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Lifestyle & Culture Magazine www.socialbuzzmag.co.uk

issue: 005


How are the units in your drinks stacking up?

Use our DrinkCompare Calculator to find out how many units you’re consuming throughout the week. Go to drinkaware.co.uk/drinkcompare

Have a little less, feel a lot better.

Con ten ts

Welcome to the first year anniversary issue of Social Buzz Magazine!

04 COMMUNITY: Liverpool Cares

07 LIFESTYLE: Ellie Case on sustainable eating

09 HEALTH: PUBLISHERS Han Publishing FOUNDER Chris Han Creative Director Martin Thornton PROOFREADER Emma Hutt COVER FEATURE AND PHOTOGRAPHY ZuZu and Cherie Grist Photography ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY AB Photography Brian Roberts WORDS Nikki Girvan Matthew Jacobson Gemma Jones Ruth Worthington Andrew Richardson Ellie Case SPECIAL THANK YOU Auteur Media Revival DMS Rachael Forde Bill Elms Cathy Butterworth For all advertising enquiries please contact: sales@socialbuzzmag.co.uk For all other enquiries please contact: hello@socialbuzzmag.co.uk

Dr Alan Doddridge talks about alcohol

10 LEISURE: Gardens by Peter Lloyd

13 BUSINESS: R3TS offers free training

14 CULTURE: Matthew Jacobson chats with ZuZu

16 CHARITY: Savera UK helping to end FGM

20 BUSINESS: Gemma Jones chats to two trailblazing teenagers

23 MOTIVATION: Nikki Girvan finds out Dave Bolton’s top tips for mental resilience

26 HISTORY: Andrew Richardson, St Helens

Wow, wow, wow… we are officially 1! What a crazy first twelve months it’s been. I would like to personally take this opportunity to thank each and every person, business, and organisation which has helped us reach this milestone. We honestly couldn’t have done it without you all. Over the first five issues, it has been the determination and dedication of the other business owners I have met, who took a chance at following their own dreams, which has kept me motivated through the many, many, (many!) ups and downs of starting your own business. Every time a new magazine comes out, we receive lots of feedback and comments from readers who’ve picked it up or read it online. One of the things we quickly came to realise is, as well as being a way for other businesses and organisations to promote themselves around the region - the magazine provides us with a unique platform. It allows us to champion causes and events that are doing their part to help address topics in our communities, which have the potential to change people’s lives. So we take this super seriously and are very proud to do our own bit, one page at a time. We have some very exciting plans for the next twelve months, make sure you stay up to date by following all of our social media channels… Thank you all again and… Enjoy!

Chris Founder & Publisher

Terms & Conditions. All rights reserved. The content of this publication, in part or as a whole, may not be reproduced in any form without prior permission from the publisher. Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of material published, neither the publisher nor the editorial contributors can accept any liability to any party for the loss or damaged caused by errors or omissions resulting in negligence, accident or any other cause. The views expressed in the publication are not necessarily the views of the publisher. Some offers within this publication are specific to the Social Buzz Magazine. Individual retailers reserve the right to refuse, amend or withdraw the offer at any given time. This applies to every offer and discount detailed in the Social Buzz Magazine.

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Social Clubs Our free Social Clubs offer older and younger neighbours a chance to hang out together, to learn, to laugh and to build the types of friendships and networks that matter in life. We hold up to 15 Social Clubs across the city every month and give the older and younger neighbours who wouldn’t have otherwise met one another an opportunity to get out of their homes and try something new for a couple of hours.

Liverpool Cares is a community network of young professionals (18-35) and older neighbours (65+) hanging out and helping one another in our rapidly changing city.

We try to do a little bit of everything, whether that be an evening Singalong or a daytime Technology Workshop. We have a great mix of Social Clubs on offer to suit every taste; you could join us at our Creative Writing Club, or maybe our monthly Pub Club is more your speed!

We exist to address the modern blight of ‘disconnection in our connected age’. Objectives are to: Reduce loneliness and isolation amongst older people and young professionals alike; Improve the connection, confidence, skills, wellbeing, belonging, purpose and power of all participants; Bring people together to bridge the gaps across generational, social, cultural and attitudinal divides. We do this because our home city is a wonderful place, with music, laughter and personality at its core. But the city we call home is now growing and changing at double speed, leaving many young professionals feeling anonymous and isolated, and many older neighbours feeling left out and left behind. That’s why we bring these groups together. Our free regular groups - Social Clubs, enable neighbours to share stories and explore the city together. Our one-to-one Love Your Neighbour friendship scheme, matches a young professional volunteer with an older neighbour for weekly at-home visits. These activities are underpinned by proactive Outreach, which identifies people most at risk of isolation in our community and invites them to get involved. And we mobilise younger volunteers through digital and employment networks, sharing stories and images on social media, and by connecting with local businesses.

Love Your Neighbour Our free Love Your Neighbour programme brings younger and older neighbours together to spend time one-on-one, enjoying conversation and companionship. From Walton to Wavertree, Anfield to Aigburth, we bring people who wouldn’t have otherwise met together. Friends get up to all sorts together, like heading to one of our free Social Clubs or going for a walk in the park. Sometimes, they normally just enjoy a cup

Matches meet once a week and build deep friendships over time that help bring a little of the outside world in for older neighbours who can struggle to get out. For younger neighbours, who sometimes have many connections but few roots in their communities, a friendship match can provide a sense of perspective and neighbourliness that can be lacking in their own busy lives. You can get to know your neighbours and be part of our Social Clubs and Love Your Neighbour programmes by signing up online at https://liverpoolcares.org.uk/get-involved and coming along to our next Volunteer Induction. Winter Wellbeing Our Winter Wellbeing programme helps older neighbours stay warm, active and connected during the colder months of the year. During Winter Wellbeing we will be out and about across Liverpool delivering warm items; such as blankets, hats, and scarves, hoping to provide a little extra warmth for older people in our city. Winter Wellbeing also seeks to put older neighbours in touch with local organisations that can offer guidance, including practical advice about ways of reducing fuel bills.

You can get in touch to talk to us about our Winter Wellbeing project by calling Rachael Treacher on 0151 659 1789 (Option 1) or emailing rachael.tracher@liverpoolcares.org.uk. Fundraising Liverpool Cares is a small charity trying to make a big difference. We’re so grateful for the help of our amazing family of supporters who fundraise to help connect their neighbours so that everyone can feel valued, vibrant and visible in our rapidly changing city. Our charities fundraising strategy incorporates several different income streams to create a diverse portfolio for long term sustainability. From challenge events to one-off donations, with every pound donated, run completed, cake-baked, ticket purchased, and corporate partnership delivered, you can help make activities with our older neighbours possible – and more likely for the future too. If you are a business, foundation or individual looking to support a local charity get in touch with our Development Co-ordinator Rachael Forde on 07538 978 499, or email rachael.forde@liverpoolcares.org.uk

We hope that our Winter Wellbeing project spreads some joy to those in our city who’re in need of a little extra support. In our monthly Winter Wellbeing blog, we also shine a light on the hidden heroes and heroines of Liverpool that we’ve met through our Outreach. We uncover brilliant stories, hopefully bringing everyone a little closer together; creating a sense of community in our amazing city.

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of tea and a natter, helping to create what will hopefully become a mutually beneficial and long-lasting friendship.

Catch the latest edition of SocialBuzz online or on any device across these social media channels...

Here are some more tips… Try new things Many western diets rely on a small handful of crop varieties and animals that are grown on a mass scale. This leads to loss of biodiversity, as demand for certain crops sees thousands of less popular plant species being abandoned. Greater crop diversity means better resistance to climate change and pests. Trying out new vegetables and grains and getting creative in the kitchen also means a more varied diet covering a greater range of vital vitamins and nutrients, including fibre. Eat fresh foods, feel healthier

Everything seems to be turning vegan - the new ready meal range, the hip, trendy plant-based fast food place, friends, family, and even a whole month out of the year has now been labelled as ‘Veganuary.’ Climate change is a hot topic with many claiming that cutting back meat and dairy is vital to reduce emissions; the message can be confusing: does it really mean we have to go vegan to make a difference?

Say ‘yes’ to fresh and ‘no’ to processed foods. Not only will this help the planet, but it will also improve health and increase vitamins, minerals and fibre. Plus, processed foods often contain palm oil, which is directly linked to deforestation of tropical rainforests. Cut down food waste A third of food is wasted, which is a big problem for the planet. A lot of this is down to the supermarkets and the supply chain, but it also happens a lot at home, and refraining from buying more than needed will save money. Freeze that bread! Farmers markets and local shops It’s great to support local businesses. Shopping locally will massively cut your carbon footprint by reducing air miles from foods that have travelled across the globe. Consider local, seasonal fish to combat over-fishing of the oceans. Find out where your nearest farmers’ market is.

According to the WWF, our food system has the biggest impact on environmental damage - more than transport! With the population approaching 10 billion; millions of people are struggling to afford food, whilst millions are also overeating… most agree things have to change.

You could argue that this could, understandably, be easier for some than for others, as not everywhere has a local market. Growing veg in the garden could be a fun activity to do with the kids!

Being a vegan might be a great way to help the planet and is a suitable lifestyle for some – but we don’t have to go completely cold turkey on meat.

Whilst they can still be eaten in moderation, focusing more on vegetables will be beneficial for our health and the planet.

The great news is that small changes in our everyday diets can reduce our carbon footprint, such as eating more fruit and veg which will also make us a lot healthier!

We can still eat meat - just less meat Red meat and dairy are the food groups with the biggest carbon footprint, and they use much more land and water than plants. Cattle farming produces methane gases and is directly linked to deforestation in the Amazon as soy is imported for feed.

Hi, I’m Ellie. I blog about food, sustainability and the environment. The food industry is often opaque and information isn’t readily available for consumers, so I decided to start a blog whilst learning more about where food comes from and how we can eat better for the planet. Check my blog out at elliesdeliblog.com.

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How to save the planet and become healthier without going vegan!

Ernest Hemingway

Wise words, perhaps, from one of the most esteemed writers of the last century. But only if it were that simple. An article by Dr Alan Doddridge, General Practitioner

There is a spectrum of how we consume alcohol. Unless you’re teetotal, you’re somewhere on the spectrum - like me. Talking about how much we drink can make us defensive. That’s why it can be so difficult to talk about. We might be worried about being judged or feel embarrassed about how much alcohol we consume. This is understandable but can also be the biggest barrier to helping us look after ourselves better. Liverpool has one of the highest rates of alcohol-related admissions to hospital in the country. We also have some of the highest rates of alcoholrelated health conditions. One of the biggest reasons is what I call the ‘silent drinker’ epidemic. Let me explain. The ‘silent drinker’ has a glass of wine most nights or a few beers to help them unwind. They do not believe they have an issue with alcohol and feel fine after a drink. They can work, look after the children and live perfectly functional lives, save the occasional hangover. The suggestion that alcohol may be an issue is abhorrent and potentially offensive. Think about how much alcohol you have drunk over the last couple of months. Does this sound familiar? So why all the fuss? Why is it that doctors like me love to talk about alcohol and encourage you to do the same? Drinking too much alcohol on a regular basis can cause health problems now and in the future. Over time, alcohol raises blood pressure. High blood pressure is

a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes. Prolonged exposure to too much alcohol can cause damage to the liver, brain and nervous system. I would much rather we were able to talk about alcohol openly and honestly before any of these things happen. And sometimes that is all it takes – an honest, open conversation. If you would like to reduce how much alcohol you drink, here are some practical tips that can help: • Think and drink in units. The recommended safe limit for ALL adults is 14 units. There are approximately 2-3 units in a pint of beer or a glass of wine, 9 units in a bottle of wine, and 1 unit in a single measure of spirits. • Avoid getting into rounds. If you find yourself in a round, buy yourself a non-alcoholic drink when it’s your turn. • Experiment with alcohol-free versions. Several branded beers make these, and they taste like the real thing. • Set yourself realistic goals. Is stopping completely realistic? Will it make you feel guilty if you don’t stop? Focus on a goal that is right for you and seek support from friends or loved ones to help. • Lose weight and feel great. Think of all of the calories in alcoholic drinks. Use this as your motivation, especially if weight loss is your goal. • Knowledge is power. There are some fantastic resources available for further information and support. Have a look at Drinkaware.co.uk or Change4Life and NHS websites. Maybe Mr Hemingway had a point - I wouldn’t recommend it though! Remember, if you are dependent on alcohol to function, it may be dangerous to stop drinking suddenly. Always consult your health professional first.

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Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That’ll teach you to keep your mouth shut.

The word ‘alcohol’ makes us feel very differently. It is divisive. For some, alcohol conjures images of good nights, reminders of great times with friends, sometimes followed by a hefty hangover warning us to be good next time. For others, alcohol may be associated with some of the worst times. Alcohol might even be a way of life, a reason to get up in the morning, impossible to function without.

Leisure With us firmly into a New Year and decade, it excites me as to what is in store across a growing horticulture industry, and what the 2020s will hold for our outdoor spaces. Recent figures published by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) have indicated that garden tourism in Britain in 2018 was at 38 million, and predicts that this figure will rise to 47 million by 2025; consisting of an increase in local, national and international visitors. It has never been a more appropriate time to mention and commend the upcoming opening of RHS Bridgewater in 2020; a new ground-breaking garden which is currently under construction in the Salford area of Greater Manchester. After seeing some of the plans by the renowned landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith, and other talented garden designers, I am already excited and eagerly awaiting its opening. I think that RHS Bridgewater is going to offer the UK something unique; to encourage learning, collaboration and exploration of diverse horticulture, including a place to really tune into ourselves. Further research by the RHS states that town and city residents are twice as likely to visit parks and gardens within close proximity of their home, for health and wellbeing. It comes as no surprise given that more of us are opting to holiday at home and the day-to-day need for us to destress and retune from our busy and demanding lifestyles, or even illness. I feel there are lots of opportunities to enhance our outdoor spaces over the coming decade, by promoting the restoration of existing public parks and gardens, so that local, national and international visitors can really gain.

We are now in an age where we are expecting a bit more from our public outdoor spaces. Having a local park or garden to visit is not, in itself, always enough. Our needs are changing and as such, it is important to ensure that outdoor spaces stimulate the mind and senses through a variety of hard and soft landscaping features and that they can be adapted to suit the demands of everyday life. So, as we are now firmly into winter with Christmas behind us, it’s probably time to be getting back outside! This is an ideal time to undertake winter pruning. This often refers to woody deciduous plants, so ones that lose their foliage at this time. Evergreens are usually best left until spring at this point. There are many horticultural reasons for pruning in winter. Having enough space between wood is important; so, removing any in-growing branches to allow air and light inwards is conducive to longer-term health and aesthetics. Generally, the harder you prune, the stronger the subsequent growth tends to be. If you light prune, then there is a possibility these will grow back leggy and/or out of shape.

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“This has been a great journey, but I want more”. Singer Zuzu projects a striking, determined, controlled confidence. Sat stylishly in a studio located in central Liverpool, Zuzu explained more about her music, the planet, other planets and glamour!

The early Zuzu, was music constantly played in the family home? Constantly! My Dad is a huge Beatles fan and played their music non-stop. I also have a sister with learning disabilities; she listens to music all day - every day. Before YouTube, she played everything she had on tape, Abba and co. I was always singing and listening to music; I didn't see music as a career at that point. I just enjoyed it! Did you learn your craft at the same time as creating music? I bought a bass guitar at the age of 10/11. My brother played bass in a band, so, I wanted to copy him. Before that, around at 7 years old, I would sing, making up my own, Spice Girl style pop songs! I bought a guitar just after the bass. I had ideas for songs in my head before I bought any instrument, I learnt guitar as a tool, or vehicle to accompany what I wanted to say. Are you constantly thinking about writing, or is it mechanical and you think it’s time to write a song?

Which comes first, lyrics, melody, or a combined approach? Both at the same time really. These days, my guitarist/boyfriend and producer writes my beats. When I have time in the van, or where there isn't space to play the guitar, I sit and write over those beats. As a family, you left Liverpool and moved to Oxfordshire, did that move provide inspiration? Definitely! I recently found diaries from when I was aged 12/13. I was so melodramatic! It read, ‘My Mum and Dad hate me, why would they move me here?’ My whole world changed; we were the only kids with a scouse accent in Oxfordshire! I just never fitted in. I felt lonely. I spent a lot of time in my bedroom. So, the scouse accent stood out then on the playground? It certainly did! Your music is indie, pop, punk, and grunge infused. Are you influenced by various genres? 100%! Especially now. In the past, I denied myself influences like Taylor Swift, Avril Lavigne - artists I loved growing up. I thought I was cooler than them. I didn’t respect them and stupid stuff like that. But, I’ve come full circle, I embrace them. I recognise their genius! I now take more from pop music. My newer releases will be more pop than indie. But as long as people take what they want from it. And you have an interest in Sci-fi, is that appeal escapism? Certainly escapism! This planet isn’t doing great at the minute; I like the idea of something more, something in the realm…..

The previous single “Get Off “ is a defiance stance, have you accepted yourself? Definitely, for years, I denied myself so much in the name of being ‘cool’. On stage I wanted to wear jeans, T-shirt - to look like one of the boys, I didn’t want anyone to refuse to take me seriously because I was wearing a dress or pink glitter. But why deny yourself the things you love for the sake of trying to please others? You never please them; they will always have something to say. Especially in the social media world …. In the social media world and before, being a woman in music, you get snidey remarks no matter what you do, so you might as well wear a pink sparkly dress as you get them. And the video, set in Birkenhead, is celebratory… It is! Liverpool has so much vibrancy and uniqueness in the people. The girls have rollers in their hair; they look amazing. There’s more glamour in Liverpool (region) than anywhere! The new single, “What You Want”, is about experiencing love – can you expand on this? I wrote it when I first fell in love at 18. It’s how you are at that age – loving someone till you die! Being young, over emotional. Your first experience is hard. But those days are dead to me now! When touring, what do you miss about Liverpool? My cats, I love them! I miss specific scouse humour, people wanna know your business – but they are chilled! What next for Zuzu? I have my biggest headline tour to date this year. I’ll be playing Liverpool on 28 Feb. Tickets are on sale now and my album is in the works!

Is there another world? There has to be yes, but not in our reach. This one is just an illusion you know! I like the costumes, the music, ideas of ALIENS, flying through space; it’s fun!. If only Star Trek was real!

Interview & Words: Matthew Jacobson Photography & Artwork: @CHERIEGRIST Hair: @sophieo_hair Makeup: @kissandmakeup_studio

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I have ideas during the day. I sing something into my phone. I am so busy, I may not sit down with a guitar for a few days, but I make sure my ideas go into my phone so I have something to go off really.

We can be the generation that ends FGM

On 6th February 2020 the United Nations will mark the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. Social Buzz meets the Liverpool charity that is speaking out against the practice and supporting survivors across the UK.

Female genital mutilation. It’s not a phrase that sits comfortably. Maybe you’ve never even heard of it before; you might be familiar with its more palatable acronym ‘FGM,’ or perhaps it’s something that you’ve heard about in the news, that happens in countries across the globe - but not here. In fact, it is estimated that more than 137,000 women and girls in the UK have undergone FGM - an umbrella term for all procedures that involve the removal of healthy female genital tissue and organs for non-medical reasons. NHS data published last year shows there were 1,015 newly recorded cases of FGM; which has been illegal in the UK since 1985 - between January and March 2019, with 230 of those occurring in the North of England*. Yet despite this prevalence, understanding of the practice and willingness to discuss it is still low.

Speaking Out However, a Liverpool-based charity called Savera UK is working hard to change that, speaking out against FGM and educating people from all cultures and backgrounds about its signs and the physical and psychological impact of the practice on survivors. “In Liverpool and across the UK as a whole, people tend to see FGM as something that doesn’t happen to people here. That couldn’t happen here,” says Afrah Qassim, Founder and Chair of the charity. “But every year during holiday periods, girls are flown abroad to have the procedure, and ‘cutters’ are even flown over here to do it. We want to eliminate this completely.” The charity believes the key to achieving this goal is education, focusing in particular on younger generations. In February 2019, members of its youth programme,

*Source: https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/female-genital-mutilation/january-to-march-2019

Savera UK Youth curated a special exhibition for the National FGM Centre in London, which featured photographs, collages and poetry created after speaking to survivors. The exhibition was extended later in the year to include a live performance piece and a contemporary song, which was performed for delegates at its #EndFGM exhibition at Liverpool John Moores University. Why does FGM happen? “Many people outside of the communities that practice FGM have little understanding about what FGM is and why it happens. Even health and social service professionals that are the front line of response can lack the knowledge they need to address the issue,” continues Afrah. “So we offer training and practical support to professional agencies as well.” FGM is usually carried out between infancy and the age of 15, but it can take place at any age. In cultures where FGM is practiced it is often cited as a rite of passage into womanhood. It’s a way to

preserve virginity, necessary for hygiene reasons and to make a girl more ‘marriageable,’ or even held as a religious ritual, with families wishing to maintain social acceptance allowing children to be ‘cut’ despite the dangers connected to the procedure, the most serious being death from bleeding or infection. However, the long term effects are significant, ranging from flashbacks, depression and other psychological problems to urinary and menstrual problems, complications in pregnancy and childbirth and pain or difficulty having sex. “FGM reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes. There are no justifications for this brutal practice. It is not culture. It is not a religious act, it is a violation of human rights, and that is why we fight against it.” #EndFGM Change is happening, but it is happening slowly. Greater awareness among professionals is driving better reporting, and

support services such as Savera UK are providing a safe place for survivors and those at risk to seek information, support and professional help. In February 2019 the UK’s first successful conviction for FGM was secured. “It is all progress, but there is much more to be done. Too many women and girls are still suffering and even dying because of this harmful cultural practice” says Afrah.

Speak Out Against FGM If you are at risk or worried about someone else, you can contact Savera UK’s helpline: 0800 107 0726 (9 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday)

In an emergency, please call 999 To find out how you can join Savera UK’s campaign, visit www.saverauk.co.uk or follow @SaveraUK on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

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Photography by AB Photography

“Culture is such a beautiful thing; it makes us who we are and should be celebrated. But FGM has no place in culture. If we continue to speak out and to educate, we can be the generation that ends FGM for good.”

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Well now you can! Ruth Worthington explains more, including the health benefits of singing…

We live in a fast-paced and often stressful world, more and more of us are now realising the importance of looking after our wellbeing. There are many ways to improve wellbeing and using music has always been a good way to lift your mood. I’m sure we all have songs that make us happy, and lots of us use ‘power playlists’ to boost our energy when exercising, but one of the most effective ways to feel better and increase physical and mental wellbeing is to sing. Singing is known to reduce stress and increase endorphins, but did you know that group singing has added benefits such as learning to work and blend with others and making new friends, all while learning a new skill? There are lots of choirs all over Liverpool, and if you think that choirs are all held in churches with older people wearing gowns and singing hymns and choral pieces, think again! These days you can even have a beer during the break if you fancy and the repertoire ranges from disco to indie. Liverpool Indie Choir launched earlier this year in the Baltic Triangle, and it’s probably one of the first of its kind. Choir leader Tim Taylor has been leading choirs for many years (including one of only two blind and partially sighted choirs in England) but decided he wanted to start a choir to reflect his love of indie music.

The choir meet every Thursday at Constellations (Greenland Street, L3) 7.30 – 9 pm with a break in the middle where you can get drinks at the main bar.

Archer Hall, Windsor Street L8. The first two weeks are free, then subs are charged on a sliding scale from £3 - £6 per week depending on employment.

Tim splits the group into two halves depending on where you’re standing (so no worries about whether you’re soprano/alto/tenor/bass) and arranges songs by bands such as Blur, The Killers and Green Day in two parts that are easy to follow. Another unique thing about this choir is that they’re accompanied by a guitarist, adding to the indie vibe.

The group are well established and regularly perform at public events such as Pride and other fundraising events; they also get requests to sing at private events like weddings.

There’s no audition; anyone who likes singing and indie music is encouraged to come along and try. It’s a really chatty group, and you’re made to feel welcome, even if you turn up on your own. Sessions are £6 (the first session is free) with no contract so you can pop along whenever you like. www.liverpoolindiechoir.co.uk Liverpool Rainbow Chorus is a singing group for LGBT people and friends of LGBT people. They’re a laid back, friendly group that are open to anyone who wants to sing, regardless of singing ability or age/gender/race/orientation/faith (or lack of). The choir meets on Sunday evenings (6.15 pm – 8.30 pm with a tea break in the middle) in John

It’s set up like a traditional SATB (Soprano/Alto/Tenor/Bass) choir, but you don’t need to audition and the choir leader will help you find out which section to sit in if you’re not sure. Their singing style is very upbeat, and they tend to cover pop hits from the last few decades. Facebook: /LiverpoolRainbowChorus/ Twitter: @RainbowChorusLp That’s just two of many choirs that meet all across the Liverpool region, including pop choirs, parent and child choirs, signing choirs and choirs specifically for mental health. If you’d like more information about how to get involved with a choir that would suit you, The Live Well Directory www.thelivewelldirectory.com Twitter: @LivewellLpool Instagram: @Livewelllpool) is your best resource.

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Photography by Brian Roberts

Ever fancied singing your favorite disco or indie track as part of a choir?

Social Buzz's Gemma Jones catc teenagers who are setting their

At just 15 years of age, Mack Davies is already an exemplary entrepreneur, keeping himself busy with school, businesses, friends and the trials and tribulations of being a teenager. The talented teen is already well on his way down a route of success, with three businesses under his sleeve. His journey started when he was just 11 years old when he took an interest in designing and websites. “I got into using Photoshop to design when I was about 11, completely self- taught. When I first downloaded the software, I didn’t have a clue what was going on, but after a year or so of messing around with it and taking on little projects, my skills really developed. “From there, I turned into more of a corporate designer and started earning the odd few pounds here and there. Then, at around the age of 12, I started to look at the coding and went through a bit of a geeky phase.”

By the age of 13, Mack was using his designing and coding skills to gain clients for his work. It was then that he realised that he could make his passion really pay off.

Although, for an average fifteenyear-old, life cannot be all work and no play. But for Mack, creating is his passion, so he spends most of his evenings putting effort into his businesses.

“It started out as a hobby and then when I made the first bit of money, something clicked. The saying is if you make money by doing something that you love then you’ll never really work a day in your life – that’s something I will always stick by as it’s such an amazing feeling. It’s like a dream basically.”

I want to inspire absolutely everyone.

Mack has had a keen interest in learning about how businesses work for years and spent time reading business reports and looking at marketing numbers. But of course, when considering starting a business, existing money is always a huge factor. The brainy businessman said: “A lot of people go into business with thousands behind them, and that pushes them through some of the darker times in business because they have the money to pay through it, but I had nothing, so I was just kind of winging it.” He explains that instead of asking for money off his parents to go to the cinema or hang around the streets, he asked for a website subscription instead.

So what is the average week like for an ambitious adolescent? “You have to make sacrifices to be successful, so I haven’t had much of a social life over the last year. I choose between going out with friends or working on the websites. A lot of the time, I do my full day at school and then come home and work. Usually, I dedicate Sundays to having fun so every Sunday I make sure to relax and go out with friends.” “Something I always go by is that I am just trying to be the best person I can be while also empowering others and making money. I want to inspire absolutely everyone. Everyone has good days and bad days, myself included. I think success is all about the right mindset.” To find out more about Mack visit: mackdavies.co.uk

At just 16 years of age, Lewis McVey is brightening the shop windows of Liverpool with his fantastic artistry skills. With talent which teases the eye, Lewis has painted shop windows for the likes of Lucy in the Sky Café, Poppy Belle Florals in Prescot and Café Tabac on the popular Bold Street.


hes up with two trailblazing r own standards of success... Instagram. If I do a job, I might two or three enquiries from that job alone.” If you were to look up ‘hard worker’ in a dictionary, then the likelihood is that you would find Lewis’s name nearby. Apart from being an amazing artist, and your everyday teenager, he juggles his work with studying, playing the guitar and even acting! The increasing workload is only helping to boost the budding artist’s skills further as he says: “People have asked me how you got so good at art my answer is always, just practice, really.

He explained: “I used to be a bit embarrassed about being so into art, but then when my work started picking up, and people started recognising my work that’s when I decided I wanted to show everyone.

I’ve never had a games console, so I have always spent hours drawing. “I’ve never had classes or anything like that. I’ve never had a games console, so I have always spent hours drawing. It’s what you’ve got to do if you want to get better at something.

Lewis told us: “I’ve always been into art. I have my Auntie Lucy to thank for the idea of the window art - she wanted a Lucy in the Sky piece on the window of her café, which was the first one that I did. That was back in 2018.” Lewis’s artwork is such a hit that he racks up business simply from people walking past and enquiring about who painted the art. “Most of the work I get is from when I do a window and a lot of the time through

“I couldn’t tell you the longest I have spent on a piece but some have taken up to 30 hours. When you are working on a piece on and off for weeks on end you lose track of the time that you have spent on it - you get stuck into it!

“I have tried to start up an art Instagram account a few times but lacked motivation due to not getting feedback from it. But, now I have started getting feedback, and I can see that my work is a success, it’s helping to keep me motivated. I’ve learnt that I should never be embarrassed about my work.” To check out more of Lewis’s art, find him on Instagram at @dutchie.art

I find it all really relaxing, but sometimes there are stressful times when things aren’t quite going to plan, but it is something I enjoy especially compared to other jobs I could be doing. I don’t think I will ever get tired of doing art.”

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“I have cancer, but cancer doesn’t have me.” Can you really remain positive in the face of adversity? Social Buzz’s Nikki Girvan talks to strength coach, motivational speaker and cancer survivor, Dave Bolton to find out how simple tactics can transform our lives.

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You have 86,400 seconds every day, and it’s up to you how you use it.

Imagine that £86,400 was deposited into your bank account every morning, but you had to spend every penny within that same day, or you’d lose it forever. What would you do? “The thing is, we do all have that bank account,” says 38-year-old Dave Bolton, from Wirral. “It’s just that the currency is time. You have 86,400 seconds every day, and it’s up to you how you use it.” The importance of time is not lost on father-of-two, Dave, whose infectious positivity belies his incredible journey. His story, which is currently finding its way onto the pages of a book, is one that elicits gasps of disbelief. From a near-fatal collision with an articulated lorry, while out riding his motorbike in 2004, to his terminal diagnosis with an aggressive tumour called Glioblastoma Multiforme IV (GBM4) ten years later in 2014, Dave has overcome more adversity than most people face in a lifetime.

After the accident, which saw his left leg crushed by the lorry, Dave underwent a 12-hour, lifesaving surgery and spent eight days in a medically induced coma. It was only in the months that passed that reality began to sink in. “It was like being hit with a sledgehammer. Sport was my life, I was 23 with a kid on the way, I was flying in my career with Merseyside Police, but I was told I’d never walk unaided again. It was soul-destroying.” In the years that followed Dave defied the prognosis, regaining 100-degree movement in his left leg, walking, jogging and cycling unaided, going on to become the World Lightweight Kickboxing Champion while representing Great Britain and moving up the career ranks to become a Sergeant. Then, in May 2014, Dave suffered a violent nocturnal seizure during which he bit through his tongue, dislocated his shoulder and stopped breathing. Tests revealed an Astrocytoma II tumour on his

brain and Dave was booked in for surgery.

“I felt like I was on death row, so I had to do things to take my mind off it, like going for a run. For the first mile I’d cry my eyes out, the second mile I’d be saying ‘right sort yourself out,’ and by mile three I’d be back in a positive mindset, telling myself that I was going to be fine.” After surgery to remove the tumour, Dave was given a prognosis of five years. A year later it returned, this time as a GBM4 tumour. After further surgery, Dave was given a terminal diagnosis and told he could expect to survive three months without treatment or six to eight months if he decided to have chemo and radiotherapy. It was his wife, Samantha - the childhood sweetheart he met in school at 16 - who was the catalyst in bringing Dave out of his depression.

Invest in health, not wealth People say you only live once, but you live every day. Your health allows you to live your life, so exercise is key, whether it’s training or going out for a long walk. When it comes to diet, enjoy everything in moderation and make sure the food you eat contains what you need to fuel your body.


Dave’s Tips for Mental Resilience

Be present You’re allowed to feel rubbish and have a day where you dwell on stuff or worry about the future. What’s important is drawing a line under it and finding a way to move back into the present. Give your mind a break Good mental health is vital, and I recommend meditation. That doesn’t have to be sitting cross-legged in silence; it’s doing something that takes your mind off everything that’s going on. For me it’s training, for others it might be golf, writing or reading a book. Make connections Isolation can be physically damaging, and it’s biologically destructive to the central nervous system too. It’s important to make connections, spend time with friends and family, join clubs or teams with similar interests or get an exercise buddy to motivate you when you’re out running or in the gym.

“One day she just said, ‘we’re going for a run’. Sport had been my whole life, but I didn’t see the point in keeping fit if I was dying. But she insisted, so I ran the worst 5k of my life, retching and stitching all the way. Sam absolutely battered me as well, for the first time ever! “But that night I slept just a little bit better. I felt a little bit better. I realised I had two options. I could either carry on feeling sorry for myself or I could try and fight it. I’d been opposed to treatment, but if I beat the averages it could give me up to 18 months more time making memories with my family. “After that, I took a 360 approach to beating cancer. I got my diet right, I exercised, I tried alternative therapies like Reiki, acupuncture and reflexology, I took every supplement I could. I wanted to give myself the best chance possible. To be a new statistic.” Five years on from his original terminal diagnosis, Dave has proved himself to be that new statistic and has moved to six monthly scans. He works as a strength and conditioning coach, trains adults and young people

at the UTS Foundation and travels the country speaking about mental resilience. “I may have cancer, but cancer doesn’t have me. Every day I think about my 86,400 seconds. I make sure invest them wisely, and I aim to help others do the same.” Find out more at www.davebolton.co.uk

I got sent home, and depression just hit. From being so positive, I was literally just sat on the couch, eating rubbish and waiting to die. I’d given up on life.

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Chapels to Chimneys Manchester Railway, Robert Stephenson soon opened a locomotive works in Newton-le-Willows to produce locomotives required for these new industries. One such industry was chemical production, particularly Alkali during the 19th century, used in the production of soap, detergents and a key component in the glassmaking industry. The most well-known industry in St Helens is glassmaking; perhaps starting with the opening of Ravenhead Glass Works in 1688, the first English plate works. But the industry was somewhat spearheaded by the Pilkington’s, who have been a large employer for nearly 200 years, having started life as the St Helens Crown Glass Company in 1826. By 1886, Pilkington was producing three-times more glass than anywhere in the UK, taking advantage of the local supply of sand and coal on which the town was built. Today the Pilkington brand is known worldwide and produces glass for a multitude of industries, including windscreens for Jaguar Land Rover.

An iconic building of the modern town is the Beechams building. Born in Oxfordshire in 1820, Thomas Beecham used his knowledge of herbs to create a laxative which he would sell out of a market stall in Wigan in 1840. Soon “Beechams Pills” were in production and, in 1859, operations were moved to a new factory in St Helens, perhaps due to convenient transport links to Liverpool’s port, and abroad. By 1875 Beecham was exporting products to Africa and Australia and by 1885 had the highest sales of any patent medicine in the world. As had been the case in many towns, the post-WWII decline in UK industry would spell trouble for St Helens, and many of these unique industries would fade away. However, the ingenuity of this once great town no doubt contributed to the success of the Industrial Revolution in the North West and helped define the character of the landscape today.

Photo provided by Andrew Richardson

It is easy to go through life without thinking about the origins of everyday products. When a cough or cold hits, some may opt for a Beechams to help, without knowing where this international brand was developed. Whenever someone takes a car or train to work, they may never consider where the technology may have originated. But what if someone was to tell you these products owe their success to the quiet town of St Helens? Rather surprisingly, St Helens didn’tth exist at the beginning of the 19 century, as it was formed by the merger of four smaller towns of Eccleston, Sutton, Parr, and Windle. The town’s name comes from a small chapel of ease, first mentioned in 1557 and located on the site of the presentday Church of St Helens, historically on an important highway close to the boundaries of the smaller towns. The key to success for the town was its position on the rivers Mersey and Weaver, along with the abundance of natural materials like coal and sand found beneath the town. Coal is said to have been dug here as far back as medieval times. However, in 1746, the Liverpool to Prescot Turnpike road was extended to St Helens so coal could be mined, and goods transported more efficiently, a turnpike being a higher-quality tolled road. This was further accelerated with the construction of the Sankey Navigation Canal, said to be the first in England, which revolutionised trade between the town and the port of Liverpool. As time progressed, the famous Stephenson’s Rocket locomotive was trialled in Rainhill by the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1829, making St Helens an innovator in the development of transportation in Britain. Improved transport links brought new industry such as copper and iron foundries, with the first iron founder in the area being established by Lee Watson, in 1798, and eventually developing into engineering works until the 1930s. With growing demands on the Liverpool to

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Profile for Social Buzz Magazine

Issue 005 Social Buzz Magazine  

Issue 005 Social Buzz Magazine covering the wider Liverpool city region. Featuring lifestyle, culture, health and news, features and article...

Issue 005 Social Buzz Magazine  

Issue 005 Social Buzz Magazine covering the wider Liverpool city region. Featuring lifestyle, culture, health and news, features and article...