New gallery of our European Question Time event with MEPs and 100 Ideas for Leicester launch

Better, wider cycle lanes, an Oyster card for the city and creating more opportunities for young people to socialise in Leicester are among the first suggestions put forward to improve Leicester. 

Click here to see a gallery of photos from the event
Click here to see a gallery of photos from the event











They were ideas from Year 10 to Year 13 students being quizzed by De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) students and staff who have launched a new campaign called 100 Ideas to Change Leicester. For the next four months, they will be asking residents, businesses, shoppers and fellow students what improvements they would like to see in Leicester.  The ideas will be collated into policies and presented to councillors at Leicester City Council in March 2015. The Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Leicester have pledged support for the project and are keen to see the students’ proposals. “This initiative should generate some really good ideas,” said Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby. “The students will bring fresh thinking to some very difficult issues and I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with.”  His deputy, Councillor Rory Palmer, tweeted: “Great to hear about 100 ideas for Leicester commission. Look forward to working with them.” – Read more HERE:

Become a Diversity Rep and change attitudes

DMU Square Mile is looking for DMU Diversity Reps to to change attitudes about lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people, working  across Leicester.

Click on the photo to watch a Youtube film
Click on the photo to watch a Youtube film

The idea is based around creating a team of people who visit Primary and Secondary schools, and possibly sports clubs, in and around the city. The diversity reps also encourage positive role models in the community to become allies to their positive message to help spread the word. Volunteers can either conduct assemblies to the whole school or conduct workshops to smaller year groups in participating schools and colleges.

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‘DMU is different because of the role we play in our community’

It’s a word that is often thrown around and is almost never linked to photouniversities writes DMU Journalism student Ajay PandyaI’d always wondered about the communities that Universities exist within. These local areas, often affected by crime and poverty, don’t seem to get any of the benefits of the bubble of University life. Do the locals resent us strutting around like we own the place with our borrowed loan money? My square mile experience showed me how DMU is different, and the role we are asked to play in our community.  Writing for a square mile publication; the Newfoundpool News, I was able to see how DMU had entered the local area just around the corner and helped curtail some of the problems and celebrate everything that’s great about Leicester. 

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Journalism students discuss Newfoundpool #DMUnewshack

DMU journalism students and their lecturer John Dilley took part in a DMU Square Mile FullSizeRender copy 2 podcast to discuss their work on a new website and newspaper which tells the stories of Leicester’s Newfoundpool area. Residents had approached DMU’s award-winning Square Mile project, which works to share the skills of staff and students with the community, to ask whether a newsletter could be created to share news from the area. But students took the idea to their hearts and pledged to go one better – by creating a 12-page newspaper, overseen by DMU’s Director of the Leicester Centre for Journalism in the Leicester Media School, John Dilley. Continue reading

Chance to learn emergency life support skills with paramedics

DMU Square Mile is teaming up with East Midlands Ambulance Service toCFR Main Image deliver Emergency Life Support Training for De Montfort University students. The skills will enable volunteers to be able to respond to heart attacks and other life-threatening incidents. It is hoped that students from across all four faculties volunteer to sign up for the training, which will take place on Thursday February 12 at DMU. Spaces on this project are limited, and once trained you may be called upon to deliver Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use an automated external defibrillator (AED), as well as learn recovery position techniques, should someone fall ill. This is a great opportunity for DMU students to develop their skills and could save a life. Continue reading

‘Our chance to transform communities across the world’

I remember vividly, as it was during a walk back to the university afterWILL my very first volunteering exercise with DMU Square Mile writes PhD student William Murithi. We had just finished cleaning some Graffitti art work near Woodgate area in Leicester and were heading back after a job well done. I was with Mark Charlton, Square Mile Project Manager and I shared my passion for education and mentoring young pupils that we struck accord. However, as the distance gave way and work had to be done we agreed to meet and discuss more on doing a project together. After a couple of visits to the Square Mile offices, things started to solidify and the gears were engaged to what was to be the first Square Mile project focusing on Kenya. We agreed to conduct an event at DMU’s Student Union with the aim of raising money to buy books for Kianjau Primary school in Thika, Kenya. The passion and agility of the Square Mile team was visible as they consistently engaged with various stakeholders to ensure that this was fruitful. Continue reading

‘DMU Square Mile lets me use my media skills to help others’

DMU-spit-900Hey Guys! I’m a student at De Montfort University and I study ‘Advertising and Marketing Communications’ writes Naomi ‘Bubblez’ Ediru. I love doing doing all kinds of multi-media projects on the side of university and charitable work. Volunteering with DMU Square Mile has given me the opportunity to creatively use my media, presenting and communication skills in a more structured and professional manner.  The projects they are involved with from charities to teaching are absolutely amazing and I felt so privileged to volunteer as DMU Square Mile manager’s Mark Charlton’s ‘Media Support Officer’ for the #RaveTo100 campaign. The video I created is on the Square Mile site and I am really happy they were pleased and supported the production. Continue reading

New asthma research that really ‘takes your breath away’

Helen OwtonI am working on a project with a team of researchers on the lived experiences of asthma in sportspeople and serious exercisers and the implications for self-care and healthcare practice, writes  Dr Helen Owton (Phd, CPsychol). The research aims to undertake an exploratory investigation into sportspeople and serous exercisers’ lived experience of asthma and asthma self-care. Whilst this particular project received funding from the University of Lincoln, our participants were recruited via the DMU Square Mile initiative. This research builds upon my PhD thesis which was entitled: A Breath of fresh air. In my PhD, I wanted to ‘breathe life’ into the experiences of my participants so vignettes (short storied narratives) were employed as a way of representing the data which was aimed at ‘showing’ a specific scenario (see publication, Owton & Allen-Collinson, 2014). Continue reading

I had an out of this world opportunity with Square Mile!

Photo with   Rear Admiral Stephen S. OswaldIt’s not every day that you open your inbox to see the words “Want to meet an astronaut?” across your screen writes DMU student Shagun Agarwal. Well, you might, but those are usually spam emails. So after confirming, that this in-fact was a legitimate email and not a scam, my first reaction was pure surprise. For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of one day becoming an astronaut. While many kids share this dream, only a few believe in it to be achievable. Thus, to get a chance to meet a real astronaut from NASA was, in some way, the first step towards that goal. After a lot of eye-rubbing and re-reading I was overcome with a sense of gratitude. I was grateful for being a part of DMU and for being presented with this opportunity by Square Mile. So after quickly replying to the email, I waited excitedly for the day of the meeting. Continue reading

DMU Journalism students report news in Newfoundpool area

Journalism students from DMU have spent the day reporting stories FullSizeRender4about life in Newfoundpool to create a newspaper and news website. Two groups from the BA (Hons) and MA courses at DMU are responding to a request from residents to publish articles that challenge perceptions about the area. They have spent the day in a makeshift newsroom interviewing residents in the neighbourhood about local issues.  Newfoundpool has faced a number of challenges in recent years. Over the past few months, a group of residents have been working with DMU to create a forum involving representatives of the NHS, Police and city council to work together to overcome some of the issues being faced. Continue reading