Should we stay or should we go now?

Student EU picture

Let’s stick together. We are better in the EU.

The time is coming near when you will have to decide if you want Britain to stay in or leave the European Union.

As a student here at Teesside the decision made will certainly affect you over the coming years.

Tside is launching a campaign today across all of it’s platforms – print; online and broadcast –  giving you some facts and figures to help you make up your mind.

Here tside editor Josh Gallacher sets out how we feel you should vote.

So – Should we stay or should we go now?

Those famous words from  Joe Strummer  of The Clash have never been so relevant in politics as in this year.

The EU referendum will be one of the biggest decisions made by our democratic country since WW2, we will ultimately decide whether we as a country want to take advantage of being part of the EU or whether we think that being part of the EU is a big mistake.

In my opinion, there is only one way that we, the British Public, should vote. We should stay.

There are plenty of reasons why we should stay and there are some reasons why we should go, but the reasons that we should stay by far outweigh those cons.

Firstly, we as a country, need to move past the migrant question as if it is the only thing that will change come a yes vote in this referendum. I think one of the biggest problems with a lot of people in this country is that they have found a reason to hate immigrants be it one way or another, whether it be the uproar after the Red Door scandal, or the many Daily Mail articles warning of a flood of migration from countries such as Libya, people in this country have jumped on a hatred band wagon that they need to jump off.

Migration is not the only subject that Brexit could mean for this country.

As a counter measure to leaving the EU, David Cameron took part in a meeting in Brussels with a deal in mind to secure further devolution of powers to the UK if it where to stay in the EU and it is for this reason that I think we should stay within the EU.

Although David Cameron returned from that meeting with a slightly different deal, it is not one to be scoffed.

The agreement will take effect immediately if we choose to stay, and will include changes such as:

Child Benefit – Child benefit payments to migrant workers for children living overseas will be recalculated to reflect the cost of living in their home countries.

Migrant Welfare Payments – The UK will be able to decide to limit in-work benefits for EU migrants during their first four years in the UK.

Eurozone – Britain can keep the pound while being in Europe, and our business trade with the bloc without discrimination. Any British money spent on bailing out Eurozone nations will be reimbursed.

Protection for the City of London – Safeguards for Britains large financial services industry to prevent Eurozone regulations being imposed on it.

Sovereignty – A very emphatic no from the UK of being part of an “ever closer union.”

‘Red Card’ for national parliaments – It will be easier governments to band together to block unwanted law from the EU. If 55% of national EU parliaments wish to block the law, then it will have to be rethought.

Competitiveness -The deal calls on all EU members and institutions to “make all efforts to fully implement and strengthen the internal market”, making sure that trade deals and movements still go ahead with meaning.

Some limits on free movement – This means that the UK can deny free movement rights automatically to nationals of countries outside of the EU who marry an EU national in an attempt to break down “sham” marriages. Other powers included allow the UK to remove people from the country who are believed to be a security risk, even if they have no previous convictions.

UK business, in my opinion, is the other big issue within this debate, how would leaving the EU effect UK business, but more importantly, how would it effect people’s jobs. The BBC reported that big businesses tend to be in favour of Britain staying the EU because it makes it easier for them to move money, people and products around the world.

Nissan, who employ more than 5000 in the North East area, have previously been reported that they may reconsider investment in the UK if we were to choose to leave the EU, I don’t have to tell you the consequence of that.

When it all comes down to it, the answer to whether Britain is better in the EU or better out of it comes down to you and what you believe the important issues are. It’s these important issues that can either lead Britain to become a free nation, or it can lead it to economic ruin.


from Tside

Middlesbrough and the rise of refugees

ACCORDING to Government guidelines, asylum seekers should average one person in every 200 people. But Middlesbrough currently has 1 in every 186 citizens – the highest per head of the population in the UK.

The recent red door scandal showed some reactions to this evidence, with asylum seekers believing they were racially targeted due to the colour of their doors.

Some were even subjected to having stones and eggs thrown at their homes.

Tside Reporter EMILY CONYARD speaks to a former refugee and a Teesside based charity worker to find out what it is really like to claim asylum in Boro.

Although much of Heath’s story is shocking, it is not an unusual one for refugees who are living in Middlesbrough.

Paul Catterall, Chief Executive Officer of Open Door North East, a Christian charity supporting refugees and asylum

CHRISTIAN CHARITY: Paul believes every refugee should be welcomed warmly

CHRISTIAN CHARITY: Paul believes every refugee should be welcomed warmly

seekers says that as numbers rise and resources are cut, local people are having to step up to the mark to support those fleeing war and persecution who have settled here.

He added: “I’d say this year alone we’ve had over 2,000 people here. We see around 45 people a week at our refugee work club and a further 35 coming for destitution support.”

“When I remember my move to Nunthorpe in 1991, there were no racially diverse citizens. I lived in an entirely white neighbourhood.

“Now Teesside has been enriched by different cultures and ethnic groups. We now have spaces filled with ethnic food, drink and clothing. It’s opening our eyes to the world around us.

Open Door North East began when people of all backgrounds started to attend Teesside’s Jubilee Church. Paul recalls that their “eyes were opened” to the severe destitute that some asylum seekers face.

The charity now offers a range of services including job search, housing applications and a women’s group aimed at providing support and friendship.

AWARD WINNING: CEO Paul and workplace volunteer, Heath at 2015's Charity Awards evening

AWARD WINNING: CEO Paul and workplace volunteer, Heath at 2015’s Charity Awards evening

Paul added: “Having witnessed three Ethiopian refugee camps, I would prefer the government gave adequate provision for those in the camps so it doesn’t result in desperate cross sea migration.” says Paul.

“It took horrific pictures of refugees being washed up on shores for people to stand up and take notice, if we had excellent resettlement programmes in the camps, this might not have happened.”

According to the BBC, in December 2015 the International Organisation for Migration claimed a “milestone” with 1,006,000 refugee land and sea migration across Europe.

Out of that number only 942,000 claimed asylum.

During the same year, David Cameron announced that Britain would take up to 20,000 vulnerable Syrian refugees from refugee camps in the years leading up to 2020. From this it is hoped that around 400 to 500 refugee families will be housed in Teesside. 

The exact number will be dependent on the Government’s own plan.

Paul believes refugees should be welcomes warmly: “People often forget that the UK is built on years of migration. Take Ed and David Miliband for example, they’re descendants of a Jewish refugee.

“We treat celebrities that have refugee descendants as icons of what it takes to be British, then we witness tabloid papers displaying xenophobia and claiming that we’re being “swamped” by asylum seekers.

WARM WELCOME: Last year people from all walks of life came together at Open Door to celebrate Refugee Week

WARM WELCOME: Last year people from all walks of life came together at Open Door to celebrate Refugee Week

“We need to get over ourselves and remember not to promote cultural fear but cultural welcome instead.”

 Open Door welcomes refugees from all walks of life and, through that, has on occasions had to deal with personal traumas and negativity from local residents.

“People have in the past walked into our drop in sessions and enquire if it’s “just for black people. I find the best way to deal with these issues is to sit them down and explain what we offer. 

“They’re usually quite accepting once they understand what we are doing and why.” 

It is estimated that Middlesbrough has 980 individuals housed by the home office at any one time, 30% of which will typically get a positive decision whilst a similar number might be rejected. Both need the help and support of charities like Open Door North East.

For details on how to become a volunteer, check out their website.

from Tside


In 2012 Zachary Cole Smith and his band released an album that would impact people for years after.

Oshin” was a something new, it had the typical indie genre but brought in elements of pop, shoegaze and at many points instrumental too.

Fans where then left hanging for four years waiting for Diiv’s follow up album. Finally in September 2015 Cole-Smith announced their newest single “Dopamine” which gave Diiv’s loyal following the music they’d been waiting for.

“Is The Is Are” was finally released on February 5th and it gave us everything Cole-Smith had promised.

Opening with “Out of Mind” and followed closely by the last single released leading up to the album “Under the Sun”, you are immediately returned to Cole-Smith’s drug fueled, euphoric world that was presented to us on “Oshin.”

However “Under the Sun” has a more indie rock vibe to it, like many tracks on this album, they seem more clear and structured than a lot of “Oshin.” Tracks like “Is The Is Are” and “Incarnate Devil” all have an indie genre running through them.

The album has an element of darkness to it too though, it’s stating the battle with addiction that Cole-Smith and then girlfriend Sky Ferreira had both been in the media about.

Zach CS.jpg

FRONT-MAN: Zach Cole-Smith.

The low-tones and unnerving sounds of “Mire (Grant’s Song)”, “Dust” and “Valentine” add an element of sadness to the album. “Mire..” especially as it enters a realm of shoegazing that we, as Diiv fans, haven’t seen them enter before.

Of course the album still has similarities to Diiv’s 2012 “Oshin” as tracks like “Bent (Roi’s Song)” and “Loose Ends” both could sit on Diiv’s debut and carry the element of what the band started off doing.

Even the small bridging tracks like “(Fuck)” and “Napa” are a very interesting point of the album, collectively lasting no longer than two minutes – ten seconds, they are small pieces of musical masterpieces.

It’s clear that Diiv have progressed from their “Oshin” era and have produced an album that, yes, at some points may seem a little self-absorbed and focused around addiction being somewhat “cool” it’s impossible to deny that this is a spectacular album.

From highlights like “Healthy Moon”, “Dust” and “Out of Mind” to all the well wrote and well produced singles, their isn’t really a low point to this album.

Like “Oshin” you never feel yourself wanting to skip a song and that’s the sign of a good album.

Even if we are all left waiting another four years for Diiv music, at least we can continue to play “Is The Is Are” for that duration.

Diiv are heading on tour now, find the tour dates here

from Tside

Adolescence’: Student Directs and Produces Own Theatre Play

A TEESSIDE University student  is producing  and directing her  own theatre play at Stockton Riverside College.
Crystal Barrett, a Performing Arts student, has worked hard to write and prepare a play that tells the story of a naïve young woman’s journey from innocence to experience.
The story shows issues of relationships between the characters, such as Nico and his best friend Chance and the complicated relationship between Nico and Jasmine’s best friend Elenia.

FULL CAST: Victor Olowoyo , Rebecca French, Harrison Obioha , Shaywa Nzar, James Belt, Andy Falconer and Crystal Barrett (From left to right)

FULL CAST: Victor Olowoyo , Rebecca French, Harrison Obioha , Shaywa Nzar, James Belt, Andy Falconer and Crystal Barrett (From left to right)

Crystal said she was inspired by current issues and life experiences.

She said: ‘’Reading newspapers, social media, current issues, music, it’s influenced by many things.’’

”Adolescence has given me the opportunity to work closely with a group of talented individuals from an array of courses at Teesside university to produce dynamic theatre.

”This work has provided me the opportunity to develop as writer, director and an individual.”

The story of the play relates to many real life cases of people’s relationships and friendships which at times can hit rock bottom.

Crystal believes this is something that everyone can relate to.

Performing Arts student, cast member and director Harrisson Obioha, said: ‘’This is my final major project and it’s just been a roller-coaster ride for the six months, and hopefully it will go well because I’ve put my blood, sweat and tears into this.’’

Harrisson has also helped to direct this play as well as his own and plays the role of Jasmine’s father.

Crystal added: ”We have all worked extremely hard and hope to see you at the premiere of “adolescence” at the event L’evento-a night of new writing.”

The play will be performed on Tuesday  April 26 at Stockton Riverside College in the Margaret Armstrong theatre, beginning  at 6:30pm.
Tickets can be purchased at Intelligent Tickets.


from Tside

Two Golds for Middlesbrough teen swimmer

A Teesside teenager  has won two gold medals at a national swimming event.

jamie blott

Jamie shows off his medals.

Jamie Blott,  from Middlesbrough Swimming Club, recently  took part in the Cerebral Palsy Sport National Swimming Championships.

And the 15-year-old  took two golds  competing in the long course events which are  in a 50m pool rather than a 25m pool.

Jamie won the 15 -18-year-old age group for 50m and 100m breast stroke. Both resulting in personal bests.

The event was held at the Harvey Hadden Sports Village in Nottingham.

A maximum of five events may be entered and the minimum qualifying age is 10 years.

Jamie was entered into a number of races which were broken down into heats.

Jamie Blott Simmer

Jamie after the event.

The National Swimming Championships are for  club level swimmers in England and Wales who suffer with Cerebral Palsey.

The swimmers  must be diagnosed with having non progressive brain damage with motor control dysfunction such as cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, stroke or similar conditions.

This year was the first year Scottish swimmers have also been welcomed into the competition.





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Second Year Guide: How to choose a house with your friends.

student living_room

Sharing a house or flat can be fun

“HELLO AND WELCOME TO MY CRIB ON MTV!” said no student ever because – as we all know – our species are collectively skint and we’d never have a glam enough apartment to appear on that show.

In this article we’re going to give you our top tips on how to live within your means when choosing accommodation for second year.

-What can you afford?

Be realistic; there’s no good in agreeing to live in a 5* luxury hotel, when your budget doesn’t stretch that far. We’re students – beans on toast is our haute cuisine, find accommodation which will fit in accordingly.
-Are all bills included?

Generally speaking, most letting agencies include all utilities in the bill – so that’s gas, electricity, water and broadband… however, TV licenses? Not always. So, the inclusion of TV license on the bill is another thing to consider. REMEMBER: it’s all about saving that dosh.

– Living with friends or studio flat?

It’s all well and good making plans to live with your new best mates in Fresher’s Week, but just remember; sometimes people aren’t always as they first appear. That oh-so-cool nicey-nicey girl you’ve just met? She might be the most unhygienic, laziest girl you will ever come to meet. That boy you’ve just fell head-over-heels in love with? He might have five other girls head-over-heels in love with him. Be careful.

– Private or university managed housing?

Was the step from your mommy-coddled family home, to independent living a bit too much for you to handle? Then maybe university managed housing is the thing for you. However, if you’re thinking of going private using letting agencies, then always ensure the ones you choose and their landlords are accredited with the NALS license.


– How far is it from the university?

Extra costs on transport is something you ideally need to avoid. Plus, we all know how the student lifestyle can take its toll on our beloved beauty sleep – so why choose a house so far from the university that could compromise that? Location from the university should be a priority when you’re choosing a home for second year.


– Have you got a reputable agent?

As students, we are new to the housing world and relatively naïve – unfortunately this is something which landlords like to use to their advantage, and are therefore seldom known to pass off shoddy houses and flats to students at outrageous prices. Don’t allow yourself to be one of them. Do your research into the letting agencies, ask previous tenants, question any broken fixtures – even ask neighbours of the property if you have to. Do your bit to avoid being treated like a mug.
-READ the tenancy agreement!
Read it, read it and read it again. Make sure you and your guarantor are 100% certain on what you are signing your life away to – for all you know, the small print says you need to boil three frogs, eat two eyeballs and find the blood of a virgin; and where are you going for one of those in 2016?
– Smoking/non-smoking?
This may seem like a minor issue to some, but to the fag-ash lils of the world, it may be the be-all and end-all of where they will live in second year. Though the majority of rented properties out there now are non-smoking, there are some out there that will allow it – once again, you will have to ask these things.
– Make sure everybody is happy…
Most importantly, make sure everybody is happy. For the following two years you’ll be wanting to live in your chosen property with the most positive atmosphere and least arguments as possible – this will not be happening if you’re living with someone who is secretly bitter at the fact they’ve been lumped in the coldest, dampest room. Be reasonable and fair.

Now, the easy part is over… the hard part is choosing what poison your drinking for the house party!


By  Megan Johnson & Jade Baxter

from Tside

Gigging with X Factor star Josh Daniels: A student’s claim to fame

A student is quickly becoming a popular guitarist for North East acts after performing with X Factor star Josh Daniels.

Jack Connor, 19, has been playing the guitar for eight years and that training paid off when he got to gig with the X  Factor str on a recent tour.

Jack said: “I met Josh Daniel about a year ago at a local gig and loved his style and had a chat with him about his music and months later I got asked to do some session work with a singer called Kerianne Covell for her record management called RU listening.

“Josh was also recording with the same management that day and I had a jam with him.

“He also liked my style of playing and asked me to play guitar for him for a gig.

“Eventually X-Factor arrived and then he went on to do massive shows and he took me with him.”

Jack has been gigging with Josh all around the country at venues such as the Metro Radio arena and Birmingham NEC alongside pop stars like Olly Murs and Cheryl Versini Hernandez.

A nerve wracking task for any upcoming guitarist, however Jack takes it all in its stride.

He said: “Touring with Josh is amazing in every way. We have a good laugh travelling to new places and seeing different venues.” 

“The dressing room banter is always spot on and the excitement feels good. Then you get the crowd.

“The crowd is what drives me on the most. One day me and Josh got through about 50,000 people in one day.

“That feeling is indescribable. Overall its fun, exciting, rewarding and just a pleasure to have as a job.”


Jack performing with JOSH DANIELS

Currently studying Music at the Academy of Sound in Newcastle, Jack is hoping to make a living out of what he loves best.

He said: “My long term ambition, in a nutshell, is to make money from doing what I love which is playing the guitar for a living.”

“Ideally I want to be a session guitarist and play for lots of different artists in studios or recordings.

“Playing shows and going on tour is another ambition of mine. I’m going to try and do both.”

Josh Daniels has praised Jack and is confident he can achieve his goals.

Josh said: “I’ve worked with Jack for a while now, he has never failed to show dedication, commitment and is able to work quickly and professionally.”

“He has great stage presence and charisma.

“He always gives good creative input in rehearsal and is a pleasure to work with on the arena shows as much as the more intimate ones. Long may it continue.”


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Young boy with life threatening illness raises money to help others

A charity fashion show has been held to help raise money for a Teesside youngster.

Fashion business ROMAN Originals  opened its doors  for charity, except this time it’s for a local cause.

Dominic Speight, 10, was diagnosed with Long Q T Syndrome just 18 months ago after he collapsed at Christ the King primary school.

HAPPY FAMILY: Dominic and supportive family network

HAPPY FAMILY: Dominic and supportive family network

At first, doctors believed he may have been suffering from an anaphylactic shock but his test results showed something which changed his life forever.

The genetic condition affecting Dominic’s heartbeat has left him vulnerable to a cardiac arrest and unable to take part in adrenaline sports.

“It was traumatic for us to find out what actually was the root cause of the problem,” said Claire Speight, Dominic’s mum.

“Of course my mother’s instinct knew there was something up with him. He hadn’t been right for weeks and just didn’t seem his usual bubbly self.

“But I never imagined it would be anything this life threatening.”

CHARITY: Claire and Roman's store owners, Emily and Maureen

CHARITY: Claire and Roman’s store owners, Emily and Maureen

However, Dominic’s story is far from over. He’s currently allergic to the only medication he can take to stop his illness, Beta Blockers.

Unless they can find another drug to regulate his heartbeat, Dominic will have to undergo surgery to rectify his heart.

“When I think back to his diagnosis, my heart shatters. He was so shocked and frustrated with the outcome,” Claire said.

“But we’ve all been overwhelmed with the generosity of those around us. Even the children at Dom’s school have been so supportive of his journey.”

Inspired by Dominic’s tale, Claire has made it her mission to raise money and fund defibrillator installation in all of Middlesbrough’s Catholic schools.

She said: “We initially started fundraising in January to get a defibrillator for Dominic’s primary and secondary school but within 24 hours we’d received £1,500 from different charities.”

“Since then, we’ve raised £4,000 in total meaning that we can help other children in Dominic’s shoes.”

FASHION: Models strut their stuff to raise money for Dominic's defibrillators

FASHION: Models strut their stuff to raise money for Dominic’s defibrillators

Roman Originals have joined the cause by throwing a charity fashion show in aid of raising money for Dominic’s defibrillators.

The night was a great success with raffles, prizes and catwalks.

Emily Jones, organiser of the event, said they already raised £160 in donations before the catwalk began.

She said: “Dominic’s story is such a touching tale, the boy has been through so much at such a young age.”

“We want to raise as much as we can so defibrillators are installed in every Middlesbrough school.”


from Tside

The life of modern day missionaries

Living in the 21st Century the term missionary is one which often doesn’t crop up in conversation, but what is a missionary and do they still exist?

Second generation missionaries Ruth and Andrew Newlove, originally from Teesside, live in a small barangay called Bacnotan in the Philipines with their four young children.

Situated eight  hours away from the capital Manila;  life is very different for them in comparison to their lives when they were in England.

ruth and andrew

The Newlove family

Andrew comes from a family of missionaries and was raised in this part of the Philippines for 15 years.

He learnt the language and speaks both the local and national dialogs, Ilocano and Tagalog.

He said: “Often you can hear people talking about you and because you’re white no one thinks you can understand but in fact you know every word they’re saying.”

“I often use that to my advantage when speaking to groups of people here.

“No one wants to listen to western missionaries, but when they find out you can speak their language this really grabs their attention.”

After living in the Philippines for five years as a family, the Newloves work together  with the heart of their community as leaders of the  New Vision Church alongside Pastor Raul Belarmino.

Ruth said: “Our vision for this area is imparting a heart of missions and encouraging people to become missionaries to their own people and out into other nations.”

Ruth Newlove, who comes from Middlesbrough,  is the daughter of Martin Ruddick,  Pastor and  leader of Amazing! Grace Church on Teesside.

Having such a strong link with the church, Amazing! Grace sent a team of ladies over last May to experience life as a modern day missionary alongside the Newlove family.


Margaret Ruddick, Santa Putz, Sharon Scott, Lora Rickters and myself were all on that team and were all a part of running Band of Sisters Women’s Conference. See the link below to find out more:


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