A note to the detractors of women’s sports

13 Oct

Having played competitive netball for most of my adolescent life, I’ve never doubted my freedom to enjoy team sports, regardless of whether they’re perceived to be ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’. But as Emma Watson reminded us in her opening #heforshe speech to the UN, some women often feel as though they shouldn’t play particular sports as they fear it will make them too muscly.

Some of my happiest memories growing up come from the netball court

Some of my happiest memories growing up come from the netball court

It’s disheartening yet unsurprising that such archaic views exist when people in positions of responsibility continue to perpetuate them in the media. Sports Minister Helen Grant suggested that the way to get more women into sports is through feminine activities like cheerleading and ballet, which make women look “absolutely radiant”.

John Inverdale wrenched the spotlight away from Marion Bartoli in July 2013 when she won the Wimbledon Women’s Singles Final, commenting on BBC Radio that the inspirational tennis player, who had just reached the pinnacle of her career, was ‘never going to be a looker’.

British artistic gymnast Beth Tweddle became the victim of online abuse in January when she participated in a Twitter Q&A session as part of promoting women’s sports, only to be met with derogatory insults such as ‘Are all sportswomen lesbians?’

Why is it that women are repeatedly reminded that their sporting endeavours are married to their appearance and their femininity?

46819_10151365110379836_1561084860_n

Playing the mixed-sex sport Korfball for Leeds university

Despite the fact that there are a multitude of female sporting idols making ground-breaking achievements in women’s sports, like England winning the Women’s Rugby World Cup or the fact that women won three quarters of the medals in the Sochi Olympics, old-fashioned views that competition and physical strength belong in a male arena continue to rear their ugly head.

Playing sports means different things to different people. Some relish the opportunity to make friends and invest in a team goal. Others take the opportunity to set themselves personal targets and see how far they can push their mental grit and physical strength. Most enjoy the powerful endorphin rush that’s released during strenuous exercise, which brings them back to the netball court, football pitch or athletics track- even after the most bitter of defeats.

To the detractors of women’s sports: stop robbing women of these worthwhile enjoyments and replacing them with your bigoted ideas about what it means to be a woman. You never know, when sportswomen are at the peak of their game, sweating buckets, in the zone, determined to win- that’s the moment they’ll be feeling ‘absolutely radiant’.

How to save money when you head back to university

27 Sep

For many students, returning to university in September can prove quite a shock after a whole Summer of home comforts and help from Mum and Dad.

Listing site wrappler.com quizzed parents whose children were about to leave for university, asking them what items they bought and for what price. The study found that mums and dads spend an average of £1215.54 on equipping their teenagers for heading away from home on items such as a new laptop, bedding and new cookware.

So with the bank of Mum and Dad thoroughly exhausted, when the student loans come in, you’ll want to make sure you spend those precious pennies as wisely as possible before resorting to your overdraft too early in the new term. Here are some useful ways to save money early in semester one:

Food and drink

 If you’re planning on getting a take-away with your new housemates, check out hungryhouse’s latest deal. They’re offering every single student in the UK 25% discount on a takeaway order. Enter your name and university email address into their Feeding Freshers Portal any time before 5th October and they will send you your discount code.

Screen Shot 2014-09-27 at 08.55.17

For your Fresher’s week pre-drinks, head to Tescos as they’re offering multi-packs of beer, lager and cider at 2 for £20. Sorted!

If you love student cooking, but aren’t quite ready for Great British Bake-Off yet and you fancy the chance to win £1000 worth of groceries, check out Bacofoil’s new competition. Screen Shot 2014-09-27 at 08.58.19

All you have to do is upload a picture of your signature home-cooked student meal to Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #BacofoilStudentCook before 31st December to be in with a chance of attending the final cook-off and winning the grand prize. Entries will be judged by presentation skills and creativity of the dish.

Finally, check out Heinz’s new range of delicious beans and pulses. They’re different from the usual student staple of ordinary baked beans, with a variety of new flavours and chunkier textures to help make your meals more varied. But they still take minimal preparation time- great for when you’re working on a deadline. I added the Tuscan beans to a sausage hotpot and it was just what I needed after a long day studying in the confines of the cold library! Screenshot_2014-09-16-10-03-25-1

Home supplies

Instead of heading to your student union’s shop for overpriced stationary every time your pens run out, why not bulk-buy essential items at the start of the year? I got mega-packs of pens, tea towels, scourers and more from Viking at seriously competitive prices- and I’m stocked up and ready to go for the year ahead.

Screenshot_2014-09-26-12-00-28-1     Screenshot_2014-09-26-12-00-52-1 Screenshot_2014-09-26-12-01-13-1

Freebies and discounts

Walking through campus during Fresher’s week can sometimes feel like an information overload. All you wanted to do was meet your friends for lunch, but instead you’re being harangued to join the choir, sign up to the Marxist society or become a student ambassador. Screenshot_2014-09-26-21-16-42-1

Not to mention the inadvertent game of dodgeball you have to play while swerving all the leaflets being thrusted in your personal space.

While I’ve politely nodded and subsequently thrown many of these leaflets into the recycling bin, some of them have been worth keeping. I’ve had vouchers for free drinks at The Library Pub, Leeds, numerous helpings of free Dominoes pizza, a buy one get one free voucher for the Hyde Park Picturehouse and 30% off my total bill at The Handmade Burger Company. So think twice before you say no to campus leaflets…

Transport

Screen Shot 2014-09-27 at 09.11.15If you’re living out of town this year and are weighing up whether to pay hundreds of pounds for an annual bus pass, do some research into university bike hire. The University of Leeds offers bike rental for £35 a semester, which is practically theft when you consider that the average single bus ticket costs £2.20. Cycling to uni is a great way not only to save money, but to stay fit and active during the year.

For weekends travelling home and visiting friends at their universities, don’t forget to renew your 16-25 student railcard, which costs £30 for one year or £70 for three, giving you a third off all rail journeys in the UK.

                                                  Entertainment 

46819_10151365110379836_1561084860_nWant to try something new to bond with your flatmates? Most universities run Give It A Go sessions for their clubs and societies, so that students can dip their toe in the water without buying full memberships. For example, why not try Vertical Fitness’s Give It A Go pole-dancing and acrobatic circus skills session, for just £2? Or try a new sport by visiting the free Korfball Give It A Go on the 15th October.

If you’d like to get out of town for a day or two, The University of Leeds also runs regular day and weekend trips around the beautiful surrounding countryside and the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and most trips are under £20. There’s no excuse not to dive in!

  Shopping

While many students will rely on their student cards for a 10% discount in many high street shops, it’s worth considering getting an additional NUS card for £12, as it comes with a variety of extra discounts, like 25% off at National Express and 10% off The Co-Operative Food.

Once the student loans come in and you’re raring to go on a shopping trip, consider checking out the wide variety of charity shops, thrift shops and vintage clothing shops around town. I’ve started to venture into these recently and have found some really distinctive pieces for affordable price tags.

Screenshot_2014-09-26-11-47-47-1

American college cardi, £14, Pop Boutique

10 ways to decorate your student digs on a budget

15 Sep

It’s that time of year again. You’re ordering your course books, stocking up on baked beans and squeezing boxes into the car before descending upon your beloved student towns and cities. It might be the first time you’re flying the nest or the last time you’ll be making that familiar journey down the motorway. Whatever the case- most student digs could use a little TLC to go from downright shabby to shabby chic.

Here are ten ways to get creative and decorate your student digs on a budget: without losing your all-important deposits.

Photo hangings

Most students stick a collage of their favourite photos on the wall with blue-tack or selotape. But this can get frustrating when photos fall on your face in the middle of the night, or when your landlord charges you at the end of the year for peeling off bits of the wallpaper. Making photo hangings is a cheap and unique way to display photos of your loved ones without the extra fuss.

You will need:

 Screenshot_2014-09-14-18-14-22-1

Ribbon (I got mine from Samuel Taylor’s fabric shop in Leeds, 3 for £1)

Paint (I used a Dulux tester pot in Coral Flair from Wilkinson’s, £1.55)

Wooden clothes pegs (Mine were 90p from Wilkinson’s)

Push pins (300 for 75p at Wilko’s)

All-purpose strong glue (I got mine from Leeds University Union- great to have around the house for the rest of the year)

Directions:

Lay out scrap paper or newspaper on a flat surface and paint the clothes pegs. 
Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 11.57.05

Stand them on their end and leave them to dry for a couple of hours.

Glue the dry clothes pegs to the ribbon, leaving enough space for a photo in between each peg.

Pin the string of pegs to the wall in your bedroom, lounge or kitchen and start pinning your favourite photos, tickets and memorabilia to your gorgeous new wall hangings.

Screenshot_2014-09-11-10-34-41-1 Screenshot_2014-09-11-10-35-54-1 Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 12.03.59

Screenshot_2014-09-11-10-27-37-1

Plus- if you have any clothes pegs left over you can glue them to cork boards or stick them on the fridge with blue tack.

Grab some home bargains at Wilkinson’s

While I was shopping in Wilko’s for the photo hanging materials, I stumbled across some other unmissable bargains. Check out this mantel clock that was on sale for £2, and these photo frames for £1 each:

                    Screenshot_2014-09-11-10-26-20-1 Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 11.56.34

Jam-jar tea lights

Tie any leftover ribbon from the photo hangings around some used jam-jars, and then place a tea light in each one to make some vintage-style lanterns. You can find multi-packs of tea lights in Primark for £1. Gorgeous!

Screenshot_2014-09-11-10-30-54-1

Load your sofas with throws and cushions

To make your student lounge feel like a cosy den, make sure each housemate brings along a couple of throws and old cushions and load them onto your sofas. It saves you staring at stains on the sofas all year and is a great way to create a homely feel for movie nights throughout the year. Primark have a great ‘British cushions’ range starting at £4.

Screenshot_2014-09-11-10-29-11-1 Screenshot_2014-09-11-10-28-22-1

Bunting

This is the home touch to make Mary Berry proud. Bunting is a great way to give your home that quintessentially British-vintage-garden-party feel without splashing out on Cath Kidston accessories. You can make your own with fabric from haberdashery shops or buy some from Amazon or Tescos.

Screenshot_2014-09-11-10-31-28-1

Flags and fairy lights

When I arrived at my new student pad I needed to find a way to cover up my bedroom walls which were dotted with chips and blue-tack stains from the previous tenants (They should have made photo hangings…) I mounted some flags from my study abroad year on my wall and hooked some fairy lights over the push pins at the top. I got my flags from various markets in America, but you can find hundreds of flags from your favourite countries on eBay and Amazon, or from Sports Direct if you don’t want to pay for postage.

Screenshot_2014-09-11-10-25-36-1

Pop into Paperchase for quirky finds

Many of my decorations in my new student house are from Paperchase. It’s not usually the cheapest stationary shop, but there are some items worth checking out. I’ve used their vintage London tube map wrapping paper as a poster, and some of their postcards as wall decorations.

                   Screenshot_2014-09-11-10-29-55-1 10690327_10154601428045113_4105743824401138810_n

Personalised letters

I found these sweet decorative letters In Leeds University Union’s CATS shop. They’re great to stick on walls and fridges, or to put in birthday cards as initials for doors and belongings. If you don’t want to pay 20p for each letter, make them yourself with cardboard or leftover bunting material.

901245_10152814098855113_304022886_o

Wine bottle candles

I admired these wine bottle candles while on holiday in Crete last summer. Just place a taper candle of your desired colour and fragrance into the top of a used wine bottle (or coke bottle, spirit bottle or any used glass bottles you’re bound to have lying around the house…) and let the wax drip down the sides for a cool layering effect. Add some more when you fancy another colour! Cheap taper candles are available from Wilko’s.

Screenshot_2014-09-14-17-17-05-1  Screenshot_2014-09-14-17-17-45-1

Bean tin plant-pots

The next time you’re inhaling a hungover helping of beans on toast in the morning, boil the kettle and leave the tin to soak in hot soapy water. When the water has cooled down, scrub the label from the tin and dry. You can use the tin as a plant pot, or if you have any paint left over from the photo hangings, paint the tin your desired colour first.

Screenshot_2014-09-14-17-26-31-1

5 transferable skills that will boost your career in journalism

5 Sep

Thinking about a career in journalism? You might already have what it takes

When you apply for a position in journalism, there are a number of career-specific requirements that employers will be looking for. A diverse portfolio of articles, experience working in a newsroom and shorthand proficiency are some of the essentials that make for a killer CV.

But if you’re moving into journalism from another career path, don’t despair. Here are five transferable skills you might already have that could help boost your CV to the top of the pile:

Communication skills

This truly is the pièce de résistance. The clincher. The bottom line that any interviewer will want to know: how well can you communicate what you want to say?

The first requirement under this umbrella term is verbal and conversational skills. Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 11.21.25

When you find a story that you desperately want to get published, you’ll need to be able to articulate your ideas to your editor and explain them coherently. Then, when you’re working on that story, conducting interviews and making contacts, you’re going to have to be clear, concise- and preferably, slightly charming- in order to get the information you need as quickly as possible and leave a lasting impression with those you interact with.

Remember- it is always better to ring people for information or interviews- don’t hide behind emails as your main communication channel.

It also helps if you can communicate a degree of emotional intelligence. You’re bound to be working on stories that surround sensitive topics, and it helps if you convey sensitivity and understanding when interviewing people and writing your final piece.

That brings me to the second requirement, which is writing skills. Writing is at the core of journalism, whether you’re looking at a role in digital or print, and there’s no way around the old-school necessity of high-quality fluency, grammar and punctuation.

Touch-typing

As a third of UK bosses say they won’t hire someone unless they can touch type, and 42% of people type with just one or two fingers, being able to touch-type is an invaluable skill you’ll want to flaunt on your application. 

The Telegraph offices, London

The Telegraph offices, London

Journalists are often typing, whether it’s researching stories, typing up interviews or frantically bashing the keys on deadline day, so speeding up your typing time will make you a more efficient candidate.

If you’re still prodding the keyboard with your index fingers, check out Microsoft’s latest #TypingMatters campaign that is offering free touch-typing software downloads, so that you can become more employable from the comfort of your own home.

Data Analysis

Did you notice how knowledgeable I sounded with those typing statistics? Quoting clear and accurate data in news reports is a great way to use solid evidence to support any claim.

As a journalist you’ll receive endless amounts of press releases containing various facts and figures, and it helps if you know how best to use them in order to validate what you’re trying to say.

Multi-media proficiency

In the digital age, not only is it essential to master emails, images, Word, Power-point, Excel and all the other traditional tech programs, but now you’re going to have to show an aptitude for videos, gifs, sound clips, listicles, clickbait, Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and so on.  viewpointsheader

But employers don’t just want to see a list of all the programs and media outlets you can use. They want you to show that you know when it’s best to use different forms of media for each given situation, and to be able to explain how a certain type of media will best enhance your particular story.  

Research skills

Often, what makes a news story so interesting to read is the fact that it’s an exclusive. An undiscovered treasure that you got to before anyone else. In order to find a truly unique story you’ll need top-notch research skills to unearth information sources and the persistence to keep pursuing your story, even when key contacts fall silent. 

If you’re having a slow news day and want to impress your editor with a story of your own, try using www.topsy.com to search and analyse the social web, or to find out what’s trending near you.

Dispelling the myths of solo travel: the Trek America trip that changed my life

29 Aug

I’d been living in South Carolina on my study abroad exchange year and was about to leave the East coast for the first time. I’d decided to end my year abroad in the familiar South with a Trek America trip exploring the West coast, and the time had finally come to start making preparations for my Western adventure

It was time to swap the life I'd made for myself in South Carolina for a plunge into the unknown...

It was time to swap the life I’d made for myself in South Carolina for a plunge into the unknown…

In the final days before I set off for California, Arizona and Nevada, I went into over-drive. I bought mini scissors, nail files and plasters. Antiseptic liquid, Savlon and a giant tub of painkillers. Not to mention travel-sickness pills, hay-fever tablets, Gaviscon, Dioralyte and Bongela. I bought snap hooks and bungee cords for my bag, a highly-necessary camping seat and almost every travel-sized item on sale at my local pharmacy.

I thought that stocking up for the travel apocalypse would prepare me for anything. Downsizing one thing and compartmentalising another was all part of managing the anxieties I had about travelling around the West Coast with a group of people I’d never met. 

On the first morning of the trip we gathered at 7am in our hotel lobby and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the overwhelming majority of the group had also booked the trip alone. I was about to start exploring Western America with a group of like-minded Brits, Danes, Swedes, Austrians and Koreans who wanted to see the world and learn about other cultures just as much as I did. 

We spent our first day riding bikes around San Diego

We spent our first day riding bikes around San Diego

Our first road trip from LA to San Diego was spent having enthusiastic and curious chats with each other about our respective home countries. By the time we arrived at Mission Beach, I’d learned about the trials of being a woman in the Danish military, what it’s like to slaughter a chicken for dinner in Kenya, the experience of being an Austrian au pair in Washington DC and how to say ‘Hello, my name is Eveie’ in Korean. The minivan was brimming with interesting conversation and stories from all over the world that made me buzz with anticipation for the two weeks ahead. 

#roadtripselfie

#roadtripselfie

The group only grew closer with every new experience we shared. By day two we were sharing supplies, by day three we all had nicknames for each other, by day six we were having singing sessions in the mini-van and by day eight we’d had our first hilariously blurry night out together in Vegas. Any cultural differences that set us apart were quickly overcome by the wealth of new experiences that we were discovering together each day.

It’s safe to say that when you cook, eat, sleep and travel with a group of people you’ve just met, you don’t remain strangers to each other for very long. It was a good job, too, because while we were road-tripping through the Arizona desert, I caught a vicious stomach bug that none of the medication I’d brought with me could have cured. 

6 hours of road, a plastic bag, and a bad case of gastroenteritis make for a toxic mix

6 hours of road, a plastic bag, and a bad case of gastroenteritis make for a toxic mix

After an entire afternoon launching myself out of the minibus to vomit on yet another helpless Joshua Tree, we arrived in Lake Havasu, Arizona. The sun was setting over the stunning lake and casting an orange glow around the campsite. Weak, exhausted, and pretty delirious, I got out the van and curled up in a ball on the grass. 

Eating that last fateful turkey sandwich with the group, before it all went downhill...

Eating that last fateful turkey sandwich with the group, before it all went downhill…

When I opened my eyes the group had put my sleeping bag over me, brought me a bottle of water and set up my tent. They’d set aside some food in case I got hungry and dug out the paracetamol from the bottom of my rucksack. I’d started to worry that they’d never come near me again after being sick in such a confined space all afternoon, but the gang went out of their way to put me at ease and look out for me when I found myself seriously ill so far away from home. 

I’m not sharing my run-in with gastroenteritis as a cautionary tale. Anyone can catch a stomach bug whether they’re at home, on the road, travelling alone or travelling with friends. I’m sharing my nauseating story because it’s a great example of the unspoken understanding that occurs between solo travellers. It’s a kind of team spirit and a commonality that says, ‘We’re all in this together.’

DSC03060

Playing beer bowling at the campsite in Yosemite National Park

By the end of the trip, we’d become so comfortable in each others’ company that my initial pre-departure anxieties seemed like a million miles away. We’d carried each others’ rucksacks when we got tired, we never moaned about camp duties and we’d created a new Facebook group to keep in touch before we said some painful goodbyes.  

Riding in the Party Bus in Vegas

Riding in the Party Bus in Vegas

American philosopher John Dewey once said, “We do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience.” It wasn’t until I returned home from my Trek America tour and began to reflect on my travels that I realised just how much the experience had changed me. 

On returning home I started to notice that my social habits had changed. Having learned new things about each of my Trekmates every day of the trip, I’ve come to realise that every person has a unique story sitting below the surface. I’ve become a more inquisitive conversationalist (and journalist) who loves meeting new people and learning about a different life perspective.

Cuddles with Penn & Teller

Cuddles with Penn & Teller

Spending 11 nights camping in American deserts and national parks has also made me less fussy. I’ve become less preoccupied with all the little, insignificant things like what to wear, whether to wear make-up and how many calories are in my food, and more bothered about the bigger things in life, like keeping in touch with old friends, making time for people and keeping my phone tucked away in my handbag when I go to dinner. It’s safe to say that being accepted by a group of people after I’d thrown up in front of them, multiple times, in the middle of the Arizona desert, gave me a kind of inner confidence to know that despite everything, I must be kind of okay… 

The best view I've ever seen in my life, in Yosemite

Enjoying the best view I’ve ever seen in my life, in Yosemite

Finally, being on a Trek tour has brought out a get-up-and-go approach to life that I never knew I had. Having travelled through three states in two weeks with 13 new people, I’ve realised that the best experiences in life are the ones that test you, challenge you and push you out of your comfort zone. I thought I’d be returning home yearning for familiar home comforts- but the Westerner 2 tour has left me feeling open to change and longing for yet more new experiences.

Travelling around some of America’s most renowned tourist destinations- the Grand Canyon, Yosemite National park and Las Vegas to name a few- is a huge excursion in itself. Committing to that trip with a bunch of strangers I’d never met felt even bigger. When it turned out to be straightforward, uncomplicated, safe, secure and of course, the trip of a lifetime, I was overjoyed. But I was utterly ecstatic that I’d departed for the West Coast expecting to gain new life experiences, and ended up gaining 13 hilarious, fun, and interesting new friends along the way. 

I arrived home after a year in America feeling accomplished and confident, with a million stories to tell

Up-and-coming women’s magazine is turning heads in Liverpool

27 Aug

As a long-established blogger and columnist, I’ve managed to pester enough magazines, websites and PR companies to publish my writing over the years. Many students looking to elbow their way in to the blogging world and boost their CVs often ask me for recommendations for who they could submit their work to. I’d like to endorse an up-and-coming women’s magazine in Liverpool that showcases a whole variety of women’s artistic creations.

Heroine Zine's lovable logo

Heroine Zine’s lovable logo

Heroine Magazine, affectionately known as Heroine Zine, was set up just over a year ago by two creative writing graduates, Abi Inglis and Phoebe Dunnett, both 22,  from Liverpool John Moores University. They publish anything that comments on the female experience and explores the history of women’s culture. The duo don’t just publish work from women, though- as they believe that ingenuity and flair are genderless attributes.

Heroine Zine's Issue 3

Heroine Zine’s Issue 3

What started as a Summer project at university and has grown into a print magazine that highlights women’s creativity, ranging from poetry, prose, photography, art and articles. The duo have enjoyed numerous successes over the past year, from holding open mic nights in the city centre, gaining a loyal band of worldwide subscribers and even hosting their very own festival in Chavasse Park, Liverpool One.

Abi said: “We’re so passionate about Liverpool and all the fantastic creative projects that are happening here. We love to support the women involved in these and help provide a space where they can create and perform.”

The magazine even has ‘manifesta’ of principles that outlines the wholesome ethos of its editors. Phoebe explained: “We feature all types of creativity that celebrates women exactly as they are. We want to be the type of magazine that doesn’t feature airbrushing, body-shaming or product placements. Just creative ingenuity.”

Heroine Fest in Chavasse Park, Liverpool One

HeroineFest in Chavasse Park, Liverpool One

HeroineFest in Chavasse Park was a particular highlight for the pair, who brought workshops, discussion groups, stalls and live music to the top of Liverpool One. Many other creative women’s groups from the North West attended the festival, including the Lady Parts Theatre Company, Queen of the Track Zine and a female Beatles tribute band, The Beatelles.

Abi said: “We wanted to celebrate some of the awesome women we know in Liverpool and the North West. It was a great day and we got some fantastic feedback from the public.”

“Having HeroineFest take place in Chavasse Park, a very public space in the middle of Liverpool One, really showed us how open and welcoming people were about the idea of having a women’s arts and culture magazine in the city.”

The editors are now taking submissions for issue 4, which will be published in October. To get in touch, visit facebook.com/heroinemagazine or email heroinemagazine@hotmail.com

Liverpool community helps dying fan’s wish to visit Anfield come true

26 Aug
A couple that launched a Twitter campaign to help grant their dying friend’s last wish to visit Anfield have had their prayers answered by the people of Liverpool. 
Colin Hawes, Reds fan who has 2-6 motnhs to live

Colin Hawes, Reds fan who has 2-6 months to live

 
Erhan Sahin, 25, and Lucy Dance, 27, created the hashtag #helpsidgotoanfield after they found out that one of their closest friends has only 2-6 months to live.
 
Colin Hawes, 51, also known as Sid, is a loyal customer at Erhan and Lucy’s pub in Middlesex, where he never misses watching Liverpool games. He recently suffered a stroke and was diagnosed with a brain tumour and terminal lung cancer.
 
Since launching the Twitter campaign the couple have been inundated with calls, texts, emails and Tweets from the Liverpool community with ticket offers and donations to help the cause.
 
Erhan said: “We’ve had around 30-40 offers from people all over Liverpool. We’re absolutely overwhelmed by the generosity.”
 
“A Liverpool Dad phoned me and told me that he’d just bought four tickets for his family to see a game, and they’ve never been before.”

“But then his 14-year-old son read about Sid’s story in the Echo and told his Dad to give away the tickets. It brought tears to my eyes.”
 
The couple have gratefully accepted an offer from the ticket company @Match_Ticket_NOTOUTS who have set aside three tickets for the Liverpool vs Aston Villa game on September 13.
 
The company have also booked the trio in for two nights at a hotel and have arranged for them to enjoy a stadium tour before the game.
 
A spokesperson for @Match_Ticket told the Echo: “Money isn’t everything. It’s just nice to give something back to someone who will really benefit from visiting Anfield, life’s hard enough as it is.”
 
Since creating a second hashtag, #helpsidmeethisteam, 80-year-old Alex Stewart from Liverpool, who is enjoying his 72nd season watching the mighty reds, has contacted the couple and offered to arrange for Sid to meet the players at the Aston Villa game.
 
Erhan added: “I know how passionate people are about football and it’s touching that so many people from the Liverpool community have been so willing to give up a special occasion for Sid.”
 
“We’re excited and nervous to announce the big news to Sid the next time he comes to the pub.”

I originally wrote this story for the Liverpool Echo, it can be viewed here.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,591 other followers

%d bloggers like this: