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DMU students ready to help transform Leicester with #DMUlocal

Students and staff have celebrated the launch of De Montfort University Leicester’s #DMUlocal which will use the skills of students and staff to play a vital role in transforming the city.

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#DMUlocal is go!: Students and staff at the launch

DMU joined forces with Leicester City Council to launch the pioneering scheme at a packed foyer in BBC Radio Leicester, where students were able to demonstrate skills which will be used to make a huge difference to our communities.

The partnership is thought to be one of the most extensive between a university and a local authority anywhere in the UK and will aim to take on some of the city’s most critical challenges in education, health and regeneration.

The crowd at the launch included an army of students who are being trained this week to become Diabetes UK Champions. From next week the students will be visiting communities and offering free diabetes risk assessments, make referrals to GPs and advise on lifestyle changes to tackle one of the city’s growing health problems.

One of the students, Mark Rankin, a first year from Northern Ireland who is studying Computer Science, has Type 1 Diabetes and relies on an insulin pump to keep him medicated throughout the day.

He said: “It is excellent that #DMUlocal is giving me and others the opportunity to let people know more about type 1 and type 2 diabetes and that I can tell them from experience that it is not terrible to have diabetes if you manage it well.”

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TESTING, TESTING: Audiology students carried out free hearing tests

Zainab Ali, a third year Pharmacy student from Leicester, is already a Diabetes UK Champion. She said: “The work is so rewarding. I really can feel I am making a difference to the community. There are so many people in Leicester at risk of diabetes and it is so nice to give something back to the community we live in.”

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People who visited the Radio Leicester studios, in Jubilee Square, could also take part in free hearing tests and join the Stem Cell Register.

Maheen Saif, a second year Audiology student from Leicester, speaks Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, Gujurati and English, and loves being able to apply her skills in the community by offering the free hearing tests.

She said: “I know Leicester is so diverse and I get to meet many people from many different cultures. I can use my skills as an audiologist to offer guidance, counselling and carry out assessments. And working as a volunteer in the community helps towards my degree.”

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CUP OF TEA?: free tea and coffee, and a chat, was served to people visiting #DMUlocal

Fellow audiologist Nirmala Gurung added: “Working in the community has helped me with my communication skills and meeting so many people is helping me apply all the skills I learn on my course .”

The event was marked with speeches by DMU Vice-Chancellor Professor Dominic Shellard, who came up with the DMU Square Mile and #DMUlocal schemes, and Deputy Mayor of Leicester Rory Palmer who has given #DMUlocal his full backing.

Coun Palmer told the students: “In 2007 I remember a real local mindset that the student community caused frustration; that it caused more problems than solutions and positivity.

“But now that mindset is simply not true and DMU’s Square Mile project played a huge part in that.

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“We want students to be active citizens of Leicester and a project like #DMUlocal really reinforces this notion. Together we can make Leicester the leading city in Britain for social entrepreneurship.”

#DMUlocal is the embodiment of DMU’s commitment to the public good, and will be underpinned by programmes such as Square Mile, which will deliver against the university’s strategy to promote and improve the city of Leicester.

#DMUlocal will:

  • Improve educational achievement by providing support for literacy, science, technology and mathematics subjects in Leicester’s schools
  • Help in the rejuvenation of our city centre by encouraging graduates to remain in Leicester and establish start-up businesses
  • Promote the health and wellbeing of our city and its communities
Posted on Thursday 12th November 2015

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