Our monthly round-up

April and May have been a time of celebration for all things social responsibility. We were delighted to be ranked top, from more than 1,200 universities around the world, for our work towards the 17 United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals. We have also celebrated our annual ‘greatest hits’ of social responsibility with our Making a Difference Awards, hosted these live on YouTube from our Manchester Museum, where Chancellor Lemn Sissay and I recognised 17 winners, 25 highly commended and six Covid special recognition awards. We also announced plans, as a set of five universities in Greater Manchester, to work together on a joint Civic University Agreement by publishing new polling data from 1,000 local residents across all ten authorities, regarding what they value and understand about the work of their local universities.

On social inclusion, our widening participation Gateways programme leads by example through providing virtual sessions throughout the pandemic. Approximately 550 learners have attended their online events, with over 57 sessions so far, and more still to come. A team of our University PhD researchers are working with She Leads for Legacy and Breaking the Glass consultancy to understand the barriers faced by Black Women Professionals in career progression. Our Law students are working with Manchester Innocence Project to overturn Miscarriages of Justice. Professor Jackie Carter has been recognised as one of UK’s leading female data science professionals, acknowledging her technical knowledge and experience, as well as her commitment to encouraging more diverse representation in the data industry.

On better health, we co-hosted the 5th East African Health Summit as an online event, attracting over 200 global participants to discuss current healthcare challenges and how resilient healthcare systems can be created for the benefit of all. We’ve received one of the largest investments to date in the European medical nanotechnology industry. A collaboration between our Nanomedicine Lab and two Barcelona institutions has resulted in a spin-out brain implant firm securing £12million in funding to develop graphene-led solutions to treat brain disorders such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s. And the University’s annual School Governor’s conference was held as a two-day online event, with wellbeing and mental health in schools as one of the main themes explored this year.

On environmental sustainability, new research by our experts at the University has found that poor management of untreated wastewater and raw sewage by water companies is the main source of microplastic pollution in the UK’s rivers. The Kindling Trust are establishing a pioneering agroforestry farm, owned by its community, as a blueprint for ecological farming in the Northwest. Our Sustainable Consumption Institute director, Frank Boons, has been working alongside a team of academics and civil servants to develop approaches to deliver more systems-based policies in areas ranging from food waste, air quality and land use, to sustainable and healthy diets.

And on cultural engagement, we have of course been celebrating the re-opening of our Manchester Museum, the Whitworth and Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, with the John Rylands Library following suit on June 24. Our University’s China Centre celebrated its fifth annual social responsibility month with a range of exciting public engagement activities to positively impact alumni, local communities and broader society, in the unique Manchester spirit. And the John Rylands Institute and Library have been engaging the public with a brand new digital exhibition exploring The Guardian at 200, celebrating and documenting the origins of this newspaper as The Manchester Guardian in our city.

As we cautiously lift restrictions across society why not book to visit one of our cultural institutions or attend an online event seek inspiration and connection through our wide programme of events. For example, our annual Community Festival returns Friday 18 – Sunday 20 June 2021 where we’re teaming up with Manchester Museum, the Whitworth, John Rylands Library and staff and students from across the University to create a series of fun and exciting digital events aimed at families, schools and local communities.

Dr Julian Skyrme, Director of Social Responsibility

Our monthly round-up

As the UK vaccine rollout continues apace we’ve taken the first of four steps in the government’s Roadmap to ease coronavirus restrictions in England. This has allowed some students on practical or practice-based courses who require in-person, on-campus teaching, or access to specialist equipment or facilities, to return to campus.

Over the past month we’ve made excellent progress on all four social responsibility priorities.

On social inclusion, we released a short film showcasing our impact on this theme over the past three years. Two Manchester graduates, who’ve campaigned tirelessly on MisogynyIsHate for nearly three years, have been celebrating as the Government recently announced it will ask the police to record crimes motivated by a person’s sex or gender. For International Women’s Day, we celebrated our people choosing to challenge gender inequality. Our Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS) has conducted research into the impact of Covid-19 on women. We recently featured in Times Higher Education ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community’ winner’s interview, talking about the life-changing impact of the Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD) project. Despite the challenges of Covid-19, IntoUniversity Manchester North is marking another successful year in partnership with our University, improving young people’s attainment and raising aspirations. And for something really innovative and inspiring, see the ‘With Women’ book we co-created with nine midwives of Black and Asian heritage to encourage young people from the communities to join the profession.

On better health, staff and students from our Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health have designed and created a set of BioDiscovery resources that showcase the exceptional research and teaching taking place in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences at the University. We’re thrilled to share the good news that the University’s recent stroke research fundraising appeal has successfully surpassed its target of £100,000. One of our a global MBA students has recently launched Bump It Forward, a healthcare campaign that will donate the cost of a vaccine to countries in Africa who can’t afford basic PPE to keep the hospitals safe. And our Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health is delighted to launch the short film: ‘Working with our Communities’ which showcases Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) across the Faculty.

On environmental sustainability, we’ve been awarded a TfGM Platinum accreditation for our work supporting sustainable commuting, business travel and fleet vehicles. Our Sustainable Consumption Institute has been working with the Women’s Budget Group (WBG) and the Women’s Environmental Network (WEN) on a project that puts gender equality at the core of a Green New Deal. For World Water Day we put together a series of short case studies showing how access to water is under threat. Dr Chris Jones, knowledge exchange fellow for Tyndall Manchester at the University, is one of six UK academics to have co-authored ‘Destination Net Zero’ – a briefing that raises ambitions for tangible outcomes at the UN COP26 Climate Change Conference. And our flagship Great Science Share for Schools has announced a partnership with the Royal Society to inspire school pupils to ask their own scientific questions. This will include a special event for 5-14 year olds on climate and the environment hosted by our own Professor Brian Cox.

On cultural engagement, we share the inspiring story of our Manchester Museum keeping its doors open through lockdown to support Neurodiverse learners and the staff of Project Inc – a Specialist College for Creative Education. It’s a busy month for our Creative Manchester, who are working alongside Blackwell’s Bookshop and our Centre for New Writing to launch a new literary series, Novel Voices. Creative Manchester are also working in partnership with the Centre for New Writing and the Geological Society to launch our 2021 Micropoetry competition that will celebrate the Geological Society’s ‘Year of Space’. And the UK-China International Photography Competition, run by our Manchester China Institute and Creative Manchester, asks this year ‘What does caring mean to you?’ as a means of promoting mutual understanding and common humanity between cultures.

There are many upcoming opportunities to be inspired, entertained and connect with others through our wide programme of events. For example, why not take part in one of the many exciting LIVE with Scientists events in April to mark a year since this group of Manchester scientists established this pioneering new science engagement platform. Finally, don’t forget you can vote in our annual Social Justice Photography Competition from Monday 12 April – Friday 16 April.

Dr Julian Skyrme, Director of Social Responsibility

Our monthly round-up

As we look forward to reductions in transmission, some better weather and an easing of covid restrictions we’ve released a short film ‘3 years in 3 minutes’ that looks back on what’s been achieved in social responsibility over the last three years across our four priority themes: social inclusion; better health; environmental sustainability and cultural engagement. We’ve celebrated our Alliance Manchester Business School’s MBA retaining its position as the highest-ranked programme in the UK for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) teaching on courses dedicated to CSR, ethics, social and environmental issues. There’s also cause for celebration as two years worth of work collaborating with six other universities around the world has led to the launch of a University Social Responsibility Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) ‘Introduction to University Social Responsibility’… go check it out!

On social inclusion, a coalition of 10 universities in England and Scotland, led by The University of Manchester, has announced ambitious plans to research Covid-19’s social and economic impact on racial and ethnic minority people. Our researchers wish to hear people’s stories, experiences and desires for the future of Manchester’s LGBTQ+ Village. Earlier this month we took part in the GM4Women2028 gender equality annual scorecard celebrations. We’ve published an article from our Masood Entrepreneurship Centre (MEC) at Alliance MBS extolling the benefits of social enterprises. We’ve been encouraging gender inclusivity in STEM for United Nations International Day of Women and Girls in Science. And our Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS) is partnering with national tax charity TaxAid to provide North West residents on low incomes with tax assistance and support, as part of the first student-run clinic of its kind in the UK.

On better health, we’re excited to welcome a new Manchester University Dental Awareness and Empowerment society (MUDAE) that has social responsibility at its root. Our academics are working with PmxAfrica to train the next generation of African pharmacology researchers. On Monday 8 March International Women’s Day (IWD) will be marked in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health with Dr Nicole Brown speaking about her research on the experience of disabled, chronically ill and/or neurodivergent members of higher education staff. The University’s contribution to cancer research has been celebrated in a collection of research stories. And we have an upcoming event to discuss how the government can combat misinformation around the COVID-19 vaccine.

On environmental sustainability, we’ve been raising awareness of the new portal for businesses, civil society, academia, trade unions, indigenous groups, young people and others to apply to get involved in UK Government managed spaces at the COP26 Summit – the annual UN climate summit, taking place in Glasgow 2021. We write about how innovation in advanced materials has the potential to support exciting opportunities to help achieve greener and smarter cities. And scientists at the University have found a way to accelerate the uptake of solar technology by increasing the environmental safety of perovskite solar cells.

On cultural engagement, our Whitworth gallery are really pleased to share the zine Other Utopia, An Exploration of the Black Experience that has been written, created and produced by the Whitworth Young Contemporaries (WYC). The Social Responsibility team in the School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED) have developed a creative writing competition to encourage local school children to have fun with their writing and learning during the pandemic. Our American Studies programme is asking UK school students to write letters to the new US presidential administration as part of a competition. And on 15 April, our School of Social Sciences are delighted to welcome one of the most senior UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency) officials in the Mediterranean to present our annual Arthur Lewis lecture.

As we continue to work and study under restricted national measures there are still myriad ways to find inspiration, wonder and connection through our wide programme of online events. And don’t forget, our deadline for student Volunteer of the Year Awards close soon, where anyone can nominate one of our many students who have stepped up and made a difference over the past 12 months.

Dr Julian Skyrme, Director of Social Responsibility

Our monthly round-up

We ended last year by publishing a report summarising how we responded, as a civic university to Greater Manchester’s most significant challenges during the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we begin the year with an increased spread of coronavirus and a third national lockdown, the safety and wellbeing of our staff, students and visitors have been our highest priority. To help keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 outbreak, we have moved teaching online, closed non-essential facilities and cancelled or postponed on-campus events.

Starting with better health, we are proud to be supporting students, staff and alumni to help save lives and COVID-19 by volunteering to support the UK-wide vaccination programme. Our Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health hosted their sixth Irene Manton Lecture, in partnership with the prestigious Linnean Society of London. We teamed up with the Greater Manchester Ageing Hub and the Combined Authority to create the Keeping Well at Home booklet to support older people during the pandemic. Our researchers have designed new face masks to overcome communication issues for those with hearing loss. We’re celebrating our alumnus Dr. Westone Khisa, who has won a Global Professional Achievement Award for his medical work, which has transformed the lives of over 4,000 women across remote and disadvantaged areas in Kenya. And we’d like to thank the many generous donators helping contribute to the early success of our stroke research appeal.

On social inclusion, our Alliance Manchester Business School has secured funding to support research into the long-term recovery of local communities from the damage caused by the pandemic. We are pleased to announce the launch of a new online ‘Equality, Diversity and Inclusion’ UCIL unit. Our Widening Participation team have published their new, digital annual report. We look back at the Anti-racist activism event with original members of the ‘Black 14’. One of our PhD students has worked on a study into precarious work with Oxfam UK, highlighting the policy benefits of doctoral research. We are proud to be part of the Greater Manchester Higher (GMH) collaborative network working with other universities and further education colleges across the region to raise the ambitions of young people and increase awareness of higher education. Our Year in Brief showed that, despite the challenges that 2020 brought, we made it our most successful year to date. And we are celebrating the Primary Science ‘special issue’ journal which showcases the many ways educators have engaged with the newly adapted, digital, Great Science Share for Schools campaign.

On environmental sustainability, our Institute of Education has hosted a climate crisis conference, designed to open up discussions on how schools and colleges can take environmental action and enable teachers to develop educational responses to the climate crisis. We have an opportunity for students to learn about the Sustainable Development Goals. And our alumni have contributed to the UN75 project in which the United Nations launched a global consultation for their 75th anniversary, inviting groups of people to gather online and discuss seven overarching themes of the UN Charter, including climate change.

On cultural engagement, our gallery in the park, the Whitworth, has been shortlisted for prestigious Gulbenkian Award which recognises the civic role of arts organisations in society. We had some Food for Thought as our John Rylands Library’s contributed to the UK’s national festival of humanities, the Being Human Festival. And Manchester Museum has been Thinking through Extinction – exploring how the current global mass extinction event is communicated by and encountered in public spaces.

Whilst we continue to work under national lockdown measures there are still many opportunities to be inspired, entertained and connect with others through our wide programme of events. This February we continue our decade-long tradition of marking LGBTQ history month with events, awareness raising activities and calls to action. Forget romance, this Valentine’s is all about falling in love with volunteering for Student Volunteering Week. Our Creative Manchester is delighted to be coordinating a number of online events that for this year’s UNESCO’s International Mother Language Day programme on 21 February. And don’t forget, our Volunteer of the Year Awards 2021 are open for entries – get nominating!

Our monthly round-up

The second national lockdown in November has been another challenging month for everyone in the UK – and it’s been no different across our university community. Data on students and staff reporting positive for COVID-19 show that our cases have remained low, but government guidance has meant that a significant proportion of our teaching provision has been online throughout November.

On social inclusion, we celebrated our living wage status as part of Living Wage Week. More than 500 students have come forward to support at least 60 local charities since our Volunteering & Social Justice Fair. We’re delighted to be part of the new National Tutoring Programme (NTP) to address the impact of school closures during the pandemic, particularly in areas of disadvantage. We hosted, for the eighth successive year, Greater Manchester’s Care Leaver Awards. Our Fulbright scholar and bestselling author Cathleen Miller’s work has led to a successful asylum case to be granted for the DRC political activist Jenny Dakosta Van Mputu. We’ve released a report on social value in our procurement. And we’ve celebrated 14,000 hours and five years worth of student volunteering as part of Team Uganda initiative.

On better health, we’re helping to limit the spread of coronavirus in informal settlements in Kenya. We marked Antibiotic Awareness Week as part of our significant commitment to tackle the global challenge of rising antibiotic resistance. We took part in World Diabetes Day which was themed around the special role that nurses play in supporting people living with diabetes. We’ve profiled retired Manchester graduate, Brian Eadon (BSc Pharmacy 1975) who has led on the fight against COVID-19 in Deeside. And we are conducting a comprehensive investigation into the long-term impact of COVID-19 on adult hearing, thanks to financial support from donors.

On environmental sustainability, we are delighted to announce a significant step-change in our move towards sustainable forms of energy in the University. We’re proud to have hit the top spot in Greater Manchester and come top 10 in the world for the global Cycle September. We marked World Cities Day by highlighting our research with urban communities facing reduced living and outdoor space, population density, poor sanitisation, water pollution and limited access to clean water – issues that have been exacerbated by COVID-19. And our renowned community engagement expert, Dr Joanne Tippett, is working with Natural England to launch of England’s Nature Recovery Network to deal with the challenges of biodiversity loss, climate change and wellbeing.

On cultural engagement, our Manchester Museum has been successful in receiving funding to launch an innovative To Have and to Heal – a project to reach new audiences with our ancient Egyptian collections in a physically distanced world. Our Age Friendly Whitworth programme has adapted its decade-long work to hold live online creative sessions among over-50s each month. And our Creative Manchester initiative hosted a Music, Health and Wellbeing workshop as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Sciences.

Coming up, our Social Justice Photography Competition 2021 is now open for student entries. Applications for our Manchester Access Programme are open for talented year 12 students who’ve not had parental history to higher education, helping local children to realise their full potential. You can support Lemn Sissay’s Christmas Dinner project, which will continue its work to ensure no Care Leaver aged 18 to 25 years feels alone on Christmas Day, in a new adapted way for 2020. And many will know that we mark the foundation of our University each autumn by celebrating our Foundation Day. We missed the opportunity to gather together this year but you can check our inspiring film – A tribute to our University – instead.

Whilst we continue to work under physical distancing limitations there are ample opportunities to remain connected by attending events, watching presentations, viewing performances and engaging with our knowledge, so keep an eye on our fulsome events pages.

Dr Julian Skyrme, Director of Social Responsibility

Our monthly round-up

The early part of October was a challenging period for our student community, with increases in positive testing for COVID-19. While we are in no way complacent, thankfully our daily updates of students and staff who have reported testing positive for COVID-19 show that student cases have reduced dramatically, staff numbers remain very low and we are not aware of any infections that have been transmitted through teaching.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed all aspects of our lives. It has impacted our healthcare and economy and acted as a catalyst to drive change across key areas from addressing inequalities to developments on climate change. We’ve therefore launched COVID Catalysts to show how our research is looking to build a fairer, healthier and greener world in the wake of COVID-19 through a collection of flash lectures that showcase our ideas and innovation.

On social inclusion a wide range of events in October have been focused on Black History Month. We have marked the 75th anniversary of the 5th Pan African Congress – a crucial event in the African independence movement held in Manchester that brought together key figures who later led successful anticolonial campaigns. Our Professor of Sociology, award-winning author, broadcaster and columnist Gary Younge, delivered a Brilliant and Black event on race inequality and the current Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. And our Professor of Public History, the Historian and Broadcaster David Olusoga, delivered an event Making History in the age of Black Lives Matter.

Fittingly, October was also the month when our Global Development Institute secured £32 million for a new African Cities Research Consortium, funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) as part of UK Aid. This will tackle complex problems in some of Africa’s fastest growing urban areas and generate new evidence to catalyse integrated, sustainable, inclusive approaches to urban development. We’ve recently surpassed £1m of support for our least advantaged students during the pandemic thanks to generous donations to our Emergency Hardship Appeal from over 3,000 of our supporters in 80 countries across the world. We’re delighted that our IntoUniversity Manchester North centre in North Manchester has re-opened to expand the academic and pastoral support that had been offered to pupils and families during lockdown. And we have received positive feedback from women’s refuges we work with on a regular basis following a call for donations.

On environmental sustainability we marked clean air day by publishing a new model demonstrating that maintaining lower outdoor air pollution (NO2) levels could improve a child’s ability to learn. Our research, undertaken on behalf of the co-ordinators of Clean Air Day, Global Action Plan, and the Philips Foundation, found that that maintaining lower air pollution levels in and around school grounds by 20% could enhance the development of a child’s working memory by 6.1% – the equivalent of four weeks extra learning time per year. These findings are part of the Clean Air for Schools Programme, a ‘first of its kind’ year-long research project which looked at how air pollution and its effects on children can be tackled. We’ve been profiling how graphene entrepreneurs from the University are putting social responsibility at the centre of their new businesses – from recycled vehicle tyres through to more sustainable food production.

On better health, our Doubleday Student Society has launched a new campaign amongst healthcare professionals and students on clinical placement to help develop empathy with patients during the COVID-19 mask-wearing era. Whilst critical from a health perspective, face coverings can also be intimidating, scary, or impersonal for patients which is where the innovative #TheSmileBehindTheMask comes in. And our Nobel Laureate Professor Novosolev has recently cited the importance of graphene in combating COVID-19 – from improving PPE to the development of new diagnostic devices and smart medical clothing.

On cultural engagement, it’s all about podcasts and race: our Manchester Museum has launched a new Manchester Museum official podcast to bring new voices to some of the big issues of our time, with its first episode featuring Kwame Boateng from the Black Curriculum; and a new episode of the Whitworth’s ‘A Walk in the Park’ podcast series has been launched covering the Black Lives Matter movement. Remember that you can book to visit our University’s Manchester Museum, the Whitworth and Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, which all re-opened successfully in September.

Whether it’s alert tier 2 or 3, we still have a huge amount of opportunities for staff, students, alumni and the general public to engage with us online. Here’s three examples: we’re delivering social-media based awards as part of Greater Manchester Care Leavers Week 2–6 November; we’re hosting a Music, Health & Wellbeing workshop on 11 November on the importance of musical participation in everyday life, particularly for those people with dementia, and those in society who struggle to be heard through words alone; and we’re supporting World Antibiotic Awareness Week on 18 November with prestigious annual lecture by Dr Jennifer Hobbs entitled The fight against Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR): A feminist perspective on militarised AMR metaphors.

Check our events pages for even more ways you can engage.

Dr Julian Skyrme, Director of Social Responsibility

Our monthly round-up

We’ve been working hard to give all our new and returning students a warm welcome to Manchester in September. It’s an exciting time of year, with around 100,000 students arriving in the city region. But it’s also clearly a challenging moment across the UK and in Greater Manchester so we have come together with other universities and students’ unions across our region to issue a student call to student action on COVID safety.

A lot of hard work over the summer has allowed us to support returning students to continue valuable forms of volunteering. The countdown to our annual Social Justice Challenge has begun, which promises to be our biggest online event of the year. We are hosting our first digital version of the annual Volunteering and Social Justice Fair in October. And our students have recently been recognised, through our first virtual Enterprise School, for work involving artificial intelligence chatbots to relieve loneliness, developing reward schemes for removing plastic waste from the city’s waterways; and supporting skills and networking workshops for the 63,000 young people who live in deprived areas of Greater Manchester.

As we learn to live with, and build back better, from the pandemic we have brought together a new Lessons from lockdown publication, featuring contributions from a range of scientific and humanities academic staff.

On social inclusion we were delighted to announce our Alliance Manchester Business School is heading up a new £32 million Productivity Institute to support the UK’s economy to be more productive – a particular challenge as we live with and respond to the pandemic. We’ve been continuing to deliver our flagship Manchester Access Programme, for young people with no family experience of higher education, online. We’ve analysed how University of Manchester students, through their involvement in the Tutor Trust initiative, helped less privileged pupils across Greater Manchester continue to receive online tutoring during the lockdown period. We are busily gearing up for October’s Black History Month with a wide range of events. This includes the flagship Brilliant and Black event with our Professor of Sociology, award-winning author, broadcaster and columnist Professor Gary Younge. And we have launched a new Black History Trail project, co-created by black University of Manchester students and local pupils.

On environmental sustainability we have announced a major Energy Innovation Agency for Greater Manchester involving all local universities. Our Environmental Sustainability Team hosted a post-screening discussion of The Story of Plastic film, followed by a Q&A on the University’s commitment to eliminating avoidable single-use plastics by 2022. Our pioneering alumni Manchester Day of Action programme, focused on the Sustainable Development Goals, has been recognised as best such programme in Europe. We have supported the Big Bike Revival: Bringing bikes back from the brink initiative to provide free repairs and maintenance to bicycles to reflect how Covid-19 has led to an increasing number of people finding cycling is a safe and mentally and physically beneficial way to travel.

On better health, we have received a grant of nearly £1million from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to work with the British Library in creating a permanent “NHS Voices of COVID-19” resource. We’ve been working with Vocal on projects to mitigate the impact of health inequalities resulting from the pandemic. We’ve launched new digital resources from our Museum of Medicine and Health to support engagement with our historical medical artefacts during the restricted measures. We’ve contributed to one of a new set of an artist-curated dining pods in Media City on the theme of ‘You Are What You Eat’, where diners can explore the link between food, the gut and the immune system.

On cultural engagement, you can now book to visit our University’s Manchester Museum, the Whitworth and Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, which have all successfully re-opened their doors to visitors during September. We contributed to a major Manchester Histories’ festival marking 50 years of disabled peoples’ rights. And Creative Manchester and our Manchester China Institute have launched their annual International Photography Competition.

Despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, we have a very wide range of activities happening for staff, students, alumni and the general public, so check out our events pages for ways that you can engage.

Dr Julian Skyrme, Director of Social Responsibility

Our monthly round-up

We hope this finds you well. In this month’s newsletter we’re sharing news about a wide range of inspirational achievements, projects and events connected to our social responsibility priorities of social inclusion, better health, environmental sustainability and cultural engagement.

Each June, we open our doors to our local neighbourhoods for the Community Festival, where visitors can find out about our work at the University and get hands-on with a variety of exciting family-friendly activities. Obviously this year it isn’t possible to have such an event, so instead we’ve teamed up our University’s Manchester Museum to host an online Community Festival on Saturday 27 June from 11am. You can watch the sessions on Periscope, directly through Manchester Museum’s Twitter feed or via this link.

Many of our University community feel deeply troubled by George Floyd’s death and the different events in the US, UK and beyond. In response, Professor Nalin Thakkar, our Vice-President for Social Responsibility, has highlighted the steps that the University is taking and where we are committed to doing more for equality, diversity and inclusion.

Our students are continuing to engage with their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Law students have been providing written and video advice to people affected by the pandemic and PhD students in the Department of Materials are printing personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline NHS workers. We’ve also been pleased to learn that a record-breaking 8,000 students from across the University completed the Ethical Grand Challenges programme and over 50,000 hours have been logged by student volunteers this academic year.

On social inclusion, our Emergency Hardship Fund has raised £1 million from donors in over 80 countries for students who have experienced hardship during the pandemic. Our IntoUniversity centre in North Manchester is still supporting schoolchildren through lockdown and two individuals from our University community have been nominated for their prestigious IntoUniversity Partnership Awards. Our Manchester Access Programme has continued to be delivered online. And our ageing institute, MICRA, held an online showcase of their postgraduate and early career researchers and have put together their latest research on inequality, older people and COVID-19.

On better health, we’ve shared the story of two of our clinical academics who were released from their usual journeys to join the frontline in the battle against COVID-19 at the Manchester Royal Infirmary. We’ve highlighted the research of Making a Difference Award winner Professor Vaskar Saha. And we hear about how one of our graduates, Thomas Henley, has made the most of lockdown by releasing a documentary about the impact that his Asperger’s Syndrome has had on his mental health.

On environmental sustainability, our 10,000 Actions programme has been updated with home-based content for those working at home, the annual Athletic Union Awards commended several sustainability initiatives, and we interviewed two of our Making a Difference Award winners Holly Smith and Angela Mae Minas about their amazing projects. And Dr Patsy Perry has published in Nature magazine’s Nature Reviews, Earth and Environment on the environmental price of fast fashion and possible solutions.

On cultural engagement, our Race Relations Resource Centre has launched Covid-19 Collecting to document and raise visibility of stories about the impact of pandemic on BAME communities. Our Whitworth Art Gallery is continuing to deliver its Still Parents workshops online for those who have experienced the loss of a baby during pregnancy or after birth and have been engaging Manchester’s young people in a pioneering trans-atlantic The Oakland Projects. Our Manchester Museum continues to engage audiences with its pioneering work online. And our Confucius Institute has released QiGong yoga tutorials on its Youtube channel.

In other news, why not get involved in our first online Purple Wave run,which takes place on Sunday 6 September, with participants running, walking or jogging wherever they are, to collectively complete a virtual lap around the world!

As always, you can visit our dedicated pages to keep up to date with the latest ways we’re working to combat coronavirus and its effects on our communities.

Dr Julian Skyrme, Director of Social Responsibility

Our monthly round-up

I hope you and your families continue to stay safe and that you’re balancing the various demands on your work and personal lives. Over the past month the majority of University activity has continued to operate online, although we’ve begun preparations for resuming some essential work (such as scientific research) when it is safe to do so.

One major event we were determined to proceed with, despite social distancing, was our annual Making a Difference Awards. 8,000 people around the world engaged in the event on Facebook Live on 7 May. 17 winning, 28 highly commended and two special recognition awards were awarded by Chancellor Lemn Sissay and I from our special ‘lockdown studios’ (six living rooms across Manchester and London). On the evening we also premiered a short film about how we’ve been responding to the coronavirus pandemic. Details of all winners and highly commended awardees can be found on the social responsibility website, with short films about thier winning projects on the social responsibility YouTube channel. Earlier that day we also awarded prizes for staff, student and alumni volunteering.

We continue to share our expertise in both tackling and understanding the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on our everyday life.

In Biology, Medicine and Health we’ve been accelerating clinical trials in intensive and critical care patients linked to COVID-19. We’ve been supporting health and social care professionals across the UK to access to health psychology, knowledge and skills during COVID-19. And our researchers in our National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health (NCISH), have been working with the National Health and Safety Executive (NHSE), Public Health England (PHE) and other academics to set up a national academic response to suicide prevention and COVID-19.

In Humanities, researchers are working to understand the wide-ranging impacts of coronavirus on society, culture and the economy and how the lockdown has been changing the way that we live. For example, we’ve examined how the coronavirus has changed cities with regard to the movement of people and air pollution levels; how temporary changes in the use of urban space can help when dealing with the pandemic; and understanding the role of parks and green spaces in social distancing.

In Science and Engineering, our spin-out company Iceni Diagnostics is developing a simple COVID-19 home-test kit that could provide results in a similar way to a domestic pregnancy test. We’ve coordinated the testing of 150,000 pieces of PPE for Manchester City Council. Mathematicians are using computer modelling expertise to advise the UK’s Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M), Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and COBRA on how to protect the population during the coronavirus emergency. And we’ve shown that whilst traffic pollution has dropped in lockdown, other risks to air quality have increased.

Across Professional Services our catering team is providing an industrial kitchen to help local charities Fareshare and Cracking Good Food to produce more than 1,000 nutritious meals per day for those most in need across our city.

And we’ve been developing a range of additional resources to provide learning and inspiration at home during the lockdown. Professor Brian Cox launched our new series of Lockdown Lectures which can be enjoyed by anyone from the comfort of their home. Each Thursday you can join our Museum’s Egyptology in Lockdown sessions. To finish the week you can tune into our Frog Friday Live from our Museum’s Vivarium. We have put together a range of #TheWhitworthAtHome resources so that people can access and take part in our gallery’s programmes from their homes. And our award-winning Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre has been supporting the public to take part in Science Learning at Home.

As we continue to ‘stay alert’ remember you can visit our dedicated pages to keep up to date with the latest ways we’re contributing to the fight against coronavirus and understanding its effects.

Dr Julian Skyrme, Director of Social Responsibility

Our monthly round-up

An extensive array of activities have been delivered across the University and beyond this month, engaging, involving and inspiring our communities with key societal challenges.

Our Better World Awards in our Faculty of Science and Engineering took place on 6 February, with many of the judges commenting on the high quality of this year’s cohort. Well done to all winners and commended and good luck to all nominees put forward to our wider Making a Difference Awards.

On social inclusion, we’ve become the first UK higher education institution to adopt the Social Value Portal to help organise our spending practices and procurement processes in a more sustainable and impactful way. Our Nuffield Research Placement scheme has been launched to offer placements, skills, experience and much-valued insight into research as a career for sixth-formers from widening participation backgrounds. We’re celebrating International Women’s Day with a guest talk from Engagement Strategist and Community Organiser Anita Shervington, who has committed her career to creating equity within STEM. Our annual Equality Information Report has been published. We’ve also been pleased to discover that we remain a top 100 employer on the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index.

On environmental sustainability, our annual Big Volunteer Day led to record-breaking numbers of students making a wildlife friendly space, planting over 1,000 bulbs and a hedge in Ardwick and undertaking playground maintenance at our neighbouring Medlock Primary School. We worked with our Students’ Union on a series of events, talks and workshops as part of Climate Justice Fortnight. Well done to our Manchester Institute of Biotechnology for their prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in recognition of the environmental benefits of their work. And our annual Reduce Week campaign is focusing this year on plastic-use reduction.

On better health, our Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI) has been re-designated as a World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre for their work to develop health capacities in conflict and post-conflict contexts. We’ve also launched a citizen science project in our neighbouring Ardwick community to investigate residents’ concerns about air quality and health. This expands the opportunities for people from underserved communities to actively contribute to publicly funded research, share their ideas, concerns and aspirations and get involved in decision making.

On cultural engagement, we celebrated five years since the re-opening of our extended Whitworth gallery by launching two new co-created exhibitions. Our Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre marked its 21st Anniversary on 10 February with a celebration of ‘21 Years of Activism’ and a talk by founder Lou Kushnick OBE.

We hope to see you at one of our upcoming events, talks, debates, exhibitions and performances, which can be found on our Events Pages.

Our monthly round-up

During the festive period we have seen a number of achievements and milestones across the University and beyond.

Three of our academics were commended on the 2020 New Year Honours list, with Professor David Hulme receiving an OBE, Professor Adisa Azapagic receiving an MBE and Professor Gordon Carlson receiving a CBE, respectively. The Global Development Institute has a new Managing Director, Professor Khalid Nadvi who will oversee the general running of the institute as well as its strategic vision over the next three years. He will also lead on Manchester’s Global Inequalities research beacon.

We have recently launched the Volunteer of the Year Award, with nominations open until 2 March. Nominations can be submitted in four categories: Student of the Year, Student Group of the Year, Staff of the Year and Alumni of the Year.

Our Purple Wave is back and we encourage staff, students, alumnus and their friends and family to sign up now to take part in our 2.5k and 5k Run in Platt fields Park on Wednesday 18 March, and our Purple Wave 10k and half marathon Great Manchester Run on Sunday 24 May. As always, fundraising opportunities are a big part of the Purple Wave, with this year’s chosen University charity being Re-write Cancer.

On social inclusion, the end of 2019 saw the publication of the Inclusive Growth Analysis Unit (IGAU) legacy report Inclusive Growth in Greater Manchester 2020: Taking Stock and Looking Forward, the product of four years’ worth of research.

Our partnership employment and training initiative with The Growth Company, The Works launched its Construction Academy where 13 candidates from Moss Side were placed into work with some of the country’s largest and most well recognised construction companies that are working on University of Manchester’s £1billion campus master-plan.

To mark Ada Lovelace day, we hosted a ‘Women in Physiology’ Wikipedia edit-a-thon, where talks by esteemed Physiologists, Dame Professor Nancy Rothwell and Professor Susan Wray and Wiki-editors Drs Jess Wade B.E.M. and Duncan Hull, were followed by training and hands-on editing. We also launched a series of short videos to inspire girls and women to consider computer science as a study option and showcasing a number of our female students and routes into the subject.

As we move towards the end of January, our thoughts turn to the LGBT History Month. We hope to continue our top 100 position in the Stonewall Workplace Equality index and have compiled a full timetable of events around all aspects of LGBT life, with the theme for 2020 being ‘poetry, prose and plays’.

On environmental sustainability, we are inviting academics and students to work together, and collaborate on projects as part of Climate Justice Fortnight. By using their lecture time, we hope that academics and students alike can raise awareness of some of the worst effects of climate change.

We launched our new team-based sustainability programmes, Team Actions and LEAF. Staff can use Team Actions and LEAF to record and monitor their teams’ efforts to improve the environmental performance of their workplace/department throughout the year.

On health, medical student Clarissa Hemmingson, took the opportunity to attend the University Social Responsibility Network (USRN) Sichuan University Summer Programme 2019 in Chengdu, China. The two-week programme focussed on health promotion for rural families and children, and was held at the West China School of Medicine at Sichuan University.

Dr Judy Ormrod, lecturer in the Division of Nursing, Midwifery & Social Work at the University spent three weeks in August this year volunteering in a hospital in Gulu, Uganda. During her time in Gulu, Dr Judy worked with trainee clinical officers and student nurses, primarily in the paediatric and mental health units, gaining further experience in the challenges that local doctors and nurses face in resource-limited countries.

On cultural engagement, The Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Education Trust recruited two new Trainee Library and Archive Assistants for their project supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The trainees will be working towards a qualification in Archive and Records Management funded by the project as well as working with BAME community groups to develop and deliver heritage projects. For more information on our engagement work, see our engagement stories.

Finally, if you want to hear from some of our leading speakers, visit one of our cultural institutions or take part in one of our many upcoming talks, debates, events, exhibitions and performances visit our Events Pages to stay updated on the latest happenings at the University.

Dr Julian Skyrme, Director of Social Responsibility

Our monthly round-up

Our progress on social responsibility has been significant over the past month, with a wide range of activities and initiatives happening across campus and beyond.

This week we have launched the Making a Difference Awards 2020. Now in its sixth year, the awards acknowledge the difference that staff, students, alumni and external partners are making on campus, in local communities and across the world. The Awards include a range of categories, covering many different types of social responsibility projects and activities taking place on and off campus.

We were pleased to be highly commended in the ‘Most Sustained Scheme’ category at the National Payroll Giving Excellence Awards in London on 18 November. Building on this we’re taking part in Giving Tuesday on 3 December – a global day to do ‘good stuff’, where we can support good causes and communities that mean so much to us.

We’ve been engaging the public with our research as part of the recent Festival of Social Science. One example was the Air today, gone tomorrow project, which provided an opportunity for our researchers to work with Medlock Primary School in Ardwick to combat air pollution.

On social inclusion, our Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS) has recently awarded ten Social Responsibility Scholarships to undergraduate students on the basis of their contribution to society, the environment and producing socially-responsible graduates.

Submissions for The Social Justice Photography Competition 2020, are now also open to all undergraduate students at The University of Manchester. As part of the Ethical Grand Challenges, the competition aims to engage students with social justice issues and covers a range of topics such as homelessness and mental health, through to higher education.

It has been one year since our IntoUniversity Manchester North (IUNM) opened its doors in Blackley, and it’s been a very successful year. 74% of IntoUniversity Manchester North students reported that they were working better at school as a result of attending Academic Support and 81% of students who took part in the centre’s Secondary FOCUS programme reported that they knew more about university as a result of it.

If you know any sixth formers in Greater Manchester from backgrounds under-represented in higher education then you can let them know that applications are open for next cohort of Manchester Access Programme entrants which supports local sixth formers from underrepresented backgrounds into University.

On environmental sustainability, we celebrated the contribution of staff and students across the University through our annual Green Impact Awards, an international behaviour change programme designed to support environmentally and socially sustainable practice in organisations. A festival of ideas will take place on 5 December at our Sustainable Consumption Institute to lay down a marker for sustainability research in the next decade. And if you want to get the New Year off to a green, healthy and age-friendly start you can join the Whitworth Art Gallery to see what you can do to bring together agendas in arts and heritage, green infrastructure, health and wellbeing and age-friendly cities.

On health, the first Service Learning in Healthcare conference took place on 15 November with Dr Julian Skyrme as keynote speaker. Service learning relates to SDG 3: good health and well-being and has been taking place in many forms across the University for a number of years, despite not being defined as such.

On cultural engagement, the University has partnered with Manchester City Council to map the diversity of Manchester’s languages. Up to 200 languages are spoken in Manchester including Urdu, Arabic, Chinese and Polish, making the city the most linguistically diverse in Western Europe. On 9 November, the Manchester Culture Awards took place at Manchester Convention Centre, with a range of winning and finalist entries from the University, including the Whitworth, the Manchester Museum and Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Education Trust.

We have welcomed Isabelle Cox to the team as our new Intern, following her first class undergraduate degree in the Alliance Manchester Business School.

Enjoy the run-up to Christmas. To keep up-to-date with what is going on at the University please visit the Events Pages for the latest information.

Dr Julian Skyrme, Director of Social Responsibility

Our monthly round-up

Happy new (academic) year! From Bolton to Bangalore, from London to Lagos, our new students arrived in Manchester in September to begin their studies. With some 480,000 graduates in over 190 countries around the world, students are key in achieving our goal to make a positive contribution to the world. More than 5,000 of our new undergraduates took part in our Sustainability Challenge on their second day at the University. This is the first step they can take in achieving a Stellify Award – our most prestigious extra-curricular accolade.

Students are also invited to take part in an upcoming Volunteering and Social Justice Fair, offering them opportunities to engage with a diverse range of charities and not-for-profit organisations to find accredited volunteering opportunities. Our dental students have been working with endodontics consultant Dr Joanne Cunliffe to support displaced individuals migrating to Europe with free dental care and oral hygiene advice.

It’s been a busy period of activity on environmental sustainability. Over the summer we joined the Government in its declaration of a climate emergency. We joined over 170 global organisations and news outlets by signing up for Covering Climate Now – a collaboration to proactively increase climate coverage in the week leading up to the United Nations’ (UN) Climate Action Summit in New York. Our Museum’s infamous T. rex, Stan, went on strike in solidarity with the global Youth Strike for Climate movement to raise awareness of species extinction. We also became the first University in the world to feature in the Global Goals Yearbook, an annual summary of leading practice on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This follows our position as Europe’s top-ranking university in the 2019 Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings for our social and environmental impact.

We’ve been engaging the wider public in a range of work. We launched two new major initiatives to tackle the issue of local air pollution through £2 million of new funding.

Our Learning Loops in the Public Realm (LOOPER) project has implemented physical interventions, designed in partnership with our nearest neighbours in the Ardwick community, to test traffic calming and aesthetic uplifts along its main road, Brunswick Street. Our Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre and Education Trust has launched a new series of new public engagement activities and a website. And our Cultural Explorers programme, to engage local schoolchildren with our cultural institutions, has had a makeover.

There have been some notable successes for our work to engage communities and the wider public with our work. Our Tactile Collider project to teach visually impaired audiences about accelerator physics and the Large Hadron Collider has won a prestigious European Physics Society (EPS) award. We’ve also been shortlisted for two prestigious Times Higher Education Awards, one of which is connected to our work on the Sustainable Development Goals. Congratulations go to Professor Stefan Bouzarovski, who’s been recognised by the European Union (EU) as an ‘ordinary hero’ for his work on tackling energy poverty across Europe. And well done to all staff who give tax-free to charities via our Payroll Giving Scheme – we were recently recognised by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) for breaking the £1 million for donations.

We have a wide range of upcoming events and activities for the public. On 10 October we’re hosting a public lecture given by David Olusoga OBE to celebrate Black History Month at The University of Manchester. We’re also playing a major role in the SICK! Festival which is addressing the complexities of mental and physical health through an engaging arts programme. You can find opportunities to engage in talks, lectures, performances and exhibitions on our events pages and by visiting the pages of our inspirational cultural institutions.

Dr Julian Skyrme

Director of Social Responsibility

Our monthly round-up

Congratulations to Professor Nalin Thakkar, who becomes our next Vice President for Social Responsibility, from 1 September 2019. Currently our Associate Vice-President for Risk, Compliance and Research Integrity, Nalin is a clinical academic who has been associated with The University of Manchester since he came here as an 18 year old undergraduate. He was listed in the top 50 most influential BAME public sector leaders in the UK by Inclusive Boards. Commenting on his appointment, Nalin said: “I feel honoured and excited by the prospect of serving the University in this crucial role. Never has social responsibility and sustainability been more important to us and society. I am really looking forward to developing social responsibility even further within the new strategic plan.” We would also like to thank Professor James Thompson for the enormous contribution he has made to the University’s successes in social responsibility.

To coincide with the national conference of the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges (EAUC) in Manchester we launched a major new voluntary report setting out our contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).This measures and shares examples of impact across research, teaching, engagement and operations for all seventeen SDGs.

On inclusion, our commitment to the SDG 8: Good Jobs and Economic Growth has led us to become the first higher education institution in the UK to become a member of Slave-Free Alliance. As part of our wider commitment to eradicate modern slavery we also organised an awareness event with The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) on modern slavery in supply chains. Researchers in our Manchester Centre for Development Informatics have developed the world’s first ever rating system for working conditions in the digital economy to guide customers, workers, investors and others to make more informed decisions in relation to decent work standards in businesses such as taxis and food delivery. And congratulations to Dr Hamied Haroon, a Research Associate at the School of Health Sciences who has been named the University’s Staff Volunteer of the Year for his tireless work to improve support for disabled people inside and outside the University.

On environment, after 40 years of research around the world a team of our scientists have solved a key flaw in solar panels. We hosted the UK’s premier event for sustainability professionals. This event was also entirely plastic free as part of our commitment to eliminate avoidable single use plastics by 2022. And our library has introduced completely paperless book reservations – a move that will save enough paper to wrap around the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons more than 30 times.

On health, we profile the incredible work of final year medic, Joshua Strange, who established a Homeless Healthcare society to link students with charities and NHS providers including Urban Village: the GP service commissioned for homeless patients.

On culture and science, more than a million people each day got to walk past Maharajah, our Museum’s and Manchester’s most famous elephant who arrived at Piccadilly station 147 years late. If you have ideas about museum objects you’d like to see elsewhere in the city you can join the conversation with us on social media. We were pleased to welcome more than 3,000 local friends and neighbours on to campus for our annual Community Festival. And our spin-out charity, Manchester Histories, is also running an exciting series of public events to mark 200 years since the Peterloo massacre in Manchester.

We hope you enjoy the summer months ahead. There’s so many exciting things being organised by the University over the summer, so please keep up with our Events Pages for the latest information.

Dr Julian Skyrme

Director of Social Responsibility

Our monthly round-up

Ramadan Mubarak for all those currently celebrating. Our University’s Manchester Museum recently held its first Iftar in its 126 year history. Hundreds of staff, students and members of the public, of different faiths and none, came together to show their unity, share food and exchange knowledge about the Muslim practice of fasting that is being practiced by nearly a quarter of the world’s population throughout May and June.

Each May we celebrate social responsibility innovation and impact through our Making a Difference Awards – and this year we were joined by our President and Vice-Chancellor, Chancellor, Chair of the Board, Lord Mayor of Manchester and Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Greater Manchester. From mental health to dental health and from criminology to climate change, you can read about and watch films of our many winners and highly commended entrants. We also celebrated our Volunteer of the Year award winners Dr Hamied Haroon (staff), Isla Atay (student), Once a Month (student group) and Natalie Cheung (alumni), who received our University Medal for Social Responsibility.

We have reached more than £1 million of donations to charity via staff payroll. Charities such as Oxfam, Shelter, Save the Children and Cancer Research UK are supported by our staff payroll giving scheme, where charities are provided with significant extra income through the tax benefits of payroll giving.

On campus we held our Oxford Road Annual Travel Event to celebrate and amplify the impact of our significant number of staff who commute to work actively and sustainably by walking, running, cycling and scooting each day. We welcomed more than 140 Year 5 and 6 girls into our Faculty of Science and Engineering’s first Girls into STEM event. And Historian, broadcaster and film-maker David Olusoga OBE delivered his inaugural lecture as our new Professor of Public History to a packed crowd on the topic “Identity, Britishness and the Windrush”.

Across our communities Manchester Histories (an independent charity spun-out of The University of Manchester’s Department of History) is organising more than 150 events as part of Peterloo 2019. The programme leads into the anniversary itself (16 August 2019) when 200 years ago 60,000 men, women and children gathered to peacefully demand parliamentary reform. When the troops were sent in to break up the crowd, 18 people were killed and around 700 were injured.Our Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre – an open-access library and archive on race, ethnicity and migration situated in Manchester Central Library – is contributing to events as part of Peterloo 2019 and has also been undertaking work to document Armenian heritage in the North West and black history in Stockport.

Around the world, our Alumni office is working with the University’s alumni community to support a global day of action in June linked to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Our Middle East Centre has been undertaking a range of social responsibility projects during the Holy Month of Ramadan. And our Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health and Manchester Museum have teamed up with Panama Wildlife Conservation and the Government of Panama to support the conservation of the iconic Harlequin Frog.

If you’re looking for more things to do in June and July you could do no worse than going along to two of our key annual events. First our free Community Festival takes place on Saturday 15 June at The University of Manchester and is packed with fun family-friendly interactive activities. And secondly our multi-award winning festival of science, music and culture, Bluedot, is set to return to our iconic Jodrell Bank site for its fourth annual outing on 18-21 July.

Dr Julian Skyrme

Director of Social Responsibility

Our monthly round-up

Protecting our planet and building more inclusive societies are considered the two most pressing issues facing our world, as reflected in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. That’s why two major announcements made by The University of Manchester in the past month are so significant.

First, we announced our successful accreditation with the Living Wage Foundation. Prior to accreditation, we already paid our own staff more than the hourly rate recommended by the foundation, together with a range of additional benefits such as family friendly-policies, generous pensions, occupational sick pay and annual leave allowances. Becoming accredited ensures a living wage will now be paid beyond directly employed staff amd will cover all future third-party contracts. This will set an example to other employers in Greater Manchester and more than three-quarters of universities across the UK who haven’t sought accreditation to date, and builds on practical employment initiative The Works and research at our Work and Equalities Institute.

Secondly, we announced at Mayor Andy Burnham’s Green Summit our ambitious plan to play our part in making Greater Manchester net zero carbon by 2038. It’s estimated we are responsible for 5.9% of the city of Manchester’s carbon emissions. Through our groundbreaking research, our teaching, our network of suppliers, our 12,000 staff and our 40,000 students we have a critical role in driving change and influencing behaviour on climate change and resource use. At the summit we also confirmed our commitment to eliminate all avoidable single use plastic by 2022.

Across our communities, ScienceX returned to the Trafford Centre, where 180 staff and students had 25,000 interactions with shoppers through fun, hands-on science activities. We were delighted to launch a new learning centre to help young people of North Manchester in partnership with the national education charity Into University.We launched a new photographic exhibition to raise awareness of the 200 musculoskeletal conditions that affect 9.6 million adults and 12,000 children in the United Kingdom. And we are encouraging anyone interested in young people’s attainment and aspiration in STEM subjects to join the 50,000 children across the UK who’ve got involved in our Greater Science Share initiative.

On campus we’ve led a number of events as part of International Women’s Day, including a packed event with celebrated scientist Dr Jess Wade. We organised a dozen Fairtrade Fortnight events to raise awareness of global cocoa farmers. Our Furniture 4 Reuse scheme passed the landmark of renovating more than 500 office chairs for staff, contributing overall to 180 tonnes diverted from landfill and £410,000 of savings through this initiative. We’d also like to extend a very warm welcome to new colleagues supporting our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion: Dr Rachel Cowen, who joins Dr Dawn Edge as our lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Professor Alys Young who is leading our work for the Disability Equalities Standard.

Many more opportunities for the public, staff, alumni and students to engage in engage in activities at the University can be found on our Events Pages.

Dr Julian Skyrme

Director of Social Responsibility

Our monthly round-up

A wide range of activities have been delivered this month to engage, involve and inspire our communities – on campus, locally and globally – with key societal challenges.

On environmental sustainability all staff have been encouraged to engage with our new 10,000 Actions platform. Building on 27,000 environmental actions committed to date, this new and improved version of the tool is more user-friendly, features instant results and gamification options. Alongside this, a £10,000 10,000 Actions Fund has been launched to put impactful sustainability ideas into practice. Congratulations go to colleagues in our Manchester Urban Institute (MUI) who’ve received substantial grants for research projects placing human-environment interactions at the heart of achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

On social justice and opportunities we’ve recently released a comprehensive Equality Information Report 2019, which provides evidence on how we have advanced our equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) agendas for students and staff. We’ve welcomed pupils and teachers onto campus for a ‘Dragonfly day’ event to inspire young women to consider careers and pathways in STEM subjects. Don’t forget that our flagship science-outreach initiative ScienceX returns to into Trafford Centre on 9-10 March for the fourth year running and will engage thousands of children and families over the weekend. And come and help us mark International Women’s Day in March with a special public event with polymer physicist Dr Jess Wade, where she discusses her renowned and tireless work to promote greater gender balance in science.

On health and wellbeing, thousands of our staff, students and alumni are being encouraged to don our famous shirt as part of our Purple Wave for May’s Simply Health Great Manchester Run. Scientists from the Manchester Centre for Dermatology Research are organising a Psoriasis Shout Out to raise awareness and conversations between the public, psoriasis patients and professionals working in the field. Neuro-science and psychology colleagues in our Body Eyes and Movement (BEAM) Lab have been working with the public to investigate the benefits of dance for people with Parkinson’s.

Finally, we are really pleased to annouce the shortlisted entries for the Making a Difference Awards 2019. This year we received a record number of entries, all of which were of outstanding quality. The winners and highly commended will be announced at an Awards ceremony on 2 May.

We hope to see you at one of our upcoming events, talks, debates, exhibitions and performances, which can be found on our Events Pages.

Dr Julian Skyrme

Director of Social Responsibility

Our monthly round-up

The year ended and began with two pieces of fabulous news for social responsibility. In December we were awarded the UK’s first Gold Watermark for the quality of our work on public engagement – the highest honour available to a University for its strategic leadership, professional support and excellence in partnership working with the public. And in January we celebrated our designation as the most LGBT-inclusive university in England in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index – an annual audit of workplace culture for lesbian, gay, bi and trans staff.

Across campus, we are working with the National Union of Students to deliver a Teach-In week from 18–22 February, supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The 11-19 February sees the return of the University’s Student Volunteering Week – a national celebration of all things volunteering. We have also opened our annual Volunteer of the Year process, so if know a University of Manchester student, member of staff or alumnus who you think is worthy of a Volunteer of the Year Award, please make a nomination. And did you know that students, staff, alumni and supporters of the University can get free Purple Wave registration for the Greater Manchester Run in May? All you need to do is fundraise a minimum of £100 (£50 if you’re a student) for our scholarships for local disadvantaged students or students from developing countries, or for breakthroughs in medical research at the University.

Across the local region we have been working with our most local secondary school – Trinity High School – on science enrichment activities involving a residential event at Malham Tarn. Our Museum of Medicine and Health has been engaging the public on the rise of wearable technologies such as Fitbits, through an exhibition of medical objects at Central Library in Manchester. We have organised ‘Consumed’ – a Manchester Museum After Hours event tackling our throw-away consumer culture. A new film has been launched through our Multilingual Manchester initiative, highlighting the outreach and public engagement work we do on community languages across Greater Manchester. And The Works, our employment centre run in partnership with Greater Manchester’s The Growth Company, will soon be moving from Moss Side to Ardwick to accommodate an increase in the scale and type of work it can deliver.

Across the world, a chance exchange between a pharmacy student in Rwanda and University of Manchester academics on Twitter led to the co-creation and launch of an International Students’ Partnership for Antibiotic Resistance Education (ISPARE) in Rwanda. Our MBA students in Hong Kong raised funds through a local UNESCO Run for Peace across the city. We are providing study opportunities benefiting many women and young Arab entrepreneurs at our Middle East Centre in Dubai Knowledge Park. And we have profiled the work of our recent Equity and Merit scholar Tom Geme from Kampala in Uganda, who will be using his skills to contribute to the sustainable development of Uganda.

For opportunities to take part in our many upcoming talks, debates, events, exhibitions and performances visit our Events Pages.

Dr Julian Skyrme

Director of Social Responsibility

Our monthly round-up

We are pleased to announce that The University of Manchester has recently committed to becoming accredited to the Living Wage Foundation. We have paid the living wage for a long time and above this offer a range of additional benefits such as family friendly-policies, generous pensions, sick pay and annual leave allowances. In recent weeks it has become clear that formal accreditation is important to staff and students and so, after listening to their views, we are seeking to become accredited as soon as possible.

We have made another important commitment recently by signing an SDG Accord. Signing the accord commits universities and colleges to embed the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into their work and reporting annually on their contribution. As part of this we are inviting staff to share examples of how they or their teams are contributing to the SDGs by filling in this short survey before Friday, 30 November.

Our annual Making a Difference Awards for social responsibility have been launched. These are an opportunity for commitment and successes in social responsibility among staff, students, alumni and external partners to be recognised and celebrated – and people can nominate themselves or someone else before 21 January 2019.

There have been some notable successes and milestones for social responsibility activity recently. Colleagues from the Faculty of Science and Engineering won Silver at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations North West PRide Awards on 7 November for our ScienceX event, which takes science engagement activities at the into Trafford Centre. Our brand new IntoUniversity Manchester North centre has now opened in Blackley, on the site of the Co-op Academy North school. Generously funded by donors to the University, this will offer a programme for schools and local young people including academic support, a subject specific FOCUS programme and mentoring from both current students and business mentors. Our Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre launched a Heritage Lottery Funded project to increase the visibility of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) heritage in Greater Manchester. And well done to the 100+ staff teams picking up Green Impact awards for their work on environmental behaviour change in the past year – our most successful year to date!

It’s been a busy month for events on and off campus. United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kate Gilmore visited The University of Manchester for an event to mark 70 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in December 1948. We hosted a major international gathering focused on post-conflict medical and care systems in Uganda and Sri Lanka in preparation for a major bid to the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). We hosted the first Greater Manchester social enterprise summit on campus, where researchers and social entrepreneurs from the University spoke alongside Mayor Andy Burnham on the importance of this sector to the wellbeing of Greater Manchester. Andy Burnham also attended a conference hosted by our Directorate for Human Resources, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the National Apprenticeship Service to encourage the take-up of apprenticeships among BAME people and those from disadvantage backgrounds. Our Global Development Institute hosted a special screening of the Ugandan film Boda Boda Thieves at the Millennium Powerhouse in Moss Side as part of the ESRC’s Festival of Social Sciences. And we were delighted to welcome the Ethiopian ambassador, H.E. Dr Hailemichael Aberra Afework, to spend a day on campus and meet the first Ethiopian Equity and Merit students to come to Manchester.

We have a wide range of upcoming events, talks, exhibitions and performances that staff, students and members of the public can engage with – for more information about taking part, visit our Events Pages. Examples include our Irene Manton Lecture on Tuesday, 4 December with the Linnean Society on the history of women in fieldwork and an evening of storytelling in science at The Birdcage, Manchester, on Thursday, 6 December in partnership with The Story Collider Team.

Finally, there are three things we’re encouraging colleagues at Manchester to consider at the moment. First, do you know a Year 12 (lower sixth) student with parents who’ve not been to University themselves? If so, then you can suggest they apply to our Manchester Access Programme (MAP) before Monday 17 December. If you give to charity, or are thinking of doing it, have you considered payroll giving as a cheaper and more effective method? And finally, we’re encouraging all staff and students to engage with our Speak Up! Stand Up! campaign in collaboration with Manchester Students’ Union. This calls upon people to act as active bystanders and take action against harassment, hate crime and sexual violence.

Dr Julian Skyrme

Director of Social Responsibility

Our monthly round-up

Congratulations to our School Governor Initiative – one of our signature programmes for social responsibility – for winning a Spirit of Manchester award for community initiatives across our city. With 905 staff and alumni governors making a difference to leadership across state schools, the award recognises excellence in engaging volunteers on key societal challenges. Well done also, to Kirsty McIntyre who has been awarded the New Researcher Outreach and Engagement award 2018 from the Royal Society of Biology for her work on public involvement. Finally, congratulations to our Director Dr Julian Skyrme, who received an Institute of Directors UK ‘Director of the Year’ award for his work leading social responsibility at The University of Manchester.

Members of the public, staff and students are all warmly invited to join the United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights at a special event we have organised on Monday 12 November, to celebrate 70 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Manchester has been at the forefront of campaigning for change and protecting human rights locally, nationally and internationally through the movements for universal suffrage at Peterloo, womens’ suffrage, anti-slavery, the Rochdale cooperative pioneers, the NHS and the gay rights movement. A range of local speakers and organisations will consider how Greater Manchester is standing up for human rights today. Recently we also welcomed thousands of local residents and families onto campus to engage in our free fun-filled day of challenges, experiments, and interactive demonstrations at our Science Spectacular event, run in partnership with the Manchester Science Festival.

On campus, we are currently asking staff to share examples of how their work is addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This takes just five minutes to complete and a £2 donation towards Manchester’s Big Change homelessness fund is being made for each responder. The nomination process for our annual Better World Showcase, recognising and communicating the outstanding social responsibility activities across our Faculty of Science and Engineering, has been launched – so get nominating yourself or colleagues before 5 November. We recently highlighted the steps the University is taking towards race equality through ‘Brilliant and BAME’ – a buzzing showcase of exhibitions, stalls and talks. Our Volunteering and Social Justice Fair welcomed over 1,300 students to take part in our Ethical Grand Challenges programme and make a difference by engaging with more than 100 different volunteer organisations across the cultural, environmental, health, sport and social inclusion sectors. Our latest Annual Report on Widening Participation has been published. And we’ve launched a pilot initiative to allow staff and students the opportunity to dispose of electrical waste on campus.

Our students and alumni continue to address key societal challenges. A groups of current students have launched a Student Inspire Network to improve access to careers information for all students, but particularly those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds. And a former student, Amy Win has, been using the support she received at Manchester to develop 4Lunch – a social enterprise food business course for local people.

As always there are a wide range of upcoming events, talks, exhibitions and performances that staff, students and members of the public can engage with – for more information about taking part, visit our Events Pages.

Lisa Govey, Communications and Engagement Manager for Social Responsibility

Our monthly round-up

Happy new academic year! From Russia to Rusholme, from Bury to Beijing – we’ve been delighted to welcome thousands on new students to Manchester from near and afar. Whatever they study, one thing that unites all of our undergraduate students is the opportunity to step up and make a difference to the world through our Stellify initiative. On Tuesday 18 September it was amazing to see more than 8,000 students get the chance to start their ‘Stellify journey’ through our Sustainability Challenge – one of three Ethical Grand Challenges open to our students. Following on from this is our annual Volunteering and Social Justice Fair on Tuesday 16 October, which will allow students to meet more than 100 charities and not-for-profit organisations and talk to them face-to-face to find volunteering opportunities to get involved with during their time at university.

Our students go on to achieve important work following their experience as students at Manchester. One recent example we’ve been particularly proud of is Master’s alumnus Rajab Mohandis, who has been using his knowledge gained in Manchester to support the development of a peaceful, democratic and prosperous future for civil society in the South Sudan peace talks.

In the past few weeks some important milestones and achievements have been reached for projects with a social responsibility focus. First of all, Brunswick Park– a new green space to benefit staff, students, visitors and the local community – was officially opened. We are delighted to be launching Creative Manchester– a £3.3 million endowment investment to support our ambitious vision in the arts, cultural and creative industries. We launched Instruments of Change – a new permanent exhibition in our Stopford Building foyer telling the story of 200 years of medical education and objects. The third annual Community History Showcase was delivered by our Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre – a library specialising in the study of race, migration and ethnicity based in the city’s Central Library. To celebrate 60 years of development studies at Manchester we launched a new documentary film, tracing the history of Development Studies at Manchester from its humble beginnings to Europe’s largest teaching and research institute focused on poverty and inequality. We were delighted to secure £790,000 for a new research project, led by Professor Stephanie Barrientos, that will look at how to promote more ethical labour standards in the growing market of goods produced in Sub-Saharan Africa. Much closer to home, we have been using our role as a major an anchor institution to address the challenge of unemployment in local communities through a new partnership between SEARCH and our signature The Works initiative. Finally, we are very pleased and proud to announced that more of our academic Schools have been successful in achieving Athena SWAN awards for their gender equality work.

On sustainability, we are pleased to be the host for the world’s first ‘Carbon Literacy for Labs’ initiative, which will deliver highly relevant, value-led climate change learning to laboratory staff and students. We’ve successfully trialed an electric cargo bike across our residences division through an EU funded Triangulum project. And we’ve launched a single use plastic action group which is reviewing single use plastic consumption across the University.

Dr Julian Skyrme, Director of Social Responsibility