Page 1

Issue 8

De c2 0

11 -J

an 2012

Get the lowdown on The SAFF

MERRY CHRISTMAS Keep it Local Advertise HERE! Any profits go back into The SAFF Reg. Charity no. 1090197



Loads of info on....... Training opportunities for all ages Community news and resident views Info on Clockwise Loans inside

Join us on facebook/the.saff.mag

Saffron Neighbourhood Management Board



From the SAFF to the USA

New Horizons Project




Cover pic: Provided by Local Resident Photographer Jason Walker see advert page 5.




Your Local Cllrs Updates

Police update on ASB


Illustrated by David Bacon

What’s on & Community News

8 Resident interview with Amanda Herald-White


11 What could you create Project Saffron Arts


The SAFF has been a very busy place this year with many fantastic community events and projects to get you all involved in, and there will be many more activities coming up in the new year too so take a look inside to find out about some of these great projects. This year has been particularly busy for us here at Saffron Arts. We have been busy going along to all the community meetings and events to keep you up to date with what’s going on locally, to bring up to date news to your door, as well as putting on our own local courses and events in arts, crafts, computing, photography, creative writing, you name it we have done it this year. It has been fantastic seeing many new faces in our courses and it has been particularly great finding out what you think of our Magazine. The positive feedback from you helps us to keep the project going and helps us to feedback to local advertisers and organisations so please continue giving us your support and we hope for a more successful year in 2012. Read about new projects, training opportunities, local offers and community events advertised within this issue of The SAFF. If you want to get involved in the production of The SAFF Mag then please get in touch. We hope to be putting on some training in the new year to help residents become more involved with The SAFF. We at The SAFF Mag and Saffron Arts wish you a very Merry Christmas and hope you have a fantastic New Year.

The SAFF is now finding new ways to keep in touch with you so join us on Facebook look for “Saffron mag”, Call Kellie on mob: 07784233997 Office: 0116 224 9790 email: Post: Unit 9, Linwood Workshops, Linwood Lane,Leicester, LE2 6QJ

Keep it local advertise here in The SAFF Magazine

Magazine Section Advertising Space Front cover Banner

Price Per issue £80

Full page A5 colour


1/2 page full colour


1/4 page full page


Traders page


The SAFF is a bimonthly community magazine with a print run of 3000 which are delivered to all houses, shops, businesses and community centres across the Saffron area. We need your help! Support us by advertising in the magazine and telling us your stories. All profits will go back into the charity and continue to bringing The SAFF to your door.

Design by Beckie Sanderson Engage Multimedia

Conditions of acceptance: Although every effort has been made to meet advertisers’ wishes, Saffron Arts Forum, does not accept responsibility for inaccuracies in advertisements or consequences arising. No responsibility is accepted for the loss or damage to copy, or error in printing. It is the responsibility of the advertiser to confirm and comply with the Trade Descriptions Act 1968, Sex Discrimination 1975 and Business Advertisement Disclosure Act 1977. All advertisements are accepted in good faith. Placing an order and advertising with Saffron Arts Forum, will signify confirmation and acceptance of the above mentioned responsibilities and conditions. The opinions expressed by the advertisers and in any articles, are not necessarily those of Saffron Arts Forum. The inclusion of any advertisement, group or organisation in this publication does not necessarily imply recommendation of its aims, products, services or policies. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information in this magazine, but no liability can be accepted for loss or inconvenience caused as a result of error or omission. Saffron Arts Forum reserves the right to amend, shorten or refuse to publish articles and advertisements submitted for publication. None of the articles contained in this magazine are to be reproduced in anyway without first obtaining written consent from Saffron Arts Forum.

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Saffron Lane Post Office & News Agents 571 Saffron Lane, LE2 6UN, 0116 2831739 Opening times Shop 7am – 9pm Mon to Sun

Post Office 8am – 6pm Mon to Fri & 8am-2pm Sat Purchase your Gas & Electric in store & use our Pay Point to pay your bills

MiLLEnniUM FiSH BAR 553 Saffron Lane Leicester LE2 6Un

are collecting new toys for children in hospitals Please donate a new toy however small your toy maybe they are important to children who will otherwise not receive a gift this Christmas.

Ends 18th December FREE bag of chips for every customer who donates a toy

Clockwise provides a safe, ethical and affordable solution to Christmas loans With Christmas just around the corner now is the time when doorstep lenders,Doorstep lenders offer cash loans usually from £50 to £500 that can be approved almost immediately with little or no paperwork. What is often not understood by the person taking the loan is the interest is extremely high, for example 272%, meaning that if you were to borrow £500 over a year you will actually pay just over £900 back, almost double what you borrowed! Another disadvantage people may not be aware of is that the interest is usually paid off first meaning that should you wish to repay the loan early you will still owe the full loan amount borrowed. So why do people choose to use doorstep lenders? The simple answer is because some people think this is their only option in borrowing money. People who are on a low income or who have a bad credit history are often excluded from mainstream banks and at a time when they need to borrow money the most, they turn to doorstep lenders.

Clockwise Credit Union is a not for profit organisation which means that money saved is reinvested in the local community enabling them to offer affordable loans with repayment options suitable for all budgets. Run by members for its members Clockwise provide financial services for the whole community and this includes those who are otherwise excluded from mainstream banking and who are vulnerable to unscrupulous lending practices. Part of the mission of Clockwise is to encourage the development of good financial practice and by being flexible in their approach to lending, adopting an individual, personal and confidential service understand that one size does not fit all. In comparison to the example provided, Clockwise will save lenders over £346 on a £500 loan, repaying less than £100 in interest (26.8% representative APR) and providing a safe, ethical and affordable solution to Christmas loans.


Tel: 0116 2831765

1 St. Nicholas Place, Leicester, LE1 5LB Tel: 0116 2423900

We accept loan applications no matter what your circumstances and as you can see from the comparison below we save you money at a time when you need it most! Conditions apply . TO APPLY Visit us at the Saffron Resource Centre on Wednesdays 09:30—11:30


Comparison November 2011

Loan Amount

No. of Weeks

Weekly Repayment

Representative APR

Rate of Interest

Total Interest

Total Repayment














£10.41 (final repayment £10.36)







Saffron Neighbourhood Management Board We wish you a Merry Christmas

and a Happy New Year

Christmas message from

Terry Rogers Chair of SNMB

2011 has been a busy an eventful year

for Saffron Neighbourhood Management. Now in our 6th year and with a much, reduced budget we have still managed to make a difference to the area we support. We have been involved in funding many fantastic projects too many to list here but a few were my personal favorites. Our continued substantial support for the communities Saffron Summer Fete as well as our contribution to the community volunteering awards night The Saftas our funds have helped them take place, much to the enjoyment of the many people who attended them. When two young ladies, from the Saff, were asked to represent the U.K. in the European skating championships, they couldn’t afford to go! The board offered £300 to start the ball rolling and off they went. Some 600 pupils from local schools who have a 100% attendance are being rewarded with a Train Trip and a small present. We supported that as well.

I have one more job to do this year on behalf of the Board. May we wish you A MERRY XMAS and A HAPPY NEW YEAR.


For more information please contact: David Budd, Saffron Neighbourhood Development Co-ordinator Linwood Centre, Linwood Lane, LE2 6QN. 0116 3737231 / 07903 982 934 or join us on

A sliding scale (Incremental approach) is used to gauge the course of action taken against the offenders causing ASB. 1st ASB Incident Verbal warning

As the new boy on the beat PC Matthew Painter was asked to explain the process needed to tackle ASB Anti-social Behaviour (ASB) is something that has either effected you, a relative or someone you know and can cause many different issues for people and destroy peoples quality of life. There are numerous myths about ASB and what form it takes. The Crime and disorder Act 1998 defines ASB as “In a manner that caused or was likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household as the offender” In simple terms this can come in several different forms. The most regular types of ASB being reported are: Yobbish behaviour and intimidating groups taking over public spaces (groups of youths hanging around outside shops swearing, drinking, spitting etc) • • • • • • •

Vandalism, graffiti and fly-posting People dealing and buying drugs on the street Nuisance neighbours (loud music, regular parties late at night, abusive behaviour etc) People dumping rubbish and abandoned cars Begging and anti-social drinking The misuse of fireworks Reckless driving of mini-motorbikes (on roads, pavements or recreation land)

Leicestershire Constabulary understands that ASB, the fear of ASB and the perceptions of ASB can have a serious effect on a community and peoples lives. In addition how satisfied people are with the level of service they receive from the relevant agency can have either have a positive or negative effect on that person and whether or not they report future ASB to the “authorities”.

2nd ASB Incident If Child taken home spoken to with parents carer and advised of behaviour. Advice letter sent and a copy sent to the council / partner agencies 3rd ASB incident Warning letter to be sent out by police with a copy sent to council / partner agencies 4th ASB incident Parenting / youth acceptable behaviour agreement set out. Agencies that are involved are Police, Youth offending services, Leicester family inclusion project or Challenge and support officers 5th ASB Incident Breach of acceptable behaviour agreement Evidence will be gathered with a view of possible eviction ASB proceedings or a referral to Leicester Anti Social behaviour unit. Leicestershire Constabulary takes all cases of ASB seriously and will make every effort to work with partners to prevent a repeat occurrence. The simple answer to ASB is if you feel that what you are doing is going to interfere or annoy another person, stop doing it or DON’T do it in the first place.


YOUR LOCAL CoUnCiLLoR UPDAtE Firstly, we would like to thank everyone who came to the Saffron Fete and a special thanks for those who worked to make it the most successful yet. We are already in the process of organising the event for 2012 so if anyone out there would like to get involved see Kellie Bugby and she will advise you. We have recently been able to secure some funding for play equipment on Tic Toc park. The area where there was once a tyre swing (near to where the zip wire once was) will see a new piece of equipment designed for 6-11year olds in the New Year. City Council officers have consulted pupils at Marriott Primary school, but to have your say please come along to our next Community Meeting at the Linwood Centre. We will continue to work hard to try and get some more improvements to the park. The official opening of the football pitches on Aylestone Recreation Ground took place in October of this year. We have had a number of residents’ approach us concerned about the access to the new Artificial Pitch for local residents and organisations. These facilities are of great benefit for people of all ages and we want to work closely with you to ensure you get the play time you deserve. Look out for details of our community meeting in March 2012 to be held at the new football pavilion where we will explore this matter further. If you enjoy football or need a place to hold events, we would love to hear your views. Some of you may have seen in the Leicester Mercury a report saying that the City Council is keeping a check on dog fouling in parks areas. This is a common complaint amongst people on the Saff and we would advise anyone with concerns to contact us. We have been working hard to organise a Christmas event for residents of the Neston Gardens and Neston Road to be held at the Kingfisher Youth Centre. It is hoped that it will be well attended and an event the Neston residents can be proud of. Our thanks to local resident May Jones and our SNM Development Officer Dave Budd for helping us to make this event happen. The Community Clean up we organised earlier this year was such a huge success so if anyone has any other ideas of an area that will benefit we would be very happy organise more. If you wish to talk to us about anything that is concerning you please do not hesitate to contact either of us.

Bill: 0116 2201350 Elly: 07891 232662 8

Councillor Elly Cutkelvin

Councillor Bill Shelton


Linwood Centre, 1st Thursday of each month 4.30-5.30pm Aylestone Leisure Centre, 2nd Saturday of each month 10.00-11.00am Aylestone Library, 3rd Monday of each month 5.30-6.30pm Saffron Resource Centre, 4th Saturday of each month 10.0011.00am.

F R E E M E n CoMMUnity MEEtingS The Linwood Centre Wednesday 7th December at 2pm. Aylestone Recreation Ground Football Pavilion. Wednesday 14th March 6.30pm All residents are welcome and we will be discussing issues of importance to the area. The meeting also has a small budget which community groups or organisations can apply to. For further information about the community meeting contact: or call Heather on tel 0116 2298816




Aylestonians RFC (The Stones) has been playing rugby on Knighton Lane East, behind Aylestone Leisure Centre, since 1921, when it was started by the priest of the Cavendish Road Church.

The first & second teams compete in the Leicestershire leagues. Generally speaking the second team is the place for older players looking to take it a bit easier, and people learning the game to hone their skills. People then progress into the first team, which is a more competitive level. So whether you’ve played before, just fancy giving it a go, or even enjoy watching rugby, there’s something at the club for you.

The Stones are currently desperate for new players, and supporters, and are hoping The Saff can come to the rescue. They have a great social scene, with their well stocked bar and roaring open fire in the winter, so please nip in if you’re passing, even if it’s just to say hello and have a quick drink!! The club is open Tuesday nights for training, Saturday Mornings for Junior training, Saturday afternoon for matches (kick off between 2:30 and 3:00) and Saturday evenings for “socialising”. Club spokesman, Finchy, said “We really feel that The Saff should be more involved in the club, and we want to see them down here. We used to have a big following from the estate, and some of our best players have come from there, but over the years the numbers have died away. We still have a few “Saff lads” playing, but nowhere near what we used to have. Mainly, we just want the whole estate to know that we’re here, get involved with our club, and make it their club” The clubhouse is also available for hire at very reasonable rates!! So if you’ve got a party coming up, why not give them a call? It’s local, they’re easy going and the drinks are reasonably priced too!!

Aylestonians R.F.C

is actively recruiting male players for both Senior and Junior Rugby All levels of playing experience welcome and encouraged to join.

We are a family friendly club with a good social side.

CALL 0116 2834899 LEIGH: 07792770153 9

What’s CoMMUnity EvEntS & ACtivitiES

Eyres Monsell Community Centre December 3rd, 11am till 3pm. Lots of stalls Hog Roast, children’s mini workshop, Santa’s Post Box and much more, admission 50p per adult children FREE. Southfields Drive Community & Sports Centre - Christmas Fayre Saturday 10th December 10.00 am also available Gym, Zumba, Tai chi, Flabeloss, we have a Lunch Club 5 days a week, Bingo twice a week. And recently, Legs, Bums, and Tums on Mondays 10:30. All at affordable cost. Contact: 0116 283 2728 Linwood Centre Christmas Lunch Tuesday 13th December 12.30pm 2.00pm £7.00 for a 4 course meal. Contact Ros Walker at the Linwood Centre for more information. Linwood Centre Fancy dress party for under 12yr olds 6th January, 3.30pm - 5pm Christmas Fayre Samworth Enterprise Academy 2nd December from 3pm till 5pm.

Wednesday night Football with SyPP 4pm till 6pm at the new Aylestone 5 aside ground near the Leisure Centre. 16yrs + for more info contact Jules 2837212 / 07889363629 Christmas Bonanza for neston Residents The Kingfisher Youth Centre Wednesday 21st December 5pm to 8pm. visit Santa for FREE at the video Box on Saffron Lane Sunday 18th December 12pm till 5pm. A FREE present for every child. FREE art courses with Saffron Arts Starting in January, contact Kellie to enroll on 07784233997 Friendly Friday Community, Business networking & enterprise Club 9th December 10 -12. Everyone welcome! Call Beckie on 07900002530 for more information. For your information The Linwood Community Centre have changed their contact phone number it is now 0116 3737220



u P D At e Our Facebook resident feedback on the orange bag scheme Kellie Bugby Editor- The orange bag scheme is now underway and as a user I cannot believe how much waste I was putting into my bin, since using the orange bags I have realised just how much of our waste we should be recycling, well done Joanne- It’s great, just like it was when we had the green bags but now you can put glass in them. Saves me the trips to the tip with my cardboard :-) Karl - Big well done to LCC, more houses on our road are recycling now than I can ever remember. Corinna - I agree with you all, I have hardly any rubbish in the main bin and it’s about time we recycled more, just need a garden waste collection now and the jobs a good un!

Linwood Centre Pregnancy Testing Service Free condom distribution Free pregnancy tests for ages up to 19yrs with a £1 fee for tests for 20yrs and over, so we can keep bringing this service to you locally. The times are

Mon, Wed & Fri at 9.30 – 11.30am 10

Community News Energy Saving on the SAFF One of the largest energy saving schemes Leicester has ever seen is now well underway in your community. Leicester City Council is working in partnership with Eon Energy to deliver this project to over 250 homes. Houses which previously had only a ‘single-skin’ are having extra, insulating layers added to the outside in order to make them far more energy efficient, saving energy as well as money. All of the houses in the program are having fibre insulation boards fitted to the outside walls before two coats of render are applied and finally a pebble dash finish. Many houses are also getting new guttering and fascia boards as part of the project. Eric Dawkins, the site foreman, said his team have worked on many projects similar to this, and that the rewards can come about surprisingly quickly. Residents will not only feel the difference, with their houses taking less time to warm up,

but will find that their heating bills come down from the first month, and that those who pay on a meter will notice the difference within the first week. The work on each house typically lasts around two weeks. Majority of all houses in the scheme have been completed, with more now well on the way. The scheme will also be extending to Solar Panels. Here’s some Local Resident views on the scheme Local resident - “I have had the insulation done on my home I was skeptical at first but it has actually made a big difference” Pauline from Eyres Monsell- “It would be good to see the solar panel and insulation project extended to the elderly, they are the ones who need warm houses more.” Dave from Saffron - wants to know if research was done to make sure the homes that receive the Solar panels point the right way to get the maximum benefit of the Sun or were the homes just preselected. Gale from Eyres Monsell - would love to see the project extended to all homes.

Samworth Academy’s

Art Exhibition The SAFF Magazine was invited to a local exhibition at the Samworth Academy recently and we were very impressed with the standard of work being produced by young people at the School. Students from Saffron Lane and Eyres Monsell displayed some outstanding pieces of work and they should be very proud of what they have achieved. The adult art class run by Saffron Arts at the Samworth Academy were also invited to display the work they had produced over the term. We hope that residents continue to express themselves through artistic projects and build on their talents. Well done!

Chantelle Dayman

Elizabeth Newman

Megan March

Tanica Powell 11

Education & Training Groundwork Leicester and Leicestershire helps people and communities to make changes in order to create better opportunities, to build skills and job prospects and to live and work in a greener way. Our innovative approach to education and training creates opportunities for community participation, youth inclusion, and employment which make a big difference to people’s lives. Our accredited programmes offer education for children, young people, adults and families. Groundwork also offer volunteering opportunities, helping young people and adults to learn relevant skills that employers really want.

For those with the relevant skills, our ‘Brighter Leicester’ course aims to develop existing skills in construction and electrical installation, supporting individuals to access new job opportunities and further education.

Current programmes include: Environmental education in schools, Alternative curriculum partnerships with schools, Vocational short courses in Construction (Renewable Technology) and Employability with pathways in Bike mechanics, Retail and Business Admin.

If you or someone you know would benefit from support with finding employment, developing skills for work or personal development contact Groundwork today or visit the website for further information:

Tel: 0116 2220222

How I went from the Saff to the



My name is Micheal Sweeney, I am 21 years old and have lived on saffron lane for around 11 years. I am a fully qualified football coach working all around Leicester now. I have been involved in youth work in Saffron for around 3 years, working on different aspect from keeping kids fit to raising awareness of anti social behaviour and sexual health. I currently work for (SYPP) Saffron Young Peoples Project who offers help, support and advice to young people in area. How did you get into youth work? I first got into youth work around the age of 17 but became a part of the set up from as young as 11. I used to attended local football and sports sessions through SYPP. I saw this was a great way to stay out of trouble and an easy way to make friends whilst learning new skills. As I grew older I slowly became more and more involved attending more sessions and gaining many qualifications on the way. One of the most important was my FA level 1. This gave me the push I needed to become what I am today. It was my first taste of coaching and soon became a skill that I was good at. With this qualification under my belt SYPP was more than happy to take me on as a voluntary worker. I hear your now working in America how did this opportunity come up? I saw an advert on the Internet asking for UK coaches to come to America and coach soccer. I didn’t think for a moment I would get the job but thought I would give it a go anyway. 2 months later I received an email telling me I had received the job

opportunity and it all went from there. I was there from July to November, working on summer camps and fall programmes. I would show young people basic skills and pass on my knowledge that they might not have received otherwise. Do you feel you would have had the same opportunities if you hadn’t already been involved in activities in Saffron? NO! Without the saff having such great opportunities on offer I would have never made it over here. The support I received from local groups there was fantastic. I didn’t finish school with the greatest of qualifications and worried I would always be stuck in a job that I hated. SYPP gave me a second chance to get qualifications and they were able to get the best out of me. What has it been like in America? It has been amazing! America is such a beautiful place, I’d always dreamed about traveling here. Not only have I gotten to enjoy America I also get to work over here and live the American lifestyle. The standard of soccer here is amazing and they have such a strong grassroots level, they work so hard with there young people. What does the future hold for you now? Whatever I want it to haha! I mean I have already lived my dream so it just shows you, if you work hard enough you can achieve whatever you want, but in all seriousness I would like to bring my experiences back with me and share them with the young people of Saffron and hopefully help them realise what their dreams are and make it a reality.


Do something different

with your days!


New Horizons is a creative project for young people not in education training or employment

Interactive Media

photography and video

magazine production S t a r t i n g website design February 2012 At Linwood Workshops

and job search skills Saffron Estate

Contact Kellie or Beckie on Engage Multimedia Ltd working in partnership with Saffron Arts Forum (Reg Charity), Funded as part of ESF NEET Program.

07784233997/ 07900002530

Did you know More than 35% of children

in Leicester – 27,000 – live in poverty

A new commission aims to change lives through action

A COMMISSION set up to tackle child poverty in Leicester has met for the first time, and pledged it will concentrate on action not words to deal with one of the biggest challenges the city faces. More than 35% of children in Leicester – 27,000 – live in poverty. The commission was set up by Deputy City Mayor Cllr Rory Palmer to identify the local causes of the problem and to find new ways of tackling it. The commission met at the Linwood Centre on Saffron Lane, which is in the city’s Freemen ward. Around half of all children in this ward are living in poverty. Led by Cllr Palmer, its members are Jon Ashworth, MP for Leicester South, Imran Hussain, Head of Policy, Rights and Advocacy for the Child Poverty Action Group, Cllr Vi Dempster, asst city mayor responsible for children, young people and schools, Rachel Dickinson, the city council’s Strategic Director for Childrens Services, Mandy Ashton, and Pro-Vice Chancellor for Health and Life Sciences at De Montfort University. Baroness Professor Ruth Lister, Emiretus Professor of Social Policy at Loughborough University, is a senior advisor to the commission. Deputy City Mayor Cllr Rory Palmer said: “We are all agreed this will not be a talking shop. Our aim is to change policy to change lives, and we are all committed to achieving this.” “The urgency of this challenge goes without saying. One of our first tasks will be to ensure that the policy makers and the people who run services understand the enormity of the challenge facing us, so they can see how important it is to the city that they put real resources and expertise into helping us tackle it”. 16

“We will therefore be going out into the city to talk to people about their experiences of poverty, and to share their stories with the people who can make a difference to them. This is a challenge not just for children’s services or the council but for a huge range of services and organisations across the city, and we must win their commitment and support in order to make real change.” Imran Hussein from the Child Poverty Action Group said: “We’re really pleased to be involved because the commission has the potential to make a real difference to the childhoods and life chances of children in Leicester families. The commission’s got a huge task but progress can be made. In the past decade, a national focus on child poverty has helped lift nearly one million children of poverty and in recent years Leicester has seen impressive improvements in its schools. We can make a difference.” Jon Ashworth, MP for Leicester South said: “My fear is that unless national and local government act, child poverty in Leicester will get worse. That’s why I welcome the Child Poverty Commission looking into what measures we can take locally to help alleviate child poverty and I look forward to playing a full role in its work.” The commission will meet again in December, when it will finalise its plans for going out to meet with local people and other city organisations in January. More details about the commission and about child poverty in Leicester are on the council’s website at

Young People from Catch22 JYIP (Junior Youth Inclusion Project) set up a community Halloween event at the Linwood Centre for the local Carers & Chairers group. The event was a great success and the young people had the opportunity to meet with the residents from the local area to highlight and discuss issues around Halloween, Trick or Treating and Bonfire night. The young people organised games and prizes for the residents as well as having an open and honest discussion which was very positive for both the young people and residents. Running along side this was the Cancer Awareness week, the young people also participated in this. We hope to do something similar nearer to Christmas so please feel free to put any suggestions forward…

One young person in particular Jessica Asante donated £5.00 of her own money to the charity, money which she earned through leaflet dropping. We are very proud of all the Young People’s efforts and are pleased that the local residents were happy with the event that was organised for them all, the young people received positive feedback all round.

A BIG thanks from JYIP to all those who were involved. Catch22 Charity Ltd



£234.50 - FoR CHARity

I would like to say a massive THANK YOU to all that participated in 2 of the fundraising coffee morning at the Linwood Centre. We raised £128.50 for our Macmillan coffee morning and we managed to raise £106.00 through donation to the wear it pink event at the Linwood Centre. It was a very colourful day, which generated a lot of laughter and funds for Breast Cancer Campaign.

CoMPEtition WinnERS

We ran two competitions and the winners were as follows; A box of chocolates was won by Joyce from the Carers and Chairers group, and a Prize of £14.00 was won by Clare Fillingham, from Sure start. Thank you for your generosity and support. Netho Fuzane, Acting Deputy Facility Manager, Safer and Stronger Communities The Linwood Community Centre

Jon Ashworth Member of Parliament for Leicester South Jon is now holding regular advice surgeries at the Saffron Resource Centre on Saffron Lane These are held on the 4th Saturday of every month from 11am to 12.30pm If you want an appointment at the Saffron Resource Centre, or an appointment at the City Centre office, please contact Jon: 60 Charles Street, LE1 1FB


For appointments and to contact Jon about any local or national issue please get in touch…..

Tel: 0116 251 1927

Email: Twitter: @jonashworth



Amanda Herald White

on her experiences with weight loss surgery

What was it that made you decide to have weight loss surgery?

How did you prepare for the operation?

It was definitely not an easy decision I’d always been a big girl I’d never been slim. I’ve always had a weight problem, I’ve been on the tablets, the diets, tried everything but I just kept yo-yoing with my weight. The major thing for me was losing my dad, I started to comfort eat more and suffered with depression, it was a vicious circle. One day I woke up and thought I can’t do this anymore. I couldn’t play with my children. I was out of breath just getting to the top of the stairs. I had to break the chain, and face my depression. I had to sort my weight out, as everything negative in my life revolved around my weight. I went to my GP, who suggested surgery and I was willing to try anything. I filled in a questionnaire and I fitted the criteria. I had to see a whole team of people, surgeons, dieticians, counsellors and they agreed it would benefit me to have the surgery. I was told about all the risks involved, but for me the advantages outweighed the disadvantages. A lot of my family didn’t agree with my decision because of the risks but I had to do it for me, and my kids. Some people thought it was selfish. I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t think I could get through it.

I couldn’t play with my children. I was out of breath just getting to the top of the stairs. I had to break the chain, and face my depression.


I was put on an eating plan and needed to eat 6 small meals and drink 2 litres of water a day to prove I could maintain the program after surgery. It was a struggle. I felt like I was constantly eating but actually losing weight, it was strange. I had to have lots of tests to see if my body could handle the operation, fitness tests, sleep apnoea test, and a liver shrinking diet so they can move it out the way to get to your stomach to avoid open surgery. I also had to quit smoking for at least 3 months but it was so easy, I had a goal, it was the least I could do. I didn’t want any extra risk. I had such a positive outlook about the operation. To me I saw it as a second chance of life. I was scared when my operation date drew nearer. I don’t like hospitals and the quicker I got out the better. I was there for 3 days it’s usually a lot longer. I was lucky my operation was very straightforward. I felt like my surgeon had changed my life. I couldn’t thank him enough. That day was the start of the rest of my life. I went to stay with my mum after so she could help with my children and I was on heavy medication, but a few days later I walked to the shop I didn’t want to sit down and do nothing. I wanted to work with the bypass. I was well aware of the risks involved after surgery so I wanted to stay as positive as I could. I needed to do everything not to get those complications. I sailed through it but those 4 weeks were the longest of my life. In the back of my mind I was thinking I could go sleep tonight and not wake up, but I knew I was going to be alright.

What changes did you have to make to your eating habits?

You can’t eat solid food for 12 weeks after the op. I’d have 200mls of build up drink, which took me ages to get through. I always thought, when I had a big meal I felt full but for the 1st time ever I felt the feeling of being full on the littlest drink. You can’t over load your stomach as it needs time to heal, then you go onto pureed food. Your taste-buds change too because your eating such a tiny amount, you savour your food more, you taste it more. It’s strange it’s all to do with retraining your brain. If you eat something that has too much fat content in it your intestines can’t handle it and you get a feeling that you’ve been winded, I’d sweat my temperature went up and down. I’ve had that 3 times in 2 yrs it’s not a nice feeling. If you eat to fast you don’t give your stomach enough time to tell your brain your full and just having 1 mouthful too much can make you sick so you need to really take your time and change your eating habits totally. After a year you have to stretch your new stomach you are told to eat a little more at each meal. It wasn’t that easy to eat more, but my stomach is at the right size now. What would you say to people who think having surgery is taking the easy way out?

If they knew what you have to go through it’s by far not the easy way out! I was ready to change my life. Its not a quick fix, you have to be willing to work with it, because if you don’t it can make you very ill. Your body can’t absorb vitamins like normal so you have to have vitamin tablets and injections for the rest of your life but to me it was a small price to pay. Its 2 yrs since my op and they’re still trying to get my level sorted. If anyone is thinking about going for weight surgery you’ve got to do it for yourself and nobody else I can’t stress that enough. You’ve got to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of having it done and if you have any doubt what so ever then you’re not ready for it. I would never tell anyone to go for a gastric bypass or weight loss surgery unless they absolutely thought it was the last straw, not because its so bad but because of the risks involved it changes your life totally. If I knew anyone that was thinking about going for a bypass I want them to know the truth from my own experiences, you will go to hell and back I’m a strong person but it got to me. If people want to talk to me about my experiences by all means contact Kellie the editor of The SAFF and she will pass on your details, I’d hate to think someone has a question they don’t feel they can ask the doctor or surgeon, but it’s playing on their mind I will share my experiences.

This year I went abroad and wore a swimming costume for the first time in 35yrs it felt liberating.

How did it feel when you saw the weight coming off?

I couldn’t see it at first, everyone else could, but I couldn’t. Although I’d physically changed I didn’t see what other people saw. I was still big bubbly Amanda. I ended up having a breakdown last summer and that’s where counselling could have really helped me. I got offered support before the operation to prepare but to be honest I can’t stress enough how much it is needed after. It was totally life changing and that was very scary. My weight loss happened very quickly so it was difficult for some people to treat me in the same way. I had a lot of positive people around me but some became jealous and found it difficult, but that’s not my fault. There were more positive people than negative. I was warned that many relationships break down after surgery. Growing up I wanted to look feminine and wearing large clothes to cover me up didn’t make me feel feminine now it’s strange I can wear a tracky and still feel feminine. To go from just existing, to living and walking out the front door every morning and feeling good. I can say for the first time I can look in the mirror and like what I see, I’ve never been able to say that and it’s great. Things I’ve always wanted to do growing up, I’m doing now at 35. I’d never been abroad, I didn’t want to get on a plane because I knew the belt wouldn’t fit me, and fair rides I knew the bar wouldn’t hold me in. I had no confidence. I just existed. Now I’m living and doing everything I ever wanted to do, things most people take for granted in everyday life. This year I went abroad and wore a swimming costume for the first time in 35yrs it felt liberating. And moving freely in the bath was an experience ha! I didn’t have to manoeuvre bits and bobs around it might sound silly but it felt great. What are your future plans?

The final thing for me is a tummy tuck I need to get rid of the old me I want it gone, because it is the old me and I wasn’t confident, that will be the closure of the old me. I’ve been blessed my excess skin isn’t that bad, I worked with the bypass to tone up as much as I could. It’s all about confidence I’m still not a 100% confident. To go from being called super morbidly obese to being told you’ve lost too much weight was hard to handle it’s taken me 18 month to put 19lb back on but I feel better for it. It has been totally life changing for me it’s just whether you’re ready for it. It’s for life. You have to have a positive mind.


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The artwork on this advert was designed by Kate Bugby (pictured) in one of our textile classes using transfers onto canvas and beautifully embelished using many creative techniques. 22

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Starting in January For all abilities If you are unemployed, looking for work and are 19yrs + why not take advantage of these FREE Community Arts Projects in your area, Saffron Lane, Eyres Monsell and Aylestone. We have 5 fun and innovative projects for you to get involved with.

Art Craft Creative writing Textiles Digital photography 07784233997 - Unit 9, Linwood Workshops, Linwood Lane.


on W e bu w yi on ng ’t an be d be tr a a d te e- n in s

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631 Saffron Lane, LE2 6UN • 0116 2830881



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