A postgraduate student investigating the effect of vitamin D supplements on lung function is looking for volunteers aged 18 to 65 years with asthma to take part in an ongoing study.  
Stephanie Watkins, Laboratory Technician and Human Nutrition PhD Student, is conducting the research alongside Dr Sohail Mushtaq and Dr Tanja Harrison from the University of Chester’s Clinical Sciences and Nutrition Department. 

Stephanie Watkins, Laboratory Technician and Human Nutrition PhD Student at the University of Chester.
Stephanie Watkins, Laboratory Technician and Human Nutrition PhD Student at the University of Chester.

Stephanie explained: “Current UK data shows that one in 12 adults are receiving treatment for asthma, with the UK having some of the highest rates in Europe.  

“Between 30 and 40 per cent of the general UK’s population are classed as vitamin D deficient during the winter. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with the development of immune-related disorders including asthma.  

“Reduced vitamin D levels impair lung function, increase irritation of the airways and reduce responses to some steroid medications, suggesting vitamin D levels may also influence asthma treatment. 

“The aim of the study is to determine the effect of daily vitamin D supplementation for 12 weeks in adults with asthma.” 

The measured outcomes will include lung function, asthma control, levels of inflammation and vitamin D levels at baseline, six weeks and 12 weeks.  

Stephanie added: “We are expecting that daily vitamin D supplementation will improve lung function, asthma control and vitamin D levels, while also facilitating an anti-inflammatory response.” 

Participants in the study would be required to attend three appointments lasting 30 minutes at the University of Chester’s, Exton Park (Parkgate Road) buildings where they will undergo a lung function test, complete a questionnaire and provide a venous blood sample. 

Participants would then be required to take one tablet per day for 12 weeks containing either 5,000 IU vitamin D or a placebo.  

The study has been approved by the Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences Research Ethics Committee and on completion of the study, participants will receive a £20 love2shop voucher.  

The deadline to apply is December 20th, 2021. If you would like to participate, contact Stephanie Watkins at vitdas@chester.ac.uk 

Three future lawyers have been awarded a scholarship that promotes equality and opportunity for all students, thanks to a collaboration between The University of Chester and the University of Law (ULaw).

As part of a progression agreement between the two historic institutions, Charlotte Watson, Jake Bedford and Chadrac Sangani have each received a share of the generous University of Law Future Lawyers Scholarship.

Charlotte Watson, Jake Bedford and Chadrac Sangani

The £16,250 funding pot is aimed at levelling up access to ULaw programmes for students or graduates who are either underrepresented in Higher Education or disadvantaged.

The Chester Law School graduates each received £5,416 towards helping them progress in their chosen profession.

For self-sufficient student Charlotte, who graduated in Law this year, the award is more than she had hoped for.

“Funding has always been something that I have struggled with,” she said. “When I heard about the University of Law Future Lawyer Scholarship, I had hoped I would be awarded enough to cover the amount I needed to pay myself due to postgraduate funding not covering the full amount.

“I’m so grateful to have been awarded as much as I have been as not only does it cover the difference, but it also gives me enough money left from student finance to help with living expenses and bills. The scholarship relieves the pressure of funding and allows me to concentrate on my LPC (Legal Practice Course) LLM (Master’s in Law) as well as learning as much as I can from my job.”

Jake, who graduated in 2018, added: “The scholarship means a lot to me as it shows that my hard work has paid off and it will relieve some of the financial stressors associated with Higher Education, allowing me to focus on my course.”

The funding has also given Chadrac, who graduated in 2021, financial peace of mind.

“Throughout my years at the University of Chester, I have been supported academically and financially, which allowed me to focus on my study more while not having any financial issues to worry about. Being granted this scholarship means that the University of Chester still supports me in reducing my financial burden and giving me peace of mind, allowing me to pursue my educational goals.

“However, receiving the scholarship is not just receiving money for me; it tells me I am seen as having potential for the future of our society and being appreciated by the University. I want to represent that society and make sure I give back to the community in the long term.”

As part of the partnership agreement between the universities, in addition to the scholarship, for an initial period of three years any Chester undergraduate who chooses a ULaw course qualifies for a £250 discount on any ULaw product.

One of the UK’s longest established specialist providers of legal education and training in the UK, ULaw has similar partnership arrangements with several other universities in England. Its campuses, in cities throughout the country and internationally, now include the University of Chester’s Queen’s Park buildings from where its postgraduate vocational programmes have been delivered since September.

Ruth Sutton, Head of Law at Chester Law School, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have reached this collaboration with ULaw, which is testament to both universities’ commitment to promoting equality and opportunity for further study to all graduates of the University of Chester who aspire to be lawyers.

“This partnership not only provides our students and graduates with fantastic progression opportunities in the legal field, but it also enhances collaborative working within the legal education in Chester and the wider region.

“We look forward together to the growth of a successful partnership.”

Amanda Hedayati, Dean of ULaw’s Chester campus, added: “We are delighted to now be able to offer our postgraduate law courses from the wonderful site at University of Chester’s Queens Park buildings.

“This is an exciting partnership for us with an institution that shares our commitment to championing talent and supporting equality of opportunity into the legal profession. We are pleased to be able to offer University of Chester students continuing their studies at our Chester campus the Future Lawyer Scholarship programme and broader fee discounts to further that vision.”

The University of Law Future Lawyers Scholarship will be available again in 2022/23 for Chester graduates and will open again in Summer 2022.

An inspirational leader who forged ahead with a pioneering business to help international students, employers and Higher Education institutions shared his story with future entrepreneurs at the University.

Students and staff welcomed Dhruv Krishnaraj, Co-Founder and Director of Student Circus, to Chester Business School in October, to discuss setting up the first-of-a-kind smart job-search platform for international students in the UK.

He talked to first years studying the Essentials of Entrepreneurship module as part of their degree, which aims to bring theory and practice together by introducing different guest speakers every week.

Fran Shollo and Dhruv Krishnaraj
Fran Shollo and Dhruv Krishnaraj

Fran Shollo, Module Leader and Tutor, was keen for students to hear from Dhruv as she had benefitted from his insights years before.

She said: “I met Dhruv at a conference in London when I was a student myself, his entrepreneurship journey was truly inspiring.

“I have always seen entrepreneurship as a way of giving back to the society and making an impact, therefore, I wanted my students to get the same motivation and encouragement that I had once received. I am glad our level 4 students at Chester Business School enjoyed Dhruv’s talk, and I was impressed to hear some excellent questions from our future entrepreneurs in the audience.”

Dhruv explained how he came to the UK from India to do a Master of Science in Management in 2014 and wanted to gain work experience to enhance his skills. Having faced challenges searching for a job in the UK, he came up with the unique idea of developing the job-search platform specifically for international students.

Mirrored by the experiences of co-founder, another international postgraduate Tripti Maheshwari, they were given the opportunity to start Student Circus together, with a Graduate Entrepreneur Visa.

Student Circus has since proved successful in achieving its aims of filtering opportunities from companies which sponsor work visas for graduates to provide students with credible and direct solutions, while universities can focus on offering the best support and increasing student satisfaction levels, and employers can hire top global talent.

Dhruv said: “Thank you Fran for inviting me to Chester Business School. I enjoyed sharing our journey with the students and they had some wonderful questions. Wishing them all the best in formulating their business ideas.”

He added: “It’s great to see the team, including Cheryl Sørensen and Dr Ying Zhao giving students the chance to hear first-hand, and discuss, real-life experiences.”

Dr Ying Zhao, Module Tutor, said: “Dhruv delivered a very inspiring speech. He inspired students with his courage, problem-solving, entrepreneurial mindset, and ‘never say never’ spirit. I wish his company even greater success.”

Cheryl Sorensen, Learning Facilitator/Learning Designer, added: “Dhruv was an amazing guest speaker, inspiring and humble with a touch of humour.”

For more about Dhruv and Student Circus, please visit: https://studentcircus.com.

Kind-hearted Social Work students have been gathering items for Warrington’s foodbank as part of a national week of action.

The students at University Centre Warrington got involved in Amnesty International UK’s Week of Action, which promoted human rights. The group created artwork to raise awareness and explore the themes of human rights as well as collecting donations of food.

Students gather items for the Warrington Foodbank
Students gather items for the Warrington Foodbank.

Dr Valerie Gant, Associate Professor in the Department of Social Work and Interprofessional Education said: “This group of Social Work students are in their final year and getting ready for placement and ultimately social work practice and I felt it was important for them to be offered an opportunity to become involved in Amnesty International’s week of action.

“We discussed it as a group and students decided to make posters to be displayed around the Warrington site to highlight the importance of the Human Rights Act and the fact that elements of it are currently under review. Students also decided to take the opportunity to donate to the Warrington foodbank.”

Student Sarah Faulkner said: “Amnesty International’s Week of Action is important as it raises awareness for human rights and humanity.”

Fellow student Kelly Lopez-Reeve added: “Designing and producing the posters was a great way to spend time with fellow students, doing something so close to our hearts. Human rights are fundamental to our profession.”

Caption: Students gather items for the Warrington Foodbank.

A University of Chester graduate has been named as one of the world’s most up-and-coming designers of sustainable fashion.

Lili Sipeki
Lili Sipeki

Lili Sipeki is among 10 emerging designers announced as finalists in the highly-prestigious, global 2021 Redress Design Award.

Recognised as the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competition, the Grand Final Show in Hong Kong was opened with Lili’s collection.

By putting sustainable design talent in the global spotlight, the competition creates a unique platform for passionate and talented fashion game-changers to transform the fashion industry.

Lili’s Redress Design Award collection ‘REuniFORM’, focuses on tackling the large amount of waste that results from school uniforms. She reconstructs secondhand garments to transform them via patchworking techniques and quilting into elaborate, multi-functional and customisable high fashion garments that contradict the very notion of the uniform. Detachable pockets, frills and details increase the value and longevity of the garments.

Lili graduated from the University’s Fashion Design Bachelor of Arts programme in 2020 with First Class Honours and her final degree collection research was focused on creating zero waste sustainable fashion solutions.

Lili, from Hungary, said: “As we are moving towards a more circular fashion industry, we are all responsible to incorporate sustainability into our design process and we should all make it a top priority when developing new designs.”

She added: “It was such an amazing experience being part of the Redress competition. It was a lot of hard work but seeing my designs come to life on the runway made it all worth it.”

Delphine Wilson, Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Fashion Design at the University of Chester which is in the Guardian University Guide’s top ten University Fashion and Textile courses, said: “Congratulations to Lili on this amazing achievement.

“We’re extremely proud that she has been recognised with this coveted Award, championing designers who are spearheading skilful creative reuse of waste materials, useless or unwanted products into new fashionable products.

“She thoroughly deserves the recognition, also making it to the semi-final of the 2018 Redress Design Award cycle. Lili is making her mark in the fashion industry and will continue to do so; we’re delighted this accolade has highlighted how she is one-to-watch for the future.”

International Judge and Chief Operating Officer of TAL Group, Christophe Degoix added: “Promoting sustainable products is critical to the future of the apparel industry and these young designers across the world are showing us the way.”

Redress is the global leading NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) fighting textile wastage in the fashion industry.

While Lili just missed out on the first and runner-up prizes, her collection will continue to feature in a Redress exhibition.

Further information on the Award is available at: https://www.redressdesignaward.com.

To watch the Grand Final Show, please visit: https://youtu.be/jhpj-NirGe4 and for more about Lili and her work, go to: http://www.sipekilili.com.

Further information

  • Every second, the equivalent of one rubbish truck of textiles is landfilled or burned globally. Source: Ellen Macarthur Foundation (2020), The Circular Economy: A transformative COVID 19 strategy.
  • Textile waste is estimated to increase by 60% by 2030 (from 2017 numbers). Source: Global Fashion Agenda and The Boston Consulting Group, Inc. (2017), Pulse of the Fashion Industry.
  • Designers are said to influence around 80% of a product’s environmental impact. Source: EU Science Hub (2018), Sustainable Product Policy.

Designers who recently completed their studies at the University have made the shortlist for the biggest-ever online showcase of graduate creatives worldwide, supported by fashion powerhouse Gucci.

Interior Design BA Honours graduates Alexandra Costache and Sophie Downes have been named as finalists in the Global Design Graduate Show 2021.

The 2021 Show, run by Arts Thread – the world’s leading network for emerging designers and artists – in collaboration with Gucci, is the second edition of this initiative and was open to all art and design students graduating in the year 2020-21 (undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate), in any related creative discipline, located anywhere in the world.

Alexandra and Sophie were shortlisted in the Product, Architecture and Interiors category by industry experts after 5,211 students uploaded their end of year projects across four categories this year. The others were: Fashion, Accessories and Textiles; Digital, Visual Communication and Film, and Fine Art, Photography and Craft.

Alexandra Costaches project The Harlech Collective
Alexandra Costaches project The Harlech Collective

Alexandra’s proposition titled ‘The Harlech Collective’ repurposes an existing building to create a sustainable community environment where residents have both private individual living accommodation and a vibrant communal space. Considering the history of the site, the new concept aims to preserve elements of the original architecture and materials whilst creating a new atrium allowing natural light to come through the building to house a range of communal spaces in a unique atmosphere.

Sophie Downes project Ailwylltio
Sophie Downes project Ailwylltio

Sophie’s project titled ‘Ailwylltio’ (Rewilding) reimagines Dorothea Quarry, an abandoned slate quarry on the Snowdonia Slate Trail, as a cultural hub. The proposal explores the narrative of natural rewilding, and the evolution of a landscape scarred by slate mining.

Lynne Bell, Programme Lead for Interior Design at the University of Chester said: “We are delighted that both Alexandra and Sophie have been shortlisted for the Arts Thread Global Design Graduate Show 2021. Both portfolios demonstrate their exceptional design skills and imaginative approach to the visual communication of their projects. Good luck Alexandra and Sophie.”

To see all of the entrants in all the categories, and for further details about the show, please visit: https://www.artsthread.com/events/globaldesigngraduateshow.

The winners will be announced on Monday October 18.

Welcome to Student News – the University of Chester’s online magazine for all its students.

We’re always keen to hear from contributors, writers, and photographers. If you fancy practising your writing skills and building up a portfolio of work, or simply sharing a passion, then get in touch.

From music reviews; fitness tips; events or volunteering we would love to hear your ideas.

There is no regular time commitment – you can get involved just once or as many times as you like.

Contributing content to Student News can be included as an activity towards the Chester Difference Award and you will also be able to log volunteering hours via your online volunteer profile.

Contact communications@chester.ac.uk to find out more about contributing to Student News.

Students will help to bring historical objects to life in an interactive exhibition marking the start of a wide-reaching one-year initiative led by the University of Chester in collaboration with the Grosvenor Museum and the University of Oxford.

The ‘Mobility of Objects Across Boundaries 1000-1700 (MOB): Exhibiting, Handling and Teaching the Past through Everyday Objects’ project gets under way this month (September). The initiative seeks to challenge perceptions of the medieval and early modern worlds as static and unchanging, and elite narratives of history by focusing on everyday objects.

The first chance to get involved is offered with a pop-up exhibition for people to safely handle medieval and early modern objects from the Grosvenor Museum, as part of Chester Cathedral’s Medieval Discovery Day on Saturday September 11. University of Chester History and Archaeology students will help visitors examine objects such as keys, shoes and ceramics, and the story behind them, while also discussing and gathering feedback on the MOB project and its wider impact.

Students with everyday historical objects at the Grosvenor Museum in 2019 (pre-COVID).
Students with everyday historical objects at the Grosvenor Museum in 2019 (pre-COVID).

The event comes after it was announced earlier this year that the project of almost £100,000 had been made possible by a successful funding bid. The project is funded in the main by a UK Research and Innovation Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Follow on Funding Grant for Impact and Engagement.

The initiative will see a public exhibition created at the Grosvenor Museum in Chester next year, featuring Augmented Reality representing the medieval interior of St John’s Cathedral. It will bring to light objects that have never been exhibited before and showcase the work of school students. An interactive website for visitors and members of the public on the exhibition and objects is currently being designed, to be launched before the exhibition. The grant will also provide the opportunity to set up more pop-up exhibitions and create Object Boxes with medieval and early modern artefacts from the Grosvenor’s collection to be loaned to primary and secondary schools, alongside videos on the objects and how to use them in educational settings.

The project is led by Katherine Wilson, Associate Professor of Later Medieval European History in the Department of History and Archaeology at the University of Chester and the co-investigator Leah Clark, Associate Professor and Director of Studies for Art History, from the Department of Continuing Education at the University of Oxford.

Prof Wilson said: “We are very excited to start the project, to enable the public to view and handle the objects and to create Object Boxes for schools to use.

“By allowing more people the chance to get up close to artefacts that are normally inaccessible, we want to widen opportunities for the public and pupils to experience history, think about how people lived in the past and help us question existing narratives of history through the objects.”

Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cabinet Member for Wellbeing added: “This is the start of an exciting project to bring history to life. I’m delighted Grosvenor Museum is involved in bringing this opportunity to visitors, as part of Chester Cathedral’s Medieval Discovery Day on September 11, and going forward, the public exhibition at the Museum and Object Boxes for schools next year.”

The Medieval Discovery Day at Chester Cathedral celebrates the medieval past of the building and area, with a range of fun activities and experiences. Tickets are £10 per adult for the entire day, and children (up to 16 years of age) are free. Pre-booking is advised. For further information, please visit: https://chestercathedral.com/event/medieval-discovery-day/.

Using the existing partnerships set up with the Grosvenor Museum from an earlier AHRC Network Award, the MOB public exhibition will be held at the Grosvenor Museum in the Spring/Summer of 2022. This main exhibition will bring to wider public and non-specialist attention the collections of everyday objects in the museum collections, such as shoes, tiles, pilgrim tokens, chests and keys, and will reveal the ways in which objects allowed people in the past to move across thresholds and boundaries, from public to private spaces, from secular to religious spaces and across global trade networks.

Alongside examples of creative work by regional school students, it will feature Augmented Reality work by Martin Moss of Dextra Visual and an interactive website from the Informatics Centre at the University of Chester, overseen by the University’s Department of Computer Science, for people to immerse themselves in the movement and settings of the objects.

The design and production of Object Boxes and teaching resources will provide a unique and sustainable school enrichment experience to support History at Key Stages One to Four and GCSE level. These Object Boxes will be designed by the Faculty of Education and Children’s Services at the University of Chester, in close collaboration with a teaching advisory team made up of teachers and PGCE students. The boxes will include selected everyday objects from the Grosvenor Museum Collection, as well as lesson plans, worksheets, and creative writing tools appropriate for each key stage and GCSE. Any school that wishes to can access them, allowing all students a handling experience with original artefacts from the medieval and early modern periods.

More information can be found on the impact and engagement work of the MOB grant, with the Grosvenor Museum and with schools, at:https://mobilityofobjectsacrossboundaries.wordpress.com.

Young people with enterprising ideas focusing on everything from the arts to recycling have been given a boost in their endeavours with an exciting adventure combining business workshops and intrepid outdoor activities.

Ten entrepreneurial University of Chester students won a place on the 2021 Santander Universities UK five-day Venture Adventure after a highly-competitive application process.

Students and staff who were part of the 2021 Santander Universities Venture Adventure
Students and staff who were part of the 2021 Santander Universities Venture Adventure.

They enjoyed both business sessions and adrenaline sports at the famous mountaineering venue of Plas y Brenin National Outdoor Centre, in the heart of Snowdonia National Park, during August.

The Venture Adventure develops entrepreneurial thought and action, through a memorable mix of interactive talks and activities including kayaking, open boating, stand-up paddle boarding, raft building, indoor and outdoor climbing and abseiling.

The students and their businesses – some of which are already up-and-running – are:

  • Liam Boyle – Vincovits – a vitamin supplement manufacturing company.
  • Asotah Wisdom – SS Glass and Tiles – converting glass waste into tiles used for walls and flooring purposes.
  • Anthony Isiwele – Dew Drops African Mart – an African food shop in Warrington.
  • Klaudiusz Trzebuniak – KT Enterprise – high-quality hand-crafted wooden furniture.
  • Vijay Manchikanti – VKM Granules PVT LTD – a plastic recycling business, making granules from waste plastic that can be recycled into, for example, kitchen and cosmetics items – reducing single use of plastic.
  • Okodi Donatus – Don Fish Farm – fish farming packaging to enable the fish to remain fresh, visible and healthy.
  • Niccole Sumler – Amerland’s (a word play on America and England as Niccole is from America) – an Art Centre that incorporates creative writing, music, drawing, and cooking in one place. The mission is to help children and teenagers create their voice and boost their confidence through art.
  • Jacob Trainer – My Uni Life UK – a mobile application produced by students for students, to share experiences and support them with student life.
  • Jak Jones – Jak Jones Productions – a freelance videography and photography studio.
Taking the raft built together on the water.
Taking the raft built together on the water.

Student Patrycjusz Szubryt, who is developing Shubrit and Shubrit, a professional consulting business providing a framework for the introduction of successful AI (Artificial Intelligence) during digital process transformations, also won a place and while unable to attend has participated fully in other aspects of the initiative. 

An added highlight for each finalist was receiving a signed copy of the first book by acclaimed entrepreneur Steven Bartlett, founder of Social Chain and the youngest Dragon from Dragons’ Den. Business lecturer Franceska Shollo attended a book signing by the Dragon after bumping into him at a train station, and thanked him with an Instagram film clip of all the students receiving his book. She was delighted when Steven shared the clip to his extensive audience of followers.

Master of Business Administration student, Anthony Isiwele.
Master of Business Administration student, Anthony Isiwele.

Anthony Isiwele, a Master of Business Administration student from Nigeria, said: “The Venture Adventure was a one-in-a-million opportunity.

He added: “Plas y Brenin was amazing and jaw dropping; it was fun from day one and exciting to pitch my business idea for Dew Drops African Mart, offering all fresh African foods and condiments in Warrington.

“I feel very privileged to have been chosen to take part and learned so much. Thank you to the University of Chester, Santander and everyone who made it an unforgettable experience.”

Dr Connie Hancock, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Management at the University of Chester Business School said: “The combined resources of the Business School team of entrepreneurial support specialists and Santander Universities, have provided these student entrepreneurs with a superb opportunity to develop their capacity to innovate and transfer a business idea into a sustainable proposition. 

“Our time at Plas y Brenin was filled with learning, challenge and development. This type of student experiential opportunity equips our students with lifelong skills and knowledge. The results were outstanding with impressive business plans and skilled pitch decks being delivered towards the end of the five days.

“We’re extremely grateful to everyone at Santander Universities UK; everyone at Plas y Brenin; our colleagues at the Business School, in particular Dr Henry Sidsaph, Franceska Shollo, Sue Benson and Dr Ying Zhao; Laura James-Mowbray from Angels Invest Wales; Gary Hewins for the Belbin Team Roles session; Kirsty Badrock from the fantastic Venture Programme run at the University; Steven Bartlett for signing 10 of his books and AM Clothing for our branded hoodies.”

Matt Hutnell, Director, Santander Universities UK, added: “Santander is committed to supporting higher education as well as local communities across the UK. We’re delighted to support students at the University of Chester and enable them to develop their business ideas further.”

For further information about the Venture Adventure please visit: https://www.instagram.com/ventureadventure2021/.

Artwork by students inspired by Chester and North Wales has been chosen from hundreds of pieces to win a national competition and go on display across the UK.

Earlier this year Network Rail asked art students throughout Britain to design their very own postcard that represented places they missed during the pandemic and were looking forward to visiting again once travel restrictions had ended.

Entrants to the Wish I Was There competition submitted almost 270 pieces of work and University of Chester Fine Art students, Christopher Bunn and Nataliia Marchuk are delighted to be among the winning 20. Chris’s work depicts Llandudno Promenade in North Wales and Nataliia chose the historic Chester city centre as her subject.

Chris worked from his own photographs, sketches and memories, to create the piece where the viewer looks back towards the Llandudno shoreline, instead of the usual viewpoint of looking straight out to sea. The 35-year-old from Sandbach in Cheshire, and whose wife is Welsh, said that Llandudno was a meaningful place for him and he had always thought that even if it was raining in North Wales, he would prefer to be there rather than sitting in the sun elsewhere.

Nataliia’s work shows Chester’s most famous landmark, the Eastgate Clock, at sunset. The 22-year-old, originally from the Ukraine, said she loved sunsets in Chester because you could see the sky very clearly, with all the colours reflecting upon the buildings and streets, and it was her favourite time for a walk.

The paintings are now part of an exhibition celebrating special places the length and breadth of Britain and showcasing the next generation of artists and their extraordinary creativity. Each of the top 20 has also been awarded £2,500.

Chris is chalking up the wins after also recently triumphing in a competition held by My Clubmoor to transform the area around its community hub in the heart of Liverpool. Chris was named as one of three winners of the graphic design/typography/mural competition and will see his work transferred onto the shutters on the local shops next to their Community Hub.

Chris said: “I hope that people will get something positive from looking at my paintings and I am obviously pleased that more people are able to see my work through Network Rail’s competition. I am really happy to be sharing this experience with other artists across the country, and especially the talented Nataliia Marchuk.”

Nataliia added: “I felt very happy and honoured when I found out I had won. In a very subtle way, I shared some of my very dear personal experience through the painting I submitted. It means a lot to me than just a landscape of Chester and it is a great feeling to know that people across the UK can see it. I hope that this piece can make the day of whoever looks at it a bit brighter.”

Bernadine Murray, Associate Professor and Head of Art and Design at the University of Chester, said: “Congratulations to Chris and Nataliia for winning this nationwide competition.

“The judges have recognised their extraordinary work – and its power to move people. They are perfect choices for the exhibition to inspire visitors to think about the places that are special to them – and take a trip somewhere they’ve been longing to visit.”

Sir Peter Hendy CBE, Chair of Network Rail, said: “The standard of art submitted has been beyond exceptional and reflects how much we have all missed travelling.

“The railway has a long history of creating works of art to promote the destinations that people can travel to by train, and the art submitted completely and utterly reflects that. This art will become a part of history, documenting what has been an unprecedented time for all of us.”

The postcard exhibition ran at London Waterloo station for two weeks and is now touring the country, with a final stop in Scotland, as follows:

  • Reading Station: August 2 to 8
  • Liverpool Lime Street Station: August 9 to 15
  • Leeds Station: August 16 to 22
  • Glasgow Central Station: August 23 to 29.

For further information on the competition, and to visit an online shop where the artwork is available as postcards, greeting cards and posters, please visit: https://www.wishiwasthere.love and look out for the #wishiwasthere hashtag on social media.

To see more of Chris’s work, please go to: www.facebook.com/chris.bunn.712 www.instagram.com/cbunn_oilpainter or https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-bunn-9b89a71b8/.

To take a look at more of Nataliia’s work, see: www.instagram.com/natalia_march_art.

The University of Chester Art and Design Department’s social media accounts can also be followed at: www.instagram.com/uoc_artanddesign and www.facebook.com/uocartanddesign.