All posts by Liz

There‘s only two weeks left to consult on marriage for same-sex couples

There‘s only two weeks left until the government consultation on extending the legal form of marriage to same-sex couples closes. The proposal was not included in the recent Queen’s Speech but Stonewall is lobbying the government to press ahead with implementing this promise in the next 12 months in any case. Now’s the time to make your voice heard if you haven’t already done so. 

You can visit for details of how to respond to the consultation and tell the government why equal marriage matters to you.   

Olympic and Paralympic Posters

A lovely colleague of mine has just told me about the 12 new Olympic and paralympic posters designed by various artists, so I thought I would share the link (via CNN) for those of you, like me, who have not seen them:

See the official London 2012 site for more info:

All aboard for equal marriage!

A message from Ben Summerskill, Chief Executive

We’re delighted that the Government has finally launched the long-awaited consultation on its intention to extend the legal form of marriage to same-sex couples.

Stonewall has submitted our detailed response and we’re now urging all supporters of equality in this area to make their voice heard by responding themselves.

Just visit our website – – to find details of how you can respond too.

To support the campaign, throughout April 1,000 London buses are carrying adverts featuring our iconic ‘Some People Are Gay. Get Over It!’ message and details of Stonewall’s equal marriage campaign website. To make sure the message isn’t confined to the streets of London, we’re also asking supporters to tweet pictures of buses carrying the advert using the hashtag #equalmarriage or to post them on our recently relaunched Facebook page.

We’ve all seen a vitriolic response from some politicians and clerics over the past few weeks in response to these modest proposals. Together we can make sure our voices are heard loud and clear.

Stonewall guest seminar – Thur 22 Mar

As part of Celebrate Difference and Diversity Week, we were delighted to welcome Charlie Wheeler-Quinnell from Stonewall,  the lesbian, gay and bisexual charity

Charlie gave an interesting lecture, highlighting amongst many other things that it is only since 2003 that the law changed making it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in the workplace. She told us about some of the great work Stonewall are doing in campaigning at ‘home, school and work’ for lesbian, gay and bisexual people, and some of the reports they have commissioned. 

The university is signed up to the Stonewall Diversity Champions programme to support LGB staff, and Charlie was explaining why how important this ongoing committment is and how Stonewall is helping us become an employer of choice.

We are hoping to engage with the staff and student LGB groups to consult on what is needed – work will be commencing on this soon. For more information or to input into this area of work, please feel free to email Karen Weaver, Equality and Diversity Champion via

Find out more about Stonewall

Nursery visit and wellbeing event – 21st March

The first Staff and Student Wellbeing event of 2012 happened yesterday in the Dome at Avery Hill to great success. Well done to Helga Brandao, Healthy Living and Wellbeing Co-Ordinator, for organising so many varied exhibitors and a great event! Let Helga know your feedback via

As part of the event the children of Avery Hill Nursery came over to put on a performance of ‘Handa’s Surprise’ – a story about an African lady handing out different fruits. The children were fantastic, dressed in national clothing with homemade animal headress. Thanks so much to Paulina Bush, Nursery Manager, her team and, of course, the children, for putting on a lovely show. Photographs to follow!

The Stephen Lawrence Poetry Prize

Cherry Smyth, Senior Lecturer in Poetry has set up The Stephen Lawrence Poetry Prize to honour Stephen Lawrence, and his mother, Doreen’s fight for justice. 

In honour of Stephen, and his mother Doreen Lawrence’s 18 year fight for justice, we invite you to submit a poem of no more than 30 lines to by March 23rd at 6pm.

The judges are Sophie Mayer, author of Her Various Scalpels and The Private Parts of Girls (Salt) and Andra Simons, author of The Joshua Tales (The Treehouse Press).

The winner will be announced at the end of term Poetry Reading on March 30th in KW 002 5.30-7.30pm where there will be readings by Sophie and Andra and creative writing students.

Amanda Rice guest lecture

Today saw the launch of Celebrate Difference and Diversity with a guest lecture from the BBC’s Head of Diversity, Amanda Rice.

Amanda shared a showreel of BBC TV and radio programmes with attendees and then outlined initiatives the BBC have adopted to address inequality and promote diversity across its audiences and staff alike.

The talk will be made available online soon – watch this space!

*AccessAbility Quiz – win Amazon vouchers

To acknowledge Celebrate Diversity and Difference Week at the university, the *AccessAbility Project has devised a prize quiz.

There are twenty multiple choice questions and a first prize of £20 Amazon vouchers and two runner-up prizes of £10 Amazon vouchers. The quiz is available from and runs until 30th April 2012. The purpose of the quiz is to raise awareness and celebrate achievement – absolutely anybody can take part.

The quiz has been devised by Melanie Thorley, *AccessAbility Project Co-ordinator. Contact Melanie with any queries

Good Luck!