Tag Archives: Birmingham

If you live in Birmingham, if you live near Birmingham, if you live in England and if you watch the news then you will know about the incredible transformation of Birmingham New Street, with Grand Central opening very soon!

Well, John Lewis have done something that’s pretty next level (if that’s at all possible – I mean look at how shiny Grand Central is!)

John Lewis has moved in and made Birmingham home, producing a wonderful film that showcases Birmingham in all its glory. Featuring some of Birmingham’s finest, with breathtaking shots of the city, and fantastic stories from city dwellers. FORWARD, a film for Birmingham explores every aspect of the city’s vibrant, dynamic and unique culture. Touching upon the world of jewellery-making, with Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter at the epicentre of the UK’s industry. Focusing on the incredible, world-class healthcare, unique and talented photographers, and with an opening shot of Edgbaston Reservoir (my heart cartwheeled at that point – I lived by the reservoir and I loved it) the short film really captures what makes Birmingham such a thrilling, glorious and really really special city.

I first moved here four years ago, and I have been wonderfully welcomed, tested, challenged and nurtured. Birmingham has made me who I am, it’s shaped me as a person, and it’s vibrant nature, it’s exceptionally exciting industry (of all different varieties) keeps me motivated, keeps me intrigued and it also leaves me in awe. Birmingham I love you.

John Lewis – you’ve turned me all soppy thanks to your wonderful film.

Tweet what you love about Birmingham using the hashtag #ForwardBirmingham

FORWARD – A Film for Birmingham

67 Acts

On behalf of Arts Council England and the Southbank Centre a few weeks ago I pledged to campaign for mental health as part of the ’67 Small Acts for Big Change’ campaign. I will continue to do this through Dearest Someone, but I will be taking on a few other challenges/acts in order to promote general wellbeing and creativity. Make sure you watch this space!

A few weeks back I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely guys at The GAP Arts Project(When I mean lovely, I really really mean it). These guys work tirelessly to run the project, and plan its ever-amazing adventures, events, mini-projects, exhibitions and so on…

The team at the GAP work really hard to bring: exciting and innovative ways of supporting young people through arts activities. Bringing young people and the rest of the community together for some intriguing adventures, creative encounters, meaningful conversations and lots more.

GAP in the Market

The latest programme of activities, adventures and chances for you to get involved with arts and culture led by the team is… (drum roll please)…  The GAP in the Market.

GAP in the Market

GAP in the Market is a festival of creativity, arts and play. Located within the midst of the vibrant and exciting Bull Ring Indoor Markets, the GAP is quite literally ‘filling a gap in the market’ with a space for creativity. Here’s how the team describe the programme:

‘a tightly-packed (quite literally!) programme of workshops, exhibitions, screenings, performances, talks and tours, including all manner of content – from craftivism and cultural resistance to play readings, clay mapping and the much loved Great Brum Grub Crawl. And all this squeezed into a tiny, collectively-created arts space in a Bull Ring Indoor Market stall in Birmingham!’

GAP in the Market, now about to enter into its second week, has been really cool so far, and I 100% reckon you should go and check it out! The second week of activities is set to include: script development, photo walks, clay city (this looks ace), films, playreading, a grub crawl, craft workshops, poetry, colouring (ahhh), board games, rug making and so much more!!

I’m ridiculously excited to get involved next week, (especially with the Disability and Labelling in the Arts discussion on Thursday!) And no doubt I will be blogging more about this as I check out some of the events! If you’re in Birmingham and you’d like to get involved you can find Week 2’s programme of events here:!week-1/c7tk 

Also, keep up to date with the team over on Twitter! @GAPArtsProject

Student Radio AwardsI made it onto BCU’s radio wall of fame… after all the blood sweat and tears haha (so many tears!!)

This was a recent post over on my instagram, many thanks to all at the Student Radio Association, Birmingham City University (The School of Media), BCUSU and of course all whom contributed to the documentary.

Wednesday 8th July I was asked to conduct some vox pops/interviews at the mac birmingham. I felt pretty lucky to be a part of the #BrumIsGreat event, in which I was able to immerse myself amidst individuals who have a large influence on the development and growth of Birmingham. With stakeholders focusing on initiating conversations city-wide there was a great deal of discussion (in fact, all the discussion) focused on the positive, defining aspects of Birmingham. With guests asked to utilise the hashtag: #BrumIsGreat 

I had a really nice time interviewing people who clearly felt very strongly about the city of Birmingham. Birmingham is, in my opinion, a fantastic, vibrant city. There is so much opportunity – something I’ve learnt through the various jobs and research I’ve undertaken, as well as through the individuals whom I met today. It was lovely hearing stories, and positive reflections of the city, as well as learning about aspirations and visions for Birmingham in the future.

I thought I’d list (some) reasons as to why I think #BrumIsGreat… I grew up in Essex, yet I feel incredibly at home here in Birmingham, and I really have grown to love the city.

#BrumIsGreatJoin in with the conversation over on Twitter, using the hashtag #BrumIsGreat

Birmingham City CentreAmidst my rap-fueled walk to uni this morning I was singing along to some new music (in my head, of course…) trying to motivate myself for the day ahead. I woke up mega early this morning to do some washing, and all that generic stuff – in which I randomly met two girls in the lift at my halls (in my, ‘I’ve just woken up’ haze) they eagerly asked me loads of questions about uni, studying my Masters (or – as they said.. WHAT’S THAT?!) They left me in an ace mood – they reminded me of when I used to be in the Air Cadets and I used to explore pretty much everything – the girls were part of a much larger group who are currently staying at my halls as part of their NCS (National Citizen Service). Anyway… the point is they reminded me of my 14 year old self who used to get excited by everything… which left me in that mood where you’re walking down the street – listening to the ultimate playlist and loving life, and then you stumble across little pieces of inspiration (such as the image above) and you’re ready to conquer the world…

Happy Tuesday…  

Recently I was very fortunate to be shortlisted for The Russell Joslin Award by the BBC, an award in memory of Russell Joslin, ‘a much-loved broadcaster and journalist in the region.’

‘The ambition with this award is to provide an opportunity to gain a stepping-stone into the broadcasting industry to a deserving candidate who shares Russell’s passion for stories and commitment to local journalism.’ (BBC, 2015)

Unfortunately, I wasn’t the final recipient of the award, however I must express how grateful and humbled I was to be shortlisted, along with seven other deserving individuals. The background to the award is heartbreaking, yet is something which really spoke to me. Russell’s story has been widely publicized in the past; after struggling with mental health issues it was reported that sadly Russell lost his battle and took his own life.

Radio for me is a huge part of my life, but so is discussing mental health. And this opportunity presented me with the chance to find new ways to portray stories that add to the positive representation of mental illness.

The concept of the award is to allow for an individual to gain the opportunity to cover local journalistic stories. Spending four weeks at a local BBC Local Radio Station (West Midlands, Coventry and Warwickshire, Shropshire, Hereford and Worcester or Stoke) as well as two weeks in the newsroom of Midlands Today / Inside Out in Birmingham.

Though I am of course gutted that I didn’t receive the award – I know that I already have a wealth of experience within the radio industry, and the offers whom were shortlisted really aspired to gain further insight and hands-on experience! I was also really really impressed with the other candidates – their concepts and passion reminded why I love the creative industries so much! 🙂 I also had an absolute blast at BBC WM, the team were really lovely, and I’ve made some new friends (both candidates and staff – so, pros and cons aye?)

Being true to myself though… radio isn’t the driving force behind my work, its the portrayal of stories, the crafting of peoples’ experiences and being able to present individuals with a way to express their thoughts and adventures. That to me is what makes radio so fun, it’s the foundation in which radio (or TV) is built upon. I am fascinated by stories, but I have already trained in radio – so I’m already armed and ready with the requisite skills – and my intentions for the near future are to continue making and creating texts’ that demonstrate my passion! (Which currently is Dearest Someone, – and let me tell you… I absolutely love managing and running this site!)

This all sounds rather romantic haha, but I really have been inspired by the guys at the BBC. 

Find out more about the award here: (via. BBC Radio Shropshire).

My background:

Discovering and presenting stories to the world is something that I’ve always enjoyed doing. During the process of working on an audio documentary project entitled ‘Boscastle: 10 Years On’ I was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, undeniably I have dealt with a lot – however I chose to blog about my experience, in order to make sense of it all and to speak to others. I have been very overwhelmed by the response my blog received, and I continue to blog regularly about my experience with Mental Health and keeping the discussion of Mental Health ‘Human.’ My Blog, Dearest Someone, strives to give a human feel to a topic that is often perceived as a taboo matter – this is something which I really find passion in.

I find passion in uncovering stories, yet presenting them in a way that has feeling, and others are able to relate. I find great comfort and excitement through my Dearest Someone, blog however I also blog personally – about my everyday life (maybe slightly banal compared to the mental health blog!) I like to explore, and document my adventures. In the future I wish to continue working in a role that allows me to explore and uncover stories, and possibly become an advocate for mental health (primarily PTSD – as it’s not just members of the Armed Forces who struggle with this!)

Russell Joslin

New York Festivals World’s Best Radio Programmes

I am incredibly proud to be a part of Scratch Radio, the station based at the Parkside building here at Birmingham City University. Last week the School of Media sent a team out to New York, in which we picked up Silver for ‘Best Student Station.’ There was no Gold presented, which in fact means, we are the best in the world! (Blowing the trumpet here slightly…)

The winning audio featured content which was produced during an intensive two week project, which I managed. Part of my contribution to the station was featured within the award-winning audio (within the first five seconds you can hear me chuckling away). In addition to this a large percentage of the audio was from shows produced by the team I headed when I was project manager of the ‘Two Week Takeover.’

Scratch Radio won International Silver Award in the Best Student Radio Station category. (There was no gold winner). This follows the station’s success in winning the “Midlands” category of the 2014 UK Radio Academy’s Nations and Regions Awards.

The station has received honours at the 2015 New York Radio Festival – International Radio Program Awards for The World’s Best Radio Programs.

Here’s a link to BCU’s press release about the success:

I was really, really lucky to work from Birmingham City University’s new build yesterday. It hasn’t opened to staff, students and the public yet, so I was running around like an excited child looking at everything (making use of the quiet!) Some departments have already moved over and the final touches are underway, and it’s really really special. I’m very proud of my University, this is the second new build that I’ve been lucky enough to experience, and quiet honestly the new library within the Curzon Building is most likely going to be my new home! (It’s that cool haha).

Here’s the view from the top floor (exec. suite, ooh la la) – it’s pretty impressive. I reckon on a sunny day this view is even more amazing. 

I just want to say a massive congratulations to Birmingham City University! Keep shaping the world! 😉

Birmingham City University

BCU Curzon Building