7 marathons in 7 days

In September, Politics and International Relations undergraduate student Lucca Froud undertook the marathon task (pun intended) of running from London to Paris, completing 7 marathons in 7 days.

We caught up with Lucca to find out how he got on.

  1. What motivated you to undertake this challenge?

I wanted to make people more aware of the impact the climate crisis is having on oceans, rivers, and wild fish.

“Our oceans are some of the most incredible and beautiful ecosystems, they are also pivotal in preventing climate change. Far bigger than any rainforest, the ocean is the greatest carbon sink on Earth storing 93% of all Carbon.”

2. Why did you choose WildFish?

Climate change is the most significant threat to humans and the natural world, and our waters are our biggest tool to prevent it. So, it was an easy decision to raise money for a charity that protects our fish and their waters. I specifically chose WildFish as I met the CEO Nick Measham and was struck by the charity’s passion and efficiency in actively holding the government to account in areas where it had failed to safeguard our waters.

3. How did you train/prepare? 

Research. Research. And more research. I read blogs, listened to podcasts, followed accounts on Strava and figured out what my weekly training mileage needed to be to run 7 marathons in 7 days. I started with 60km for the first week, then 75km for the second week, then back down to 60km for weeks 3 and 4.

I also told as many people as possible, by doing this there were lots of people holding me to account, which meant backing out would have been very embarrassing.

4. Did you have a running playlist, what was on it? 

I didn’t have a running playlist! It all just depended day-to-day what I felt like listening to. I listened to a lot of podcasts too.

5. If you had to pick a highlight from this experience, what would it be? 

My highlight was running the final 2km. I was with my girlfriend Shae who had been my support team on the trip, and we just kept looking at each other in disbelief that we were actually going to make it.








6. Did everything go to plan? 

Nothing went to plan! We had problems every day. Our support bike broke at halfway on the first day, as a result, Shae had to take a lot of public transport which on some days was non-existent. We found it much more difficult to find food than we had anticipated and so on many days I was running on 20% of the calories I was supposed to. I remember one day the shops shut early so we had to go door-to-door asking people to refill my water bottles. I speak a bit of French but as you can imagine an Englishman trying to explain that he needs water because he’s running from London to Paris probably made a lot of people question my French skills or my sanity.

7. What’s next for you?

I am running the London Marathon next year to raise money for the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation. I also have an eye on a more local Bristol trail ultramarathon called the Greenman as I would love to compete in that race too!

Read more about Lucca’s decision-making and training processes in his interview with WildFish.

A bit of winter baking anyone?

Mince pies are a festive favourite for many and are super simple to make.


200g plain flour

100g butter or dairy free alternative

1 medium egg

1 jar of mincemeat

Icing sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/190C Fan/Gas 6.

  2. Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture is a bit crumbly.

  3. Mix in a beaten egg yolk and until it forms soft dough. Wrap in cling film or put it into a plastic bag and chill for 20–30 minutes.

  4. Roll out the pastry to a thickness of 2–3mm and cut out about small rounds with a pastry cutter.

  5. Place in lightly greased bun tins and spoon the mincemeat evenly into the pies.

  6. Re-roll the leftover pastry and cut out round lids, stars, stripes or other festive shapes to fit on top of the mincemeat.

  7. Lightly brush the pastry tops with the beaten egg and bake in the oven for 12–15 minutes until golden.

  8. Leave to cool and then enjoy!

Festive films to watch

Winter is the perfect time to snuggle up under blankets, watch films and eat yummy snacks.

Earlier this week we asked you what your favourite films are for the festive season, here are some of your suggestions.

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

A Muppet Christmas Carol lego scene

The Muppets perform the classic Dickens holiday tale, complete with Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, ghosts of Christmas past, present and future and Miss Piggy doing what she does best. Is a miserable old man capable of redemption and happiness?

Nativity! (2009)

A British schoolteacher tries to convince his ex-girlfriend, who now works in film production in LA, to come back to Coventry to film his school’s nativity play.

Love Actually (2003)

Love is all around – and so is heartbreak – as multiple couples navigate romance, family, weddings and airports at Christmastime.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)

Harry Potter scene made with lego

An orphaned 11 year-old enrols in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, here he learns the truth about himself, his family and the terrible evil that haunts the magical world.

The first of the eight Harry Potter films is perhaps the most festive, with the Great Hall full of trees and treats, homemade Christmas jumpers and snowy scenes, however that isn’t to say you can’t watch the entire series over the course of winter break.

The Lighthouse (2019)

Maybe not the most traditional of Christmas films, but in the Victorian Era ghost stories were an integral part of the season, with families gathering round the fire to tell tales of terror.

In The Lighthouse, two lighthouse keepers try to maintain their sanity while living on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s.

Die Hard (1988)

Not considered a Christmas film by everyone, but Die Hard has become a staple holiday viewing for many.

New York City policeman John McClane is visiting his estranged wife on Christmas Eve. He joins her at a holiday party in the headquarters of the Japanese-owned business she works for. But the festivities are interrupted by a group of terrorists who take over the exclusive high-rise and everyone in it. Very soon McClane realises that there’s no one to save the hostages – but him. Yippee Ki-Yay!

Rise of the Guardians (2012)

Generation after generation, immortal Guardians like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy protect the world’s children from darkness and despair. However, Pitch Black, a bogeyman that generates fear and nightmares, plans to overthrow the Guardians. It falls to a winter sprite named Jack Frost to thwart Pitch’s plans and save the Guardians.

La La Land (2016)

Sebastian and Mia are drawn together by their common desire to do what they love. But as success mounts they are faced with decisions that begin to fray the fragile fabric of their love affair, and the dreams they worked so hard to maintain in each other threaten to rip them apart.

Lego Santa Claus with reindeer and presents

Other notable film suggestions include:

  • The Grinch (2000)
  • A Christmas Prince (2017)
  • The Holiday (2006)
  • Polar Express (2004)
  • Christmas with the Kranks (2004)
  • Tales from the Crypt (1972)
  • Home Alone (1990)
  • Bad Santa (2003)
  • Elf (2003)

Many of these films are available on Netflix and Amazon Prime, or from Bristol Library for a £1 fee for a week’s loan.

If you are staying in Bristol over the course of Winter Break, ResiLife have events on every day for all students, whether you live in Halls of Residences or not. There is also support available throughout the entire winter period if you need it.

Images provided by student champion Josh.

You said, we listened…

Back in July we asked students minority ethnic students what content they would like to see in their newsletter. Here is what they told us.

Over 85% of you said that you like seeing a list of events

So we are including more events, both on campus and in the wider city that would be of interest to students from minority ethnic groups. Because of the cost of living we are going to only be sharing free events or those with a maximum of £10.

73% of you enjoy finding out about research that is happening at the University

So we are reaching out to academics from different faculties to see if they have any research they would like to share or signpost to.

All of you said that you wanted to be made aware of paid opportunities

man with dark hair using a computer

With the continuing cost of living crisis we are going to be speaking with the Careers Service to find out what support, roles and training are available.

You had great suggestions for content contributions

There were many great suggestions for additions to the newsletter from more information about financial support, particularly for Widening Participation students, to videos of events.

We want to highlight student creativity and passion. Are you a blogger? Photographer? Aspiring filmmaker? Baker? If so, the student comms mailbox is always open, please get in touch so we can share and celebrate your talents.

Bristol Students’ Union is home to over 350 societies, clubs and networks and we’d like to use the newsletter to learn more about them. So, starting in the New Year we are going to feature a society spotlight with each newsletter focusing on a different society and what they do.

We are also going to make a conscious effort to share student and staff successes, as we all need to celebrate the wins when we get them.

We asked you if you liked the name BAME Newsletter

It was a resounding no. Now after two rounds of surveys we finally have a winning name. Going forward the BAME Newsletter will be called Horizons Newsletter.

Banner for Horizons newsletter

Thank you to all of you who took the time to fill out the surveys, it is greatly appreciated.

Festive Recipes From Around The World

Words by Student Champion Lottie

The days are getting shorter and your fluffy socks have made a comeback for another winter season. You’ve just bought your first pack of mince pies since last year and all you can smell is your spiced apple scented candles. This is the perfect time to try out some traditional, cosy festive recipes from around the world. Here is a starter, main and dessert to get you into the festive spirit!


Let’s start in France with an easy festive soup, made with chestnuts. This recipe also involves ‘duck confit’, which is a traditional French dish where a duck is slow cooked until completely softened. It can be stored for up to a month in preserved fat.  

You can be pretty flexible here and use any vegetables which will add to the warm, winter feel of the foamy dish. Heavy cream and stock are also required. 

  1. First of all, fry your selection of vegetables with a knob of butter in a large pot, until they are tender. 
  2. Add a handful of chestnuts, some duck confit and a stock which covers all of the ingredients. Bring the pot to a boil and then allow it to simmer for 20 mi
  3. After 20 minutes, add a generous dollop of heavy cream. Allow the mixture to simmer for another 5 minutes and season to taste. 
  4. Transfer to a blender and purée the mixture until it has your desired texture.  
  5. Serve with a spoonful of maple cream and enjoy! 


Flying across the world to South America, it’s time for the main! Here is the recipe for the traditional dish, Bacalao Guisado, which is often served during this festive period. It consists of a salted cod, served with an assortment of vegetables in a tomato sauce. 

  1. Fry an onion, a clove of garlic and a red pepper in a deep pan until softened. 
  2. Add any desired spices, roasted tomato sauce and some water to the pan – just enough so that the vegetables are covered. 
  3. Add a diced potato to the mix and cover, allowing it to simmer for 10 minutes. 
  4. After this, the potatoes should be semi-boiled and we can add the salted cod, gently folding it into the base and then leaving it for 5 minutes. 
  5. And we’re done! Serve with white rice. 


Finishing with a dessert, it’s time to try some classic Canadian butter tarts, often served around the time of thanksgiving. This easy recipe requires a variety of basic and accessible ingredients, such as pastry, eggs and sugar.  

  1. After pre-heating the oven to 180C, cut a sheet of pastry into the same shapes as you would for a mince pie and add the bases to a cupcake tin. 
  2. Beat 2 eggs in a bowl and add a handful of raisins, a generous amount of sugar, a dash of vanilla extract, a knob of butter and a dollop of cream.  
  3. Heat this mixture in a bowl until it thickens.  
  4. After stirring in a handful of walnuts, add the mixture to the tart bases. 
  5. Cook until golden and you can eat these cold or heated up! 

Are you feeling festive yet? If you try any of these recipes, make sure to post a photo and tag the University of Bristol on Instagram! 

Meet our Pride photographer

After two years of cancellations Bristol Pride is back! Throughout June and July the city has been hosting a range of events from drag shows, talks and socials, all leading to the grand finale that is Pride Day on 9 July.

University of Bristol alum Nicky Ebbage is going to be taking photos for us on Pride Day to capture the fun and celebration.

So let’s find out more about them!

1. What did you study at Bristol?

I studied history, which isn’t at all related to what I do in life now – other than a unit in my second year about inter-war photography and film! I absolutely wouldn’t change it though; it taught me a lot, and really impacted how I think and conceptualise the world.

2. How did you decide to become a photographer, and why is it important to be recognised as a queer photographer?

I became a photographer after deciding I needed a break from academia. Initially I was planning to go straight from degree to MA to PhD, but partway through my MA I realised it wasn’t really right for me. I bounced between jobs for a while, before remembering how much I’d enjoyed my part-time job – assistant to a photographer – when I was a teenager, and decided to go for it!

I’m very open about being a queer/trans photographer for a couple of reasons. First of all, it tends to set a lot of my clients at ease; most of the people who book me are LGBTQ people specifically looking for an LGBTQ photographer. The wedding industry in particular can be very heteronormative and gendered, so I think a lot of queer couples really want to work with someone who isn’t going to make assumptions!

And secondly it’s important because the photography industry isn’t hugely diverse. In the UK, most photographers – both professional and hobbyist – tend to be from the same demographic. I think if people can see me existing as a queer/trans, working class photographer it will help change ideas of what a photographer looks like and who can be one. Hopefully it might even encourage other people like me to get involved with photography!

3. How can the University better help LGBTQ+ students?

I think improving access to health services is a big one. It’s been six years since I was a student, so I’m not sure what’s changed in that time, but I definitely remember that counselling services seemed stretched. Ensuring better access to mental health services is important for all students, but I think it’s especially important for those who are LGBTQ. Physical health services are important too – I remember really wanting to physically transition when I was a student, but not really knowing how to go about it. Having a point of contact for that kind of thing would have been extremely helpful.

Ensuring that all spaces in the university are a welcoming environment for LGBTQ students is also a very important, and something that can be done on this front is to give tutors and staff appropriate training. I remember that there were some very weird assumptions made in my seminars whenever queer topics were covered, and I think ensuring tutors are able to challenge or correct misinformation is important.

4. What’s your first memory of Pride and how will you be marking Pride this year?

The first Pride I ever attended was Bristol Pride in 2013 – I’d been out as asexual for about a year, but I hadn’t come out to anyone as trans yet. It was a pretty different experience to what Pride is today – it felt smaller, and there wasn’t the huge variety of different flags that you tend to see now. I mostly remember getting an ace pride flag painted on my cheek, and then spending the rest of the day explaining what it was to random people! One guy came and hugged me though – he was asexual too, and had never met another asexual in real life before. That was a pretty nice moment.

This year I’m celebrating with a photography exhibition! I run a transgender visibility project called Bristol Trans Portraits, and some of the images are up at St George’s Bristol until July 10th. Pop in for a visit if you’re near Park Street – it’s free entry, and we also have a panel discussion coming up on July 6th, which will be about the theme of visibility. You can find all the details on the project website: www.bristoltransportraits.co.uk

Other than that, I’ll probably end up working my way through a lot of LGBTQ films!

5. What are your favourite things to photograph?

That’s a really difficult question to answer! I photograph a real mix of things – from weddings to landscapes to gigs – and I like the different aspects of all of them. I mostly love photographing anything that gives me the opportunity to be creative; minimalist images really draw me in, so any time I have the opportunity to work negative space into my images tends to make me pretty happy!

That being said, there’s also something pretty special about doing one-on-one portrait sessions. They give you a lot of time to really connect with someone, and I’ve actually ended up making some good friends that way!

If you would like to know more about how we are celebrating Pride please visit our Pride webpage. And if you have your own stories to share about Pride or being part of the LGBTQ+ community please get in touch: student-comms@bristol.ac.uk. 

#BristolUniPride #BristolPride

The importance of the LGBTQ+ Society

Bug Lewins Ktori is the incoming president of the University’s LGBTQ+ society. Having been involved with the society since their first year at the University, they are committed to making sure that all LGBTQ+ students benefit from a sense of community and peer support during their time at Bristol.

We spoke to Bug about intersectionality, peer-support, representation, and their following of the ‘DofE’ approach.

Why is the Q so important in LGBTQ+?

The Q is very important. To me, queer means not fitting in, having parts of yourself that aren’t societally acceptable, not fit

ting into a box that has been assigned to you. It can act as an umbrella for different gender identities and sexual orientations and how they intertwine

with other identities. Having the ability to say I’m queer, I’m one of you without specifically narrowing down to specific letters is important for me.

Also reclaiming the word queer is so empowering, we’re able to take back which was used as a slur and are now able to say this is my identity and I love and am proud of that.

How important is intersectionality to the LGBTQ+ Society?

Our top priority really is intersectionality, because there’s no point making those of us who are more privileged within an underprivileged community feel wonderful, while still excluding an entire underrepresented part of our community, that is already struggling more so you know, as a group that’s supposed to be providing support and community that is one of our biggest focuses.

We have a very diverse committee with a zero-tolerance policy on any sort of discrimination, we also do our best to cater to intersections such as disability and race.

What are your peer support sessions like?

These sessions run in collaboration with Project:Talk, so any concerns are fed back to them. But we’re very chilled out, we try to make these sessions as unintimidating as possible. We bring a bunch of biscuits, a bunch of colouring books and we chat, we do have some structured questions i.e. names, pronouns etc. but mostly we talk about our days/weeks and natural conversation is sparked from that. And then the rest of it is just kind of almost kind of like hanging out as friends. 

If a student had an issue how would/could the society help?

If a student has an incident or a negative experience, we will escalate this to the SU and the University and discuss formal measures. We help students navigate any formal complaint processes and make that person feel less alone in that whole process as nobody should go through those things alone.

I like to think that we exist as sort of like an advice group. Almost like if you had a problem in the workplace, you could talk to the Citizens Advice Bureau and you’d have someone to help represent you.

What is the best way for a student to get in touch if they have an issue?

We’re trying our best to make as many of our communication channels as discreet/anonymous as possible, which will hopefully encourage those who aren’t ‘out’ yet or allies to join. I work with the DofE (Duke of Edinburgh) rules in mind, moving at the slowest person’s speed by catering to the most marginalised/cautious people and then moving forward from there.

We have a big discord server which is open to anyone – there is no need for membership. We also have our Instagram and Facebook Group which are managed by us. People can also reach us on our personal accounts and email addresses e.g., someone may feel more confident speaking to the Accessibility Officer or BAME representative about certain things.

Find out more about the LGBTQ+ Society on Bristol SU’s website!


How to be a good neighbour

We asked our student champions for tips on how we can be better neighbours and better engage with our local communities, here is what they had to say:

“In order to create an engaged, supportive community, it is essential that everyone contributes to being a good neighbour. As students, we must consider the needs of the people around us, whether they are our flatmates or other members of the public, and we can easily do this through small acts of kindness. For example, we can keep the noise down at night, take out the bins and maintain cleanliness within shared spaces. These tasks require minimal effort but they can drastically improve relationships with our neighbours, allowing the community to become more close-knit and understanding.”


“Being a good neighbour involves a few things that I would consider necessary. The most important thing first is respect. Showing and having respect for your neighbour is a fundamental aspect of building a good relationship with them. Once respect is established, the next step is being understanding.  Remember everyone has different personalities and lifestyles and therefore you have to be open to interacting with them. Lastly, I would say establishing boundaries to me is also key to being a good neighbour. When you establish healthy boundaries, you are less likely to then have future problems with your neighbour.”


“A good neighbour is not just about the person but the personality & the authenticity. If the neighbour is caring, aware of the surroundings, and thoughtful, it describes how the neighbour is good. Similarly, if the neighbour is being the best and the most authentic person of themselves, it also strengthens the fact that the neighbour is good. A good neighbour can also be tangibly seen when you are around them. If you feel warmth, comfort, and you can be yourself without sugar-coating your personality, that means the neighbour is good because there is no such burden for you to feel.”


A good neighbour is considerate of noise: Do you play loud music or talk loudly in your garden/whilst walking down a street after 11pm?

A good neighbour is tidy: Do you always put your rubbish in a bin? Do you organise the recycling into the right bins and put it out the night before?

A good neighbour is respectful and helpful: If you see someone struggling with something, do you offer to help them? Do you smile back at the sweet old lady sat at the bus stop? Do you make sure not to push past people if overtaking them whilst walking down a narrow footpath?



We’re proud to work with and support a really useful student-run mental health organisation called PROJECT:TALK. We spoke with their co-president, Sophie to get some background on why it’s good to talk.


PROJECT:TALK is a Mental Fitness society and CIC at the University of Bristol. We pioneer mental fitness initiatives including mental health training and community events. The funds raised are channelled back into the community by funding mental fitness provisions selected by those who need it most. 

Why did you join PROJECT:TALK?

We joined PROJECT:TALK as the idea of open conversations about mental health seemed like something that our society is lacking. We wanted to create a safe space for students to meet in a relaxed environment and to teach others how to approach mental health conversations.

Why is talking right now a good thing for mental health?

Talking with others is very important for your mental health. It allows you to share your feelings and understand that you are not alone in your situation.

What can people do to support you?

We organise a lot of wonderful events and training, so attending those is the biggest support. Additionally completing our mental fitness training is a big support for us, as it allows us to grow our community at the university.

Talking to one another and being honest about how we are feeling can help remove the stigma surrounding mental health. By speaking about issues we are facing we are then able to get help and support. PROJECT:TALK are involved in the University and Bristol SU’s joint Dare to Care campaign and are hosting a talk session in the SU Loft on Tuesday 1 March.

Remember when it comes to suicide, see the signs, say the words, signpost to support.

The University and Bristol SU have teamed up with the Zero Suicide Alliance to offer an online training module to help you when speaking to someone who’s struggling. It’s designed to take 20 minutes, but we recommend you allow longer to take breaks and reflect on what you’re learning. We’re encouraging all students and staff to take this training – an opportunity to book time in your diary, grab a cuppa and find out how this can help you and others.


Did you know the first animal-free cookery book, Kitchen Philosophy for Vegetarians, was published in England in 1849 by William Horsell of London and the first cookery book to use the new word ‘vegan’ in its title was Fay K. Henderson’s Vegan Recipes pub?



For many people the start of the new year means setting resolutions and goals for the next 12 months, whether that is to read more books, drink more water or take up a new hobby. Since 2014, however, many have been taking on a different challenge, Veganuary.

Veganuary is a month-long challenge during which participants give up animal products for 31 days. No milk, no cheese, no eggs, no meat, no chocolate. Sounds like no fun, right? Wrong. Since it was launched eight years ago Veganuary has only grown in popularity; 400,000 people took the pledge in 2020, this increased to a whopping 582,000 in 2021.

In 2019, the Vegan Society estimated that 600,000 adults, or just over 1% of the population, were vegan and market research group Kantar said last year that 1.9% of households include at least one vegan.

So, what is the difference between vegan and plant-based?

 The term plant-based is often included in the same conversations as veganism, but the two aren’t to be conflated. Both terms mean different things to different people, but the consensus is that being plant-based is solely about diet whereas veganism is about ethics.

For a plant-based individual the percentage of plant-based meals you eat can vary, you can be 100% plant based or mostly plant-based. Whereas with veganism you are either in or you’re out, you can’t be 20% vegan. There are also some issues that vegans can have differing opinions on such as pet ownership, zoos/aquaria, eating figs, honey, wearing wool/leather/silk (even if second-hand), medical treatments etc. Confusingly many vegans actually chose to use to refer to themselves as plant-based to separate themselves from controversial or preachy vegan figures.



Is it hard to be vegan?

 Veganism, like any new habit, can take a while to get used to and slip-ups can happen. But the important thing is not to put any unnecessary pressure on yourself and put your health at the forefront. If the vegan/plant-based diet doesn’t agree with your body or it starts to encourage dangerous restrictive eating patterns, it is okay to stop.

With that being said, vegan food is so readily available in the UK and in Bristol in particular, that you don’t need to miss out on your favourite meals, snacks or recipes.

Did you know that the University of Bristol has been ranked #2 by Veganuary as one of the most vegan-friendly universities?

Where do you get your protein?

This question is perhaps the most likely to elicit an eye-roll from anyone who does not eat meat, it is up there with “would you eat an animal if you were stranded on a desert island?”.

Nobody has denied that products such as eggs, beef, chicken, offal have high levels of protein, it just seems that people have not been taught that beans and vegetables also have high levels of protein. Some of the largest and strongest animals on earth are herbivores, just look at rhinos, gorillas, and elephants.

Each meat-eating individual eats over 10,000 animals (including fish) over the course of their lifetimes.

So, is veganism worth it?

Some say yes, some say no. It totally depends on the individual.

But if you are interested in taking part in Veganuary this year or in subsequent years, or just want to try new foods, our Source Cafes have a wide range of food offerings to cater to all tastes from salads and sandwiches to smoothies and pizza.