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Public Engagement at Manchester

Making a Difference Awards

There’s still time to enter the Making a Difference Awards

With a closing date of 21 January there are less than two weeks to go before the deadline for entering the Making a Difference Awards.

The Making a Difference Awards aim to recognise and celebrate the many different types of social responsibility achievements of the University’s academic and professional services staff, students and alumni.

The Awards are open to all staff and students at the University and external partners. Individuals or teams can submit an entry for themselves, or be nominated by a third party.

The award categories include the following:

  • Outstanding benefit to society through research
  • Outstanding teaching innovation in social responsibility
  • Outstanding contribution to social innovation
  • Outstanding public and community engagement initiative
  • Outstanding contribution to equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Outstanding Professional Services and library support for social responsibility
  • Outstanding contribution to environmental sustainability
  • Outstanding contribution to widening participation
  • Volunteer of the Year Award

Culminating in a major awards ceremony hosted by the President and Vice-Chancellor in May 2019, the awards will celebrate, raise awareness and provide valuable recognition of how individuals and teams across the University are making a difference to the social and environmental wellbeing of our communities and wider society.

Further information, award criteria and the entry form can be found on the social responsibility website: http://www.socialresponsibility.manchester.ac.uk/get-involved/awards/

Call for UoM Community Festival 2019

Would you like to be part of the next University-wide Community Festival being held on Saturday 15 June 2019?

Manchester University Community Festival.
Pictured Manchester place

As part of our commitment to enhancing our relationship with members of our local communities, we will be holding our annual University-wide Community Festival on 15 June 2019 from 11.00am-4.00pm.

Last year over 2,000 people, many from our local neighbourhoods enjoyed the day with many speaking of seeing lots of friendly smiley faces having fun and enjoying themselves. Find out more about the 2018 event here.

Next year’s Festival will be centred round Manchester Museum, University Place and Brunswick Park. Building on the success of the last two years, we would like to offer our local neighbours the opportunity to discover the wide variety of things we do, to meet us and to find out what opportunities are available for them.

If you are interested in taking part, then please register your interest by completing the attached form: Community Festival Expression Interest Form 2019[1] (doc) by 19 January 2018 and return it to suzanne.spicer@manchester.ac.uk

We look forward to seeing you at the Festival next June.

Celebrating Community Action – Volunteer of the Year Awards now open!

Every year the University celebrates the actions of staff, students and alumni who give their time and commitment to communities locally, national and internationally through the Volunteer of the Year Awards.

Previous nominees have taken on a wide range of roles to support vulnerable members of the community both in the UK and overseas, including support to the homeless, the elderly, those in crisis and those living in poverty. They have done this through mobilising local communities, raising vital funds and providing one to one support.

Nominations are now open for the 2017 awards with three categories:

  • Student of the Year – open to any current undergraduate or postgraduate of the University of Manchester. This award is in association with University of Manchester Students’ Union.
  • Staff of the Year – open to any current staff member of the University.
  • Alumni of the Year – open to any graduate of The University of Manchester (including Victoria University and UMIST).

Do you do something to support others or know a student or member of staff at the University who does? If so why not nominate them. The process is easy!

Last year’s staff winner was Kirsty Keywood, an academic in the School of Law. She advocates for the rights of people with learning difficulties and mental health problems in a number of ways including having volunteered as an appropriate adult for Greater Manchester Police and supporting the development of services of the Manchester People First charity.

Each winner receives a financial donation to the organisation that they support: £300 for the overall winner, and £200 and £100 for the 2nd and 3rd place runners up. In addition the overall winner in each category is put forward for the University Social Responsibility Award, one of the President’s Distinguished Achievement Awards.

For more information and to make a nomination go to www.manchester.ac.uk/volunteeroftheyear.

To inspire you, information on all the 2016 winners, and winners from previous years, can also be found on these pages.

The Awards are organised by the Student Development & Community Engagement Division, which is part of the Directorate for the Student Experience.

The deadline for Volunteer of the Year nominations is Sunday 12th March 2017.

Posted by Lindsay Gilbert, Volunteering & Community Engagement Manager, The University of Manchester

Do something amazing in your spare time: Independent Visitor Programme

Want to do something amazing in your spare time? Coram Voice are recruiting Independent Visitors to volunteer in Manchester and throughout the North West.

“Independent Visitors” are to help young people in care to meet their full potential. You will be important to the child who you visit and befriend and will provide a listening ear and do fun activities with them. You will receive full training, support for yourself and be put in touch with other Independent Visitors for peer support and advice. You will also receive expenses. The biggest reward, though, is that knowing you are doing something worthwhile with a young person and giving them the opportunity to develop a meaningful relationship. We are particularly interested to hear from males and people from black minority ethnic groups who are under-represented in our service.

We are running two information sessions at the University of Manchester, where you can come along and find our more. One on 27 February 5:30 – 6:30pm and one on 8 March 1:30 – 2:30pm.

To book – please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/independent-visitor-information-session-tickets-31258676543

Download information brochure – Manchester IV leaflet for potential volunteers 2017 (pdf)

My experiences of being an Independent visitor: “Independent visitors (“IVs”) are adults who are trained up and supported be a trusted friend and informal mentor to one of Manchester’s many young people who are in care. I’ve been an IV myself, and really enjoyed it, and I’m happy to answer any questions. It was incredibly rewarding getting to know a remarkable young person, increased my cinema-going and kept me up-to-date with slang. –  Emma Lewis-Kalubowila (Emma.Lewis-Kalubowila@manchester.ac.uk)

Invitation to contribute to JustFest 2016

Do you work on issues of social justice that you’d like to bring to the wider student audience? If so, you might be interested in contributing to JustFest 2016, the University of Manchester’s very own social justice festival, which takes place on March 9th, right here on campus, in and around the Manchester Academy.

JustFest celebrates the University’s commitment to social responsibility and is a flagship event of the University’s Ethical Grand Challenges programme. The Festival seeks to start conversations about how we can build fairer communities in Manchester, the UK and across the globe. JustFest aims to encourage and enable UoM students to explore aspects of social justice in a creative and festival environment of performance and exhibition, stimulating curiosity and providing a springboard towards further action for a just society.

There are plenty of ways in which you can get involved. There will be a hands-on social justice-themed exhibition in Academy 1, including a programme of short films, a soap-box-style talks tent, and a fringe festival, as well as bands and spoken word artists on the Main Stage, and quite a few surprises..

We want JustFest to reflect the University’s rich social justice heritage, and the wealth of research taking place around Social Justice themes, and welcome contributions from University staff.

To find out about the different ways in which you can contribute, visit our website. If you’d like to talk about how you might contribute, please let me know. I’d be very happy to discuss further via email: Sian.Yeowell@manchester.ac.uk or telephone: 0161 2752851

Sian Yeowell, Senior Learning and Assessment Developer |Student Development and Community Engagement Division of The Directorate for the Student Experience | The University of Manchester

MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Deep Learning Day – Women in the World of Work – 8 December

On behalf of Whalley Range, our Business Class partner, I would like to invite you to be part of their Deep Learning Day on the 8 December.

The learning objectives for the day and key words the girls will be hearing throughout the sessions are:

  • To reflect on my goals, core values
  • To develop understanding of skills and qualities employers want/need, career opportunities and challenges for women in the world of work
  • To gain experience of talking to adults other than family or teachers.


  • goal/aspiration – something you are aiming for/want to achieve
  • core values – qualities/experience that you think are most important
  • fantasy – things from dreams and imagination, things that are more difficult to achieve
  • reality – things that are more every day, more possible
  • career – a profession/occupation that you have chosen and trained for
  • a motivator – something that makes you want to do something

In the morning the girls will be preparing for meetings with female visitors/volunteers, then from 9.40 for an hour, you would meet with a group of students and be ‘interviewed’. The girls will have prompt questions to learn as much as possible about your job, career and motivations. There is no preparation required, other than to be ready to answer questions and to share anything you think is important about considering future jobs.

Head of School, Fiona Devine, is also giving a key note speech and Q&A at 2.00pm as part of the same event.

As a volunteer would need to arrive at Whalley Range for 9.30am at the latest and report to reception and ask for Jackie Fahey.

If you would like to be involved, please let me know so that Jackie has an idea on numbers of volunteers and can prepare a visitor list. Please also cascade this to other female colleagues. Seniority is not a deciding factor for taking part as the greater number of women the girls can interact with the greater number of experiences, the better.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Michelle Kipling : michelle.kipling@manchester.ac.uk

Project and Accreditation Manager (Social Responsibility), Alliance Manchester Business School | The University of Manchester | Room 2.20 MBS West | Booth Street West | Manchester M15 6PB | +44 (0) 161 275 6546

Would you like to become a Dementia Friend?

To find out more, book your place on one of the monthly information sessions between December 2014 and July 2015

Dementia Friends is a national initiative run by Alzheimer’s Society and one of the University’s social responsibility flagship programmes.

Raising awareness of dementia is one very small step that we can all take to make a difference, regardless of whether we have any direct experience of dementia. Dementia Friends aims to improve people’s understanding of dementia and its effects. The Alzheimer’s Society is working with lots of volunteers and organisations, including the University, to achieve this goal. Because, together, we can create dementia friendly communities.

Since the initiative was launched nine months ago, over 30 members of staff at the University have undertaken training to become Dementia Friends Champions. These champions have committed to delivering Dementia Friends information sessions both in their local communities and across the University.

We have scheduled an information session each month from December until July 2015. Information sessions only last an hour and are designed to help people build a better understanding of dementia and understand what part they can play in creating a dementia-friendly society.

Booking: If you would like to become a Dementia Friend, then please book yourself a place on an information session at:

STDU Training Catalogue: Dementia Friends Information Session

Further information: For more information about the Dementia Friends programme, please visit: Social Responsibility