A music release by students has entered the Music Week Commercial Pop Club Chart, one of the UK’s most important club charts, at number 30, and is expected to climb higher in the next few weeks.

Get Over It by Ali Reece x Joe Jennings was created entirely by students taking Music programmes at the University and is accompanied by an extensive package of student remixes, which have helped propel it into this prestigious chart featuring the likes of Sigala and Becky Hill.

·      The ‘sleeve’ image for Get Over It by Ali Reece x Joe Jennings.

The project was started by Music Production Programme Leader Jim Mason, after unexpected success in the same chart with a student project back in 2018. 

Jim said: I heard (singer and songwriter) Ali’s downtempo ballad about the struggles of moving on after the end of a relationship and I knew that talented producer Joe could turn it into an incredible pop-dance crossover, and he did.”

With such confidence in the track, a video was made and students on the Remixing module contributed the remixes that have helped make the package so attractive to DJs. 

Jim added: “Students on our Remixing module have worked so hard to get great quality remixes accepted for the package, so there is so much student talent on show here.”

Ali, who is 22 and from Torbay, South Devon, said: “This track is the first one I’ve ever collaborated with anyone on, and working with Joe on it has been really fun. We both work really well together, and have new tracks in the pipeline.

Ali Reece

“Seeing Get Over It enter the Music Week Commercial Pop Club Chart was a surreal moment, knowing people are liking our track is so fulfilling, and for me feels like a hugely positive step in the right direction for establishing myself as a singer-songwriter.”

Joe, 20, from near Wem, Shropshire, added: “Similarly to Ali, this is also the first collaboration I’ve been a part of. We’ve both spent so much time on this track and it’s an absolutely amazing feeling knowing that clubs around the UK are playing the track enough for it to enter the Commercial Pop Club Chart. Even though this is our first track together it’s doing really well so far, so I can’t wait to release more tracks with Ali.”

Joe Jennings

The track has already had extensive exposure on radio, including Chester’s Dee Radio, and is gathering steam as a result of this latest club chart success. 

The lead single and remixes are available on Spotify and Apple Music.

To watch the video, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ct2TgWeST-o.

The club chart where the single enters at number 30 can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxJUTxZz1eA (Get Over It can be seen from about six minutes into the video). The new charts, which are updated Friday evening, every week, can also be followed from: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8O8dQFsLd_rhmmavsw37cA.

Chester residents, visitors, their canine companions, well-known sights and secret gems are all featured in an uplifting series of photographs by students on display around the city.

Celebrating and working with the Chester community, the students’ work can be seen at some of the city’s favourite spots, until March 31.

The Second Year students studying Photography at the University have worked in small groups to produce six distinctive exhibitions. One online exhibition complements the five city centre displays, giving a wider audience the opportunity to see the snapshot of Cheshire life.

  • Sarah Flanagan, Anna Carter and Loerie Williams made portraits of members of the public in Chester for their exhibition A Sign That You Matter, now on show at the Forum Shopping Centre.
  • Sally Elphick and Isabel Reynolds’ exhibition Dogs Out and About pictures canine friends who regularly walk along the riverside and is displayed on the Bandstand.
  • Mick Roberts and Joe Thomas collaborated with the Chester Photographic Survey, documenting the Rows to produce their exhibition Un-familiar which is presented in the Forum Shopping Centre.
  • Emily Johnson, Simon Hyde, Emily Whitehead and Josh Shaw worked with Zuger’s of Chester to produce their exhibition Our Hidden City currently on display on the café’s walls.
  • Jane Evans and Danny Ho joined with market stall holders in Chester Market to produce their exhibition Trading Places, being showcased in the Forum Shopping Centre.
  • Hannah Thomas, James Moore, Izzy Wedgewood and Lucas Cannon worked with Alexander’s Live to promote and celebrate the live venue in Chester. Their work can be seen at @alexanderslivephotos on Instagram.

Dr Tracy Piper-Wright, Senior Lecturer in Photography and Deputy Head of Art and Design at the University of Chester, said: “As part of their learning, the students work together, with members of the public, local groups and businesses to make an exhibition and display it in the centre of Chester.

“This is something we do every year, except 2021 when the pandemic made this impossible, so it’s great to be out in the city centre again. The students have showcased Chester, its places, people and canine friends beautifully. Thank you to everyone who has worked with us – and we hope people really enjoy seeing the images across the city.”

She added: “For those who would like to see more, who aren’t in Chester this month, have an interest in photography, the city, Alexander’s Live or live music and venues in general, do also make sure to check out the online exhibition in this series.”

Do you have an exciting business idea that you are ready to take to the next level but need some support that is a little bit different? If so, the Venture Adventure might just be for you.

The lovely people at Santander Universities UK are giving students a unique opportunity to develop their entrepreneurial spirit in Almeria, Spain. Over four adventurous days, students will challenge and develop their thinking, meet with local entrepreneurs, and participate in some exciting challenges.

To take part in the Venture Adventure, all you need to do is complete a simple application form outlining your business idea and why you would benefit from the experience. Good luck!

To apply, click here.

Almeria, Spain

A group of students have stepped forward to improve an area of the Peak District as part of their commitment to making a positive impact on the environment.

The volunteers are part of the University of Chester’s Welly Wednesday project that encourages students to become more involved with outdoor volunteering. Each month an activity is organised that will benefit both the community and the environment.

Rhianydd Stock and Cerith Pierce in the Peak District with fellow student volunteers from the University of Chester’s Welly Wednesday project.
Rhianydd Stock (third/fourth from left with arms up) and Cerith Pierce (first on right) in the Peak District with fellow student volunteers from the University of Chester’s Welly Wednesday project.

The idea of volunteering in the Peak District came from a suggestion by the students to take Welly Wednesdays out of the city and to raise its profile in conservation circles. After carrying out research the group discovered a volunteering programme in the Peak District and got in touch.

The group helped with building steps on a footpath near the Wincle Brewery in the Peak District, in an activity organised by the Peak Park Conservation Volunteers.

The Welly Wednesday project is a student-run volunteer project, led by two students Rhianydd Stock and Cerith Pierce, who are supported by the University’s Volunteering and Mentoring Team.

The students built steps that transformed a rather steep muddy challenge into an easily navigable footpath for walkers and their dogs. Dave Cramp of the Peak Park Conservation Volunteers, facilitated the day where the students helped to improve the footpath rising above the River Dane.

Using spades and mattocks the team dug steps into the mud before placing, pinning and stapling treated timber to shore up the steps.

Rhianydd said: “We wanted to expand our network and volunteer with groups beyond the Chester region. The Peak District was a chance to get out of the city and enjoy the outdoors at its best.”

Jo Morison, Volunteer and Mentoring Manager at the University of Chester, said: “We’re so proud to see our students making such a difference to the environment. “Welly Wednesday activities are such a great way to bring people together and learn new skills with the added bonus of a positive outcome at the end.”

Students from University Centre Shrewsbury are organising a charity cake trail taking people on a whistle-stop tour of the town’s best bakeries and cafes this March.

Everyone taking part can sample a cake at each stop on the trail, being held in aid of Lingen Davies Cancer Fund on Saturday, March 12. They will also have the chance to score each of the cakes they try, to determine the People’s Choice Baker of Shrewsbury 2022.

The three Events and Festivals Management students wanted to create a fun event for people of all ages, as well as drumming up support for some of Shrewsbury’s businesses.

From left to right, Shrewsbury Cake Trail organisers, UCS students Billie Taylor, Beth Jones and Lucy Bance.
From left to right, Shrewsbury Cake Trail organisers, UCS students Billie Taylor, Beth Jones and Lucy Bance.

Beth Jones, from the trio, said: “After all the lockdowns and restrictions of the last two years, we felt a new event would help to promote the town’s brilliant bakers and cafés.

“This will be a fun-filled day out in Shrewsbury’s town centre, enjoying delicious cakes and treats. We are aiming to welcome around 250 attendees throughout the day, who will all be given a welcome pack at the start of the trail, including a booklet containing information about the chosen bakeries and their checkpoints on a detailed route, a wooden fork, a napkin and a wristband.”

Fellow student and organiser, Billie Taylor further explained: “The seven bakeries announced so far, which include The Shed and Cafe on the Cop, will become designated checkpoints, where each attendee will receive a small slice of cake and will get their booklet stamped by a volunteer.

“Inside the booklet there will also be a scoring card which will ask attendees to rate and score the cakes received at each checkpoint based on factors such as looks, taste and consistency.”

After the trail, the events team will announce the People’s Choice Baker of Shrewsbury.

All proceeds from the Shrewsbury Cake Trail will be donated to Lingen Davies Cancer Fund. The student team’s Lucy Bance added: “Lingen Davies is a local charity close to our hearts. They ensure that people from the community who might be facing cancer are given the best possible support. We really want to raise as much money as we can for this important local charity.”

Tickets will be released soon, priced at £12.50. For more updates, including when tickets will be available, please visit: http://www.theshrewsburycaketrail.co.uk or email: theshrewsburycaketrail@gmail.com. Further information can also be found on Facebook and Instagram by following @theshrewsburycaketrail.

Students are hosting a Pink Party in aid of Breast Cancer Now, the research and care charity.

Zim Events – which has been set up by four Events Management students – has organised the pink-themed evening at the Bouverie Bar, Chester, on Wednesday February 9.

Left to right: Students Alice Cherrington, Charlie Halewood and Anna Farrington from the Zim Events team. (Not pictured Grace Pugh.)
Left to right: Students Alice Cherrington, Charlie Halewood and Anna Farrington from the Zim Events team. (Not pictured Grace Pugh.)

The Pink Party promises to be a fun evening for all guests, and includes a live DJ, entertainment, a ‘pink’ cake sale, and raffle with some amazing prizes.

Doors open from 6.30pm until 11pm and the recommended dress code is ‘something pink’.

Tickets are available online and on the door, and are only £3, plus a booking fee if purchased online, which includes a free glass of pink lemonade on arrival.

Taking place just after the awareness-raising World Cancer Day, the event aims to raise money and awareness for Breast Cancer Now, a charity that contributes to worldwide vital research into breast cancer and is powered by offering life-changing support to those affected. The charity opened the UK’s first research centre dedicated entirely to breast cancer and continues research into how to prevent the disease.

Grace Pugh, Team Leader of Zim Events said: “We are extremely excited to be given the opportunity to raise awareness and money for Breast Cancer Now, a really special charity that impacts so many lives. We are honoured to represent the charity at our event.”

Anna Hadjivassiliou, Community Fundraising Executive for Breast Cancer Now added: “Thank you for supporting this event as this helps to raise awareness of breast cancer and the need to check regularly, as well as helping to support those living with breast cancer and their families.”

Every year around 55,000 women and 370 men are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK. Whilst recovery rates are increasing year-on-year, there is still work to do in educating women, and men, to check regularly.

Tickets for The Pink Party are available in advance via the website, https://uocpinkparty.wixsite.com/website, or on the door at the Bouverie Bar, Garden Lane, on the night.

For any queries, please contact the team by emailing: uocpinkparty@gmail.com. To keep up to date and find more information on The Pink Party, please follow the @uocpinkparty social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram.

A free screening and Question and Answer session with the director of a film described as a love letter to Granada is being hosted by the University’s Department of Languages and Cultures this month.

Students and the public are invited to see Granada Nights, showing from 11am at Storyhouse in Chester, followed by an hour-long Q&A with the director and producer, Abid Khan, on Thursday January 20.

The award-winning film tells the story of a British tourist who is stuck in Granada, Spain, with a broken heart. Feeling lost and abandoned, he befriends a group of young foreigners and crashes into the heart of the international student scene.

He pushes himself out of his comfort-zone and tries to restart his life but behind every corner is a reminder of his ex-girlfriend and his struggle to find closure.

As Abid will discuss further at the event, the film mixes documentary with fiction to create a real and authentic heartfelt examination on the process of self-discovery and an insight into intercultural experience and communication.

Reviewers have described it as “ambitious”, “stylish”, “emotional” and a “charming, beautifully poetic directorial debut”.

For further details about the screening at Chester’s multi award-winning cultural centre, please visit: https://www.storyhouse.com/event/granada-nights.

The Development and Alumni Relations Office (DARO) has an exciting opportunity for an Art and Design student to produce the front cover artwork for the 2022 issue of alumni magazine, ACH1EVE

ACH1EVE is the official magazine for University of Chester graduates and alumni, which is sent annually to thousands of subscribers around the world, and also available to download on the alumni website. The ACH1EVE Prize gives you the opportunity to create artwork that will feature on the front cover and inside the magazine.

This year, the DARO warmly welcomes abstract interpretations of sustainability. This can be presented in any analogue medium as long as it can be presented digitally, however please do not submit photography. The winning artwork will receive a cash prize.

Please take a look at the artwork in previous issues here: https://www1.chester.ac.uk/development-and-alumni-relations-office/ach1eve-and-cestrian

For further information and to submit your artwork, please email ACH1EVE@chester.ac.uk. The deadline for submissions is February 4, 2022.

Students from the University will lead two pop-up exhibitions this December offering the rare chance to take hold of and venture into the past.

People are invited to get a handle on history this December.
People are invited to get a handle on history this December.

History and Archaeology students will help to bring unseen historical artefacts to life at both free events in the city. With their guidance, visitors will have the opportunity to get up-close to original objects from, and gain insights on, medieval and early modern times.

The first pop-up exhibition, Telling Stories from Handling Medieval and Early Modern Objects, will be held in the Garret Theatre at Storyhouse in Chester, on Wednesday December 15, from 1pm to 3pm.

In this two-hour creative, exhibition workshop, people can safely handle unseen everyday objects from the period: shoes, keys, tiles, pottery, ceramics, rings, pilgrim badges and devotional tokens – and discover the stories they have to tell.

Katherine Wilson, Associate Professor of Later Medieval European History at the University of Chester said: “This event has been designed for anyone aged 14 onwards who is fascinated by history and is interested in exploring a creative response to the objects. You might love to write poetry, short stories or to create illustrations based on the objects you have held.”

Spaces are limited and places can be booked here: https://www.storyhouse.com/event/pop-up-exhibition-telling-stories-from-handling-medieval-early-modern-objects.

The second pop-up exhibition is open to anyone and will be held in the Contemporary Art Space Chester (CASC), in the Forum Shopping Centre, Chester, on Thursday December 16, from 1pm to 3.30pm.

Professor Wilson added: “Everyone of all ages is welcome to come along to this event at CASC, to safely handle everyday objects from the past which are normally stored in Museum collections – and no prior booking is required.

“Do drop-in for a chance to experience history, think about how people lived in the past and help us question existing narratives of history through the objects.”

The pop-up exhibitions are part of a UK Research and Innovation Arts and Humanities Research Council Grant for Follow on Funding for Impact and Engagement, awarded to the project ‘Mobility of Objects Across Boundaries 1000-1700 (MOB)’. The initiative is led by Prof Wilson, Leah Clark – Associate Professor in the History of Art at the Department of Continuing Education, at the University of Oxford, and Liz Montgomery – Senior Curator at Grosvenor Museum in Chester.

For more information on the wider work of the MOB project, please visit: https://mobilityofobjectsacrossboundaries.wordpress.com.

An innovative project, designed to help people impacted by homelessness and staffed by students from the University of Chester, has been shortlisted for a top national award.

The Housing Advocacy and Access to Legal Advice Project is one of the finalists in the 2021 Annual Law Works Pro Bono Awards.

The Awards, run by LawWorks (the Solicitors Pro Bono Group), celebrate the best pro bono activities undertaken by law students and law schools across the UK and the initiative is shortlisted in the Best New Pro Bono Activity category.

The project is a collaboration between the University of Chester Law School’s pro bono group, homelessness charity Share, West Cheshire Poverty Truth Commission, Weaver Vale Housing Trust, Muir Housing Group, Cheshire West and Cheshire Council, and Cheshire West and Chester Multi Agency Rough Sleeping group.

It was set up last academic year in response to a perceived gap in support provided to those impacted by homelessness in the Chester area.

Senior Lecturer Andy Todd, Director of Pro Bono and Community Engagement at Chester Law School, explained: “The aim of the project is to provide a voice to, and an ally to walk alongside, those facing homelessness, experiencing homelessness, or transitioning from homelessness.”

This September, Andy and student volunteers Graham Herschel and Lujean Elfituri took a ‘stakeholder first’ approach and held a focus group with a group of ‘community inspirers,’ who have lived experience of homelessness, and also took the views of those working at the coalface of homelessness in and around Chester.

Andy said: “The community inspirers, with their vivid narratives of their efforts to avoid homelessness, of living through it, and of their efforts to transition away from it, were best placed to give us an insight into what is needed to provide a joined-up approach to the support required by those impacted by homelessness.

“This approach has been designed to allow for the full and direct participation of those who will be impacted by any proposals put forward to help the community impacted by homelessness in the local area.

“This means not just those who are currently rough sleeping, but also those who may otherwise find themselves without a home, should they be evicted by social or private landlords, or unable to escape the cycle of homelessness because they can’t navigate a complex housing and benefits system.”

This approach has already resulted in several project proposals for Chester Law School student volunteers to take forward this academic year, including:

• Creating fact sheets and short videos to empower people to say ‘you can’t do that to me’ on issues such as tenants’ rights; tenancy agreements; eviction and rent arears.

• The Plain English Project – a review of common letters sent by the local authority relating to tenancy, eviction and review processes, resulting in the production of plain English ‘translations’ of these letters, plus bitesize video explainers, and face-to-face guidance sessions.

Andy added: “This partnership approach enables all agencies, organisations and charities involved across the spectrum of support to combat the cycle of homelessness and pull together towards the common goal of avoiding eviction wherever possible. It also allows those ‘in the system’ to be empowered to use their voice and helps our pro bono group to help effect change from the inside, rather than providing an add-on service after the fact.” 

Debra Webb, Chairperson and Managing Director of Share, said: “Our collaborative working with Chester Law School is really enabling our advocacy work with people who are experiencing homelessness. It is allowing us to achieve high levels of governance, and the skills offered by the staff and students at Chester Law School are facilitating the process of walking alongside people who are extremely vulnerable, empowering them to access the service and support they need to move their lives forwards. With their help we are developing a more robust advocacy service that can really tackle the root of the problems faced by people who are homeless.”

Wayne Gales, Chief Executive of Weaver Vale Housing Trust, added: “This initiative is both unique and desperately needed to help provide a platform for people to be heard. It’s also being shaped importantly by the voice of those with lived or living experience and this is what will help make a real difference by offering greater legitimacy to what will be delivered and in doing so help to shape and influence the pathways and partnerships needed to enable legal advocacy support to reach those who need it most.”

Anne-Marie Scragg, of West Cheshire Poverty Truth Commission, added: “This project is so important because it is allowing people at the heart of the problem to be involved in the solution by being heard. When the stakes are high, people’s emotions run high. People at risk of homelessness and who experience homelessness really need advocates.” The winners will be announced at the Awards evening at The Law Society on December 7.