Launched by The Mall Luton, this is a podcast focussing on life within the Luton community. The podcast covers a number of topics surrounding everyday life in the town, finding out about those within the community who make others' lives easier, safer and happier.
The Luton Life podcast aims to provide a voice for the Luton community covered through question-and-answer sessions with local journalist Sophie Sulehria.
Listeners can expect to hear real-life stories straight from the community, with real-life answers to questions which many will be able to relate to.
Future editions will feature a focus on independent retailers, plus local charities and projects like Keech Hospice Care and the Big Trunk Trunk Trail, and Level Trust, all talking about their contribution to the town. Access to community services such as Luton Foodbank or Level Trust will be covered in an open and friendly way which those in need can benefit from.
An industry first which has been fully curated and funded by The Mall, all podcast sessions will be available to listen to for free through Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
Meet NOAH Enterprise
For this episode of Luton Life, Sophie went to meet the team at NOAH Enterprise to find out more about their amazing work fighting against homelessness and exclusion across Bedfordshire.
Find out more about their welfare services, outreach teams and employability workshops and some of the lives that their work has affected.
Join Pride in Luton
For this episode of Luton Life, host Sophie Sulehria celebrates Pride Month with 'Pride in Luton', the co-ordinators of Luton's very first festival of its kind.
As well as speaking to the co-chairs Kelsie Holdstock and Michael Nanton-Knight about the importance of education and celebrating diversity in the community, Sophie spoke to those in attendance on the day to hear why Pride is so important to you.
Luton Life shines a light on local charity Discover Islam ahead of Eid
In the latest episode of The Mall’s community podcast ‘Luton Life’, local charity Discover Islam is celebrated for their outstanding efforts supporting the town’s local residents, especially during the month of Ramadan.
Discover Islam is a community-based organisation that has been in Luton since 2011 and is described as part information centre and museum, and part charity. Their overarching ethos is to encourage people to learn more about Islamic beliefs and practices in a safe space, where there is no judgement or prejudice.
Sujel Miah, one of the management team at Discover Islam, tells host Sophie Sulehria about the conscious effort the centre makes to create a welcoming space and comfortable environment for anyone looking to use their services. Sujel explains “We wanted to make this place accessible for everyone and create understanding about our faith and get people to actually meet Muslims!”. Educational books and Qurans are available on site to anyone seeking more information about the Islamic faith, and opening conversations to gain further knowledge is always encouraged.
Alongside their education goals the charity works with Luton Foodbank, one of The Mall’s chosen charities for the previous four years, to distribute food to the community. The rising cost of living has driven many families to rely on food donations to get by, so these services have never been more valuable. Throughout the month of Ramadan Discover Islam have also distributed food boxes put together to break the fast, including items such as flour, rice and oils. Sujel stresses that all food items are available to anyone in need, not just the Muslim community, and that any deliveries are dignified and discreet for the comfort of their recipients.
Also in the podcast, Sophie spoke to volunteers Hamza and Gulseema to hear stories of some of the regular users of the centre who have transformed their life through the charity. The high proportion of refugees in the area means that many of those who visit the centre have travelled to the UK alone and use the resources as a way to meet new people and become actively involved in their community. Many of those who relied on the centre’s services have also returned as a volunteer, recognising the value of the work that Discover Islam do.
The Mall Luton are keen supporters of Discover Islam and their various projects, providing valuable funds and other support for the creation of their Peace Garden, for food distribution and the curry kitchen.
Lavinia Douglass, Marketing Manager at The Mall Luton, says: “We love supporting Discover Islam and the valuable work they have done over the past decade is truly inspiring. It’s clear to see their efforts have made a monumental difference to the lives of many in our town, particularly throughout the month of Ramadan.”
Lavinia continues, “Our Luton Life podcast is the perfect platform to highlight the continued hard work of the volunteers and resources that anyone in the community can take advantage of – whether they’re seeking a greater understanding of a faith they are unfamiliar with, or a simple hot cup of coffee.”
For further information about the Islamic faith or services that Discover Islam provide, visit the centre in Luton town centre or visit www.discover-islam.co.uk
Celebrating inspirational women in Luton for International Women’s Day 2022
In this episode, Sophie meets 3 inspiring women doing incredible for the town
Dr Joan Bailey MBE has dedicated her life's work to supporting youths in the community, to help them realise their potential and find opportunities in spite of adversity.
Kelly Betts is the UK Editor of BBC Introducing... a launchpad for artists including Tom Grennan, James Bay and Jack Garratt. Kelly is Luton born and bred and her tenacity and determination shine through as she talks about her journey from work experience at BBC Three Counties to achieving one of the top jobs in the corporation.
As Interim Service Director for Inclusive Growth at Luton Town Hall, Sinead McNamara has followed in her Mum's footsteps with her career as a civil servant. Her passion to change people's lives for the better comes through loud and clear as she talks about the projects she is steering to work towards Luton being a town where no-one is living in poverty.
This International Women's Day, The Mall Luton are proud to celebrate these women making a difference and hope you enjoy hearing their stories.
Bringing public art installation ’Our River’ to life in Luton town centre
The first instalment of Luton Life for 2022 focusses on public art installation Our River, commemorating those lost to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our River will also mark the support and kindness shown in the community and tell the stories of moments of joy that were found in the midst of the crisis. Keyworkers who contributed to the pandemic response will also be celebrated in the huge mosaic which will be installed on the exterior of The Mall.
In this episode, host Sophie Sulehria explores how the mural came to be and meets some of the incredible individuals who are featured. Sophie follows Project Co-ordinator Maureen Weekes and photographer June Essex as they visit Luton & Dunstable Hospital to capture shots of NHS staff who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to care for members of the community.
She also speaks to Roy Greening, Centre Manager at The Mall who has been instrumental in bringing the project to life, not least with the logistics of installing the giant mural!
Luton Council is delivering Our River with support from the European Regional Development Fund’s Welcome Back Fund.
Episode 5 : Royal British Legion - talking to veteran and fundraiser Michael Lewis
As Armistice Day dawns, The Mall Luton is honouring the centenary of the Royal British Legion with a special podcast episode dedicated to the incredible work of the charity.
What a fantastic podcast, it’s great to hear the good things that happen in the community and the help on offer. Well done Luton Mall, well done Sophie.
A fab listen
This is well worth a listen. A great place to learn more about and Sophie is great!
Brilliant podcast, well worth a listen