GROOMING, GROOVING, GROWING AND GETTING YOUR LIFE BACK – FU LOVES MIDLANDS #13
Another week of change. It was lovely to walk the dogs this weekend through streets full of small business owners and shop keepers, painting, preparing and restocking their stores ready for a safe and welcome reopening on Monday. The 2m distance markers are a smart and useful reminder with the vast majority of people taking good note of them and queues seem to have become places for friendliness and conversation – so welcome when our towns and cities had become so impersonal.
Perhaps we live in a bubble of positivity, but it does seem that people are being kinder, more considerate and life is being approached more thoughtfully; hopefully that is one thing that we can take with us whilst we move forward. As move forward we must. We also must make sure that we support each other as we do this. It’s time to rebuild, reimagine and remaster.
Summer 2020 is about focusing on what we have and what we can, not mourning for what we’ve lost or what we cannot have.
So, we want to hear from you: how are you taking the bull by the horns and springing back for summer? Talk to us and let us help you tell your story! Email us at email@example.com or Kevin@fu-media.co.uk. We can’t wait to hear from you. #supportlocal #smallbusiness
Enjoy the day,
Jon, Kevin and the #FUFighters
RIP Willie Thorne. A Leicester legend, Willie used to write for our title many years ago.
Our deepest sympathies to his family at this time from us all.x
OBLIGATORY BAD JOKE
What do you call a magician who has lost his magic?
ENJOY AN EVENING WITH KASABIAN’S TOM
On the very evening that Kasabian were due to play their only UK show of 2020 at Leicester’s Victoria Park – Saturday 20th June – Kasabian frontman, Tom Meighan, will be holding a live Q&A hosted by legendary DJ and radio presenter, Clint Boon.
Limited tickets are on sale now and offer the opportunity to access the live stream where you can ask Tom your own questions; as well as a one-on-one video meet and greet with Tom, plus a chance to take a snapshot photo with the Kasabian frontman.
THE NATION’S CORNIEST DAD JOKES REVEALED
So, one thing we always get told every week is how much you love our terrible ‘dad jokes’ in each newsletter. Well, to celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday 21st June, thortful.com have revealed the top ten cringiest dad jokes – as voted for by the nation.
My wife says I never listen. Funny way to start a conversation if you ask me.
My son asked me to stop singing Oasis songs in public. I said maybe.
My wife is furious that our next-door neighbour has started sunbathing nude in her garden. Personally, I’m on the fence.”
When the wife finds out I have replaced our bed with a trampoline… she’s going to hit the roof.
My wife said I never buy her flowers. I didn’t even know she sold flowers.
I went for an interview. They said, “Can you perform under pressure?” I said, “I’m not sure about that, but I can have a good crack at Bohemian Rhapsody”
My wife told me to take the spider out instead of killing him. Went out. Had a few drinks. Nice guy. He’s a web designer.
I told my wife she should embrace her mistakes… She gave me a hug.
Today, my son asked, “Can I have a book mark?” and I burst into tears. 11 years old and he still doesn’t know my name is John.
Been out washing the car with my son. He said Dad why don’t you use a sponge like the other dads?
BUILDING SOCIETIES’ SUPPORT ADDS UP FOR LEICESTERSHIRE CHARITIES
Five Leicestershire charities have received a share of £10,000 thanks to the county’s five building societies – the Melton, the Loughborough, Market Harborough, Hinckley & Rugby and Earl Shilton.
The donation has been distributed by Leicestershire Cares to Storehouse foodbank in Melton Mowbray, Trussell Trust foodbank in Hinckley, and the Zinthyia Trust, the Making Moves project and Centre Project all in Leicester. In all cases the money has been used to support vulnerable people directly affected by the Coronavirus crisis.
Leicestershire Cares is a leading charity which supports local businesses, schools, young people, ex-offenders and community groups. Kieran Breen, Chief Executive at Leicestershire Cares said, “This generous donation from our local building societies is a great example of how we can work together to support those in need during the current crisis.”
Building societies are considered an essential service and nearly all of the five’s branches have remained open to serve savings and mortgage customers during the pandemic, albeit with reduced hours to protect the health of colleagues and customers.
MIDLANDS WRITERS NEEDED FOR NEW SCI FI DRAMA
The Belgrade Theatre Coventry in partnership with Strictly Arts Theatre Company, Fix 8 Films, Run Home Productions and Audio Bassment are seeking emerging writers based in the Midlands to be part of the writers’ room for their upcoming digital TV series, SeaView.
Set to premiere in 2021, SeaView is an original urban, science-fiction drama, drawing on the experiences of working-class communities in the West Midlands. Inspired by a true story, the series follows Steven, a young man destined for great things who finds himself trapped by the destiny of others.
Now the Belgrade is offering a fantastic opportunity to (up to) seven of the region’s most exciting up-and-coming writers to be part of its first writers’ room ahead of Coventry’s year as City of Culture in 2021. Each writer will get the chance to work on one episode, alongside playwright Sophie Ellerby and the Belgrade’s 2021 Co-Artistic Director, Corey Campbell.
Successful applicants will be supported to learn and develop key screenwriting skills and provided with the space to imagine and create their own ideas. All applicants must be based in the Midlands. To apply, please send an example of your work, cv and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
HEART OF ENGLAND OFFERS A HELPING HAND TO WOMEN’S AID CHARITIES
As calls to crisis centres experience a 25% spike since the start of lockdown, home is an unsafe space for many. In a bid to help, Women’s Aid charities from across the region have been making new provisions to ensure that they are able to help those who find themselves in this situation during these difficult times.
To help these efforts during lockdown, Heart of England Community Foundation has ramped up its financial support for these charities across the region. Through its Coronavirus Resilience Fund, the Foundation has provided grants to a wealth of charities across all sectors, including multiple Women’s Aid Federations, ensuring that they’re able to support women during the pandemic.
With more people having to stay at home due to the on-going effects of COVID-19, more vulnerable women suffering from domestic abuse are turning to organisations, such as Women’s Aid, to seek guidance and support. However, this is at a time when charities across the country are reporting that they are rapidly losing donations, because of those affected economically by the virus.
As a result, grant-giving charity Heart of England Community Foundation has had to rally to extend its support, ensuring that vital services like this can continue support clients when they need it most. Since launching its Coronavirus Resilience Fund on March 23, the Foundation has awarded more than £450k worth of grants to several women’s charities, including Go-Women! Alliance CIC, Coventry Haven Women’s Aid, and Women Empowering Women, Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid. The charities were awarded grants between £1,500 and £30,000, giving them a chance to continue the on-going support across Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Solihull and North Warwickshire.
If you wish to learn more about the Coronavirus Resilience Fund or to find out how to apply, visit: https://www.heartofenglandcf.co.uk/coronavirus-resilience-fund/. If you’d like to donate to the fund, visit: http://virginmoneygiving.com/fund/crf.
SERIES OF FREE WEBINARS FOR WOMEN IN BUSINESS
East Midland’s Chamber of Commerce will be running a series of four webinars aimed specifically at female leaders, managers and entrepreneurs and provide an opportunity to navigate and overcome the challenges that females face in leadership positions with other like-minded individuals.
You can find an overview of each webinar along with the booking links below.
This webinar will serve as an introduction to the topic by exploring the statistics and what they tell us. The webinar will then focus on the component part of grit behaviours: tenacity, courage and mental toughness.
The second webinar in the series will cover the component parts of grace behaviours such as communication styles, self-care and supporting others. The importance of balancing grit and grace behaviours will also be discussed.
The focus of this webinar will be creating clear and achievable goals, as well as putting grit and grace to use. You will learn how to lead yourself and others through change and how to identify opportunities which align with your passions.
This webinar will focus on action planning. Just some of the areas covered will be creating a plan to ignite your passions, learning techniques to visualise your plans and learning more about the measurable aspects of your plan.
SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESS AND LOOK FLY WHILE YOU’RE AT IT
Leicester Merch Aid, has been set up in a bid to raise funds for local independent businesses during Covid-19. Online mag, Cool As Leicester, set about pairing up independent businesses with local designers in order to create a range of special edition t-shirts with the profits paid directly back to them, with no hassle of stock handling, production or shipping.
For every t-shirt that is sold, you’ll be supporting a local independent business. Profits go straight back to the business in question (with a small % for the talented designers, too), so through purchasing an item you can rest assured that your money will go towards helping them bounce back after the pandemic, as well as supporting Leicester’s creative talent pool.
T-shirts from businesses including Bru, Caddyshackers, Crafty Burger, Crafty Sew & So, East Street Lanes, The Soundhouse, Very Bazaar and West End Brewery are on sale now, with more additions to come.
For any independent businesses that may be interested in getting involved please visit www.leicestermerch.com and check out the Get Involved section.
ARE YOU FUTURE PROOF?
Imagine you are famous now; a philanthropist so famous you’ll still be remembered in a hundred years’ time. What do you do now that isn’t illegal and not yet deemed morally wrong by the majority, but where opposing views exist? Opposing views that could become mainstream in the future, asks Guy O’Harrison. A tweet by Hugh Laurie got him thinking and inspired his words.
LEICESTERSHIRE CHEFS COME TOGETHER FOR SOFT TOUCH ARTS
Leicestershire chefs are giving masterclasses online so you can celebrate World Food Week in your own homes and help raise funds for Soft Touch Arts.
The charity uses cooking and catering to give young people in challenging life situations the opportunity to develop a wide range of culinary skills. They gain these skills through volunteering in a weekly Wednesday and Thursday lunchtime cafe at the charity’s HQ on New Walk, in Leicester, currently closed due to Covid 19.
The community-minded chefs have got behind the online masterclass sessions to help raise funds to get the cafe project up and running again once they are able to reopen. The chefs and restaurants involved include Shaf from Chutney Ivy; Massimo from Caravelli; Joanne from North Bar and Kitchen; Dawid and Kal from 100andSix and Batched; Pratik from Wigston Fields Deli and Lilu; and Nick from Kimber.
The tickets are £10 +Vat and can be booked here.
GRAB SOME GLITTER AND PARTY LIKE ITS 2019
If you’ve been missing having a good night out as much as us, then maybe having a bop around your front room to this little number might help. Because, after all, nightlife may be on pause, but having fun isn’t!
Electronic dance act, Joy Club, have released a new video that is guaranteed to get you dancing! Drag Queens and dancers from the infamous Dalston Superstore have strung up bedsheets as backdrops and thrown glitter at the lockdown to create a video for this absolute banger with RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant, Blu Hydrangea, popping on a bit of lippy to get in on the act!
We love people who get creative with their lockdown experience, so grab some glitter, turn up your speakers and dance around your front room whilst watching the video above!
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LOTTERY FUNDING BRINGS TO LIFE LIVING WELL UK’S VIRTUAL WELL-BEING PLATFORM
The West Midlands’ mental health consortium, Living Well UK, is launching a virtual well-being platform to ensure access to key tools and resources for overall well-being are made available.
The platform, which has been made possible due to a £36,000 grant from the National Lottery Fund, is set to function as a ‘virtual well-being pop-up space’, where users can access a huge variety of mental health resources and well-being content for free.
From video guides to mindfulness and live classes, through to courses on both anger management and sleep management, this virtual service will continue to bridge the gap between Living Well’s usual provision of face-to-face services and its increasingly diverse range of mental health provisions for local communities.
The virtual well-being platform is now live and completely free to access. To use the platform and receive support today, visit https://livingwellconsortium.com/
BIRMINGHAM BOTANICAL GARDENS REOPENS
Those seeking calm amidst chaos will be pleased to hear that Birmingham’s Botanical Gardens will reopen today. To ensure the safety of visitors, tickets will need to be booked in advance for specific time slots to limit the number of people in the Gardens at any one time.
The last few months have been a challenge for the Gardens, but thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Emergency Fund, their running costs have been met. As an independent charity, they rely solely on income from visitors, members and charitable donations, so the lockdown could have been catastrophic for them without the help of the Fund.
The Gardens will be open daily from 10am until 6pm, subject to change. To book your tickets, click here https://www.birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk/
FREE SOFTWARE TO TRACK COVID 19 SAFETY ON SITE
UK software developer, Ctrl Hub, is offering a free, innovative new programme that will aid businesses with the reporting, tracking and management of potential Coronavirus-related risks on site, as well as minimise cross contamination through digitised paperwork, be alerted to COVID-19 contamination risks and deliver swift and corrective decontamination measures.
MACC-19 – which is short for Management and Control of COVID-19 – requires no additional hardware or capital expenditure, with the software available on any web-enabled PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone (Android and iOS).
BUSINESS IN THE SPOTLIGHT:
DE MONTFORT UNIVERSITY’S LEICESTER CASTLE BUSINESS SCHOOL
This week we’ve chosen DMU’s Leicester Castle Business School as our Business in The Spotlight. So many of us living in Leicester(shire) see DMU purely as an academic institution for students. Turns out we’re right and wrong, as their world-class tutors and leading business brains are also there for external businesses to access, and they’ve just launched a Business Mentoring Scheme, which you should know about as we move out of lockdown and into recovery mode.
DMU SEEK 10 BUSINESS LEADERS FOR BUSINESS MENTORING SCHEME
Leadership can be a lonely business at times – let alone when you’re trying to navigate how your company can adapt and thrive in a global pandemic.
Chances are you’re juggling questions from staff, customers and your suppliers and you may not have advisors or people to go to who you can bounce ideas off, and who can be an impartial listener and help you move forward.
That’s where De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) comes in. Its Leicester Castle Business School is offering free business mentoring for leaders to help them survive and thrive. Andrew Nicholson, Associate Professor Enterprise at DMU, has contacted Fraser Urquhart Media to offer free coaching to business leaders.
Andrew, who has years of consultancy experience with companies ranging from SMEs to global firms, said: “As we’ve all been told repeatedly, these times are unprecedented, and we all need to decide what the new normal is and work with it.
“With this highly uncertain backdrop, business leaders are still expected to manage their teams, maintain or improve productivity, focus on their customers’ needs and create a sustainable future for their business.”
DMU is offering 30 free mentoring and coaching sessions, of an hour each. We’re looking for 10 business leaders each of whom would receive three sessions. To take part in the programme, you need to be:
100% committed to your own personal development
100% committed to your business and your team
Able to be open and honest about your current business and leadership concerns
Willing to discuss and debate with your coach/mentor
Willing to be challenged by your coach/mentor
Willing to make achievable and motivational goals for yourself and your business
How can coaching and mentoring help me?
Having a coach or mentor will enable you to talk through ideas and decisions – it could be assessing a new direction for the business, new ways of working or simply someone to talk to about pressures and fears. Having someone else’s perspective can be invaluable.
Right now, businesses will need to develop new processes for employee engagement, serve new customer needs, or move in a new online direction. Having a coach’s external perspective can help you to spot ways to redirect resources and internal talent, find efficiencies, and to identify new opportunities to help the business to bounce back better.
“DMU celebrates its 150th anniversary this year and has been working with businesses in Leicester for nearly all of that time,” says Andrew. “We can support you and give you someone to talk to – a problem shared is a problem halved.”
Here are some typical outcomes from mentoring and coaching:
Get productivity back on track
Ensure your teams are connected and committed to the organisation
Navigate the uncertainty and complexity of the next few months
Support with decision making and future planning
Who will be my coach or mentor?
A DMU Business Mentor will be an experienced business person, used to managing teams and developing customer relationships. They will provide a trusted sounding board and challenge you with purposeful questions. They will help you formulate plans, make decisions, and ensure you are in tune with the current business environment.
Your coach will be skilled in empathetic listening and questioning, helping you adjust your own personal and professional style to the new normal. Together, they’ll help you find new motivation and purpose in these difficult times and will ensure you align that purpose with your business needs and desired outcomes.
Your mentor or coach can also help you adjust your management and leadership style to the current virtual environment and get the best out of yourself and your team.
How do I take part?
Simple. Email Andrew at email@example.com
GET BOOKED IN FOR BEAUTY AT FAB CLINICS
Loughborough’s Fab Clinics are now taking booking for when they reopen on Saturday 4 July 2020. They’ll be open 7 days per week from 9.30am to 7pm and cannot wait to see you!
The team at Fab are aiming to be one of the safest places to come to and are going over and above recommended advice to keep you safe; one of the key points is that all treatments will be carried out in dedicated, clinically-clean private spaces, be that their award-winning fat-loss and aesthetic treatments, or a simple manicure or pedicure so you can expect the full celebrity experience!
WONKY RECIPE KITS DESIGNED TO STOP FOOD WASTE AND HELP YOU EAT WELL
Perfectly portioned meal kits using only wonky ingredients that would otherwise be rejected have been launched by online healthy food retailer musclefood.com.
Many supermarkets, restaurants and other food suppliers refuse to take ingredients that are deemed imperfect from suppliers, meaning tonnes of tasty and nutritious meat and vegetables are regularly thrown away, simply for being an unusual size or shape. The new musclefood meal kits use these so-called wonky ingredients in pre-portioned servings that come with quick, simple and easy to follow instructions.
All of the kits are retailing at £4.75, including the Sticky Chilli Sausage and Veg Bake Recipe Kit, which contains low fat pork sausages, a spicy chilli ketchup and vegetables including carrots, courgettes and potatoes – and takes only ten minutes to prepare. Per serving, the sausage and veg bake contains just 464 calories and 6.2g of fat, but a whopping 29g of protein!
Order yours from musclefood.com
COVID 19, YOUNG PEOPLE AND PRESSING THE RESET BUTTON
In the last month, the news has focussed on the impact of Covid-19 on the labour market and the potential fallout for young people. Whilst some scramble to make life and work the same as before, Chris Tarry, founder of a Leicestershire social enterprise, Action Generation, takes some time out to reflect, have conversations with senior leaders and asks: Is it time for society and business to press the reset button?
WEST MIDLANDS CHARITIES RECEIVE £25,000 FROM THE CADBURY FOUNDATION
Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, Lindens Primary School in Walsall, Cannock-based charity Special Needs Adventure Playground (SNAP) and Grocery Aid have each been granted £5,000 from The Cadbury Foundation, whilst Sandwell Advocacy and Cerebral Palsy Midlands have received £2,500 from the Foundation, as part of Mondelēz International’s ‘Your Charity, Your Choice’ scheme.
Each year, the company’s UK employees are invited to nominate wellbeing-related charities or projects close to their hearts, with the final shortlisted charities voted for by the wider work force.
The Cadbury Foundation, which is celebrating its 85th birthday this year, was set up in 1935 in recognition of Richard and George Cadbury and their investment in the welfare of their employees and the local community. Across all Mondelēz International’s UK sites, £90,000 will be pledged as part of the ‘Your Charity Your Choice’ campaign.
MISS ENGLAND TO HOLD VIRTUAL SEMI AFTER SUCCESS OF MIDLANDS ZOOM CONTEST
For the first time ever in the history of the Miss England contest, the top six contestants in a regional contest have been interviewed on Zoom by the panel of judges. Organisers have now confirmed the semi final will be held as a virtual live stream event using Zoom to select more finalists.
The Midlands’ leg of the Miss England competition was meant to be held last month at a glitzy fashion show at Resorts World, Birmingham, but due to lockdown the contest went virtual. The live semi-final is being held on Friday 31st July at 7pm as a pay per view event and early birds can book by the end of June for just £3.99. Click here to find out more and book
VIRTUAL DEGREE SHOW LAUNCHED BY DE MONTFORT UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
With traditional degree shows off the cards this summer, final year Graphic Design and Illustration students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have created their very own ‘virtual degree show’ for peers, family and industry professionals to attend.
A dedicated website will be launched to recognise, share and reward the work of students interactively, in the absence of physical shows which are postponed until further notice. Five students complete the virtual steering committee at DMU, alongside the university’s graphic design teaching team.
Receiving first-hand digital support from mentor, Andy Leitch, director of Leicester-based agency Cite and part-time tutor at the university, students were able to create and adapt their online showroom in a way that could capture the eye of prospective employers.
Titled ‘Show Your Face 2020’, the interactive and innovative website will go live at the beginning of July, featuring a total of 100 final year students’ work, complete with a short bio explaining their submission.
HENLEY FESTIVAL GOES DIGITAL FOR SUMMER
2020 Henley Festival has announced that it will be going digital this year, presenting a 2-hour evening concert, streamed on the Henley Festival website with performances from the Hurley House Hotel on Sunday 12th July from 7.30pm – 9.30pm on what would have been the final day of the festival.
Artists including Will Young, Beverley Knight and classical pianist Hao Zi Yoh will join Jazz musician, Joe Stilgoe, whilst comedy will be provided by Rory Bremner who will perform some new topical material, interviewed by cricket commentator David Gower.
Festival goers can watch the digital concert from the comfort of their own homes, with tickets starting from £10.10 each and available from www.henley-festival.co.uk.
YOUR GUIDE TO GETTING A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP
Most of us will experience a lack of quality sleep at some time – especially over lockdown – and for some this endures over the longer term. Whether you’re a new parent, a shift worker, or feeling the effects of stress and anxiety, sleep is often one of the first things to suffer and it can have severe effects on your overall health.
Getting to the root of the problem is important, and small adaptions to your lifestyle can make a big difference to your sleep. But, there’s also a formula that is used by cognitive behavioural therapists to tackle the majority of sleep-disturbing factors.
Nuffield Health’s Brendan Street explains the basic formula here. https://www.nuffieldhealth.com/article/the-cbt-formula-for-good-sleep
SUPPORT LEICESTER CREATIVES BY ANSWERING NEW SURVEY
‘Film Leicester’ is a community-led initiative to support creatives within the film industry, and its asking people to complete a survey that consists of the real thoughts and opinions of creatives at all levels of their career. The idea is to get a full understanding of the day to day struggles of our creatives, as well as an appreciation of their aspirations to enable the group to move forward offering effective support.
EDEN HALL AND HOAR CROSS HALL ASK FOR FRONTLINE HERO NOMINATIONS
As a token of appreciation to all frontline and key workers who have kept the country going through this unprecedented time, Eden Hall and Hoar Cross Hall have partnered with ELEMIS to create 10 fabulous prizes worth up to £1000 each.
Nominate someone you think deserves some relaxation and pampering when all of this is over, whether it be a member of the NHS, a carer, a teacher, delivery driver, postal worker (or maybe someone bringing you a newsletter each week? Hehe) – just let them know why they get your vote. All nominations will be entered into a prize draw and they’ll select 10 winners at random.
Prizes include indulgent overnight stays at Hoar Cross Hall and luxury spa days at Eden Hall and Hoar Cross Hall – each topped off with £500 worth of ELEMIS products. Make your nomination here
WORDS OF WISDOM
Opportunity does not knock, it presents itself when you beat down the door.
– Kyle Chandler