The Friday Countdown

A look at the announcements, our favourite events, things we have learned and general stuff we like in the past week. Let us know what we missed!

5. #VenueOfTheMonth

Every month we like to give you the full rundown of one of our venues on Facebook and Twitter, which in a controversial move we named #VenueOfTheMonth.

This month we are looking at Devonshire Hall, which has year round conference facilities available and is the perfect place for meeting and team building events. In the summer we are also able to offer accommodation, which makes it ideal for summer schools and self-contained conferences. We currently have an excellent offer of over 30% off room hire and unlimited tea and coffee for a fiver!

However, if you have a look around our website you will be aware of all that, so we thought we would talk to Jamie Sahuc, our Event Coordinator in the hall, for a bit of a history lesson:

“Devonshire Hall is named after Victor Cavendish, the 9th Duke of Devonshire, who held the position of Chancellor at the University of Leeds from 1909 to 1938. The site was the first purpose built Hall of Residence for the students of the University of Leeds in 1930.

The name of Devonshire Hall had previously been held by the old Wesleyan College on Headingley Lane and after its lease expired a new site was found in Cumberland Road which included the Regent Court Residential Hotel and grounds which was purchased for £20,000 in 1927. Local architects, J.C. Procter and F.L. Charlton designed the new hall in the grounds with features in common with a Tudor monastic building.

Once the new site was completed 140 students and a warden transferred from the site on Headingley Lane to the new site on Cumberland Road in 1930. Today Devonshire Hall accommodates approximately 590 students.”

If you want to come and have a look around the venue just get in touch with us, we love an excuse to have a wander around the amazing buildings and beautiful gardens.

4. PURE Class

We are back with yet another Scores on the Doors story from Geoff, our Food Safety Training Manager, but unlike our last foray into the world of food hygiene, this one has a happy ending.

We are proud to announce that PURE café in the Worsley Building received a 5* Food Hygiene Certificate. This means that our delivered catering servicesthe Refectory and all of the 13 cafés now have a 5* Food Hygiene certificate!

Over to Sophie Dancer from the Great Food at Leeds team for a little bit about background about the café:

“PURE is a unique offering on campus serving up specially selected craft coffee, delicious drinks and handcrafted salads and sandwiches. With a special deli salad alongside other delicious PURE products made fresh each day, the café provides convenience food without compromising on quality.

PURE also features a unique coffee blend specially commissioned by craft roasters Dark Woods. Combining beans from India, Guatemala and Brazil, PURE’s coffee is causing quite a stir on campus.

With delicious baked goods courtesy of Caroline’s Cakes of Chapel Allerton, there’s also room for a little indulgence. Offering gluten free, dairy-free and low fat options, you’re bound to find a treat to suit you.”

We have to agree that the coffee and cake is stunning, so get down there for some five star food!

3. University of Leeds up for Guardian Award

After the success of winning the Times University of the Year 2017 award the University of Leeds is not resting in its laurels. We are now finalists in the Guardian University Awards 2017, in the Digital Innovation category!

From a conference and events perspective, digital innovation at the university has led to us now having access to some awesome new venues that are an attempt to improve collaborative and technologically enabled experiences for our delegates. The exciting redevelopment of space allows group discussion alongside the use of installed technology, bringing about group work, interaction, communication and recording.

Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Wednesday 29 March, so let’s keep our fingers crossed!

2. Fairtrade Fortnight

The University of Leeds has held Fairtrade University status since 2005.  Awarded by the Fairtrade Foundation, this reflects the Universities commitment to promoting and supporting Fairtrade.

Which is why our friends in at University of Leeds Sustainability and Great Food at Leeds have been doing their bit for the Fairtrade Fortnight, which runs from 27th February to 12th March, by working with some of our Sustainability Architect students to raise awareness of Fairtrade across the University. The students also looked into Great Food at Leeds and what we already do to support Fairtrade across all our outlets and the Deli(very) service.

They found:

  • We already stock over 60 different Fairtrade products in all our outlets across campus.
  • All the Cinnamon, Ginger, Black Pepper, Whole Cloves, Dried Apricot, Desiccated Coconut used in our dishes have all come from a Fairtrade supplier to be used on an on-going basis in The Refectory.
  • All the tea and coffee sold in The Refectory, Café 6, Business School Café, Café Seven, Baines Wing Café, Dolche Vita, Café Maia at Houldsworth, Café Maia at Ziff, Physics Coffee Bar and LIMM Café is ALL Fairtrade.
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Throughout the fortnight the students will be holding stalls at different locations across campus, where there will be opportunity to take part in a short quiz with the lucky winners being entered into a prize draw to win a Fairtrade hamper. The students will also be handing out samples of some of the tasty Fairtrade food products we sell across campus, so look out for them today!

We were also busy hosting the Fairtrade Craft Fair on Tuesday, which made over £550 for our charities, Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Cancer Research UK. The highlight for us was the Staff Choir, who were treating us to renditions of old favourites while people perused the stalls.

The best story we heard from the fair was that an anonymous shopper found £5 outside of Parkinson Court but couldn’t find the person that lost it. Rather than spending it on something for themselves they donated it to our charities!

1. Communication Matters & ChariTable

We are extremely proud to host the Communication Matters National Conference for the 5th time in September of this year, with the charity’s main office being based in Leeds since 2015.

The Communication Matters National AAC Conference is the leading annual Augmentative and Alternative Communication event and sees over 400 attendees come together to partake in workshops, talks and learn about advances in technology and research.

They have recently been working with ChariTable Bookings, who offer a restaurant booking service that donates to a charity of your choice with no cost to you! For every honoured booking they charge the restaurant £2 per person. For every £2 they receive, ChariTable Bookings donates £1 to your chosen charity.

Take a look at the video for the full explanation, then head over to the website the next time you book a restaurant and support your favourite charity!

Just so you know, we do not have any association with any of the news outlets, film and podcast recommendations. The views expressed in these do not represent the views of the University of Leeds.