Local activists rally to support former social worker in the wake of cancer diagnosis

Plus: Post Office Scandal, Boohoo's 'Made in the UK' labels, and updates on the Evington Road shooting.

Photo of Leicester Royal Infirmary's welcome sign

In focus

Local activists rally to support former social worker in the wake of cancer diagnosis

by Rhys Everquill

In a recent feature, a local activist and former psychiatric social worker, Malcolm Hunter, shared a heartfelt account of his unexpected admission to Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI). Malcolm, who documented his journey extensively through the family WhatsApp group, wanted to share his experience with a broader audience. He told the Great Central Gazette: "I thought it might be worth trying to write it up, as it might also be of interest to others".

Malcolm's one-and-a-half-week stay at LRI took an unexpected turn with a diagnosis of myeloma, a form of blood and bone marrow cancer that doesn't typically manifest as a lump or tumour but affects bones and hampers the production of healthy blood cells. In his story, Malcolm provided a detailed account of the current conditions within Leicester's hospitals in his own words.

Following an MRI scan during his hospitalisation, doctors informed Malcolm of bone damage in his spine that could potentially impact his spinal column in the future. To address this, they suggested a single intense dose of radiotherapy. However, the initial plan was to discharge him immediately and readmit him the next day for outpatient treatment, followed by a bone marrow biopsy the following day and an appointment with his community consultant and nurse the day after.

Expressing his frustration, Malcolm explained, "I was rather irritated at the apparent assumption that my wife would automatically be available to bring me in, when in fact she doesn't drive and her time is now actually heavily committed to helping my mum through a difficult period of settling into a new home while suffering from Alzheimer's".

Malcolm negotiated an additional day's stay to facilitate the radiotherapy. Still, he faced a challenge arranging transportation for the bone marrow biopsy. A self-proclaimed socialist, he turned to social media for help, posting an appeal on Facebook. He said: "Loads of friends and former colleagues got back to me, and so did many political activists and trade unionists, often people who I had not even met and who were just friends of friends. I was actually taken to this appointment by a trade union activist who I had never met, but who is a friend of a friend, because he was the first person to get back to me, within about two minutes, in fact".

Reflecting on the broader significance of this support, Malcolm said: "One thing that my mum had often said to me recently – while still in her old home in London and feeling isolated – was that perhaps she should join a church, despite being an atheist, because the labour movement that she grew up with no longer seemed to do much, or form the kind of inclusive community that it once had".

"This also chimed with my experience during lockdown, when I would have liked to see the Labour Party taking the lead in organising community support, but when in most areas it instead largely shut down. 

"As a result of this, I had instead ended up throwing my energies into delivering hot meals and food parcels for a Sikh charity".

Malcolm continues to receive long-term treatment for his condition.

My experience of emergency admission to Leicester Royal Infirmary
Starting on the 3 November this year, I embarked on a personal journey that provided me with a close-up view of the current state of our underfunded and increasingly beleaguered NHS.

Weather forecast

by Phil Morrish

🌨️ Monday, 15 January: A cold and frosty start at -2C. The day will be bitterly cold with a north wind. A few snow showers are possible but most places dry. A frosty night, dropping to -3C. Min: -3C | Max: 1C

🌨️ Tuesday, 16 January: A frosty start again. The day will be a mix of variable clouds and some sunshine. There is a brisk northwest breeze at around 20 mph and a 25% of a snow shower. Another frosty night but this time with the odd snow shower. Min: -3C | Max: 2C

🌨️ 🌥️ Wednesday, 17 January: More frost as the day gets started. There are some good sunny periods but with a 25% chance of a snow shower. That fierce northern wind rises to 25mph. A cold night. Min: -3C | Max: 3C

🌨️ 🌥️ Thursday, 18 January: Frost will become embedded as the week gets on, however, there will be plenty of winter sunshine with a 20% chance of a snow shower. It will still feel cold at 3C, with a moderate northwest breeze gusting to 20mph. Wrap up warm at night. Min: -2C | Max: 3C

🌥️ Friday, 19 January: Frost continues at daybreak, with plenty of sunshine. But the clouds will start to build in the afternoon. Temperatures rise ever so slightly, but still cold at 4C. A moderate northwest wind at 20mph. Clouds will build during the evening. Min: -2C | Max: 4C

🌧️ Weekend, 20-21 January: It's going to be a wet weekend, I'm afraid. Rain will precede snow early on Saturday with some heavy bursts. Cloud will remain with some mist for much of the day as temperatures rise to 7C by late afternoon. On Sunday, it will be a much milder, breezy day with rain at times turning more showery. There will be a strong southwest wind at 30mph. Temperatures will rise to 11C, and will fall slightly at night. Min: 8C | Max: 11C

In the news

by Rhys Everquill

  • Post Office Scandal. The family of a local Horizon victim says the proposed new law to exonerate victims is a step in the right direction. Read more
  • Rough sleeping. Leicester's homelessness charities speak out as council considers axing vital rough sleeper support. Read more
  • Boohoo. Fast fashion retailer removed thousands of overseas labels and replaced them with 'Made in the UK' at the Thurmaston Lane factory in Leicester. Read more
  • Evington Road shooting. Police arrest a seventh person in connection with the shooting that took place in Evington in November last year. Read more
  • Bhargav Kumar Upadhyay. The popular 33-year-old Bollywood singer reflects on his time in Leicester. Read more
  • Health inequalities. De Montfort University will be part of a five-year programme to investigate health inequalities. Read more
  • Young Person of the Year Awards. The Lord-Lieutenant, Mike Kapur, calls on residents to vote for inspiring young people aged 13 to 19 across Leicestershire. Read more
  • Leicester Royal Infirmary. A close-up view of the current state of our underfunded and increasingly beleaguered NHS. Read more
My experience of emergency admission to Leicester Royal Infirmary
Starting on the 3 November this year, I embarked on a personal journey that provided me with a close-up view of the current state of our underfunded and increasingly beleaguered NHS.

What's On

by Leah Everquill

🚨 – Last chance
💷 – Entry fee
🆓 – Free of charge

If you fancy an evening of poetry, head to Ole Moses' Cabin. Carol will share some of her profound poetry and converse with Ty’rone Haughton about her accomplished career. Starts at 7pm. Tickets from £3.96.

Want to listen to some folk music? Pop down to The Musician for some fabulous tunes from Eliza Carthy and Jenn Reid. Doors open 7:30pm. Tickets cost £22.

LCB Depot is hosting a coffee morning for creatives to network with one another. Runs from 10am-12pm.

Calling all musical theatre fans! Cosmic Theatre presents their production of Annie JR at The Y Theatre. Starts at 7:30pm. Tickets from £14.

A mesmerising and thrilling performance choreographed by Jamaal Burkmar is coming to Curve Theatre. Performance starts 7:45pm. Tickets from £10.

Does your child like to sing? Curve Theatre is hosting junior choir workshops every Monday. Runs from 5-6pm. Children over 7 only. Each class costs £4.50.

On the market

by Rhys Everquill

GIF of the three-story property listed below.

This three-storey, Grade II Listed home in the heart of the Greyfriars Conservation Area is a sight to behold. Situated in an area steeped in history and just a stone's throw away from all the amenities. It's reasonably priced, too, when considering its incredible features: open plan dining kitchen, raised rear terrace, cellar, utility room, and a south-facing garden. What more could you want?

Price: £475,000

Guildhall Lane, Leicester 3 bed character property for sale - £475,000
James Sellicks - Leicester present this 3 bedroom character property for sale in Guildhall Lane, Leicester

Food and drink

by David Landwehr

Photo of the deep pan cookie (top left), fish finger sandwich (top right) and the bacon-egg cob (below).

Meg-a-cakes Cafe is a classic bakery. The second you walk in, it's warm and welcoming, with the smell of delicious food permeating throughout. I ordered a bacon-egg cob and a fish finger sandwich. For dessert, I bought a deep pan cookie. The cob is exactly what you want in a place like this: a big slab of crispy bacon with a whole egg and a lot of butter. Although a cookie shouldn't necessarily be part of a morning breakfast, I'm all for it.

Price: £9.70 for everything

Sports highlights

by David Landwehr

  • Football: Leicester City dropped a surprising game against Coventry on Saturday, losing 3-1 away. Read more
  • Cricket: Deejay Thanki and Nafeesa Katib have been named WCEN Inspirational Women 2023. The two are Leicestershire cricket coaches. Read more
  • Snooker: The World Grand Prix will start today at Morningside Arena. Mark Selby will be hoping for a home win. Read more


by Megan Lupton

Photo of Old John

Old John, situated in the historic Bradgate Park, is a staple of Leicestershire's skyline. This picture dates back to 1949.

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to Great Central Gazette.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.