Anything grows for Yorkshire men this Movember

MovemberThe men of Yorkshire are being asked to join others across the country to grow a moustache this November to help raise awareness for men’s health issues.

This Movember, the month formerly known as November, men from Yorkshire and across the country are being asked to rid themselves of their stubble and grow a moustache to help raise both awareness and money for men’s health programmes in cancer and mental health.

Anything grows from a Tom Selleck tuft to a Hulk Hogan Handlebar, or anything in-between.

Last November saw 20,000 people in Yorkshire come together and wear their hairy ribbon, the moustache for 30 days, with an average of 1.7 billion conversations around men’s health generated worldwide.

Movember is not just about Mo Bros, women who support men’s health are called Mo Sista’s and play a significant part in the success of Movember. They don’t have to grow a moustache to get involved; they can sign up at, donate, fundraise and get the men in their lives to help make this year the hairiest Movember yet.

Sarah Coghlan, UK Country Director for Movember said The Movember Foundation’s vision is to have an everlasting impact on men’s health.

“We encourage Mo Bros and Mo Sistas to sign up at, grow and support awesome moustaches, and raise crucial awareness and funds to address the most pressing issues in prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men’s mental health.”

The Movember event began in Melbourne, Australia in 2003 when 30 men grew moustaches – since then it has become a global movement inspiring 4 million men and women in 21 countries to get involved – raising over £345 million and funding over 800 programmes to date.

[Originally found at:]


All aboard Meadowhall’s health bus


A reconstruction of AAA

Yorkshire men are being encouraged to visit Meadowhall for a simple screening that could save their lives.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) screenings will be available at the shopping centre this Saturday (18th October) and Saturday November 1st to help create awareness about the often undetected, symptomless illness, which is mostly found in men.

The mobile health bus run by the South Yorkshire Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Programme will be offering free screenings and will be situated in Orange Zone 1 car park for drop-in sessions between 9:30am – 4:30PM.

Helen McAlinney, Programme Coordinator at the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw AAA Screening Programme called the screenings a fantastic opportunity for men of all ages.

“Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms are a symptomless swelling of the body’s main blood vessel – the aorta – which can be fatal if left unchecked.  Our screening programme checks the size of the aorta via a simple ultrasound scan and is the only way to find out if you have the condition or not.”

Meadowhall Centre Director, Darren Pearce said “AAA is of particular importance due to the nature of the illness.”

“We’re encouraging men from all over the region to come down and take advantage of the screenings of which only last a few moments, but have the potential to save thousands of lives.“

[Originally found at:]

SHU pledges to end mental health stigma at Time to Change signing

One of the Time to Change postcards given at the event.

Yesterday, Sheffield Hallam University and the Student’s Union came together to sign MIND’s Time to Change pledge, a national programme aiming to end mental health stigma and discrimination.

By signing the pledge, both the University and the Student’s Union have promised to carry out a Time to Change health check to make sure that the mental health needs of staff and students alike are being met.

Emmett Cleaver, Sheffield Hallam’s Community and Welfare Officer, said; “Change can’t happen overnight; this is something that is ongoing.”

“We also pledge to do a lot more stuff with our staff. Whilst this was a very student-facing thing for me with this pledge, we have staff that can also be affected by mental health.”

Sheffield Hallam plans to improve the accessibility of support services as well as introducing online mental health self-help materials for students.

Speaking to the event Emmet, who signed the union’s pledge alongside President Emily Connor, said; “As you know, social activity plays a big role in our mental wellbeing. We are looking to make sure that students know that.”

As part of the pledge, the university and student union will be joining forces to run Time to Change roadshow events on two occasions during the next academic year.

MH postcard 1 Ghost

Another Time to Change postcard given at the event.

Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Liz Barnes, who signed the pledge, described it as an important initiative. “I think it is so hard to begin to understand [mental health issues] if you haven’t been there and we need to talk about it more and begin to understand.”

The signing was welcomed by many including NUS Vice-President (Welfare) Colum McGuire who said that it was great to see universities taking a step to change mental health.

“There’s the risk of isolation at university – that’s why it’s so important to do this work – to move forward to challenge the notion that seeking help is a weakness. To change the way we help students in need, and to create a new landscape for healthy campuses and healthy minds.”

[Originally published on:]

Sheffield band to go on tour with The Feeling.

The gentlemen baloons

Local Sheffield band, The Gentlemen, will be joining renowned British award-nominated pop-rock band, The Feeling, for a two-week tour this Tuesday.

The band met 8 years ago when working as session artists on a friend’s album. After meeting several more times at parties the group ultimately decided to come together to form The Gentlemen. Now having recently released their album, Departures, the group are set to start touring on Tuesday starting in Scotland.

Speaking about the upcoming tour, and the worries that the band may have, Sean tells me that unlike previous tours “we have no worries whatsoever.”

One thing they also tell me is that there is always the chance that the crowd will not like their music, but they aren’t too concerned; “the crowd seem nice.”

The band will perform 11 dates over 2 weeks, but they are especially excited to play Edinburgh where they have never been before. “We are also looking forward to play at KOKO club in London” Josh says “it’s such a prolific venue.”

When asked about what they want to show fans of The Feeling, Shaun says that “we want to show the crowd that we omit energy and that we don’t have any pretenses.”

It was when they were sat in a pub in The Peak District, exhausted, that the band discovered they had got the gig. “We had just finished filming the video for our new single, This is Where, sat in front of the fire with a pie and a pint when we got the call saying we had got the tour.”

Having received the news, everyone acted differently, especially Nicholas who said he went straight into “business mode” and he is only just starting to enjoy the tour experience as it draws closer; “It was totally out of the blue. I was made-up.”

Other than The Feeling, the group has been on tour with Jarvis Cocker and supported King Charles at last year’s Tramline festival in Sheffield. Nicholas also mentions how they have met The Saturdays twice, the first time being in Devon; “We were doing a Christmas light switch on and the girls were there too. They are really nice.”

Whilst on tour, The Gentlemen will be performing songs from their new album which was released in November via crowdsourcing.

The project, which was open for 90 days, was described by Josh as “very motivating”; “We didn’t know what to expect. It was lovely to see people pledging different amounts.” However, for Shaun the best part of the experience was that he did not have to wait and see how people would react to the album.

“We already knew the album would go well because of the support from crowdsourcing. You didn’t have to wait; the excitement was from the very first post on release day”

Having released 2 albums previously, Departures is the band’s favourite described by Joel as “pop-disco.” This is the album that follows a more pop route compared to other releases, but is “the album that we would like to be remembered for.”

The new single, This is Where, will be released on 27th April; “We wanted to try something a bit different. We wanted to put it out there and see who picks it up.”

[Originally published on

The healthy eating myth: A week of my life I will never get back.

Students are given a bad reputation for not eating ‘healthy’ food. One thing that I question is, should this really matter and if so why is it such a big deal?

An obvious answer would be that everyone needs to live a healthy lifestyle due to worrying levels of obesity in society etc, but, unless you have been a student or been in a scenario where you have  to survive on a certain amount of money, you cannot truly understand why what is deemed junk food, is the food of choice for many individuals.

Personally, I believe that the way in which a student eats isn’t an issue, unless there are already underlying health issues. I find that as long as someone has some form of active lifestyle as opposed to “couch potato syndrome” then food just fuels the day’s activities.

One reason why it is easier for students to choose “junk” is mainly due to price of the product. Fresh fruit and vegetables can often be expensive, especially from supermarkets. Not only this, but, healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables can quickly go off compared to other foods.

However, there are easy, cheap and healthy alternatives to junk snacks and meals meaning you are less likely to go for the dreaded pot noodle.
So, yes, students may eat food that makes society shudder, however, the main aim of a student is to survive meaning that there is time to worry about antioxidants when student life is far behind them.

With all of this in mind,  I decided that I should conduct a little experiment and eat healthily for a week to test whether or not I would find it beneficial.


An apple a day keeps the Doctor away. Right?

I know that in theory, a long lasting healthy diet would have long term effects and wouldn’t necessarily work straight away, none the less I decided to give it a go.

Firstly, I created a seven day meal plan so I knew what I was required to buy when I went shopping (shopping without a list can be dangerous as supermarkets and other areas are experts at getting you to spontaneously buy a product you wouldn’t want or need).

It should be said before I carry on, that this particular plan was one that was high in protein and low in fat with hardly any carbohydrates at all, this was due to the muscle building, fat burning, properties of the plan designed to benefit my gym activities. Not only this, but, this also acted as a fat detox for my body due to the overwhelming amount of junk I consumed over the two week Easter period.

So off I went with my list in hand, ready to buy exactly what was needed for my weekly experiment – knowing that my bill at the end of my shopping trip would be more than my usual £20 – £30 as most of my list was made of fresh produce. However, nothing could have prepared me for the £60.72 bill that I was handed  when I had finished my shop (I almost wept) around double what I was used to paying.

After picking myself up off of the shop floor, and telling myself (and my bank account) it was okay, I went home to begin my “healthy” lifestyle.

So what did I find out at the end of my seven days?

Nothing, nada, diddily squat.

The only difference was I felt less lethargic (this could have been psychosomatic), but, apart from that I found I was eating more, spending less time looking at pictures of cats online, instead looking at pictures of food ranging from anything from burgers to cakes and anything in between.

After completing the week, I have thrown the seven day strategy out of the window and welcomed carbs warmly back into my life.

As already mentioned, I truly believe that unless you live an unhealthy lifestyle already (involving more or less no exercise) then you shouldn’t really be worrying about your diet, unless of course you are eating McDonalds for breakfast, KFC for lunch and a whole cow for dinner.

[NB: Taken off of my old food blog, this was created in my first year at university. I have also combined two separate pieces of work into one.]

Quick and easy mushroom soup.

I remember when I made this recipe. It was during my first year at university and I had been craving soup all week.
It was then I decided to see if I could make a decent dish out of the abundance of mushrooms I had been left with.

Not only is this recipe cheap, it’s simple and takes 30 minutes or less.

soupPrep time – 10 minutes

Cooking time – 15 – 20 minutes


  • Large saucepan
  • Hand blender/Food processor
  • Wooden spoon
  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Measuring jug
  • 250 -300G mushrooms
  • 1 Large onion
  • 2 Large knobs of butter
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 500ML chicken stock (made with 2 stock cubes)
  • Salt and pepper.
  • Pinch of parsley


  1. Add butter to the pan.
  2. Chop garlic and onion.
  3. Add to the saucepan.
  4. Fry for 3 – 5 minutes.
  5. Whilst onions are cooking, chop the mushrooms.
  6. Add the mushrooms to the saucepan.
  7. Cook for a further 3 – 5 minutes.
  8. Add the stock to the pan and bring to boil.
  9. Add the salt, pepper and parsley.
  10. Allow to simmer for a further 5 minutes.
  11. Once simmered, bring the pan off the boil and blend using a hand food processor.
  12. Serve immediately.

Watching your mental health.

With 1 in 4 suffering a mental health issue it could easily be you.

In 2013, The National Union of Students (NUS) found that 74% of their research group of 1200 students experienced mental distress once a month or more, 20% considered themselves to have a mental health issue and 13% experienced suicidal thoughts.

During your time at University there are many things you have to do: make sure your work is in on time, balance both work and play and on top of that find the time to eat a decent meal.

There are many factors that can affect you mentally when you come to university including; stress such as financial worries, pressure to succeed and living way from home and support networks.

However, with 1 in 4 people suffering a mental health issue at one time or another, looking after your mental health should be high on your list of things to do.

Sheffield Hallam is believed to have over 37000 students – that’s around 9250 students who could possibly suffer a mental health issue.
This year 1200 Sheffield Hallam students registered for the university’s wellbeing centre – a 14% increase from the year before.

Ursula Klingel, Head of Wellbeing said; “Ask someone how they are feeling and let them know you are there to listen.”

“Try and ensure you have a healthy lifestyle – sleep well, eat well, don’t drink or smoke too much and be careful about drug usage.”

The most commonly sought service at SHU Wellbeing is individual counselling sessions which were accessed by over 500 students in the previous year.

The centre offers many other services including 1-1, group work and self-help as well as running campaigns to raise awareness of mental health issues throughout the year.
In October the service will get one of the Vice Chancellors to sign the Time to Change pledge for the university and then in February there is University Mental Health and Wellbeing day.

Keep an eye out for other people too. You may not experience any distress yourself, but with mental health issues being so common, someone close to you could very well be part of the 1 in 4.

Look out for changes in behaviours; Warning signs might be someone who was once very active and outgoing, is now reclusive and doesn’t want to get out bed; any signs of self-harming like excessive drinking/drug taking as well as signs of physical self harm such as cutting, burning etc.

Another indication that someone could be suffering mental distress is excessive stress, anxiety and panic attacks along with changes to a person’s eating patterns e.g. not eating and weight loss, excessive or compulsive eating, and being sick after food.

If you feel like yourself or someone you know might need help, remember that there are various services that available; University counselling, GP or university health services, voluntary sector services in community settings, helplines or online support such as Samaritans.

Paula Lavis, the Coordinator and Policy Lead for the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition has been running a project with the Paul Hamlyn Foundation; “The aim was to develop local projects which work with young people aged 16-25, to think about how mental health services should be delivered.” (