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 Studentsâ€™ Union, providing a platform for people whose voices might previously have been lost in the noise.
VOICES VOLUME EIGHT COMMUNITY J A N U A R Y 2019
Community CORNWALL ENVIRONMENT MUSIC POLITICS FAITH EDUCATION PRIDE MENTAL HEALTH CULTURE
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 â€œthe powers that beâ€?
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
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
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 peopleâ€™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 werenâ€™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
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
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
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,
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-
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 Smithâ€ƒ Cloud 9 Events founder and Falmouth University student Will Keatingâ€ƒ 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?
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
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
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 Scolesâ€ƒ Politics and International Relations student at the University of Exeter Jayne Kirkhamâ€ƒ 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
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
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 Arunaâ€ƒ Christian and University of Exeter student Andrew Hammondâ€ƒ 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 donâ€™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
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,
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 Biglandâ€ƒ Falmouth Open Officer and Falmouth University student Ruth Grimmerâ€ƒ 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
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
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 Shahâ€ƒ Treasurer for Pride Society and Falmouth University student Matthew Kenworthy Gomesâ€ƒ 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
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-
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
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
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
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
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.
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 Aimiuwuâ€ƒ Student at the University of Exeter with Nigerian heritage Daniella Furgesonâ€ƒ 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.
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.
Josephine Walbank STRATEGIC ADVISOR
Abbi Whitney Fran Northcott
Lucy Sarjeant Peter Flude
SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR
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 individualsâ€™ 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.
Voices is a student-led campaign headed by Falmouth and Exeter Students’ Union, providing a platform for people whose voices might previousl...
Published on Jan 22, 2019
Voices is a student-led campaign headed by Falmouth and Exeter Students’ Union, providing a platform for people whose voices might previousl...