University life and the road ahead

University is stressful and picking one can be even more so. Picking a course, picking a University. Is it the best university for me? Will I like the course? Should I stay at home or move away? These are just some of the questions we put in front of ourselves when we go to University.

When I picked my University choices it was nerve wrecking, because you really don’t know if you’ve made the right decision. Especially for me, moving so far away from my family. It’s not easy, just make the decision that is best for you.

I chose to study BA (Hons) Journalism at the University of Sunderland, purely down to my love of writing and news. So it was perfect for me.

One things I very quickly learnt was that you need to really get involved in your course and get experience. Luckily for me The Hub at the top of my University building has five multimedia platforms; SR News, Spark, Fashion North, SportsByte and Northern Lights. I joined the news team in my first week, initially only wanting to write for SR News.

After leaving the hub and thinking of all of the platforms, I decided that I was going to come out of my comfort zone and join the Spark news team. Which at the time was called SR News Tonight, but we’ve had a reshuffle and called ourselves Spark Reports to fit into the Spark brand.

I must admit, I was scared. Radio, with my accent – ha! Never in a million years would I have thought I would see the day. But, surprisingly – I loved it.

I do news shifts now every week, creating news packages and voicing them. I love it, I mean I’ve had to train my voice quite a lot and it is far from perfect but I have come on so much from my first package! I’m proud of that.


I’ve now presented two of the shows at 5.50pm and I can’t describe to you how I felt. I was ridiculously scared, my mouth went dry. I literally felt like a bucket of sand had been poured down my neck, so I necked a glass of water mid show. Had to be done, I could go on no longer.

But it was a great experience for me, it just gives you that buzz (and no I’m not saying ‘bus’ in my accent – joke referring to one of my earlier posts.)

Here is my presenting from last week (please click ‘Thursday 4th May 2017″ to hear mine): http://www.sparksunderland.com/sparkreports/ 

Considering that I never dreamt of doing radio, here I am! I produce a show on Spark Tuesday 11-1pm for my friend Katie and it’s great – I love it!


Follow your dreams and do what you thinks best – but don’t tie yourself down to just one thing because you never know where the road might take you!

Yes I still have lots to learn, but I am prepared to put the hours in and work hard.

Here’s to the road ahead!

Charlotte x


Please help Bring John Home!

I have been working hard lately inside and outside of university. Working with a family who need help to raise money to bring their husband and father home. Bring John Home is a cause that has become very close to my heart and I am determined to do everything that I can to help.

Nine months ago John Lindsay suffered an epileptic seizure at the top of his stairs at his family home in Silksworth, Sunderland, resulting in him breaking his neck.

John was in James Cook hospital in Middlesbrough and spent many months on a ventilator only being able to communicate by blinking. which left his family fearing the worst, that John would be paralysed from the neck down.

Thankfully, he has regained some mobility above the waist but still requires round-the-clock care and a wheelchair to get around.

He is now in a care home in Peterlee where he can receive around the clock care for all his needs. Although this is closer for the family, it is hard for them to not have him by their side.

John is the father of two children, nine-year-old Jennifer and 17-year-old Jon. He is also married to Claire who is determined to get her husband back with their family where he belongs.


This family need to raise £300,000 to buy a specially-adapted bungalow for John and his family to live together under one roof.

Working alongside this family has made me realise many things, one of those being, never take anyone in your life for granted whether that is a friend or a family member. Be mindful and appreciate the people who you have in your life. And the second being, the generosity of people is overwhelming, just when you start to lose faith humanity, people are willing to help bring John home to his family. It’s inspiring to see so many people come together.

Claire is one of my inspirations, she’s unbelievably strong. Just to be able to deal with the situation she is in, to care for John and for her daughter and to keep herself together, she is amazing.

Many people have come out to help raise money to #BringJohnHome, running events or even just donating what they can. If you can please donate and get involved in bringing John home by visiting the JustGiving page via www.bringjohnhome.co.uk or donating privately by sending a message to the Facebook or twitter page.

If anyone is travelling anywhere please send your pictures in to Bring John Home of yourself holding up a sign with #BringJohnHome and www.bringjohnhome.co.uk to help raise awareness of this cause!

Bring John Home will be running many events of the next few months to raise funds for John, you can also find these on the Facebook and Twitter pages.

You can find Bring John Home’s facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/bringjohnhome.co.uk/

You can follow them on twitter: @BringJohnHome_

Charlotte x


How to understand Black Country

It’s crazy when you think about how many different accents make up the UK! And they are all completely different. So it’s no wonder when you move out of your area that not many people understand certain things you say!

Being from the Black Country (Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall, and outlying parts of the city of Wolverhampton in the English county of West Midlands) can be difficult, especially when you live in the North East. This is purely down to the Mackem dialect being completely different from the Black Country dialect.

I do often get mistaken for a “brummie.” Birmingham and the Black Country are geographically very close but our dialect is miles apart. Don’t get us mixed up – we don’t like it! It’s like calling a Mackem a Geordie, vice versa – they don’t like it either!

Incase you don’t know how people from the Black Country sound, you can listen here: Black Country Alphabet Song – OFFICIAL VIDEO! T Shirts ON SALE (Credit to Black Country T-shirts.)

I know what you’re thinking – Do people really speak like that? Yep. Yes we do. It’s an accent that’s hard to shake, my accent isn’t as broad since I have moved away but boy do you know it’s there!

There are words that I say no matter how hard I try to stop them coming out of my mouth, they just come out of my mouth naturally. Words such as:

  • Babby – Baby
  • It ay – It isn’t
  • Ay – Haven’t
  • Ar – Yes
  • All round the Wrekin – Scenic route (This is one of the words that I never knew since moving away – I always thought all round the Wrekin was the only word, obviously not.)
  • Cor – Can’t
  • Coot – Coat
  • Dae – Didn’t
  • Duwer – Door
  • Med – Made
  • Mek – Make
  • Tae – Tea (This is for both food as in dinner or tea, the drink)
  • Wench – Girl
  • Mush – Mate
  • Yow – You

It’s not only just an accent, it’s our very own dialect and vocabulary. I’m not sure if we have a dictionary, like the Mackem Dictionary, but if we haven’t we definitely need our own one!


Not going to lie to you all, ever since I were little this has always been a ‘buzz’ as in the noise a bee makes. I literally have to stop the noise coming out of my mouth when I say ‘bus.’

There are many words and phrases that I say day to day and people must look at me and think…

Image result for what memes

I feel a bit like Del Boy sometimes when I talk, “si danke schon, bonjour,” everyone laughs and doesn’t know what I’m saying. Although, strangely enough I do get a lot of ‘oh I love your accent’ I’m not sure if they’re being sarcastic or being serious.

As I live in the North East let’s take a look at some of the words and phrases used in Sunderland.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHb3RT-bvUg (Credit to Sunderland Student’s Union.)


At 0:49 in the previous video you hear the word Stottie. Now there is a heated debate about this, so many people have different words for a ‘bread roll’. I personally call it a ‘cob,’ which I think is normal until I moved to Sunderland. Apparently, that’s not what it’s called. Some people call it a ‘roll’ or a ‘bap.’ Please let me know what you call this roll of bread! Leave a comment or tweet me @Charlotte___P23.

charlotte bread rolls