Blog on The Frog

After the departure of Alan Godber, I have been asked to take writing the Blog on the Frog, writes Jim Matthews. Vimme and co thought my experience as a journalist would help. Thirty-five years on the Leicester Mercury has not equipped me for writing the Blog on the Frog for at least two reasons. Firstly, the frog is very slimy and secondly, every time I put pen to its back, it hops!

Saying farewell to Alan was a happy occasion. Seeing his surprise as he walked in to the packed briefing room was just like seeing the face of a child who has just poked that stick into the sub-station. We welcome Lou Lemmon and wish her luck in her new role.

Warning Zone is taking over the new curry house Chef & Spice in Andrewes Street, off Hinckley Road, on June 24 for an all-you-can-eat buffet costing £15 per head. If you want tickets – or to donate to the raffle – drop Anne Collins a line at enquiries@warningzone.org.uk . But, as the frog might say, hop to it quickly or you’ll miss out. 

We have been chosen as one of the charities to benefit from ‘Cash for your Community’ organised by the Leicester Mercury in association with Nottingham Building Society. We need to collect as many coupons from the Mercury up to June 28. Buy the Mercury, clip the coupons and leave them with Anne who will forward them on the charity’s behalf. The total fund is £35,000 and the more coupons collected for WZ, the bigger portion we will get.

Just over £5,000 was raised for Warning Zone when The High Sheriffs of Leicestershire and Rutland held a race night at Leicester Racecourse in May. Part of that money came from a bucket collection. It was fascinating to hear Libby Gilman describe in the volunteers’ room what an effective hustler for money Vimme Rathour can be, with bucket in hand and steely glint in her eye! 

Local builders Willmott-Dixon have signed up as sponsors for the building site area. We know there are changes ahead in some other zones, so watch this space for details… and for dates of the training days and our day out on the Great Central Railway.

HOT NEWS: The 2014 L-Factor event held by the Lord’s Taverners raised just over £50,000, of which half will be presented to Warning Zone on July 4. Check back early next month for more details and to find out whether Richard has to sing for his supper (again).

These last few weeks of this academic year seem to be particularly hectic. Anne Collins reports that, by the end of term, Warning Zone will have been visited by 8,600 pupils from Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. That’s many more than any previous year. Every session (even Friday afternoons) have been booked. Anne’s e-newsletter is urging schools to book earlier to avoid disappointment. Although we now have about 70 volunteers – more than ever before – to help us cope, I’m sure all volunteers hope the schools do! In fact 36 schools – 1,186 pupils – have already booked for the next academic year. Phew! 

o In the Zone: “When you’re scared, you have to open your vowels.” I explained to the girl that vowels are the letters a, e, i, o, and u. Bowels, though…