosity.

Will I agree.


Politics Jed Scoles  Politics and International Relations student at the University of Exeter Jayne Kirkham  Labour Cornwall Councillor


Politics has always been a divisive topic, today more so than ever. As the UK prepares for a future of huge uncertainty, can any political leaning claim to have the right answer? Whether you decide to partake in voting or not, politics will inevitably affect aspects of your life, no matter who you are. However, in Cornwall, Westminster can seem like a faraway land, and politicians so detached from what the citizens of our democracy experience. Jayne and Jed discuss this, from their perspectives as politically active members of society.


What does politics mean to you? Jed Politics is something I’ve always been really interested in, really attached to. It’s the question I think about all the time; why should I get involved? Why does politics even matter? Politics matters because, whether people are stuck in traffic jams on the way to work, that’s politics. Whether they’re having to wait six months for an operation, that’s politics. Jayne Everything’s political. Whatever you’re doing, whether you’re talking about planning or the NHS and healthcare. Anything that happens is political and I think people don’t realise that it impacts on every area of their life. As a Cornwall Councillor, things like the toilets in the town, that was political. In the General Election, a lot of pullback from politics was fear, “I’m just about managing. I can cope with the way things are. I don’t want to get involved at this stage because then I won’t be able to cope.” It’s about turning that around and asking how it can be better. There’s a lot of mistrust and a lot of people just think, “Well I’ve tried” or, “Nothing changes”, or “You’re all the same.”


It’s trying to build that trust in politicians, which

just tell. The leader has always had a big impact.

has been decimated by all sorts of things, like the

I remember the election in ’92 when Neil Kinnock

expenses scandal and lots more before that. But

didn’t get in and everyone expected him, or hoped

we’ve found that a lot more people are willing to

that Labour, would. A lot of that was blamed on

get out and get involved in the General Election.

the fact that he was Welsh, or ginger, I’m afraid.

Last June, we had 300 people out on polling day helping.

Jed I think at the moment, particularly for young people who would tilt more towards the

Jed I think it is a case of representation as well

Labour Party, that affinity to the leader of the

as making sure that, in our community, we are see-

Labour Party is definitely there and really strong. I

ing people who sound like us.

don’t think many Conservatives have any personal devotion, loyalty or a personality cult surround-

Is there anything you believe should be changed in the way we do politics in the UK?

ing Theresa May. I think in the UK we do have a pretty good tradition of thinking about local issues and there is still nothing that tops canvassing, foot

Jed I think one of the most interesting things,

on the ground, in some backstreet somewhere.

which I have seen from the Labour Party, is the

There’s still nothing that can replace that and talk-

way that technology is used, particularly for polit-

ing to local people about local issues.

ical campaigning. If you are politically aligned to a party, you get this app up on your phone, and it

Jayne What I think we’re starting to do now

will let you bank from your own mobile phone on

is listen more. You go and knock on doors and

behalf of the party. There’s so much on social me-

you say to people, “What are you worried about?”

dia as well, but it still could be improved. Online

People open up and they tell you what they’re wor-

discourse in general could be improved.

ried about. Then you have the chance to take that back and do something with it.

Jayne It’s a brilliant tool, the Internet, but because it’s so flat and democratic, it means that lots

Jed I think one of the interesting things that

of voices come through because they’re persistent

could come out of Brexit happening, or not hap-

rather than for other reasons.

pening, is far greater devolution. Putting more power into those communities is one of the ways

Jed It can be used really well if it’s done right.

we can bring the country together really well.

Jayne Everything like this lags behind the rest

Jayne In Cornwall, we have more devolution

of society, and we’ve been running to catch up. I

than any other rural area and more of that—

think that Labour certainly had the edge in June

more power in local hands—can be a really good

2017 and the Conservatives have been trying to

thing. The difficulty is that the average wage [in

catch up, but it’s the way you use the tools that are

Cornwall] is lower than the national average, and

available as well. You have to have proper conver-

because of where we are, and lots of people buy-

sations. You have to use it to engage, rather than

ing second houses here, housing prices are higher



than average. The gap is much bigger here than

relationship. We definitely could do better in terms

it is in other places. We received an awful lot of

of being involved in the community. I took a year

European funding here and it made a lot of differ-

out because I got offered a place at this campus as

ence, but has that made any difference to wages

an alternative offer, because I’d originally applied

on the ground? The Council has agreed to pay the

for this course at Exeter. I don’t know whether you

foundation living wage to all their employees and

know Northampton, quite a big town—

to negotiate it with all new staff contracted post April 2019. Considering the public sector is the biggest employer down here, it will take the public

Jayne I come from Banbury. My grandparents lived in Silverstone.

sector to raise wages for anything to change. Jed It’s a big town, close to Birmingham, close

What do you think causes tension between the community and the students in Falmouth?

to London. So the idea of moving down to Cornwall was… well, that’s why I took a year out. But I came down here and saw how beautiful a place it is, how

Jayne I think, if there is a tension, it’s probably

it is absolutely nothing like Northampton.

because of a lack of forethought. I think the university was always envisaged to be spread along the

Jayne It’s not that similar to Northampton,

A30 so the benefits would be felt across Cornwall,

that’s true. Be careful, Cornwall draws you in. I

and of course that didn’t happen. It became very

could have left years ago.

localised in Penryn and Falmouth. Jed [Staying after my degree] is something I’ve Jed I work at a local supermarket, a very big

thought about, I can get really attached to a place

one, and it’s one of the things I speak to colleagues

and a community. Being down here, it does pull

about. Most of them are locals and they say that

you in a little bit. You walk around thinking this

they don’t resent the students themselves because,

could be such a beautiful place if it got the love,

actually, we’re quite a well-behaved bunch.

the time, the money.

Jayne It’s woken Falmouth up a lot. At least we have a night time economy.

Jayne Exactly, that’s what we need to do down here and it’s already partly happening. Things like renewables and digitals and marine, these new in-

Jed However, my colleagues say that their children are having to move out of the town, pos-

dustries they’re trying to build up, trying to create those high level jobs that will keep people here.

sibly even out of the county, because they can’t live here due to the properties being bought out

Jed There’s all this talk at the moment about a

by landlords to rent out. I think something that

new, green deal. How do we restructure our econ-

needs to change on this campus is a considera-

omies so that they are for the benefit of more peo-

tion of what we can do to give back to the com-

ple and also looking after the planet? Cornwall is

munity. We’re a new campus, so it’s something we

a perfect place to do that.

could do a little bit better. I think it’s still a working



Jayne And the grounding here: the research,

Jayne Oh, well, that’s a bit of stereotyping! I’m

the university, the marine companies. There’s so

bang in the middle, I’m 46 so I’m halfway between

much here, already, that could be built on. There

the generations.

are the fishing and agricultural industries down here, which have made Brexit a real issue, because

Jed I’m not tarring everyone with the same

those industries need protection and no one quite

brush here but the feeling does exist that older

knows what’s going to happen. Most of Cornwall

people have given us Brexit, climate change and

voted to leave the EU, there is some polling that

the ability to not buy a house.

shows that a lot of people have changed their minds about that. It’s hard for Cornwall.

Jayne But have also given us peace for 70 years and a stable economy. You could say that

Jed The vote happened just before I came

as well.

down. It’s quite interesting how it’s galvanised students. Brexit has engaged a wider aspect of

Jed Statistics do show that it is harder now for

the student body. The EU is not perfect, there are

young people than it has been in a very long time

many issues that it has, but actually that European

,so a greater pitch to young people at election time

model of being part of something bigger, of being

might change that. I think mobilising the student

able to work where you want and travel where you

vote would be really good because it means that

want, is something that I think the younger gener-

political parties do have to sit up and look at our

ation buys into a lot more. It feels like we have had

young people. Even the Tories will have to look

something taken away from us.

and say this is what we have to offer you. I think we have a long way to go to improve things.

Jayne But then you have to think about why did they vote for it? Was it because there was a lot of

Jayne The whole austerity agenda has had

them feeling disenfranchised, feeling left behind?

consequences and I think those have been harder on younger people. That choice was made and I

Jed I think, certainly amongst our generation,

think Labour would say that was the wrong choice.

we do resent the older generation. There are things

It’s about looking at what we can do from now on

we look at, like not being able to get on the hous-

to make things better.

ing ladder and climate change. The fact that we are a more tolerant, open and accepting generation compared to—

Jed It’s been really good to talk to you, just because we don’t get to interact with our local representatives.

Faith Izzy Aruna  Christian and University of Exeter student Andrew Hammond  Church Minister at the Salvation Army in Falmouth


Religions and faiths differ massively across the globe, but one thing they all have in common is their fight to adapt to the ways of the 21st century. A hundred years ago, life revolved around religion, now many are non-believers or don’t practice their faith. Izzy and Andrew discuss how their faith fits in with their modern-day lives.


What does your faith mean to you?

actually give you fulfilment in life. People are looking in all the wrong places, usually because they

Andrew I grew up in a Christian home and, for

think, just like I did for many years, that those were

many years, I went along to church simply because

the things that would give them fulfilment. Then I

my parents took me there. I grew up with, in some

realised, actually, it’s only with the creator of the

respects, an unhealthy image of what Christianity

whole universe that life has all its fullness. Jesus

was about. It wasn’t until later on in life I recog-

said that he’s come so that we can have freedom. I

nised that Jesus is my true purpose for living.

don’t know about you, but everybody’s got addic-

When I start to think about what my faith means

tions, everybody’s got bad habits, they don’t know

to me, well, I think people, generally speaking, are

how to break them. The reality is they don’t have

looking in the wrong places for ultimate fulfilment.

the power to break those addictions and those

Jesus says, “I have come so that you can have

bad habits; it’s only through Jesus that they can.

life in all its fullness” but, for many years, I went

Another thing I always notice is everybody is hang-

through life with a different view. I thought I could

ing around with a load of guilt. There are things

have a full life by earning a lot of money, having

which are on their minds all the time, that they re-

a wonderful relationship, all those sorts of things,

gret doing and they want to be free from. Jesus

and I did have a very well-paid job before I went

said, “I came to Earth to rescue you all”, and for

into full-time ministry.

me, I live, let’s call it a ‘purpose-driven life’, because I have a relationship with Jesus. We all have

Izzy What were you doing?

freedom of choice, but I would encourage people to actually seek out the claims of Jesus rather than

Andrew I worked in the global business world.

thinking, “Oh that’s church, that’s something from

I drove a BMW 5 series; people would say I’d made

years ago, that’s boring”, because, certainly I, for

it. I had a wonderful wife, two children, big holi-

many years, had that view.

days every year, a nice house. Don’t get me wrong, that’s all good stuff, but all of that stuff doesn’t


Izzy Was there a specific point that was a turn-

Izzy I think you touched on something really

ing point where you thought, “I’m unfulfilled and

significant. There can be a perception that growing

not content with the direction that I’m going in

up in a Christian home means you are going to

right now”? Was there a particular moment, or ac-

become Christian, or there is a strong likelihood

cumulation of moments, that led to it?

of becoming Christian. For me it wasn’t like that, it was an accumulation of moments, of turning

Andrew You know, that’s a really good point.

points. I grew up in a Christian family, so it was

I can’t point to just one, but I can point to sever-

a familiar aspect of my life, but that didn’t mean

al turning points. I would say, it wasn’t until my

it was the core of my perspective and outlook on

adult life however, when I started to recognise that

life until much later, until towards the end of sixth

I wasn’t really getting much out of my life from liv-

form, when I truly committed. I guess my faith

ing for ‘Andrew’s purposes’ and I needed to live for

is grace, just a walk of grace. So much freedom,

God’s purposes. There’s a verse in the Bible which

love, it’s just rooted in love, and I think that fam-

says, “Your attitudes should be the same as that of

ily, community, church are all bound in the midst

Christ Jesus”, it’s Philippians 2:5. I started to rec-

of that. My faith shapes my outlook on life, but

ognise that I had been living for my own agenda,

I think that it’s nothing without my relationship

even though I’d been part of the church for such a

with God. Through that relationship, even though

long time. I recognised that, actually, I should real-

it seems on an individual basis, it’s further con-

ly be seeking to love God with all my heart, mind,

nected through your relationship with others in

soul and strength, and to really love other people

church. I don’t think this was meant to be a jour-

in a deeper and better way. I think that was a big

ney we are supposed to walk alone. You said a lot

part of my journey towards becoming a church

that I really resonate with so it’s hard to separate,

pastor. What about you?

but I guess I was just finding that I was really discontented and unfulfilled with the path I was walking on. I found such hope and truth in the word of God. I found that I was just being overwhelmed


51 and transformed through knowing him, through knowing other people through that relationship,

Andrew He has an amazing plan for you and for everybody else.

just this complete joy, I just can’t explain it. I guess I have never felt so complete with my life. Before it was so broken and such a mess, but now there is

How do you think faith and religion fit in with modern day living?

a feeling of being utterly at peace in His presence and feeling totally at home in His Church and with

Andrew If you take Western culture at the

His family. That’s what my faith means to me. It’s

moment, we talk a lot about people having a

not just this one realisation of “now I know God”,

postmodern mindset where there is, general-

it’s a journey.

ly speaking, a rejection of absolute truth claims. That’s something that quite often comes across in

Andrew It’s a constant transformation, isn’t it?

Western culture, and rejection of any group which claims to have authority. What I would say is that

Izzy Yeah, it’s daily, every single time you’re

God has given us free will to choose. In no way

choosing to turn to Him, you’re choosing to live life

would I expect anybody to have an opinion im-

with Him, not live by your own agenda but actually

posed upon them, but I also think in society at the

walking with Him. I always love that we just walk,

moment there is an openness to spirituality in its

He never asks us to do anything that He hasn’t

wider sense. People want to hear other views on

Himself done before. I just found such amazement

things, as long as it’s not imposed upon them. If I

in that idea that He’ll never ask me to do anything

speak from a position of what Jesus has done in

that He hasn’t done before.

my life, people want to listen and they are receptive. Then they have a choice of whether or not to

Andrew I think the verse and scripture you’re

check out the claims of Jesus themselves, or they

talking about is, “Walk with me, work with me,

may walk somewhere else. I look at it like this, as

watch how I do it”. It’s all about not having false

a pastor, whenever I’ve got a good idea I like to

rhythms but going with God’s rhythms, God’s

share my good ideas with my friends, and certainly

rhythms of grace.

I like to listen to my friends’ good ideas. I’m not imposing anything on anybody, but I like to lis-

Izzy His pace of grace, yeah, absolutely. I was

ten to what people are passionate about. What I

looking at something this morning about that, it

find is that, yes, clearly I have chosen to give up

just being walking in pace with His rhythm, His

a materially wealthy lifestyle to become a church

pace is not necessarily in time with ours but it is

pastor, because I believe that God loves everybody

the right tempo, the right speed and you’ll find

and He has a purpose for their life, and it’s only

such fulfilment and be sustained in that moment

through knowing Jesus that people can really have

walking with Him if you choose to do it His way.

a purpose for living. That’s what I choose to be-

What is most beautiful about everything is that it’s

lieve, that’s what I really believe is true, but that’s

a choice, everything is a choice, God has given us

a choice for people to make, God has given them

complete free will. It’s a relationship and the best

free will. I think as long as the Church goes with a

relationships are always rooted in will, you volun-

view of “this is what Jesus has got to offer, this is

tarily give yourself. I’ve have found it to be the best

something for you to consider”, then it’s not go-

journey every single time I completely surrender to

ing to be rejected by society because people can

Him, and He hasn’t let me down yet.

choose their own way. Sometimes, maybe in other

FAITH decades, the Church has come across as a little bit

conversations with people that I never thought I

authoritarian, like,”‘You will have to believe this”,

would have if I’d only been bold enough and brave

and that’s crazy, God’s given us free will.

enough to speak about what’s dear to me, what I treasure, or who God is in my life, and the hope

Izzy Yes definitely, absolutely. The idea of faith

that he brings me and everyone around me. I

coming in line with society, I would probably look

would say that it is solely a choice and it’s the way

at it from a different angle to that. I don’t think

that we interact and talk about faith within society

that faith necessarily adapts to fit within society,

which is really imperative and important. It can re-

the character and nature of God and the Word is

ally shape people’s perspective.

the same yesterday, today and forever, and that, in itself, is timeless. Who He is, is timeless. The way

Andrew It’s reaching out to everybody, isn’t it?

we apply that and connect it with our everyday

Everybody needs to shower love on everybody else.

walk in life will be different because our society is different from the society that is in the scripture,

Izzy I’ve found that people may not remem-

and that doesn’t make it any less valid or true, it’s

ber everything that you say but they will remember

just a different walk of life. The core principles and

a lot of what you do; actions speak louder than

values are the same.

words. I think we both agree that Christ lives within us, so the only thing that we can do is live out our

Andrew Because the purposes never change.

life in Him, share Him, and be ambassadors of who He is. Our relationship with God changes us and it

Izzy The way we live our faith today is different

changes the way we interact with other people, it

because of our society, just as it would be differ-

changes other relationships in our lives, and from

ent for someone on the other side of the world.

what I’ve noticed, people see a difference in that

The needs and the urgencies of that society, and

and a distinction.

the values, are different, so the way [faith] will be implemented and connected with their life will

Andrew It’s a story of transformational love.

look different. Everyone’s walk is different. Faith and your relationship with God is fundamental, but without family and Church, it is, well I suppose

Some people have a negative perception of religion, why do you think that is?

Church is the body of Christ so it’s just not the same. I find it really interesting, it’s kind of a binary

Andrew If you look back in history, and again

relationship; you can’t have one without the other.

it’s difficult to talk about because every Church

It’s almost like the egg before the chicken or the

is different, but if I can just talk about why the

chicken before the egg. It was always meant to be

Salvation Army came into being. We’re talking

community; it was always meant to be this jour-

153 years ago, the founder of the Salvation Army,

ney together, as well as having an individual walk

William Booth, a Methodist minister, found that

and relationship. Walking through society you’re

the established church in East London at that time

called to love everybody, you’re not called to be

was actually too middle class. Poor people off the

judge, jury and executioner in people’s lives. We

streets were wanting to go to church and those

were meant to share the Good News and, like you

people were being rejected. I think every Church

were saying, I think people are ready and open to

has done something harmful at some point in

listen. I’ve had the most amazing and unexpected

time, but what William Booth said was that Jesus



55 has come for the whole world, and Jesus chose to

people, who we are, how we live our lives, how we

hang out with people that the established religious

are in communities, because that’s really powerful.

people of that day were rejecting. William Booth

That we were always called to love others and just

started a new Church denomination with the aim

share the Good News and love others. Once you

of reaching out to the poor, the oppressed, the

bring in all the other aspects that are negative, they

marginalised. I think if a Christian tries to make

aren’t representative of what Christ’s mission is all

out that they’ve got it all together, that’s when it all

about, or the Grace, and why he even came in the

goes wrong. We are all broken in different ways, we

first place. It is a work in progress and we have to

all do daft things and say silly things sometimes,

be aware of it, we have to reflect on it, we have to

and I think, if you find a Christian who puts them-

keep moving forward and progressing and always

selves on a pedestal, that’s when the Church is not

turn to Him for that transfiguration and transfor-

in a healthy position. Jesus is the same today and

mation. It has to happen on an individual basis and

forever, but for anybody here on Earth: me, you,

a community basis.

everyone else, we have to recognise that we are a work in progress. What happens sometimes is people, the Church, can occasionally lose its way. We

Do you feel comfortable talking about your faith?

talked about turning and transformation and coming back to God, and I think sometimes Christians

Andrew I feel very comfortable talking about

can be the best witness possible for Jesus, but we

my faith. I only feel obliged to because I really be-

also have to recognise that sometimes we’re not

lieve that Jesus is in my life. Why would I become

the best possible witnesses as well. It doesn’t mat-

a church pastor? Nobody’s holding a gun to my

ter if I talk to elderly people or young people, they

head. I do this out of a love for God and everything

can point to examples of love being shown through

that He’s done for me. As I said earlier on, if you

Christians, but they can also point to examples of

just base this from a position of sharing a good

people being unloving as well. I think that’s just a

idea. I think people want to share good ideas, so

case of every individual having to think through

for me this is far more than a good idea, this is

where they are because at the end of the day, they

Jesus, who gives me complete purpose for living,

are the Church, they are representing the Church,

who gives me complete fulfilment, complete free-

and people will make an opinion based on what

dom of life. He’s forgiven me for everything I’ve

they see.

done wrong and, I believe, a future home in heaven because I have that wonderful relationship with

Izzy From my experience, moving from dif-

him. Jesus has done everything I need, I just had to

ferent Churches, and from what I’ve heard from

accept the free gift of Jesus into my life. I just can’t

other people and what I can see, the Church has

help but want to share the love of Jesus with other

had a perception of seeming intolerable, judge-

people. Sometimes, in the past, people would’ve

mental closed off, and that we keep to ourselves.

gone around with great big placards with things

Almost like the Church is still the Church, but it’s

like, “Turn or burn”, and that’s clearly inappropri-

only for those who are within it, and I don’t think

ate. I find that people want to have a conversation

that’s the correct attitude. I don’t think Christ has

with me about Jesus, as long as it’s at their speed

ever represented that. There is, and always will be,

and wherever they are on their faith journey. I have

strides that we have to work on and look to Jesus

people who are coming along to this church who

to reflect and introspect on how we interact with

are in their early 20s and do not have a faith with


Jesus, but they want to find out more, and they

because it’s just not the right time. I’d love to live

want to share what’s going on. There are people

every opportunity and every day wake up and be

in the streets who want to talk about a particu-

like, “Wow, it’s a good day, how can I share about

lar issue, and I just share with them what I believe

Your Good News today”, and just open opportuni-

Christ has done for me, and what I believe the

ties for me to do that.

Bible teaches. Then it’s something for them to reflect upon. I’m always excited to talk about Jesus.

Andrew I genuinely think that people who are part of church congregations are probably more

Izzy I do feel comfortable talking about my faith

powerful than church ministers. I’ve only been a

and about my experience walking in faith. People

minister for two years, but when somebody knows

are always curious to hear about what that’s been

that you go to church as part of the congregation,

like, regardless of whether they themselves want to

they see you as a satisfied customer. When I was in

choose to do the same. You said something that I

the business world, people saw it as, “He goes to

thought was important, that you never know what

church, he’s a satisfied customer”. Now that I’m the

point anyone is at with their spiritual journey, and

pastor, they think I’m a salesman.

you have no idea the impact you could have and the part you could be in that spiritual journey that they’re in. Whether that’s just a conversation, a

Izzy Do you think people are more untrustworthy of church leaders?

coffee, a hello or anything, you have no idea. I just feel this unexplainable joy through knowing Christ,

Andrew Yeah. I think sometimes people think,

and I think when you feel that way, it’s kind of un-

“He’s paid to do that”, but I don’t get paid much

containable; you just want to share it. The way you

and that’s not the point, I’m doing this because I

do that is definitely a bit more intentional perhaps,

really believe in it. I think in the past, people have

and most of the time I’ve found it’s been sponta-

thought it’s the vicar’s job or the pastor’s job or

neous. I think that also, our faith is not this com-

whoever, but actually it’s the Church’s job, in

partmentalised part of our life, it’s the core anchor

terms of the congregation, to share the Good News

that shapes our outlook on life. So through that,

of Jesus.

naturally, God or church usually springs up in conversation, but obviously that’s a big generalisation.

Izzy I did a year abroad in South Korea as part

I do feel comfortable talking about it, but I think

of my degree. I went to a church whilst there and

the extent of how much I talk about it depends on

they called their community groups a cell group.

who I’m talking with. Like both of us have said, it

I always found it a really odd name to call it un-

is a choice, it is a free will, it is up to every indi-

til I realised, after some time, what it meant; the

vidual. If they want to probe then they can probe,

Church is the body of Christ and each communi-

but it isn’t anything to be imposed on, it’s just a

ty is a cell. It all just made sense, no one person

complete and open invitation. I would love to be

is more important than another in this walk with

part of that process of offering that invitation and

God. As a Church and as a community, it’s like we

sharing that news. I definitely do have friends in my

are the Church, you are the Church and every in-

life that I haven’t had that conversation with yet

dividual is important.


Education Chris Bigland  Falmouth Open Officer and Falmouth University student Ruth Grimmer  Senior College Operations Officer at the University of Exeter, Cornwall


It has been argued that the source of much tension in the local community arises from the impact the universities have on the lives of the long-term residents of Cornwall, but how much of these tensions are based on truth and what about the people who attend the universities? Ruth and Chris discuss their thoughts on it from a staff and student perspective.


Ruth I joined the University in August 2013. Since that time the University of Exeter has seen modest growth of between 90–100 additional students a year. In terms of my role within the University, it has changed completely from a largely internal, campus focused role supporting the student journey, education and academic direction in Cornwall to a very varied and far more externally focused role. I love the variety and that no two days are the same. Some days I can be teasing through and negotiating the funding and other days supporting a pilot of the Student Warden Scheme in Falmouth or attending awards ceremonies, such

How has the expansion of the universities affected your time in Falmouth?

as the recent Falmouth Community Hero awards and watching our first Student Wardens receiving the Special Recognition Award in our first year

Chris Here’s a fun little study break game;

of operating the scheme! This week I agreed that

head over to any Falmouth news website, find any

we would fund a third of the replacement seagull

‘bad news’ story about the state of the towns, press

proof bags in Cornwall but then moments before

Ctrl+F, type in “students” then scroll down to the

that I was talking to a mum (with her son’s permis-

comments. Now I’m not saying every story will be

sion!) about some concerns she had around her

followed by raging locals blaming the town’s is-

son. Our activity base in Cornwall has grown ac-

sues on the student population, but you know, it

ademically, in research and with our engagement

happens. Like I say, brilliant procrastination. But

with the resident community. Obviously not all in-

jokes aside, there’s no denying that students aren’t

teractions are positive but generally, I like that I am

a popular breed here in Falmouth.

empowered to spend time getting to understand


what the issues are and how we can best take things forward in the most constructive way.

Chris I think we could interact better. I’m aware that the relationship with the local community is not as good as it could be and we are al-

Chris As a student on the Falmouth cam-

ready trying to improve this by encouraging them

pus, these expansions are very positive because it

to use more of our facilities, involving our sports

means the university is listening to us.

teams together and creating platforms for them to communicate on. The Netball team plays local

How do you think students and locals could interact better?

teams more than once a week, inviting them to our sports centre. Many of our students have joined the Falmouth town football teams.

Ruth Since the first intake of students at the Penryn (then Tremough) campus in 2004 we saw

Ruth In truth, the vast majority of people I talk

rapid growth in the first few years and then this has

to are positive, they recognise the benefits of hav-

steadied off. That growth inevitably had an impact,

ing the universities here. Where there are issues

both positive and negative. Falmouth is a thriving

the key thing is to talk, to better understand and

town 52 weeks of the year. Employability is higher

look at how we best take things forward. I loved

than in any other part of Cornwall, as are income

Harry Bishop’s ‘cup of tea’ initiative last year, and

levels. These changes, of course, also come at a

our Student Wardens this year continue to build

time when the population, in general, is growing.

on this—get neighbours talking, retain and build

Culture is changing in terms of social life, there

the communities—which going forward may well

are more car users, more homeowners, more de-

be a different mix of long-term and transient

mand for housing, Falmouth docks are thriving

populations. We’ve funded an additional post for

and all these put pressures on the system and in-

Falmouth Town Council to support things on the

frastructure. The local area is impacted by these

ground too and seek to work with Falmouth and

things, and this is then compounded by the growth

Penryn Town Councils to be upstanding members

of the universities.

of the community and to positively contribute, and


63 where issues arise, to be honest about them and

job role. Depending on the industry that the stu-

look to see how we improve things going forward.

dent would want to get into. For example, Graphic Design students learn how to develop their port-

Do you think rural areas like Cornwall should have a larger focus on skilled work and internships, rather than degrees, because of its location?

folio and how to be employable to a graphic design agency. But yes I think we should introduce courses that are more relevant to the local areas like farming and business development in order to involve the community more. And at the end of the

Ruth I think a healthy community and a healthy

day, the universities will always generate people

economy needs a rounded set of skills and a mix of

coming to Cornwall to bring their different experi-

people. Statistics show that historically Cornwall

ences and skill sets with them.

has had a low uptake of people going to university. This is part of why this campus is here—to help, long term, to build aspirations and to encourage

How do you think universities negatively impact Falmouth and the surrounding areas?

and support people of all ages to achieve their full potential no matter their background or starting

Chris In recent years, this has become a top-

point. That full potential won’t look the same for

ic of heated debate in local communities across

everyone, and nor should it. For some, skilled work

Cornwall. There are competing views on whether

might suit, for others an internship and learning on

a greater number of student abodes, particularly

the job, for others degree apprenticeships and for

off-campus, triggers this negativity.

other a more traditional degree—full or part-time. Our role is to support the education infrastructure,

Ruth It is inevitable that there are negatives to

raise aspirations through our outreach work in

having two successful institutions based locally.

schools, holding public engagement activities like

We need to be honest about issues that arise, like

Science in the Square and taking part in commu-

if there is noise or litter or disrespectful behav-

nity events to take what we do to resident commu-

iour. We also need to recognise how much of that

nities of all ages. We also work with business, over

is caused by the universities being here and how

500 local businesses currently, supporting their

much is just society evolving.

development and growth and thus improving the economy of Cornwall which in turn hopefully flows

Chris I like to use the acronym “Nimby” in

back to increase skills jobs, internships and people

these circumstances, meaning: Not In My Back

being able to stay or return to Cornwall and have

Yard. Because while the university has benefited

rewarding careers at all levels.

the local towns, it’s not until someone studying at university moves into the house next door to you

Chris I agree, I believe they can both work together and it all comes down to what is relevant for

that the negativity comes, because they start to see how it will directly affect them.

the individual. Internships are useful because they give people opportunities to be paid to work and

Ruth There’s a different night time economy

learn on the job. Like artists would be more likely

than perhaps when we were growing up, more

to stay in rural areas because there are inspira-

car usage in towns that weren’t designed for the

tions and entrepreneurship. Similarly to vocational

motor vehicle, and the pressures a growing com-

degrees, as they are directly linked to a particular

munity has on infrastructure. We try to positively


engage by working with local youth sports teams

institutions also bring a degree of cultural diversity

and schools, as Chris said earlier. 1000’s of hours

to the town, which it otherwise significantly lacks.

of volunteering work are undertaken by students

Not all students can be tarred with the same “stu-

and staff each year in the local area—everything

dentification” brush. Indeed, many students like

from Memory Café, to the donkey sanctuary, to

myself complain about the anti-social behaviour

raising money for local charities, to beach cleans

of not only our fellow students but many of the

and environmental causes. We have then listened

locals too.

to issues that arise such as concerns over a lack of a 24/7 helpline, there now is one. Concerns about

Ruth Exactly, we have a massive positive im-

litter and rubbish and impact on beaches, we’ve

pact! Lowest unemployment in Cornwall, highest

put in place Student Wardens and funded an addi-

wages in Cornwall, 500 local businesses being

tional post with Falmouth Town Council. We then

supported. Currently, over 250 Cornish school

also work closely with Cornwall Council, Falmouth

children engaged in the Exeter Scholars scheme

Town Council, Penryn Town Council and other au-

where we work with year 12 and 13 children to sup-

thorities to ensure that we pre-empt issues where

port them ahead of applying to university. A recent

possible and deal with others in a robust and

economic impact report showed that in 2015/16

transparent way. We also have a newsletter that

the University of Exeter supported £73.4m of activ-

goes to every household to help keep in touch and

ity in the local economy and created over 850 FTE

build bridges.

jobs. An estimated £22m and 196 FTE jobs were supported by the personal expenditure of students

Chris I think it is felt that the university is

and their visiting family and friends in that same

growing too fast and that locals have little power

year, £4.6m of which was due to the international

to change what’s happening in their town, mean-

students we attract. In addition to the cold hard

ing that a growing sense of community disempow-

facts, our staff and students also have undertaken

erment occurs. The situation is still bad for stu-

thousands of hours of volunteering and communi-

dents, too. We often face extremely high rent, with

ty work. We have active projects in local schools.

monthly fees often exceeding £500 to £700 for

Generation Wild works with local schools and

poorly maintained properties, owned sometimes

youth groups, for example, to teach children about

by absent landlords.

local wildlife and nature. One of our students last year clocked up over 1000 hours volunteering for

How do you think the universities benefit Falmouth and the surrounding areas?

St Johns Ambulance. The list goes on. We support the Cornwall School Games, host activities such as Science in the Square, sponsor Falmouth

Chris Of course the universities bring substan-

youth football and Penryn youth rugby and netball

tial benefits to the local economy, especially in

teams, and our CSM Rugby is an established part

terms of job creation, supporting some 200 full-

of the local league.

time equivalent jobs in Penryn and Falmouth. The


Pride Rhyana Shah  Treasurer for Pride Society and Falmouth University student Matthew Kenworthy Gomes  Chairperson for Cornwall Pride


Next year, millions of people will be celebrating 50 years since the Stonewall Uprising, which saw the liberation of the LGBTQ+ community. However, there is still resistance, especially in rural areas of the country, where the LGBTQ+ community may not be as prominent as it is in other areas. Through their own experiences of being the minority, in a number of different ways, Matthew and Rhyana have come to realise that love is love, and the most important thing is having an open mind and accepting everyone as they come.


How do you think the LGBTQ+ scene could be more widely engaged with the people of Cornwall?

specifically about one location, it’s about bringing the whole LGBTQ+ community together. I’ve done so much outreach work. Newquay is an amazing place for Pride to be, then we have people and di-

Rhyana It seems ironic considering where

alogue happening in Bude, again loads of people

we are, but I personally think we need to attract

getting involved. Then you have the Launceston

straight audiences to gay events. It sounds like a

area, Camborne, Redruth and Penzance. The bus

big leap and everyone’s like, “Gay safe spaces”, but

tour was amazing.

you’re isolating allies by creating this segregation. At a lot of my events, I make people aware that you

Rhyana I remember the bus tours. For context,

don’t have to be LGBTQ+ to go to these events.

Matthew and his team organised an ‘11-destina-

It’s not like only Jewish people go to Bar Mitzvahs.

tions-in-one-day pop-up Pride’ that went across

I don’t think you should have to be an LGBTQ+

the whole of Cornwall. It took us about 14/15 hours

person to go because that shows a level of segre-

that day. It was insane. The first bus tour of Pride

gation and is self-isolating. I want to bridge that.

ever to happen.

We need to break down the feeling of ‘me versus them.’

Matthew The first ever tour of Pride in the world and we’re going to do it again, but not in one

Matthew Which is created by the media.

day. Let me ask you a question, out of the engagement of people, where do you think is the least

Rhyana It sure is. It’s created by bias systems; it

amount of engagement? Which town?

is created by generational oppression. Rhyana I honestly would have to say Truro. Matthew If you look at different things that are going on in Cornwall, from my perspective, we

Matthew It is, absolutely. It is so bizarre! The

have an outreach which is Cornwall Pride. It is not

people of Cornwall are incredible, and they have


so much love, and so many want to do something

and do different things. Falmouth is an incredible

different and yet our city, Truro, doesn’t. It’s like oh

place because it’s so much younger; you have all

my god, what are you doing?

the students that drive this energy and, you know what, without the universities, Cornwall would be a

Rhyana I noticed that when we went to Hayle we had a small turn out, but it gradually got bigger

very different place, because that energy spills off into everywhere within the Duchy.

and, in the end, they decked out a whole shop for us. There were kids as young as nine and ten, front

Rhyana What you want to do with Cornwall

rows decked to the nines; it was amazing. Then

Pride and what I want to do with the FXU Pride

you go to Truro and there were disgruntled people

Society feel like very similar things, but we have

saying that we were being too loud at 3pm on a

slightly different demographics. I want to align


those so that we get everyone. I want people of all ages to feel welcome. I want people of all genders,

Matthew We were very loud!

of all sexual orientations. I want every minority and every majority to feel included again. I want

Rhyana We were very loud but it was 3pm on

to work out how to do this. I remember very dis-

a Saturday and I think if they have a problem with

tinctly, on that bus tour I asked you how you felt

that they should go live in the sticks.

about the fact that the Cornwall Pride committee was entirely made up of white men, and that’s a re-

Matthew But again, you look at the demo-

ally weird thing for a diversity group, but I also un-

graphics of Truro; Truro is much older. Much, much

derstand. I was just part of a documentary run by

older. You look at our city as being the heart of

students called the ‘point-two-percent’ because

Cornwall, and this is personal opinion, but I don’t

that’s what my demographic is: the black people.

think it necessarily is. You have different hearts of

We make up 0.2% of the general population here

Cornwall, you have different vibes, different en-

[in Cornwall]. The demographics are incredible.

ergies and different people wanting to celebrate

I don’t know how Cornwall got to be this white


71 and how it never slowly transferred, but I lived in

generally, across the country. Cornish culture is

Wiltshire for years and that was pretty white too. I

so strong because of the Celts, and whether belief

want to bridge those communities, I want to get all

systems are there or not, you can take tradition

of the minorities and all of the majorities and start

and celebrate it. For example, St Piran is Christian

that cohesive conversation.

but you can still celebrate a person without necessarily celebrating the religion.

Matthew Again, that is driven by having such an incredible place like the university because you

Rhyana We’ve been celebrating Christmas

have different people that come down to Cornwall,

for the last three months. We all celebrate it, and

like yourself, that come and enjoy what Cornwall

we all lose our minds for this capitalism, but that

is about. Cornwall is one of the most incredible

doesn’t mean we’re all Christians.

places in the world. Matthew We just enjoy being together and be-

What do you think could help bridge the gap between the students and the locals?

ing part of the tradition that is Christmas. I think it would be a really interesting way to bring everyone together. What I’m trying to do is bring Cornish tra-

Matthew Cornwall is missing its traditions, so

ditions into Cornwall Pride. We will be having tra-

one of the things that could potentially bridge the

ditional music, traditional dance, all on Cornwall

communities together would be introducing the

Pride day to bring people together, not just being

universities to Cornwall’s traditions. As simple as

strictly LGBTQ+, because it’s more about it being

it is, the Flora Dance or Saint Piran’s Day, things

a celebration of love.

from Cornwall’s culture, to bring it to life, to actually make a statement that would allow the older

Rhyana There is definitely a divide between the

generation to stand up and go, “Hang on a min-

minorities and the majorities of all groups. There is

ute, why are they doing that and why are we not

also a divide between the traditions and traditions


dying. And there is a divide between the locals and the students.

Rhyana How do we bridge the gap without people thinking that young people are trying to

Matthew To be able to bring the students and

take over or steal from the Cornish? How do we

the community back together, I mean desperately

do this?

trying to use those traditions where it isn’t necessarily old versus young. What we have at Pride

Matthew Involvement. So, for example, you

is such an eclectic group that comes from every-

have St Piran’s Day on the 5th of March. Falmouth

where: whether students, non-students, locals,

has a lot of stuff going on there, we will have a

holidaymakers, whatever, under the very basic

lot of stuff going on in Newquay as well. So intro-

banner of love. You were talking about being able

ducing that into the universities and driving that

to bring different people into Pride and how it isn’t

cultural connection, which could potentially con-

just the LGBTQ+, you should be involving other

nect the students back to Falmouth, and actually

people in it.

get people to stand up and say, “These people are wanting to be involved in what we do.” The oth-

Rhyana I’ve been held back by really frustrat-

er part of that is that traditional culture is dying,

ing stereotypes my whole life and these last couple


of years I’ve embraced them. I have been ‘the angry

have, anything can get anywhere very very quickly.

black woman’ and it was amazing! It was a great

I understand that the whole point of us is that we

thing to do, but I want to show people that I’m

are the community without labels, but we don’t

more than that. I am someone who can have a ra-

seem to be able to agree on what the labels that

tional conversation with someone who has oppos-

we do have mean anymore, and that doesn’t help

ing views. My parents are both tolerant but don’t

us in terms of our own representation and our own

understand their intolerances. They are super for

understanding. I would like more positive encour-

gay marriage but don’t want it in their face.

agement for people to identify as whatever they want and not be afraid to change their minds.

Matthew You can celebrate having a wedding because you’re having a wedding as a man and a

Matthew How would you feel in the mindset

woman, but I’m now married, I celebrate that and

that Pride is obviously LGBTQ+, but now just cele-

it was good. The response from most people was

brates the right to be able to be different and just

great and other people just ignored it.

love who you want to love? That doesn’t necessarily mean that it is not LGBTQ+ anymore, it is more

Rhyana A quote I absolutely adore is, “Why is

than that. It means that you have the celebration

it called gay marriage? Why can’t it just be mar-

and the commemoration of the people who have

riage?” It is because some people can’t get married

fought to get to this position but celebrate it fur-

because they’re gay. So we call it gay marriage to

ther, with everyone.

get rights. Once we all have equal rights everywhere for marriage it’ll stop getting called gay marriage.

Rhyana Pride is more than just your sexual or

It’ll be just marriage. I’ve had a lot of conversations

gender orientation and attraction, it is so much

like that. They’re like, you can’t force people to be-

more than that now and I think the word Pride

lieve what you believe, and I’m like yeah, but I can’t

means we need to take pride in what we are and

sit here and deal with intolerance either. I try not to

stop the segregation of, “Oh, I’m this type minority,

be preachy, but I’m trying to educate.

I’m that minority, I’m this label, I’m that label.”

Matthew And we don’t want segregation, but we need segregation for safe spaces. It’s an almost

Matthew Fab, be that label but celebrate it together. It doesn’t matter what you call yourself.

impossible task. Rhyana Just don’t be angry at each other

Are there difficulties within the Pride community?

about being different. Matthew Whatever you want to be, you be. But

Rhyana There needs to be less in-fighting. I un-

it’s about being together and celebrating the right

derstand that everyone has an opinion. Now you

to be whoever you want to be, and love whoever

can put out your opinion in less than 140 charac-

you want.

ters on Twitter, so anyone can have that vocal persuasion, and with the on-demand media that we


Mental Health Tom McIntosh  Founder of Ambition In Mind Society and Falmouth University student Joe Sabien  CEO of Penryn Sea Sanctuary


Mental health awareness has flared dramatically in the last decade, but services around Cornwall are known to be stretched, especially with extra pressure from students at the universities. Both Joe and Tom have taken it upon themselves to tackle the effects of mental health in their own ways. They discuss how important it is for grassroots organisations to work alongside the NHS when dealing with mental health.


How do you think attitudes towards mental health have changed over the past 30 years?

Tom Yeah definitely. Joe Showing vulnerability, as far as I’m concerned, isn’t a weakness. It’s a great strength be-

Tom I’ve personally seen a change. Back when

cause it takes courage to do that and to expose

I was a kid it was very much, “You’re a guy, keep

ourselves. I think you’re right, in terms of there

it inside, don’t worry about it.” Attitudes were, es-

being more knowledge around mental health and

sentially, very dismissive when I was young. That

more open discussions around it. Unfortunately,

could be partly because of where I lived, or just

what isn’t running parallel is the funding to imple-

the people I was with, but I’ve definitely seen that,

ment what you’re discovering. You may find that

in the past few years, there’s a much bigger under-

actually talking about it is good but it also high-

standing of how talking helps. There’s more of a

lights a massive problem and the massive problem

push towards showing what you’re going through

in itself can’t be supported by existing provision

rather than hiding it. People are starting to real-

within communities in the country. What you’re

ise the effects of keeping everything internal and

finding is a lot of disjointed thinking around how

suppressed, and how that can actually be so much

to improve it. So talking about it, that’s great, but

worse. Obviously, it’s still not perfect. People are

then there’s knowledge and what we do with that

still scared to talk about things. I don’t know if

knowledge. Individuals doing good things, pock-

everyone is receiving the right kind of help to get

ets of fragmented mental health provision around

them to open up, but it’s definitely moving in a

the UK but what we’re not looking at often enough

more progressive direction.

is joined-up thinking. Within children’s services, as an example, there’s a void of provision. Within

Joe I would agree with you in part. I think

Cornwall you’re looking at ever decreasing amounts

there’s some fear, certainly from men, around ap-

of money coming in for support and you’re looking

pearing vulnerable, when actually vulnerability al-

at really tight thresholds for helping people. What

lows us to connect with people.

you end up with is the results of that being we’re


talking about it a lot and we’re highlighting it, but

externally of the NHS. Obviously, the NHS are mak-

actually there’s not really much we can do about

ing some great progress in the area, but it’s the

it. Then when you look at the money invested by

little groups that take it upon themselves to really

the government, millions of pounds promised, and

help people that make the best progress in their

often we don’t see it. We certainly don’t see it on

own respective fields. But then it’s about collating

the front line down here. So we don’t know where

all of that, isn’t it?

the money goes. It seems that it goes into research that each year generates reports saying too many

Joe Yeah.

people have suicidal ideation, too many people are being abused, too many people are traumatised, but we don’t have the money to then support

Tom And about using that in a wider scheme, I guess.

all of these people. I’m quite positive as a person, but I think we’ve got an awful long way to go, and

Joe You are right in some ways. The NHS is

in some ways we’re taking a lot of retrograde steps.

doing amazing work. There’s a lot of (and this is

I can’t remember the film but it said, “We live in

me speaking personally and not on part of the

strange times, neither savage nor wise” and I think

charity) programmes and modalities, for example,

that’s where we are. We’re sitting in this kind of

cognitive behavioural therapy, which are intro-

no-man’s-land. We have all this knowledge. We’re

duced only because they are politically and finan-

talking about it but there’s something preventing

cially driven. In other words, if you present at your

us, and that’s generally funding, from actually ac-

GP surgery a form that says you need six sessions

cessing it. I sound like the Grim Reaper, don’t I?

of cognitive behavioural therapy. It costs X for six.

Do you know what I mean?

There’s your treatment, there are your treatment finances for that one person. If you look at anything

Tom It definitely rings true. There’s the increase in knowledge, but I do get what you mean. There’s a lot of groups that take their own initiative

that’s meaningful and long-term, where you’re


79 going to connect, where you develop trust, all the

NHS to speak to us and ask what needed to be

things arguably you need beyond just six sessions,

changed. There was someone in that meeting who

they’re not accounted for in the budget lines and

spoke about what they were going through and the

therefore they’re not offered. Now, sometimes, if

medication that they needed. They were actually

someone’s bordering on being dead or wanting

recommended to go out of Cornwall to source the

to be dead, they may very well be escalated to a

required medication because it was going to be

psychologist, or they’ll get a home treatment team

harder for them to get hold of it down here.

who ramp up the services, but it’s all within this medical model and that has a number of pitfalls.

Joe I mean, I’ve been here for 18–19 years so

Not for everybody, it’s great for some, but by and

I suppose, as far as I can see it, I would agree that

large for the walking wounded, people with mild

things seem sketchy here in some ways. I think this

to moderate mental health, they don’t get picked

is probably part of a global epidemic of poor men-

up at all. They are just the grey people walking on

tal health handling. Down here we’ve got the rural-

amongst us; the one in four, and invariably they

ity to consider, which adds another dimension in

have no treatment. No support. Nothing at all. And

terms of isolation, loneliness, transport links, and

that’s how it is.

everything else. We do have some really amazing charities and third sector organisations, but often

Do you think the treatment available for mental health problems in Cornwall is different to what is available in the rest of the country?

they’re quite fragmented, they don’t work together, and you end up with voids between services. I think there are too few organisations chasing an ever-decreasing pot of money to provide care, third sector care, and as a result of that I think

Tom I guess for me that’s a hard one to answer

sometimes people hold on to their patients or cli-

because I haven’t been here very long, so I don’t

ents too long. What they should be doing is sign-

have a great deal of knowledge on what is offered

posting or referring, which is a better way of doing

down here.

it, over to other services. I think Cornwall struggles in terms of its investment and money for Children

Joe Where are you from?

Adolescent Mental Service, they have insufficient funding. I think in a one year period they had 5000

Tom Surrey, originally.

referrals, of which they could only support about 60%, some of those being children who are waiting

Joe Richmond way?

seven or eight months. In my other role as safeguarding governor with a local school, we often

Tom Guilford. Thereabouts anyway. It does

see people referred in for treatment who are signif-

seem like there’s a bit less down here. You know,

icantly ill but they still don’t meet the threshold. I

at home if you are referred, the furthest you have

don’t think that’s unique to Cornwall. We just don’t

to go is about half an hour to get anywhere, where-

invest enough money in mental health treatment

as down here, I don’t personally know but from

and preventative work.

what other people I’ve spoken to said, they’ve had to travel further distances to receive even short counselling sessions. At the meeting that we had the other day, someone came down from the

MENTAL HEALTH Tom I think it’s definitely a wide-spread thing,

got someone that’s lived here all their lives, and

although the kind of needs are different place-

lets say they’re 60, then you’ve got someone at 18

to-place, and the provisions may be slightly dif-

who’s just come out of London and they’re both

ferent. Generically, it’s the whole system that’s

going through the same thing, then they kind of

struggling, rather than just individual places within

get this realisation of, “maybe it’s not just me. If

that system.

someone with a completely different life can feel the same way that I feel, maybe it’s not that bad.”

Do you think there’s anything that the students and the local community can do together to help each other?

Joe I think that it would be good for people to identify with each other, irrespective of their demographics and where they’ve lived, and whether

JoeI think a better understanding of the re-

they’re a student or an OAP. If you can say that

spective problems is probably discussion-worthy,

anymore, OAP, but an older adult. I think there’s

but it is every year and, you know, each year you

something there around bringing people togeth-

have students arriving, with their own unique set

er with a common theme. You need your common

of issues around isolation, loneliness and maybe

goals. What are they? Well, actually it’s, “I feel

adjustment disorders and so on, and actually I

lonely as a student” or “I feel lonely as an OAP.” I

think there’s, probably in the local community in

think there are initiatives set up in other countries

part, a lack of understanding and empathy with

(not surprisingly) that sometimes bring younger

that. What could we do to fix that? I guess com-

people and older people together. I think it’s in

munity outreach works, community workshops. As

Holland, they run a project where students may

to the uptake, that’s a different matter. You’ve al-

even stay with the older people, they give them

ways got to look at the barriers or the resistance to

company, breaking down isolation and loneliness.

something. If there’s something proposed, it may

As a result of that, the student gets to learn and

be great and there’s still resistance, what’s the re-

gets to develop empathy with that older person as

sistance about? Sometimes it’s apathy, sometimes

well. I think it’s quite a powerful way of doing it.

it’s people that don’t emphasise, and sometimes people just don’t give a monkey’s.

What effect does social media have on mental health?

Tom It always seems hard to get people what they need in terms of opening up. Trying to get peo-

Tom It can be both very good and very bad.

ple to really connect with one another, it’s all down

It depends on the way it’s used. If we look at it

to them really. If they want to do it or if they’re in

from a good perspective, there is an incredible

the right situation to do it. So maybe some way of

amount of self-help on the internet and social me-

integrating that. Having people refer to some other

dia. Things that, in a moment of crisis, you might

places in group therapy, which includes students

be able to find quite easily. It’s quite easy to look

and locals in a collaboration of similar minded

things up on social media, it’s quite amazing to

people, essentially. Students seeing people in the

help you out in that moment and bring you to the

community, older people, or people that are lo-

next step. Or if you look at other projects that raise

cal and have lived here all their lives. Noticing that

awareness, these days social media is probably the

you’re not all that different and you’re not the only

fastest platform for raising awareness about any-

one feeling the way you’re feeling. I guess if you’ve

thing. People share stuff on social media so it gets



83 around very quickly, so you can raise awareness of

flashed so… It’s just my wife! But I think there’s a real

these key issues. But then you’ve got the flipside of

danger of disconnection. There are a number of,

it, it’s addictive and it actually isolates people be-

to my mind, key ingredients with being connected.

cause you’re always connected. You don’t feel the

Sitting in proximity to somebody is quite useful,

urge to have a physical connection. I can’t give you

having eye contact, reading the non-verbal cues

any stats on it but I read a study about it. Because

that are there, quite aside from what they’re saying.

of their phones, people were less inclined to go

I think sometimes social media can be really unau-

out and physically meet with others, they didn’t

thentic as well, you can have real charlatans sitting

feel the urge to. You know it makes the same kind

at the end of it who are saying whatever they are

of connection and it’s this kind of instant release

saying but, actually, how authentic is that? I think

that everyone has. You’re a bit stressed, you don’t

it’s quite scary and it’s quite pervasive in terms of

want to think about it, you pick up your phone and

where we’ll be in ten years, 15 years, 20 years, and

that’s an escape. It’s a quick dopamine release.

for me, seeing images of everybody sitting down

You don’t go out and walk for half an hour to clear

all on their device and not saying a word, I think

your mind and think through your problems any-

that’s really disturbing. The way the charity runs,

more. You just quickly do something that will take

as well in terms of getting out and doing the ac-

your mind off whatever it is that’s upsetting you,

tivities, whether it’s sailing, paddle-boarding, kay-

you don’t think about it and it’s these two, almost

aking or being on board here is, as I said earlier, a

opposing, things. It can be a great awareness tool

therapeutic community, and that’s the sort of thing

but it can also be a powerful suppression tool at

that we want to avoid. We want to build up skills

the same time. So I don’t know where I stand on it

and people’s skill sets in normal, and I use that

basically, is what I’m trying to say. It can be used

term loosely, normal interactions, which I think are

in a really amazing way and it can also be used

far better. I think you, that way, you can experience

very detrimentally.

human warmth and kindness. I don’t know, there’s something about social media I think, sometimes,

Joe I would probably concur with most of that.

that’s absent.

I would say that it definitely has its advantages. I don’t have any doubt about that at all, and it can be used for social campaigns and it can bring peo-

Is there anything else you would like to add?

ple together. However, and to use your term, the flipside of that, is the isolation and loneliness that

Tom Everyone that I speak to at the moment is

sits beyond the screen. When you look at things

within a position of mental health support, the fo-

like cyberbullying, as an example, and games and

cus always seems to be the price itself. Obviously,

online stuff and Facebook, where people are seek-

that’s fully understandable. Crisis support is obvi-

ing out validation through likes. All the stuff that

ously the most critical period, it’s when things can

we’ve read about. Being a father of two relatively

go most wrong and that should be where the best

young children, I see their interactions with it. It is

services are. It just feels like this middle ground

addictive and that’s a problem for me in itself, and

is being forgotten. I believe that’s something that

I don’t just mean for children. It’s older adults wan-

needs to be tackled. It may not be that official ser-

dering around on their phones and they don’t put

vices can provide that because at the moment they

them down, they keep casting their eyes over to it,

just can’t. They don’t have the resources for it, so

as you know I’ve just done now. Mind you, mine

I think that’s where the kind of idea of community


comes into that. I want to create something that

that might be deteriorating. You know, from things

brings people together and getting them to help

like their personal hygiene, are they becoming

out with these early level preventative measures,

more reclusive? Are they not looking as good? Are

to reduce the number of people that end up in this

they not as buoyant? Have they got no hope for

late level crisis.

the future? There’s a whole raft of things that we could be doing, and should be doing, in the com-

Joe I think you’re absolutely right. The prob-

munity and in fact, this is one of the things that

lem with preventative work is often healthcare

Sea Sanctuary’s doing at the minute, working with

professionals can’t accurately evidence whether

Falmouth School. We just sent out a questionnaire

it’s had an impact or not, and I think that’s one

to parents and pupils to look at some kind of co-

of the problems. We’re in a society where the evi-

hesive strategy, because often you can have pu-

dence of everything is based on the funding, or a

pils or students who seem ok and we can do some

lot of it is. You have to evidence your interventions,

amazing work with them, then you put them back

it has to be a validated tool, and, actually, if you

into families that are often dysfunctional and all

take somebody in the six sessions and you see a

that good work, not that we’ve done but that the

marked improvement, they fill in the score, there’s

child has done, is unpicked by the family because

an improvement, you were six you’re now eight,

the family members may have mental health prob-

great, you know, well done, off you go. The real-

lems and may be sitting there smoking drugs and

ity is, however, that for most people, if you were

that child is within that environment. So you teach

in early enough with them and you look at that

them, you up-skill them, they’re great and they’re

prevention, we would find that, by and large, you

doing really hard work, and then they go home and

have far fewer visits to GPs, you have less finan-

it’s all undone. So sometimes we’re looking at that

cial drain on statutory provisions. We don’t invest,

more cohesive working, which is far better to sit

we’re not smart with it despite already knowing

down together and look through things, and the

this. What we do is we rely on so-called experts to

group work you were talking about, sort of the old-

tell us what we do, how we do it. What we should

er generation perhaps and the younger students

be looking at, personally, we should be looking

coming together. You’re looking there at what we

at more kindness, more gentleness, more affirma-

would call process groups. You sit down—the op-

tion. We should also be looking at things like daily

timum number is six to eight—and you talk about

gratitude practice. We should also be looking at

stuff and you talk about what’s important to you

things like mindfulness, actually teaching people

and you communicate and you connect. Without

how to relax, how to anchor themselves, how to

that connection, that’s where you have the prob-

keep themselves safe as opposed to expecting

lem. So, actually, sitting down and talking. But

the diazepam to do the same job. Actually sitting

kindness, gentleness these are fundamentals of

down and going through some techniques. Also

the charity. That’s why I introduce them and that’s

things like buddy systems, you know, even within

our starting point. We move on to the clever inter-

the university to encourage buddy systems, look-

ventions far later in the day because we’ve got to

ing out for each other to provide some community

start at the basics.

training to look out for somebody’s mental health


Culture Abi Aimiuwu  Student at the University of Exeter with Nigerian heritage Daniella Furgeson  Student at Falmouth University with Jamaican and Ghanaian heritage


Cornwall is often described as residing in its own little bubble, cut off from the rest of the world. But what does this mean for people who have come to Cornwall from different cultures? Abi and Daniella have first-hand experience of this, and they discuss what it is like being part of a racial minority in a predominantly white region.


Where are you from?

What made you choose Falmouth as your location of study?

Dani I’m from Surrey. It was a little too sheltered for me. It was a very white community, but

Abi I always claim that I am a big city per-

there were black people there. It wasn’t necessarily

son, but here is a nice contrast. It’s very nice, calm

a problem, but I did notice it whilst growing up.

and soothing.

Abi I claim I’m from London, but really I’m

Dani For me, I came down to Falmouth in the

from Hertfordshire. For me, it was quite similar to

summer and saw it in all its glory. Then the course

what Dani was saying; it was predominantly white.

really caught my eye.


Have you felt welcome and comfortable here?

think it would be different. I was surprised by it. I expected the student population was going to be more diverse than the rest of Cornwall.

Dani I have always thought the three-year course was too short because as soon as you start

Abi I didn’t come to Cornwall with any as-

feeling comfortable here, you’re finished. I grew a

sumptions. I came in thinking that I wasn’t going

lot more comfortable here during the second year.

to see a lot of people that look like me, but the

However, at the beginning of the year, the big step

actual lack of diversity in the student population

into a new setting and being really far from home,

was shocking. I had to make myself adapt to it,

also the race thing here was very apparent. At first,

rather than be intimidated by it. This is the reality, I

I didn’t think it was going to be a problem, but I did

personally couldn’t do anything about it.


91 Do you think that the universities are doing enough to tackle the issues surrounding diversity? Abi No! For Black History Month the university didn’t do anything. The university needs to have a more diverse compass. They need to try to celebrate our cultures and look to bring in more students of colour. All they do is say, “I recognise your culture, I recognise you”. We have the societies but we need the universities to do more because leaving it to the students can become quite taxing. Dani There is no excuse for it. Regarding Black History Month, I was really appalled to see that nothing was being done. Do they understand that I have a degree to be thinking about? I don’t have much time to organise events. Abi I’d like to see the universities attempt to actively engage in diverse student life, things that cater to minority students. Just seeing that the

Do you think the lack of diversity has affected you negatively?

university recognises diverse culture, especially because Cornwall is a very white place. Just integrating minority students’ voices.

Dani It may be subconscious. I may not be aware of it harming me. I came to university think-

Dani Being able to put in the effort to inte-

ing that I wanted more black friends. So I don’t

grate minority students. Feeling safe and secure

think it has harmed my well-being, but it was

to be able to express these issues. The universities

certainly something that I noticed. This was why I

should bring in and host more events. We want to

joined the African Caribbean Society.

see more celebration of diverse cultures. Having a bit more diversity in the prospectus that they hand

Abi I also don’t think it’s harmed my well-being,

out to students.

but I think I pick up more on the little things that I observe. When stress and work and everything ac-

Abi It seems like there is a lot of focus on get-

cumulates, I get very tired and it can be difficult

ting new students in, but when they get here there

without having more black friends.

isn’t enough going on. There are two parts to it; attracting prospective students and then main-

Dani We may be more hyper-aware of it because we are growing up.

taining that same sense of care and concern for minority students.


Is there a Falmouth/Cornish culture? Abi I haven’t noticed anything specific. I thought

Why do you think there is a struggle with diversity?

when I came here it would be different from home, and from the rest of England, but it hasn’t been.

Abi I think it is approached as a blanket issue. It is like using one approach to fit all the issues.

Dani I don’t know if it’s just because I haven’t been entirely ingrained in the local community or

Dani I don’t even know if they think about it

not, but it hasn’t been as different as I had thought

like that, like how can we do better. They do the

it was going to be.

quotas, and the least they can do so they can say, “We’re not racist.”

What do you think cultural diversity looks like?

Abi I don’t think they even think about why it’s an issue, or even if it is an issue.

Abi Everyone living in racial harmony. It’s just people living with different backgrounds, and being able to learn about and understand together

Have you guys clicked with anything at the university?

other people’s cultures. Dani There is the African Caribbean Society Dani Taking the time to understand other peo-

and I’ve started my own feminist collective, and

ple’s points of view. Just to listen to each other.

the people I’ve met and the course I’m on. I do love

Listening to each other is very important. We can

it in Falmouth, but I wish it was better.

talk to each other and have conversations with one another but is anything actually being done? There

Abi I do really love my course as well. I’ve met

needs to be action behind the conversation as well.

so many different people that I wouldn’t have been exposed to closer to home or in London. I’ve

What are your plans after university?

learned a lot more about myself being in some place that I didn’t know. The unfamiliarity has

Abi Ideally, I want to go into diplomatic servic-

been good for me.

es. So, I don’t even know about being in this country. Dani Meeting new people and extracurricuDani Most likely, I will be going back home. Because, financially, it would be more feasible.

lar things are elements which the universities are lacking in, but the core is good.

I would like to go into politics. Especially within the humanitarian and social aspects, so I don’t see myself back down here, but maybe sometime.

Abi This place has really taught me it’s about who you are with, not where you go.




Harry Bishop

Enrico Artuso



Lexi Goodland


Alice Cass


Allie Guy



Madi Pringle


Abbi Whitney Fran Northcott

Lucy Sarjeant Peter Flude


Danielle Goodland


Mikki Choy


Lesley Guy


Noah Abbott Harri McLady Katie McVey Robert Rickers Kira Taylor

Our thanks go to FXU for their constant and ongoing support in facilitating this project and to Falmouth University and the University of Exeter. Thanks to Studytel, who has generously sponsored the printing of this publication. Printed by Booths Print in Cornwall, UK. Cover | Fedrigoni Symbol Matt Plus 350 GSM Text | Fedrigoni Arcoprint 1 EW 120 GSM

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© 2019 Falmouth & Exeter Students’ Union is a registered charity in England & Wales No. 1145405.

The statements in this publication are the individuals’ own and have not been fact-checked. The views expressed do not reflect those of the universities, FXU and the team involved in its production.

Profile for Falmouth & Exeter Students' Union

Voices Volume Eight — Community Edition  

Voices is a student-led campaign headed by Falmouth and Exeter Students’ Union, providing a platform for people whose voices might previousl...

Voices Volume Eight — Community Edition  

Voices is a student-led campaign headed by Falmouth and Exeter Students’ Union, providing a platform for people whose voices might previousl...