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Liverpool Life contents Vol 6 Issue 9 MARCH 21 - APRIL 3 2018 Our Friend Arek...

Thoughts on Bold Street’s new look



Takeover of historic city tavern

Final Farewell from third year JMU Journalists



Wirral’s little litter picker

Helen’s Story



Your guide to all things Easter

LJMU Wrestler makes national debut



St Patrick’s Day action in Liverpool

Grand National preview


18 West Kirby Beach

© Marcello Dotolo

LL Production: Anisah Arif, Danny Moxon, Shelby Hamilton, Shaun Keenan, Sara O’Hagan, Matthew Skelly, Thomas Sutton, Chloe George, Shaniece Thompson, Becky Jones, Tim Spencer-Tanfield, Matty Davies, Olivia Friett, Alex Amadeo, Jack Butler, Meg Dodds, Marcello Dotolo, Oli Fell, Ross Hilton-Inkpin, Gem Jones, Emily Kinsella, Abby Nicholson, Evan Fyfe, Michael Stokes, Danielle Thomas, Hannah Wilkinson, Sam O’Hara, Amy Harding, Jessica Hughes

Guest Editor: Andrew Edwards


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Local café appeals for photos to help with its refurbishment By SAM O’HARA A Liverpool café which has been a long-standing resident of the city is appealing for help with its refurbishment. Café Tabac on Bold Street has been open since 1974 and wants to include a chronological theme of its history throughout - but they need the help of its customers from across the years. Anybody who has any photographs of the venue from the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s is being encouraged to share them with the company. The aim of the refurbishment is to future-proof the site and ensure it is still a venue of choice in what has become a very diverse and saturated market place.

A spokesperson for the café told Liverpool Life: “What remains paramount is that we know Tabac is iconic in Liverpool. Tabac has been a part of so many people’s lives, be it a meeting point, the place for a first date, a workspace, a place to have fun or a place to cure a sore head! “What makes Tabac so special are the customers that we have welcomed over the years and the memories that have been made.” The European-style café bar, which also has a Bohemian feel, has received a positive response to its appeal. The spokesperson added: “Tabac has been the backdrop for so many people’s lives, experiences and memories. We

New look: Café Tabac are so proud of the site. The response from the public has been phenomenal. We have had some fabulous photographs sent over as well as the most amazing memories and anecdotes.” People can send their memo-

Public divided over Bold vision By HANNAH WILKINSON Members of the public have been asked to give their views on plans to pedestrianise Bold Street. A Twitter poll created by Independent Liverpool has already revealed that 88pc were in favour or the regeneration and pedestrianisation of the area. Despite the large number in favour, there remain many people hoping the famous cobbles stay and that the developers keep the charm of the area. Those not in favour have pointed to the ever-growing parking problem within the city as a reason to keep the area the same. Liverpool City Council are revisiting the idea of pedestrianising the full length of Bold Street in a bid to attract more future investment to the area. Their vision is to improve the safety and functionality of what has been described as the bohemian heart of Liverpool, thanks to the rise in creative and independent businesses. Councillor Ann O’Byrne, Deputy Mayor of Liverpool, said: “Both the daytime and nighttime economies in this part of the city centre have flourished and created new demands in

© Sam O’Hara ries and photographs via Café Tabac’s social media channels or to Once they have been collected they plan to integrate them into the site refurbishment and the brand.

Actors’ ‘no smoking’ message for pupils By AMY HARDING

Bold Street: future plans terms of traffic, and the time has come to provide some solutions. “Pedestrianising the full length of Bold Street has the potential to cement this amazingly colourful, vibrant street as one of the most dynamic in Britain.” As well as pedestrianising Bold Street, the proposal will also include the installation of developed lighting and seating, planting new trees, improving the safety for cyclists and reversing the one-way system on Seel Street. The scheme, which aims to add a European café culture to the area, will be split into two

© Liverpool City Council phases. The first, focusing on Bold Street and Seel Street, has already secured funding of £4.5m as part of the Liverpool City Region’s Sustainable Transport Enhancement Package (STEP.) Deputy Mayor O’Byrne added: “The business community, their customers, residents, visitors have all been talking about the need for a safer, greener and more user friendly street, and I’m delighted we’ve been able to secure the funds to begin delivering that.” The consultation will be at FACT until March 30th.

Oldham Theatre Workshop took a no smoking message to schoolchildren in New Brighton. The performance, A World Away, was organised by A Better Life Health Wirral and highlighted the negative impact of smoking on young people’s lives, in a new and dynamic way. Over 1,300 Key Stage Two pupils watched the play in advance of national No Smoking Day. James Atherton, Director of Oldham Theatre Workshop, said: “Stories have the power to both entertain and educate. We’re really excited about ours doing just that. “We hope that the choices made by our characters on stage will help our audience reflect on their own future decisions.” Liz Harrison, of ABL Health, said: “The council has a mission to make smoking history for Wirral’s children, and events like this play a valuable role in supporting this incredibly important preventative work.”


Funding for university’s pancreatic cancer study By EVAN FYFE Cancer Research have donated £1.5m to the University of Liverpool to fund groundbreaking research into pancreatic cancer. Merseyside has some of the highest rates of cancer in Britain, with research from Public Health England indicating those in the area are 76% more likely to die from the disease. Those in the North West are also expected to live 10 to 15 years less than the UK average. Coupled with the access to facilities at the North West cancer centre, research leader Dr Michael Schmidt believes this is an ideal location to carry out this important work. He told Liverpool Life: “Unfortunately, Liverpool is the capital of cancer in the UK, with the highest rates of the disease. “Therefore, it is important the city is involved in the research. We have attracted quite a lot of patients with the disease and are therefore very experienced in

dealing with it. The work will be centred around pancreatic cancer, which is one of the most deadliest forms of the disease, with a survival rate of less than 6%. “Developing in the pancreas, the cancer cells spread aggressively to distant sites in our body, a process called metastasis. Pancreatic cancer is currently the fourth leading cause of cancer death and current treatments are not very effective and new treatment methods are urgently needed. “We are mainly looking at pancreatic cancer, as it is one of the most deadly. Survival rates for most cancer groups are steadily increasing, but pancreatic cancer remains low and there hasn’t been much progress over the past 40 years. It’s not really clear why – some people think it’s because the symptoms aren’t clear,” he added. Both the Royal Liverpool Hospital and Aintree University Hospital will be used to analyse blood and tissue samples from pancreatic patients, investigating how it

spreads to the rest of the body. Dr Schmidt added: “We are especially interested in a tumour’s microenvironment - the cells that surround a cancer cell, and how cancer cells hijack the functions of them for its own benefit. When you remove a tumour from the pancreas, only about 10% of what you remove is cancerous. The rest are just normal cells, and we’re looking at what these cells do and why they promote resistance to treatment.” PhD and Masters students will be involved in the six-year programme, and undergraduates will have access to meetings and training that will help them with future projects. Dr Schmidt said: “The project is so advanced that training is required to take part. We will offer this and after four or five months of learning, we will have a new generation of researchers. It will give students a glimpse of what is involved, teaching them a lot for the future.”

Croaking frogs mystery By GEMMA JONES

A number of frogs have croaked it in a park in Whiston – however, the park has no water. Henley Park, which faces Whiston Hospital, is not normally the home of frogs, so to find about 20 dead was baffling for the locals who use the park. Helen Rachel posted on Facebook: “Is this a freak of nature?” Local councillor Denise Allen, reported the deaths of the frogs to Environmental Health. A spokesperson for Environmental Health, told Liverpool Life: “It is likely that the deaths are unfortunately due to the cold weather we have being experiencing recently. “When ponds freeze over, frogs need to come to the surface to breathe. This has probably caused the frogs to come out.”

Carragher backs Run for the 96 By OLIVIA FRIETT Former Liverpool player Jamie Carragher has added his support to the annual Run For The 96 5K race. The fourth annual run was officially launched in the Isla Gladstone Conservatory, Stanley Park, when Carragher announced that his 23 Foundation charity was onboard as one of the official charities. The run takes place every year to remember the 96 people who died in the Hillsborough incident in 1989. The aim is to raise money for the families of the 96 and the survivors who have fought for justice for 29 years. The 23 Foundation, which was named after Carragher’s team number for Liverpool, was formed in 2009. Jamie said: “I am delighted the 23 Foundation has become part of the Run For The 96. It’s been in the planning for several months so I’m excited to officially launch our involvement. Last year we supported more than 1,100 families, food banks and other vital projects. Our

Legends: L-R Graeme Sharp, Jamie Carragher and Alan Kennedy aim is to help young people have a better life and encourage them to achieve their dreams. Everton in the Community has joined forces with the two chari-

ties to support the event and the commitment to ensure local communities benefit from the run. Graeme Sharp, Everton Ambassador, said: “It’s great to see this

© Paul Francis Cooper

event come back for a fourth year and to see the three organisations come together for such an important cause – to remember the 96.”


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NHS Wirral warn of waiting times at A&E

Vigil shows city solidarity with Grenfell victims By MEG DODDS Scousers stood in solidarity for the lives lost at Grenfell Tower, and they will continue to do so every month until justice is served. The vigil took place outside St. George’s Hall, where members of the public were able to come together and were encouraged to voice their opinions. Liverpool Life spoke to one of the event organisers, Dan Lewis, who believes that these monthly vigils will bring the change needed to help the victims of Grenfell: “Here on Merseyside I’ve learnt that when people have stood together, we’ve made a difference, we’re stronger and united, and our voices are louder.”

The tragedy at Grenfell Tower took place on June 14th last year and the authorities and government have been accused of doing little to help the people affected. Mr Lewis told LL: “We’re nine months on now and there’s no money, there’s people still without a permanent home. “It is essential to get these people into stable housing. But we also need to look at their future. We need to know how they’re going to be supported in the long term.” The organisation Justice for Grenfell are encouraging cities across the UK to hold monthly vigils and marches to bring awareness. Mr Lewis believes that social

housing needs to be changed so that history does not repeat itself: “We need to look at social housing and how we do social housing in the UK and really raise the quality of social housing for people. “We need structural changes to our housing and planning policy and safety regulations across the UK on all buildings public or private.” “All roads are leading to the state being responsible. The council need to be questioned and maybe taken out of their positions, but the ones who were involved in making decisions at Grenfell need to be looked into, it’s criminal. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”

Charity peak performance

Careers advice showcase for school-leavers By SAM O’HARA School-leavers facing the decision about the next stage in their life will be offered guidance at an event in Liverpool this weekend. ‘What Career Live?’ and ‘What University Live?’ is coming to the city for the first time and is aiming to help 15 to 19-year-olds and their parents explore all their options across two days at Exhibition Centre Liverpool. Project Manager, Tom Hill, told Liverpool Life: “We’re really excited about bringing the event to Liverpool for the first time this

year. School-leavers are empowered with more opportunities than ever before, which can also be quite daunting. “What Career Live and What University Live allows students to speak to universities, employers, careers advisors and assessors under one roof, and gather as much information as possible before finishing school and making their next steps.” There are many employers attending the event looking to showcase their apprenticeship programmes, showing that there are other additional avenues

NHS Wirral has urged patients to refrain from using A&E as waiting rooms are filled after a cataclysmicly cold March. They took to Twitter to tell patients that they would more likely to be seen within five hours if they visit a walk-in centre. Victoria and Arrowe Park health clinics have been given special permission to stay open past 10pm this week, to relieve stress on hospital waiting time. NHS Wirral told Liverpool Life: “A&E is for emergencies only and the stress that is put on it by people visiting unnecessarily causes a build-up of waiting times.” Suzy Williams, 67, from Prenton said that she spent nearly six hours waiting to be seen. She said: “I have no other way to get to a walk-in centre so A&E is my only local option. The cold weather is not helping people like me.” NHS Merseyside said that waiting times will come down as the weather improves but people should ring 111 if they have any inquiries.

to college and university, these include Amazon, Deloitte, DHL, Health Careers (NHS), J.P. Morgan, Network Rail, Superdrug, BT, Network Rail and more. Many young people are not aware of all of the options that are available to them and the event aims to rectify that. Eleanor Longmar, a previous exhibitor with Deloitte, said: “We’ve really enjoyed having the chance to educate people about apprenticeships because there’s just not enough information out there.” The event will take place on March 23 and 24.

Office workers are climbing Mount Snowdon to raise money for the Whitechapel Centre. A team of 18 members of staff from Your Move publishing in Liverpool will be climbing Wales’ highest peak, standing at over 1,000 metres. The firm is aiming to raise £1,000 for the Whitechapel Centre, a Liverpool charity that provides support for rough sleepers, runs classes for elderly people and regularly runs food banks. Matthew Smith, social media at Your Move, will be one of the 18 braving Snowdon. He said: “Snowdon was chosen unanimously because of its proximity to the North West region, its reputation as a challenging climb and the spectacular views.”


Extension plans revealed for St George’s Plateau By JO CUNLIFFE Plans for a new event space outside Liverpool’s iconic St George’s Hall have been revealed to the public. Liverpool Council was made the decision to transform the area outside Lime Street station as part of a £45m plan to transform the way people and traffic move around the city centre. The plateau outside St George’s Hall will be turned into a “gateway experience” for the city to enjoy events and rallies. It will also welcome people from outside Liverpool. The new-look Lime Street will include an expanded plateau and a water feature. Part of the road will be pedestrianised by reducing it to a single carriageway, redirecting traffic down St John’s Lane. Councillor Ann O’Byrne, the deputy mayor of Liverpool, said: “Liverpool’s international appeal to visitors and investors has blossomed over the past decade and a widened St George’s plateau is going to create a major new event space for the city.

Artist impression “With a growing residential population, a huge rise in visitors and major developments in the pipeline, how we navigate around the city centre needs a radical rethink in key locations and some major improvements.” The scheme for Lime Street and St George’s plateau is the first phase of the Liverpool City Centre Connectivity (LCCC) strategy. “As well as enhancing a major gateway into the city, this new scheme also addresses many of our current and future needs to improve the city centre welcome and provide an experience befitting a world class city.” An artist’s impression released by CGI shows that beyond the steps leading to Lime Street station, there will be a pedestrianised public realm area, meaning that there will no longer

© be a direct connection for traffic to Renshaw Street. This first phase will create a new bus hub, a new coach park and upgrades to cycling and pedestrian routes from the Knowledge Quarter surrounding Brownlow Hill to the Waterfront. On St George’s Hall plateau, there are also plans for a water feature to be built at the base of the steps. The scheme is due to start later this year and will include further improvements to Moorfields and Brownlow Hill. The work on Lime Street is expected to start in spring next year. The second stage of phase one will see the installation of new bridges at Canning Dock and a series of improvements along The Strand, with work scheduled to begin in 2019.

Former Royal Mail office set for university regeneration By DAISY SCOTT The site of the former Royal Mail Sorting Office on Copperas Hill is to be transformed into a £64m state-of-the-art ‘student destination’ in plans put forward by Liverpool John Moores University. Copperas Hill was demolished last year and if the plans are approved phase one of the 3.5 acre project could start in December. Phase 2 will be considered as part of the wider masterplan of the Knowledge Quarter Gateway. LJMU said its ambition is to “transform this part of Liverpool and deliver lasting positive change”. Plans for Copperas Hill will include indoor facilities, including an eight-court sports hall and gymnasium, which will also help to support teaching and research for those studying sports and sports science.

Architect Sheppard Robson designed the new plans for Copperas Hill Professor Nigel Weatherill, LJMU Vice-Chancellor, said: “We have taken time to develop the plans for the regeneration of Copperas Hill and we believe we have now arrived at the right approach.” As well as providing sports

services, Copperas Hill will provide student services such as careers advice, international exchanges and counselling support services. Additionally, a Learning Commons will be developed together with a new dedicated space for the students’ union.

5G Wi-Fi handed a boost By JO CUNLIFFE Innovation centre Sensor City has been awarded a £3.5m grant to investigate the future opportunities of 5G community Wi-Fi. The grant is one of six awarded through the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) 5G Testbeds and Trials programme which aims to progress efforts to make the UK the world leader in 5G. Sensor City (pictured, above) is a joint project between the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University. They will lead an association made up of public sector health suppliers, the NHS, university researchers, local SMEs and a leading technology vendor. This technology will be used to measure the impact on patient monitoring and support, the management of loneliness in the elderly and the facilitation of communication between hospitals and the community. A spokesperson for Sensor City told Liverpool Life: “The aim of the project is to investigate how 5G will impact health and social care in deprived areas. “Community Wi-Fi will also be a part of that to facilitate communication between hospitals and the community.” To test the 5G a range of applications will be used, including smart farming with drones, using a network of physical devices to improve healthcare.


Channel 4’s media careers campaign about to ‘pop-up’ By ABIGAIL NICHOLSON

Venue: The Royal Liver Building © Abigail Nicholson

Channel 4 is coming to Liverpool for its yearly ‘MyKindaFuture’ campaign. The pop-up tour is visiting the city, along with other locations, including Dundee, in order to promote careers in the media industry and find exciting new talent. Channel 4 was set up as a ‘publisher-broadcaster’, meaning that it doesn’t have any in-house production, but instead, it has commissions content from production companies throughout the UK. Laura Boswell, Industry Talent Specialist for Channel 4, told LL: “We choose six locations a year to visit, with the aim of getting a good geographical spread across the UK. “ The broadcaster will be looking for new and diverse voices that aim to bring something different to the industry and who want to focus on underrepresented areas or issues. The pop-up will include basics of filming, producing, directing and editing along with insights from Channel 4 staff and runners. Laura said: “On the day we will explain career paths into the TV industry. But also, the best ways of starting


their journey and getting that all-important foot in the door. “We’ll talk about the different opportunities available at Channel 4 and how to apply for them, plus we’ve invited people who work in the industry locally to talk about opportunities available at their companies in Liverpool. “ Recently, there have been debates surrounding changing Channel 4’s base location. Liverpool has been one of the cities in consideration, along with Birmingham and Manchester among other competitors. The company is looking to create three new broadcast hubs outside of London, in the hope of spending another £250m a year on television programmes with production companies from outside the capital. The pop-up events are aimed at non-degree holders aged 16 and above and people interested can apply on the Channel 4 website: https://careers.channel4. com/4talent/events, the application deadline is Friday the 16th of March. There are 150 places at each pop up event and the Liverpool campaign will take place on April 5th in the Royal Liver Building.

Time to Talk for Liverpool schoolchildren By JAMES FARRINGTON Schools in Liverpool are being encouraged to talk about mental health as part of a national drive to get children to speak out about their problems. The Time To Talk Campaign is a nationally-run effort and local schools are embracing the campaign with the aim of erasing the negative stigma attached to talking about mental health. The Time To Talk campaign is organised by the charity Time To Change. Its ultimate goal is to encourage individuals to speak out about their worries, regardless of how lonely, isolated or ashamed they may feel. The charity wants to share the message that people are not alone and no problem is too big to speak out.

Dr Suzanne Riddell, a Clinical Psychologist based in Birkenhead, said: “It is beneficial to encourage young people to talk about their thoughts and feelings in order to develop their capacity to understand their emotional responses in different situations and acquire coping strategies for when things are difficult. “Unfortunately, there continues

to be a stigmatising attitude about mental illness in our society. Good mental health is as important as good physical health and should be given equal attention as well as being openly discussed. “Teachers do not receive child mental health awareness as part of their training. They often witness or observe a child struggling

with psychological problems and not even realise. Such difficulties may get acted out in various ways, from poor attendance to disruptive behaviour or withdrawn behaviour. “Young people experience a whole range of psychological difficulties - anxiety, depression, eating disorders and self-harm to name a few - and the earlier we can intervene, which requires an openness and willingness to talk, the more likely we are to achieve psychological wellbeing and prevent long-term chronic difficulties.” To get involved in the Time To Talk campaign more information can be found at


Takeover saves historic city centre tavern


One of the North West’s most historic pubs has been saved, following a dispute with owners which threatened closure. The Lion Tavern at Moorfields was one of 1,900 pubs purchased from operator Punch Taverns by the Heineken group in 2017, spelling uncertainty as it was considered to no longer fit in with the group’s brand image. First opened 182 years ago, it closed temporarily in 2016 before current manager Dave Hardman took control. He said: “I started working here in 2005. The pub then closed in June 2016, when the previous owners had problems with the rent. I decided to take over November of the same year, working under Punch Taverns. “When we reopened, Heineken bought Punch and we weren’t sure what the effects would be, as we heard nothing from Heineken. About five weeks ago, the area

Manager Dave Hardman

LIPA showcases local talent By Meg Dodds

Kept alive: The Lion Tavern has been bought by Old Rope Walks Ltd. Photo © Evan Fyfe manager came in and said that the pub doesn’t suit our image, and the new deal they were offering wasn’t viable financially.” Mr Hardman rallied around for support and built a social media campaign highlighting just how much of a loss the venue would be to the city. He said: “I went around town making this public knowledge, building some momentum. This is Liverpool, this would never quietly go in to the night - we are a very tight-knit city. “We’re an old fashioned, beautifully preserved pub, which breaks down all barriers. In this day and age, these pubs are very few and far between. It probably wouldn’t suit a corporate image and it’s perhaps not what Heineken are used to dealing with. But what we do

have is local brewers, Liverpool Gin, pork pies from Crewe – all independent businesses. Whilst ten barrels of beer mightn’t seem much to Heineken, that is a lot of money for a microbrewer.” A deal was struck with Old Rope Walks Ltd, an umbrella group of bars in the city, including the Tavern on the Green in Liverpool One, the Newington Temple off Bold Street, Dovedale Towers at Penny Lane and Lark Lane’s The Lodge. Mr Hardman added: “After five weeks of uncertainty, things are finally starting to look good.” Old Rope Walks will install Sky Sports in the famous venue and will also start stocking pies from another local business - Homebaked Pies, from Anfield.

A live music event to showcase some of the city’s best talent is returning to Liverpool this year. Based in the Paul McCartney Auditorium at LIPA in Liverpool, the 2ube Xtra will feature new music coming out of the city. Marketing manager Callum Baker said: “The 2ube Xtra is a collaborative showcase that shows some of the best talent that LIPA has to offer - not only musicians, but everyone from sound technicians, lighting designers and stage managers.” After supporting Catfish and the Bottlemen, artist Idle Frets are set to play Liverpool Sound City later this year. “The 2ube Xtra aim to bring people who are passionate and enjoy music into the 2ube Xtra. “We want to expose the amazing new musical talent coming out of LIPA to a new younger audience that may not go to gigs often or may not be aware of the young musical talent that the 2ube Xtra have on offer.” The 2ube Xtra will take place from April 19th-27th and entry is free.

Massive response to cake shop’s plea for help By AMY HARDING An independent baker has received a huge response from the Liverpool public after her plea for help as she feared she might lose her business. Laura’s Little Bakery asked people to post pictures of her cakes on social media and tag her in them or leave a review on Google to help boost business. She said: “Anything positive right now would be massively appreciated.” With a huge response on Instagram and Twitter from the public, local businesses and corporate companies, Laura has received orders, good wishes and help from friends and strangers. After seven years as a profes-

sional baker Laura Worthington, 39, feared for the future of her business, which is based in a unit behind the derelict Littlewoods factory on Edge Lane and isn’t accessible to the public Taking to social media, Laura said on Instagram she was “really struggling with the unit I moved into last year” and that it had become an “absolute nightmare”. Laura said: “It’s taken me a few months to ask for help. I’m in this business on my own. “I’ve had to face up to some downfalls and be honest with myself about this.” Following her appeal, the support she has received has overwhelmed her. She said: “The response on social media has been out of this

world.” People have responded on Twitter. @TheMUAcademyLiv said: “Laura you supplied the most amazing cupcakes for my business launch … I admire your principles and your drive. Something somehow will come along and things will be ok!” @Iamsicle tweeted: “You’re proud, strong, savvy, and talented. You can get through this wobble.” Laura said: “I have chucked every single penny into this unit and the business. It’s so tough.” Laura’s cakes are stocked in independent cafes and restaurants including Filter & Fox on Duke Street and you can order online through email or her website

One of Laura’s many cakes

LL09 Run-down town hall’s facelift



Photo © The Oliver King Foundation

Free CPR training for Liverpool students By DAISY SCOTT Free CPR training is being provided across the UK in student accommodation, provided by the British Heart Foundation. Every year around 30,000 people in the UK have an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, but the survival rate is less than 1 in 10. The British Heart Foundation is providing free CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) training for students in student accommodation to enable people to “confidently carry out CPR”. CPR training has now been provided to students who attend Manchester Metropolitan University, Liverpool John Moore’s and Leeds Beckett. According to information pro-

vided by The British Heart Foundation, around 840,000 people in the North West of England are living with heart and circulatory disease. It is believed that around 68,000 people in the North West England have a faulty gene that can cause an inherited heart condition. Debra Day, area stock generator and CPR trainer, told Liverpool Life: “We are very passionate about training as many people as possible in a potential lifesaving skill. “I hope they never need to use it, but if they do they will be trained and know what to do in a crisis.” CPR is being provided across Merseyside and recently provided to students living in Ablett House.

Georgie Ryan, general manager for Ablett House, said that CPR training is essential for students as: “It is a life skill that everybody should have and especially students within a community. “There have been incidents were students have been in a position where with this training they have saved lives. “Once this year it happened and that reinforced the urgency of providing CPR training.” With the help of The British Heart Foundation in Merseyside, the public and the BHF together have helped to fund over 1,900 life saving defibrillators. CPR Training will continue throughout student accommodation and will help to the vital training that could save lives.

Hoylake’s former town hall is set to be redeveloped into a cinema, art centre and shops. If the plan is approved, it will feature a small one or two-screen cinema, an arts space with a café, a fine dining restaurant, and a bar with small retail units around a central courtyard. The building will also have 40 apartments on four floors above the ground floor. The local community seems to be behind the plan, as 142 locals said they would like the redevelopment and only eight locals are against the idea. A group of volunteers, The Beacon Project Steering Project, will be working on the redevelopment, and have stated that hundreds of other people have wrote into them supporting the idea. Sheryl Harrison, 47, a Hoylake resident, told Liverpool Life: “It’s a great opportunity for Hoylake. It will make my shopping a lot easier if I don’t have to travel far.”

City celebrates quarter century of running By DANIELLE THOMAS

Liverpool is rejoicing in the celebrations of its famous half marathon reaching an impressive 25-year landmark. The widely-anticipated event has come a long way since 1994 and this March, the events team are making every effort to impress, making this the best year yet. Commemorative medals will be rewarded to any participant who achieves a PB for either the half marathon or 10-mile run. To mark the special occasion, BTR Liverpool have gone as far as to hold the event on the 25th March to highlight the impor-

tance of this anniversary and represent how far the course has come. Erica Dillon, spokesperson for BTR, said: “The original Liverpool International Half Marathon holds many happy memories for the events team. “Beginning with the merger of the 10K event with Old Liverpool City Council, to being place under the stewardship of the London Marathon, to bringing it back to the city centre in 2007.”

Participants set off on the Liverpool Half Marathon. Photo: Connor Lynch © JMU Journalism


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Council honours feminist icon By JESSICA HUGHES A blue plaque has been installed on Bold Street to commemorate the life of Jeannie Mole, a feminist activist who helped bring socialism to Liverpool. The commemorative plaque, donated by Liverpool City Council in collaboration with North West TUC, was unveiled on the ‘News From Nowhere’ building. Mandy Vere, from News From Nowhere, said: “We were just delighted when number 46, where she apparently lived, declined the offer of having the blue plaque on their building. “She was obviously a great champion of women’s rights, particularly working women and that totally fits in with us being a radical and feminist bookshop run by a women’s collective.” Jeannie, who died in 1912, was instrumental in bringing social change to Liverpool, through trade unions, strikes and dress reform. This acknowledgment of her contributions comes on the 150th year anniversary of the Trade Union movement and the 100th year since partial women’s

The women from News from Nowhere suffrage. Jeannie moved to Liverpool and set up home on Bold Street with her husband and son. It was here she began her life’s mission to improve the lives of those in poverty. In 1886, Jeannie set up the ‘Worker’s Brotherhood’, the first socialist society in Liverpool. Jeannie was an avid supporter of

dress reform, a feminist movement against Victorian women’s fashion, instead opting for comfortable, more casual clothing. Before moving to Liverpool, Jeannie spent some time in New York where she was involved with the black rights movement before slavery had even been abolished. This was the first

© News From Nowhere Twitter indication of the great changes Jeannie would bring about in her lifetime. Mandy said: “Particularly in this day and age, when women’s rights and worker’s rights are being decimated all the time, the tradition of organising to get better rights collectively is very much where our heart is.”

Restaurant boom time for food lovers Lunya © Marcello Dotolo

By MARCELLO DOTOLO Liverpool’s growing restaurant and bar scene is now surging past London in the league table of hospitality growth, according to a new study. Northern cities now occupy six of the top eight places, with independent businesses leading the surge, whilst dining chains suffer significant drop in profits. The study, commissioned by Northern Restaurant and Bar, has shown that Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds are becoming leading cities due to the M62 corridor bringing more London trade up north. Thom Hetherington, CEO of Northern Restaurant & Bar, said “Liverpool is building a top-class food and drink scene, and that’s great news for diners. Despite this being a challenging period for hospitality businesses,

the growth is being largely driven by ambitious regional independents, and we’re proud that NRB can help to inspire and inform them.” Liverpool’s restaurant industry has expanded more than 25% in the past five years, doubling the growth in the Capital which had a 10.4% increase in the same time period.

Italian and Spanish restaurants have led the charge, establishments like Villa Romana and Lunya have capitalised on the boom, becoming two of the most sort after diner experiences in the region. This dining boom has not only been beneficial for restaurant owners but produce providers also. Authentic Spanish cuisine

has become a staple of the North West, with North Wales based ‘Sabor De amore’ also seeing a spike in sales. Owner and founder Beatriz Albo, left her role as a physics teacher to start a “Spanish home cooking” company. She said: “For me the north west is the go to location for Mediterranean food. We sell a lot of produce in Liverpool. The city has always had a special relationship with Spain and Spanish food.” Northern Restaurant & Bar predicts an equally successful 2019 for the M62 corridor. Liverpool is still without a Michelin star restaurant but with a lively waterfront and growing dining scene, it is very possible ambitious chefs will be attracted to the area in the coming years.


o t s e m o c y a l p s Co n o C c i Com

Cosplayers crash-landed at Comic-Con in Liverpool. Jade Culver reports


iverpool Comic-Con, the biggest and first independent convention of its kind in Liverpool, crash-landed at the Exhibition Centre this month, attracting thousands of visitors from around the UK and across the globe. The event brought together a mass of cosplayers, all with a different take on their favourite gaming, anime, cartoon, book and film

characters. Particular favourites at the event were DVA, a popular female character from co-operative online game Overwatch, and a variety of Star Wars characters from Darth Vader to Storm Troopers. Throughout both days, the convention allowed visitors to wander through the hundreds of stalls advertising items from film and television merchandise, to crowd favourites such as anime plush

toys, Pokémon collectibles and Japanese delicacies such as melon pan and unusually-flavoured KitKat chocolate bars. There were a range of life size replicas of spaceships from Star Wars, a Mystery Machine in tribute to Scooby Doo and an Optimus Prime truck from Transformers. A particular attraction for the thousands at the event, were the oldschool arcade games which includ-

ed PacMan and Q-Bert. Attendees had the opportunity to meet famous guests including Austin Power’s Verne Troyer, DC Arrow’s Manu Bennett alongside Dr Who Stars and WWE Legends. Stars also took to the centre stage to speak about their experiences and acting careers, with Britain’s Got Talent Finalists Boogie Storm treating everyone to a performance dressed as Storm Troopers.

THE GUIDE WHAT: Fratellis WHERE: Liverpool Olympia WHEN: March 22 Probably the greatest band ever named after a family in The Goonies is coming to Liverpool. Glasgow trio The Fratellis are on the road again on the back of their fifth album, In Your Own Sweet Time. They will appear at Liverpool Olympia tomorrow (March 22), followed by a second North West date at Manchester Academy the following night. It is more than 10 years since the group made a whirlwind transition from performing their first gig in their home city to winning the 2007 Brit Award for best breakthrough act. Tickets priced at £19.75 are available at www.ticketmaster.

WHAT: Full Monty WHERE: Chester Storyhouse WHEN: 24th-29th September Stand by for some bare-faced cheek - award-winning theatre production The Full Monty is coming to Chester later this year. It was a cult 1990s film about a group of Sheffield steelworkers who become male strippers when their factory closes. The stage play's cast is led by Hollyoaks star Gary Lucy and will be directed by previous The Full Monty cast member and Coronation Street actor Rupert Hill. Based on his smash hit film and adapted for the stage by Oscar-winning writer Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire), the production has received rapturous ovations every night and features the iconic songs from the film by Donna Summer, Hot Chocolate and Tom Jones. Tickets range from £20.50 to £39.50..


WHAT: Bost-Uni Plues theatre production WHERE: John Foster Drama Studio WHEN: April 10th and 11th Based on the true-life experiences of graduates, join three clowns as they leave the comfort of timetables, deadlines, and student life behind and enter the 'real' world. It’s a world full of expectation, 'proper' jobs, and council tax. Bost-Uni Plues is an explosion of physical theatre, filled with energy, honesty, dance, movement, techno, and plain silliness. Because when you are told that the best three years of your life are behind you, what else is left other than post-uni blues? Book your tickets at £3 through

WHAT: Brick Street Funk and Soul Night WHERE: Baltic Triangle WHEN: Thursday to Saturday, 5pm-2am Brick Street is now open, a new funk and soul music venue and bar that promises to bring on down the groove. The venue has been converted from a former mechanic’s workshop and scrapyard now holding influences from iconic New York loft parties funk shows and raw soul power nights. Those behind Brick Street have been revealing plans leading up to the opening that have caused quite a stir with many people jumping on board the soul train. “Everybody working to bring Brick Street to life loves different kinds of music and excitement is building, thanks to social media,” a spokesperson said. The venue will host different nights and events weekly throughout the year with guest DJs and new talent every Friday, one of which is ‘Kole’ who supported Chic at their sold out Arena gig last year.


LL 13

Above: Elizabeth with her plastic straws, centre with her group and, right, her personalised hi-vis jacket

She may be little, but she’s determined



even-year-old Little Collector Elizabeth Gadsdon is determined to do good for the environment and make Wirral cleaner. For The Great British Spring Clean recently, Elizabeth and her collector friends joined together in the world’s first public park, Birkenhead Park, to pick up all the litter they could find. Elizabeth, from Moreton, said: “I do some good for the environment and it makes me and other people smile. It just fills you with joy when you’re protecting the planet and I wouldn’t be able to live any other way.” The crew, established in July 2017, meet once a month in the park and spend an hour litter picking which is then followed

by forest school activities led by park Rangers. This deepens the childrens’ understanding of the natural world and caring about green spaces and wildlife. Elizabeth’s mum, Faith, 42, said: “I’m really impressed that at six years old she started to do this, she’s raised awareness in my husabnd and I and we’ve literally been taken along for the ride. “Her motto is ‘Together we can make a difference’ and all she aspires to is making people follow what she’s doing and joining in and she gets more and more excited every month when more children appear. “It’s inspirational to me as her mum, I am very proud.” Elizabeth needed advice on her litter picking so contacted Debbie Layfield, Tesco Bidston Moss Community Champion, who suggested they speak with

Birkenhead Park manager and since then the crew has made monthly visits to the park to keep it clean. Elizabeth’s dad, Steve, 48, said: “She’s choosing to do this herself, me and her mum haven’t told her she has to do it, she just wants to. “She’s encouraged local companies to have paper straws rather than plastic ones and gave paper straws as presents to them. Four out of the five companies now only use paper straws. “Companies have gifted us our litter pickers, hi-vis jackets and our buckets and the council are currently working towards getting us some better equipment as well.” Not only does the crew involve the children, the adults are brought in to help to see who can find the most rubbish. Most of the children take their

hi-vis jackets and litter pickers outside of the monthly meetings and pick up litter whenever they go for walks. Laura Williams, 35, Forest School Practitioner, said: “Meeting Elizabeth, she came to us last year in June and needed a little bit of help and we got the ball rolling and decided to help her and she could form her Little Collector Crew here at Birkenhead Park. “It’s been a fantastic success and she’s the perfect little role model for not only the little people but the adults too. They’ve formed a little family here, which is really nice.” The Little Collector Crew members range from two years old to 10 years old, with the record number of 25 children and 22 adults taking part for the Great British Spring Clean.

City’s litter fines come under fire By DANIELLE THOMAS Liverpool Council enforcement officers have been criticised for picking on ‘vulnerable’ people in the drive against litter dropping. Student Jack Shaw said: “They stand outside buildings, prying on the helpless people they know they can intimidate,” when recalling the moment he was fined for littering. ‘Warrington bred’ Jack accidently let his cigarette butt hit the floor outside Liverpool’s St Johns shopping centre and was spotted moments later by watching officers.

Jack Shaw “I was getting cash out; when without thinking I dropped by butt on the floor. It didn’t even cross my mind until I felt a tap on my shoulder 10 minutes later. “Turns out, two enforcement officers had been following me and next thing I know I am being rewarded with a hearty fine.”

The urgency to stop people littering has drastically increased within the last few years. Liverpool City Council has upped checks in the drive to clean up the city. However, the 22-year-old argued: “As soon as it happened, I offered to go pick it up. I was willing to go on my hands and knees and find it just to avoid the trouble. I even tried pleading that I was student and didn’t have that kind of money but these officers didn’t even bat an eyelid.” Jack himself took full responsibility for his actions and accepts that littering in the city is a major problem but the Sports

Science student believes that the council are only picking on the weaklings, arguing: “I am confident they walk around purposely trying to seek out students or elderly people, those of us who are not in strong enough positions to retaliate.” It has been reported recently that a ‘litter squad’ have declared war on another easy target, tourists of the terracotta warriors. It’s argued enforcement officers are ‘lying in wait’ ready to pounce. However, Steve Munby, Liverpool Councils cabinet member for City Services said: “Those people who drop litter are simply not welcome in Liverpool.”



Photos Courtesy of P.E.TA

Alex’s fight against animal testing Danielle Thomas talks to the LJMU lecturer about why she wants this ‘brutality’ to end

Alex Irving, animal rights campaigner and lecturer at LJMU


key campaigner against vivisection is challenging the organisations which still carry out tests on animals to end the practice for good. Alex Irving, Liverpool John Moores Media Production lecturer and head of Speaking of Human Based Research PR, told LL: “I feel very passionate about this issue. The human race has a responsibility to protect animals and their welfare and realise that we do not own them. “I have a big problem with speciesism, which is this belief by the majority of humans that we own animals and can use them in any way we want to and I am one of those people that believes that is absolutely wrong.” At least 37 countries have now taken a stand against animal testing but it is a practice that still continues in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry. In 2013, a law was introduced to the UK banning the use of animals in testing cosmetics and it was made illegal for companies across Europe to sell these products. But Alex is concerned that even in 2018 with all the technologies that have moved on in the last 200 years, the branch of science dedicated to saving lives has not yet advanced its knowledge or methods. “It’s odd, isn’t it - to realise the only branch of science dedicated to discovering cures and treatments does things the same way researchers did in 1850.” It appears that despite protesters’ attempts to make the cosmetic industry see the light, the value placed upon an animal’s life is still less than those of humans, and Alex argues: “The main reason it still happens is because authorities are worried if they stop doing it, it will ruin their reputation and their career. “That and the income of money. This is a multi-billion pound industry.” The animal lover cannot believe people are

still accepting animal testing, adding: “Imagine saying to a dying patient, ‘I am sorry you have a heart condition and you are very ill, you may die but you many not. This drug kills cats, doesn’t affects rabbits at all and it sort of works in mice - do you want to take it?’.” Evidence like this poses the question whether animal testing is actually vital to protecting the lives of humans. The former drama student argues that all evolve differently and just because the new cherry lipstick burns the bunny, it does not mean it will have the same effect on humans. Alex added: “Put it like this, we’re using mice to predict for humans. It will never work.” The truth behind animal testing, she says, is something people do not want to face. Alex wants to share her passionfor the issue and showcase her reasons for being so determined to end the ‘brutality’ of these lab animals’ lives. “These manufacturing farms have puppies hanging upside down by their legs in laboratories so they cannot struggle and they are put in these for weeks on end to get them lab ready. “If they don’t die from the experiments or the toxicology that is pumped into their bodies, they are then killed and dissected to see how that lipstick, how that bleach, how that weed killer affected their organs.” Alex questions the claims that testing is necessary, arguing: “We are ignorantly believing something that we are told. And one of the reason why they have most of society believing this, is because it is based on trust. “We TRUST that researchers are doing what is best for us. “I started talking to scientists and I said, ‘I work for a university, I am not going to put a bomb under your car, let’s not get hysterical. I just want to know why animals are needed for testing. I refuse to except at face value that this is the only that works’.”

Professor puts foreign policy in focus By TOM SUTTON


he tensions between China and the United States were put under the spotlight by a global authority last week. Manchester-based Professor of Chinese politics Peter Gries gave a talk about the current state of foreign policy between the United States and China at LJMU’s Redmond’s Building The Lee Kai Chung Chair and Director of the Manchester China Institute gave an insight into what the ‘framing’ by the media of China - US relations has done to the likelihood of the there being conflict between these two giants.

‘Framing’ refers to the way news stories are presented by news media. Prof Gries has an impressive knowledge of not only international relations but also of psychology. This led the narrative of his lecture as he delved into the possibility of conflict and power shifting from the US to China and the players involved with a very systematic and psychological focus. Prof Gries told LL: “Great power shifts in the past have often lead to conflict, and this worries me.” The audience was also told about the initiative setup by Dr Gries called the ‘US-China

Diplomatic Dialogue’ whereby he invites young up-and-coming diplomats from both the United States and China to engage in conversation and share perspectives. He has run this retreat of sorts for ten years now and aims to give those involved a relaxed yet serious introduction to the world of international relations and diplomacy. Prof Gries added: “A huge amount of my work goes into understanding conflict as to avoid it, it is very important to look at these differences so we can see perspective and mitigate the chance of conflict.”



Those Two Weeks

For my generation there is one event, one moment, that divides our lives into before and after. The 15th of April 1989 marks the last time that Liverpool, as a city, was normal. There's before then and there’s after. The question that I asked myself at that point was ‘is it right for me to write about this? By JESSICA HUGHES


an Salmon wrestled with the idea of writing a play based around the Hillsborough disaster. He wasn’t there. He was at work while Liverpool changed forever. So that’s the story he told, the story of the ones who weren’t there. Bootle-born Ian is an awardwinning playwright. Before beginning work on ‘Those Two Weeks’, his play ‘The Comeback Special’ had just been shortlisted for the Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize 2015 and would go on to win the Highly Commended Award. His first play, ‘Venus Rising’ had performed five times in the Page To Stage Festival and his most recent, ‘Half The Sky’, was coming to a close. He was looking for his next project. ‘Those Two Weeks’ is based around the 1989 disaster, but it’s not a play about Hillsborough. It’s a story about a family; their life in the two weeks leading up to the disaster. The good parts and the hard parts. “I knew immediately that I couldn’t tell the story of the 96:

that was their story and their families’ story, I felt I had no right to tell it. And it had already been told, quite brilliantly and exceptionally powerfully, by Jimmy McGovern. “Similarly, I didn’t feel I had the right to tell the story of my brothers and my father. My brothers were in the end pen, my father was in the main stand watching the disaster unfold and not knowing where in that end his sons were. As much as I knew their story, I wasn’t there and I didn’t experience it, trying to tell their story felt wrong. “The story I could tell though was the story of those at home, I could tell the story of my mother and my then-girlfriend (my nowwife). I could tell the story of what life was like before. I chose to tell the story of before.” Of course, this subject is sensitive. Before the opening night of ‘Those Two Weeks’, the cast and crew held an invite only performance for members of the families of the victims and survivor groups. “Seeing the audience that afternoon applaud the cast and the cast applaud them back is a moment that will live with me forever. That afternoon was probably the most profoundly

Pictures courtesy of John Johnson @john_johno

intense and intensely profound experiences of my life.” The reviews for ‘Those Two Weeks’ have been stellar. The play is truly touching and stays in your mind long after the applause stops. “I wanted to paint a picture of an ordinary working class family with aspirations in a time before everything changed. I basically wanted to put a family on stage who were very much like my own because I believe my family were very like every other family in Liverpool at that time. “One of the things that I wanted to show in the play was that just normal life can be hard enough at times, that problems we thought were in the past can rise up when we don’t expect them and change the present.


also wanted to make it clear that, while we can never understand the terrible loss that the families experienced, or the suffering of many of the survivors, those of us that lost nobody directly that day know that it could easily have been us. That it could have been any of us.” ‘Those Two Weeks’ has had its run at Unity Theatre, but Ian’s not getting a break. ‘Venus Rising’ and ‘The Come-

Playwright Ian Salmon back Special’ are both returning to the stage this year, along with ‘Girls Don’t Play Guitars’, the true story of the world’s first all-girl rock and roll band, The Liverbirds. According to Ian, “It’s basically the best Merseybeat story never told.” After putting down his playwright pen and picking up his novelist pen, Ian wrote and released ‘The Legacy’, the superhero story he always wanted to tell. “It’s amazing what you can do when you’re making everything up as you go along.”



Is it too early to be buying Easter Eggs? If you’re 7 or 70, everyone loves an Easter egg while curled up in a ball watching Netflix. So Liverpool Life has rounded up the top five eggs for all you chocolate lovers out there ...

1. Booja Booja Hazelnut Crunch Chocolate Truffles/ Selfridges. £12.99

A vegan Easter Treat has come out on top of 142 chocolate eggs in Good Housekeeping’s annual test. The truffles are made from chocolate , coconut oil, hazlenuts and cocoa powder, making them animalproduct free and suitable for vegans.





Single Origin Ecaudorian Milk Chocolate Cocoa Pod/ Co-op - £7

Dark Chocolate Belgia Egg/ Tesco - £5

King of Eggs/ Morrisons - £12

Fruit and Nut Milk Chocolate Lattice Egg/ M&S - £12

For the loyal chocolate milk fans among us, this Egg is praised for its complex vanilla flavours and subtle fruity notes.

Costing a mere £5, this Chocolate Egg features from the finest range. Decorated with silky white chocolate and tangy rasberry pieces.

This GIANT chocolate Easter Egg is six times more bigger than your average egg. The same as having NINE McDonald’s Big Mac’s!

A handmade milk chocolate egg studded with crisp pistachios, salted and caramelised hazelnuts, almonds, golden juicy raisins and sour cherries

................................................................................................................................................ EASTER ANNUAL EGG RUN TAKES PLACE BY OLIVIA FRIETT

© Steve Par / Facebook

Hundreds of enthusiasts braved the freezing weather for the annual Egg Run in Wirral. The annual day out raises cash for local charities and collects Easter eggs for local, underprivileged children. The bikers set off from The Dips in New Brighton at 11am before taking a 20-mile route through Wallasey Village, Moreton Cross, Moreton, Hoylake, West Kirby,

Caldy and Heswall. Sophie Goodwin, 38, said: “It was a bit freezing collecting money for the Egg Run today, but it’s all for a good cause.” Linzie Jane, 16, said: “Well done to all the bikers today who fought the cold temperatures.” Phoebe Barton, 22, said: “I love watching the Egg Run every year, it’s for a great cause and is always so fun.”

© Jayne Atherton/ Facebook



things to do this Easter When you visit Liverpool this Easter holidays, you do not have to spend a fortune to have a great time with your family and friends. Abby Nicholson explains how to spend as little money as possible while having a great time in Liverpool this Easter

Bounce like the Easter bunny at Liverpool’s first trampoline park. The giant warehouse containing 49 flat and angled trampolines in Brunswick Business Park has different experiences inside as well as their regular ‘freestyle’ session, other options include longer lanes named ‘Tumble Tracks’ and also jump bags. Why not go as a group and have a game of basketball or dodge ball? Or make an evening out of it and grab some food or a brew with a view. You can experience Spring City by booking online from as little as £8.75 per jumper. For opening hours please check their website.

An exciting and different idea, just a 6 minute train journey from Liverpool Central is The Climbing Hanger in Sandhills. The Climbing Hanger offers indoor bouldering for all ages and abilities as well as all the equipment being included and the price being affordable. If it’s your first time at The Climbing Hanger there is no need to worry! You’ll watch an induction video which will help you understand the centre and members of staff will be on hand if you need any extra help. The Climbing Hanger is open from Monday – Friday 10AM-11PM and Saturday-Sunday 9AM-8PM with prices starting at £5 for off peak and £8 at any other time.

The Odeon Cinema in Liverpool One is a classic way to pass time and is now cheaper than ever. With new ticket price, combo deals on food and drink and new special offers spending time with friends and family has never been so cheap. You could get into the Easter spirit and watch the new Peter Rabbit film, at The Odeon they offer discount on both peak and off-peak tickets for students and teens (ID may be requested) along with discounted access to 3D Films. Tickets can now be bought online without a booking fee, or at the Odeon with the prices ranging from £6.75 for Teens and £7.00 for students. Adult prices may be higher.

Why not spend a day or two finding out more about the history surrounding Liverpool and finding out things you didn’t already know for FREE! There are many museums around Liverpool’s city centre offering many different Easter activities for families and children. The Tate, Liverpool are opening an Easter art workshop for children of all ages on Monday 2nd to Thursday 5th of April from 1pm - 4pm.





aint Patrick’s Day 2018 was an unforgettable one in Liverpool as thousands of party-goers packed the streets to celebrate. Saturday was a day of heavy snow and gusty winds but it did not hinder one of the largest festivities of the year. Liverpool is known for its large Gaelic community and various Irish costumes, flags and musicians could be seen across the city. Julie Murray, who works at the famous Irish bar McCooley’s, said: “How can you not love St Patrick’s day? It is one of the busiest days of the year for us and everyone is in a good mood. I am from Belfast and the celebrations here are very similar to home. “We embrace Irish culture at McCooley’s but it is great to see the rest of Liverpool doing that too on St Patrick’s Day.” Julie added: “On the day it is estimated we sold around 2,500 pints of Guinness. I think Liverpool knows how to party.” The day was full of jubilant scenes as the Irish rugby team beat rivals England at Twickenham 24-15 to record a Grand Slam victory in the Six Nations. Both Everton and Liverpool picked up three points, which created a carnival atmosphere in Merseyside. Darren Roberts spent his afternoon celebrating. He said: “I have lived here for three years now, and every year I look forward to these celebrations.

“Falling on the same day as the rugby has made it even more enjoyable, the atmosphere everywhere I have been is fantastic.” The parade took place through the city centre, with thousands turning out to accompany marching bands, drummers and flag bearers. Taking a route from the former Irish centre on Great Orford Street, through the city centre and finishing at Derby Square, some of the busiest streets were brought to a standstill as the party atmosphere took to the city all afternoon. The city centre streets became a sea of green, white and orange, as the celebrations got under way near Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral. Around three-quarters of Liverpool’s population has some Irish ancestry, with thousands of people having made the journey over the Irish sea during the potato famine in the 19th century. It is no wonder then that St Patrick’s Day is one of the city’s most celebrated annual events. Jenny Dodd, who lives in Liverpool, said: “This year is the second time I’ve taken part and joined the parade around the city. “It’s absolutely amazing, it just seems to be getting bigger and better as the years go on, it’s such a great day.”

Having fun: Revellers young and old were out in force to celebrate St Patrick’s Day

A special look back at this year’s Liverpool Life

That’s it from us ... ... see you in October!

20 LL

Our friend... Arek Kiciak – model, journalist, broadcaster and all-round nice guy.


t was rare to see Arek around the university without a smile on his face. His charm, enthusiasm and warmth were matched by his modesty and desire to bring as much creativity to his work as possible. He would continually surprise staff with his skills in editing and bringing his stories to life, quietly working away on his projects. While staff and students at LJMU journalism mourn his loss, it is important to remember the light he could bring into other people’s lives, as witnessed by the many tributes on social media sites both from here and from his home country, Poland. In designing this photographic spread his fellow final year students are offering their own tribute and helping him to achieve one of his ambitions. Photographer Gino Ward, who has generously granted us permission to use his shots, says Arek would have been very happy “as he always wanted his modelling pictures to be in a magazine”. We are glad to help fulfil that ambition, but so very sad that his time with us has been cut short. Bon voyage Arek. Our love and prayers go with you.

All photos © GINO WARD Photography

Jackie Newton, Journalism Programme Leader


...Arek (1991-2018)

22 LL

Host, Richard Frediani

Teresa McMahon and Lucy West, ITN

Real Housewives of Cheshire production team

Jade Culver reports from the RTS Student Awards


JMU students were named winners at this year’s regional Royal Television Society Student Awards, held in Manchester’s Media City. Media Production students Michael Haffenden, Ethan Woodroofe and Bradley Heath scooped first place in the Comedy and Entertainment category with their mock horror film ‘The Trick in Trick or Treat’. The judges described the piece as imaginative and funny, a well-edited horror film with a dark twist and a good soundtrack. Presenter for the evening, ITV’s Lucy Meacock said: “I particularly like that scene where all the blood came out of her mouth!” The group took to the stage to have their photo taken with Lucy and special guest presenter Terry Christian. LJMU Journalism graduate Cara Hunter was named runner-up in the News category with her video ‘Suicide: Our Forgotten Troubles’.

Presenter Lucy Meacock

The judges praised the campaigning feel to the video, which looked at the rising number of suicides of young people in Northern Ireland. They described it as a gritty, tough topic which was well-handled. Staged at Salford’s Media City - home to national news organisations ITV and the BBC Manchester’s Lowry Theatre was a perfect venue to host the annual RTS North West event. Each year, the non-for profit organisation hosts a conference and awards ceremony in various locations across the UK to celebrate students in the media industry who are the best of the best when it comes to video production. This year’s awards welcomed the largest number of nominees to date, as well as introducing the new video category of ‘Short Features’. During the day-long event, students were treated to a range of guest talks and networking opportunities from various media professionals working in environments such as the BBC, ITV

and ITN. Hosting the event, Richard Frediani programme editor at ITN, began the day by paying tribute to the late Ken Dodd (“Hope you all have a tattyfilarious afternoon”), before introducing the guest speakers from the production team of The Real Housewives of Cheshire (TRHOC). Mike Swindells, executive producer of TRHOC, said: “As one of the largest ongoing worldwide reality TV series, we sometimes forget the bigger picture. “The more and more you go into each new series of a show, the more you have to think about the production value and ways to improve it. We need to have that constant complete access with our cast, to create and pick up new story lines from the women we cast. We get about 85 pc of their lives on camera.” Lucy West and Teresa McMahon of ITV then spoke about how ITV dealt with reporting the 2017 Manchester Arena terrorist attack which

Stars of the screen

Terry goes back to his roots After rising to fame in the late 1980s as host on controversial late night TV show ‘The Word’, Terry Christian has since done a variety of entertainment and factual shows such as ‘It’s My Life’ and ‘Dead Time’. One of the most outspoken broadcasters of his time, he spoke to students and tutors about his experiences and what it is like to have such a strong connection to his Mancunian roots. “The Word was the best late night pop culture car crash, it had more critics than viewers. I’m not happy about kissing people’s backsides in order to make them like something,” he said. “When you kick open the door in this industry, you’re usually the one who gets crushed as you go through it. If you want a job and to get in, do not do what I did!” Throwing in his tuppence about Brexit, he added: “Nobody over the age of 65, or who will be dead in the next 10 years, should have been allowed a Brexit vote.”

left 23 dead and over 500 others injured. Lucy, head of ITV News, spoke of how there were two teams by the cordons at the arena, and that one team stayed there continuously for the following week in order to keep the public updated on the ever-unfolding events. Showing the audience a video of 100 days on from the attack, she said: “It’s quite hard to watch that video almost a year on. “The ripple effects on an event like that are massive and you have to think about all the stories you can get from that. You can never take your eye off the ball. “Everyone had a sense that morning that Manchester had changed for good, and everyone in the office understood that we had to share those poor people’s stories. We always prioritise the victims and the families. “It’s a difficult part of being a journalist. You have to be the conduit for people if they want to talk. However, remember that your representa-

tion is still of importance. ” Richard Frediani, ITN programme editor, gave valuable advice on how to get into the world of multimedia journalism. “Work experience is key, you need to find those contacts that will allow you to shadow or work in a professional environment for days, weeks or months. “Whether it be through applying for schemes or asking contacts to come in, your persistence will pay off,” he said. Adam Barber, Talent Manager at BBC Studios, added: “Work experience is always the best way to get into a department. “Never rush through roles, always have in mind that the more experience you have in different areas, the better chance you will have of going up through different job routes. “It’s worth spending your time, sometimes money, on particular skill sets and particular work to reach your goals.”

can never take “ You your eye off the ball “

Proud moment: LJMU students receive their award from Lucy Meacock and terry Christian




Final farewell Sam O’Hara: “I’ve enjoyed the course, particularly third year because it’s been hands-on and has prepared me for the workplace.”

Tim SpencerTanfield: “I’ve really enjoyed being nosey and the newsdays have been great preparation for the outside world.”

Shaniece Thompson: “This course has fully prepared me for the world of journalism.”


nother year has passed, marking the end of an era for third year JMU Journalism students. Every week we have worked together to produce our fortnightly magazine, podcasts and TV bulletins. Our time here at LJMU has been nothing but rewarding, providing us all with invaluble skills that will stay with us for life. We hope this last bumper edition lives up to the previous issues of Liverpool Life. See you in October, with our brand new students! Becky Jones (Production Editor)

Bronnie Jones: “I’ve met so many new people. Broadcasting has been amazing.”

Amy Harding: “Working on the magazine has been the most interesting and exciting experience. I couldn’t have picked a better university.”

Adam Leighton: “Broadcasting has been a great experience. I’ve gained so much confidence throughout the course.”

Matt Ramirez: “The course has been great. I’ve never been bored because there’s always something to keep me interested.”

Matt Skelly: “I’ve really enjoyed the past three years and I’ve covered some cool stories that I’ll never forget.”

Danny Moxon: “The course here at LJMU has given me the best tools and experience to go out into the world of journalism.”



Sounds like a hat-trick Cal Ruddy © Andrew Shaw

By MEG DODDS Singer-songwriter Cal Ruddy is set to play Liverpool Sound City for the third time this May. Liverpool Sound City is an annual music festival that began its journey in the heart of Liverpool’s music scene. The unique, city-wide festival

made use of small music venues throughout the Liverpool, until it moved to Bramley-Moore Dock in 2015. This year, the festival will return back to its roots and has relocated to The Baltic Triangle; making use of the independent venues throughout the area. The Merseyside-based artist is in favour of the festival returning to the city and says: “I was a massive fan of the dockland sites

over the last few years but it’ll be interesting to see how this year will pan out. “The Baltic Triangle is a cool area and I’m sure it’ll breathe new life into the festival” Cal aims to play tunes from his upcoming debut Elliston Place at the festival and is relying on the support of his fans to help record the album. Every pre-order of the album contributes to the making of the

record, at the end of the process; people who pledged for the album will get their CD, as well as exclusive behind the scenes content. “I’m set to record very soon. I can’t wait to bring these tunes to life. Every order on Pledge Music comes with an access pass so pledgers get exclusive behind the scenes content from the studio and the whole process of making the album.”

REVIEW: Austinn’s new set is no disappointment to loyal fans By OLIVIA FRIETT Bassist Adriel De Green (right) and lead singer Jimmy Braun (above right) © Olivia Friett


ustinn are a newly-formed three-piece band from Luxembourg. During their UK and European tour, they have had a brand new set with new singles. Lead singer Jimmy Braun was singing more well-known songs from his previous band, such as Ignorance and Sitting in the Dark. The new music was highly anticipated by all the original fans,

as Austinn’s music had not been heard of before, and they did not disappoint. The indie/alternative twist had the crowd jumping and dancing. Jimmy told LL: “It’s so important to try new things with a new band, but I knew that if we changed too much, our old fans might not like us, which is why we still have indie music, but with a more alternative twist. “I love our fans so much and the support for the new album has been amazing on this tour.”


Let’s be-Gin! In the beachside town of Crosby, one man has found a unique way of using the sand dunes’ well-known marram grass, reports SUZY SANKEY


et the good times be-gin! One of the most popular spirits in the UK is now being produced in Crosby. Chris Dace has lived in nearby Formby for 19 years and began distilling Crosby Gin almost a year ago. The locally-made spirit was inspired by both Chris’s passion for the food and drink industry, and the small beach town a stone’s throw from his home. “I’m from a wine background and wine is all about a sense of place. That’s really important to wine producers. “There’s a lot of gins just named after a place, but I couldn’t bring myself to call it Crosby gin if it doesn’t have a little bit of Crosby in it.” Chris decided to blend the gin to have four aspects of flavour: floral, earthy, citrus and spice. He trawled the beach for inspiration for flavours for the drink, but after much trying and testing, one particular ingredient made the cut.

It was the marram grass from the dunes of the beach that give the gin a real taste of Crosby. “We figured out if we got that balance right it would really give a fantastic gin which would be quite adaptable. You couldn’t describe my gin as being particularly florally or citrusy but it’s a really good blend of everything. “What we really loved, and it was something we didn’t think would work, was the marram grass, which gave it a really nice earthy flavour.” Marram grass was used in the past to make things such as rope and baskets. However, Chris has found a new alternative to make sure the local plant is not forgotten today. He also had a clear view of how he wanted the label of the bottle to look, incorporating other aspects of the town, which mean something to locals. “I woke up one morning and thought, I have the recipe, I have the bottle, and all I need to go now

is a label. “I wanted a beach scene, I wanted a Viking ship, as Crosby is a Viking settlement, obviously the marram grass, as that’s a real focal point of the gin, and a little iron man in there too.” Chris also owns Dace Tearooms in the town and since opening four years ago has hosted wine and gin tasting evenings each month. It was at one of these gin-tasting evenings last year that he decided to launch his new drink to locals, where he received a great response. Barely a year after the recipe was finalised, Chris is already very happy with how successfully the drink has taken off. It’s available to purchase in Dace Tearooms, where he recommends it to be drunk with fresh orange slices and tonic. “The recipe is really defined and I’m so happy with the gin.” With the success of the liquor on the rise, hopefully that trend will continue for Crosby Gin.

Did you know. . . Taken at its most basic, gin is a spirit flavoured with juniper. But behind this simple description lies one of the world’s most complex and best-loved spirits. The equivalent of one bottle for every adult was purchased in the UK last year, with over 16 million bottles of gin sold in the last 12 weeks of the year, in the run-up to Christmas, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA). It seems that gin is having its moment, as its popularity is not only rising with drinkers, but distillers too. There are now 315 distilleries in the UK, which is more than double the number that were operating five years ago.

Top Right: Picking the grass. Centre Right: The distillery Right: The label




Singled Out

eing single is on the rise, with 45% of the population divorced, separated or never married. Creating a new generation of people that do not listen to social pressures. A new study out of the University of California at Santa Barbara provides a very different view of singledom, one that we find enormously encouraging. In work presented at the American Psychological Association’s 124th annual conference, Bella dePaulo suggests that single people may have more fulfilling social lives and experience greater psychological growth than some married people. She sifted through 814 studies and found data that showed that single people are more connected with family and friends, whereas marriage tends to make two people insular. For decades, theorists have spun stories about why married people are (supposedly) healthier and happier than single people are. Well this study proves them wrong! Professor DePaulo, of the University of California, Santa Barbara said: “Other research shows that single people value

By Alex Amadeo

meaningful work more than married people do … another study of lifelong single people showed that self-sufficiency serves them well: the more self-sufficient they were, the less likely they were to experience negative emotions. For married people, just the opposite was true.” The psychological study recently revealed this new grouping of people are a result of fewer and fewer societal and financial pressures to settle down. This generation of people choose not to settle, and found 6 things about these people: They have stronger social networks and develop more as individuals. When you are single you have the luxury of being utterly selfish, the study found those in relationships can never fully focus on themselves. Having more time to yourself, you can discover the real you without the interruption of anyone else. Single people

are more connected to parents, siblings, friends, neighbours, and coworkers than married people are, and when people marry, they become more insular. They are physically fitter. Being single or committed also has an impact on physical fitness. A survey of over 13,000 people between the ages 18 and 64 revealed that those who were single and had never married worked out more frequently each week than their married and divorced peers. Studies have linked solitude to benefits such as an increased sense of freedom and higher levels of creativity and intimacy. They have an increased resilience. Single people are tougher. Single people are “stereotyped, stigmatized, and ignored, and still live happily ever after. They have more diversity in their group of confidants. A single person is used to relying on different people, as its common for people in relationships to depend on just their partner or a smaller group. They are more self-sufficient. People with partners feel a sense

of security that single people don’t, making them comfortable and more reliant. They have less erectile dysfunction. Studies found men in relationships have less sex in relationships than they do single. In addition, erectile dysfunction is more likely with those that have less sex. Being single, much like a wrinkle-free neck and the deception that nuclear war will not happen in your lifetime is something you often don’t appreciate enough until it’s gone. Many people feel that to be single is to be alone and to be alone is to be isolated, but it does not have to be that way. It should not be that way! Once you are over the requisite 16-month honeymoon period and you’ve withdrawn all your friends with your infatuated drivel, you’re going to settle into a nice boring holding pattern of love. It’s easy to do. Even if you enjoyed your Tinder years, by the time you’re in a solid relationship for a while, some small part of you will miss the instability and freedom of being Not Taken.

uisite 16-month honeymoon period and you’ve withdrawn all your friends with your infatuated drivel, you’re going to settle into a nice boring holding pattern of love. It’s easy to do. Even if you enjoyed your Tinder years, by the time you’re in a solid relationship for a while, some small part of you will miss the instability and freedom of being Not Taken. So in the meantime, capital-

ize on being single by doing the following:

From a guy’s eyes

By Michael Stokes

From a male’s point of view, being single, much like a wrinkle-free neck and the deception that nuclear war will not happen in your lifetime is something you often don’t appreciate enough until it’s gone . Many people feel that to be single is to be alone and to be alone is to be isolated, but it does not have to be that way. It should not be that way! Once you are over the req-

•Indulge your sloth •Get a new hobby •Be active •Fix yourself •Revel in potential Being single is much underrated. In fact, it can be so much fun that you wonder why anyone would ever want a relationship to begin with.



Patient safety award

NHS: Susanne Lynch

NHS commissioners in Sefton have been shortlisted for the prestigious HSJ Value Awards 2018. Sefton was recopgnised for its Repeat Prescription Ordering Scheme (RPOS) system which is estimated to save around £2m a year in Sefton alone and is already looking to expand. Susanne Lynch, one of the nominated team, said: “Being shortlisted for such a prestigious award is testament to the hard work of everyone here. “The improvements to patient safety, coupled with significant cost savings, delivered by this scheme are a real success story.”

Beatles drummer Ringo Starr has been awarded a knighthood for his services to music. The Liverpool born songwriter was bestowed by the Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham palace and becomes the second Beatle to hold the honour. The award comes 53 years after The Beatles were collectively awarded MBEs back in October of 1965 which was surrounded in controversy as the general consensus at the time was that the band were underserving of the honour, due to their drug references in their music. The honour comes 21 years after his fellow band member, and only other surviving Beatle, Paul McCartney was knighted.

Arise, Sir Ringo

Ringo Starr

PEOPLE L Theo honour for graduate Angie LJMU alumni Angie Platt has been named as one of the winners in Theo Paphitis’s Small Business Sunday twitter campaign. Angie is editor and creator of Life with Pets magazine, a lifestyle magazine which focusses on animal welfare and rescue centres. The magazine, which started out as an idea during Angie’s time at LJMU, won the recognition of the Dragon’s Den entrepreneur who created #SBS in 2010 as a way for small businesses to increase their online Each week small businesses tweet Theo using the hashtag #SBS and Angie was delightwhen she was picked as one of six winners and got a retweet to his 500,000 followers. Angie, who lives in Ruthin and works in PR for Denbigh-

Faye Griffiths

James Ledsham

Liverpool’s very own Romeo and Juliet

LJMU graduate Angie Platt shire County Council, tweeted this week: “Thanks everyone for all the @TheoPaphitis #SBS love! My phone’s been on fire for the last 5 days and it’s been lovely.”

Liverpool actors Faye Griffiths and James Ledsham have been cast in a new adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. Daniel Taylor Productions announced the names of the two actors who will be playing the iconic characters in an alternating repertoire of Shakespeare’s classic play at Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre from Wednesday April 11th to Saturday April 21st. Producer Daniel Taylor said: “Liverpool actors Faye Griffiths and James Ledsham are talented, driven additions to a magical team.” Faye Griffiths, who trained with Chiltern Dance Studio will take on the role of ‘Juliet’ which represents her first major stage role. Her ‘Romeo’ will be played by upcoming actor James Ledsham whose credits include Those Two Weeks (Naughty Corner Productions), Nights in Oblivion (Committee of Horses) and Lima Syndrome (Lantern Theatre). This new adaptation of Romeo & Juliet, will be performed alongside Daniel Taylor’s critically acclaimed, immersive production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.



Gone but never forgotten A mother’s fight to change the law in her daughter’s name By TIM SPENCER-TANFIELD


he mother of Helen McCourt, who was murdered in 1988 with her body never being discovered, told LJMU students of the devastation she still feels since the murder of her daughter 30 years ago. Marie has been campaigning tirelessly to make her voice heard and to help find justice for herself and her family, as well as other families in similar situations. In a recent talk given to LJMU students at the Medical Institute about her experiences 30 years ago and her life since, Marie said: “We all think to ourselves when we hear about a case such as this, how we are going to react if something like that ever happened to us. Believe you me, when somebody who you love is missing you react totally different to how you thought you always would.” Helen had gone missing on her way home from work after letting her mum know what time she was expected home. “I rang on the hour every hour when I got home early in the morning from the police station. the last time I rang was at four o’clock when two police

officers turned up, and that was the beginning of my nightmare.” Ian Simms was arrested and eventually found guilty of Helen’s murder, but his refusal to give up the location of her body coupled with his obvious lack of remorse is something that still haunts Marie: “It’s hard enough to lose a loved one as it is, but to not be able to give them a proper burial is something that no one should have to go through. Finding my daughter is the most important thing to me.” It is this which has forced Marie to take matters into her own hands; after continued searching for her daughter but to no avail and a lack of cooperation from Simms, Marie started what has since come to be known as Helen’s Law, a petition to help change the laws surrounding killers who refuse to disclose where they have disposed of their victims: “I thought to myself, something has to be done about this. Myself and other families cannot be left in torment for the rest of their lives. “That’s when I started the petition, and I would never have dreamed that so many people would have signed it by now. We are cur-

Marie McCourt campaigning for Helen’s Law.

Photo © Tim Spencer-Tanfield

rently on 424,000 signatures to date online, with an extra 8,000 signatures on paper.” Since the start of the petition in 2015, Marie has been in contact with more than 30 families who have gone through a similar loss: “Some people and families can’t deal with loss and they find it very, very hard and that is why I wanted to do something like this.” Marie and husband John became volunteers for Support after Murder and Manslaughter Merseyside SAMM Merseyside is a support group set up to help those affected by homicide. John, also present at the talk said: “We aim to offer an all encompassing service to the families of the victims. We try to take the pressure off the families by helping the families dealing with the media as well as offering them as much advice and support as possible.” In a separate interview, Marie expressed her thoughts on the potential passing of the bill: “It is so important to me, I see the injustice felt by other families and it is just so hard to see. Finding Helen is what is keeping me going.”

Marie McCourt: Pic © Tim Spencer-Tanfield


Claire House Challenge Badge More than 10,000 Girl Guides have completed their Claire House Challenge Badge. The badge was originally created in 2016, after 13-year-old Holly Smallman, from the Crosby Brownies group, was diagnosed with medical needs. The support from Claire House inspired other North West Girl Guides groups to create the badge to learn about certain disabilities

and illnesses. The badge involves many interactive activities to raise awareness. Two years on and over 10,000 Girl Guides have now received the badge and raised over £12,500 for the charity. Claire Bear has visited more than 80 Brownies groups across the North West to thank them for their support. Hannah Thomson, 26, a

Girl Guides have raised over £12,500 for Claire House Photo © @WirralLive / Twitter Brownies Brown Owl in Moreton, told LL: “It’s such a great charity and a great way to tell our Brownies about illnesses and disabilities. “The badge was created two

years ago is already helping both the children learn and raising money and awareness for the children in the hospice and the hospice itself.”

CHARITY NEWS Hair and Heels

Model wearing an item from the Liverpool John Moores University range Photo © Olivia Friett

Emotions were rising when Hair Heals had their fashion show to raise awareness for alopecia. Claire Namukolo, the founder of Hair Heals, organised a fashion show in support of her charity. After having hair loss herself, she noticed that a lot of women and men with hair loss are less valued as models. She wanted to create a foundation where models felt comfortable and had support, whether their hair loss is from alopecia, chemotherapy or male pattern baldness. Claire Namukolo told LL: “The support I am getting for my charitable organisation makes me feel confident and hopeful for the future of victims of hair loss. “I experienced hair loss myself for a short period of time and remember being so confused, lacking support and avoided going to places such as the salon. “I received a series of phone calls from victims of hair loss asking me for any form of help. That was the birth of Hair Heals.”

4 Days 4 DIPG A Merseyside runner has taken on an astonishing four marathons in four days, across three counties. John Hammond, 41, ran 105 miles and raised £2,500, all in aid of six children suffering with DIPG. Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, also known as DIPG, is the second most common type of primary high-grade brain tumour in children. Primary brain tumours are those which originate in the brain, tending to grow quickly. The six children suffering with the condition - Edie, Lucy, Cameron, Luke, Zoe and Kaleigh - are in Mexico waiting for treatment. Mr Hammond said: “There’s nowhere in the UK where they can get this treatment.” The committed fundraiser told LL that he thought running through each of the children’s towns would be a great way to raise money for them and generate awareness of the condition.

John running a marathon Photo © John Hammond / Facebook His journey began on Thursday 15th March when John travelled up to Northern Ireland to run the first leg of his marathons. The next day, the runner drove to South Hampton to do the second and the following day travelled to Essex. The final marathon was completed on Sunday March 18th in Scotland. Mr Hammond explained how the condition can worsen at a startling rate: “I’ve seen how quickly it can take effect and it can go downhill and it’s heartbreaking.”


LL 31

Lauren McBride Photos © Lauren McBride

driven to be different Steph Kettle talks to Liverpool blogger Lauren McBride about her battle with epilepsy


ompleting the first year of university is a milestone for every student and the start of many more challenges to come - but one young woman from Liverpool had to face up to something very different. In 2008, 19-year-old Lauren McBride was picked up by her mum after packing up all her belongings in her student halls in Manchester, to then settle back in for the summer holidays at her home in Liverpool. Suddenly Lauren had a seizure in the car which triggered the beginning of her journey with epilepsy. Now, ten years on, Lauren has conquered her condition through the power of writing, blogging and travelling. “I was very young and it felt quite surreal. I just turned up to the appointments and took the tests I had to take. I wasn’t scared, it was just so foreign to me,” Lauren told Liverpool Life. Although it was a new condition she had to deal with, creative projects helped Lauren. She moved to Amsterdam after gaining a job and lived most of her twenties there. She also runs a fashion blog that led on to many opportunities. “I stopped drinking, got my head down and started writing a blog. This all hap-

pened ten years ago, so I was one of the first Liverpool fashion bloggers!” Lauren featured in Elle Magazine, Company Magazine and was even voted number 61 in Vogue Magazine’s Top 100 People Online list. “I’ve had a great career and travelled all over the world with it. I don’t know if I’d have been so driven if I hadn’t been diagnosed with epilepsy,” she said. Lauren is now 29 and has moved back home to Liverpool after progressing in her career - a rollercoaster ride that has only made her more determined through her condition. Ironic Fashion has helped her deal with her epilepsy and acted as a creative outlet to relax. Lauren said: “It was fashion-driven, but there were times I spoke about epilepsy and I was able to connect with people going through the same thing.” Lauren is now working on her latest online project called ‘LJMCB’. LJMCB exposes her lifestyle and speaks about money, environmental issues and simply growing up, which Lauren has certainly done plenty of. “Epilepsy is part of who I am and I like that I have an edge to me, that I have been through some situations but I’ve come out stronger,” Lauren told Liverpool Life.

Lauren in Amsterdam

“Epilepsy is part of who I am and I like that I have an edge to me”

WHAT IS EPILEPSY? • Epilepsy is a condition that affects the brain. When someone has epilepsy, it means they have a tendency to have epileptic seizures. • Epilepsy is usually only diagnosed if someone has had more than one seizure, and doctors think it is likely they could have more. • Epilepsy can start at any age and there are many different types. • Some types of epilepsy last for a limited time and the person eventually stops having seizures. But for many people epilepsy is a life-long condition. To find out more go to


Liverpool Life looks at all the latest women’s running gear!



£60 PUMA

£17.99 ARGOS



£80 FILA




THE LINE UP Running away with it - Oli Fell previews the upcoming Randox Health Grand National at Aintree Racecourse 39

Jabs not stabs - Evan Fyfe reports on boxing management company MTK’s stance on knife crime in Liverpool 35

Jumping for joy - Uni Cheerleading squad JMU Jets reveal all to Alexandra Amadeo about their recent success


Ping-pong perfect for pros and putterers By JESSICA HUGHES LJMU’s newest sports club is also it’s hidden gem: table tennis. Nedim Hasson, a John Moores lecturer, set up the weekly club over a year ago. “I think it’s a really nice way of bringing staff and students together in an environment that’s quite different than the normal context in which staff and students normally engage.” Nedim has been an avid player since the age of 17. After getting interested in the sport, Nedim took some coaching and began playing in a league. But this isn’t an exclusive. The club is ever growing, with new members welcomed with open arms. “It’s always nice to see some new faces. “Table tennis is one of the fastest sports you’ll play. It’s demanding on your body and your mind; it’s a bit like a game of high speed chess. “After playing, I come into work the next day and I feel more alert. My mental health benefits. I think any sport is great for that and table tennis is no exception. “I’ve spoken to some of the staff

who come and they’ve said that coming to the club just for an hour or so once a week makes them feel better about going back to their day jobs, and I think it’s the same for students with deadlines, and other stresses. It’s good to get away from all that and do something completely different that takes you out of you normal set of circumstances.”

Ping-pong ding-dong: Nedim’s club is open to players of all abilities. Pic © Jessica Hughes


The student hopeful wanting to own the mat after wrestling debut By ROSS HILTON-INKPIN

UK earlier this month. He told LL: “The show went well and I learnt a lot in the space of An LJMU student has made his one night. It was a completely difdebut in a national wrestling ferent style and atmosphere that event after only taking up the I’m used to which was difficult to sport eight months ago. adapt to on the day.” Will Simpson, a 3rd year Media Fighting Spirit is one of the newStudies student began training at est wrestling groups to form in the Fighting Spirit in Maghull in July Merseyside area, and has already 2017 and debuted at Megaslam earned a partnership with TNT extreme wrestling, one of the largest wrestling based promotion companies in the Merseyside area; a sign that Will believes wrestling’s popularity on Merseyside is ever-growing. Will added: “When I started at Fighting Spirit I didn’t know what to expect or what to think. I started on the second day of the club opening, so I was nervous that I hadn’t met everyone who’d arrived on the first day. “I was wary as to whether I’d enjoy it and what I’d get out of it, but months later down the line, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. “Fighting Spirit has definitely already helped to develop Getting to grips: Will Simpson made a scene in the area. his national wrestling debut this month You’re starting to see a Photo © Tony Knox lot more people come

May date for UFC on Merseyside By JACK BUTLER Fans of MMA across Merseyside are in for a treat following confirmation that the organisation is bringing its fighters to Liverpool. The event is set to take place on May 27th at Liverpool’s Echo arena, and fans will be looking forward to the main event of the evening with Merseyside’s Darren Till headlining. This event is the first time the

UFC will bring their fighters to Liverpool. The UFC has taken to the UK 21 times with nine of these events taking place in London and four in Manchester. Lewis Bate, former editor for MMA Thread, thinks it is a huge deal for Liverpool, saying: “While this isn’t the first time that we’ve seen a UFC event in the UK outside of London, this event is still a massive for Liverpool. “The city has become something of a hub for UK MMA, with rising

Flying start: Simpson in action during his debut show at Fusion Nightclub on Fleet Street Photo © Tony Knox from this area who are making their name on a national scale”. The 20-year-old has aspirations to continue to grow in the wrestling world and is looking to carry on performing at shows after university. “I’d really like to be able to stick to it and do it as a full time thing if possible, and that’s something that has presented itself to me. I love doing it three or four times a week and if I have the chance and the ability to take to further then that’s something I’d love to be able to do.” Megaslam UK will be touring all over the country throughout the rest of March and April.

stars like Darren Till, Paddy Pimblett and Molly McCann coming to prominence so for me, hosting a UFC show in Liverpool is a no-brainer.” Till will return to the octagon following his first-round victory over UFC veteran Donald Cerrone back in October, and it’s one that has been eagerly anticipated by MMA fans across the globe. With the 25-year-old’s opponent yet to be announced, many rumours have been circulating about his potential opponent. Bate said: “Whoever Till fights, I’m certain that they’ll put on a great show for the Liverpool crowd.”

Aspiration: Simpson wants to wrestle full-time after his degree Photo © Charlie Brennan

At home: Till will be fighting in front of a friendly crowd Photo © Darren Till/Instagram



Boxer hoping to knockout knives By EVAN FYFE Boxing has joined the fight against knife crime in Liverpool, as Marvin Herbert of MTK Boxing teamed up with former MMA Fighter and founder of the No More Knives campaign, Paul Bentley. The Let’s Be Blunt campaign will work with politicians, celebrities and influencers to find a credible solution to a rising problem in the city. While Merseyside Police have been active in discouraging the use of knives - such as using metal detectors at bars in the city - this new scheme will look at educating children in schools and taking them off the streets into productive sports programmes. Born in Liverpool, Herbert moved to London as a child before relocating in Spain, where he helped set up the first MGM gym. After teaming up with former boxer Matthew Macklin and rebranding as MTK Global, the business now have nine bases around the globe, and promote some of the worlds most wellknown fighters, such as Tyson Fury and Carl Frampton. Herbert has trialled in scheme in Spain and London, and now wants to expand in to his home town of Liverpool. He said: “The most fundamental part of the campaign is changing

Paul Bentley and Marvin Herbet © Evan Fyfe

this perception and mentality of youngsters. One of the problems in school is forcing kids to take part in something they have no interest in, and reacting badly when

they aren’t succeeding at it. “In London, we worked with year 7 and year 8 pupils, with the aim of bringing them off the streets and into a productive

environment. We train boxing, football or in the gym, and with MTK’s contacts we can promise them the chance to meet some of the biggest names in sport.”

LJMU darts society hit bullseye in York By TIM SPENCER-TANFIELD The LJMU darts society have continued their achievements on the oche after a successful Northern University Darts League competition in York. The tournament came after the team narrowly missed out on winning their regional group, with one leg being all that separated them from glory. Speaking to Liverpool Life about their recent trip to York, chair of the society Ben Bartram said: “LJMU played solid darts all day, including Joe Gough who won his first university game of his career. Some of our lads were unlucky and didn’t progress through the groups on head to head difference. “Three of the squad progressed to the last 64, while two other

members Rory Knipe and Matty Price both made it to the quarter finals before losing in high standard games.” The team now have two inter house finals nights, as well as a varisty game against the University of Liverpool which is due to take place on 9th April at Rileys Liverpool.

Local lad to travel stateside for fight By ROSS HILTON-INKPIN Liam Smith is set to travel to New York for his second attempt at a world title. The fight is due to take place at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in New York on May 12th, according to the promoter of the show Golden Boy Promotions. Smith, 29, defeated Liam Williams at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle in November to become the mandatory challenger and

will face current holder Sadam Ali later this year. ‘Beefy’, as he’s well known in the boxing world, once held the title until he was beaten by Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in September 2016. Smith’s current record is strong. Out of 28 fights, he has won 26 – 14 by KO – one draw and one loss. The Smith family is well known for boxing, with three brothers: Paul, Stephen and Callum, all of whom are professional boxers.


Plain sailing: Enjoying the water at Crosby Lakeside

‘There’s nothing like a bit of healthy competition!’ Liverpool Life’s Suzy Sankey speaks to sailors at Crosby Lakeside about their mission to make Sefton children healthy


olunteers at Crosby lakeside are working together to help the children of Sefton be healthy, fit and make new friends. Encouraging children to keep active isn’t always the easiest of tasks, but Crosby Scout and Guide Marina Club gives young people the opportunity to learn to sail, and gain sailing qualifications. Led by chair Adam Wallymahmed, 27, the club helps youngsters to step outside of their comfort zone, and find a different way to keep fit. The club hosts regular races for the children, who have a great time and enjoy the competitiveness. “There’s nothing like some healthy competition!” Adam told

Liverpool Life. “There’s not enough affordable sport for young people in the area, and that’s where we can come in. We keep subs for members low, so that we’re accessible for as many people as possible, which is really important to us.” The club doesn’t receive any financial backing from the council, and so it’s funded purely through the members’ subscriptions as well as donations and grants. However, trying to keep the subs low for members means that the club often has to apply for grants. The last grant received by the group was £10,000 from Sports England Small Grants Fund, which was used to buy new boats. It wasn’t just the club’s commit-

tee that decided where the money would be spent - the children involved are given chance to have their say as to where they’d like to see the money go, too. Funding isn’t the only essential aspect in keeping the club running. Adam helps to organise 24 other registered volunteers, all of whom commit their weekends to providing sessions and behindthe-scenes work that keeps the group running.


dam said “I was elected as the chair three years ago. Without one, the group would have to close, so after being a member since I was 10 years old, I decided to step up to the role.” The club doesn’t just provide a

social group for the children, but for the members who offer their time for free too. Last summer, Adam and three other members took a week to sail around the South Coast of England, putting their skills and knowledge from Crosby Marina to the test in the English Channel. “It’s all thanks to the volunteers that we are able to offer what we do. So, as they offer their time to us, we offer ours back to them. “All volunteers are given the opportunity to gain their own sailing qualifications, as well as instructor qualifications too. “Without the people behind me, the club wouldn’t be able tokeep running and it’s become an important part of the Sefton community.”



Cheerleaders Jet to the top


JMU is home to one of the most competitive Cheerleading societies in the UK. With three different teams competing at any one time the JMU Jets are enjoying both a rise in popularity and success at national level. Cheerleading is a physically demanding sport, but, at the same time, team members say it is one of the most enjoyable sports to take part in as it means working closely together and forming great friendships within the group. The society is mixture of 1st, 2nd and 3rd year students as well as students furthering their education and studying postgraduate courses and both men and women are encouraged to join the squad. Speaking to Liverpool Life, Jess Cockburn, Captain of the JMU Jets Society, said: ”The focus this year has been on really building a strong foundation for the team as we had a lot of freshers on the team with no prior experience, which was fabulous!” The society has had a busy year, launching the university’s first ever Pom Dance team last September which, together with the Co-Ed and All-Girl teams, has competed across the country. Recent highlights have included the Future Cheer University Nationals 2017

LL’s Alexandra Amadeo speaks to JMU Jets about their training and recent successes where the Co-Ed Level 4 team placed 1st and All-Girl Level 3 placed 7th. In addition, the Level 4 Co-Ed team and Level 2 All-Girl team both placed 1st in Jam Fest Northern Jam 2018. Competitive routines typically range anywhere from one to three minutes and contain components of tumbling, dance, jumps, cheers, and stunting. In the case of the Pom dance team, teams are judged on incorporation of pom-poms. After the success the JMU Jets had

enjoyed over previous years, the teams decided to train even harder and more often to continue their success and the society managed to get its hands on state-of-the-art training facilities this year and used fully qualified coaches for the first time. Jess Cockburn said: “We have been working with professional coaches at Star Spirit Cheer and Dance and we are all so proud of how far the team has come along and with how well everyone took to cheer with so much enthusiasm and eagerness to learn and do their team proud.” The team also set goals at the start of the year to compete in the higher-level divisions of competitions and so have been focussing on their tumbling skills with extra training sessions dedicated to their tumbling progression. Jess Cockburn added: “All the girls are amazing on our first ever Pom Dance team. Representing the university, the team performed at the University National Championships in February. “All three teams were amazing considering it was the first time competing for many of the members. “Overall, the team spirit and morale has been outstanding and we can’t wait to continue working next year.”

All Photos © Jets Cheerleading


Tranmere youth restructure leaves prospects in limbo


A Welsh international youth footballer is one of the many to be affected by the Tranmere Rovers academy restructure. Rovers announced the closure of a large section of its youth academy – leaving many of the players in younger age groups without a team. Jacob Edwards, who plays for the Welsh international 2003 side and for Tranmere under-15s, has been affected by the restructure and is now looking for another club to continue playing. The youth system at the National League club is now focusing primarily on the development of players aged 16 and over. In a statement, the academy revealed that one of the primary issues that has brought the need for a restructure is the Elite Player Performance Plan, which enables teams higher up the league hierarchy to take players

from non-league teams such as Tranmere, without having to pay compensation. The statement read: “The Club has been forced to rethink the way it develops young players as a consequence of the impact of the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) system.” This has made the club unable to sell on promising youngsters from their academy for large sums as they have done in the past – their most recent being Max Power, now at Wigan Athletic, who yielded around £50,000 for the club. Jacob said: “My plans are now to find another team and keep on playing elsewhere – I’ve started to go on trial at Wigan’s academy now. “I was unaware of the changes until we were told by parents after they had meetings during our training session. I was really shocked to find out.” Tranmere Rovers reporter Richard Garnett, understands the

Tranmere Academy graduate Max Power (left) now at Wigan Athletic © Max Power Instagram @maxpower_6 reasoning for the closure, but admits it is disappointing for youth football in the region. He said: “Realistically they have no choice. If six academy players can leave for other clubs for absolutely nothing, whilst their departure would bring Tranmere over £200k at a category three academy, then clearly the current system is unsustainable. “That, along with the cut of funding from the Football League, are the final nails in the coffin.” Richard believes that, unfortunately for the youngsters in the Wirral region, the restructure will

make it even more difficult for talented players to make it into the professional game. He said: “The future for young players on the Wirral is hope followed by disappointment. The decent players will be hoovered up by the likes of Manchester City and then abandoned a couple of years later with hardly any of them making it.” Those affected by the restructuring will still be training until nearer the end of this month, as the academy has vowed to help them secure moves and trials at other academies.

Marathon effort to inspire schoolchildren By ABBY NICHOLSON A Liverpool primary school teacher has pledged to run 26 miles with over 2,000 pupils for Sport Relief. Peter Kelly, 28, a teacher at Lister Juniors, L13, is hoping to bring communities together by visiting 20 schools while running the equivalent of a marathon. The charity run will take place tomorrow, Thursday March 22nd,with thousands of children from across the city. Mr Kelly said: “I thought what I could do as a teacher to be a positive role model and bring schools together. “The plan is to join in with

whatever the school has planned for Sport Relief. For example Dovedale are doing a whole school dance, with 800 pupils out on the yard.” Peter has so far raised £600, with more expected over the fundraising day. The teacher, who plays at Liverpool Cricket Club, said: “Sport Relief is quite a big part of our school’s calendar, especially with the message behind it, getting as many children as possible active. “I know Sport Relief do a lot for mental health charities, and I wanted to make sure I could contribute something that would help somebody.” Peter aims to start at Garston

Runner: Teacher Peter Kelly Community Centre at 9am before heading down Booker Avenue to Mossley Hill. He will then head back out of the city to Knotty Ash in time for the Lord Mayor’s visit, Finally Peter will visit Lister Juniors at 14.30pm to conclude the 26-mile run. You can keep up-to-date with

© Peter Kelly Peter on his twitter: @MrPAKelly1 or donate to his fundraising page Since the last Sport Relief, the charity have treated over 900,000 people for malaria across Africa and helped more than 50,000 people living with mental health problems in the UK.


Home straight at Aintree Racecourse Credit Paul/Wikimedia Commons

Saddle up and place your bets

Liverpool Life’s OLI FELL has all the details of the upcoming Grand National weekend


s punters lick their wounds or celebrate their successes from a whirlwind week at Cheltenham, the national hunt season is drawing to a close. With only a few more meets scheduled between now and April, the Grand National, the most prized jumps race in Europe, is fast approaching. Hosted at Aintree in April, the grand finale of the season, the race consists of 30 fences over four miles. The race is notorious for producing long odds winners, with only one favourite winning this century, while there have been two joint-favourite winners. In 2009, 100/1 Mon Mome romped home to, quite literally, defy the odds and become the first


triple figure odds winner since 1967. One For Arthur, 14/1, won last year’s race but was pushed all the way by Cause of Causes and Blaklion, 8/1 favourite. Blaklion heads the betting this year too, available largely at 10/1. Closely behind is Total Recall, who was a faller in the Cheltenham Gold Cup (won by Native River), available at 12/1. It was revealed in October that One For Arthur would miss the entire season, therefore ruling him out of the Grand National. With only five horses pulling out at this point, including Gold Cup runner Definitly Red, who was pulled up in last year’s race, there are set to be 36 horses this time around. Picking a winner, as has been made obvious, is generally very hard. Perhaps lucky punters from Cheltenham will be able to pick out some each way value, but it is entirely feasible a 50/1 horse could run from the rear to take the crown. This year, Anibale Fly represents real each way value at 20/1. Following from a good Gold Cup run at Cheltenham to finish third, the eight-year-old French import will race at Fairyhouse before taking on the monster course. If you’re looking at a higher price, Shantou Flyer travelled well at Cheltenham and has finished second in his previous four races. Ranging from 50-60/1, this seems like a hefty price for a classy horse.

This year’s favourites: Blaklion 10/1 Total Recall 12/1 The Last Samuri 14/1 Anibale Fly 14/1 * Odds from

University frisbee team flies to championship By AMY HARDING Liverpool John Moores University Ultimate Frisbee club have been competing as one of the more unusual sports societies. The club was established in September 2016 and after only a year and a half the men’s team got to the national championships. They play as a mixed team and separately as men’s and women’s teams. With 25 current members, most are brand new

to the quirky sport. Grace Prior, 20, women’s team captain, said: “We have a passion for Ultimate, it’s so much fun and we constantly have a smile on our faces when we play. “It’s been a great way to make new friends, not only from LJMU but from other unis and in Merseyside.” The team trains weekly with experienced Ultimate Frisbee players coaching their sessions. Grace said: “Our university players have tonnes of opportuni-

LJMU Ultimate frisbee team © Liverpool SU ties to progress further and play for teams like the Merseyside club and even up to GB level. “It allows us to see new places in the surrounding area and further. It’s the fastest growing sport in

the world and it’s being played more and more each day.” The sport is now lined up to be played in the Olympic Games in 2020, which is being held in Tokyo, Japan.


Liverpool Life

Goodbye to all that - the final issue’s page proofs

© Becky Jones

Produced each fortnight by LJMU Journalism Students

Liverpool Life 6:9 March 21 2018  

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

Liverpool Life 6:9 March 21 2018  

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