Meet the University’s newest club and it’s chairman


MOHAMMED BAPPA: The table tennis club captain getting involved and playing.

MOHAMMED BAPPA: The table tennis club captain getting involved and playing.


A NIGERIAN who taught himself to play table tennis on his school desk with a homemade bat and ball has now set up the university’s first club for the sport.

MA Mechanical Engineering student Mohammed Bappa started the club this year and it already has more than twenty dedicated members.

Mohammed, 21, said: “From a young age I’ve always played table tennis, I’m from Nigeria where we played on our school desks with self-carved bats, it was good fun and I enjoyed beating my family.

“I just love to play and there wasn’t a club at the Uni when I arrived so I decided to set one up.

“So far we’ve got a great group. It’s not all about winning. We play to improve and to learn how to play against a range of opponents.”

Mohammed is already a skilled player, however he feels that since starting the club he has gotten better.

“There’s a coach that teaches us the basics of the game. He’s currently teaching us how to spin the ball and I’m enjoying learning that,” he added.

“During the summer some friends and I used the SU table and thought it would be good to get others involved.

“The SU supported us to launch this year and offered us a stall during Freshers’ Week. We were voted the best new club by students that week.”

Mohammed is still working towards the club being officially recognised by the SU – which will mean members need to pay fees – which he hopes will happen by the end of this month.

The club will compete in it’s first competition in February in Nottingham.

“I see us competing in local and national tournaments to show our talents and our abilities, I see us improving our Table Tennis while also being able to accept defeat.”

For anyone interested in Table Tennis, as the club goes on there will be many benefits of being a member.

“Firstly the members will go all the way from beginner to expert through coaching, secondly we get our own equipment like our own bats and balls, and thirdly we will get kits with our names on.

“You don’t have to be a brilliant player the more you play the more you improve your skills, you will get to play against people from different backgrounds to help you improve, not to mention it’s a good stress with all the Uni work.”


from Tside

Student Climbing to the Top…of Mount Kenya!

A TEESSIDE student is climbing Mount Kenya this summer to raise money so African children can get an education.

Ricky Adams, a Travel and Tourism student flies out in June for the epic week adventure which will see him climb a whopping 5,199m.

It is the second trip to Africa for Ricky, 20, from Hartlepool who raised £500 to go to Ghana to work with African kids in a school in 2013, when he was just 17-years-old.

Ricky, 20, said: “I know the difference that these projects can make to people’s lives so I was determined to take on this challenge when the opportunity came.

“I am nervous to see if I can achieve it as a personal goal, but I’m so happy to know I will be making a huge difference to a lot of people.

“Going to Ghana was a life changing experience and I’m sure this will be too – not least because of the physical effect it is bound to have. It’s going to be tough.”

Ricky is travelling with African Adventures, a  volunteer charity that aims to change and improve lives in Africa and even in the UK.

Started by Dan Mew in 2009 African Adventures provide financial and humanitarian support to many schools and educational projects.

The company employs over 35 staff across four countries and delivers volunteer support and financial assistance to 21 projects impacting 15,000 children in Africa.

So far the projects have had 3,264 volunteers to date and are forever wanting and welcoming more volunteers each year, including Ricky.

Ricky Adams, 20, Ghana trip 2013

Ricky Adams, 20, Ghana trip 2013

Bev Boden, programme leader on the FDA Travel and Tourism programme at Middlesbrough College in partnership with Teesside University is confident he can succeed.

Bev said: “This is an amazing opportunity for Ricky and I know he will embrace the culture, the people and the entire experience.

“He is an inspiration and I am confident he will raise lots of cash for this good cause.

“Ricky has always shown a keen interest in fundraising and is not shy of hard work.”

Before his travels to Africa, Ricky and African adventures are hosting  a charity night  at the Raglan Quoit Club in Hartlepool to raise money for the trip.

Poster for the charity night by Ricky Adams

Poster for the charity night by Ricky Adams

Ricky added: “I think once people see the actual difference these projects make, everyone will understand 100 percent why I took on this challenge.

Tside will have more information about the charity night and after the trip to find out how it all went.

To sponsor Ricky or to attend the charity night at Raglan Quiot Club on Saturday, March 12 you can contact him on 01429 408395 / 07883482857 or ask behind the desk for tickets.

from Tside

Teesside man battles rare syndrome

A BILLINGHAM student who was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder which could have have left him paralysed is now working as a volunteer fireman helping save lives.

Daniel Grainge, 17, was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome – which causes severe skin, spine and coronary problems-  in 2014 and has spent the last two years having a range of hospital care.

The diagnosis even meant the Bede College Sixth Former had to stop playing for local side Billingham Rugby Club.

But now Dan, thanks to physiotherapy and the support of lecturers on his public services course, is working as a volunteer firefighter with Cleveland Fire Brigade.

Dan said: “When I was told I had to stop rugby I was heartbroken, I felt like I was letting my team down”

“If I continued with rugby I could have severely damaged my spine”

“I didn’t let this stop me from staying active, I didn’t want to let myself become lazy.”

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is a disorder in connective issues, which usually means that things like bones and blood vessels are more likely to bend and deform.

EDS is a genetic disorder which affects one in 2500 people to 1 in 5000 people.

Dan added: “I loved rugby, so it broke my heart when I had to give it up”

“Thanks to the support from my friend, family and my girlfriend Lucy I was able to get through this”

Daniel Grainge and his girlfriend Lucy.

FIGHTING ON: Dan has fought EDS and now wants to fight fires.


” My Public services course really motivated me to stay active when I found out about my EDS.”


“I enjoyed playing Rugby, I even won man of the match a few times” Dan said.

This didn’t deter him from his dream of becoming a fireman.

In September 2014 he started studying Public Services at Stockton Riverside College.

Dan has applied to become a fireman in the RAF.

Dan said: “A lot of people give up after life gets too difficult, but I just couldn’t do that”

Dan didn’t let his disease deter him from staying athletic either.

Every week Dan goes to the gym with his friends and maintains an active social life.

Dan has applied to be in the fire brigade in the R.A.F.

Daniel owes his success to the support of his family and his girlfriend Lucy.

EDS stands for Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

EDS is a breakdown in the connective tissues which support the body.

If you would like to know more click here.


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Dialysis Patient Is Urging You To Consider Opting-Out

LIFESAVER: Mark and his Nana (left), the lady who gave him his first kidney donation.

LIFESAVER: Mark and his Nana (left), the lady who gave him his first kidney donation.

A TEESSIDE University student whose life was saved when he was just three-years-old after his Nana gave him a kidney wants YOU to back the campaign to adopt the opt-out method for organ donation.

Mark Bailey, 24, was born with a kidney defect, which meant he needed a transplant before he even got to school.

Now the English with Creative Writing student is waiting for a kidney again after his nana’s kidney – and one more donated by a little girl who died – failed.

And he wants fellow Teesside students to back the appeal to change the organ donation rules so that we all have to opt out rather than opting in to the register.

Mark said: “No one can imagine what it is like to have your organs fail time and time again. The kidney from my Nana saved my life, but it didn’t last forever.

“I’ve always had this problem, so it is normal to me, but it as been a hard journey. To cut a complicated, depressing story short, there have been times when there’s been so many tablets and I’ve been so poorly, I’ve wanted to give up.

“I hope that my sharing my story people will see that an opt out system could really make a difference to someone like them – someone like me.”

Mark believes changing the system could save hundreds of lives every year, with more than 8,000 people currently waiting for an organ donor.

He has been tested against five potential donors who  didn’t match due to the high level of antibodies from previous operations and blood transfusions.

But after more than twenty painful surgeries to extend his life, he is back on dialysis, spending at least five hours a night, three times a week in hospital.

“I’ve had dialysis in various centres in my time; from the freezing cold ward at the local hospital to the dreaded overnight stay in Stockton,” he added.

“It consists of a seven hour overnight stay in a reclining seat from 10pm until 5am. I was awake for more than half the time in half-darkness due to the lights from all the machines and an overbearing whirring noise.

“After which I would be driven home to get ready for work. It nearly broke me; I wanted to give up after two months.”

Throughout his ordeal, Mark has still kept working, completing  an apprenticeship as well as gaining full time employment in a Guisborough primary school before starting at Teesside.

But with the aid of a new kidney, he says his quality of life could be greatly improved.

He added: “Let’s be honest – I want a kidney so I’d be in support of most things, within reason, if it meant me getting that transplant.

“When it comes to transplantation this is a very real solution to help people. If you don’t want to donate, point blank refuse, I fully understand and respect that; if that is the case, sign the petition anyway and opt out.”

You can read more of Mark’s story on his blog, Winstonpatch, and can back the online petition for the opt-out system here.

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Teamwork @ Dyson with Ben Russi :Post from Tees Made

Since graduating with a first class degree in Product Design from Teesside University in 2012, Ben Russi has gone from strength to strength.  After completing a Master’s degree in Multidisciplinary Design Innovation and a 6-month internship, Ben snapped up an opportunity to work as part of the design engineering team at Dyson.  He returned to Teesside on Friday 15th January to inspire our product design students, offering an insight into the world of work for a graduate product designer.

‘Working at Dyson offers a lot of creative freedom. Within the first few weeks, I learnt a lot and the expectations of me where high. Very little time was wasted and quite rapidly, I was contributing to projects’

Each year Dyson gives them an Engineering challenge.  You can see last year’s challenge by clicking the image below and read more about it on twitter @ #ChallengeDyson:


Click the image above to see the Dyson Challenge

Communication and cooperation form the basis of any business, but at Dyson, it is brought to the forefront.

Ben had some wise words for students about what he learned while studying his Bachelors and Masters degrees:

‘The Best way to learn about problems and possible solutions is to get out of the studio speak to people and research the problem. Always test your concepts and learn from each one. Inspiration is rarely found sitting at a drawing board.’

With the beginning of the third year’s major project, Ben had one final piece of advice for our final year students.

“Organise your time from day one, and put in as much time as early as you can.  Any time you miss now will have to be made up further down the line.”

Whether delving into a design career or continuing with further study, determination and perseverance are key.

You can read more about Bens’ early experiences at Dyson here.

from Tees Made

Teesside woman raises cash in memory of lost loved ones

A MIDDLESBROUGH woman is raising money for cancer and lung charities in memory of her Dad and Nana.

WAITING FOR THE CHOP: Sarah showing Tside her long hair.

WAITING FOR THE CHOP: Sarah showing Tside her long hair.

Sarah Greensitt, 21, lost her dad Michael Lacey and Nana Margaret Greensitt, leaving her and her sisters in the care of their auntie and uncle.

Now the Barclays Bank telesales assistant plans on shaving her hair and dying the short remains a wacky colour in aid of Cancer Research and The British Lung foundation.

Sarah, from Howard Court, Belle View, said: “I lost my Dad at a young age and my Nana died of COPD in 2014. It was life changing.

“You never really move on from losing a close relative it just gets easier in a way.

“At first things that reminded me of them made me upset and angry. It seemed so unfair that it was my family that was going through this pain. Now I’m determined to help.”

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease effects the lungs and brings difficulty with breathing. Roughly 25 thousand people die of COPD each year, with its most common cause being smoking.

The British heart foundation has spent over 24 million pounds on research in order to increase awareness and survival of lung diseases.

BELOVED FAMILY PHOTO: Sarah and her Nana before her death due to COPD.

HAPPY MEMORIES: Sarah and her Nana before her death due to COPD.

“I have lost some of the closest people I know through COPD and Cancer. I’m now planning to do all I can to help change it for others.

“Any amount of money could prevent another family from going through what myself and others have had to cope with.”

“I am hoping to raise a minimum of £400 for each of the two charities, they both do amazing work and I want to support them as much as I can.”

There are up to 100 variations of Cancer. In 2012 alone 161,823 people died from the disease whilst 338,623 individual new cases were treated.

Sarah, the second oldest child in a family of four said: “Everyone deals with grief in different ways but personally my brothers and sisters, my boyfriend and other family staying safe helped massively.

FAMILY PHOTO: Sarah along with her Father, brother Daniel and sister Gemma.

GONE TOO SOON: Sarah along with her Father, brother Daniel and sister Gemma.

“I’d suggest looking to the future although its hard and it often seems pretty dark.

“Remind yourself of the amazing memories you have with your loved ones, not the hard times that came with them.”

Fundraising is already taking place and a date is soon to be set for the big chop.

To support Sarah in her fundraising you can donate on her JustGiving page.



from Tside

Tside talks to the Beehive brand

FOUNDED in 1785, the Beehive brand is a piece of history that we had long forgotten about. With the chunky knits and cabled jumpers, it is the perfect way for us to wrap up warm in the harsh winter weather.

KNITWEAR: Andrea is always sporting a chunky jumper

KNITWEAR: Andrea is always sporting a chunky jumper

Andrea Freeman, Associate Lecturer on Teesside University’s Fashion Enterprise course, rediscovered Beehive and through working with archive pictures, photos and patterns, has managed to rebuild the brand to what it is today.

Andrea’s academic career started at Huddersfield, where she graduated fashion degree before going on to obtain masters from Nottingham and Durham.

Her CV is even more awe inspiring and boasts both working for the international brand, Barbour and studying for a year at the Beijing Costume Institute.

She says her aim for Beehive was to design classic pieces that add warmth. With two successful collections and more in the pipeline, Andrea is set to take this brand far.

“I think, especially for our customers, it’s all about layering up – especially with the knitwear,” Andrea added.

Chunky knits can be worn all year round as Britain is hardly granted with a tropical climate! They can be mixed and matched with a variety of textures and patterns to create a fantastic outfit.”

So where can you find Beehive for yourselves?

Follow Beehive on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

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From Trauma to Teesside

SMILES: Steph and kids, Billy now 12 and Stevie now 9

SMILES: Steph and kids, Billy now 12 and Stevie now 9

A STUDENT whose husband died in a tragic boating accident while she was pregnant with their second child has rebuilt her life – thanks to her Teesside University course and a local charity.

Stephanie Grady, 40, and her husband Stephen thought all their dreams had come true when he got a job as a senior sections manager working on the twin towers in Bahrain the Middle East.

But during a celebration to mark the completion of a major project in 2006, the boat he was on capsized killing Stephen and 55 other people.

HAPPY: Stephanie and Stephen on their wedding day

HAPPY: Stephanie and Stephen on their wedding day

Now Stephanie is working part-time as a family support co-ordinator at Home-Start – a charity which offers support to children under five – while completing her studies in Psychology and Counselling in the School of Health.

Stephanie said: “When I lost Stephen, it felt like my world had come crashing down.

“Suddenly I was on my own having to look after a two-year-old to look after on my own and another on the baby on the way. I didn’t know what to do with myself.

“I had to come to the UK and start again because I needed my family. My sister was living in Middlesbrough so I came here and volunteered for Home-Start which led me to the course at Teesside University.

“It means that I’ve been able to turn what was the worse thing ever into a positive. I can help others deal with their own difficulties.”

Stephanie, originally from Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire, found Home-Start online as she was looking for a charity to help out with in her new community.

She first volunteered at the charity for eight years and now has now been at the charity in paid employment for six months.

She said: “I knew that it was sink or swim time, something needed to be done.

“It was perfect for me because I would be able to help people that were in the same sort of situations as me.”

Stephanie volunteered at the charity for eight years and – as she completes her dissertation – is working for them part-time.

Now she is looking for Teesside parents or those with experience with children to follow her example and volunteer too.

She added: “I made the transition from volunteer to worker through going on the Teesside University course, because I knew it was what I wanted to do.

“But we are struggling for volunteers and it would be amazing if any parents or people who work with children could get involved.

“You never know you could end up not only changing someone else’s life, but your own like I did.”

If you would like to volunteer for Home-Start you can email or phone Steph on 01642 501811.

The Home-Start shop on Acklam Road also take donations such as clothes and furniture to sell to fund the charity.

SMILES: Stephen with Billy

SMILES: Stephen with Billy


from Tside

tside discovers clothes with attitude.

We all strive to be different.

Whether we like it or not, we search for those items of clothing that make us stand out from the crowd, unique and turning heads as we walk.

Wearing a hoodie with semaphore flags on the back does just that. Don’t worry if you aren’t aware of the old naval language because by the time this piece is through, you’ll be an expert.

Imagine silently telling everyone in your meeting to “Eat Sh*t D*ck Face” with the clothes you are wearing.

You’re in on that special secret and you can smile sweetly knowing that only you are aware of what those bright, innocent flags are really saying…

Meet I Sunk Your Battleship, an independent streetwear brand located in the North East of England.

It strives to create high quality clothes, using our old naval heritage that are a little tongue in cheek.

But where did the brand come from?

“The idea of I know, you don’t is too tempting for people these days,” says Ross McPhie, head of ISYB.

LIFE, LOVE AND LIBERTY: Ross and North East bloggers at the launch party

LIFE, LOVE AND LIBERTY: Ross and North East bloggers at the launch party

“Society is obsessed with those flash in the pan clothing brands that only show off your pecs and guns. ISYB is more than that, it’s for the everyday man.”

Sitting in a converted garage on a farm in Durham, ISYB is created from Ross’ very own back garden.

Filled with Star Wars, Lego, Planet of the Apes and skateboards, the office space is an inspirational zone for the latest designs to be created.

Ross himself is a force to be reckoned with.

Originating from Glasgow his strong accent, combined with his height, make him the life of the party.

He is full to the brim with anecdotes.

However, as his passion lies with skate clothing, Ross is casually dressed.

Adorned with ISYB’s No Hope hoodie and Vans, he channels that element of “cool” without even knowing.

However, he is no stranger to hard work.

With a CV boasting employers such as Puff Daddy, Nike, Animal and Echo, he’s the perfect example of where determination can get you.

Ross said: “Standing in Puff Daddy’s office was such an out of body experience, I was nervous as he looked through my portfolio.”

“The only pages he stopped at were some bullet proof vests I designed for the police.

“In the end I got a “you’re alright” and he left. I still don’t know what he meant to this day.”

It’s hard not to get sucked into a story that Ross is telling you, his excitable accent and pearls of wisdom means that you come out of it feeling like you’ve learnt something valuable.

But where does I Sunk Your Battleship come into the equation?

Working for Nike wasn’t the best time for Ross, he describes it as “a justifiable paycheck” in his career history and with his wife, Sarah, pregnant with their first child, Samson, that time was the perfect moment for Ross to leave it all.

Ross said: “Samson was a difficult pregnancy for Sarah and me. There were times that we thought he wouldn’t make it and termination was suggested a lot.”

“It made us realise that we needed to be back in the UK with our families.”

Ross is no stranger to quick goodbyes, whilst working for Animal he told his boss that he was going to a stag do when, in reality, he was flying to New York for an interview with Echo.

It’s those fight or flight moments that make you realise why Ross seems to be so level headed when it comes to his business.

ISYB: The launch of life, love and liberty at Capology, Newcastle

ISYB: The launch of life, love and liberty at Capology, Newcastle

When I asked if he had any regrets over his decision to leave Nike, he was insistent that it was the best thing that he’d ever done by using the metaphor: “What if?”

After moving to the UK, Ross was jobless and found himself creating ISYB T-Shirts on the side of design consulting.

“I never expected for ISYB to get to the height that it’s at now,” He said.

A mutual friend of Ross and Sarah offered to take ISYB’s small T Shirt collection to London Press Week and, thinking nothing of it, the couple agreed.

What they received, however, was high praise from media outlets such as Loaded and Men’s Health.

It was then they realised that they had an opportunity and secured funding immediately.

So why should we pay attention to ISYB?

Focusing on Britain’s long forgotten naval communication, semaphore, ISYB uses unique designs to spell out secret messages that only you, the consumer will know.

“A lot of brands don’t have a substance and what it’s behind it is a philosophy of f*** all,” Ross said.

“Our latest collection, Creatures of the Deep, has put a fresh spin on Britain’s naval history. Every piece is expertly designed with the customer in mind.”

However, with every business comes it’s downsides and when I asked Ross he was more than happy to divulge his, although he did take a while to think of the negatives.

He said: “They say that a new brand has to be introduced to a consumer eight to 10 times before they’ll be interested in it.”

“We’re at a point now where sales are coming in but we’re hoping for more.

“I’m fortunate to live in such a loving environment and that’s given me the confidence to look past the negatives and focus on the future.

“My wife Sarah is always motivating me to get my finger out and now look, I have successful collections out and we’re only getting bigger.”


Shipping to France, USA and Germany to name a few, a Twitter following of over 4,000 and an Instagram army of over 8,000, there’s no slowing this brand down.

But where does Ross see the future of ISYB?

He said: “I’d really like for ISYB to remain the sole focus in my life.”

Ross explains that the naval concept opens many doors for him and he hopes to broaden the theme more.

Words such as sea, historical, naval and flags were thrown around so it looks like the future collections will be even more cooler than the last.

On the business side Ross is adamant that organic growth is what ISYB needs to succeed, throwing off the rumour that independent brands actively seek paid advertising.

As well as this, Ross also has ideas of countries that he’d like to send to.  The brand is already active in Iceland, Japan and Poland and who knows where ISYB will sail to next?

He said: “I’d hope in five years ISYB is a substantial beast with better coverage and sold internationally.”

“Let’s aim big and set our sails for that.”

Keep your eyes open for this brand in the future, it’s destined for success.


Ross divulges his three top tips for success…

Shop ISYB’s new collection Creatures of the Deep

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