Page 1

LL

ERY V E FREE IGHT N T R O F

IT’S PANTO TIME

OH YES IT IS!

Liverpool Life ISSUE THREE NOV 8- NOV 21

AFRICA CALL FOR KEEPER

THE LAST STRAW CHRIS FIGHTS MARINE WASTE


Liverpool Life

contents Vol 6 Issue 3. November 8-21 2017

3-7

Your Guide to What’s On in Liverpool Pages 10-11

NEWS Annual Poppy Appeal returns to city streets

Liverpool’s Vegan community Page 9

8 - 26

© Tom Sutton

FEATURES Funnyman Johnny Vegas features in St Helens panto

27 - 31

Grad Watch hits Prague - Czech it out Page 26

Marine ‘keeper earns international call-up Page 14

SPORT

Boxer Bellew offers a fan the chance of a lifetime

LL Production: Anisah Arif, Ed Baldwin, Jade Culver, Jo Cunliffe, Matty Davies, James Farrington, Chloe George, Shelby Hamilton, Amy Harding, Jessica Hughes, Jasper Hunt, Becky Jones, Gemma Jones, Steph Kettle, Danny Moxon, Sara O’ Hagan, Jordan Reais, Lewis Rooke, Suzy Sankey, Daisy Scott, Matthew Skelly, Tom Sutton, Tom Swift, Tim Spencer Tanfield, Danielle Thomas, Shaniece Thompson

Front cover photo © Chris Cureton


NEWS

Foodbank preparing for busiest season

Why you’ll always get a warm Scouse welcome

By JACK BUTLER Food banks across Merseyside are braced for an increase in the number of meals they hand out over the coming months. With Christmas coming up and the introduction of universal credit across the region, there is a high chance the use of food banks across the region will see a rise in their use. The Trussell Trust, which aims to reduce and prevent hunger in the UK, has recorded a 12% increase in the number of meals handed out over the past year within communities in the North West. Richard Roberts, 53, is manager at Wirral Food Bank and spoke of how the past year has seen a moderate increase in the amount of food given out this year. He said: “We have seen a moderate increase in the volume of food we’ve handed out. If you take the period between April and September this year, we handed out 44.5 tonnes as opposed to 42 from the prior year, so there has been a moderate increase. “The amount of food handed out over Christmas tends to increase due to more challenges for people over that period and sometimes more debt.” It is believed that the rise may

LL03

By ALEXANDRA AMADEO

Increase: Foodbanks braced for demand be linked to the introduction of universal credit to areas across the UK; however, this does not come into place in the Wirral until later this month. Mr Roberts said: “Currently we are not an area where universal credit is live, that comes into place in the Wirral on November 15th. Based on the Trussel report, areas where universal credit has already been active have seen an average of 17% increase in the amount of food being handed out and eventually an average of a 30% in-

A new study ranks Liverpool as one of the friendliest cities in England. The study, conducted by holiday website TravelBird, ranked cities all over the world according to safety, happiness, capacity, and openness to tourists. It took into account what happens when tourism affects the lives of local residents, and also takes into account cities that made efforts to welcome tourists. The study found that Liverpool’s ranking when it comes to overall tourism was six out of ten, suggesting that both tourists and locals are happy co-existing in our city. Liverpool scored highly on its attractiveness to tourists, with 75 million tourists coming to see our cathedrals, museums and galleries.

© Trussell Trust

crease. An increase of even 15% would see us giving out 2,000 more meals a year.” Mr Roberts spoke about the help they receive from the people of the region: “We’re lucky here in the Wirral – the people are fantastic. We are the only food bank here in the Wirral. To have the support that we do over the region is great – we have around 300 volunteers, with the help of those along with the donations, we are able to help as many people as we can.”

Campaign to clean up Liscard By HANNAH WILKINSON Love is blossoming in Liscard with a new campaign to revamp and revive the Wirral town’s centre. The Love Liscard campaign is being run in association with Wirral Chamber of Commerce and is led by town hosts Ian Davies and Arfon Williams. Mr Williams explained the initative: “We want a nicer area for people to come and shop and engage with businesses. “We wanted to discover what their barriers to coming to Liscard are and to help the businesses overcome them barriers. “By speaking to people on the ground and working with people, like the manager of the Cherry Tree Centre, John White, we’re

getting a picture of what we can do,” Mr Williams said. The next step for the campaign was to hand out questionnaires to local businesses to see what they thought would help revamp Liscard and the top issues were parking and empty properties. “Fly-tipping is another key issue that the campaign has highlighted with rubbish, such as wood and other combustibles, being stacked by business for years.” Mr Williams said: “It’s all about listening to people, and knowing the right areas to go to get the matters addressed. “Which is what we do - some retailers don’t know who to speak to or how to fix a problem, whereas we do.” Another way in which the group

is getting its message across is with a Love Liscard gazebo, in the Cherry Tree Centre where it can speak to shoppers and find out their thoughts. Town host Ian Davies said: “It’s a small thing but again it means a lot to people. We lend our gazebo to people doing fund-raising and charity events, so that people

know we are here and we’re supporting them.” Mark Barrow, of Wirral Chamber of Commerce said: “We want to get people to focus on the common purpose, which is to make Liscard more attractive, to create footfall to businesses and the local economy and to get Liscard to prosper again.”

Hosts: Ian and Arfon from Love Liscard

© Love Liscard Facebook


04 LL NEWS

Marine expert’s mission to ban plastic straws By HANNAH WILKINSON A Merseyside marine mammal expert is campaigning to persuade Wirral businesses to reduce their use of plastic straws and help to protect sea life. Chris Cureton, from Wallasey, launched his campaign by focussing on businesses in New Brighton and Wallasey and several venues are already backing him, including Blackberry Grove; The Telegraph, Wallasey and Vale House Café by pledging to stop using plastic straws. Other businesses have agreed not to automatically put straws in glasses but will still have them on offer. Chris said: “I’m very focused on marine plastic pollution and its impact on marine life both locally and globally. After seeing some campaigns around the world attempting to reduce the use of single use plastic straws I decided to kick off the campaign locally focusing on New Brighton and Wallasey.”

By ALEXANDRA AMADEO New Brighton beach cleanup team © Chris Cureton Recent research by The Plastic Pollution Coalition, found that the UK and USA throw away 550 million plastic straws each day. On average, a plastic straw is used for 20 minutes before it ends up in the bin. These straws take over 200 years to breakdown and are one of the top 10 items found in beach clean ups. Chris said: “My wife and I are marine mammal medics and see the effects of excessive plastic use first hand and it’s not pretty! We spend a lot of our time responding

to marine mammal emergencies in the north west and North Wales. We also spend our free time with the New Brighteners our community beach clean-up group.” Chris hopes to continue to reduce the use of plastic straws throughout the rest of Merseyside by producing a window sticker to acknowledge businesses that have made the positive change and to promote the campaign with photo shoots featuring a giant bendy straw.

River of Light delight By MARCELLO DOTOLO Spectators at this year’s River of Light Festival were delighted at the vast improvements made by organisers. Around 50,000 attended the event, despite criticism thrown towards Liverpool council after last year’s disappointing effort. Speke resident Andrew Harris said: “It was absolutely class. The drummers, the fire breathers, all of it. I loved the music too, if they keep this up it’s just going to get bigger and bigger” Naomi Assad, 27,who travelled from Manchester said: “I’ve had a really fun night and the kids have loved it. Liverpool Councillor Wendy Simon said: “What an incredible show. The images from tonight will go around the world and will once again show off the city to millions. This has been a stellar year for events and gives audiences a taste of what to expect in 2018.”

Art project receives £250,000 funding and that’s a FACT

Stunning: Part of the display

© Marcello Dotolo

Liverpool-based media arts centre FACT has been awarded £250,000 by the Arts Council England. The centre has won Ambition for Excellence funding for Rewire, a large-scale project at Toxteth Reservoir in Liverpool. FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) will be using the funds to design with local people at the Toxteth Reservoir. FACT will also be collaborating with Culture Liverpool, Interactive arts studio, Invisible Flock, and Dingle 2000 to co-design innovative artworks. Using innovative technology, the project will explore the power and effect of individual agency, in the connected digital and physical world. The upcoming event will combine dynamic and digital landscapes to create a virtual urban space. Mike Stubbs, CEO of FACT, said: “FACT is about creating new spaces for genuine encounters, whether that is reimagining how digital space can be reclaimed for critical dialogue. Working with Culture Liverpool, Invisible Flock and Dingle 2000, “Rewire will do that rare thing of creating something spectacular which will leave a legacy in Liverpool for a long time, particularly as we are inviting the people of Liverpool to help us create it. I can’t think of a more fitting celebration, or a more skilled team to deliver this new commission.” Rewire will be taking place in Autumn 2018, the project will also be supported by the Liverpool City Council. Rewire is to be part of a yearlong programme of cultural projects to mark the tenth anniversary of Liverpool being European Capital of Culture, and will welcome international artists to collaborate in its creation.


NEWS

LL 05

Show of solidarity for Prescot after criminal activity rocks town By GEMMA JONES

A vigil is being organised in Prescot to show solidarity after a series of criminal incidents in the town. Two people have been killed in the past few months, as well as a spate of car vandalism and anti-social behaviour. Carl Bradbury was a close relation to one of those who died and is the man organising the event, which will take place on November 12th in the town centre. He said: “I was born and bred here. I want my town back and I want my friends, family, colleagues and neighbours to walk the streets without fear.” Many people on the Facebook

group, Prescot Chat, have agreed that the vigil is a good idea and confirmed their attendance. Katy Baker, said: “It’s been building for months with all the anti-social behaviour occurring. It’s sad that it has taken such tragic circumstances to make people wake up.” Cllr Carl Cashman, Liberal Democrat for the area, said: “These events have left the community of Prescot shaken. We must not allow fear to override our sense of community though, the best thing we can do is band together and create a stronger community where we look after one another and strongly condemn this type of horrific event. “We all know that it’s that 1%

Market Place in Prescot, where a victim was recently stabbed that are doing terrible things and we must work with the police to identify these people and put an end to this. I’m confident that the other 99% of people in this community will work together to keep this area safe.” Cllr Cashman has released a

video on his Facebook page telling residents a meeting will take place shortly, where everyone is invited to go along and air their concerns. Many people in the area have also been sharing an image with text that reads ‘Liverpool is my city #NoMoreKnives’.

LFC make living wage pledge By EVAN FYFE

Liverpool Football Club has revealed that they will be paying all staff the new living wage of at least £8.75 an hour. The announcement came during Living Wage Week, a campaign that is encouraging companies to increase their pay to ‘a fair wage for a hard day’s work’. LFC had previously paid the living wage to all fulltime members of staff, but the new announcement means all casual and parttime staff will now receive a pay rise. The move will cost the club around £1 million per match. Peter Moore, the club’s chief executive, said: “We hope that this development demonstrates how highly we value all of those who work for us, in whatever capacity that may be.” Mayor Steve Rotherham praised the decision, saying: “Not only does it show Liverpool to be a responsible and progressive employer that respects and fairly rewards all its employees, but their status as one of the world’s biggest football clubs means that their actions in this respect have set an example which others will hopefully

Adidas trainers at the Baltic festival © Evan Fyfe

Trainer festival back in Baltic Triangle By EVAN FYFE

Fair pay: The Kop end at Anfield

© JMU Journalism

Sneakerheads are set to flock to Camp & Furnace on Friday as one of the UK’s largest trainer festivals returns to the city. Laces Out! describes itself as a celebration of trainer culture and is back for its fourth and final event of the year. There will be over 30 stalls at the event selling around one thousand pairs of shoes, ranging from £30 to £1000. The event will run from 12pm until 5pm, and tickets are required for entry. They are on sale for £10 from lacesout.yapsody.


06 LL NEWS

Aftermath Dislocation exhibition at the Florrie © Tim Spencer Tanfield

Art Exhibition aids school children By TIM SPENCER TANFIELD An art exhibition is to be used as an education aid for schoolchildren across Liverpool. The brainchild of former KLF musician Jimmy Cauty, ‘ADP-1’ is currently housed at The Florrie community and heritage Centre in Dingle. It is now the artwork’s unofficial part-time home, after the shipping container graffiti mural went on display there once before. Workers at the Centre are aiming for every school in Liverpool to visit the piece as part of an education programme set up by the staff and volunteers. Speaking to Liverpool Life about the benefits of the display to people in Toxteth, The Florrie’s Anne Lundon said: “”We wanted to involve the local community and to figure out how to try and make it accessible for them.” The programme will involve one-to-one discussions with fellow peers and adults from the surrounding area, about what the art means to them and what messages they interpret from it. The Aftermath Dislocation Project opened at The Florrie opened last week, with it being free to view for the public between 4-8pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Florrie’s CEO added: “Last year when the display was here, it was the first time kids came into our Centre and weren’t causing trouble, so when Jimmy said to us that we could have the ADP-1, it was an amazing thing to do.” While Merseyside is now the ADP’s semi-permanent home, the 60-year-old’s creation will go on tour in America over the summer, where staff at the Florrie are hopeful a handful of local children will get the chance to go and see it. Other events that are coming up in the new year at The Florrie include a Rodger Dean display, the first time that the artist has ever exhibited in Liverpool.

Chester backs new conservation campaign By JO CUNLIFFE Chester is bidding to become the world’s first sustainable palm oil city as part of a conservation campaign by the city’s zoo. The campaign is being led by Chester Zoo in order to try and protect South East Asian rainforests and their endangered animals. Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil that is used in everything from detergents to cosmetics and ice cream and is a source of huge profits for multinational corporations, but palm oil forests are linked with rainforest destruction and its production has serious consequences for the animals that live there Chester Zoo and fellow conservationists are now joining together to promote sustainable palm oil production and protect endangered species. Cat Barton, Field Conservation Manager at Chester Zoo, said that animals such as the orangutan and Sumatran tigers are under threat and on the brink of being lost forever. She said: “Oil palm plantations are wiping out rainforests to produce convenience foods and household items. “Right now, the city of Chester and our partners are taking a huge step forward towards increasing the demand for sustainable palm oil. We couldn’t be prouder.” Chester restaurant Chez Jules

Monkey business: An orangutan at Chester Zoo has become the first to commit to the project and has already started using sustainable palm oil within its products. Cat added: “They have really helped us kick start this process and we welcome the interest from other businesses.” Conservationists hope that many more restaurants, hotels, fast food outlets, schools, education providers and other visitor attractions will join the initiative. The Chester Sustainable Palm

Support: Chez Jules in Chester Oil City campaign, the Orangutan Land Trust and the Sumatran Orangutan Society are all supported by key conservation organisations and industry advisors.

Young People have their say on Black History Month By DANIELLE THOMAS In celebration of black history month, the TATE Liverpool joined forces with LJMU’s Outreach Team to challenge how students think about issues surrounding race, equality and gender. The Outreach is LJMU central coordinating department which works closely with schools and colleges across the UK, offering students the opportunity to engage in a number of Higher Education activities. Account Manager of Student Recruitment and Admission, Catherine Shillito said: “The

History: LJMU students at TATE work we undertake covers students from primary years to sixth form students to mature whereby we offer a variety of informative and aspirational events to advice and guide on Higher Education. “Our overarching emphasis is championing the benefits of higher education and the value of

lifelong learning for all sections of society.” The TATE Liverpool is one of the many cultural partners the Outreach Team has. This month, it welcomed over 40 local sixth form students to the exhibition on Glenn Ligon: Encounters and collisions. Laura Parsons, Development officer at TATE Liverpool said: “LJMU students have various opportunities to connect with the gallery through student engagement events, including drawing and creative writing workshops, debates, yoga classes and poetry readings.”


NEWS

Annual poppy appeal returns to city streets By TOM SWIFT The poppy appeal has returned to Liverpool with hundreds of volunteers across the city selling poppies. Ex-veterans and members of the cadet forces have been spread across the city centre accepting donations for paper poppies. A special stall has also been set up selling poppy pins, crosses and many other variations of ways for people to show their remembrance. In an additional boost for the campagne old one pound coins which are no longer legal tender are being accepted by the organisation. Last year the Royal British Legion made £893,535 from the people of Liverpool, they are aiming for a national target of £47 million this year. This money will go towards paying for staff that can help ex-veterans with mental or physical disabilities and helping to get the heroes off the streets. The poppy appeal was set up by the Royal British Legion in 1921 to

aid veterans who came back from the First World War. The RBL also helped widows and families of the 725,000 fallen soldiers who never returned. The poppy is used to commemorate the fallen because the flower begun to grow on the battlefield of Flanders Field after the fighting, famously described in the poem by John McCrae. Members of the city’s cadet forces are in full attendance while the poppy appeal is running, including the 2359 Air squadron cadets, the Royal marine cadets, the Merseyside army cadet force and the city of Liverpool sea cadets. Other organisations volunteering include the St Mary’s community Major E. Overend is the secretary of the City of Liverpool branch, who told Liverpool Life: “The old branch closed in 2008 but was reopened in 2013 because we felt there was a need to support the ex-forces in Liverpool. “We volunteer every year and there is a range of veterans help-

Silence: Crowds gather to pay respects to fallen heroes

ing out, with the youngest being 23.” The poppy appeal runs until Armistice Day on November 11th, with Remembrance Sunday taking place this year on November 12th. The annual two-minute silence will be held at 11am across the nation, allowing everyone to reflect on the conflicts and the sacrifices of the world. A service will take place outside St George’s Hall.

Remembrance events in your area: • Liverpool: St George’s Hall service; Metropolitan Cathedral all day service November 8th. • Birkenhead: Cenotaph Hamilton Square service • West Kirkby: war memorial service • Chester: Parade of service members led by the Chester brass band to Chester Cathedral.

LL07

@DjLee Butler, Twitter

City DJ’s appeal for hospital By MEG DODDS Radio City DJ Lee Butler is planning fundraising events in support of The Newborn Appeal – the official charity for Liverpool Women’s Hospital. The DJ is setting up the fundraising events taking place in January 2018, as a way to thank the hospital after all their help and support they provided after three of his children were born prematurely. The Newborn Appeal was established in 1992 to raise funds for Liverpool Women’s Neonatal Unit. The unit specialises in the care of babies born early, with low weight or who have a medical condition that requires specialised treatment. The unit provides the specialist equipment needed; services for the families and funds research into the care of neonates. In a statement published to the DJ’s Facebook page, the father explains how the charity has helped his family’s lives: “My youngest three kids, Drew, Taylor and Cam were all born three months premature and all under 3lb’s. At times, we are all guilty of taking things for granted and not realising how very lucky we are."


08 LL FOCUS

Why do some areas decline while others thrive?

AMY HARDING meets a man who is determined to put urban renewal back on the agenda Raymond said: “I’m concerned for the neighbourhood, people are leaving and no one else is moving in. I think Tuebrook has reached a point of no return.” He compares Tuebrook to Streatham in London where regeneration projects are happening and attracting new people, but nothing similar is happening in here. He added: “People feel disengaged because the local government isn’t looking after them and no one wants to invest privately in the area.” Raymond’s memories of Tuebrook are of a time when there were factories employing thousands of people but since they shut down they haven’t been replaced with anything else, which means there are limited job opportunities. He added:

Passion: Raymond Holden is fighting for neighbourhood renewal “People’s life opportunities are being diminished by the education options in the area. When a negative feel is imposed on a town it’s hard to get a positive one back.” Raymond will be hosting two seminars in May 2018, one in Liverpool and one in London, where he will outline how neighbourhood renewal isn’t being talked about in central Government as no one seems interested in the areas that are declining.

Newsham Park Hotel. Picture © Raymond Holden.

Together with other speakers, Raymond will also talk about post-Brexit renewal and what could possibly happen in the future. Some areas of Liverpool, like Kensington, have benefitted from renewal schemes but Raymond wants to see that extended to other places and hopes that the Government will start to listen He said: “I want to see the Government take real action in areas like Tuebrook.”

I want to see the Government take real action in areas like Tuebrook”

R

aymond Holden is passionate about Tuebrook. Having grown up there, and with family still living there, he wants to see it return to its glory days as a thriving community but, like many other areas in the UK, he feels it has been left behind. Now Raymond, an expert in city decline who became an urban planner with Liverpool City Council after he graduated, wants the Government to make neighbourhood renewal a priority for areas like Tuebrook. He has already met with West Derby MP Stephen Twigg to discuss the issues that he feels the area is facing, and Mr Twigg agreed that there needs to be national programme to reverse decline.


FOCUS

JESSICA HUGHES reports on a groundbreaking event which aims to help stammer sufferers

F

or someone with a stammer, words don’t come easily, and they can feel isolated, frustrated and alone. But Mike Owen, from the British Stammer Association, is aiming to raise awareness of the issue and provide help and support to people who stammer by organising a special open day in Liverpool. Mike’s interest in the matter began at home as he has a grownup son with a stammer. He said: “What lies behind this open day is the knowledge of the frustration and at times loneliness of people who stammer.” Around one in 20 children will suffer from a stammer and one in five of these children will retain it into adulthood. Mike added: “One aim of the open day is to get people who stammer to get together and shake off that loneliness. Among people who stammer, there are many inspiring tales of overcoming everyday adversity. At an event such as this, people can inspire each other.” Mike has already lined up a very special guest speaker, screenwriter Jimmy McGovern, who has had a stammer since childhood. Jimmy told Liverpool Life: “As you can imagine, I usually turn down all requests to speak in public but I said yes this time because it’s important to show other stammerers that it is possible. I’m sure I’ll make a show of myself but I’ll have a sympathetic audience, that’s for sure.” Jimmy frequently writes about characters who stammer. He added: “If you stammer, a pen and a blank page constitute freedom: you can express yourself as you wish, there are no words you have to avoid. As a speaker, for example, I would have to avoid words beginning with an S. As a

LL 09

“ Finding

a voice Screen writer Jimmy McGoven, who has a stammer, will be speaking at the event in Liverpool. © Getty Images

Although we speak in a different way, we are as capable and as talented as anyone else

Website: www.stammering.org writer, I have to avoid nothing. For most people, a pen and paper are intimidating. For stammerers they are anything but.” The open day is a first for Merseyside but it has already made an impact, with the British Stammer Association (BSA), which has decided to shift its annual general meeting from London to Liverpool. Mike said: “One thing I would like to see result from the open day is the formation of a support group where people who do stammer could meet up regularly. “There are such groups in Warrington, Manchester and Doncaster, but not one in Liverpool, nor Merseyside.” The event, on Saturday November 11th at the Quaker Meeting House in School Lane, Liverpool, will include workshops on situations like dating and job interviews.

Mike said: “Many of your readers will remember how daunting they may have found their first day at university, their first week, first month. It becomes that bit more difficult when you aren’t sure whether your words will come out fluently or not. Such a thought can put some people off even applying for university. “The emphasis of the workshops is on sharing previous experiences. People can then see there are other people in the same boat.”

B

esides bringing together people who stammer, the open day also serves to highlight the issues surrounding stammers to members of the public. “When people who don’t stammer meet someone who does they can be unsure of how to respond. Some people, trying

to be helpful, will try to guess what the stammerer wants to say and say the word for them. Most people who stammer would much rather be given the extra seconds necessary to get the word out.” The BSA emphasises that just because someone has a stammer does not mean that they cannot be successful. People like Marilyn Monroe and Winston Churchill are among the list of hugely influential people who have stammered. Tim Fell, chairman of the BSA, says: “People who stammer were born with a pre-disposition to stammer. But although we speak in a different way, we are as capable and as talented as anyone else in the population. Other people’s reaction to us can make a big difference. Give us more time, but otherwise treat us as you would anyone else.”  The open day is from 10.30am4pm.


THE GUIDE M

egaOke: Kelly Parker and former CBeebies presenter Alex Winters host massive a sing-a-long event that will allow as many as 1,000 karaoke fans to sing their hearts out at Hangar 34 on Greenland Street in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle. Tickets start at £7 before increasing to £9 after November 16th. The event takes place on Thursday November 23rd from 19:00-23:00.

G

et ready for Granny. David Walliams's best-selling children’s book Gangsta Granny has been brought to stage and is coming to Storyhouse Chester in 2018. At the opening night of the stage adaption of Gangsta Granny at Birmingham New Alexandra Theatre David Walliams said: “What a fantastic show! It’s truly brilliant! And so much better than the book!” Gangsta Granny is the story of a cabbage-loving granny with a big secret. She and her grandson Ben embark on the “adventure of a lifetime” whilst she is babysitting. Tickets start from £20.50 and children’s tickets start from £16.50 and are on sale now from the theatre's website.


Storytime with Santa is an interactive family show with Father Christmas and his Elf. The stories told will be a mixture of both traditional and modern stories along with a few songs, an experience for all the family. Children will get the chance to talk to Santa, tell him their Christmas wishes and receive a Christmas gift. Additional photo opportunities will be available on the day. The Storytime with Santa event is running from December 2nd to the 24th. Tickets are £12.50 per child; each ticket comes with space for a maximum of two adults for free.

THE GUIDE Time to kick-start the Christmas spirit S

t Georges Hall (pictured, bottom) and Liverpool town hall (left) will be putting on a series of festive events throughout December to kick-start everyone into getting into the Christmas spirit. The Christmas market is also returning for the second year running from November 17th to December 22nd. The market will consist of over cabins decorated in a festive style adorned with garlands and Christmas lights. There will also be a wide range of both hot and cold on offer along with craft stalls. A new addition for this year is the Windmill Bar, which will be serving traditional beers, mulled wine and other festive drinks.

T

he Christmas Ceilidh will be hosted by Gary Conley and will have music from resident band ‘Gallimafaury’ and The Secret Ukulele Band. There will also be a ‘Nice Knits’ competition to enter whilst wearing your best Christmas jumper. There will also be food available with warm home baked pies and a Liverpool Cheese Company selection available to purchase throughout the event. The Ceilidh is on Friday December 1st, doors opening at 7pm and closing at midnight. Tickets cost £16 and the event is for over 18s only. You can also pre-book prosecco on ice for £18 per bottle, or you can pre-book a table of 10 with two bottles of prosecco on ice for £50.

S

torytime with Santa is an interactive family show with Father Christmas and his Elf. The stories told will be a mixture of both traditional and modern stories along with a few songs, an experience for all the family. Children will get the chance to talk to Santa, tell him their Christmas wishes and receive a Christmas gift. Additional photo opportunities will be available on the day. The Storytime with Santa event is running from December 2nd to the 24th. Tickets are £12.50 per child; each ticket comes with space for a maximum of two adults for free.


12

LL MUSIC

From Merseyside to Stateside Meg Dodds speaks to up-and-coming musician Cal Ruddy

Cal Ruddy: local musician. Pic © Meg Dodds

R

ecently named as one of NME’s emerging artists, Merseyside musician Cal Ruddy explains how his trip of a lifetime to the US almost didn’t happen. “I was approached by an American music promotions company at the start of the year, and was asked to fly out to America to participate in the San Diego Beatles Fair, but I was admitted to hospital 10 days before I was due to fly out!” Forced to postpone the trip, Ruddy flew to Nashville, Tennessee, in September instead and worked with Palmer Globe Inc. so he could write some new material for his second release and play some gigs. Over the span of 10 months, the musician managed to raise £5,000 to fund his travels. “I’m so grateful to everyone who donated because my time out there taught me a lot. “I met so many incredible musicians out in Nashville. It was cool to really get involved with the music scene over there.” However, the musician ad-

LL

mitted to LL that he did miss Liverpool more than he had expected to. “Liverpool’s my home so as much as I was having fun out there I did miss that sense of home. “There’s a massive culture difference, it’s like we’ve all grown up with American culture but actually being there is sort of familiar but overwhelming at the same time.” Cal explained how the Liverpool music scene has had a big influence on his overall music career.

“Local music has definitely inspired me and being a part of the Liverpool music scene over the last few years has made a positive difference to who I am as a songwriter and a performer. “I listen to a lot of music from Liverpool’s past and present. Bands like Gerry and The Pacemakers, Echo and The Bunnymen, Space, Cast, The Stairs and then current local bands like Jimmy and The Revolvers are always on my playlists. “That little band called The Beatles are ok as well.”

Music app launches across UK

By MICHAEL STOKES

A

brand new music app is promising the best of house and dance anthems to Liverpool music lovers 24-7. Amp Radio will have weekend shows hosted by local DJs including Camelphat’s Dave Whelan, Ian Longo, Les Calvert and Lil John of Society, Garlands and 051 to Gbar residents Andy Mac and Dave Bennett providing after hours party every Friday and Saturday night. The new app promises to ignite Liverpool’s nightlife with help from all Liverpool local talents. The station’s aim is to fill an appetite to a target audience of 18-40 for dance and house music,

which is huge in Liverpool. A spokesperson for Amp said: “Liverpool is a very unique city with an unrivalled nightlife covering so many different scenes. Amp is all about bringing these together and giving them the platform to showcase what they are about. “We pride ourselves on being the first to break new dance music as well as not forgetting our roots and delivering unrivalled output with old skool classics. Think of us as one big dance floor which you can take with you wherever you go.” The app, which went live last weekend,has been downloaded over 1,500 times.

Pic: Amp Radio


MUSIC LL 13

GRIME TIME By JASPER HUNT

“I know a few artists from there, it’s closer to home and good for the North West grime scene as a whole. “We don’t know for sure if Liverpool will be picked again, even though we’ve done pretty well” How does he think this will affect grime in Mersey side? “I think it is only a good look; it’s a huge platform for people to see the talent Liverpool has to offer.”

L

iverpool has missed its chance to be crowned the grime capital of the UK as it narrowly lost to London in a musical clash. Grime, the rap and jungle genre hybrid has been steadily making a move out of London to the far corners of the country. Now Red Bull has brought together grime artists from London to Glasgow, who put their styles to battle and see who the public vote on as their winners. For Liverpool, that meant a nail -biting finish with just two votes in it. Now, with the last battle of the quarterfinals to go the fight to be the top grime city is anyone’s game. Liverpool’s team was captained by Merseyside grime veteran Rico Don, who has been one of the most popular figures in the emerging scene up north. His appearance on popular grime channel JDZ boosted him to the top in Merseyside, and he stepped into the captain’s shoes and took to the front of the stage to open against London. Backing his corner were Jeopardy and Wavey Joe, both established MCs and artists from Liverpool. The initial round saw eight teams whittled down to half that,

G

Merseyside team captain Picture: © Rico Don twitter so far; Newport, Liverpool and Wolverhampton have lost their places in the tournament. The clashes will be released on Red Bull’s YouTube channel and have been a hot topic on social media, with many people giving their own opinion on who won the clash. Liverpool Life caught up with

Jeopardy to see what he thought of the Grime A Side tournament. With the quarterfinals still yet to be officially finished, we asked who he would like to see in the finals and are there plans for Liverpool in next year’s grime a side? Putting aside north west rivalries, he said he wanted to see Manchester in the finals.

rime making its way out of London on a platform such as Red Bull is a stepping stone for the North West grime section and a simple reason for that is the difference in size, the home voters would make up many of the votes on the Red Bull website. Jeopardy told Liverpool Life: “Red Bull work with the artists from London. It’s a big city against a far smaller one, so we had a much harder task, and we only lost by two votes”. The voting on some clashes has yet to come through, but the final could be between Birmingham, London, Bristol, Manchester or Glasgow. No matter what, this tournament has given a platform for MCs all over the country to work from; it has also give the audience a lot more artists to know about, where they are from and what their style of grime is like.

Fight: The Grime-a-side competitors line up Credit: © Redbull


14

LL ENTERTAINMENT

Heigh ho, it’s off to panto we go

By SUZY SANKEY

T

he run-up to Christmas is never complete without a few essentials: frantic last minute shopping, decorating and embellishing buildings in lights and tinsel, using every utensil in the house to prepare the Christmas dinner … and, of course, the highly-anticipated family trip to a Christmas pantomime. Last week, the cast of St Helen’s Theatre Royal’s Christmas pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, met for the first time at the press launch, ahead of rehearsals which begin mid-November. Lucy-Jo Hudson, star of Coronation Street and Wild at Heart, will appear alongside comedian Johnny Vegas in the lead role of Snow White. She told Liverpool Life: “I have done panto before, but it was about ten years ago. I’m excited but I think I’m more nervous yet. “I’ve never met Johnny before

Magic: Johnny Vegas and Lucy-Jo Hudson, above, with members of the cast, left today but he’s an absolute gentleman and all the cast seem lovely. When I saw the theatre, that just got me excited too!” Johnny Vegas is unable to appear live at the theatre every night of the show due to other work commitments. He pre-recorded his role as the Magic Mirror on the day of the press launch, but joked: “It mightbe quite nice if I can sneak along and do a little surprise live!” When Johnny was asked if this was his first appearance in a pantomime, he said, in true Johnny Vegas style: “Yeah it is, well actually, I played Santa at school, and I can still remember my lines from that, so I’ll be OK I think.” Johnny kept reporters and photographers in fits of laughter throughout the press launch, with an endless stream of anecdotes about his summers spent in Benidorm, filming the popular ITV sitcom. “It’s crazy out there - the show has such a following. It’s like Cannes Festival for a D-Lister out there now,” he said.

SLEEPING BEAUTY at ST. HELENS THEATRE ROYAL REVIEW:

Johnny wasn’t the only star who spoke about his experience in TV. Lucy-Jo told LL about the biggest influences on her acting career: “I started Corrie when I was really young. “I had the absolute pleasure of working with Liz Dawn and Bill Tarmey, day in, day out, who have sadly passed away. “They became like grandparents to me and I’ve definitely learnt the most from them.”

L

ucy-Jo has had much more experience in filming for TV, rather than on stage, as she has only performed in pantomime once previously. “It’s so different in panto. You get to sing, you get to act, you get to dance. You get to be camp and silly. “You’re allowed to just let go a little bit in panto - you still have a script, but if people mess up live it’s funny and it adds to the whole performance. I think it’s funny when it goes a bit wrong.” Although the cast had never met before the launch, Lucy said she

‘In panto, you get to sing, you get to act, you get to dance. You get to be camp and silly’ had really enjoyed her first day of meeting everyone, and wished she had brought her daughter with her. “My little girl is four and she’s so excited to see Mummy on stage. We’ve already bought tickets and I’m definitely going to bring her to rehearsals too, I wish I’d brought her today, I just didn’t know what to expect.” The cast all seemed to enjoy their day, seeing their costumes for the first time, as well as each other. Johnny posed with the seven dwarves at a nearby cash machine for a photo. He said: “I think you can tell everyone here knows I’m taking the easy route out, pre-recording my part.”  The show will be on from December 2nd until January 7th. Tickets are on sale now at www.sthelenstheatreroyal. com.

Men dressed in drag, celebrities as villains, rhymes, poems and jokes … pantomime season is back, and St Helen’s Theatre Royal started with their half-term performance of Sleeping Beauty Claire Sweeney was the big celebrity name of the show as evil Carobosse, who cursed the beautiful and talented Princess Aurora, played by Laura Gregory. Both actresses showed off their powerful voices through multiple ballads, including Claire’s impressive rendition of MeatLoaf’s “Bat out of Hell”. By SUZY SANKEY


ARTS

By SHELBY HAMILTON

T

he creators of a film about the last year of WWI poet Wilfred Owen are crowd funding so that it can be finished. “The Burying Party” will tell the story of the poet who grew up in Birkenhead, and the troubles he faced as an anti-war homosexual man, fighting for his country and expressing what it means to be at war, through his poetry. Considered the greatest war poet of his generation, his work, unlike most at the time that glorified war and patriotism, explored what it truly meant to be a soldier. Anthem for Doomed Youth, Mental Cases and Futility are just a few of his poems that enable readers to see past the bright flags and shiny uniforms, to the mental tolls, death and suffering. From 1917 to 1918 Wilfred Owen, being just 25 years old, was in company with other highly influential poets of that time, Charles K Scott Moncrieff, Robert Graves, his mentor Siegfried Sassoon and Robbie Ross, all who were greatly inspirational to his work. This will all be captured in the film. The idea to create a film about Wilfred Owen came after multi-award winning director Richard Weston, Liverpool John Moores PR Lecturer/Assistant Director Keith Thompson and the film’s executive producer Neil Perriam went to visit The Somme. There they looked for inspiration for a new film, which led them to Wilfred Owen. Director Richard Weston, 26, told Liverpool Life: “We went over, and on a whim Neil said ‘Why don’t we go to one of the Wilfred Owen trails?’ So we went to this place, The Forrester’s House, which is where he wrote his final letter to his mother.” Upon working on the project, Weston soon realised that he had a connection to Wilfred Owen. He had grown up in Birkenhead just one mile away from where the poet lived. More recently, the

director also realised that where he now lives in London is just two or three miles away from where Owen hung out. However, what really inspired him to write about the poet was to try to answer the question why a man, who was so anti-war, would return to battle, making him an excellent soldier and forging him into the greatest war poet of his time. Currently two-thirds of the script has been filmed. But more money is needed to fund the rest of the film. The creators and producers are crowdfunding with the aim of raising the necessary amount by the end of November. Mr Weston said of the filming: “Everything of Wilfred’s time in England and Scotland is all done. So now it’s all just war scenes that we need to film. We’ve had two campaigns thus far, and we’ve raised just shy of 6,000 pounds. Which is amazing. This new crowd funder is to make sure that we can get the authenticity of costumes, location, props and everything. There is such a technical aspect to representing WWI. There’s trench scenes, ruins and a lot of battles that go on. Without more funding we can’t actually go about it.”

Liverpool is definitely the heart of the film

As well as hard work and research, a lot of Liverpool has gone into The Burying Party, with various locations being used to resemble scenes from WWI. St Luke’s church, also known as The Bombed-Out Church, was one of these locations. Despite St Luke’s being bombed out in WWII, the film’s creators thought that it was the perfect choice to represent a church destroyed by fighting, and also to include more of Wilfred’s home city. Mr Weston explains: “One of our locations is set at the Encores where Wilfred Owen won his military cross. And once that fight was

LL15

His life for his country over there was a church that was shelled out from the fighting, and we needed somewhere that looked like that church. So, we thought why not the bombed-out church, St Luke’s, here in Liverpool. We filmed quite a lot in Liverpool, actually.” “There are some incredible, fabulous places around here. I grew up over the water and always wanted to produce a film in the spectacular locations of this city. Liverpool is definitely the heart of the film.”

T

he director believes that the film will not only mark the 100-year anniversary of the poet’s death, but that the message in Wilfred Owen’s poetry is relevant today with the current tensions between countries. The film could possibly remind people of how awful war is. Wilfred Owen’s poetry was one of the reasons why people started to turn away from the glory of war and the idea of dying for your country, and towards understanding of how devastating it is. Mr Weston said: “We’re on the brink again of waging wars with

people over this sense of identity, like we’re stronger than you. We’re taking steps back. Considering current events, I do think it’s necessary, not to give people a history lesson, but to look into what people realised years ago is what we need to realise again.” If the crowdfunder is successful in attaining the funds needed to continue filming then The Burying Party, named after one of Wilfred’s poems, will be finished in terms of production by the end of this year. After being sent to film festivals, the official screening to mark the 100-year anniversary of Wilfred Owen’s death will be in November of 2018. The director explained that the public can expect a different interpretation of a subject that has been revisited time and time again. It will cover topics such as forbidden love, trauma, war, poetry and friendship. Mr Weston said of his creation: “I didn’t want to make a war film, I wanted to make a film about an outsider of society, who wrote and produced art works that changed people’s minds forever.”


16 L FOOD

L

Dream Diet

the LL guide to all things vegan HANNAH WILKINSON reports on why people go vegan and how to make the change

V

eganism is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing lifestyles for many reasons, for Simon, 41, a print designer from Fazakerley, it was a dream that led him to the life changing decision. “It was the animal rights issue. In short, I had had a dream in which I was pretty much a vegan and it felt good, in terms of a happy and clear conscience. So the following day, I thought - as a kind of experiment - to give it a try, for a week at least - to see if that feeling translated into real life. And it did, I never looked back. “I often say that the hardest part of becoming vegan isn’t about finding the perfect cheese alternative etc. but that it’s actually being able to admit that you were wrong, that you were a hypocrite, assuming that you do, as most people do, purport to love animals.” Figures showed that as of 2016 at least 542,000 people in Britain were following a vegan diet and never consumed any animal products including meat, fish, milk, cheese, eggs and honey. Veganuary, a campaign that launched in January to encourage people Courtesy PETA website

to try a vegan based diet for the whole month, officially signed up 22,951. For many, the love of animals is what encourages them to try a vegan diet, however the impact that the meat industry has on the environment is hard to ignore. Lauren, 22, from New Brighton, expressed how after watching the Netflix documentary What the Health, she decided to become vegan to help the environment. “I couldn’t believe the impact that eating meat had on the environment. Not only do we keep these animals locked up in tortuous conditions, we are unnaturally breading them which is fatal to our planet. Cows produce 150bn gallons of methane per day, Raising livestock causes 65pc of all nitrous-oxide emissions. Nitrous oxide has 296 times the global-warming potential of carbon dioxide. Animal agriculture causes an estimated 18pc of all greenhouse gases.” In the 2006 United Nations report Livestocks Long Shadow, the UN admits that the livestock sector is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global”.

Tara, 23 a beauty advisor from Wallasey, said: “A lot of people think we’re just hippie weirdos who push our views on other people. I agree everyone has the right to do what they want but I think if everyone actually took the time to research into the meat and dairy industry they’d realise how good being a vegan is not only for your body but for the environment and of course the animals.” The amount of people following a vegan diet has increased by an estimated 150,000 in the last ten years, and no doubt will continually increase. More restaurants are adding vegan dishes to their menus, and most well known coffee shops chains, such as Pret-a Manger and M&S, have a dairy alternative option as well as vegan lunch choices in their stores. Sophie, 17, a drama student from Blundellsands believes that vegan diets are only going to get more popular in the future. “I think veganism is the future as almost every person says they love animals yet won’t think twice when they’re eating them. It’s about aligning your beliefs with your actions. As well as that there are environmental & health benefits, when I went vegan my skin cleared up and my hair started to Grow faster and I lost weight.”

L

iverpool is quickly becoming a hub for vegans with many vegans based restaurants popping up as well as already established restaurants incorporating more vegan options such as Wagamamas, Zizzi, Las Iguanas and Pizza Express, to name a few. Simon said: “Liverpool is right up there as one of the most vegan-friendly cities in the UK along with Manchester and Brighton. Eating out is a breeze around here. It’s quite interesting to see how many places, especially on and around Bold Street (which

5) Vegan M Santa Maluco, C

November is World Vegan month and we want you to be prepared and ready if you want to take the plunge into a new diet is fast becoming known as Vegan Street!) are putting up signs on A-boards and in their windows declaring ‘Vegan Options Available’!”  Want to give veganism a go? You can sign up for your free starter kit on peta.org.uk


FOOD

LL 17

Top Places to Eat in Merseyside 1) 2) 3) 4) 5)

Mondays at Castle Street

Maguires Pizza, Renshaw Street Mowgli Indian Street Food, Bold Street and Castle Street Down the Hatch, Duke Street Blackberry Grove, New Brighton Vegan Mondays at Santa Maluco, Castle Street

Did you Know? A few facts about what meat and dairy consumption has on you and the planet. 1) Grain that is used to feed livestock for meat production could feed 1.3 billion people. 2) If you eat meat chances of getting cancer is 1 in 2 if you’re a man and 1 in 3 if you’re a woman, Chances of diabetes is about 1 in 3 and chances of gaining weight is 2 in 3. (According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2009 May; Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine; Environmental Working Group) 3) One steak takes 7,500 litres of water to produce. 4) A person who follows a vegan

lifestyle produces the equivalent of 50 per cent less carbon dioxide than a meat-eater and uses an 11th of the oil, 1/13th of the water and 1/18th of the land. 5) The world’s cattle alone consume a quantity of food equal to the caloric needs of 8.7 billion people, more than the entire current human population of the Earth. 6) Producing protein from chickens requires three times as much land as producing protein from soybeans. 7) Vegan foods are frequently lower in calories because they give a miss to unhealthy fats 8) every hour in the United States 500,000 animals are killed for their meat.

10 Vegan celebrities

1) Beyonce and Jay-Z 2) Miley Cyrus 3) J-Lo 4) Jared Leto 5) Bill Clinton 6) Brad Pitt 7) Russel Brand 8) Anne Hathaway 9) Ellen DeGeneres 10) Thom Yorke


18 L STYLE L

Time to

Jade Culver with the LL guide on how to make your bedroom welcoming this autumn Sleep in style with this intricately patterned V&A Kalamkari Duvet Set, with hues of green and red you can bring that autumn weather right into your bedroom!

© House of Bath Price: £36.95 What is a bed without cushions? Why don’t you grab yourself a personalised natural one from Getting Personal, it even has a hidden compartment so you can hide all your personal stuff.

© www.gettingpersonal.co.uk Price: £19.99 Storage is a serious problem in smaller rooms, such as a bathroom. This wooden storage box is sure to neatly contain your items and will surely reflect on all of those autumn feels.

Still getting used to the hour change? Why not deck out your room with this rustic compass clock?

© TkMaxx

The leaves may be falling of the trees, and the flowers may be nowhere to be seen, however you can bring your own room to life with this adorable Faux lavender plant. It’s also fake so if you neglect it, it won’t die.

© TkMaxx


get cosy

STYLE

L L

19

Oli Fell with the LL guide on how to have the best Pyjama days With Christmas just round the corner and the nights starting to draw in, what better way to get in the festive spirit by picking out a new pair of pyjamas? A bedtime essential; nothing quite beats sitting in, watching a film with a hot chocolate in your fresh new threads. Everyone needs something they can dress down into after a hard day at work or school, and in this list below, Liverpool Life will sort you out. To kick off our five recommendations, check out this set from Heatons, right. Need something for the kids? Our festivities continue with this number from Tu at Sainsbury’s, left.

If you are not quite ready for Christmas yet, try out this simple checked designed set from Marks and Spencer, below.

How about something a bit more sophisticated? Check out this from Dorothy Perkins.

Every day should be Pyjama Day

Even if the snow doesn’t fall this Christmas, make sure you get your hands on this White Stuff dog check woven set for children, right. Perfect for keeping warm and comfort-


20

LL PEOPLE

Self-confidence: Young people find use of sites such as Facebook and Instagram can affect body image

L

Guiding girls to greater confidence As a new study reveals that young girls from Merseyside are eight times more likely to suffer with low self-esteem and low body confidence, Daisy Scott reports on how youth groups can act as a force for positive change.

iverpool is known for its beauty-conscious character and is a city that always stays ahead of the latest style trends. But the quest for body perfection can have a negative impact and the region’s youngsters may be feeling the pressures of living up to the ideal image. Figures released by child support charity “We encourage Leaders to create a trusting Childline suggest that girls younger than 11 environment where young people feel empowin Liverpool are asking for help and receiving ered to have challenging discussions about counselling on self-image issues. issues that are affecting their lives.” The statistics, which range from April 2016 to April 2017 show that the number of counselling sessions delivered by the charity’s Liverpool team have risen from 138 to 148 and a growing number are worried about how they look. Catalyst: Social media is a One of the best ways to tackle mental prime source of low health and body confidence issues self esteem within the younger generation can be by youth groups providing information and support for children. Ellis Quinn of Merseyside Girl Guides, told Liverpool Life that Girl Guides do many things to promote self-confidence in young girls and they help to promote individuality in children. She said: “The Girl Guides gives girls and young women a space where they can build their confidence, raise their aspirations and be themselves. We encourage girls to have fun, build brilliant friendships and make a positive The Scouts movement is also recognising the issues associated with body-image concerns. Andrew Thorp of The Scout Association said:

The Scout Association has also launched a specific campaign for young people. Andrew Thorp added: “Through our award-winning A Million Hands Campaign we partnered with specialists Mind to help educate our members around Mental Wellbeing and help them take positive action around it in their communities. We help young people. Just like physical health, we all have mental health.” Experts believe that facing the problems at a young age can help to protect people from problems in later life. Childline founder, Dame Esther Rantzen said: “Without the right support and a general change in attitude across society there is a real danger these issues could intensify and continue into adulthood.” Children can call Childline at any time on 0800 111, visit www.childline.org. uk or download the ‘For Me’ app. You can gain information on the Girl Guides in Merseyside through: http://www.girlguidingmerseyside.co.uk/


PEOPLE Orla reflects on war experiences Speaking at a University of Liverpool event, award-winning war correspondent Orla Guerin revealed some of her life experiences from the world’s most dangerous places. Reflecting on her experience in war zones Orla said: “Sometimes in war silence is more disturbing than the loudest of sounds. “We’re very conscious of the fact that we’re often arriving in a place where civilians in particular may have gone through the worst experience of their lives. “You know you can be dealing with people who have been forced to flee their homes.”

LL 21

Death threats for Phil One of the leading Hillsborough campaigners has shared his difficult experience after his fight for justice, over footballs biggest stadium tragedy. Phil Scraton told the BBC Radio Four programme Desert Island Discs that he received death threats after he helped uncover the truth behind the deaths of the 96 fans, crushed at the football game. The famous criminologist spoke of his emotional attachment to the disaster and how it affected him. Scraton said: “ To be honest, in 2000, I felt I had let the families down: I had written two reports, I had written the first edition of ‘ Hillsborough - The Truth’ and nothing came of it and they had not been vindicated in the public eye.” The programme will be broadcast Friday 10th at 9am.

Phil Scraton pictured at his interview with Desert Island Discs on BBC Radio Four.

Orla Guerin pictured at the University of Liverpool event

PEOPLE L BBC chief visits LJMU Lord Tony Hall, Director General of the BBC, spoke to journalism students when he visted Liverpool recently. He was in the city to deliver the prestigious Roscoe Lecture on the role of the BBC. Originally from Birkenhead, Lord Hall always enjoys returning to the place just over the water from his hometown. Lord Hall visited LJMU to give a talk to more than 20 final-year undergraduates. He

told Liverpool Life how happy he was to return to Merseyside, saying: “It’s great. I seldom get to come back unless there is a wedding or a death, unfortunately. “But I love seeing the Pier Head. Thousands of people come to see it and are blown away, sometimes literally. It’s really good to be back.”

Alice reaches her goal LJMU Journalism graduate Alice-May Purkiss has reached her goal to fund a book about her experience of battling breast cancer. Alice, who was diagnosed at just 26, wanted to tell her story to help others who may be experiencing the same things and used crowd-funding website Kickstarter to raise funds for the project. After 30 days she passed her original goal of £3,000 and as LL went to press her fund stood at £4839, meaning the book, Life, Lemons and Melons – A Memoir, will go ahead. Alice said: “Thank you does not seem like a big enough word. This is more than I ever could have dreamed of. It feels kind of overwhelming to have received so much support.”

Zoe and her WISE100 award.

Zoe’s inspirational! A leading figure in the world of social enterprise has been recognised for her work with young people in Liverpool. Zoe Wallace is head of Agent Academy, a not-for-profit organisation based in the Baltic Triangle that provides graduates and young people with a doorway into the world of digital PR and marketing. Zoe recently received the WISE100 award in recognition of her work. The WISE100 recognises 100 of the most inspiring and influential women in social enterprise, impact investment and social innovation.

Zoe told LL News that being recognised was great and offered some advice those who aspire to go into marketing: “You will stand out more to future employers if you go out of your way to do work experience. It doesn’t have to be with a company, you can do your own work from home, like blogs and commission sites. “These days, everybody is becoming self-learning. YouTube and online platforms are helping people to learn. Everything is constantly changing so you have to keep up; otherwise it’s almost impossible to get anywhere.”


LL22 PEOPLE

By JESSICA HUGHES

I

Golden days for Homotopia

magine a time when a hug could see you and your partner both arrested, a kiss could result in a prison sentence. Until a change in the law in the 1960s, this was the situation faced by gay men up and down the country every day. This year marks the 50th anniversary since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality, which meant the spectre of criminal prosecution was lifted for thousands of gay men. Now, Liverpool’s Homotopia festival is celebrating those first stirrings of equality, acceptance, and legality for gay men and women. Homotopia began life in 2004, combining art, film and comedy to create a ten-day festival celebrating the LGBTQ community. Now in its 14th year the festival runs for the entire month of November and aims to “give audiences and artists alike an opportunity to explore, reclaim and present our shared histories”. While this anniversary should be a time for celebration, Homotopia is not afraid to shine a light on the pain and the suffering that the LGBT+ community went through. Speaking at the launch of the festival, veteran human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell made clear that while 1967 was a year of progress, it was not a year

of liberation. “It was progress, in that it ended the maximum penalty of life imprisonment for sex between men. Men could also be forced to undergo compulsory electric shock therapy to supposedly ‘cure’ their homosexuality. So, ending that total criminalisation was big step forward, it did make a difference to the lives of many gay and bisexual men,” he said. The decriminalisation was only extended to England and Wales; the rest of the UK would not be affected by the act until 1982. On top of the geographical constraints, the age of consent for homosexual men was set at 21 – as opposed to 16 for heterosexual men and women. “There was a five-year differential which deliberately and maliciously criminalized young gay teenagers,” Mr Tatchell explained. And then there was the issue of privacy. The act only decriminalised homosexual acts in the complete privacy of their own homes. Doors locked, curtains drawn. A kiss goodnight at a bus stop could still end in handcuffs. As Mr Tatchell explained: “After 1967 the attitude of the state, particularly the police, was more draconian and ferocious than it had been prior to 1967, so that by 1974 the number of gay and bisexual men convicted of the consenting offence of gross inde-

cency, which is any sexual contact including kissing and cuddling, was over four times greater than in 1966, the year before supposed decriminalisation. Decades on, the LGBT+ community’s tumultuous relationship with the policen has undoubtedly improved. Merseyside Police have worked with Homotopia for the past ten years to keep the festival as safe as possible for everyone involved. Chief Constable Andy Cooke and many of his colleagues were invited to celebrate with the community at the launch party. The Chief Constable said: “I find it unreal, on this 50th anniversary, that it took so long to change the laws for people who are in consenting, loving relationships. I’m so pleased that policing has moved on so far and society has moved on. Policing is better these days than it was, it’s not perfect, I would never claim that it was, but its far better than it’s been and its improving all the time.”

H

omotopia has the backing of both local government and local organisations. Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “People that aren’t part of this community believe that all of those freedoms and rights, now that they have been won, are cast

in stone, and they aren’t. We have to be very vigilant that those hardfought rights aren’t eroded.” Jane Beardsworth, Director at Arts Council England, said: “We recognize the value of Homotopia’s contribution to the cultural life of this city and to the events calendar that this city is so famed for. "We have a mission to make sure everybody has access to high quality arts and culture and Homotopia contributes significantly to ensure that talent in all its forms is not just thriving but celebrated.” Homotopia is art, theatre, comedy, film. It’s about entertainment. It’s about fun. But behind the curtain, Homotopia is about people. People whose voices have been silenced, whose actions have been punished. It’s their story. Peter Tatchell closed the launch party with these words: “Let’s celebrate. Let’s remember the battles won, let’s applaud ourselves and everyone else throughout the country, gay and straight, who have walked with us to make these positive changes. "Thanks to all of us - together we have made Britain a much better place for LGBT+ people. But there is still work to do and it’s great that Homotopia is part of that process to ensure that we continue that battle until we win full and complete liberation.”

Dates for your diary

NOTES ON QUEERNESS The Royal Standard Oct 26th – Nov 26th This interaction exhibition examines what it is to be ‘queer’. Including themes such as sexual intimacy, shame and personal identity, the experimental forum will feature artists like Travis Alabanza and Emily Pope.

OUT Unity Theatre Nov 8th OUT is a two-person performance, which challenges homophobia and transphobia within Caribbean communities.

EAT ME & PREACH! Invisible Wind Factory Nov 10th EAT ME is a drag-dinner performance cabaret featuring queens like Auntie Climaxx and The Crybaby. After a three-course meal, party games and cocktails, the party will continue with late night queer disco Preach!

DAVID BOWIE MADE ME GAY Waterstone’s Nov 22nd Author Daryll W Bullock will be interviewed by Steve Levine, former Culture Club producer, about the influence of LGBT+ music makers throughout history.


PEOPLE

LL 23

They said that ‘being gay was deceit of Satan’ AMY HARDING reports on the launch of a petition to ban those who claim to ‘cure’ homosexuality

A

petition calling for a ban on controversial gay ‘conversion’ therapies in the UK has exceeded 7000

signatures. The petition was launched by Liverpool journalist Josh Parry, who carried out an undercover investigation into conversion therapy being offered by a Liverpool church. Josh’s report was published just five months after the Department of Health said it had already taken the necessary steps to prevent the practice of gay conversion therapy in the UK. He discovered that the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministry in Anfield was offering three-day

starvation programmes to ‘cure’ people of homosexuality. Josh said: “They said that ‘being gay was a deceit of Satan’ and said that if I starved myself and prayed constantly I would no longer be gay.” The investigation proved that therapies including electroshock and starvation are still going on today. Josh said: “The problem with the ‘conversion’ therapies is that very vulnerable people undertake them and they don’t work and then these people are left even more vulnerable.” According to a study by the American Psychological Association, people who have undergone ‘conversion’ therapies are 8.9

Banner: Gay cures are dangerous

times more likely to have suicidal thoughts, and 5.9 times more like to suffer depression. Dan Carden, MP for Walton, has already brought the topic up in the House of Commons and has been given assurance that he can meet with government to discuss the issue further. The Government previously rejected a petition to make these therapies illegal, which then sparked more public outrage, and the Department of Health acknowledged that the therapy is not only ineffective, but also dangerous. Since the petition started on October 30th, people on social media have responded positively by sharing and signing the petition. Josh said: “So many people are saying ‘It’s 2017, why am I signing this, I thought it was already illegal’ and it has demonstrated a strength of feeling. People are shocked that it’s still going on.” “I’m completely overwhelmed to see the petition is over 7,600 signatures. So many high profile celebrities including Piers Morgan and Kim Cattrall have shared it and given it their backing. I await getting to 10,000 to see the Government’s response and then see where we go. No matter what their response, the message is clear - people want to see these dangerous so-called therapies banned. And I thank each and every person who has signed or shared the petition for their part in making this happen.” TV doctor Dr Ranj Singh is also backing the petition and called for gay conversion therapy to be

Josh Parry

banned. He said: “There is no place whatsoever for so-called ‘gay cure’ or ‘conversion’ therapies in today’s world. “Research tells us they don’t work, those who have experienced them tell us how abusive and harmful they are.” The petition needs to reach 100,000 signatures by April 27th, 2018 before the government can debate the matter in parliament.


24 LL LIFESTYLE

Christmas cheer is here

L

iverpool One’s annul Christmas light’s switch on takes places this Thursday, with the family-friendly activities getting underway from 4pm. The city’s famous tree will be switched on at 6pm, with help from pantomime stars Aladdin, Peter Pan, and The Little Mermaid. Radio City DJs will be there to kick-start the party, which will run until 8pm. Before the event, South John Street and Chavasse Park will be brought to life by fairground rides and entertainers - including stilt walkers, dancers and walking Christmas presents. Flash mobs and musicals will also take place, and for the adults the alpine-themed Bar Hütte is located under the tree and will be open for refreshments. At 30 foot, Liverpool One’s tree is the tallest in the city and its unique, modern design has become a regular addition to the city’s winter look, alongside the 50,000 lights which will turn the retail area into a winter wonderland.

...But is it too early? Ross-Hilton Inkpin debates whether or not we should be celebrating so soon

C

hristmas. As soon as it’s over, some people are already looking to plan the next one. For others, it can be described as an over-celebrated, expensive nonsense that they can’t wait to see the back of. Every year, the debate over whether people get excited and prepare for Christmas too early becomes increasingly stronger. On one side, you have the super-organised people who like to have all their presents bought, wrapped and under the tree with weeks and possibly even months to spare. On the other side, you have the people who can’t bear the thought of trawling round a packed out Liverpool One and stand in queues for hours just for a pair of reindeer socks from Primark. Supermarkets and retail stores are all too eager to start pushing their Christmas products and set up the decorations in their stores, although this is almost certainly down to enticing customers to spend more money as soon as they can. In recent times, shopping outlets and supermarkets seem to be wheeling out their Christmas produce even earlier than ever. I recall my local supermarket selling Christmas cards in August in preparation for the festive season.

Liverpool’s Christmas light switch on is due to take place on November 9th this year, a whole month and a half before Christmas, and this doesn’t include the lights being put up in the city, which took place a number of days before that! It’s always nice to see the city centre and surrounding areas lit up with nice decoration, however the argument is that it is only appropriate around Christmas time. The results from a poll on Twitter show that 71% of people believe that Christmas is advertised too early on in the year, Christmas music also has a large part to play in getting people ready for the holiday season, and with music streaming sites such as Spotify and Apple Music, access to listen to your favourites such as Mariah Carey and Slade has never been easier. This does however mean that we have to endure cheesy Christmas jingles far earlier than what could be considered acceptable by most people. Overall, as much as we love Christmas in this country, it would a fair comment to say that maybe everyone could hang on just a little longer before getting into the Christmas spirit, eh?


LIFESTYLE

LL 25

gifts for kids Imaginative

For Christmas, dotcomgiftshop has created a new collection of festive gifts for children. Fun and bursting with colour, they present a colourful collection of toys, games and seasonal stationery. Available now from www.dotcomgiftshop.com

Let’s Go Fishing Magnetic Game £9.95

Handwriting Practise Kit £9.95

Introductory Microscope £18.95

Elvis The Elephant Mini Backpack £12.95


26 LL GRAD WATCH

CZECH HER OUT! JESS HUGHES speaks to former LJMU student and LL reporter Jessica Jones about her new career and life in Prague

D

o things that scare you!” That’s Jessica Jones’ advice. She did, and it took her 800 miles across Europe to a dream job in Prague. Jessica started her journey to the Czech Republic as a post-graduate. She initially planned to set up a small production company in Liverpool. She even got funding for it while in her final year at LJMU, but after that fell through she realized that “maybe straight out of university is not the best time to start a business”. She wanted to get some experience. But it wasn’t going to be that easy. “I couldn’t get a job in England because everyone wanted me to work as an unpaid intern in London, which I couldn’t afford to do. So, I applied for a paid internship in Prague with an arts and culture website. But when I got there it was a bit of a night-

mare. Nobody spoke English, they didn’t give me anything to do, it didn’t make me want to put the work in.” After two weeks, an Italian friend of a friend offered her an internship at his newspaper, Prague Morning – the Czech Republic’s answer to Buzzfeed. “I had already heard about the paper before I got to Prague, it’s quite popular with expats as it’s the only newspaper that’s in English as well as Czech, there’s a big expat community here.” In stark contrast to her last internship, her colleagues were passionate and excited about their work and after four days Jessica’s job title was swapped from intern to Head of Video. Despite the rocky start, Jessica has made the city her home. “I’ve realized that this is the perfect place for me to be at the moment. When I first came here I thought, ‘Okay, I’ll stay for three months’,

Success: Jessica graduated from LJMU in 2016 then I got the job and thought ‘Okay, I’ll stay for sic months’ and now it’s been over a year and I don’t plan on leaving anytime soon.”

L

ooking to the future, Jessica is focused and determined in her efforts to become a documentarymaker. She has plans to study a Masters and with one of the best schools On camera: Jessica reporting fiinlmEurope for Prague Morning right on her doorstep in Prague, she has no plans to make a return to England. “I’m glad I studied at LJMU but being here has opened my

eyes to so much more. There’s so much to do, so many interesting people, and an actual summer!” With her experiences working abroad, Jessica has some words of wisdom for anyone about to graduate: “Trust in your ability. “When I arrived, I was worried about having no experience in the field, but most of what I needed I already knew from my course. I felt like I wasn’t good enough but I totally was. It’s just a confidence thing. “Even now, my bosses tell me to do something and I worry if I’m good enough, but then I just do it. You need to have a bit of faith in yourself. “There will be a time in your life, when you have a mortgage and you have kids, to take the safe option but when you’ve just graduated, that’s the time to see where all the fun is.”


SPORT

LL27

THE LINE UP

IRELAND vs LIVERPOOL HANDBALL & POLE FITNESS 28

INTERNATIONAL CALL-UP FOR MARINE AFC GOALKEEPER 29

Appeals for Liverpool Homeless FC By ABIGAIL NICHOLSON

Liverpool Homeless Football Club are appealing for votes in Aviva’s community fund competition. The Football Club (LHFC) is a community interest company that has operated across the regional and national homeless sector since 2007. Aviva, The insurance, savings and Investment Company, want to recognise the support given to communities through their previous Aviva

Broker Community Fund. They said: “We believe good projects come in all shapes and sizes. So the best way to support a variety of good causes is to let both large and small projects share the funding.” The Fund will finance over 500 projects across four different fund levels and four categories, giving the awards to communities throughout the UK. LHFC currently has 232 votes which gives them the chance of

winning upto £1,000. The main aim of the club is to improve the physical and mental well-being of participants. Staff and volunteers use sport, in particular football (but not exclusively), to engage with marginalised men and women from across Merseyside who are affected by, or experiencing homelessness. To vote for LHFC, go to www. avivacommunityfund.co.uk/ voting/project/view/17-1400

Liverpool Homeless FC © Liverpool homeless Football club website


28 LL SPORT

Police plea to derby fans

Debutant Louise gets set for pole position

By JACK BUTLER

By ABBY NICHOLSON

Cheshire police are preparing to oversee the cross border derby tonight, Wednesday, when Chester play host to rivals Wrexham. Police have urged fans of both sides not to ruin the game with any bad behaviour or violence. Superintendent Richard Rees at Cheshire Constabulary said: “Over the past few years, we have seen considerable reductions in arrests and disorder and, after working closely with both clubs and North Wales Police, all parties have agreed that this season the ‘safe transport’ element will be removed.” The fixture was initially moved from a Saturday to a Friday night, before being moved again to a Wednesday night. The last game between the two sides that took place at the Deva Stadium was played out in front of almost 4,000 fans, but fans from either side were kept under close supervision from the police in a ‘bubble match’ fixture. Around 1,200 Wrexham fans are set to make the trip across the border and Chester are expecting to exceed an attendance of 4,000 people – making this game their most viewed in over three years.

A Merseyside pole dancer is gearing up for her professional debut in a nationwide competition. Louise Dobbing, 21, from Wirral is training for her first professional pole dancing competition, which is taking place early next year. She started pole dancing at 17 and is entering the heats for The Authentic’s Pole competition (APD17), a nationwide event that embraces the more sensual side of pole dancing which promoted body confidence and owning sexuality as well as the athletic side. The competition has four heats around the country before the finals, based in Wigan at the start of July. Louise said: “I’m feeling slightly nervous as it’ll be my first pole competition but I’m really excited to take the stage! “I decided to enter the competition because I’ve always loved to compete and I think it’s a really beautiful thing that APD17 are doing.” The Wirral performer trains at Flying Ballerina’s Arial and Dance Academy in Birkenhead, which was founded by British and European Pole Dancing Champion Toni ‘Misty’ Mansell. The academy celebrates all aspects of Pole Dancing, Exotic Dancing, Aerial Arts, Aerial Fitness and Performance.

Stage: Louise showcasing her talent © Louise Dobbing Louise said: “I wanted to start pole dancing because I love the idea of combining dance with what I would call a very athletic sport. “As well as using pole as an all over body workout, I also found it’s improved my confidence as a person, it makes you feel sexy as hell which I think everybody should feel about themselves.” The Global Association of International Sports Federations has confirmed they will be giving ‘observer status’ to the sport

meaning it could be considered for the Olympics. Louise said: “I’d love to see it become an Olympic sport in the future! “A lot of people don’t realise that pole dancing isn’t just dancing round a pole and actually requires strength, skill, flow movement and grip.” Sonia Allcock is holding the North Wales heat, which is being held in March 2018, for any extra information, contact her directly at nwpacademy@hotmail.co.uk.

Handball teams test themselves on global level By MARCELLO DOTOLO International handball came to Merseyside in an exciting showcase of talent against local sides. Ireland’s development team, which features the very best in the country from the 16/18 age group, faced off in a series of friendlies against University and local team Liverpool Handball club. University teams, Liverpool John Moores and University of Liverpool handball teams also faced off for the third time this season, with LJMU running out comfortable winners. Former Irish International John McMahon, who currently plays for Liverpool Handball club said:

“This was the first time this bunch of lads have actually played all together. “The aim of the tour was to prepare the lads for the strength of the teams they will face next year at the tournament. “Next year they’ll be facing teams like Austria, and Germany, so facing larger opponents is great preparation. Our Under 18’s team faced Warrington Wolves youth team who are one of the best in the country. “They lost with a score differential of 10 which is very respectable, especially for a team that has just been put together.” Liverpool handball club narrowly edged the victory against the

Talent: The Irish Development Squads under 16’s side, who struggled to the power of the LHC Line player given the fact that they were physically outmatched. Despite the physical mismatches, there were no standout performers. The team defended valiantly and

© Marcello Dotolo

attacked with purpose. Often finding success through their quick passing and decisive wing play. These friendlies were organised in preparation for the EHF Championships in Austria next year, which will feature Europe’s top international teams.


SPORT

LL 29

Keeper swaps Crosby for Africa as international duty calls By SAM O’HARA Marine AFC’s goalkeeper is away on international duty after receiving a call-up to the Guinea Bissau squad, meaning he will be unavailable for the Mariners for eight days during November. Germano Mendes was signed by Marine from ground-share partners AFC Liverpool last season after impressing in pre-season and will be in Guinea Bissau’s squad to face Cape Verde and a second fixture after joining up with the national side this Monday. The Evo-stik League Premier Division club secretary had to rely on the use of Google Translate and help from the FA to confirm the goalkeeper’s availability for a call-up and complete the necessary documents. Luckily, he managed to complete all of the formalities to allow Mendes to fly out to Portugal and meet up with the squad. The goalkeeper previously played for JS Hercules in Finland and Portugese side Oeiras before relocating to Liverpool with AFC

Liverpool and then Marine AFC. He has played five times for the Crosby side this season, with them winning two and losing three when he has been between the sticks. It is an exciting time for the 25-year-old stopper to be involved with the Guinea Bissau squad, as they made history this year by qualifying for the African Cup Of Nations for the very first time. Although they may have finished bottom of Group A at the tournament, they did their reputation no harm by earning a 1-1 draw against Gabon and only suffering the narrowest 2-1 defeat to Cameroon. Mendes will join former Everton player Francisco Júnior as a Guinea Bissau international. The Mariners will be without Mendes for their cup game away at Atherton Colliers on Saturday, November 11th, but will be hoping to have him back without injury for the trip to Halesowen Town in the league on the following Saturday.

Top: Guinea Bissau Flag Pic © Wikipedia Bottom: Marine AFC supporters Flag Pic © JMU Journalism

Cage Warriors set for big Walk the Walk with return in New Year Bellew By ED BALDWIN Paddy Pimblett is set to return to action as Cage Warriors announces its return to the Echo Arena in the New Year. Christmas is still a few weeks away, but Cage Warriors have already announced the first big event of 2018. Cage Warriors will return to the centre of UK mixed martial arts, Liverpool, for Cage Warriors 90 on Saturday February 24, with the fighting pride of Liverpool, former Cage Warriors featherweight world champion Paddy ‘The Baddy’ Pimblett, scheduled to return. The event will see Cage Warriors’ latest return to The Echo Arena, and tickets are sure to be in high demand to see the long-awaited return to action of local boy Pimblett. ‘The Baddy’ was all set to return to action at Cage Warriors 88 in Liverpool, but was withdrawn from the fight card after

By SAM O’HARA sustaining a concussion during training. Pimblett will now return to action in his home city in Cage Warriors’ first event of the New Year. Cage Warriors president Graham Boylan said: “We’re kicking off the New Year with a big party in Liverpool, and there’s nobody better than Paddy Pimblett at getting the party started in Cage Warriors. “He was gutted to miss out on Cage Warriors 88, but he’s excited to come back in the New Year, and promises to take the roof off The Echo Arena with another exciting display.” Pimblett’s opponent, plus the other bouts set for action on the card, will be announced in due course. Tickets for the event go on sale soon. Those who are interested in attending are urged to check CageWarriors.com for more details in the coming weeks.

One lucky fan will get the chance of a lifetime during Tony Bellew’s high profile contest with David Haye next month. Bellew is offering someone the opportunity to be a part of his ring walk in the highly anticipated rematch at the O2 Arena on 17th December. He said: “The bright lights, full capacity crowd, the ferocious noise, the atmosphere in the arena. The big fight night. You can’t do it justice. The long walk into that ring to head into battle.” The Liverpool fighter shocked many people in the boxing world with a TKO win when the pair met for the first time back in March of this year. Haye did pick up an achilles injury though during the previous fight so all eyes are on Bellew this time round to see if he can defeat his opponent for a second time. Another Liverpool boxer will

Tony Bellew ©WikimediaCommons

join Bellew on the night, with Rocky Fielding facing Sweden’s Erik Skoglund on the undercard of the big fight. This will be a tough battle for Fielding, after the Swedish fighter managing to take Callum Smith 12 rounds, a fellow scouser who knocked Fielding out. One thing is for sure, the winner of this unique prize, which Bellew is offering alongside his sponsor, Betsafe, will have a night they will remember forever and will be a part of one of the biggest fights of this modern era. Let’s hope the contest is as memorable for the viewers as the first one.


30 LL SPORT

Boxers campaign to K.O. knife crime

Combat sports can help people release feelings of stress and anger that can ultimately lead to people carrying knives.

By MATTY DAVIES

L

iverpool’s knife crime problem is showing no signs of going away, but now a group of sportsmen have launched a campaign to tackle the scourge. Recent figures from Merseyside Police show that in just a six-day period of July this year, the force seized 24 knives and made 62 arrests for knife-related offences. The killing of 21-year-old Sam Cook, who was stabbed in a city centre nightclub last month whilst out with friends celebrating his birthday, exacerbated the issue which has shocked and angered the local community. Tragedies like this have encouraged Liverpool-based combat athletes to start a campaign that is intended to get young people off the street and into gyms, where they are provided with a positive outlet for pent-up aggression and anger. With the help of his close friend and professional mixed martial artist Paul ‘Boom Boom’ Bentley,

Mark Skeggs, who has a long running association with boxing, has started the No More Knives Campaign. The two men, who work together as personal trainers at the Functional Personal Training Studio in Speke, believe that their campaign can have a meaningful, positive effect on the city’s problem. Mr Skeggs, 32, said: “The idea has been with us at the gym for a long time as a few of us have lost close friends to knife crime. After recent events, we thought the timing was right and timing is everything.” The first event of the campaign is to take place in December when Mr Skeggs climbs into a boxing ring, hoping to not only promote the No More Knives movement but encourage others to follow him into the ring too. The fight will form part of BDC white-collar boxing show, which has been organised by Mr Bentley to take place at city centre nightclub

Fusion. Mr Skeggs told Liverpool Life: “I’ve boxed for most of my life and I’m still having a dabble now. I’ve come from a family of boxers and we are proud to say we all are kind people who get on with everyone. Contact sports teach you manners, respect and other things that can only be learnt in the gym. “Combat sports can help people release feelings of stress and anger that can ultimately lead to people carrying knives. Just look at all the boxers and cage fighters; they are all respected on the street and none of them are violent people by nature.” Mr Skeggs, a former bar owner, and his colleagues at FPTS also have plans for a Liverpool club event, which they plan to host on various dates over the course of a year. He said: “I genuinely believe that could help create a new, positive atmosphere in the city and I have a well-known DJ who

backs the campaign who is willing to take part too.” Talks are taking place over a venue for the events. Whilst the No More Knives campaigners aren’t expecting miracles, they’re hopeful that with consistent and focused work, they can help make a difference. They explain that if they affect one young man’s life for the better, it will have all been worthwhile. Mr Skeggs said: “I genuinely believe that with a bit of consistency, this could actually make a difference. It cannot fizzle out and be forgotten about. It has to be consistent. The more eyes and ears that this reaches, the more likely we are to make a difference.” With the support of prominent Liverpool fighters like Tony Bellew and Rocky Fielding, who have both followed Mr Bentley’s lead in making Facebook videos promoting the movement, nobody can deny that they’ve made a splash already.


SPORT LL

31

Tournament on the table for businesses By ED BALDWIN

Campaign: Sefton Park will host the awareness courses

Cricket club knocking mental illness for six

By TOM SWIFT

A mental health awareness course will be held at the Sefton Park cricket club to help coaches understand the struggles and stigmas of everyday life. Anyone can attend the threehour event on November 12th, being hosted by the Opening Up Cricket organisation. It will run from 1pm-4pm. The course will introduce mental health, the stigmas, issues, and many of the conditions of mental health such as eating disorders and depression. Presentations, group discussions and workshop activities will be the basis of the event.

Billy Moone, a Liverpool John Moores University student who regularly plays cricket for his local team Hayes in London, told LL he was delighted that measures were in place to help with mental health in sports. He said: “I think it’s great that people are starting to recognise how big an issue mental health is. I do not think enough people in high positions know how to deal with it. “When Philip Hughes was struck by a ball in 2014 and died, it affected everyone in the sports world but especially the cricket world. Some of my team mates were put off playing after that hap pened and I knew many people

who were really upset afterwards.” Australian cricketer Hughes died at the age of 25 while playing for South Australia against New South Wales. He was struck in the neck after missing a shot. The course is designed to help anyone who attends to be able to deal with these issues, challenge the stigmas, and have confidence in being able to help someone in distress or experiencing a mental health issue. Mental health in sports has recently been more recognised after former professional footballer Clark Carlisle admitted to being depressed and went missing for the day before eventually being found in Liverpool.

Liverpool businesses are in training for a table football challenge. Liverpool BID Company are teaming up with Weightmans solicitors to host their annual Table Foosball competition onWednesday November 15th. The event, which works to engage businesses to network with each other, is back by popular demand, after great success last year. It will be hosted at the new One Fine Day café situated on Old Hall Street. Table Foosball or Football as it is most commonly known as, can be played by two individuals (singles) – and with four people (doubles), in which there are teams of two people on either side. The event was established in 2011 and represents more than 550 companies across the business heart of Liverpool city centre. The BID’s role is to promote this part of the city centre as a vibrant destination and key location to invest through a programme of initiatives.

Smith aiming for repeat victory over Williams By JAMES FARRINGTON Liverpool’s boxing sensation Liam Smith will get back into the ring once again this weekend, when he goes toe to toe in the heavilyawaited rematch with Liam Williams. The fight will take place on neutral ground at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena, in a WBO World Title Eliminator. The winner will fight Miguel Cotto for the vacant WBO super-welterweight world title. In the pair’s first encounter, Smith won by inflicting substantial damage to Williams’ right eyelid. The Welshman’s proud unbeaten record ended as corner

man Gary Lockett threw in the towel at the end of round nine. After the fight, both fighters were sceptical if the damage had occurred from a clash of heads or a punch. Due to the dubious nature of the victory, both fighters agreed to a rematch when their injuries had recovered. At the time of the stoppage, Williams had been up by one round on the judges’ scorecards. Liverpudlian Smith was disappointed after the fight at his failure to make weight before the contest. It meant the 28-year-old was not able to lift WBO interim superwelterweight and will have to do it all again for a second time.

Rematch: Smith and Williams face off Picture © Getty Images


LL Liverpool Life

Picture Š Marcello Dotolo

Produced each fortnight by LJMU Journalism Students

Liverpool Life 6:03 07112017  

Liverpool Life is a fortnightly news magazine produced by final year undergraduate students on the Journalism and International Journalism p...