Can students in London afford their rent ?

A BBC research says that young people  in their 20s that would like to rent a place for themselves are having to pay out an “unaffordable” amount in almost two-thirds of Britain.

By: Ananda de Morais

Photo from Wikipedia DATE PICTURE WAS UPLOADED: 23 March 2012 SOURCE: AUTHOR: Photos public domain

The BBC report also said that in London a 20 year old with an average salary would spend around 55% of their monthly wages on a small one-bedroom flat.  

London is known for being one of the most expensive cities in the world,  but we never really know how bad they can be, one of the most expensive things in London is the rent. Especially for students, I spoke to Heather, 20 about how it is living in London, she moved from Boston which is a small town in East Middle-lands to London the countries capital.

Most students in London are forced to share a house or flat because of how expensive the rent can be, but even with sharing a house/flat they still find it hard to pay for the rent. I asked Heather if she shares a house or flat, “I live on my own now, but before I used to live with my boyfriend.” 

Heather currently pays £298 pw for her one-bedroom flat, which works our £1192 a month, I asked her if her student maintenance loan helped her pay for her rent “It helps but it doesn’t cover it, I get the £11,002 which is the max.” Event students who get the full maintenance  struggle to pay for their rent, so they have to rely on students overdrafts , which luckily don’t have any interest.  

I also asked her if she had ever tried to look for a different place to live since this one is so expensive. “I looked at private but it worked out much more expensive up front because my place only had a £250 deposit whereas most private want a month upfront.” The upfront cost to rent in London is outrageous so a lot of students struggle to pay for it, unless they’ve saved up before-hand or their parents can help them out. 

Have you ever struggled to pay for rent?  “I’ve always managed to pay it with student bank account overdraft but been very short for money.”  Being short of money is a common thing in London unless you’ve got a full-time well paid job. Especially for students, who can’t work full time and are paying a fortune on their rent, trying to make ends meet can be very tough sometimes.  Also according to the Save The Student survey 44% of students struggle to keep up with rent.

Most students in who live in London have to work to maintain the London life, which is very expensive. Although the living wage in London is £10.20 most jobs will not pay that and just pay around £7/8ph.  I asked Heather if she had a job or ever had one whilst living in London? “Yeah, when I first moved I was a Christmas temp at Lush on Oxford street and then over summer I worked in a pub in Camden but I don’t work now.” 


Tom McCabe: A Profile

Tom McCabe current CEO of CoolTan Arts, a charity that help adults who suffer from mental health.

Tom McCabe is the CEO of CoolTan Arts, a charity ran to help adults with mental health problems. CoolTan Arts helps adults who are referred by their GP and their psychiatric nurses. The charity started 25 years ago in Brixton, but it moved to Southwark, Walworth Road. This is charity is funded by the patience’s personal health budgets from the NHS, personalisation money via by the NHS, and they also have to apply for different trusts and foundations.

Three years ago, McCabe started working at CoolTan Arts as a consultant to help fundraising development work. After working there for a year, there were some administrating changes in CoolTan, with these changes it led to McCabe being invited to be an operation director intern. Around a year and half ago McCabe was asked to be the CEO of CoolTan Arts. 

Being born and raised in Upstate New York, McCabe lived and worked many years in New York before moving to Philadelphia. It’s where he worked for years and a place that he can call home “kind of what I almost call home”.  Tom comes from a background in international arts management, which means he’s worked with sound engineering, lightning design, arts administration such as working with facilities management, programming curation, performing arts, visual arts as in creating visual arts exhibitions. 

When McCabe first started he worked in folk culture and folk art, which also included world music. Tom has “worn several different hats” in the arts facilities and general management. He was once manager director in an organisation in New York and Philadelphia. This then proceeded to him doing subcontract work as a consultant in some well-known festivals, such as New Orleans Jazz Festival and The Big Chill Festival.

With having moved to the U.K 21 years ago for personal reasons, McCabe “has seen a lot of the world” whether it was through work or holiday. This had led to McCabe actually conducting tours for artists in Europe and Overseas.

He saw a lot of artists struggle to maintain their mental health in a good state.  McCabe was inspired. ” I came across people in the arts who are straddling a fairly fine line between an artistic genius and the other side of that fine line or threshold could be some really disturbing issues with their mental health.” And this is one of the reasons McCabe does what he does now, he says.

He explained that being an artistic genius “isn’t always easy, and it isn’t always stimulated by a health mind set. So, what’ll happen is people will self-medicate. As I found in the arts, that might be through alcohol or through drugs. You’ll see a lot of people struggling.” Because of all of this McCabe had always thought how could he help the artists, so he started to talk to them and ask them how they felt and from this onwards McCabe started working towards helping mental health.

East Street Market and its diversity

The great diversity that happens in East Street market

The Walworth area is situated in the district of South East London. With Walworth was once being home to the great English comic actor Charlie Chaplin and also Sir Michael Caine.

The area of Walworth is famous for their East Street Market which has been around since the 16th century. The East Street Market sells a lot of different goods varying from Caribbean and African vegetable and fruits to household items. The diversity in the market is very similar to the people who live in Walworth, the market tries to reflect their sale on that.

I spoke to a student who lives in Walworth and asked him how it feels to live in a such an ethnically diverse and youthful area of London, “it feels really cool living in such an ethnically diverse area, it brings a lot of character to the community and with the market it provides such a large variety of worldly goods on your door step” The market is open every Tuesday to Friday 8am-5pm, Saturday 8am-6.30pm, Sunday 8am-2pm.

Save Harker Studios

Harker studio is one of the only 6 art studios left in london.

Built by Joseph Harker in 1904, Harker studio’s is being threatened to be destroyed so new luxury apartments can be built instead. There is a petition going around to try and save the studio. If you would like to sign it heres the link:

DING, DING Huntsman and Hounds pub saved

Huntsman and Hounds pub has lucky been reopened because of walworth society

Huntsman and Hounds pub has re-opened. The pub was closed in 2014 as it was sold to a developer but in August 2016 it was then re-opened. The pub re-opened due to a campaign led by the Walworth Society.  The pub’s 161-year-old building was earlier this year bought by United St Saviour’s charity, and the pub will then be ran by Market Taverns.

The company that opened the new Huntsman and Hounds also has a Market Porter in Borough Market. “There aren’t many pubs around Walworth anymore, it’s going be nice to bring in local people again.”says their new manager Isobel Wall. The pub has shut for another couple of months but then again it was re-opened with the charity now guaranteeing its future.

United St Saviour’s says the pub’s rental income will be used to support the charity’s community investment programme and sheltered housing for elderly people in Southwark.  United St Saviour’s say’s that the pub will introduce teas, coffee, cakes and traditional pub food. A few changes have been made to the pub’s interior just before it was re-opened, now re-opened the pub will bring the community back together.


Burgess Park revamp

South-west of Burgess park gets a touch up of £3.5M.

Southwark council has decided to comple a £3.5M revant in the Burgess Park, which is also part of the £9m scheme that will also try and improve the sport and public toilets facilities. 

They are planning on building:

  • 90 trees are going to be planted because 45 were cut down int eh park.
  • There will be a Natural play area made of wooden features for the children.
  • A new park entrance will be built with new lighting and seating. 


War memorial in Elephant Park

Bronze war memorial will be built in Walworth by May 2018.

A bronze war memorial of a boy standing on a fallen tree. This will be built in the new Elephant Park area of Walworth. The date given for this war memorial to be built is May 2018. The Southwark council has said that the statue will “represent the lives lost by war” because the boy on the tree will represent us looking into the future. 


Las Iguanas: A review


Las Iguanas, the place where you can dance your troubles away. 

Las Iguanas is a Latin American dining restaurant chain that was created in the U.K. Visiting Las Iguanas was surely an experience to remember, the atmosphere was incredible everyone was extremely friendly and the drinks were exceptional. I hadn’t planned on going to Las Iguanas at all, I was just out on a walk down the South bank and stumbled across it, and what a discovery this was. As soon as you walk in into Las Iguanas you see the dance floor with a DJ, the music played is Latin music which is amazing to dance to. Not only does Las Iguanas serve amazing alcohol but they also do delicious dishes which are all Latin. 

There’s even a happy hour at Las Iguanas 2for1 on drinks, from 12-7pm. 

I definetly recommend going to Las Iguanas if you’re up for a dance, nice refreshing cocktail and a spicy meal. 

The opening hours for South Bank Centre – Las Iguanas is:

Monday – Tuesday: 10am – 11pm

Wedneaday – Thursday: 10am – 12am

Friday – Saturday: 10am – 2 am

Sunday – 10am – 10:30pm 

What is a day in the Southwark Crown Court like ?

Southwark crown court visit, what is it like to be in an actual court.

On the 19th of October 2017 our Journalism class headed over to Southwark Crown court. We got handed over a paper with all of the cases in them and we had to make our way to the courts. The court we got given was court 8 and this was a fraud case. The public gallery was allocated on the left hand side of the court. The prosecutor was at the front and the defendants were in the dock with an uniformed officer. Every time that we had to leave the court we had to bow to the judge, and every time the judge left he court everyone had to stand up and was only allowed to sit down when they had completely left.

You can learn a lot from one court visit, specially how to behave inside a court, the do’s & don’ts. 

Skaters vs business owners … who’s the winner?

Skaters in London’s Southbank speak about their lives in the skate park.

So today I went for a little stroll across Southbank in London to have a look and see if there was anything happening. I came across the skate park.  The skate park has been around since 1970s and it has always been part of London’s skaters’ lives.

The skate park can be found the under croft of the Southbank Centre. Whilst I stopped to have a look at the skate park, I also managed to speak to a skater, Remi, 18, attends UCL. He told me a bit more about the skate park. “They have come before and tried to lock it” says Remi. He told me about how they have tried shutting the skate park before but they actually never managed to. These skaters have said that the skate park is the place where they make friends and can just chill. Although the skate park is very good during the day, I was warned not to go during night time as it can get a bit out of hand. I recommend going to see the skate park because it’s not only a great place to meet people of different backgrounds, but also they have great graffiti which you can also see.