Disability hate crimes on the rise – Hannah’s story

Just a few weeks ago Hannah, who has cerebral palsy, was walking home and was verbally attacked and chased by a group of men simply for being disabled. This type of unwarranted behaviour is not an uncommon experience for people with disabilities. 

21 year old Hannah, a victim of a hate crime

According to figures released by the Home Office, reports of disability hate crimes have risen by 51% in the last year and according to police figures there has been a 33% increase in England and Wales in the last year. Despite these shocking figures, disability hate crimes still remain very underreported. Hannah believes this is because “There is not enough coverage on hate crimes towards people with disabilities. There isn’t really a spokesperson for us, so we don’t have have anyone who’s really fighting for us – we’re still a very marginalised group.”

An infographic showing figures for disability hate crimes.

Even though the figures show that there is a definite increase in the number of attacks, many people with disabilities still feel as though they cannot come forward and report what has happened. This can be for a variety of reasons, “It happens so often, every single day. It becomes normal to you, like it’s a way of life for us now. So the severity of the attack is not so important because it’s so normal to you.”

Hate crimes can have long lasting effects on victims and although they may feel so numb to it because of how often it happens it can still have a massive impact on their day to day life. For Hannah, she has become so used to her disability that she forgets it is even a noticeable thing. “You become so used to being disabled that you almost forget you’re any different but then when someone hurls abuse at you it’s like a reminder that you’re not the same as everyone else. It can dehumanise you; that constant reminder that you’re different. It makes you more conscious of yourself, it makes you more aware that you even have a disability” 

Within the groups that are victims of hate crimes there is support available to them in the form of charities and groups. However, when speaking to an actual victim of a hate crime, that support can sometimes be missed. “There is not enough awareness on hate crimes of people with disabilities. There is a lot of coverage on other marginalised groups – there’s black activists’ groups and the LGBT community have Pride. We don’t really have anything like that, it’s still considered a taboo. It’s harder to express yourself with a disability. When you buy clothes it’s an expression of who you are but whatever we choose to wear can be ignored because people will only ever see the disability.”

Although having a disability can be difficult, especially when society is still so unaccepting it is uplifting to see how powerful Hannah is despite the various hate crimes. She continues to live her life and not let her disability change her. “I am not disabled, I have a disability.”

To report a hate crime you can call 999 or you can report it online. To receive support if you are a victim of hate crime there are organisations available.

HW: Data journalism potential stories

Two potential stories from True story data: 1. What is the correlation between race and how much truth is maintained in the films? 2. What are the main reasons directors/producers choose to fabricate the truth in these films?

The data gives a selection of “Based on a true story” films and debunks which scenes are True, True-ish, False, False-ish and Unknown. A potential story that could be written from the data is the correlation between films with main characters who are of colour and the truth. I think this could be a story because looking at the data at first glance the films with black or asian main characters tend to have more truth than false. For example, Selma has no false or false-isa scenes at all –  it is 100%. Whereas The Imitation Game appears to have more false scenes than truth and by looking at the numbers it is at a 41.1% truth. I think this would make for an interesting story because it could raise quite a few questions with its viewers and with the people who actually make the films. Why is it that Selma didn’t need to have any fabrications? Was it because it is simply a more interesting story? Or because the story explains itself and doesn’t need any fabrications to make it clearer to its audience? Although the answers would only be found by speaking to the actual people who make these films, it is still very interesting to analyse. 

Concerns raised on Council’s proposal to hold music festivals in local park

brockwell park

Lambeth Council have launched a proposal for music events such as Lovebox to be held in Brockwell Park, Herne Hill and some local residents are not pleased.

They have launched a campaign for people to pledge not to vote for any councillor that approves the proposal and does not support policies that benefit local residents. 

Despite the council stating that negotiations are still under way Lovebox have advertised that they are moving to Brockwell Park and have started making connections with Friends of Brockwell Park and the Brockwell Park Management Committee. Stating that after 13 years of being in Victoria Park they’re making a change to a park that is easily accessible to people all over London.

Locals have raised issues on the affects the festival will have on the wildlife and environment of the park and also the issues of ‘Pushing out locals, Poor values for communities, Damaging the economy and poor value for gig-goers’.

Peter Blair, a local and active member of Herne Hill Forum who is in favour of the proposal said “If we tolerate the views espoused by those individuals who oppose any major cultural festival in the Park, then activities which promote community cohesion, like the Lambeth Country Show, will be the next to go.”

Deborah Monfries: A Guyanese Cuisine Pioneer

Deborah Monfries

UMANA YANA means “the meeting place of people” and that is exactly the environment Deborah Monfries has created.

Deborah ‘Debbie’ Monfries, 57, is the owner of Umana Yana, a Guyanese and Caribbean takeaway restaurant in Herne Hill. She opened her successful business in 2009, she said ‘I was a manager at Sainsbury’s but then my son had Leukaemia and I was offered 3 and a half years, so I just didn’t see myself going back into a job where I would’ve lost touch and I didn’t want to start again because I’m not a spring chicken anymore!’ instead she went on to open the only Guyanese restaurant in the country, Umana Yana. 

umana yana

Being a qualified chef it was natural for Debbie to come up with the idea of a restaurant and it wasn’t long before she got the approval of the High Commissioner of Guyana, ‘While doing research I phoned the High Commissioner of Guyana and he said “That’d be great! You’d make Guyana proud as we don’t have one in this country.” So I thought oh, that’d be good!’ after receiving the go-ahead from him she was ready to start looking for somewhere to set up shop. From living in Croydon Debbie originally wanted to open her sit down restaurant there, however after a friend had recommended her to the roti shop in Herne Hill she went to view it, fell in love with the location and Umana Yana was born. 

Umana Yana counter

Umana Yana was named one of the best places to get its speciality Rotis by the Evening Standard. However, despite being so well loved in the community, in 2014 her sales declined forcing her to let go of all of her staff and work alone. This was because of the ‘hideous’ mobile phone boxes that were put outside of her restaurant by large telephone companies. This has reduced the amount of passing trade that Debbie receives and has made life for her very difficult, ‘It’s very hard because I work longer ours to maintain it. I just gotta do what I have to do to save my business.’ In total there are 5 boxes outside Umana Yana, each being put there at different times. ‘We started complaining to the council when they put the massive one and before we could get that sorted they put the second one down. While we were fighting those the others 3 came.’

phone boxes

The decline of sales and lack of staff has made life for Debbie really difficult and having customers that love and appreciate local businesses so much meant that within the last year locals have come together to help Debbie keep her shop open. Lucy, a writer on Herne Hill Forum came up with the idea of a petition which showcases just how many people in the community love and care about Umana Yana. Another loyal customer Sophie along with David took the issue into their hands and went to the council with Debbie to discuss the issue ‘The council gave us 5 minutes and we needed to get our point across and they did it. It was brilliant. Everybody clapped!’ Debbie is now waiting to hear back from the council, ‘I’m just hoping everyday the sales come through.’ 

umana yana


Filter Bubbles and Echo Chambers

echo chambers

When we get our news from social media we can unintentionally create our own filter bubbles and echo chambers. This is what happens when we retweet, like, share posts from our friends, people we follow or feeds we are interested in. It creates a space where we are only shown things we are interested in. This means that we don’t have as much of an opportunity to be exposed to ideas or people as we are only really shown things we are most likely to be interested in.  

What are SEOs?


Search Engine Optimisation: the process for making your website found in search and increasing the possibility of your website being found using:

  • Keywords – what search terms will make your content found – use in headline – H1
  • Slug – in the URL – in the permalink – edit permalink to have keywords in it
  • Body of text – don’t overload with keywords – could be blacklisted so must have context
  • Names of image files – for image to come up in image searches – alt tag if image doesn’t load will bring caption up as text instead
  • Be careful of clickbait
  • Links to social media accounts – so there is more activity
  • Put keywords in Meta Data
  • Hyperlinks to other sites – creates network for your website – RSS Plug-in – providing internal and external links keeping people on your site but inviting them elsewhere – creates more visitors if you let them know – creates back linking
  • makes sure site is responsive – available on all platforms 

Russell Boyce: Reuter’s Own

Russell Boyce presentation

From the presentation given by Boyce it was clear that he is a seasoned vet when it comes to photo journalism at Reuters.

The presentation began with snapshots of of photographs taken by Reuters Photographers and there were some amazing photos in the mix. Boyce then began to speak about himself and his career. His degree is not actually in Photography or Journalism, it’s in Fine Art which he studied at The University of Hull in 1983. Soon after graduating he started to try many different forms of Photography and finally decided that News Photography suited him best. He then spent two years doing News agency work and taking what he described as “Grizzly photos”. After working for News agencies he got his first job at Reuters Bureau and was able to travel the world taking pictures. He was the Chief of Singapore at Reuters for seven years and is now in charge of the Middle East and Africa. 

Boyce seemed very enthusiastic about the work they do Reuters and quite rightly so. Reuters is actually 160 years old so they are definitely full of experienced employees. Reuters is a well respected company too as they are well known to be built on their ‘Trust Principles.’ They are also admired for their large amount of content generating 2000 pictures a day, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from all over the world. Although Reuters produce such fantastic content they have competitors mainly television and Twitter as no one pays for photos on Twitter and if there were a breaking news story it would most likely have a lot of its coverage on social media, Boyce said “Reuters core is breaking news pictures” so if that is under threat of competition, so is Reuters. Reuters make money from publications paying for their and use their pictures in their publications. They also watermark their photos despite the controversy surrounding it so people know exactly where the photo comes from and are less likely to steal it. 

During the discussion at the ends of the presentation topics were raised by Boyce and audience members by the lack of female photographers in the industry and there was much talk about how we can change that and why that is. Boyce seemed set on making a change when it comes to the difference in amount of men working in the industry and women.

Coriolanus at The Barbican

Barbican theatre hall stalls seating

A stubborn, proud and strong man, Coriolanus was the epitome of toxic masculinity. The three hour long play takes you on his journey of triumph in war, being disowned by his own people and betrayal of people he trusted.

On the 8 November 2017 I went to the Barbican Theatre to watch Coriolanus. It was a slow start to the play, (I was late so I missed the very beginning, but the late room was lovely) when I arrived Martius had just won the battle and was returning home to be given the name Coriolanus for his triumph. After him being so triumphant he gets nominated for consulship but must win over the approval of the people and being the proud nobility he is, that is not something he commits to willingly. Nevertheless he goes to the people and asks for their votes much to the dismay of Brutus and Sicinius. Who then change the minds of the people to retract their votes. When Coriolanus hears this he goes red with anger against the people, making him think he is a traitor and banishing him from Corioles. He leaves to Rome where he seeks refuge with Aufidius who’s mid attack in Rome and Coriolanus agrees to help. After the people and nobility in Rome hear of this alliance they get very worried for their safety and Coriolanus’ mother, wife and son go and find him to persuade him to come home, which he eventually agrees to and they leave him to go back to Corioles. However, Aufidius feels betrayed and kills him. 

The play starts quite slowly and there’s a lot of brilliant dialogue between the characters throughout the play, and of course, as it is Shakespeare a lot of the vocabulary goes in one ear and out the other but with the physicality of the characters, even when you don’t understand what’s being said, it’s still very entertaining. 

The use of set was also interesting as it was so minimal. They did not need much to create an atmosphere. One set in particular that I liked was this scaffolding looking set, which connected to become stairs but could also fill the back the of the stage. It was used mainly for the market place and the people and it so clearly represented how differently the people and the nobility were living. 

The acting from the characters was brilliant too, the characterisations of them all showed just how much time and effort they must have put into rehearsals and spending time working on building chemistry with each other was definitely evident on stage.

As part of the press for the evening, we were able to get some free drinks during the interval and were well looked after by the Barbican and Royal Shakespeare company. All in all, a wonderful night.

Coriolanus was showing from 6-18 November 2017


How to Create a Logo

  1.  Check on the theme that you are sing which size your logo will need to be
  2. Open a new layer in the size that your logo needs to be in and make sure it is in pixels
  3. Adjust the background colour so it is transparent
  4. Add an image if you’d like one, design the logo however you’d like using Text 
  5. When logo is complete make any cropping adjustments necessary
  6. Save logo as a PNG 
  7. Upload logo by going to customise, then general, then upload it wherever you’d like on the page (final steps could change depending on theme)

Southwark Crown Court experience

From spending the day at Southwark Crown Court I was able to garner a general sense of the characteristics of it. 

As we entered Southwark Crown Court on the 9 November it was a very bleak and quiet atmosphere. There didn’t seem to be much going on and when we entered each of the courtrooms it wasn’t very different. It was a tax court so every case we saw was mainly people reading out times and dates of things that related to the case. However, there were talks of large sums of money and there were a lot of poplin each court. There were barristers for the prosecution and defence, a judge, defendants and witnesses. It was interesting to see exactly how a courtroom is laid out and was definitely a learning experience, even if it wasn’t the most interesting day.