Author Archives: emilyboormanblog

Glossy, Photoshopped and lighthearted cancer adverts – The True Cancer Bodies campaign is showing the truth

The reality of life is that cancer is, unfortunately, a part of it. In the UK one in two men or women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. But why are the campaigns and adverts not a true reflection of this?

We are more likely to see pictures of celebrities and picture perfect models in branded T-shirts, rather than the faces and bodies of the individuals who are actually living and fighting everyday with this illness.

Being a cancer victim herself, Vicky Saynor, 43 from Hertfordshire was extremely irritated by the campaign from the Breast Cancer Now Charity. It was based around the hashtags #Bosombuddies and #TwoIsBetterThanOne, which were used to promote support and community. This particular campaign was blasted for being insensitive and not an accurate representation of the experience and reality of cancer. The specific hashtag #TwoIsBetterThanOne was criticised for being thoughtless to women who have had one or both their breasts removed.

Vicky is standing up to this particular issue with a series of photos called True Cancer Bodies. This particular campaign is to show the world the truth behind this disease. It’s not all smiles or anything like the fabricated version that is portrayed all over our social media channels. Vicky told the Metro in 2019 ‘the majority of campaigns are money centric, targeting the ‘healthy’ population to donate money. So, “the campaigns are glossy, inoffensive, even playful. But when you’re going through cancer treatment, that’s the last thing you want to see”.

The participants in the series of photos ranged from 26 to 57 year olds and they all represented all the different types of cancer. The photos capture people gleaming, posing and being empowered by their scars and imperfections.


Breast Cancer Now has since apologised for their campaign and any offence it may have caused. They have also removed the video from its social media accounts. Despite this, Vicky believes more still need to be done to show the reality of living with cancer.


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The London Marathon say no to plastic and yes to saving the planet

The London Marathon rolled round once again on the 28th of April, but this year was different. Even though the runners built a thirst they still said no to plastic and made steps towards saving the planet. At the 2018 London Marathon runners used over 919,000 plastic bottles. The plan for this year was to use a little over 700,000 plastic bottles and 200,000 of the new edible seaweed pods.

These upcoming seaweed pouches called Ooho that are produced by Skipping Rocks Lab were filled with Lucozade sports drink for this particular event. The capsules can be bitten into to release the liquid inside and can actually be entirely consumed if wanted. If not, then they can be discarded and it will break down quickly.

The organisers of the marathon stated that the plastic bottles that were used were in a closed – loop system, where they were handed to runners and afterward collected and processed to create more plastic bottles.

Steps are being made in 2019 towards the climate change issue and people are standing up to help make a difference, from plastic straws being replaced with paper and some countries even banning plastic bags.

The London Marathon is an amazing event that brings community, exercise and dedication to London and now it also brings steps environmental change. These little changes are making a huge difference.



Lib Dem support increases in local elections following Brexit backlash

As the local elections come to a close, the conservative party have lost over 700 councillors alongside Labour who have lost just under 100. This follows the complete Brexit Blunder that has been happening since the referendum in 2016, which has caused a huge divide with the country. 

Liberal democrats have seen a substantial rise in seats with a gain of 398 councillors. The local elections take place to select office-holders in local government. This fully impacts how the country views the government and its decisions. 

With Brexit being extended until October, the results have been interpreted by the PM Theresa May, as the voter’s plea to ‘deliver Brexit’ which was reported by The Guardian this afternoon. The hashtag #Brexitbacklash is currently trending across the UK, with many voicing that Brexit impacted not only this vote, but their vote in the Euro Elections at the end of the month. 

 The Local elections take place every 4 years, with the main goal to establish Mayors and Councillors representing England and Northern Island. This is different from the General Election where you vote for who you wish to see Govern Britain. Your Local Councillor is chosen to represent the people who live in your area. 

 With the two main parties holding considerable losses, people have used the elections to show their opinions on Brexit and where to go from here. From the referendum nearly 3 years ago, many have begun to grow frustrated with the government, calling for them to just ‘get on with it’. 

 The losses for the conservative party could mean a real lack of confidence in the government and the PM who has been under scrutiny for the handling of Brexit, with many setbacks and anger around her deals. 

12th anniversary of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann – Scotland Yard request more money and a new kidnap suspect

Where is Madeleine McCann? This has been an ongoing question for 11 years now and we still have no answers. On the 3rd May 2007 Madeleine at the age of three, went missing whist on holiday with her parents and twin siblings. Force bosses have been applying for funding every six months since Madeleine’s disappearance to help continue inquiry, this has resulted in £11.75m of UK taxpayer’s money so far being spend on this specific case. This is the UK’s highest profiled missing child case.  Today marks the 12th anniversary of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance and today information was also released that detectives in the case are investigating a new kidnap suspect. Judicial police have also reportedly been given extra resources to look at the ‘new clue’. So many theories, so many twists. Will we ever know what truly happened? Or is it time to move onto a new chapter?



“It’s not like the movies”- Andrew: An ex undercover officer

Andrew Gregory, 54, never imagined that when he went to the Job Centre at 18 straight after he finished his A-levels, that he would end up in a career as an undercover officer culminating in him becoming a Covert Operation Manager. His journey began at Dover docks, where for a few years he worked as a customs officer dealing with passengers at the port. This was until one day, one of his fellow colleges mentioned that there was currently work available in the investigation unit. Andrew was raised in a council estate in Kent, and as government grants did not exist at this time, university was never an option for him. As he excelled at school, he was determined to ensure that his background and financial situation would not hold him back from a satisfactory and lucrative career.

Andrew worked within an investigation team that focused on criminal organisations that were smuggling cocaine into the UK. This was an interesting and high profile field of work, because at this time cocaine and particularly crack cocaine were fairly new forms of drugs that were attracting press attention.

After 10 years of working within the investigation team, he then stumbled into undercover work where he spent the next 18 years of his career. His job entailed him travelling abroad and becoming the character of a lorry driver. His job was to meet with informers and sometimes collect drugs off individuals. He would then proceed to bring the drugs back to the UK, in order for him and his team to arrest the organisations arranging the importations and supplying the drugs to the public.

“My most interesting job was probably the one that lasted for five years. I started the job and saw it through to the end. We infiltrated an organisation who we thought were trying to smuggle four tons of cocaine into England, but it ended up being into Spain. They handed us four tons of cocaine thinking we were working for them.”


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Andrew whilst undercover, had to always be on his toes. One little slip up could have blown his cover and ruined a whole investigation. He built up a character that he believed in, and was similar to his actual life to ensure that every operation ran smoothly and that no mistakes were made. His character was that of a single lorry driver. Once his home life changed and his daughter was born, his character and real-life circumstances diverged. This wasn’t an issue but it just meant that Andrew had to be extra careful whilst undercover. Within his field of work, Andrew was always being watched as criminals live on the edge. They are sharp and look at the little things such as what he wore, what he ate, and particularly how he talked.

Andrew faced many struggles and hurdles throughout his 18 years within undercover work.  He has often stated that one of the surprising aspects of his job, was that when he was working alongside criminals for long periods of time he found himself growing fond of them and their company. Whilst being involved in this certain job, Andrew had to ensure that his emotions and personal opinion did not get in the way of the operations and its main objectives.

“When it comes to crimes such as smuggling and robbery the people that do them can be anybody. I believe that it all just depends on who you hang around with and what path you chose to take.”

 “I did a job in Liverpool and I was undercover as a lorry driver. I had to live up there for a month. Whilst I was there I had to go to the pub for drinks with the bad guys and watch them take drugs in front of me.”

 The job wasn’t all fast cars, expensive dinners and travelling, even though these were just some of the amazing perks. Due to Andrew spending 18 years working as an undercover officer, it caused a strain on him personally. He would spend long durations of time away from home, and once he started a family this caused his work to become more and more stressful. He could spend weeks within his character and then have to go home and change back into himself. This caused his personality to considerably change due to the sharp transition he would have to face on a regular basis.

“Spending sometimes weeks with criminals would change my character. I became less of a nice person and unfortunately, you don’t get much help or support in this line of work. I definitely did it for too long.”

 Andrew was lucky when it came to his career. He fell on his feet, believed in what he did, and never had to worry about there being a dull day in the office. However, it’s not like the movies, it’s an intense, overwhelming and 24/7 job.













The Truth About Rave Culture

In 1988 British youth culture underwent a massive transformation, the music turned to acid- house and the drug on the scene was ecstasy. It all started in the Balearic island of Ibiza in 1985. The islands carefree and 24-hour party vibe influenced young DJ Paul Oakenfold. After his spontaneous visit, he made it his mission to bring the Ibiza nightlife back to rainy London with him. His first attempt did not go to plan, but this only motivated him more.


He planned his second trip to the island that never sleeps in 1987, to try one more time. When he returned to London he started introducing acid- house records into his DJ sets. Clubs in England at this particular time were only playing one type of music, but this was all about to change.

By 1988 acid house had become a phenomenon within London’s nightlife. This high only lasted a year and a half, but during that time everyone was in a haze of peace, love, and unity.

After all this time the spirit of raves is remerging again amongst the youth of Britain, and it is more popular than ever. This dynamic culture has taken over London, it is seen in nightclubs such as Egg, Fire and Lightbox and also festivals such as Elrow and Boomtown.

It is a culture where community is key and money is insignificant, so no wonder it is becoming more popular than the regular night clubbing scene amongst 18-25 year-olds.

Rave culture for many is seen as a negative way of enjoying yourself, as people associate drugs, bad behaviour, and illegal activity to this particular form of ‘partying’. It is a sub-culture that many have prejudged and have biased opinions on, due to the stigma that the media has created around raving. This all started due to the rise in illegal raves across London.

Once rave culture became popular amongst the youth of Britain, they were forced to battle and defend for their right to have a good time. Section 63 of the 1994 Criminal Justice Act was a law created in order to control and threaten the UK rave scene.

This particular law gave police the power to shut down events that were “characterised by the emission of succession of repetitive beats”. Illegal raves are still considerably present within today’s society, they are usually held in isolated outdoor venues or abandoned buildings and are well known for illegal drug use.

The unlicensed rave scene has been spread across all forms of media. This has resulted in society associating all types of raves with illegal behaviour. Legal rave culture is exactly the same as any other form of nightlife within London. It is a community of individuals who enjoy listening to a particular genre of music, and want to have a good time. Unfortunately, the rave scene is not seen this way by everyone.

It is only until recently that raves have started to become socially acceptable. This is due to acid – house becoming a popular genre of electronic dance music amongst today’s generation of youth. Raves signify a community of people, of all different ages and from different backgrounds. It is a community where having a good time is the only thing on people’s minds, and where you can get lost in the music all night long.




Women’s History Month : 1st -31st March

Empowering women and acknowledging the daily struggles they have had to face and still do is an important part of society. March every year is women’s history month. This specific time is for people to learn and shine light upon the amazing women that have got us to where we are today. Yes, women have made it a long way but there are still many steps that need to be accomplished before total equality of the sexes is achieved. The theme this year is “Visionary women: Champions of peace and non-violence”. This certain theme is to honour the women who have led efforts to end violence, injustice, and also the start of nonviolence to help change society.

Violence is seen around the world and in substantial numbers. Abuse and violence comes in many different forms, but some of them are still not acknowledged or recognised by everybody:

  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Psychological
  • Emotional
  • Verbal

Women’s history month has been apart of our diary’s since 1987 but unfortunately it is not one that many seem to remember or even know exists. Since the first ever women’s history month, many celebrity’s, schools, organisations and charity’s have made it their mission to ensure that women’s participation to society, economy and politics is recognised and remembered. This particular celebration is an extension of International Women’s Day which is on the 8th March. One day just isn’t enough to celebrate the many strong and courageous women throughout history and also the ones who are making change today.


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In London there is always something going on and there is no better place to go if you want to celebrate women:

  • Tonight Josephine’ – This is a basement cocktail bar located in Shoreditch as well as Waterloo. It’s quirky name and philosophy comes from Josephine De Beauharnais. She was a woman within history who was not scared to break the rules. She climbed her way up the social ladder and eventually became Empress of France. She spent her time making her own rules, throwing amazing parties and not caring what other people thought. This particular neon, soaked in glitter bar is to show that well behaved women do not make history and that cocktails are forever.


  • ‘Velvet Underground’ – Why not get a tattoo to mark this wonderful occasion. The Velvet Underground is the first tattoo parlour to only employ women tattooist, but don’t worry they tattoo both men and women. The tattoo industry is seen as a largely male dominated industry, so the Velvet Underground wanted to created a space that allows female collaborations and communication to be the forefront of its business.