November round-up

Fri, 26 Nov 2021 13:49:00 GMT

It’s that time of year again where we launch our annual Making a Difference Awards for social responsibility. If you are, or know someone who, is making a positive contribution to society and/or the environment across our full range of activities, then please enter or nominate now! As I write, we’re supporting White Ribbon Day – 16 days of action to end violence against women. And on Tuesday 30 November we’re encouraging staff and students to get involved in Giving Tuesday – the international day to give back.

On social inclusion, we’ve opened applications for local Year 12/Lower VI students with no parental experience of university to our flagship Manchester Access Programme. Our Manchester Museum has launched Local Matters, a new pilot programme to tackle poverty and inequality. And we’re part of an exciting pilot collaboration with UK-India partnerships to advance gender equality.

On better health, our researchers have been exploring the experiences of migrants living in Latin America through the Covid-19 pandemic. Two of our medicine students are raising money for NHS and 999 heroes through a #UnitetheUniforms campaign during December. Our university’s pioneering cancer care and research has been recognised in a new national exhibition. The Museum of Medicine and Health is proud to launch a digital Beswick Collection. An innovative pharmacy student has founded OpenPIL, transforming access to medicine information and making it available in an open source manner. And with World Antibiotic Awareness Week just taking place, we’ve created an online course on Antimicrobial resistance for all undergraduate healthcare students.

On environmental sustainability, our Department of Geography’s research into microplastic pollution in waters is making waves in Westminster. The University's environmental sustainability engagement programme, formerly 10,000 Actions, has been extended to the whole of our student body under the banner 50,000 Actions to reflect the size of our combined staff and student communities. Our new publication Building Utopia examines the interlinked challenges of urban development, health and climate change. A public trial of the Bee Network Cycle Hire scheme has recently launched on campus, helping promote sustainable travel across the city. And we have an opportunity for early career researchers to get involved in primary school outreach as part of the Great Science Share Clean Air Challenge.

On cultural engagement, we’ve teamed up with Manchester China Institute (MCI) and the Manchester China Forum (MCF) to create the Manchester-China Friendship Programme, helping develop mutual understanding and friendships between students of the two nations. ScienceX, the pop-up festival organised by our Faculty of Science and Engineering's Social Responsibility team, returned in October with a roaring success. Our Martin Harris Centre is delighted to have re-opened to the public this autumn, with a whole host of free music concerts. And if you’ve ever wanted to find out more about some of our staff, students and community partners and what inspires them to make a difference check out our “Meet the…” films, produced for our 2021 Community Festival.

As we approach Christmas we’re seeking support for our annual Manchester Christmas Dinner – the project founded by Lemn Sissay OBE to provide an amazing Christmas Day for Care Leavers aged between 18 and 25. 2021 will see The University of Manchester once again be the host venue, offering up a traditional Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. Check out all the ways you can help make this a day to remember.

Dr Julian Skyrme, Director of Social Responsibility