Our monthly round-up

Tue, 30 Mar 2021 08:33:00 BST

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