Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Living on £1 a day

On Fridays show you heard from Sophie Gale a third year student at Cardiff University. We spoke to Sophie just as she was finishing her challenge of living on £1 a day or less for five days in order to raise awareness of extreme poverty.

Sophie is raising awareness of the ‘Live Below the Line’ campaign launching in the UK in May and will promote the £1 a day for five days challenge as a means of raising money and awareness of those who live ‘below the line’ on less than £1 a day. Sophie took the challenge to get a better understanding of the challenges faced by people living in Extreme Poverty, and to raise funds for crucial anti-poverty initiatives.

Sophie completed her campaign on no-frills food like rice, couscous and soup, throughout she was fundraising for Results UK, a group which is geared towards generating the political pressure needed in order to end world poverty. Sophie was surprised at how difficult it was to ensure she was eating three meals a day, how little she could buy with £1, she spoke about how it was affecting her social life and how having to live off mainly stodgy food like carbohydrates wasn’t meeting her dietary requirements.

There’s not much you can do with £1. However, surviving on this small amount each day is the reality for the 1.4 billion people currently living below the extreme poverty line. Sophie is now campaigning for students to take part in the challenge and come to a special screening of a 1.4 Billion Reasons DVD presentation.

1.4 Billion Reasons is a thought-provoking journey that explores how we can see an end of extreme poverty within our lifetime. Based on leading research, 1.4 Billion Reasons clearly articulates the challenges of extreme poverty and demonstrates that by making simple changes, everyone can be part of the solution. It has been described as a groundbreaking movement that will certainly catalyze the movement to eradicate extreme poverty.

A brief snippet of the 1.4 Billion Reasons presentation can be found here

On the 25th of March, it will be coming to Cardiff University. You can find details of the event via Facebook here

The event itself will be free of charge and there will be refreshments provided, as well as a professional speaker on hand. We are anticipating that the screening will be extremely popular and as such it is necessary to register your interest early!

So if you are interested in attending, please contact Sophie at: GaleS2@cardiff.ac.uk

The presentation has been made possible with the backing of the Global Poverty Project and in partnership with RESULTS UK. The special screening of their 1.4 Billion Reasons DVD is an exciting and very exclusive upcoming event.

To find out how you can take the £1 a day challenge visit: http://www.livebelowtheline.org.uk/

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Cardiff Students’ Union Elections

Campaigning begins today across campus for the Cardiff Students’ Union Elections

Download the list of candidates standing for each position here

You can come along and quiz your candidates at the Candidate Question time on Thursday 17th at 6.30pm in the great hall.

Here on the Union show ‘cardifference’ Friday 18th 12-1 on http://www.xpressradio.co.uk/ we have an exclusive interview with the current Union president Olly Birrell talking about the elections, how you can vote, why it’s important to get involved and all about his work this year and his aspirations for the coming years.

Download the candidate’s manifestos at:


The Executive Committee are the elected representative of the whole student body who work for you to make sure that your views are represented. Part of this committee are the Elected Officers, a team of students who have taken a break from their studies or recently graduated who are elected yearly by the student body to lead the union as a whole. All positions are up for election.

Monday, 14 March 2011

On the show on Friday we were very privileged to host two members from STAR – Student Action for Refugees. Hazel Hathway is the president of the Cardiff Union group and alongside her campaigns officer Miriam they came to talk to us about the work of STAR nationally and at a local level here in Cardiff.

STAR is the national network of student groups working to improve the lives of refugees in the UK by:

• Promoting positive images of refugees

• Volunteering for local refugee projects

• Campaigning for refugees

Refugees and asylum seekers are a vulnerable group of people who often have a long and difficult struggle to secure their safety in another country. As people fleeing persecution, torture and prejudice they need and deserve our support. The group here in Cardiff help promote a positive image of refugees as they believe it is vital that our fellow students have a positive attitude towards refugees, asylum seekers and displaced people.

Here in Cardiff Hazel and Miriam talked about how some of their projects past and present including:

- Volunteering every Wednesday at a local drop in for asylum seekers and refugees teaching conversational English.

- Asylum monologues

- Refugee rhythms

- A sleep out as part of the still human still here campaign

Up coming events include:

- Taking part in the student power debates at the union

- 'STARs' in their eyes fundriaser with act one

- Another performance of asylum monologues by act one

- Cup cakes and cast offs the festival.

You can find out all the details about the Cardiff based group on their facebook page here and the contact email is hazel_121@hotmail.com

The drop in centre is open every Wednesday for asylum seekers and refugees at Trinity Methodist church, four elms road (just off Newport road) 5.30 - 7.30. There is a social area upstairs and an informal English conversation class downstairs. The group is always looking for new volunteers to get involved and everyone is welcome to come along. So please e-mail Hazel if you are interested: hazel_121@hotmail.com

To find out more information about STAR’s national network and their work visit their website:


Friday, 4 March 2011

Kieran I want...

Thank you for listening to the show today. We had a great interview with Samar Wafa talking about the Census and Kelda Remington from People and Planet chatting fairtrade and ethical and environmental campaigns. We will post up the interviews soon.

If you have stumbled across us from the amazing blogspot that is hackflash then welcome – thank you for visiting. Thank you hackflash and Helia for our guest blog. 

If you haven’t come via hackflash you are still more than welcome have a read about the Kieran I want challenge and Student Bucket List feature; all suggestions welcomed!

I’ve watched as throughout the last few years friends have been having mini melt downs when their 30th birthday approaches. There is little doubt that when I was in my formative teenage years I was convinced that I would not make 30 and that it was such a seminal and preloaded date with various connotations connected to it.

When one of my closet friends turned 30 I did what all good friends should do and facebook hijacked him with a list of all the ways in which he had changed as a person written as if by his own fair hand

I’m 30 ‘I’ve changed’ I think you all saw this coming as I:

Have bladder problems and need to pee every few seconds (in fact just reading about wee makes me want to go)
Feel comfortable telling everyone I get my eyebrows plucked
Suffer from hangovers – if you can get me down the pub in the first place
Have not been near a club in years, when you say club I think biscuit
‘Extreme’ is a word I now use to describe the weather
When you say Stella I think ‘that’s a nice name for a girl’
Think hooters is a sound a car makes
Think a gentle ride in a canal boat was a good idea for a stag trip
My super bike now has peddles
My winkle pickers are now slippers

Then just last week I realised that it was 34 weeks until my 30th

Far from dreading it too much I am pretty excited it’s like Albert Camus says: ‘At 30 a man should know himself like the palm of his hand, know the exact number of his defects and qualities, know how far he can go, foretell his failures - be what he is. And, above all, accept these things’.

So I started writing things I’d like to have done before I’m 30:

Milk a cow, Learn to Eskimo roll a kayak, Have a go on a Unicycle, Learn to sign a full sentence in Sign language, Roller skate to work, organise a Karaoke eve, Go to a Michelin star veggie restaurant, Walk up Ben Nevis/Scafell Pike, Sleep rough/work in a soup kitchen, Watch dancer in the dark and Last of the Mohicans, Clear out inbox, Fix bike, Place a bet, donate sperm, be an extra in TV/Film, be a life model/ get portrait painted/caricature, make some money for charity, give blood…

But this all seemed a bit self indulgent. I’m fortunate that I have done many things some quite major in my short life in no small part to all my friends, family and random acquaintances so it struck me that I should ask them what they want me to do for them that I can add to the list, stuff that I promised to do but never got around too for example pre 30 I would like to take mum on a weekend away as we missed out last year or finally go and watch my mates band. Basically stuff they want me to do with them…or something they want to teach me or something they thought I should see/read/watch (you get the idea).

Kieran I want…(your suggestion here)

So I’m giving them a few weeks to send in their suggestions. I sent this out last week and so far its great to know that my friends what me to:

Have colonic irrigation please
Get your hair permed again
Find a nice girl who appreciates you (surprisingly not from any family member)

One friend said ‘It's hard to consider what someone else should do without bringing yourself into the process’ which I liked as lots of requests involved the responder or were asking me around for food, visiting flats or new homes, to go for a cup of tea or for a pint. I’ve had offers to help with suggestions on my list, been sent some unachievable ideas and many ‘Kieran I wants’ which I’m waiting on…hint hint. Some other examples:

Kieran I want you to:

Write a blog post about this for the hackflash blog (consider this achieved)
Find somewhere to learn a flying trapeze
Trek Everest base camp
Walk Hadrian’s Wall
Take me to Glasgow or Liverpool
Bake a cake for my charity event
Come with me to the bingo
Take me to see a cracking band of your choice
Get the portrait done with a friend (take me!) at the Moulin Rouge
Come around for dinner and watch little shop of horrors
Get into Metal (I’ll provide the CD) and watch A Headbangers Journey
Go to diggerland (don’t you dare go without me)
Come to my treatment room and have a chest or leg wax

I wanted to have a bundle of ideas as I still want them relatively spontaneous and not feel contrived but I find that if all else fails making a list is a good start to focus the thoughts (is that my age speaking!).

It’s nice to see that things I’d been meaning to do over the last few years; various visits et al are things that friends want, so this way if its on a list it gives it that bit more focus. It’s so easy to put off trips, visits, or cups of tea so over 30 weeks I will try and do 30 things or more. I’m not going to laminate the list or set it in stone so it can change and then obviously I can have a party to celebrate.

As excitingly The Kieran I want idea sparked a feature for a radio show http://www.cardifference.co.uk/ on xpress radio. Alongside my personal Kieran I want we are creating a Student Bucket List – all those things you should do before leaving Cardiff, some I have already stolen for my list:

Experimental travel around Cardiff by asking bar staff what they drink and where they would drink it then going there and so on and so on

Partake in Photo marathon
Have photo taken under Brains advert like in Super Furry Animals album
Go to Barry Island and act out some Gavin and Stacey scenes
Take a Roald Dahl book to the Roald Dahl Plas or the Norwegian Church where he was baptized and have your photo taken
Go to Splott Market
Buy a Love Spoon and send to a stranger

So I throw open the challenge to the world and see what bounces back.

If you don’t think this is too contrived or egotistical and have any suggestions, comments or thoughts send me an e-mail at cardifference@gmail.com

Student Bucket List ideas….

Kieran I want…..

Following the progress of the list and Kieran I want on this very blog http://www.cardifference.blogspot.com/ as I will update as we go along.

Today on the show.....

Live at 12-1 on http://www.xpressradio.co.uk/ the cardifference show is pleased to announce that on today’s show we will be:

Talking Fairtrade with a member of People and Planet

Exploring your ideas for our Student Bucket List

Asking what all this census fuss is all about

Playing some brilliant tunes especially related to the www.xpressradio.co.uk show last night with the amazing Alex Sedgmond and King Louis Collective

Asking is cake rage a new social disease plus

Other chitter chatter, and help and advice to help you through your student life inside and outside of the student bubble.

What would you do before leaving Cardiff? Get involved with our new feature – The Student Bucket List. We are making a list of all the things you should do before you leave Cardiff – we want your ideas and suggestions e-mail us at cardifference@gmail.com or text Studio and your message to 82010 – thank you for listening

Tweet tweet we are on twitter @cardiffdigs

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

I Will For Wales

Your cardifference show presenter (Kieran McCann) has signed up to Keep Wales Tidy’s ‘I Will For Wales’ campaign because he believes everyone should do their bit to look after their local environment.

On last weeks show we had Sarah Philpott, Communications and Campaigns Officer for Keep Wales Tidy (KWT) on the show talking about KWT and the I Will for Wales pledges.

The mission of KWT is to encourage local action to protect and enhance the environment of Wales. They will engage in activities that encourage individuals, groups and organizations to act in a way that achieves a Clean, Safe and Tidy Wales.

The ‘I Will For Wales’ campaign asks people to make a 2011 resolution online at http://www.keepwalestidy.org/
You can pick one out of ten simple pledges relating to rubbish or create your own.

The pledges are everything from simple changes to your everyday life to active involvement. There is something for everyone to sign up for including using a bag for life, disposing of cigarette butts and chewing gum responsibly, being a responsible pet owner by clearing up your dogs mess, to becoming a litter champion or joining a KWT volunteer group.

cardifference presenter Kieran McCann signing up
for the I Will for Wales campaign

I would encourage everyone to sign up. We have signed up because we strongly support Keep Wales Tidy’s belief that small changes in our daily lives can make a huge difference to our communities. Keep Wales Tidy is asking people to make small changes to their lifestyles that will make huge differences to their local communities.

On the show one of the suggestions that came out was that students could make a pledge to sign up for Tidy Text. Tidy Text is a free texting service just launched in Cardiff. This easy to use service sends text messages to remind you when your recycling bags and waste are being collected.

Students are being encouraged to make full use of this service to help them understand their waste and recycling responsibilities. Sign up is free when you subscribe online at http://www.keepcardifftidy.com/ 

Alternatively, you can register by texting ‘Tidy' with your house number and postcode to 60066.

Go Global

On last weeks show Cos Montagu, our Societies, Events and Activities Officer very kindly came in to talk about the week of events at Go Global and promote the Global Village.

Each year Cardiff Students’ Union brings together students from different backgrounds and cultural heritages for a week-long celebration of culture and diversity.

Go Global, the Union’s annual festival of culture and diversity, this year ran from 19-27 February 2011. In conjunction with the Cardiff Guild of Societies and the international student community, the Union hosted more than 35 events, including music from around the world, art workshops, taster sessions and debates on international issues.

Cos made sure to remind our listeners of the benefits of joining and partaking in society events to add to your student experience. The Guild of Societies is the umbrella group for all affiliated societies at Cardiff Students' Union. Led by Cos the Societies, Events and Activities officer, the Guild of Societies exists to help co-ordinate, support and represent societies in the Students' Union.

There is always time to join up to a society or find out which societies are running by visiting Cos

Location: 3rd Floor, Students' Union building

Website: http://groups.cardiffstudents.com/societies

One of the highlights of the week was the Global Village which took place on Sunday 27 February. As well as introducing visitors to food from more than 20 countries, this event was the showcase for some of the University’s talented students, with performances including Bollywood, Chinese dancing and singing, a masquerade, break dancing, an international fashion show and many others.

Cosimo Montagu, the Union’s Societies, Events and Activities Officer, said: "Thousands of students get involved with Go Global each year. It is an excellent way to present the identity and strength of culture of our student body to the University and to the wider community in Cardiff."

Cardiff has a long-established tradition of welcoming students from overseas. There are currently more than 3000 international students studying at the University, representing over 100 countries.