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A condensed look at our local engagement

Welcome to our new look Community Newsletter, As well as re-branding to be in line with the new Sustainability Strategy we have expanded the readership to even more community organisations citywide. With contributions from more services and schools we will bring you an even greater range of stories on how the University is making a positive contribution to local communities through our research, teaching and activities as well as highlighting the opportunities for communities to get involved. 

In this issue we are delighted to announce the launch of a new Community Mentoring Scheme which will provide community and staff benefits through linking community organisations with a professional or academic staff mentor.  Also highlighted, are how the Public Art Strategy and Art Trail are reaching a wider audience of staff, students and local residents,  Leeds University Union have provided an update on their engagement with our students on community activities, how academics have increased their collaboration with the third sector through LeedsACTS!, how we are supporting more inner city children with the opening of a second IntoUniversity educational facility, the launch of our new Uni Girls Can initiative aiming to inspire more women to engage with sport and physical activity and how Leeds Institute of Medical Education is being recognised through a the City of Sanctuary Health Award for their work with refugees and asylum seekers.  

I hope you enjoy reading our Autumn edition, please share with others through your social media or email using the buttons below. 


Taking responsibility to have a positive impact on society


New Community Mentoring Scheme Launched 

One of the greatest assets of the University is our staff and their wide range or knowledge and professional expertise. The Sustainability Service is offering a new community mentoring scheme to utilise this asset for the benefit of staff and local communities. The scheme matches academic or professional University staff mentors with a local not-for profit community organisations seeking support with a specific area of work such as writing a funding bid, developing a marketing campaign or sustainable business modelling. We are currently seeking local organisations to benefit from this new initiative. For more information about the scheme and how you can make an application visit the Sustainability Service webpages

Bringing Our Campus Art to a Wider Audience

New, enthusiastic audiences are now visiting the University’s campus to view public artworks following the launch of the Campus Public Art Trail in the summer.  Members of the public, students and staff have followed the new Trail, which forms a key part of the University’s Public Art Strategy and Public Art Project – both of which were introduced in June. As well as the sculptures themselves, the Trail includes creative writing contributions from students, new poems by poets Linda France and Dr Helen Mort – the University’s Douglas Caster Cultural Fellow – and space where our audiences can write their own creative response to the works.

 The Autumn Programme of Public Art began with a sell-out Heritage Open Day tour, followed by art historian Ben Read speaking about Eric Gill’s controversial Christ Driving the Moneychangers from the Temple, and Town Hall and Brotherton Library lunchtime lectures. We enjoyed a stimulating Public Poetry Please! Event with Helen Mort, on National Poetry Day with readings of her own poems and those which had been submitted by the public. Download a copy of the Public Art Trail Map and the Autumn of Public Art Programme

What is the Alternative to Alternate Weekly Bin Collections?

In a move to improve recycling rates across the city, Leeds City Council has implemented alternate weekly collections to most areas of the city; with households having their green bins empty one week and then black the next.  But what will happen to areas of the city where  alternate weekly collection will not suitable? Areas of the city we know to have long standing issues with fly-tipping, poor recycling rates and bins left on streets. The University in partnership with Leeds University Union is exploring what alternative approaches there are to ensure the city is recycling and streets are clean and waste free. We will be organising some community based events in the Spring to hear from residents, if this is something that you or the individuals you work with would be interested in attending, please contact us for further information. 

City of Sanctuary Health Award for Leeds Institute of Medical Education

Leeds Institute of Medical Education (LIME) is to be given the City of Sanctuary Health Award. This is for their work in making refugees and asylum seekers feel welcome, and for involving City Of Sanctuary (CoS) service users in the medical curriculum, plus for promoting or work. The CoS Women's Health Befriending Project were involved in LIME's Community Arts Initiative last year and their banner is now displayed in the school. Year 1/2 Medical students have also visited the CoS centre in Leeds to talk to refugees and asylum seekers as part of Campus to Clinic afternoon community visits. CoS service users were also involved in a small group interactive workshop on Refugee Health as part of IDEALS Year 2 Inclusion Health - Valuing Diversity in late September 2015 and we also hope to invite them in again in January 2016. For more information on LIME and medical students engagement with local communities, see their community newsletter. 

Leeds University Union Community Update 

At Leeds University Union, we’ve been really excited to welcome new students to our community and support current students’ engagement with everything Leeds has to offer!
Our student Community and Halls Reps have kicked off the year with a brilliant start and are working with the Community Officer, Jonny Foster, and Welfare Officer, Freya Govus, on generating discussion about issues surrounding housing, transport, the environment, arts and culture, crime and safety and social justice in Leeds. Over the next few weeks, we are looking forward to the launch of a number of projects and campaigns that we hope will have a big impact in our community. From 22nd October, the Whole Earth? art exhibition will be open to the public outside Leeds University Union. At the end of the month, Homelessness Week will raise awareness of issues affecting homeless people in Leeds, and encourage students to donate sanitary products to local organisations at drop-off points in the union and local residences. On 12th November, we will also be launching Stay Local, a brand new project to encourage students to shop at local and independent businesses. On November 18th, the founder of The Real Junk Food Project, Adam Smith, is coming to talk to students as part of Global Enterprise Week
. Finally, t
his year over twenty societies are taking part in the Fundraising League and they are currently busy planning their activities to raise even more funds for their favourite causes and activities.  Vist Leeds University Unions webpages for more information on the Fundraising League.

Academic Collaboration with the Third Sector ( LeedsACTS!) 

LeedsACTS! is a unique partnership which aims to build better collaboration between the third sector and community organisations and academics across the three universities in Leeds; Leeds Trinity, Leeds Beckett and the University of Leeds. We are working to build awareness of how we can work more effectively together to benefit the communities of Leeds. A summary of LeedsACTS! and examples of how we help collaboration are available through the Doing Good Leeds webpages.  We are working on developing this site and the partnership activity of LeedsACTS! more generally. If you have any comments on how we can improve, we’d love to hear from you. EmailTweet or call Jo Cutter on 0113 343 0202.

Supporting our Students as Leeds Residents Annual Report 

Students come to the University of Leeds to study in a vibrant, research intensive environment.  While they’re here, we encourage them to think beyond their studies and become responsible citizens who contribute to the communities they live and work in.  We want our students to be part of Leeds and to contribute to making Leeds the great city it is. This means everything from organising and taking part in events to being responsible neighbours or volunteering for local organisations. Our annual, Supporting Students as Local Residents report, highlights our progress in supporting our students, our projects, initiatives and communications engaging with our students as well as our intuition response to complaints about the behavior of our students in local communities. Download a copy of the report.  

How Culture Matters: A Four-Fold Exploration 

The University will be hosting a series of public events to coincide with the Being Human national festival of the humanities between 12th and 18th November. The ‘How culture matters: A four-fold exploration’ multi-event programme focuses on various aspects of culture will cast new light on the everyday. From the exploration of medical interventions to the complex relations between artistic culture, these events aim to stimulate fresh insights through hands-on workshops, film screenings and even a performance of puppets. Visit the Being Human Festival webpages for information on the events taking place.

Launch of New Centre to Help Inner City School Children 

Young learners in South Leeds are to be supported by a new education facility which has opened its doors in Beeston. Run by charity IntoUniversity, in partnership with the University of Leeds and the Queens Trust, the new centre is dedicated to helping and inspiring less-advantaged young people aim for university. Trained tutors and 15 student volunteers from the University will assist pupils from the ages of 7-18 with a range of academic support including; help with homework, coursework, literacy and numeracy, exam revision and university applications. The centre welcomed over 200 children and their parents on their launch day – 10 October 2015 - and have already developed partnerships with seven local schools. IntoUniversity Leeds  South is the second IntoUniversity centre to be launched in Leeds.  The first opened in Harehills in October 2014.  Since then over 900 students have benefited from after-school learning support. Find out more.

Uni Girls Can

At the University of Leeds we aim to inspire women to engage with sport and physical activity in a way that is right for them. As part of this aim we have launched a new initiative, Uni Girls Can. Uni Girls Can was launched last week and we welcomed Dame Sarah Storey and Charlotte Evans MBE to the university to inspire others through sharing their personal journeys, the barriers they have faced and how they have stayed positive. All the talks and workshops throughout the launch week have been a great success with staff, students and members of the local community attending.The Uni Girls Can webpage is a platform which allows everyone to find activities which are right for them, get nutritional advice, increase leadership skills, develop networking opportunities and even read some blogs!

4th Annual British Academy/LHRI Lecture

The LHRI is delighted to announce that this year’s prestigious British Academy Lecture will once again be delivered here at the University of Leeds. This year’s speaker will be Professor Sir Ian Kershaw, who will deliver his BA Raleigh Lecture "Out of the Ashes: Europe's Rebirth After the Second World War, 1945-1949".  The lecture is scheduled for 7.30-18.45, on the 4th November. Visit the Faculty of Arts events pages for more information about this and other public lectures. 

From Pants to Puddings: Reminiscence and the M&S Company Archive

The M&S Company Archive contains over 70,000 objects telling the story of M&S, from the first stall on Kirkgate Market to one of the UK’s leading retailers. The collection is based on the western campus of the University and is full of treasures that can evoke memories and encourage conversations.  M&S works closely with the Alzheimer’s Society and has committed to empowering every one of its 80,000 colleagues to become a Dementia Friend. After members of the archive team became Dementia Friends, we realised we could use the collection to support our Dementia Friendly status and expand our free community programme. Community groups can visit the exhibition, have a cup of tea and enjoy a handling session with items from the collection, and for groups local to Leeds we offer a reminiscence outreach service. We’ve developed reminiscence loan boxes containing original clothing and accessories from the 1940s to the 1970s, as well as themed image packs, available to download for free on our website. Visit the M&S Company Archive website for more information about this community programme,

Offer of EU Policy Research 

Leeds University attracts some of the brightest young minds in the country, many of whom go onto be leading thinkers in their chosen fields, but how do they apply their research in the real world? Many undertake yearlong placements in industry. But in a few politics modules, second and final year students are finding that their research interests policy makers at the highest of levels. Students studying EU politics have submitted research reports to the to the Foreign Office and to the House of Lords EU Select Committee on subjects as diverse as the EU’s Alcohol Strategy, EU Enlargement and the Review of the Balance of Competence. Last year students worked with the RSPB to assess how the EU Commission proposed to reform legislation protecting biodiversity in the EU. Module lead, Charlie Dannreuther, said: “we set the questions with the practitioners, provide support to the students and they do a fantastic job. I’d like to see if we can do the same for NGOs in Leeds who do not have the resources to research EU policy but want to work with us”.  If you are interested in this opportunity contact Charlie directly.
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