Royal Wedding, good day for many. Bad day for one.

Posted on May 2, 2011 by Chanda

People from different cultures, races and religions came together up and down the country to celebrate and watch the Royal Wedding. Those of us who weren’t fortunate enough to be in London were glued to our television screens and some patriots were even throwing street parties to mark the occasion.

But what was supposed to be a joyous day for all, Sarah’s* start to the long weekend was marred by a group of drunk men making racist remarks when she was just trying to have a good time with her friends.

“After watching the wedding together on TV, my friends and I decided to go to Yates for a few drinks when a group of about five, white men called me a ‘paki bitch’. I have so many white friends and the experience just shook me up and I was literally gob smacked.”

Though our nation is diverse and rich in culture, racially motivated abuse is far more commonplace than some may think.  Have a listen to find out more about Sarah’s* incident and how it made her feel.

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F14575989Sarah’s interview by girlabouttown

Chanda Azam


Posted on April 26, 2011 by Vanica

 Moving away from home is probably one of the biggest steps that you will take during your life and with moving out, you have so much more responsibility to think about and take on.

 At university it’s fair enough to say that we like a couple of drinks or a few… but under the influence of alcohol do we really think about what’s best for us and our safety?

 On the 19th of March 2011, Sian O’ Callaghan, a 22 year old girl from Swindon, was murdered after a night out in her home town. She apparently got in to a taxi and that was the last time she was seen. Christopher Halliwell, the 47 year old taxi driver, was charged with her murder. Halliwell was also charged with 2 other murders, both of young girls.

Being a student myself, I have countless times got into a taxi on my own after having a few drinks without even a second thought. Only when something like this happens it makes me think twice.

 I wanted to ask a few of you, how much you think about your own safety, especially when you are out:

 Varsha Patel: “I am usually a bit vary when I go out, I mean after hearing a lot of stories of girls getting in to situations, I feel like it could actually happen to anyone, including me. So it does make me be more careful when I am out.”

 Sarah Coupland: “After a couple of drinks I do tend to not think about my own safety. I really do not think about any consequences when I get into a taxi on my own and I think it’s really normal. After thinking about it right now, and hearing all the cases of the girls, I most likely will try and look after myslef more when I am out.”

 Samantha Reed: “I really do think about my own safety. I mean I hear and see the cases on the news and read the articles in the newspapers. I really does show that anything can happen to anyone so you do have to think about the situation that you are putting yourself in.”

Tom Griffin: “Even though I am a lad I do think of my own safety, as well as the girls that I go out with. I like to know that all my friends get home safely. Terrible things can happen, I mean, only last year a student in Leicester drowned in the river after walking home alone. It shows that absolutely anything can happen if you do put yourself at risk.”

Anisha Pattni: “I wish I did think about my own safety a little bit more. I feel like I do put myself at risk especially after having a few drinks. I tend to walk home alone because it isn’t far and i always think that everything will be fine. Everything has always been fine up to now, but after hearing these stories about when things happen to girls, it really does scare me.”

Luisa Harrison: “I really do think about the situations that I put myself in, but sometimes there really isn’t a choice. Many times I have had to take taxis on my own even if I didn’t want to. I think you have to put your trust in some people even if you do not know them at all. I always tend to call a realiable taxi firm instead of getting a black cab as I do feel safer knowing that the journeys are tracked.”

It’s very easy to see that we really do not think of our safety often. BUT when you have a drink or two be sure to have a few friends with you and always make sure you are not alone!


Consumer rights…where do you stand?

Is the customer always right?

Most of us absolutely love to shop, to get our hair done and generally spend our money. But did you know that once we hand over the money and get a receipt, a legal contract has been made.

After working in retail myself I realised just how many complaints we used to get. But as always we had to go by ‘the customer is always right.’ But what happens when you don’t get the service that you supposed to get and when you don’t agree with the retailer or company?

Chanda Azam, 21, had a total disaster just recently when she took a trip to her hairdressers in Huddersfield:

“I paid £120 to get my hair professionally coloured and cut and it turned out awful. Not only that, the hairdresser managed to get hair dye on my top, ruining it completely. They were also so rude when I complained to them.”

I myself have had a total disaster at Boots opticians in Leicester:

“I went to get my lenses changed in my frames. I did not get any warning that the frames may break and if they did, Boots would not be liable. Considering I had bought the frames from America, I wanted to keep them. A week later I got a phone call from Boots telling me that my frames had been broken. I went in to sort it out and I was given no compensation until I hassled them and they finally gave me half of what my frames were worth meaning I was not able to buy any of the same standard. The manager was out-right rude and frankly I would not ever go to a Boots Opticians again.”

With both situations, we believe that the companies were in the wrong. There are actually many people to help in situations such as these:

  • The Hairdressing Council
  • Citizen Advice Bureau
  • And many more…

I spoke to a member of the Citizen Advice Bureau and they clearly said they were happy to help with any case and that it is worth getting in touch with them.

So if you feel like you haven’t been treated right, why not give them a call!

Vanica Patel

Carnage… Good or Bad?

The student event, Carnage, has been going on for many years in a number of cities. The seven hour bar crawl in the Sheffield city centre starts at the Revolution bar and ends up at the Embrace nightclub.

In 2009, a student attending Sheffield Hallam University, Phillip Laing, was caught urinating on a war memorial in the middle of Sheffield city centre. This caused absolute outrage to the rest of the Sheffield residents and society.

I wanted to ask some of the students at this year’s Carnage event (21st February 2011) what they thought about this particular incident and what they think of Carnage in general.

“I think that the incident of Philip Laing was really bad but I also think that one incident should not really stop students having fun. Personally, I know where my limits are and I know what is right and wrong. I think the majority of other students also know when they have crossed the line.”

Sarah Coupland, Aged 20, Sheffield Hallam University.

“Carnage is a brilliant student event and it is brilliant for bringing students together and also getting to know different people. Students can make mistakes and do stupid things, but I reckon that they can learn from what they have done.”

Krishan Mistry, Aged 22, Sheffield University.

I genuinely feel a bit sorry for the residents of Sheffield, during Carnage. What happened with Philip Laing was definitely unacceptable. I do enjoy the event, but some behaviour is definitely not right.”

Dhruti Patel, Aged 20, Sheffield Hallam University.

It is obvious that students really enjoy this event and it will go on in the future. Since the incident with Philip Laing, more police have been on duty during the event, making it safer and more pleasant for the Sheffield residents.

Vanica Patel


Posted on March 18, 2011 by Vanica


A lot of us can’t live without it, we spend so much money on it every year and it also is a total necessity in our lives. What is it?


Everyday millions of females paste on the foundation, brush on the bronzer and blusher, line our eyes and finally mascara our lashes . The question I want to ask is why?

Why do we feel the need to make ourselves look like different people to who we actually are?

As well changing our looks by just make-up; plastic surgery is also on the increase, with most females in the United Kingdom wanting a boob job.

Some people may say that all make-up does is enhance the features that you have already got whereas others may totally disagree and have the view that all make-up does is cover up what you haven’t got.

What do you think? I thought I would ask a few of you:

Rosh Patel: “I absolutely love make up and I honestly don’t think that I could live without it. I don’t really think that I have bad skin or anything to cover up but it just make me feel better about myself and gives me confidence.”

Sarah Dyson: “I’m really not a make-up fan but I do tend to wear it when I go out somewhere special and it does really make you feel good about the way that you look.”

Sarah not feeling the need for make-up


After talking to a few girls it came to my attention that they mainly wore it for confidence as it made them feel better about the way that they looked and about them selves. Surely this is a good thing?

I decided that I should also ask a couple of lads what they prefer…Make-up or Natural?

Matt Smith: “I actually don’t mind make-up at all. If it makes a girl look better…why not? And also I think if it gives them confidence, then they should definitely wear it.”

Showing makeup as a necessity-always wearing it!

Krishan Patel: “I don’t like girls putting too much make-up on as I really do think ‘what is the point of covering up your natural self?.’ I think natural beauty is a lot prettier and to be honest I don’t see the point of girls trying to make themselves look different, as at some point during the day the make-up does come off.”



Trendsetter Cheryl Cole reveals ‘girl crush’ on Ri-Ri!

She’s the nation’s sweetheart, one fifth of one of Britain’s most successful girl bands, and has a coveted spot on the X Factor judging panel. Boys want to date her, and girls want to be her, so is it any surprise that we hang on to every word Cheryl Cole says?

Her career seems to be going from strength to strength and so does the public’s love for her. She can’t put a stylish foot wrong and the 27 year old wowed us with her backless black Stella McCartney dress at the Brit Awards last night.

Cole set pulses racing at last night’s event when she called Rihanna her ‘girl crush’. The ‘Fight For This Love’ singer even gave Ri-Ri a cheeky pat on the bum when presenting her with the Best International Female artist award.

Cole said: ‘Rihanna was smoking hot. I love Rihanna. She was probably my performance highlight.’

Though she was up for two awards herself: British Female Solo Artist and British Single, she left empty handed. She lost out to Laura Marling for the British Female Solo Artist and Tinie Tempah bagged the British Single Award.

Despite her loss, her night was not a complete disaster as the Geordie let slip that a single with girl crush Rihanna may be in the pipeline.

‘I love her. I would love to do a performance with her and do a single with her. She feels the same’, gushed Cole.

But what is a girl crush? Do all girls have a celebrity girl crush? Or is it just the stars declaring their undying love for one another?

Dr Fisher, the author of “Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love” said: ‘Girl crushes are as natural as any other kind of love. But they are romantic without being sexual. Love and lust are distinct urges.’

‘There’s every reason to think that girls can fall in love with other girls without feeling sexual towards them, without the intention to marry them’.

I hit the streets of Sheffield and Hallam University’s corridors to find out what the public thought and if they had any celebrity girl crushes! Have a watch below.

Local Taken Out!

Take Me Out has taken the Saturday night television line up by storm. The show has followed in the footsteps of shows such as Blind Date.

Richie Dews

Described as ‘the provocative, cheeky and electrifyingly funny dating show;’ the aim of the show is to get 4 guys to get a date with one of the 30 girls. With a few rounds to get through, the girl with their light left on is left with the chance of getting whisked away to a lovely date on the ‘Isle of Fernando.’  All it comes down to is ‘No Likey, no Lighty!’

This successful new dating show has just run its second series and on week 5 appeared a Local Sheffield Rocker- Richie Dews.  Richie won a date with the 26 year old Natasha Tyers. I met the 37 year old, self confessed womaniser on the 11th Feb 2011. I took this opportunity to throw in a few questions:

-How has it been since you have been on the show?

It has been totally crazy! But most importantly, I’m getting recognised for what I call my talent, my music.

-How did you find the show?

I might seem like the most confident person ever but even I have to say I was very nervous just before I went on!

-You went away with the 26 year old, Natasha Tyers, how was it?

I can’t say in too much detail, but it was nice. As soon as I saw her on the show I liked her!

Vanica Patel


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