Category Archives: Age

Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month – August 2022

International Youth Day is on 12 August and with that in mind we have chosen Meghan Willis as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.

Meghan, at 14 years old, is the youngest member of Wales’ para swimming squad for this year’s Commonwealth Games being held in Birmingham.

Meghan will race the SM10 200 metre individual medley for swimmers with upper limb deficiencies and has risen rapidly in the last year, qualifying as one of the top eight swimmers in the Commonwealth in her event.

She helps other young people with upper limb deficiencies through her work with the charity Reach and is determined to inspire others to become active through sport and live their lives without limits. 

She is also a young water safety ambassador for the Swimming Teachers Association (STA) promoting ability over disability.

To find out more about Reach see here .

To find out more about Para Swimming and the Commonwealth Games see here

Greta Thunberg named Time Person of the Year for 2019

Greta Thunberg, the Swedish schoolgirl who inspired a global movement to fight climate change, has been named Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2019.

The 16-year-old is the youngest person to be chosen by the magazine in a tradition that started in 1927.

Speaking at a UN climate change summit in Madrid before the announcement, she urged world leaders to stop using “creative PR” to avoid real action.

The next decade would define the planet’s future, she said.

Last year, the teenager started an environmental strike by missing lessons most Fridays to protest outside the Swedish parliament building. It sparked a worldwide movement that became popular with the hashtag #FridaysForFuture. More

Inspirational Diversity CHampion of the Month – August 2020

12 August is International Youth Day and with that in mind we have chosen Dante Marvin as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.  Dante is a Young Ambassador for Variety, the Children’s Charity and Variety North West.

Dante was born with brittle bone disease and scoliosis. He has spent most of his young life in and out of hospital for treatment, including painful rod replacement surgery in his legs.  But refuses to let it get him down. He tells everyone he meets: “There are no disabilities, only abilities.”  It sums up the indomitable spirit of a youngster who inspires everyone he meets with his remarkable zest for life.

Dante first became involved with the children’s charity Variety when his mum Rachel asked for help to buy a new wheelchair. During the home visit, Dante dazzled the assessor with his optimistic outlook and she asked him to speak at an event.

His motto was a key mantra of his speech, which was such a success he now speaks regularly to audiences of adults to raise awareness while encouraging them to dig deep for the cause, helping to raise £30,000 for a Sunshine Bus.

Dante also visits other seriously ill and disabled children in hospital, not only bringing light and laughter to the wards, but also identifying children who could benefit from Variety’s support. He petitions the charity on their behalf for equipment such as lightweight wheelchairs and he’s even been known to do it when undergoing treatment himself.

His message to others is be resilient, be brave and never give up and just because you are disabled, you are no different to anyone else. Never forget that.”

To find out more about Dante see here

To find out more about International Youth Day see here

Booker Prize: Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo share award

Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo have been named the joint winners of the 2019 Booker Prize after the judges broke their rules by declaring a tie.

Atwood’s The Testaments, the Canadian writer’s follow-up to The Handmaid’s Tale, was recognised alongside Londoner Evaristo’s novel Girl, Woman, Other.

The pair will split the literary award’s £50,000 prize money equally.

The Booker rules say the prize must not be divided, but the judges insisted they “couldn’t separate” the two works.

Atwood, 79, is the oldest ever Booker winner, while Evaristo is the first black woman to win. More

Inspirational Diversity Champion of the month – August 2019

On 12 August it is International Youth Day and with that in mind we have chosen Amanda Medler as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.

Amanda is the Chief Guide, the most senior volunteer at Girlguiding UK.  She was appointed following an extensive recruitment process that involved both young members and leaders.

Amanda started her five year term in 2018 and has been involved in guiding her whole life. She qualified as a Brownie leader whilst studying at Loughborough University and she became a Guide leader in London and South East England Region in 1989, which she continues to this day.

In Middlesex North West County, Amanda created a Young Guiders forum and was chair of programme and training before serving as assistant and then county commissioner.

Amanda has been a Girlguiding qualified trainer since 2003, and over the years has progressed from being chair of the British Youth Council delegation to being elected as a member of Council and the Executive committee. She led significant change as UK Guide adviser (lead volunteer 1995-2000), delivering the renewal of the Guide programme.

On the global stage Amanda has been a member of Girlguiding’s delegation to a Europe Conference as well as other European events and conferences. In 2010, she was elected to the WAGGGS Europe Committee and in 2013 served a second three-year term as vice chair.

In her professional life Amanda has worked in corporate IT for over 20 years, moving into the not-for-profit sector eight years ago, first as a senior project manager for Citizens Advice and now as a senior consultant with Adapta Consulting.

To find out more about International Youth Day see here To find out more about Girlguiding see here

Providing our staff and students with a fair and inclusive environment

Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and Action Plan set out how we will provide an environment where you can flourish and achieve your full potential.

We want to see the university reflect the diversity of the community we serve.  To help us achieve this we are launching the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy 2019-22, along with our Action Plan. 

The key aims of the EDI strategy are:

  • Continue to focus on improving the numbers of under-represented groups across all levels of the university.
  • Aim to improve the educational achievement for all protected groups.
  • Ensure a more inclusive curriculum and culture.

We see diversity as a strength which should be encouraged, celebrated and promoted across our staff and student communities.

To find out more about the actions we will take view the full strategy and action plan.

Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month – August 2018

On 12 August it is International Youth Day and with that in mind we have  chosen Jonjo Heuerman as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.

Jonjo was inspired to start fundraising following the death of his Nan in 2009 from Bowel Cancer, the same illness that took the life of Bobby Moore his football hero.

He decided that he wanted to make a difference and raise money in their memory so he spends his spare time raising funds and awareness for The Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK.

His first challenge was a walk from Wembley Stadium to Upton Park finishing at the Champions Statue.  This has now become an annual event which he uses as a special memorial service to those lost to the illness.

Jonjo has arranged and taken part in many fundraising events since his first including:

  • Crossing 3 counties in Ireland on Foot
  • A giant football tag of the 93 league clubs
  • Dribbling a football for 50 miles
  • Cycling and walking via all the Premier League clubs
  • 450 mile walking and cycling challenge on 50th anniversary of England winning the World Cup
  • A walk of the Papal Basilcas of Rome

So far Jonjo has raised over £300,000 in funds and £1 million in awareness through his events and challenges and will not stop until there is a cure.

Jonjo became the youngest recipient of an award in the New Year’s Honours list when he received the BEM for his fundraising work in 2016.

To find out more about Jonjo see here

To find out more about International Youth Day see here

Turner Prize 2017: Lubaina Himid’s win makes history

Lubaina Himid has become the oldest winner of the Turner Prize, and the first black woman to pick up the art award.

The 63-year-old Zanzibar-born, Preston-based artist won the £25,000 prize for work addressing racial politics and the legacy of slavery.

The judges praised her “uncompromising tackling of issues including colonial history and how racism persists today”.

She was named the winner at a ceremony in Hull, currently UK City of Culture.  More

Meet some of the UK’s oldest university students

What does a student look like?

Forget the stereotypes. Think of diversity in a different way. And meet some of the country’s oldest undergraduates.

Maureen Matthews is starting a three-year law degree at the tender age of 79.

She’s not even the oldest student on her new course at the University of West London in Brentford.

Sitting next to her in lectures is 84-year-old Craigan Surujballi.

This isn’t dabbling in learning with an evening course – it’s an intensive, full-time degree, studying alongside people with ambitions to become lawyers.

“You may look at me and see an older face – as may many young people,” says Maureen.  More

‘Most diverse Turner Prize to date’

It was once the domain of outrageous young artists.

But this year the Turner Prize has grown up, shining a light on overlooked older artists, unsensational subject matter and traditional methods.

The exhibition of the four shortlisted artists opens in Hull on Tuesday.

After a rule change, Hurvin Anderson and Lubaina Himid are the first over-50s to be nominated since 1991, while Andrea Buttner and Rosalind Nashashibi are both in their 40s.  More