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Scotland’s #1 school leavers magazine



you’ve got the


whole world in your hands

GUIDE TO next step



planet survival

Exciting news, our brand new Podcast Series is now LIVE! We will be chatting all things employability, apprenticeships and well-being – as well as some cool interviews too. We can’t wait for you to hear this!

Listen now on Spotify, Apple and Google Podcasts Episode 1 – Starting Your Journey to Work Episode 2 – Modern Apprenticeships Episode 3 – Employability and the Benefits of Work For more information on how to start your journey to work call 0800 0730 266 or visit www.northlanarkshiresworking.co.uk



Spring in the cities.............................................4-7


Declan McKenna interview.................................8


Thailand travel guide.....................................10-14


Callum Beattie interview..............................16-18



Your guide to life after high school...........19-35


Liz Bonnin interview....................................36-38


Your guide to sustainability........................40-41


Mental health first aid................................42-43


Jade Statt interview....................................44-46


Arielle Free interview.........................................47

Editor Debbie McInnes debbie@leaversmagazine.com Design Calvin Douglas Contributors Hannah Ahmed, Elleis Peters, Susie Daniels, Eva Curran, Rachel Salveta, Katie Campbell.




Published by Track 10 Media. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited. Leavers magazine takes no responsibility for claims made by advertisements in this publication.




Etape Loch Ness


KEEN cyclists take note – Etape Loch Ness is a 66 mile cycle ride held on closed roads along the stunning shores of Loch Ness in the Highlands. It starts and finishes at the historic Highlands capital of Inverness and promises breath-taking scenery along the way. You can test your stamina on the timed King of the Mountain stage – a 4.8-mile climb gaining 380m in height and reaching a gradient of 12% at times. I’m dizzy just thinking about it! An incredible 5,600 cyclists took part last year so if you’ve got what it takes get on your bike and ride!




la s




o LOCH Ness, April 26.

4TG Game Con is game on so expect Youtube & twitch stars, tournaments, faux E Sports, a retro zone, Fortnite zone, a cosplay competition and of course copious amounts of merch. There will be a whole lot of keyboard tapping so in the interests of Coronavirous safety bring your hand sanitiser to use before touching every gadget to avoid spreading any viruses. No one likes a virus in the gaming world! See what I did there? o AYR Racecourse, May 8-9. four

SO what are they offering at the Sweat It Festival? Blast 30-minute sessions to try out new classes, a spin studio, activity zones that can be booked throughout the day, a cooking demo area with new recipes and cooking tips, a yoga den, master classes in pilates and massage and

a Chewin The Fat area where you can listen to some wellbeing and general happiness advice. I’d like to rename it Sweat, Eat, Chill & Spill. I can whip up some book titles too if you’d like? No? Anyone? o The Arches, May 10.

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4TG Game Con

Sweat It Festival

spring in the cities SUSIE DANIELS’ GUIDE TO what’s on around scotland

Sophia & Cinzia

g s la o w

Radio 1 Big Weekend


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Wee Wander (5 miles). All funds raised will go to Scotland’s children’s charity Aberlour to help stop vulnerable children in Scotland suffering so do your bit as every pound makes a difference.

o Camperdown Park, May 22-24.


Charity Kiltwalk DON your tartan or go rainbow-coloured, patterened or black. Anything goes when it comes to raising money for charity. Last year 3,200 kiltwalk heroes strode, strolled and wandered over a choice of three routes – the Mighty Stride (26 miles), Big Stroll (14 miles) and

As Scotland’s music lovers descend on Dundee there’s so much more to check out in the surrounding area – the V&A, Discovery Point and best of all you can go Oor Wullie watching. Haud me back.






It’s the biggest music event to hit Dundee since the Carnival 56 music festival four years ago – and things have got so much bigger and better. For a start there’s Dua Lipa, Calvin Harris, Camila Cabello, A J Tracey and that’s right, only Harry bloomin’ Styles.


o Oran Mor, May 20.


THE best bathroom development since the U-bend, Sophia Tuxford & Cinzia Baylis-Zullo are taking their podcast series on the road. The ‘Girls Bathroom’ stars have made it their mission to help find solutions to the problems of every young adult in the country, whether that be issues with love lives, friendships or whatever else you might be facing right now. Expect laughter, tears, girl chat and gossip when the ‘lifelong besties’ pitch up in the West End.

o June 7. five


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Adam Kay: This is Going to Hurt I’VE read Adam Kay’s book This is Going to Hurt and if the delivery is anything like the writing then you’re in for a roller-coaster ride of emotions. The book’s hilarious – so much so that I had strange glances by the holiday swimming pool as I giggled away reading it as if I was being continually tickled. The diary/novel about the life of an NHS doctor is being turned into a BBC series

so catch it here first from the man himself. Note: if you are studying or about to graduate in medicine it might be a good idea to wait until you’ve been qualified for over a year before you read Kay’s books Seriously, I don’t want to traumatise you.

The Killers and Blossoms are two bands you would want to see live in a line up. It’s crazy to think that The Killers have been around for nearly two decades with so many hugely successful songs. The US band’s frontman, Brandon Flowers, gave an astounding performance last year when they headlined Glastonbury so this Scottish gig will be a real treat. Blossoms are one of the bands of the moment with their November uplifting piano and choir heavy song, The Keeper, getting heavy radio and TV play than most artists so expect big things from the Stockport lads. o FALKIRK Stadium, May 28.

o PERTH Concert Hall, May 23.

Beltane Fire Festival




WHILST the simultaneous sparking of a few thousand Swan Vestas matches wouldn’t generally be encouraged in our major cities, the Beltane Fire Festival shows how such a spectacular flame show can be enjoyed responsibly. Expect to look on in awe as the May Queen and Green Man lead a cavalcade of characters in a procession which culminates in the lighting of a bonfire to signify the inception of summer. Oooh, warm glows.


IN six







o Calton Hill, April 30.

St Andrews Film Festival WHO wants to be home alone when you can be out with your mates talking about films to do with ‘home’ such as Home Alone – the student cut? St Andrews Film Festival (SAFF) returns for its third year, showcasing the works of student filmmakers from the across the UK and beyond. This year’s festival theme is Home. Enjoy a wide range of films, an interview and Q&A with a guest speaker, a chance to vote for their Audience Choice award and a celebratory closing Gala. o BYRE Theatre, May 7.



The Killers & Blossoms










Inflatable 5k What can I say, this sounds like amazing fun! There’s 28 obstacles to race through including the ‘Foam Zone’ and other wacky, dangling, inflatable areas to challenge you and scale including the ‘The Vortex’, Temple of Doom’ and ‘The Growler’. You can upgrade to a 10k or 15k and if the weather holds up, the day promises to offer lots of laughs and some great outdoor fun. o


Music from GoT, Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit was composed in 2011 by Ramin Djawadi for a small string ensemble. Following the success of the next six seasons the music budget increased, allowing Djawadi to create ever more emphatic pieces for large orchestras. So with some extra cymbals the

small screen adaptation of George R.R Martin’s series of fantasy novels can be heard in all its glory. There will also be music from The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit. o

USHER Hall, June 11.





Game of Thrones’ colossal popularity makes it the most talked-about TV show to date, in the galaxy. The series has won 38 Emmy Awards (and counting) so the music should be instantly recognisable. Most of the eerie, magnificent score



s o r e Z & s e o r e H THE artwork for Declan McKenna’s second album was taken at a fairground, catching captivating motion shots on the waltzer. His music videos and artwork are a fusion of great creative vision and the most exciting and individual music to surface for some time. So it’s with great anticipation that fans await his second album, Zeros. Susie Daniels talks to Declan about collaborations with music buddy Sam Fender and the fear that the end is nigh.

Beautiful Faces has traces of Bowie, Jarvis Cocker and Blur. Is that flattering and whose music has influenced you? That’s fine. When I started out I would have had more of a problem with those comparisons. There’s no such thing as an original piece of art, we’re all influenced by something. One of the biggest influences is Bob Dylan in the sense of narrative in my songs. YOU like a bit of glitter on your face and have the glam rock look in Beautiful Faces. Do you wish you’d been around during that era? I don’t think there’s a set look I have. As a performer I want to be as expressive as possible. I guess the look is quite Bowie, T Rex, St Vincent though sometimes I want to be quite casual. It’s important when you’re performing. When you’re making art you can’t reject emotions. I have a lot of influence and am helped stylistically. I’m into stage fashion. MOST of your music videos like Brazil, Brew and British Bombs are very arty. Brew was a Girls in Film production. What was the reasoning behind working with them? The opportunity came about, it sounded good and there was a budget for it. It was like an additional side project as Brew had already been released. I try and find cool people to work with. I’m not a film-maker so it’s important to collaborate with people whose work you like. With British Bombs I kind of left it to Ed Bulmer, an artist whose work I’m into. For Beautiful Faces I worked with artist Will Hooper. I’m working with him on my next music video. WHAT’S Rapture, a song from your latest album Zeros, about? There’s a lot of talk about the end of eight

the world. The way it was predicted thousands of years ago – fire, floods. Those things are happening now. I like the idea of dogmatic belief that it’s coming to an end. There is a very present anxiety. With the age of social media there is constant fear. I do worry about how humanity can adapt to the future. The world is changing at a rate quicker than we are evolving. A lot of people my age worry about the state of everything. YOU have a lot of political opinions. Do you ever see yourself as the Greta Thunberg of the political world? I don’t see myself as the biggest talker. Something about her, she has a way with words. I have attitudes to certain things and a platform to talk about it. I can be more confident but it’s not always easy to be vulnerable with your opinions. WHAT’S on your mind that you’re going to transform into music? The next record is going to get more and more personal writing about people. I like the idea of the concept record – a person in mind for three songs and tell a story. I’ve got a lot of songs written already. A FEW years ago you were introduced to the music of a 13-year old artist who had written a song called Ocean Eyes. That singer was Billy Eilish. Does her meteoric rise open your mind to the possibilities in music? You just never know what’s going to happen. I’m happy where I am

now. Just enjoy the moment and not pin my hopes on any pipe dream. So many people have connected with Billy Eilish that I don’t know anyone else who could have had that approach to a record. It’s such a fresh simple way and feels really of the time and timeless.



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1. DO take a decent amount of cash as Thailand, especially the islands, is a cash-based society. The local ATMs charge £5 for using their service. 2. Don’t be afraid to haggle prices down but do be considerate. Street market sellers enjoy some friendly negotiation but don’t push too hard. 3. do bring good insect repellent and garlic tablets. Those bugs rest for no one. 4. Don’t forget your sun cream even if the sun’s not out! Lindsay and I believed the myth that the UV rays couldn’t get us through the clouds and we paid the price. 5. GO for less than 30 days if you don’t want to get a visa. Visas aren’t required for trips under 30 days. 6. DO be wary when discussing the monarchy. Thailand has strict laws about this. 7. DO be careful of street food. Although it can be delicious and it is part of the experience, select your vendor wisely as both Lindsay and I developed the Thai Tummy on the first night. 8. DO dress appropriately. If you’re travelling during rainy season pack a light rain jacket and umbrella! If you plan on visiting temples, make sure you have a long skirt/trousers and a t-shirt that covers your shoulders. 9. DO take advice from other travellers you meet along the way. They might have just left the place you plan to go next, meaning they have the most up to date information about it.

10. DON’T be scared! I read lots of horror stories before I went and worried about it all for nothing. Thailand has some of the nicest people I’ve ever met, don’t waste your holiday holding yourself back. You’re only young once! ten

l Emerald Pool

THE old town of Krabi is beautiful and there’s an abundance of things to do but we spent most of our time in Ao Nang as it’s located near the beach and offers a better night life (lots of party hostels here). Ao Nang beach isn’t the most spectacular but, it gets the job done and there’s plenty of markets in the area, great for counterfeit shopping. There are plenty of island-hopping tours here too but due to limited time, we ended up taking a long boat to

r o F i a h T To WITH studying, working part-time, gaining experience related to my degree, doing extra-curriculars and seeing friends and family, getting away can be difficult. But we are rewarded with a 3/4-month summer break and I’ve used that time to travel. I’m ELLEIS PETERS and here’s my guide to Thailand...

Krabi Railay Beach. Railay beach is an incredible little slice of Krabi filled with themed caves (even one dedicated to Penis’, don’t ask me…), restaurants, a spa, rock climbing and more. You can stay on Railay beach but keep in mind you have to transport your cases/ bags via long boat and I won’t lie, it’s a bumpy ride. Railay offered the best scenery in Krabi. The surrounding beaches are gorgeous, there are so many themed hut bars and

we saw so much wildlife (lizards, monkeys and crabs carrying seashells), it really was like something straight out of a postcard! We went to the cheapest but still delicious breakfast place every day called Saad’s Kitchen, just across from Pop In Hostel. It’s run by the friendliest husband and wife so please go if you have the chance! Other things we wish we had time for were; climbing Tup Keak, Tonsai Beach and the Emerald Pool (as the name suggests, this pool is a gorgeous turquoise colour perfect for both swimming and getting amazing photos!)



ONE major benefit of travelling to Thailand is that it’s cheap – and it’s even cheaper during our summer because this is their ‘off-season’ or ‘rain-season’. This just means you’re sort-of guaranteed a little spot of rain each day but luckily, it won’t hurt you! I went with my flatmate Lindsay and our flights cost around £500 each Glasgow – Bangkok in August 2019, if you go at New Year, they cost more than double this. Hostels didn’t cost more than £11 a night and it’s best not to book in advance as you get much cheaper prices on the day and some deals aren’t advertised online. Going during off season means you’re guaranteed to find a hostel as the islands aren’t as busy, it also reduces the prices of activities as vendors want your business. Our daily spending was between £20-£40, depending on activities. Do your research and make sure you have enough money to last you. Domestic flights are also really cheap, around £20£40. Everything included, 3.5 weeks cost me around £1600 in total.

l Krabi



Koh Phi Phi

l Koh Phi Phi

l Elleis and Lindsay on Kho Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi was one of my favourite spots. It’s a small, intimate island almost completely pedestrianised with a yellow brick road… like something straight out a movie. The people here are lovely and the food is first class. Try some traditional Thai cuisine such as Pad Thai for main and Mango Sticky Rice for dessert. I highly recommend the boat tours here as Phi Phi is surrounded by micro islands. We took our tour via speedboat and booked our tour at an operator by the beach but the prices are the same at every stand around the island. Our tour went to Monkey Beach (yes real monkeys), the famous Maya Bay (as seen in ‘The Beach’), Pileh Lagoon and more. This half day tour cost about £35 and included snorkelling. The viewpoint on Koh Phi Phi is a must see, but please wear suitable shoes and take water…I learned the hard way. We somehow managed to take the back road up the hill, through the jungle but it was totally worth the near death experience. This is the spot where my 2014 tumblr dreams came to life and Lindsay and I got the perfect ‘BFFL’ picture.


l Grand Palace, Bangkok

After speaking with other travellers, it was apparent that people either love or hate Bangkok… and we loved it. The hustle and bustle of this concrete jungle was a nice reminder of home. Bangkok offers some amazing shopping experiences, shopping malls like MBK, street markets like Chatuchak Weekend Market and even floating markets like Taling Chan Market. Other things to tick off the list are twelve

the Grand Palace, the sky train, night boat tours along the river, lady boy shows and all the temples! The party scene is centred around Khoa San Road where you can dance, eat and shop all on the same street. Similar to the walking street in Patong, it can be quite intimidating as people do harass you and we found a lot touched us here (just on the shoulders, asking us to go to bars etc). As a treat, we stayed in the most gorgeous Airbnb for only £25 a night,

rooftop pool included! Bangkok has the second highest growth rate for Airbnb listings in the world, so make the most of it! There are tonnes of sky bars which will ensure you get the perfect skyline shots. Bangkok also has an Uber-like taxi service, an app called Grab. It’s a great way to get around the city, it’s safe and ensures you aren’t cheated out of money from scamming taxi drivers as the price is confirmed before you ride.

Shetland. Because life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Imagine really challenging yourself and discovering what it’s like to live in Britain’s most northerly community? You could sign up for further education or take up an apprenticeship or traineeship. We’ve plenty of these available in all sorts of interesting sectors and every one of them can help you learn new skills and get set up for a rewarding career. Alternatively, you could go straight into real world employment and earn a good wage. Whatever you decide, Shetland is ready to embrace dynamic and motivated people who don’t just want to follow the herd. Why not find out what’s on offer in our rugged, yet inspiring Islands of Opportunity, visit shetland.org

travel l Patong Elephant Sanctuary

Patong was one of my favourite places but so many people we met hated it, it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted. Bangla Road is one of the main attractions in Patong, it’s very much the party zone. This walking street comes alive when the sun sets; it’s rich with clubs,

Koh Phangan KOH Phangan is Thailand’s party island. Home to the original Full Moon Party, it’s a must if you’re looking to cut some shapes and get loose during your trip. We went to the Half Moon Festival which is pretty different from the Full Moon Party as instead of being one big party on the beach, it takes place in the jungle and has 3 stages. Each stage is dedicated to a different genre of music, one for trance, another for techno and lastly, R&B/Hip Hop. One stage is a graffitied cave, the others are all lit up, there’s tribal murals everywhere, fire dancers, huge plastic trees all lit up, UV paint spots and more. During the rainy season Koh Phangan can be pretty quiet except when the Full Moon/ Half Moon parties are on. Good Time Hostel is a great place to stay here, the reps are so friendly, they serve cheap food and they have so many facilities (pool, hammocks, a double swing for you and a friends insta pic on the beach). Koh Phangan also offers a Wipeout type assault course called The Challenge, waterfalls, scuba diving and so many beaches. fourteen

bars, restaurants, street performers, street food and more. Thailand is famous for its full moon parties and although Phuket isn’t the home of the full moon party, they do host one every Saturday. With your full moon party ticket, you get free entry to this private beach the next day which I highly recom-


mend. The beach is really well looked after, not as busy as Patong Beach and it has plenty of cute Instagram spots (rocks, swings & daybeds). We also visited an Elephant sanctuary here, this was a truly breathtaking experience and Phuket/ Patong have a handful of sanctuaries that you can visit.

Koh Tao

KOH Tao has an abundance of breathtaking beaches and tonnes of amazing restaurants situated right by them. The nightlife is also good, while Koh Tao also boasts amazing cooking classes, boat tours, viewpoints and every corner hosts another scuba

diving school. The harbour area is where all the souvenir, clothing and trinket shops are. The trip from Koh Tao to Bangkok takes around 11hrs by boat and bus. We booked it on 12go.asia which I strongly recommend you use.

Discover careers in Theatre, Film, Television and Radio Find out about training courses available in Scotland at: www.sdtn.org/courses



I’m doing this the hard way Callum beattie’S no stranger to grafting. Even when he was playing Glastonbury he was still touting to fans to come and watch his gig. He may have supported some of the biggest names in music but you can still catch him busking in Edinburgh. Susie Daniels chats to Callum about why he won’t wait for recognition to come knocking on his door and how his recent music video had him in floods of tears...

Anything exciting happen when you were touring in the US recently? I was walking down the street in New Orleans with $40 in my pocket about to get a dollar burger from Macdonald’s when this guy in a BMX bike rides up with his hand in his pocket. I thought, ‘here we go’. He said, ‘I’ve just got out of prison here’ and showed me his prison tatts – I think that was to look tough – and said, ‘Give me your money’. I said, ‘listen mate, I’ve got $40, I’m about to buy a Maccy D, why don’t you let me buy you one, and he did! I wasn’t going to look tough with my tatts. I’ve got a few but they’re stars and things like that, though with my accent I think he was worried because it sounds unpredictable. (laughs) I think it’s cause all Scots are painted out to be bad in soaps so they think we’re hard. WHILE you were in Memphis you stood in the same spot Elvis recorded his first song. How did that feel? At 8am I used to blast Elvis songs and my dad would take me to a pub on Sunday and at 10years-old I’d place an upturned ashtray on the floor for tips, shake my leg, have a wee lip tilt and sing, ‘All Shook Up’ and other Elvis songs. I remember my dad encouraging me. You just get addicted to it! IN the video for Some Heroes Don’t Wear Capes, released in December, you invited your dad to sit at a table with you and be filmed as he heard the song for

the first time about how inspirational he had been. Sounds poetic and yet brutal to be so exposed. Why did you do that? That song opened a can of worms for me. I thought, if I’m gonna be that open and write a song and let people know about my insecurities, I’ve come this far, I’m not gonna do a rubbish video with someone famous. I had the idea of letting my dad hear the song for the first time facing me. The first 45 seconds I sat down and it was a bit awkward. I felt grateful and didn’t have any bad thoughts of my childhood but out of nowhere it became this heavy mental breakdown and tears. We had to chop up the video as it was a bit heavy for the viewers. My dad’s a shy and quiet man. He said, ‘I didn’t realise you had all that hurt and anger’. I wanted him to have something special to remember. THE lyric lets listeners know you were from a single-parent background, brought up by your dad. How did that come about? My mum decided when I was younger she didn’t want to be around. She wasn’t happy. I was eight years old. For the first few years of her leaving I had abandonment issues and resentment. Seeing my dad upset, it always bothered me. I get on very well with my mum now.

IN the ‘Talk About Love’ music video, released last month and filmed in New York, you are giving away ‘Free Hugs’. How did that work out for you? Folk were looking at me like I was no right in the head. On the first day I did random nice things like hand a bottle of water to a jogger but they looked at it as if to say, ‘is this spiked?’ I was giving homeless people socks. Once people get into it loads of people appreciated it and it made them smile. It made me feel great. People that give money to homeless people, they are doing it for them but also for themselves. It releases endorphins, makes them feel good and it’s good karma! I like being nice to people. Me and my dad went to Romania for the weekend a few weeks ago. There were so many poor people and lots of homelessness. My dad was leaving a couple of quid under people’s heads as they slept rough. There should be a national, ‘Nice Things Day’ that you have to do every year before you hit 20-years-old. Like conscription! How’s life going for you? Any collaborations and do you write your own music? I write most of my songs and I write for other artists. I’ve written for Sigma, High Contrast and a couple of German artists. (laughs) All the rubbish songs I give to everyone else and I keep the best for me. seventeen

YOUR debut album is out in May. You’ve been recording at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool. What was that like? It’s where The Smiths recorded and Stereophonics and Coldplay recorded their first and second album there. I recorded with the same producer as Coldplay for most of the tracks on my debut album! I asked him if I could send a couple of songs and he said he’d love me to. I also recorded in a studio in Leith owned by the guitarist from Idlewild.

IS Easter Road a football song? No. It was all about playing in that bar and the people you’d meet. I didn’t write it to be a football song. I wrote about where I grew up. It wasn’t perfect.

HOW long did it take to produce your album? It’s been 15 years in the making to the point where I wanted to record an album. In terms of recording it took two years. I’ve done a lot of touring. I can’t wait to let people hear it!

You’ve played Glastonbury. What was that like? I was playing the acoustic stage. I was on tour and turned up on Friday night at 11.30pm in pitch dark. I thought artists had a camping area but the only place we could find to pitch our tent was next to the toilets. It was stinking. I was with my dad and I’m struggling to put the pole through shouting, ‘dad’ and he’s nowhere to be seen. He’s down the hill with his phone in the air watching Radiohead. I wasn’t playing til Sunday so it was

YOU have a very calm and confident aura in all your music videos. Is that what you’re always like? I probably don’t look nervous but inside I’m pretty anxious most of the time. eighteen

You’re back busking in Edinburgh. Why still busk? I’m not the type of person to sit and wait for a Graham Norton Show offer. (laughs) I’m not taking any chances. Jools Holland (show) would be unbelievable or the US James Corden show!

a big build up. I started singing ‘Some Hero’s on stage and started greetin’. I saw comedian Jimmy Carr at the front of the crowd as I was on some list as hot tip singers to watch out for. I was walking round the crowd beforehand saying, ‘I’m playing on the acoustic stage, come over and see me’ to everyone. YOU’VE toured with Razorlight and The Kooks. What was that like? I wrote a couple of songs with Luke Kook and we stay in touch. The Razorlight tour was brilliant. I got a phone call last year to say you’re supporting Robbie Williams at Hyde Park. I was psyched up for months. Keane were in the dressing room next to mine! I was led out and it turned out I was playing the Cabaret Stage. It’s a tiny wee stage with around 250 folk. Keane were on the main stage playing at the same time as me!


Callum Beattie’s debut album ‘Talk About Love’ is out on May 15th. Callum plays Edinburgh The Caves on April 9 and Glasgow King Tut’s on April 10.

THE NEXT STEP... ARE you leaving school this year, or recently left, and wondering what your next steps will be? If finding work is your goal, North Lanarkshire’s Working (NLW) can help kick-start your journey into work. NLW has helped many school leavers across North Lanarkshire find a variety of new jobs in a career that interests them. The unique service is available to anyone over 16 in North Lanarkshire who is unemployed and keen to find suitable employment.

NLW offers a range of services to school leavers, including:

An individual journey into work plan Confidence building courses Training and upskilling, including Construction Health and Safety Certificates CV and interview help Access to jobs you won’t see anywhere else

One of the most valuable things NLW offers is access to an exclusive range of local jobs, including apprenticeships. Many young people face barriers to employment, whether it be working skills or lack of experience, but NLW is here to make sure you have all the tools you need to get into work.

Building a better future

One school leaver who came to NLW was Dominic Lunny. Surrounded by people preparing for college or university, Dominic found that the school structure just didn’t suit him. He didn’t have a lot of confidence and was unsure how to start his career. He knew that he wanted to start work, though, rather continuing with

further or higher education and he was sure that a practical role where he could learn on-the-job would be better suited to him. After learning about the services offered by NLW Dominic signed up and embarked on a confidence building course, developed his CV and was helped to improve his interview

“Before I started here I had no idea where I would get a job and school just wasn’t for me. I am delighted with the support I was given from North Lanarkshire’s Working as it gave me confidence and opened up opportunities for me. “Being able to earn a full-time wage straight out of school is a massive benefit, as well as the opportunity I now have through my new job to go to college once a week. “I am now looking forward to many more years with Cruden and want to thank the team at NLW for the support they have given me to get into this job.”

skills. He has since been successful in gaining a job as an Apprentice Plumber with Cruden; a role he is enjoying and excelling in. Since starting in his new job NLW have kept in touch with Dominic through in-work support, to ensure he is happy in his new role and offer further support if needed.

Start your journey into work today. Get in touch with North Lanarkshire’s Working! Tel: 0800 0730 226 Further info: northlanarkshiresworking.co.uk The Next Step...

THE NEXT STEP... How to get in

Throughout high school, I did quite a lot of work experience. This is a requirement for getting in. My first two weeks was at a sheep farm during lambing season when I was 13 years old. It was the first time I was exposed to some of the harsh realities of farming and the difficult decisions that must be made. But it was also incredibly rewarding, especially the first time I assisted a ewe in giving birth. There is no greater sight than a newborn lamb within 10 minutes of being born standing and getting milk from its mother. I spent every Easter for 6 years at this same sheep farm, worked in a

dog shop on Saturdays for 4 years, spent 2 weeks every summer at a vet practice, did work experience at a vets every Wednesday night for the last two years of school, spent Sunday mornings at a stables and some Christmas holidays at a dairy farm. Getting into vet school is a big commitment, you need to do a lot of work experience whilst being a straight-A student and having hobbies/interests outside of wanting to be a vet. It takes a certain type of enthusiasm to get up at crazy o’clock during school holidays whilst all of your pals are having a long lie! Taking biology and chemistry to advanced higher is an essential requirement.

What to expect from the course A VET once told me whilst I was waiting on my sixth-year exam results that the hardest part of vet school was getting in. This is FAKE NEWS! I found the first year of Veterinary extremely difficult. Veterinary Medicine is an entirely different ball game and it took me the whole of the first year to appreciate just how big a jump it was from High School to University. The volume of information is coming at you at a mile a minute. Nearly everything you learn at vet school is the knowledge you could need for the rest of your life which can be daunting at times! The course is split up into three phases. The first phase is the foundation

phase which is the first two years. The foundation phase is about gaining an understanding of anatomy and the main physiological processes that underpin all the main body systems such as digestion, reproduction, respiration, etc. Third and Fourth year is the Clinical Phase. These two years are spent learning and understanding the major disease processes, pharmacology of the essential drugs used in veterinary and essentially how to treat a plethora of conditions. The final year is the professional phase where you are on rotations for the whole year gaining practical experience in a variety of veterinary disciplines.

The Next Step...



TALE: Elizabeth’s story

HI Guys, I’m Elizabeth Groom and scarily now half-way through Vet School at Glasgow Uni. Hopefully this article will give a bit of insight and help all the budding potential vets out there! I have wanted to study Veterinary since I was 7 years old when my mum had just brought the most gorgeous puppy called George into the family. At high school I began work experience at farms and veterinary practices, and I developed a much more realistic expectation of the profession. Of course, cuddling animals is great. But treating animals from their first puppy vaccinations to then in a lot of cases giving them a dignified ending felt like a much more rewarding career path. There are always problems that need to be solved. From Thumper the rabbit that has stopped eating to a prize racehorse that has stopped galloping midway through a race, veterinary is all about identifying the problem and finding a solution. If you are a solution-orientated person who loves animals then this might be for you!

Campus life THE Veterinary School at Glasgow is away from the main University campus which is the case for most (if not all) vet schools in the UK. We spend much more time together than other university courses as we have lectures most mornings and practicals most afternoons so we all sit and have lunch together and socialise quite a bit outside of uni. It means the vet school is one massive family which is lovely. There are some key events in the social calendar which means you get to know everyone from different year groups as well. However, you can sometimes feel like you are not part of the main university when you spend all your time at the vet school. To avoid feeling isolated from the

main campus I am part of Glasgow University Cheerleaders. Joining a society is a great way to meet people in other courses and make friends outside your course. I am also part of Glasgow and Strathclyde University Officers Training Corps which is an army reserve unit that takes you through the basic army reserve training. The GSUOTC involves every uni in Glasgow so it is a great way to meet people from other unis. There are also incredible opportunities for adventurous training. I have spent a week skiing in France and five nights sailing on a tall ship around the west coast of Scotland. With Cheerleading and OTC there is a lot of socials which is good to get a break from all the vet school chat!

The Next Step...

THE NEXT STEP... What I wish I’d known I LIVE at home so adjusting to the commute in the morning was a big change for me. In my first year I couldn’t drive so I had to get two trains and then walk which took me about 1hr 45 minutes each way. If you are planning on living at home I would recommend learning how to drive if there aren’t great transport links. Now that I can drive it takes me about 35 minutes which is much more manageable. I feel you definitely don’t get the full university experience when you live at home but for me, my dog is at home who I could not leave, and I am relatively close that I could not justify the cost. If I had my time again I would have moved into halls in my first year then moved back for the remainder of the course just to get that experience. The biggest thing that I wish I’d known is it is impossible

to know everything, so don’t beat yourself up about it just try to learn the main things and don’t get bogged down by all the details. I know lots of vets who wouldn’t think twice about looking at a book if they are unsure of something. You cannot know everything! Time management is an essential part of uni but especially Veterinary, as you don’t have a teacher telling you what needs to be done. You can do as little or as much work as you desire so it is essential to discipline yourself to study and attend everything. Get involved with as much as you can just make sure you are managing your time correctly as ultimately passing exams is the number 1 priority. It is hard work, you have to be prepared to put in the hours, but it will be worth it in the end – or so I keep telling myself! l Class of 2022 at our Halfway Ball

The future... I AM still unsure as to whether I want to be a small animal vet or farm animal vet. The ideal for me would be to do mixed practice which tends to be found in more rural areas and you

are treating virtually every and any animal small or large. However this year I have started working at a small animal vet practice in the evenings and weekends as an animal nursing assistant

The Next Step...

which I am really loving and is drawing me much more towards small animal practice. I am excited to see what lies ahead but currently, my only focus is passing my third-year exams!


My Childcare Modern Apprenticeship journey When I finished school, I took a year out as I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do or what subject I wanted to study – or even if I wanted to go into further education at university or college. Speaking fluent Spanish, I worked during the holidays teaching little children and I enjoyed it so much that I felt this might be the route to a career for me, but I still wasn’t sure how to go about it. I did some online research and found Childcare Management Company, a training provider in Early Years Education. After making some initial enquiries to them and finding out about Modern Apprenticeships in Childcare, I applied and was interviewed by their recruiter. Just a few days later I was trialling at a nursery in Glas-

gow. I completed a PVG Disclosure which checks that you are suitable to work with children, and within a few weeks I started my Modern Apprenticeship at The Park Nursery in Charing Cross, Glasgow. I learn so much every day from the qualified staff I work with. The relationship I have built up with them and the children is amazing – such a strong bond. I am working towards my professional qualification in Social Services (Children and Young People). It’s an SVQ3 which is different to attending college as you work in a full-time job and benefit from all the hands on experience and the qualified people around you who are there to guide the trainees. I’m part of a team and I get paid for the job I do throughout my training and get

The Next Step...

holiday pay too. My assessor from Childcare Management visits at least once a month to assess my performance, support my learning and answer all of my questions. An SVQ suits those who prefer to gain experience and learn by working hands-on, and there are no stressful exams! With an SVQ you can continue to work on the same essay until it meets the standards, which is really helpful as your assessor will teach and guide you all the way. If you want to work with children, you need to have a passion for their wellbeing, care and education. I’m amazed at how quickly they learn and whilst it can be a big challenge and loads of hard work, watching them grow and learn new things every day is amazing and always puts a smile on my face. I know that this qualification will give me so many different options and I am really excited for the future.

Amie Hill (age 19)

THE NEXT STEP... l Shane

Hands on training works best for apprentice Shane Vehicle maintenance apprentice Shane Johnson works with Lerwick-based DFDS Shetland Transport. Shane said: “I get a lot of satisfaction through my apprenticeship. If an engine came in not starting you build it all back up and, at the first turn of the key, it’s back in action. I find it really satisfying.” Shane is currently working on his Level 3 qualification in heavy vehicle maintenance through Train Shetland and goes to Moray Firth Training Centre in Inverness on block release to complete his training.

Why not kickstart your career in Shetland? Is island study and life for you?

Alasdair takes to the seas

Shetland, the islands in the far north of Scotland, famous for ponies, knitwear and that BBC murder mystery series…but, have you considered it as a place to start your working life? Shetland has lots to offer young people and the low population often means you can gain more experience and get ahead in your chosen profession more quickly than you might otherwise do on the Scottish mainland.

Alasdair Bendall moved to Shetland to study on NAFC’s Merchant Navy Officer Cadet Programme. He’s in his second year of a three-year traineeship, splitting his time between classroom-based study and working at sea. Alasdair said: “The college is fantastic as the class sizes are small and you get lots of contact time with your lecturers. “Shetland is a fantastic place to live. The people are friendly and there’s lots to do. I’m into the local music scene and a keen amateur photographer.”

Further education IF you’d like to continue your education, Shetland College UHI offers courses from National Certificate to Postgraduate level, including accounting, joinery, childcare, software development, textiles, archaeology, music and media courses. Or, if you’re interested in maritime training courses, check out the NAFC Marine Centre. On-the-job training IF you’re looking for work, Shetland has a number of on-the-job training and apprenticeship opportunities, from construction and engineering, to agriculture, hospitality and hair-

l Alasdair

dressing. Or, you can go straight into work through a graduate trainee programme. Shetland software developers, Mesomorphic, recently took on Finlay Mercer as a graduate apprentice straight from school. Finlay has been employed as a junior software developer.

“Shetland is a great place to start and continue your career,” says Maria Bell, Mesomorphic’s managing director. “With good transport links to the mainland, great island infrastructure and a multitude of groups and clubs you’ll soon find yourself settled and raring to go.”

Interested in a career in Shetland? Developing the Young Workforce Shetland works with employers to find training, apprenticeships and jobs for young people. Follow them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/DYWShetland

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THE NEXT STEP... DID you know that in the UK the Creative Industries are growing at more than 5 x the rate of the UK economy as a whole? Including a 60% increase here in Scotland? Jobs in the Creative Industries are growing by three times the UK average and it is predicted that the number of jobs will increase by 1 million by 2030. The performer on stage or in front of the camera is but the tip of a very huge iceberg. It takes at least 52 other jobs to put one person on a stage to perform. In the film industry this figure is higher. In theatre it includes design, pre-production, set construction, AV, animatronics, special effects, director, fight director, movement director, dance captain, costume, wigs, make-up, props, stage crew, stage management, sound, lighting, company manager, general manager,

Your pathway to creative industries

casting, agents, marketing, press and PR and operations. All that before you even begin to think about ticketing, box office, specialised accountancy, health and safety... well you get the idea. The theatre industry has a technical theatre workforce skills shortage. Sound and lighting design, scenic painting to name but three. The events and experiences sector is booming with new roles being created that don’t exist at the moment. This area is set to sky rocket as commercial companies realise that we are nearing the top of peak consumerism and realise their customers are moving onto “experiences” for spending their hard earned cash. Add to the mix the commitment by the Scottish Government to prioritise film and TV in Scotland and a career in the Creative Industries looks a very sensible career choice right now. It gets better! If you go and have a look on the Scottish Drama Training Network website you will see real life spotlights

of people who work in these areas. They all came via different routes. If a degree isn’t for you and you want to get your foot on the ladder as soon as possible then great, this is this industry for you. If you want to study at degree level and enter then, brilliant, there is a pathway for you too. SDTN are a Scottish organisation dedicated to developing practice-based training in Drama, Film, and TV. They deliver industry experiences and offer additional opportunities for training and engagement for those studying as well as helping you discover a wide variety of training options at Scotland’s further education colleges and higher education institutions. Prospective students can understand the range of courses that are available in Scotland from National Certificate to Higher National Diploma and degree programmes in a variety of subject areas from acting and performance to technical theatre or make-up artistry thanks to the SDTH directory.


Connect with SDTN online to find a map and Course Finder with links to institutions’ websites

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STUART RUSSELL Radio Production AT school, I never considered radio as a viable career option. However, my interest in podcasting led me to college to learn more. The HND in Radio at Fife College provides a very practical foundation, which, if like me you are not academically inclined, is really useful. It’s a great place to practise and to harness your individual creative and technical abilities. At college I was encouraged to push forward creatively and to attend the University of Sunderland for a year, to gain an honours degree. I left university with sever-

A degree on your doorstep

al awards for programmes I made, a first class honours degree and stayed on for a second year to gain a masters with distinction. Without doing my Radio HND at Fife College, I would never have reached university and I would never have believed all of this to be possible.

IF you are considering studying for a degree but are put off by the thought of moving to uni, the cost of living away from home, or committing to four years of study without the flexibility of finishing each year with a qualification, then why not start your studies at Fife College? You don’t have to go straight from school to uni to study for a degree; college can be the ideal stepping stone for students of all ages to achieve their goal of completing a degree.

Visit fife.ac.uk/degrees



Interested in writing for our magazine? Can you research and write great features? At Student Rag – the country’s top student publication – we can offer valuable experience which will seriously enhance your CV. Not only will you develop your writing skills but your published articles will build a portfolio of your work demonstrating your writing ability. The range of features you cover will enable you to pick subjects you have a genuine interest in writing about. Though it’s unpaid, we offer gig,

festival, theatre and other venue freebies – for review purposes obviously! Hannah Ahmed, Eva Curran, Nadia Saleem, Susie Daniels and Rachel Salveta all write for us and we’re constantly adding to our team. Interested? Then drop us an email at glasgow@student-rag. co.uk and include your name, college or uni course and areas of interest. We’re waiting to hear from you...

WRITE ABOUT: Lifestyle, Music, Tech, Films, Travel, Health & Beauty...


Ways to study for a degree at Fife College:

from a full-time Higher National Certificate • Progress (HNC) or Higher National Diploma (HND) course on to Year 2 or Year 3 of a degree course at university

• Some degrees can be studied in full at Fife College study with The Open University (OU) at • Fitthepart-time College around your work and family commitments

AFTER high school, I went straight on to university to do Primary teaching but found it overwhelming and not for me, so I dropped out. I went on to work in accounts, and got comfy in my nine to five job with no real ambition to do anything else. My Dad knew I could do much more with my life, and before he died in 2014 he encouraged me to go to college, to get some qualifications and learn something that I enjoyed. I went back to college to do an HNC in Social Care to get used to learning again as a mature student and continued on to do HND Social Science. Last

year I progressed on to a degree in Social Sciences with the Open University and I am so proud to have achieved a First-class Honours degree. I’m one of many people for whom the traditional university route didn’t fit and the OU has made so much possible for me.

Earn as you Learn

with a Modern Apprenticeship in CHILDCARE & NURSERY EDUCATION Fully funded on-the-job training in a nursery near you will allow you to work towards and achieve a nationally recognised qualification – AND get paid! Social Services, Children and Young People (SVQ Level 3)

For further information call 01475 744612 or email info@cmctraining.co.uk Funding available for 16-24 year olds



Y name is Katie, I am in my final year at the University of St Andrews on the BSc (Hons) Medicine Course. During my fourth year at High School I decided I wanted to study medicine after attending outreach programmes encouraging careers in healthcare. After attending a summer school at the University of St Andrews, I knew I would love to have the opportunity to study there. During this visit I fell in love with the town, its surroundings, its strong community feel and how welcoming everybody was. I left school at the end of my fifth year having gained a place at the University of St Andrews’ ‘Gateway to Medicine’ programme. This allowed me to get a deeper science foundation with the opportunity to study new subjects, alongside practical lab work.

This provided me with the experience of more independent study and living away from home for the first time. I progressed to study medicine at St Andrews. My course has prepared me greatly with progressing to my partner university but also for a career in medicine. One aspect that I have really enjoyed is the clinical skills teaching which we get from early on in amazing facilities. By being able to be a part of the university’s Dance Club I have continued my love of dancing which also greatly enhanced my university experience. Through this I’ve made friends from all over the world. My time at St Andrews has allowed me to form lifelong friendships and experience traditions unique to the university. By studying here I was able to push myself both academically and personally with great support networks and excellent teaching.

l Katie

Set for life at St Andrews l Rebecca


’M Rebecca. In order to step back into higher education, I enrolled on a Certificate of Highers course at Dundee and Angus College Throughout this year-long course I undertook Higher level subjects which I did not study in high school. In doing this, I broadened my educational horizons which helped my decision on where I would like to take my academic journey. One such area was the study of Geography, which was an area of keen interest to me and I wanted to continue onwards at university level. During the Highers course, an admissions representative from the University of St Andrews visited my college group and encouraged us to apply to St Andrews. Both my college lecturers and the representatives from St Andrews advised me throughout the UCAS application process, answering all my questions and helping me produce an application that demonstrated

The Next Step...

my full potential. This support and guidance did not end once I had received my place at St Andrews. Instead I was introduced to people through the Lifelong Learning team who I could turn to for guidance as I integrated into student life. During my first year, I became a student ambassador where I have represented the university at many events and met other students who are now my friends. Over the course of studying a variety of geography modules, I have been able to develop my academic skills whilst taking part in a number of field trips and excursions, including a week-long trip to Ireland. This has given me the freedom to focus on specific areas of academic interest that I can explore in my fourth year dissertation. Thanks to this guidance throughout my educational journey, I have been given the chance to realise my future aspirations and has prepared me for a life beyond the world of university.

Who says you can’t study a degree at college? We say you can. Fife.ac.uk 0344 248 0115 info@fife.ac.uk




l All images courtesy of BBC.


Time to make our planet centre stage TV presenter and wild animal biologist Liz Bonnin brings her award-winning BBC show to life when Planet Earth II in Concert comes to Glasgow. Experience dramatic ultra-high definition footage from the programme on a gigantic LED screen accompanied by Interstellar and Dark Knight composer Hans Zimmer’s beautiful score, performed live by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. Liz talks to SUSIE DANIELS...

WHEN we watch the animals’ lives played to music it becomes a narrative and a drama. Is that the best way for it to be engaging? It’s part of the experience. It’s a partnership made in heaven with Hans Zimmer. WILL there be a message on the environment at the Planet Earth talk? There will be a message on the environment. We must do more. We as a people do love this planet. This tour is playing an important role in celebrating the beauty of the planet. I absolutely will incorporate some gentle reminders to make sure it doesn’t disappear. This is paradise. We don’t need paradise in the afterlife. YOUR interests have involved the environment for years but the environment is a particular sexy topic right now. Why do you think that is? It’s a funny one to say the issues of the environment are popular now. This is about a certain time in our history to a point we can feel the

climate change. It’s kind of our Western way of living coming back to bite us in the proverbial. The kids are scared of our future. As an adult I’m embarrassed about it. On the plus side we’re all waking up to it, even economists and business traders. As much as human beings can be horrendous and focus on monetary gain we can also be outstanding. WHAT is the biggest thing that you, me and everyone can do individually to help? I’m like a dog with a bone with plastic pollution. It’s all the same issues stemming from big industries. They’re all connected. Change your toothbrush, your deodorant, we don’t need to buy it in plastic or in cardboard packaging. Bring a reusable coffee cup with you. Say to retailers, ‘we don’t want to buy your throw away culture’. Take anything you buy in packaging and return it to the store. These marches everyone is doing have been incredibly powerful. Extinction Rebellion looked at our history back

to the suffragette movement so they know it works. This along with writing letters to MPs to ban plastic and to do more on carbon emissions will make a difference. Write letters to your MP saying this and press send every week on your computer. As a student you can make a difference. WHAT do you think of zoos in today’s society – a place for children to learn or an unnecessary cage for animals? I studied a Masters at the Zoological Society in London. I made a programme for Horizon on the future of zoos. What does the science say about polar bears, big cats and other types of animals needing a large living space? We now have proved they don’t thrive in a captive population. White elephants don’t thrive. The opposite, they die out. Zoos can have a role in education where there are small enclosures for a few tiny thirty-seven

mammals who do okay and interconnectivity works in a tiny ecosystem. The trade-off is how much an animal is suffering? It’s not enough to have zoos just so kids can say they have seen animals with their own eyes. YOUR background is as a biochemist and wild animal biologist. You studied biochemistry at Trinity College, Dublin. Do you remember why you followed on with your degree in wild animal biology and conservation? Totally! I grew up in the south of France on a hillside in Nice. We had two dogs and there was hedgehogs, snails and spiders. Nature was working its magic on me. I was impassioned and won over.


YOU hosted gadget shows, science shows and animal shows. Where do you feel most at home? In the company of nature. We were filming in Botswana on a story about zebras. We saw a herd of elephants at a watering hole and we turned off our jeep engine and spent two hours while the sun turned purple just watching these two baby elephants with tears in our eyes. Everything in my body and soul was being warmed. Noone spoke and we just started up the engine and drove off. I went to Detroit Zoo and during the making of a programme the director let his elephants go and decided to give them to a sanctuary. On another programme we were in the Galapagos in a research vessel

1,000 metres beneath the waves and it felt like I was an astronaut of earth’s innerspace. There are still some places to discover and understand. THE 70s and 80s were about rewarding Miss World types for looks and aesthetics. Do you think there should be award ceremonies highlighting science and technology? I will start one with you! We need a Telefon for the planet. We need to celebrate conservationists working day and night like superheroes to save our animals.


Planet Earth II Live in Concert is on Saturday 4th April Glasgow SSE Hydro Arena.

COMEDY its ARE there any off lim topics on stage? tical I’ve never been very poli talk or personal. I wouldn’t about my personal life. I’ve never been that kind of comedian. People always think if I know them I’ll pick on I but them in the audience don’t do that. fun It’s so much more e when I choose someon ted in the audience with limi getting information and I’m just to know them.

t s a l o t t l i k s ’ Craig

I’m a Would you ever do Celebrity or Strictly? ebrity. I I wouldn’t do I’m A Cel mouth. wouldn’t put bugs in my I would be sick! the I would do Strictly for dancing and the joy. l. It’s It’s a really different skil just fun and glamorous. I’d of a bit be myself and have a laugh. vousDID you start off ner first ly shaking when you stepped on stage? ited I was always more exc ng you and buzzed up. I say to to it’. I ard comedians, ‘look forw don’t get still care a lot but I just nervous. fit is a YOUR trademark out ite kilt. Is that your favour item of clothing? l’ life! I I don’t wear a kilt in ‘rea party as remember having a Xm r a wea and I thought, ‘I can’t t of me kilt’. It’s an important par worn I’ve getting into character. rs. kilts on stage for 21 yea h Who’s young and fresright on the comedy circuit now? e the Daniel Sloss and I hav y ver same agent. He takes them dark subjects and makes and d funny. He’s very talente driven. a real The comedy circuit has durlly sense of family especia lly weird ing the festivals. It’s rea ival fest when I do the comedy in Australia. you You see all the people a know over there. It’s like family network. well Sasha Baron Cohen, tator Dic known for Borat, The ed in and Ali G, recently act on the serious dram Spy ing Netflix. Is serious act sidered something you’ve con g nin given your drama trai background? to do I would absolutely love

AT THE age of 10 years old Scottish comedian Craig Hill displayed his winning talent, performing as a Seventies jazz singer in an East Kilbride talent contest. The Queen Margaret University drama graduate has been swinging his trademark kilts on stages throughout the world ever since though there’s still cabaret and panto on his bucket list. Craig tells Susie Daniels why he has a friend to thank for his enduring success…

something like that. I’ve a Glasgow barman in played a film. I would really enjo short y being an actor. Comedy literally took me back to theatre going to all the venues. I never realise theatre d that would happen. What first lured you into comedy and who wer e you influenced by? I had no intention of get into comedy. A friend of ting was a press officer at mine the Balloon. She booked me Gilded I said to her, ‘I’m not fun a gig. not a comedian’ but she ny and said, ‘I think you are’. ANY superstitions or requests before going on stage? I do have a strict routine and warm-up. If I’m doin a show in a theatre at g 8pm I arrive at 4pm. I quite enjoy being in the space. You arrive in an unfamiliar space doing a familiar job getting to know everyone in the theatre so the audienc e are coming into your space. I go through every line on stage before I do the show. I think it’s because I trained as an actor to always be prepared. I’m fastidious and religious about it. SO you’ve got a tigh t set? Yes, I’ve got a tight set. I think that should be the title of my new touring show.

was Starting out, what learn or the toughest thing to ? me rco ove have It’s really important to sh*t early gigs that are a little bit to get on. It’s really important my agent back on the horse, as you can. would say, as quick as to What’s your advice become students planning to comedians? very Say yes to everything four early on. I travelled for do a hours to Manchester to money show for practically no money if and sometimes losing rough I stayed overnight. I did in my bars in Paisley early on y career. I didn’t know the nI were scary places whe said yes. ch What’s been the ‘pin yourself’ moment of your career? I never expected to perform at the Sydney Opera House. I was told I’d be doing it and thought, ‘it’s just 5 minutes’ but I never thought I would do the main stage.


Craig Hill performs at the Ayr Gaiety Theatre on Saturday 28th March.



LET’S get it

sussed Eat well

ONE of the biggest changes that you can make to become more sustainable is your diet. Try a few of these tips below and reduce your carbon foot print.

Slow down!

It’s in the bag Being conscious of your lifestyle can help you to save the planet and money! Use reusable water bottles and metal straws. You also get a discount at many shops if you use your own mug! Carry a reusable shopping bag. Save the planet and your 5ps. Be conscious of the products that you buy. Opt for eco-friendly options such as a bamboo toothbrush and biodegradable bags. Wash your clothes at a lower temperature and invest in a clothes horse to help you stop using energy on a tumble drier. forty

ng the tempIT can be hard resisti trends. tation to feed into new led to Fast fashion has clothing being the iUK’s fourth largest env ronmental impact. Re-use your clothes by accessorising them. Give unwanted items to a friend and donate your old clothes to charity. Quality over quantity! Look for gaps in your wardrobe and plan what you need in advance to avoid that unnecessary shopping spree. Buy vintage clothes or go on Depop to get those bargains! Support sustainable brands that are ethical and eco-conscious.

Plan your meals in advance. This will stop you from wasting money on food that will go to waste. The biggest way to reduce your carbon foot print is to avoid meat and dairy. Try gradually replace meat with veggie options. Cook only what you’ll eat. This will help you reduce food waste. Don’t forget those leftovers! Take them for your lunch the next day.

THE discussion around climate change continues to grow and now more than ever young people are trying to be eco-friendly. Making small changes can help you enjoy an environmentally friendly lifestyle that will reduce your carbon footprint. Eva Curran’s guide will help you to become more sustainable.

Transport ONE of the most efficient ways to lower your impact on the environment is to travel responsibly. Transport is one of the worst polluting sectors in the UK. Travel on public transport or car share to reduce CO2 emissions. Buy digital tickets on your phone to reduce paper waste. You’ll get a discount for buying online too! Walk as much of the journey as you can. This will help you reduce fuel consumption and you’ll enjoy a healthier lifestyle. Buy a second-hand bike or use the rent-a-bikes that many cities offer.

Campaign It’s clear from the Global Climate Strike in September 2019 that students are passionate about campaigning for change. 20,000 people demonstrated in Edinburgh with thousands gathering in Glasgow too. The NUS has said that 91% of students are concerned about climate change so get involved and use your voice! Speak to your Students’ Association/Union to find out how you can get involved within your institution. Check out NUS for more information on climate change regarding students. Stay up to date with the UK Student Climate Network for protesting opportunities. Take part in calm and safe demonstrations with your friends. Talk to your MP. Get on social media and share your own sustainable tips.

Brains with Beauty BE mindful of what brand you are supporting. Buy from sustainable and ethical companies. While you’re at it, remember to use cruelty free beauty products! Use biodegradable make-up wipes or reusable cotton pads to remove your make-up. Try new environmentally friendly products like shampoo bars. Lush is a great brand for this! Buy bigger bottles less often, this also works out cheaper. Research your brands and check the label for harmful chemicals.

Get Inspired YEAH, things aren’t looking great. We’re facing a climate crisis and our leaders aren’t doing much about it. But it’s important to stay positive! There are things you can do to help. Learn from influential people and organisations. They help to make the world a better place, take inspiration from them! Stay informed and up-to-date with recent news. This will give you the knowledge to educate others during discussions. Get involved in politics. Demand action and make your voice heard. Don’t forget to vote! Remember that you have the power to change things. Never underestimate our power to make a real change. forty-one


What will happen when I meet with a mental health first aider? FIRST of all they will ask you how you are feeling and what it is that is troubling you and then they will listen to you. This is your opportunity to explain anything about your mental health that is worrying you. They will ask you some questions to find out whether your mental health is putting you at serious risk. Then, they

will help you to consider coping strategies and techniques that you think will help you in the short term until you find professional help, how to access that, if needed. They will also help you consider some self-help measures you also might find helpful in the long-term.

keep it in mind THE University of Glasgow, as part of its Mental Health Action Plan, undertook to develop a holistic, multi-stranded approach to student mental health and wellbeing. One of the agreed strands was the introduction of Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid training for a core number of employees, to raise awareness of mental health issues and create a point of contact for initial assistance and guidance to professional help, for those students seeking help for poor mental health.

How can i find my nearest mental health first aider? YOU may have a local dedicated mental health first aider, in which case your Institute or Service will have publicised this. Alternatively, you will find a list of all trained mental health first aiders who have volunteered to join the SMHFA Network at https:// www.gla.ac.uk/myglasgow/health/ You may contact any of the Mental Health First Aiders listed on the network, and are not restricted to those within your local area, but we recommend selecting one fairly close to your usual base at the University for ease of access. Please bear in mind that all the Mental Health First Aiders are volunteers, and have other roles, therefore your first choice may not always be available. In this case please do not give up, try other First Aiders on the list. They all want to help.



What is mental health first aid? NHS Scotland describes Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid (SMHFA) as being “like any other type of first aid, the help given to a person before appropriate professional help or treatment can be obtained. The main difference is that it is the initial support for someone who needs support for a mental health issue rather than a physical one” Like first aiders, mental health first aiders aim to: • Preserve life • Prevent deterioration of mental health – by providing help • Promote recovery – i.e. support the first steps to regaining good mental health • Provide comfort, to a person in distress

Is this a confidential service? YES . No personal details will be shared from your meeting with a Mental Health First Aider. They will note some details, such as the type of issue you are dealing with, and of any advice or guidance they have given you, so that the University can monitor any

emerging trends across the campus and where they need to focus their efforts to best respond to particular issues. Please note that a First Aider will not promise secrecy if it emerges during your conversation that there is risk to life, yours or others.

Do I have to tell my course supervisor I have spoken to a mental health first aider? NOT if you don’t want to, but we would recommend that if you do feel able to discuss your mental health with your course supervisor/adviser of studies, it may be helpful.

As well as: • Promoting understanding of mental health issues It is important to appreciate that mental health first aid is not designed to treat or offer long-term support for mental health issues, but to help an individual through the immediate distress and assist and guide them to appropriate professional help.

They are then better able to help you, maybe by adjusting your study patterns for a period of time while you are recovering from a period or episode of poor mental health.



Pet project is s t e e r t s e h t g n hitti THIS year Dundee’s streets will welcome their first StreetVet following on from Glasgow’s set up last year. StreetVet is a charity dedicated to offering free veterinary check-ups, help and advice to homeless pet owners. Glaswegian StreetVet Jade Statt, who co-founded the charity, shares some home truths with Susie Daniels about people and their pets who live rough on the streets... Why did you start StreetVet? I was born in Glasgow and studied at Glasgow’s School of Veterinary Medicine. I graduated in 2002. I always wanted to volunteer in this country but I found you could always volunteer abroad through the Worldwide Veterinary Service so you could sign up and go to somewhere like Fiji but there was nothing here. In 2016 I saw a guy with his dog in London. I was incredibly concerned as his dog had bad skin. My own dog had been very ill during that time. He’d had malignant cancer and later passed away. Being a vet, with all my knowledge and expertise,


I felt incredibly powerless. I thought, how would I feel if I was that homeless person not able to do anything to help their pet. I heard about Joshua Coombes, the person who travels round the world cutting homeless people’s hair for free. He has this movement, ‘Do Something For Nothing’. I met him in London and said, ‘I want to do what you do but as a vet’. Up until last year I was a vet and doing StreetVet in my spare time. WHY is StreetVet important to homeless people? It works the way it does because you have a relationship with people. You meet at the same place and the same time every week. The owners are usually going to somewhere like the soup kitchen. It ends up becoming quite social.

The dogs don’t need to be checked every week so they actually become the best checked pets ever. WHY don’t homeless people take their pets to the vet? People who live rough can maybe feel intimidated, maybe they can’t afford to get there or they have mental health problems or being confined in smaller spaces isn’t possible for them. Maybe they think they’ll be judged. Also, you have to prove your homeless as anyone could walk into a vet’s and say that. They won’t have proof or benefits or anything like that. IN the UK, how many pets are there sleeping rough with owners? It’s difficult to quantify. There’s been figures published saying that 25% of people who are homeless


l StreetVet co-founder Jade Statt


SOCIAL ISSUES have dogs. That’s an American-based study. I’ve checked over 3,500 dogs since we started. DO you still work full-time as a vet? We won £100,000 through a competition, voted by the public, run by the Animal Friends Insurance for pets. It’s not until you work in a charity that you realise it’s an unrestricted funding. I quit my vet job and am now paid by StreetVet as a charity. In April last year Glasgow opened its first StreetVet. We put an Amazon wish list up for every city and people have donated toys, collars and things like a buggy so an elderly homeless person can push her dog around. DO you need volunteers? Yes. Everybody that volunteers for StreetVet is qualified. They need to offer a minimum two hours of their time per month. In terms of non-veterinary volunteers, for insurance purposes we can’t offer actual vet work but the biggest thing volunteers can help with is funding. We have fundraising kits, posters, collections boxes for vet practices. There is a Golden Giving on our web page and a Climb A Mountain for StreetVet. The power of people has kept us where we are. It’s the small things that make the biggest difference.


What’s the saddest thing you’ve seen? It can take a few weeks for owners to trust you. I’ve taken blood from a dog before in Oxford Street and helped an owner get into hospital. These things are life-saving. We had an owner whose dog, a Staffy named Stella, was hit by a train. Stella was in a tent with the owner and ran out. She had to have her eye removed and leg amputated. The owner was beside himself upset because he had never been without her. I’m pleased to say they’re now back to together and Stella’s okay. IS there anything similar to StreetVet? Trusty Paws in Glasgow is a student-led clinic run through Glasgow Vet School. They offer indoors clinics one a month. The beauty of doing something weekly is we can follow-up. We collaborate with Trusty Paws. ANY other pets homeless people have? A lot of cats, a rabbit and in Norwich a ferret! SHOULD you give a homeless person money? It’s really a personal thing. We say to our volunteers that’s not what they’re there to do. People get really hung up about how they should approach

someone on the street, what should they say? A lot of people who sleep rough haven’t spoken to someone for a day or two. We have an owner who’s lactose intolerant and people stop to give him a coffee. He’s not ungrateful, he just can’t drink it. We ask members of the public to do Xmas cards for people, to give a Greggs or Costa Coffee voucher. It empowers them because they can purchase drink and food for themselves. ARE dogs allowed in homeless shelters and what other problems do homeless people face in order to keep their pets? Having a dog on the street cost you because you can’t get into a hostel. Some people don’t want to leave their pet to go to the toilet, a store, hospital or rehab. What assumptions do people make about homeless people? The automatic assumption is they are on drugs or are alcoholics. Yes, a lot of people are. They are surrounded by that world and they can’t get out and can’t get the support. I don’t like to judge what people should or shouldn’t do. Who am I to judge?


FreeSTYLE ARIELLE Free presents on BBC Radio One, on the Love Song TV dating programme and presented Love Island: The Morning After podcast. But there’s still something the Glasgow girl, who’s hosting BBC One’s Big Weekend in Dundee in May, desperately wants to do. Dundee expects to see cracking performances from Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, Camilla Cabello and…Arielle Free as she storms the Calvin Harris stage. Susie Daniels finds out why...

WHO are you most looking forward to seeing on stage at BBC Radio One’s Big Weekend in Dundee? It’s a running joke in the radio station because I’m obsessed with Calvin Harris but haven’t seen him since T in the Park. I’m going to campaign to have an interview with him on stage. You know what Scotland’s like with homegrown talent so the crowd will go wild for him. HAVE you ever been to Dundee before? If so, what are your memories of the city? I went when I was 11 years old to see Craig David. That’s showing my age! I DJ’d at Fat Sam’s. I went for the Carnival 56 Festival when The Charlatans and Rudimental were playing. I hosted the stage. It was amazing. WHAT will you be doing at the Big Weekend? We haven’t been told what we’re doing yet. All the performances will be on BBC iPlayer. There are so many people on site and we have to get them out of their comfort zone. I’ll presumably be staying in a hotel and getting the train up with around 50 other people so that will be carnage. Friday I think I’m DJing on the dance stage. DID you get to go to the BBC Big Weekend in Glasgow Green six years ago? Funnily enough I entered the ballot but couldn’t get tickets then I got asked to DJ in the city centre for the Big Weekend unofficial party. I knew a few people that were going to the Big Weekend and I was like (sad tone), ‘bye guys, have a nice weekend’.

WHERE in Scotland are you from and where do you live now? I grew up in Glasgow and went to Knightswood Secondary and trained to dance at the Dance School of Scotland in Knightswood. I live in London now and went to uni there. There wasn’t a whole bunch of work in

Scotland in the media then. I’m now working back here thanks to the BBC Scotland channel and Love Song, the dating show I present. ARE you finding your 4-6am Friday and Saturday 5-7am radio slots difficult? I love it! I’m tired when I get up but I still get that pinching moment. I’ve filmed mid-week and been on set at 6am before doing anti-social hours so it’s not unusual for me. I’ve never struggled with it. I usually take myself to bed at 9pm. I’ll clear my diary on a Saturday if I’m tired. WHAT’S the oddest interview you’ve ever had? The weirdest one was when I was interviewing Lewis Capaldi in a virtual reality interview. We were meant to be talking about his music but ended up (laughs) speaking for 15 minutes about thunder jobbies! It was one of my favourite and funniest interviews. The best was when I recently got to interview Renee Zellweger. She’d just won a BAFTA and was as high as a kite. She was wonderful and animated and giggling. I fell in love with her. I always loved Bridget Jones but Renee is a bad ass. It was meant to be one question but she let it go on for five minutes. forty-seven

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Leavers magazine 2020  

Scotland's biggest and best High School leavers magazine

Leavers magazine 2020  

Scotland's biggest and best High School leavers magazine