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Liverpool Life



LIVERPOOL LOVE : A new look for the docks. Pics © Benjamin Lynch

Passionate projections set to light up Royal Albert Dock By BENJAMIN LYNCH The Albert Dock is showing a special projection for this year’s Valentines celebrations. The Say It With Love projection – which can be viewed from around the Dock’s inner quay – launched on Friday. For those looking to make the coming days even more distinct, a special message can be sent into the Royal Albert Dock website, to be shown on

screen. Those responsible for the dock say this will be ideal for ‘those looking to surprise their crush, act as Cupid on behalf of a shy friend, or even pop the question to a loved one with the ultimate proposal’. Liverpool lovers can enjoy a range of romantic festivities as the Valentines celebrations begin, but perhaps few events will stir the senses

quite like the projection that lights up the wall of the Merseyside Maritime Museum. A short walk around the dock is enough to warm even the coldest hearts. Lancashire-based MK Illumination have also helped with the display, adorning the docks with light up hearts. The dock’s independent restaurants

and special deals could complete a very romantic evening for any couple wishing to wander down to one of Liverpool’s most notable landmarks in the coming days.


Student’s Sunday Supper Project serves up help for the homeless


A kind-hearted initiative from a Liverpool John Moores student is ensuring the homeless people of Liverpool get a hot meal. Jess Healey, 20, from Wigan, started the Sunday Supper Project in December, when she made eight meals at her University halls. After the initial Sunday Supper Project, Jess realized the need for help to be able to pull off the project, something that she had always wanted to do from a young age. In an interview with Liverpool Life, Jess said: “I put a tweet out saying I wanted to make Sunday Supper Project a regular thing. “Two weeks later with a team of about 15, we made 60 Christmas dinners and handed them out to the homeless people of Liverpool, alongside socks/biscuits.” Within 24 hours of the team handing out the Christmas dinners, the Sunday Supper Project had received nearly £500 in donations, allowing the project to grow from there.

Sunday Supper Project Volunteers One of the people who got involved with the project was Sarah Sandison, an Instagram-based blogger from Liverpool who goes under the name of @Mybrothersarah. She said: “It all happened really naturally and always something I felt certain I wanted to be involved in and do my best. We’ve received offers of donations, cooking, or people’s time. “Lost Art donated two huge bags full of hats that were snapped up straight away in the cold weather. Now the Gluten Pie Company is sponsoring



an entire Sunday Supper Project on March 1 using their kitchens on Hope Street, as the owner of the business was once homeless.” Jess Healey added: “Our main philosophy has always been that we hand out freshly-made homemade meals. “This means we use our budget to buy socks, hats, emergency blankets/ drinks and sanitary products, and anything else we are asked for when we are out. Lots of the homeless people I’ve spoken to via the project have said they simply wouldn’t survive without the support of volunteers.


Coronavirus quarantine P3

The Wirral astrophotographer P9

Parkgate animal rescue P5

Liverpool Muslim Outreach Society P10

Valentine’s day guide P6-7

Grand National trial run P12

© Jess Healey

“We get requests for different products every week and we use the donation money to provide them.” Homelessness is a real and growing social issue on the streets of Liverpool. Statistics in 2019 showed a total of 899 reports of rough sleeping in the city. The council has been working to prevent this issue, and in November 2019 a 53% drop was seen, with only 15 people sleeping rough. To find out more on the project you can follow their work on Instagram and donations can be made at their Just Giving page.



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EDITOR: Tilly Kenyon PRODUCTION TEAM: Scott Clarkson, Tilly Kenyon, Hannah Martin, Scarlett O’Toole, Grace Plowman, Katie Preece, Jessica Rigg, Emily Roberts, Ash Rowe, Jose Ruiz, Ady Sargeant, Tammy-Lee Walsh, Danielle Wilson FRONT COVER PHOTO: Royal Albert Dock by Benjamin Lynch


Teacher with vision makes mark in Myanmar By ROSIE PATEL A special educational needs teacher from Liverpool is embarking on a journey of a lifetime working as a teacher trainer in Myanmar. Mark Kennedy from Mossley Hill, who has been teaching in Liverpool for 20 years, has taken a sabbatical to volunteer to help the next generation of young Burmese trainer teachers. Currently Myanmar has a very old-fashioned teaching method and is heavily reliant on rote learning so Mark will be aiming to help improve and change the educational sector and to bring the classrooms up to date with modern teaching methods. He believes there are similarities between the people in Liverpool and the community where he is working. Mark said: “Liverpudlians really value solidarity. I see the power of grassroots community-led initiatives in Myanmar, which reminds me of the values, and attitudes of people back

home in Liverpool. “People from Liverpool have a lot in common with people in the community where I’m working now.” Mark stopped teaching full time two years ago and instead became a supply teacher. He was then inspired to use his teaching credentials with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), the world’s leading development charity. The organisation focuses on improving the health, education and livelihoods of the most marginalised in society. Myanmar remains one of the world’s least-developed nations but is going through a period of rapid change. VSO have been working since 2012 with the government, local and international partners to make sure the disadvantaged participate in development that benefits themselves. Mark will be in Myanmar until November 2020.

School children in Myanmar

© Nyan Zay Htet

Kindness of community makes Coronavirus quarantine easier By ADAM HIGGINS Quarantined patients at Arrowe Park hospital have praised Wirral residents for their hospitality and kindness during the last two weeks. A total of 83 Britons were evacuated from Wuhan, China, the epicentre of the deadly novel coronavirus, on January 30 and placed in quarantine at a NHS university accommodation building next to the hospital. Locals have used social media to help donate food, drink, hygiene products, books and toys to repatriated evacuees from Wuhan and the Hubei Province, in an efort to provide them some comfort in the midst of an unsettling crisis. Quarantined patient Kharn Lambert

told Liverpool Life of his heartfelt thanks to the people of the Wirral. “The response from the people on the Wirral has been amazing,” he said. “We have been inundated with so many messages of support and they have donated so many different things to keep us entertained. “It is no less than amazing, and saying thank you doesn’t seem to do justice to their kindness.” The Facebook group ‘Coronavirus Compassionate Wirral’ was the driving force behind the organisation of donations. Founder Cheryl German said that she was determined to get the campaign off the ground after witnessing a huge surge of negativity towards the potential coronavirus victims.

She said: “When the announcement was made I just thought ‘How would I feel if I was them?’ “I’m part of numerous local Facebook groups, and I found that there was a lot of negativity and scaremongering towards our guests from China, so I decided to create my own group. “The group was created to spread positivity and to find the best in a bad situation, but not for one minute did I think it would grow so fast so quickly. The support has been incredible.” Kharn Lambert told of the challenges involved in returning to the UK from China. He added: “It was a difficult process getting from Wuhan to Britain. The Foreign Office was not forthcoming with information and we had to work

hard to get them to look into the situation. “Even when we were finally evacuated, the process was hell and there were many mistakes made. “The British ambassador to China, Barbara Woodward, has even admitted to mistakes being made. “My partner used to be a nurse in Wuhan and so has a lot of friends working in the hospitals there. “She warned me for a week or so before the outbreak was officially announced and Wuhan was placed into lockdown that that this was going to be bigger than SARS. “When she told me, I started to worry - not for myself but for my grandmother, who suffers from COPD and would have been very vulnerable.”

Drop in Chinese business since outbreak By BENJAMIN LYNCH

Liverpool Chinatown Arch

© Benjamin Lynch

Members of Liverpool’s Chinese community have expressed their dismay at a drop in their business due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. A number of businesses have reported that since the outbreak, and the media furore that has surrounded it, demand for their services have dropped. Menping Liew, of the Four Seasons restaurant on Renshaw Street, spoke of the dramatic fall in customers they have experienced. She said: “Last Saturday was really quiet. Even the Chinese students are not coming anymore; they are going to other kinds of restaurants instead. Maybe they are scared. “I also think because Chinese people are wearing masks and protecting themselves that general members of

the public don’t want to go near them. So it may well come from that.” Bonbon Bakery’s Janice Yan said: “I do think that people are spending less at the moment, but of course there’s the other side of it with there being so much media attention and comments on the Chinese food industry. “A lot of my customers are Chinese restaurant owners and they have been telling me the same for weeks now, their business is going downhill. “The reports of abuse are not really surprising. I can tell some people are looking down on us and I think the virus making it worse, people are showing their real side.” The city’s Metro Mayor also condemned the reports of racial abuse against members of the Chinese community in Liverpool earlier this week, which have risen since the outbreak.



Strikes strike again at Liverpool universities By MEGAN STRINGER Four universities in Liverpool are to strike over disputes about pay, working conditions and rising pension costs. It comes almost two months after the last strikes organised by the University and College Union (UCU), which saw staff in 60 universities across the UK walk out for eight days just before Christmas. Staff from the University of Liverpool, Liverpool Hope University, Edge Hill University and the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) will walk out from Monday March 9 to Friday March 13. As well as the strike days, members of the union are undertaking action short of a strike. This involves working strictly to contract, not covering for absent colleagues and refusing to reschedule lectures lost to strike action. With students facing exams and dissertation deadlines over the new few months, many are concerned that they won’t get the support they need. Ella Pollard, third year English Literature and History student at the University of Liverpool, told LL: “The tutors are striking with good reason, and I support that, but there needs to be some considerations made for the students who have been


Video firm is snapped up in £26m deal By ETHAN JUKES-MCNEE

Protesters outside St George’s Hall in November © JMU Journalism most affected. “I know I won’t get support during the strikes, all of my tutors are part of the union and will not cross the picket lines, but having to make do isn’t fair either. “I know my tutors will soften the blow but there’s nothing they can really do without jeopardising the strike. Third year is stressful enough as it is.” UCU are assuring the public that the strikes are necessary to ensure that further disruptions are kept to a minimum.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “If universities want to avoid further disruption they need to deal with rising pension costs, and address the problems over pay and conditions. “We have been clear from the outset that we would take serious and sustained industrial action if that was what was needed. As well as the strikes starting later this month, we are going to ballot members to ensure that we have a fresh mandate for action to continue until the end of the academic year if these disputes are not resolved.” Joe Norman, marketing and press officer from LIPA said: “At this stage we are unsure whether staff will strike. You would need to talk to UCU members for information about why they are striking. “If the strike does go ahead, the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts intends to remain open during strike action by the University and College Union (UCU) and we will do everything we can to minimise the impact of the strike on our students.”

Liverpool-based video platform LivingLens has been bought by US tech firm Medallia, an experience management company, in a $26m deal. The UK company’s platform captures videos from customers and employees, then analyses them to extract insight about the individuals’ feelings, wants, and needs. A business can use such insights to make internal decisions or tailor the customer experience — which is precisely why Medallia wants to own LivingLens’ product. CEO Carl Wong, who founded LivingLens in the Baltic Triangle back in 2014 with retail specialist David Woods, said: “Video feedback is one of the most powerful innovations in experience management today. “Hospitality, travel, retail, consumer goods, auto, technology, financial services and telecommunications companies all use video feedback to better understand their product, customer and employee experiences in live time. “We are thrilled to become part of the Medallia family and provide our customers with the world-class customer insights they need to transform their businesses.”

Concerns over poor quality of care home By ETHAN JUKES-MCNEE A Wirral care home has received the worst possible rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The Duke’s House in Duke Street, New Brighton, was found to have systematically breached people’s human rights, according to the commission’s report. The environment was said to be very restrictive and the care home failed to follow the rules on when they can make decisions on behalf of people. Commenting on the safety and effectiveness of the service provided, the report judged the home to be inadequate. In the categories of caring service and responsiveness The Duke’s House was found to be requir-

ing improvement and leadership was found to be inadequate. However, there was some positive news for the home with the staff themselves found to be caring and aiming for positive relationships with residents. The CQC said: “Staff were caring in their interactions with people and it was evident that staff endeavoured to have positive relationships with people. “Whilst staff as individuals had a caring approach towards people, the provider had not developed, promoted or ensured that there was a caring culture at the home that respected and enabled people.” The care home is run by Lifeways Inclusive Lifestyles Ltd and provides accommodation and support for six

people who have a learning disability, autism or a mental health support need. The CQC continued: “The home had a very restrictive environment. The provider had taken depriving people of their liberties for granted and had not ensured that people’s fundamental rights were acknowledged and protected. “The systems in place for assessing, monitoring and managing risks when supporting people were inadequate. They had not always ensured that the use of restraint had been safe and effective.” Overall, the environment of the home was described as “not homely” and was “uninviting”. When approached by Liverpool Life, Lifeways declined to comment.



Flood warnings continue to be issued for Wirral By MEGAN STRINGER The effects of Storm Ciara were still being felt on the Wirral early this week as flood warnings continued to be issued along the coastline. The environmental agency has issued alerts along the River Mersey as waves were expected to break over the sea defences and disrupt nearby roads. A spokesman said yesterday: “Waves are forecast to overtop sea defences at Wallasey with sea spray expected as a result of high spring tides and strong winds. “We believe there is a possibility of flooding for low-lying land and roads at the head of the Wirral from Hoylake to New Brighton, including parts of Leasowe and Wallasey.

“Coastal conditions are expected to continue until after the high tides at 11:30.” New Brighton is particularly notorious for flooding after an incident in 2013 which resulted in cars and businesses being submerged in two feet of water after disruptive weather conditions. Heavy rain also continued to hammer the region yesterday, disrupting transport and resulting in poor driving conditions. Over the weekend waves were crashing over the sea walls and resulted in the coastal road being closed to traffic. Mersey ferry services were cancelled and even Chester had to close as the exotic animals took shelter from the storm.

Dennis the menace As the region counts the cost of the havoc caused by Storm Ciara, another storm is on its way at the weekend. Storm Dennis is set to hit Liverpool on Saturday with winds of 50 to 60mph in some areas. The Met Office gave a statement as they released a yellow weather warning, implying that the coming weekend could bring further trouble. The weather warning is in place for wind, as the storm will bring very strong gales. A yellow weather warning means that there is a small chance of injuries from flying debris, damage to buildings and power cuts but none of these are thought to be severe risks. The strength of the winds predicted are expected to cause closures to roads and bridges, while also bringing a chance of longer journey times or cancellations as road, rail, air and ferry services are affected. The Met Office has issued advice to those who need to drive during the storms, advising drivers to plan ahead and to keep a look out for gaps between buildings, trees or bridges over a river or railway as exposure to strong winds is more likely.

© John Towner on Unsplash

Residents save animals harmed by Storm Ciara By LAURA KELLY

STORM: From above © NASA on Unsplash

FLOODED: Storm Ciara hits the Wirral

Parkgate residents have come to the rescue after Storm Ciara left animals at risk. Around 200 animals were helped by locals and local business Komaru Outdoors, based inside Knowsley Safari Park, which teaches bushcraft to families and enthusiasts with the aim of getting people into the outdoors. Nick Lynch, the director of Komaru Outdoors, said: “Parkgate’s part of the River Dee silted up, so now there is nothing between the village high street but a sandstone wall and 40 square miles of salt marsh. “A few times a year we get a big high tide that comes right up to the wall, pushing in the animals and birds that are rarely seen and attracting in large numbers of birds of prey. “We were expecting high tides on Monday and Tuesday but Sunday was surprising. The storm caused a tidal surge so, with the wind behind it, the water came in very quickly and was deeper than anyone expected. There were thousands of little animals running and swimming for their lives. “Mostly voles, pygmy shrews and rare harvest mice, but also bigger animals like weasels and foxes and usu-

ally unseen birds like water rails. In 20 years we had never seen so many stranded on the road – they were being run over and hiding in the wheels of parked cars; being picked up by seagulls and crows, and many were just dying of cold and exhaustion. It was heart breaking to see.” Residents came out with buckets and boxes and starting picking the animals up. Nick added: “We got the animals

warm and out of the wind, and let them go about an hour later in a safer place near the river bank. We kept the very sick ones until the evening when they were well enough to release. “With our immediate neighbours we saved about 200, but many more were picked up by other people. We were careful only to rescue animals that needed help, so if they had found somewhere to hide away from the road we left them.”

AT RISK: Animals rescued by locals

Pic © Laura Kelly

Charity appeals for new shelter By LAURA KELLY Freshfields Animal Rescue Centre have made an appeal on social media for sheds after damage by Storm Ciara. The shelter in its dogs exercise area was destroyed following strong winds and another shed in a separate yard has been left with a leak, leaving the charity, which is based on a 2.5 acre site in Ince Blundell, to appeal for help in finding and funding replacements. In a Facebook post, the charity said: “The recent storms have been causing chaos for us at the Liverpool centre and have completely destroyed

the shelter in one of our dog exercise yards. “We are in desperate need of a shed or anything that is big and strong enough to provide shelter for our dogs while they are out using the exercise area.” Freshfields Liverpool currently has three blocks of six kennels and with additional ‘rooms’ given over to the dogs in their care. They have the capacity to house up to 45 depending upon size, breed and temperament. They care for all types of animals, from cats and dog to pigs and horses. If you’re able to help out then ring 0151 931 1604.

DAMAGE: Appeal for sheds



Single or taken? We Your guide to Galentine’s Day



he most romantic day of the year is quickly approaching but another equally important day is also almost here, Galentine’s Day! So then, what is Galentine’s Day? Well, it is the day you celebrate how much you love your friends rather than your significant other. This day is all about showering your besties with more attention and affection

than usual. So when is it and who invented it? It always takes place on the February 13th and was first heard of in 2010 when US television show Parks and Rec, had an episode titled Galentine’s Day. Since then it has become the unofficial official day to celebrate your love for your friends. Whilst some will be thinking about

February 13 Go for a three-course meal This Galentine’s Day Mercure Liverpool Atlantic Tower Hotel will be hosting ‘Ladies Celebrating Ladies’. Join them for a sumptuous three-course choice menu with pink prosecco from 6pm to 9.30pm.

Watch a chick flick Celebrate female friendship with some of the best iconic chick flicks at The Everyman Theatre. Grab your BFF and treat them to an evening of laughter and friendship. All tickets are £10 and include a small popcorn.

Pink Afternoon Tea An evening filled with cakes, cocktails, gossip and the fabulous Faye singing the ultimate girl power classics that we all know and love. Get booked in for £25, which includes candyfloss prosecco reception and galantine’s pink afternoon tea. Starts at 7pm until 11:30pm.

Here’s music for your ears … it’s LL’s selection of the top seven love songs for this Valentine’s Day. In no particular order, they are: Puppy Love - Donny Osmond Unchained Melody - The Righteous Brothers Bleeding Love - Leona Lewis I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran Always On My Mind - Elvis Presely Someone Like You - Adele 6

what to do with their partners others will be focusing on the women in their lives they love the most, so why not celebrate Galentine’s in style this year. Luckily, liverpool has no shortage of things to do with the girls. Here at Liverpool Life we have put together a list of some of the ways you can celebrate Galentine’s this year.

Galentine’s Day Celebration don’t just end on the 13th. Celebrations continue throughout the week. Here is what else is on.....

February 15 Bottomless Brunch Includes a brunch meal and 2 hours of bottomless drinks at Revolucion de Cuba. Tickets start from £22.50.

Lime #3 Lime presents Galentines! Brand new classic dancehall/Bashment plus a touch of R&B. Grab the girls and dance the night away in the newly refurbished Zanzibar club. Starts at 8pm.

February 16 Bottomless Brunch End the week of celebrating with a Galentine’s brunch at Revolution Cavern Quarter.

♥♥ LL

e’ve got you covered

Our style guide for Valentine’s Day By OLIVIA WAGG

The Fancy Meal

The Fancy Meal

If you need something a little more dressy for that dinner date with bae, try styling an all black outfit with a bold blazer to stand out from the crowd. Blazers are so on-trend RN and can take your outfit from day to night. Top tip: pair with some chunky gold jewelry. • • • • •

Black jeans Black vest Pink blazer Strappy black heels Black cross over bag.

The Fun Date

If you’re planning on doing something a little out of the ordinary like junkyard yard golf or a trip to the zoo, you’re going to want to dress comfy, but also a little funky. Look effortlessly cool with this knit co-ord and some chunky white trainers.

The Fun Date

• Knit co-ord • White air force • Nylon black bag

Both outfits from Topshop


Welcome to a whirlwind of sweat, booze and carnage


Picture by Ash Rowe


love my home - it may be one of the few cities in the country where a gig on a Tuesday night can kick off just as much as it would on a weekend night. On the backfoot of Independent Venue Week, it’s always refreshing to see people braving the bitter February chill and still clammering for more. And tonight we’re in for a treat, a smorgasboard of some of the county’s top alternative rock music accompanied by the Safe Gigs for Women charity. First to take the stage are local lads Salt The Snail; an abrasive, loud as you like four-piece with a penchant for audience participation and a band I have followed closely over the past year. The night kicks off with frontman Krystian Hudson taking no prisoners, demanding members of a modest crowd to select songs from the band’s catalogue by picking tennis balls out of an inflatable duck, a staple trademark of theirs. Four songs in and it became clear at this point of the evening that the setting


© Anthony Robling

was very intimate, with roughly 20 or so people in the crowd, the band were happy to accept the modest turn out and provide chairs for eveyone. Fan favourites “Junkyard Cat” and their latest release “Lazer Quest” proved to be a sufficient warm-up for what was to ensue. Locals who have the chance to catch Salt The Snail and aren’t afraid to get involved in the punk rock cabaret, should take our word for it. The venue starts to fill up more as Dead Naked Hippies return for their second gig at Phase One; A ruckus trio with a reminiscent sound to UK altrock pedigrees - think Placebo meets Royal Blood with a more psychedelic edge thrown in the mix and you might be on the mark. Bombastic percussion and guitar riffs so sharp they cut through the room like a hot knife through butter are wielded together by the vocal duties of Lucy Jowett, who frantically juxtaposes between lyrical outbursts and static freeze frames akin to Pele Almqvist of

The Hives. Indie hits “Drain You” and “Eyes Wide” are well recieved by their Merseyside faithfuls, they will definately be welcomed back soon with open arms. On to the main event, and just in time to encapsulate the feral like anticipation of the audience are JOHN, with a band name that will leave you on the brink of a meltdown when trying to search for these guys online, the name was quickly justified by drummer and vocalist John Newton; “I’m John, he’s John, and together we’re JOHN.” JOHN may be a perfect example, in terms of underground bands, that a flashy name means nothing when it comes to breaking through. It’s easy to ignore the simplicity and mundanity of the two-piece outfit when you’ve been hit by the flurry of raw aggression that exudes between them. They’re a no-compromise duo

with a range of songs that at times felt like a continuous piece with an almost mechanical motion to them, with sections and breaks flowing one after another almost seamlessly. Like their playmates for the evening they demand the attention and passion of the crowd throughout the night. Newton declares to various members of the crowd that their shoes are still clean, in a plea to get everyone moving before bursting into their new single “Western Wilds”, which also makes its debut onto the BBC Radio 6 playlist this week. Eventually we were so caught up in the whirlwind of sweat, booze and carnage until it spat us outside, it was time to go home regardless of the insatiable hunger for more that JOHN had left us all with.


Treats in store for music and theatre fans

Something About Simon – The Paul Simon Story A new production celebrating the life and times of Paul Simon is coming to Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre arriving on February 22. Liverpool’s own singer songwriter Gary Edwards Jones created the show alongside Bill Elms and Jon Fellowes and the trio spent three years constructing the production. www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk/events/ something-about-simon-the-paul-simon-story 0844 888 4411 Tickets from £20.



The Best of That’ll Be The Day The show will return to St Helens on February 28. The show will feature its popular comic sketches and impressions from the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. www.thatllbetheday.com Tickets from £27.50. Strong Enough: The Ultimate Tribute Concert to Cher The show will take place on February 29 and will include a live band and dancers recreating all the hits and looks of the pop idol. www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com Tickets from £24. Whitney: Queen of the Night Whitney Houston fans will be delighted to know that a tribute show arrives on February 26 in St Helens. It will include all the classics such as “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “I Will Always Love You” and will celebrate the singer’s music and life. www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com 01744 756 000. Tickets from £27.

Havana Nights Strictly Come Dancing’s Graziano Di Prima and fiancée Giada Lini will dazzle dance fans with their sizzling new dance show. Their show will combine a mix of Latin dances with individual performances from the duo and entertaining group numbers with their supporting dancers. www.havananightstour.co.uk/ Wizard of Oz @ the Theatre Royal We’re off to see the wizard at the St Helens Theatre Royal! This February half term, feel free to join Dorothy and Toto as they make friends along the yellow brick road, singing and cracking jokes along the way.

Rising star Mia Molloy steps into the role of Dorothy and joins Theatre Royal veteran Samantha Palin as the Wicked Witch. With a cast of familiar faces as well as up-and-coming talent, the Wizard of Oz is bound to be a hit with the whole family. It runs from Saturday February 15 to Sunday 23. Book in person at the Theatre Royal Box Office, Corporation Street, St Helens (Mon-Sat 10am5pm). Alternatively, call 01744 756 000 or go to www.sthelenstheatre royal.com. Additional reporting by Evelyn Edward


As far as the sky can see By LUKE EDWARDS


ot many of us on planet Earth are aware of our surrounding planets and galaxies, but one man who can see them quite clearly is Charlie Jordan. Charlie Jordan is an astrophotographer from Wirral who spends his spare time looking at stars, planets and other galaxies that are not even visible by looking directly through a telescope, because of how far away they are and partly because of light pollution. However Charlie uses Canon 100d camera, which has a light pollution and infra red filter, fitted to his telescope which he then links up to a computer to capture stunning images of space. He told AMAZING: Outer space LL: “The most important bit of technology I’ve got is not the telescope itself, it’s the computerised EQ5 Equatorial goto mount. When I’m taking a picture of a very faint deep sky object, I use the motorised mount which follows

the stars across the sky so it is at the centre of your field of view at all times.”

white t-shirt is over the lens. The Deep Sky Stacker software then sifts through the photographs and produces the best possible image it can. The retired music teacher’s interest in astronomy began when he was bought a little brass telescope as a child, which was upgraded after Charlie got married and he bought what he describes as a “fairly decent telescope.” It was about 10 years ago when his wife bought him his 8-inch telescope. This is when Charlie says he “really got addicted.” He now owns a 3ins, 6ins and an 8ins refractor telescope. Apps are available to indicate where the specific objects are in the sky at certain times of the year as the seasons change. However, Charlie also knows which “constellations are above the horizon and which objects to look for.” Once he has the final image from the software, Charlie uses Photoshop in order to bring out the colours more and darken the background. Charlied said: “It’s amazing what’s out there, if you know where to look.”

“It’s amazing what’s out there, if you know where to look”

Photo by Charlie Jordan He takes about 40 of these two-minute photographs of the same object, then puts the cap on the telescope and takes about 20 photographs of darkness, followed by about 30 photographs while a


Positive actions speak louder than negative words


Aoife Monahan visits a Muslim charity that is spreading its message of good will



LMOS have done exceptional work for asylum seekers and refugee families. They formed a community sponsorship group to work with the home office and the UN and through this they were able to re-settle a refugee family in Liverpool. As it is a voluntary organisation, LMOS relies on donations to keep them running and help with the work they do. They have set up crowdfunding pages and are supported by local businesses such as Wok to Walk, Rumi and Yellow Sub Play centre. Although these things help them out a lot, they mainly focus on carrying out the work rather than worrying about funding. The Muslim faith puts a big emphasis on helping those in need. Tahir explained: “It is an inherent part of Islam to be of help and assistance to others. At a time when so many are struggling, those who are able to help should.” Tahir and the Muslim Refuge

Organisation hope that their charity work will give people an insight into the part of Islam that mainstream media rarely touch on. Tahir told LL: “Hate crime across the UK is on the rise, we have to be aware that words either do good or do harm. Whenever there is positive news about Muslims, their faith doesn’t get mentioned.” In its first year the charity managed 150 hours of protecting the environment by picking litter from parks and streets, served 1,250 hot meals to people in need and walked 700 miles around the city helping the most vulnerable in society.

Stars set to shine for Comic Con What do an ‘80s heartthrob, Frodo Baggins and Scooby Doo all have in common? The answer is that they’ll all be appearing in Liverpool next month, writes ROBBIE ROBINSON. Liverpool Comic Con returns for another year and is set to be the biggest year, with some huge names paying a visit to Merseyside. This year’s main guests include Oscar-nominated actor Micky Rourke, Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood and Stranger Things actor David Harbour. There are also several reunions taking place with the casts of American Pie, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Sabrina The Teenage Witch all paying a visit to comic-con this year. The event will take place at The Exhibition Centre next to the M&S Bank Arena from March 6-8.

STAR TURNS: Mickey Rourke, left, and Elijah Wood will both be appearing at this year’s Liverpool Comic Con

© Gage Skidmore

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and mainstream media have not always been sympathetic to the Muslim religion. Tahir said: “Since 9/11, negative news about Muslims have received more media attention than positive ones.” The aim of LMOS is to show that the Islamic faith has positivity in it and isn’t just radical people praying. It runs charity events all year round and on Monday they braved the weather of Storm Ciara to distribute meals and sandwiches to homeless people on the streets of Liverpool. They also gave out sleeping bags to those who had to sleep on the streets in these horrendous weather conditions. LMOS frequently hold free family fun days, which are inclusive to everyone. Tahir told LL: “LMOS is proud to be inclusive and we have non-Muslim volunteers who appreciate the good work we are doing and want to be part of it.”

LMOS is proud to be inclusive and have non-Muslim volunteers

© David Shankbone


Liverpool charity is aiming to change perceptions of the Muslim faith and to support those in need in the city. Liverpool Muslim Outreach Society (LMOS) is an organisation whose aim is to help the community and show that the Islamic faith is not how it is sometimes depicted in mainstream media. Its volunteers are involved in various projects around Liverpool including homeless feeds, food bank donations, helping asylum seekers with clothing, litter picks, and the list goes on. Liverpool Life spoke to Tahir, a volunteer for the organisation who explained to us that it was important to show that Muslims do more than just pray. “They are part of society and not apart from society,” he said. Hate crime in the UK is on the rise

HELPING OUT: Volunteers pictured while litter picking for LMOS in Liverpool © Liverpool Muslim Refuge Organisation Facebook


Anger as Prenton Park far from pitch perfect By ADAM HIGGINS and EVELYN EDWARD

Shauna Coxsey Wiki Commons

Team GB’s first ever Olympic climber By EVELYN EDWARD Two-time Climbing World Cup winner Shauna Coxsey from Runcorn will become the first athlete to represent Team GB in the Olympic debut of the sport at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games this summer. She is the country’s most successful ever athlete in the sport, with five British titles and four medals in various world champions. Climbing is one of the five new sports to join the Olympics this year, along with surfing, skateboarding, karate and baseball. Sport climbing will consist of speed bouldering and lead disciplines. Speed climbing will see two athletes race against each other up a 15m wall, bouldering involves tackling fixed routes on a 4.5m wall and lead will challenge climbers to get as high up as possible on a 15m wall within a time limit. She is the 20th GB athlete to be announced after the sailing team and canoeists were announced in October. Shauna Coxsey said: “I am really excited to be part of Team GB and to have the privilege of joining so many incredible athletes to represent our country and sport climbing on the world’s biggest sporting stage.” The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games take place between July 24 and August 9.

Mahmood helps seal win By JOSHUA BRAIN Lancashire seamer Saqib Mahmood impressed as he helped England square the ODI series against South Africa at 1-1. Mahmood took a wicket on his maiden One-Day international after the Lions secured a nervy two-wicket victory in Johannesburg. The 22-yearold finished with fine figures of 1/17 from five overs, including one maiden, as Eoin Morgan’s side rounded off the ODI series with a win.

Football fans are calling for action to be taken after multiple matches at Prenton Park were postponed or moved because of poor pitch conditions. The pitch at the Wirral ground, which is home to Tranmere Rovers and hosts Liverpool Women’s FC games, has been waterlogged and deemed unsafe to play on. Four matches have been cancelled in the last couple of weeks, including three Tranmere games and two Liverpool Women’s FC games. An impressive FA Cup run which saw the League One strugglers bow out to Manchester United has highlighted the issue in the national press, raising serious concern for the remainder of the season. Although an explanation has been given, some fans are still unhappy with the prospect of even more games being postponed. Avid supporter Joe Fitzpatrick believes that a poor pitch can only be detrimental to an already cursed season. “It’s a joke that the pitch has been left to rot like it has, it’s definitely going to have an impact on the fixture schedule and maybe our league posi-

Prenton Park pitch condition tion at the end of the season.” “We had a better pitch when we were in non-league, and I really can’t understand how no-one at the club spotted any issues with the drainage at the beginning of the season.” Rovers chairman Mark Palios addressed the problem saying that the club were aware of the issue, but that nothing could be done until the season is over. “The difficulty is that despite having identified the problem, it is almost impossible to change things materially during the course of a season, other than to keep the surface as dry as possible. “This is not an issue of either man-power or expertise.”

© Adam Higgins Liverpool FC chief executive officer Peter Moore has reassured fans that the club is doing everything it can to help the ongoing issues at Prenton Park. Moore, the chairman of Liverpool Women’s, said; “We know how frustrating this is for supporters as well as the players and staff of both clubs who have put in a hard week of preparation for the game. “While these problems are not unique to us, we need to try to find a solution to provide our LFC Women with the surface they deserve. LFC Women’s next home match against Arsenal will take place tomorrow, February 13, at Chester FC’s Deva stadium instead.

Brotherly love on court for tennis duo Montpellier. Liverpool Life spoke to older brother Ken to discuss brotherly relationships, ambitions for the year and footballing allegiances.

By MATTHEW NIXON Liverpool tennis player Ken Skupski says he is aiming for a career highest ranking this year. Skupski first broke onto the tennis scene in 2009 when he won his first two ATP tournaments and broke into the world’s top 50 doubles players. The following year, alongside partner Ross Hutchins, he won the doubles silver medal, as well as scooping the bronze equivalent in the mixed doubles with Sarah Borwell, at the Commonwealth Games. His best result at a grand slam came at Wimbledon in 2017, reaching the quarter-finals of both the men’s doubles and mixed doubles. Ken’s younger brother Neal is ranked inside the top 50 of the ATP’s doubles rankings at the moment, and turned professional in 2013. He has regularly partnered his brother since that time. But, the latter has recently took to the court with Jamie Murray – brother to former Wimbledon champion and world number one, Andy. Neal won his first ATP World Tour title at the Open Sud de France, alongside his brother Ken. The Skupski brothers reached the final of the Aegon Trophy on the Challenger Tour, before winning five Challenger titles in 2013. Ken is currently competing in the

Ken Skupski at Wimbledon in 2013. Image courtesy of Ken Skupski, via Creative Commons New York Open (ATP 250), and was due to play his opening game with partner Santiago Gonzalez against Freddie Nielsen and Roman Jebavy today. However, Neal is playing in Rotterdam on the ATP 500 tour alongside Jamie Murray, as they take on Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Jurgen Melzer tomorrow (11th February), after bowing out in the semi-final in

Q&A with Ken Skupski How did you get into tennis? “My dad got me into tennis. It helps when your back garden backs onto a tennis club.” Skupski’s back garden gates backed onto Palmerston Tennis Club, a local club situated just off Allerton Road in South Liverpool. What is it like sharing a court as brothers? “When we played together, it was so much fun. “We didn’t grow up playing together much but that brotherly bond helped us so much on court. “Winning together was the best feeling, especially as a big brother - I felt I had achieved things for him. “Winning our first ATP together was amazing.” What are your goals for 2020? “My main goal this year would be to achieve my career highest ranking.” To do this, Ken aims to become 44th or higher in the ATP world rankings. Who would win in a match between the two of you? “Neal would beat me in singles. He’s six years younger than me, so I would struggle to run around a full court now!”


LLSPORT LJMU Men’s Gaelic Football 10th cup victory By AOIFE MONAHAN

2019 Grand National winner Tiger Roll pictured in action

Grand National trials set for a jumping start

Pictures © Ronan Galway

By DAN JONES With only weeks to go until Aintree Racecourse hosts the world-famous Grand National, riders and trainers will meet on Saturday for a trial run at Haydock Racecourse. The Unibet Grand National Trial is a first chance for all the runners and riders to see if they have what it takes to take on the challenging Aintree course.

The course has a distance of more than four miles and two and a half furlongs with 30 fences to jump, with some, including Becher’s Brook and Canal Turn, that have become famous themselves. There will be seven races across the day all designed to show who has what it takes to run on Saturday April 4.

More than 100 horses had been entered to the Grand National when registration closed in January. Strong contender is the title holder Tiger Roll. The nine-year-old Irish thoroughbred took the title in both 2018 and 2019. Tiger Roll was the first horse since Red Rum to win the Grand National back-to-back in 1974.

The Liverpool John Moores University Men’s Gaelic Football team lined out against New York GAA to win the Corn Na Mac Léinn Cup in a thrilling clash in Dublin at the weekend. The team flew to Ireland on Friday and took on South Regional College Newry in the semi-final, beating them 0-13 to 0-10 and securing their place in the final. LJMU put in a good shift against their tough rivals New York GAA and on the final whistle; the score was 3-04 to 0-08. The whole team played a vital part in their success, but man of the match went to Danny Magill in both the final and semi-final. In recent years LJMU have looked on as Hope University won back-to-back All-Ireland’s, however, John Moores showed they were worthy opponents by stopping Hope University in their tracks at a qualifying match in December at Greenbank Park. Although the past couple of years have not been the best for LJMU, Saturday marked their 10 th time winning the cup, which means they have now won the title more times than any other British university.


© Eammon Higgins

Sefton Park to host English School’s Cross Country By JAMES LEE Liverpool’s Sefton Park has been selected to host the New Balance English Schools’ Cross Country Championships in March. The event is set for Saturday March

14, with the most talented runners in the country set to compete over a variety of distances. Liverpool City Council have allowed the use of the 235-acre Park for the 60th Boys and 52nd Girls Championships in history. The race has been separated into six

different categories. The first race of the day will be the Intermediate Girls Championship, over 3800 metres, at 12.30pm. The Juniors Girls will race over 3000 metres, with the Senior Girls taking on a 4400m course. The Junior

Boys will race over 4400m and the Intermediate Boys Championship is 5500m. The final race of the day is the Senior Boys Championship at 3.05pm, which is the longest race of the Championships, with a distance of 6700m.

Profile for Steve Harrison

Liverpool Life 8:10 February 12 2020  

Liverpool Life is a weekly news magazine produced by journalism students at Liverpool John Moores University

Liverpool Life 8:10 February 12 2020  

Liverpool Life is a weekly news magazine produced by journalism students at Liverpool John Moores University