Then and now: UWE Bristol campuses

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Frenchay, Glenside and Bower Ashton campuses are brimming with memories for hundreds of thousands of alumni, staff and students. They have been the backdrops to transformative times in our lives – be that our first time away from home, a move to a new job or city, or a change of direction. 

As well as setting the scene for our changing lives, they themselves have undergone many transformations and developments throughout the years.

Here’s a snapshot of our campuses through time.

Glenside Campus

Glenside was built in 1861 but still looks largely unchanged today. The historic buildings juxtapose with the state-of-the-art simulation and virtual training facilities that are housed within.

Originally Bristol’s ‘Lunatic Asylum’, it was later used during the First World War to house wounded soldiers and was renamed Beaufort War Hospital.

Wounded soldiers stand outside Beaufort War Hospital

After the war it returned to housing patients and in 1959 was renamed Glenside Hospital. By 1992 the hospital was closing wards, and over the next three years was phased out, becoming the Avon and Gloucestershire College of Health.

Glenside Hospital after acquisition by UWE Bristol

UWE Bristol acquired the site in 1996 when it joined the College of Health to create the Faculty of Health and Social Care, now known as the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences.

This year, in one of the most ambitious simulation exercises hosted by UWE Bristol to date, a section of a Boeing 747 aircraft was transported onto Glenside Campus and a crash site wreckage was staged.

Students from across the university were involved, including paramedic, nursing, forensic science and filmmaking students. The exercise took nine months of planning and was supported by staff from Avon & Somerset Police, Avon Fire & Rescue Service and South Western Ambulance Service.

Air crash simulation exercise at Glenside Campus

Glenside continues to be a key space for the city’s mental health, now with a focus on making a positive change. Our BSc(Hons) Nursing (Mental Health) focuses on is dedicated to making a positive change in the field, encompassing improving access to healthcare, wellbeing, social inclusion and quality of life. Likewise, Glenside Hospital Museum is dedicated to preserving the buildings and artefacts to shine a light on historic treatments of mental health.

Glenside Campus now offers a wide range of health and social care disciplines.

Bower Ashton Campus

The West of England College of Art was established in 1969 in purpose-built premises at Bower Ashton. It moved from its previous location as the art school of the Royal West of England Academy in Clifton. In 1970 the College became part of Bristol Polytechnic.

Bower Ashton in the 1960’s
Bower Ashton in the 1980’s

By the early 1980s the site contained a theatre, library, exhibition, gallery and studio.

In 2008 Bower Ashton was redeveloped and UWE received an Environmental Award from Bristol Civic Society for the redevelopment. The original campus buildings also saw an upgrade with specialist teaching spaces added for Animation, Photography and Graphic Design.

Bower Ashtons’s 2008 award winning redevelopment
Bower Ashton’s Film Studio

2017 saw the opening of the Film Studios building, housing industry standard production and post production facilities for film making, animation and photography. The Design Studios followed.

The Design Studios

City Campus now connects our teaching and learning with some of the best creative and cultural organisations in Bristol. Our powerhouse of creativity encompasses Bower Ashton and shares three iconic harbourside buildings – Arnolfini, Spike Island and Watershed.

Frenchay campus

Named after the nearby village, Frenchay Campus was purpose-built on former farming land. Construction began in 1973 the doors opened for the first time in 1975.

The building of Frenchay campus 1973-1975
The building of Frenchay campus 1973-1975

Back then the campus was a group of lone standing buildings with very little in the surrounding areas. Professor of Contract Law Adrian Chandler speaking in 2012 recalls,

“There was a feeling of it being intimate, everything around was totally green, cut off from everywhere, traffic was wonderful!”.


Built in 1978 The Octagon in Frenchay has retained its original purpose as a place to serve the cultural, spiritual and social needs of staff and students. A sanctuary, place to reflect, relax and have some quite time of peace, prayer and meditation.

The building of the Octagon 1978
The Octagon in the 2010’s
Frenchay Campus circa early 1990’s
Frenchay’s B block in 2006

Expansion and development of the campus has been constant throughout the years. Most recently the impressive new Bristol Business and Law School opened in 2017 and the new Engineering building, which officially opened in 2021, has won multiple awards.

School of Engineering in 2020
Business and Law School in 2017

Note: For a full timeline, read UWE Bristol’s history webpage.

Where do you fit into the story?

What are your stand-out memories of your time at UWE Bristol? We’d love to hear your stories. Tell us what you’re doing now, share an old photo.

You can get in touch through our memories form or post on social media – tag us and use #30yearsofUWE

Seriously good prizes for a great cause

Play our 30th anniversary prize draw for your chance to win one of 30 fantastic prizes, kindly donated from alumni and the wider UWE Bristol community.

100% of funds raised from ticket sales will go to the UWE Bristol Fund to support Student Hardship Grants.

Buy a ticket and find out more about other ways we’re celebrating 30 years of being a University.

uwe.ac.uk/30

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Then and Now: Student accommodation at Frenchay

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Love lost and found, riotous parties, beans on toast, late night cramming before deadlines. So many experiences big and small have unfolded on Frenchay’s student accommodation over the years.

A huge part of a student’s university life is the accommodation. Whether you chose to live on campus or not you will likely have been a visitor to these buildings. Throughout the decades both the exterior and interior of these spaces have changed vastly. Let’s take a look back.

Ashley Village to Student Village

Ashley Village in 1975

Ashley Village in 1975

When Frenchay was first built in 1975, the accommodation was known as Ashley Village. It held 252 students, seven per house, in 36 separate structures. Accommodation at Ashley village cost around £10.20 per week in 1979 and £42 by 1994.

30 years later in 2005,  work began on a new £80 million student accommodation, Student Village. Rather than lots of little houses, Student Village consists of  four high-rise blocks, Brecon, Cotswold, Mendip and Quantock. Within each are flats for six students to share.  

Aerial view of Ashley Village in the 1980’s

Ashley Village in 1980
Student Village in 2005
Aerial view of the new Student Village 2014

Also added was Wallscourt Park, it currently provides both townhouses and flats with shared shower room facilities, en-suite flats, and studios available.

Wallscourt Park

A look inside the flats

Shared Ashley Village kitchen in 1980
Shared Ashley Village kitchen in 1983
A shared kitchen in Student Village 2010’s

In Ashley Village, each flat had a shared kitchen, dormitory style bedrooms and shared bathrooms. Now each room in Student Village has an en-suite bathroom (with the option of a superior en-suite) as well as a communal lounge area attached to the kitchen.


Ashley Village study bedroom late 70s
Student bedroom in Ashley Village 1995
Student bedroom in Student Village 2018

Carroll Court

Carroll Court study bedroom, 1993

Built in the 1980’s, Carroll Court was  added as a second Student Village. It had 50 houses with six bedrooms each as well as a communal kitchen and living space.  

Carroll Court in the 2010’s

 In 2021 the houses of Carroll Court were demolished to make way for three, six-story accommodation blocks that will house still more students. The last students to ever live in the beloved accommodation created a video detailing their rather unusual last day.

The demolition of Carroll Court in 2021

Looking to the future

Work for the new accommodation is expected to be completed in 2023. It will be one of the largest low-carbon certified developments of its kind anywhere in the world.

Plans for the new accommodation on Frenchay Campus

To help address issues of climate change and sustainability it is being built to the highest sustainability standard of ‘Passivhaus’. A first for the university sector in the UK. The buildings will yield a 54% reduction in running costs and carbon emissions compared with a typical ‘good practice’ building.

Tell us your story

Where did you live when you were a student? What do you remember most vividly?  

We’d love to hear your stories. Tell us what you’re doing now, share an old photo.

You can get in touch through our memories form or post on social media – tag us and use #30yearsofUWE

Seriously good prizes for a great cause

Play our 30th anniversary prize draw for your chance to win one of 30 fantastic prizes, kindly donated from alumni and the wider UWE Bristol community.

100% of funds raised from ticket sales will go to the UWE Bristol Fund to support Student Hardship Grants.

Buy a ticket and find out more about other ways we’re celebrating 30 years of being a University.

uwe.ac.uk/30

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A safe space in a neurotypical world

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It is estimated that 1 out of 7 of the UK population are neurodivergent – that’s almost 15%*. A high percentage of people with neurodivergence are unemployed**. We need more solutions to make learning and workplaces more inclusive.

Angharad Davies’ designs are just that. Her MSc Computational Architecture final year project is a desk-based modular screen, designed to address neurodiversity in the workplace.

She’s also designed the Joey Pod. The calming pod is a solution for schools, hospitals, and public spaces. It’s a safe space for someone to retreat to, before experiencing sensory overloading.   

Digital drawing - design for sensory pod
Digital design drawing for Joey Pod

Designing for neurodiversity

Named after Angharad’s son Joey, the idea for the pod was born during the second year of her BSc(Hons) Architecture course, when Joey received an autism diagnosis. That diagnosis changed Angharad’s whole perception of architecture.

“I realised his outbursts were due to his surroundings. In my final project, I reached out to the autism community and realised I wasn’t the only person who felt isolated due to poor building design and a lack of understanding of autism.”

Angharad said.

There has been a lot of research about separate Special Educational Needs (SEN) rooms at schools, but Angharad’s concept offers the child a pod in the corner of a room – like a den.  The pod uses audio-visual effects and provides a ‘safe zone’ for people with sensory processing problems.

It’s a place to rest and reset, something which is often necessary when interacting with the neuro-typical world. Crucially, this safe space can help avoid an oncoming anxiety attack or an exhausting and alienating meltdown.

“I want to see these solutions everywhere: workplaces, schools, hospitals, airports, festivals, concerts, commercial and sporting events – any busy or public spaces”

she explains.
Joey Pod

Entrepreneurialism

Angharad’s story is one of firsts. An entrepreneur at heart, Angharad has grabbed every opportunity available to her at UWE Bristol.

She founded the Inclusive Design Network (IDN) whilst studying for her undergraduate architecture degree. Thanks to donations from alumni, the UWE Bristol Fund supported IDN to host a series of talks on equality, diversity and inclusion within the built environment. The network has also been supported by The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Bristol and Bath.

As one of the first students on the new MSc Computational Architecture course at UWE Bristol, Angharad hopes to go on to complete a PhD in designing for neurodiversity, to enable her to become a Sensory Design Consultant.

Angharad’s modular screen will be on display at the Faculty of Environment and Technology’s degree show in 2022 (our first physical degree show since the coivd-19 Pandemic), alongside many more innovative ideas for products and services which aim to fill gaps in the market.

Degree Shows

Emerging talent at UWE Bristol will exhibit work at the annual graduate degree shows for the Creative Industries and Faculty of Environment and Technology. The events will celebrate the University’s ambitious and creative graduating students, through a mix of physical exhibitions and a digital showcase.

The degree shows kick off on Thursday 9 June with The Faculty of Environment and Technology (FET) Degree Show – covering architecture, creative technologies, computing, engineering, geography and the environment, and product design. The free event takes place between 17:00 and 21:00 at UWE Bristol’s Frenchay campus.

The Creative Industries Degree Show, covering art, design, animation, drawing and print, fashion, media, performance, photography and filmmaking, opens to the public at the University’s vibrant City Campus – Bower Ashton, Arnolfini and Spike Island – on Saturday 11 June. The week-long showcase features a series of events including live music, drama performances, a festival stage and outdoor art gallery.

*reference from Local Government Association presentation.

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Queen’s birthday honours list recognises alumni

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Some of our amazing alumni have been recognised in the Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours. We’re incredibly proud to celebrate the hard work and dedication of these members of the UWE Bristol community.

Aisha Thomas (LLB(Hons) Law) has been awarded an MBE for her services to education. Aisha is the Founder of Representation Matters, whose mission is to challenge the lack of representation and the inequality in our current education system.

Mark Ryall Edwards (Doctor of Arts) has received an OBE for services to Photography and to the Environment. In 2017 Mark received an honorary doctorate for his work in the medium of photography and via the Hard Rain and Whole Earth exhibitions.

Whole Earth? Aligning n Human Systems and Natural Systems, by Mark Edwards and Lloyd Timberlake (book cover)

Zara Nanu (PhD Social Science) has received an MBE for services to tackling global workplace inequalities and promoting fairness and inclusion. Read our blog post about Zara to find out more.

Dr Zara Nanu
Dr Zara Nanu

Paul Phillips (Doctor of Education) was knighted (received a KBE) for services to Further Education. Paul is the Principal and Chief Executive of Weston College. In 2016 Paul received his honorary doctorate for his service to education across the South West.

Laura McMillan (BA(Hons) Drama) received an MBE in recognition of her services to culture and to the community in Coventry. As Director of Audience Strategy at Coventry City of Culture Trust, Laura was critical to the success of Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture 2021.

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Kit’s top five tips for learning more about LGBTQ+

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To mark LGBTQ+ History Month, we interviewed Kit Million Ross, LGBTQ+ Editor of Bristol 24/7, an independent online newspaper for the city.

We talked about queer culture in Bristol, what’s still to be done to promote inclusivity, the importance of LGBTQ+ History Month and we get their top five tips for learning more.

What pronouns do you use?

I use they/them pronouns.

What do you love about your job?

First of all, I just love writing. And I love feeling really deeply connected to Bristol’s wider LGBTQ+ community.

There are so many awesome queer people, groups and communities doing wonderful things in Bristol, and the fact that I’m constantly discovering these things is such a joy. Bristol has a uniquely broad and diverse queer culture that I think few cities can match.

What responsibility do you feel in your job as LGBTQ+ Editor at Bristol 24/7?

I feel a real responsibility to the grassroots aspects of the LGBTQ+ community. I feel incredibly lucky to have access to the Bristol 24/7 platform, and I want to use that to tell the stories of those who don’t get heard.

I also want to bring light, uplifting things to people. Share things that people can enjoy and gain benefit from and hopefully put some good into the world.

Why is it important for universities to celebrate LGBTQ+ history month?

I think it is really important for universities to celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month because so much of queer history has been buried and hidden.

We need to bring our history to light and celebrate the role that queer people have had. It’s an opportunity to bring more understanding to people, and that should be seized.

Kit studied both BA(Hons) Drama with Creative Writing and MA Radio Documentary at UWE Bristol.

How were LGBTQ+ role models important to you whilst you were a student?

Role models within university and generally within queer culture have always been important to me and my friends – to have LGBTQ+ role models who are able to be out and proud within all of sort of the academic areas – queer people doing awesome things not just in the arts but in science, medicine, engineering. In fact, doing anything and everything.

It comes back to the phrase you can’t be what you can’t see.

I realised I was non-binary, I was trans, when I was in my final year of my undergraduate course. I was scrolling through Tumblr blogs and I saw a definition ’genderflux’ and it connected with me deeply. At university I was introduced to trans people and it showed me that being non-binary was okay, it was ‘a thing’.

Can you describe a time someone made you feel especially included or supported?

When I was doing my masters, I was writing cover letters and I was quite hesitant to mention that I was non-binary and also that I’m autistic, because I worried that it would look like I was ‘playing the diversity card’ or trying to make myself look like a ‘diversity hire’.

I was speaking to Dr Anne Harbin from the Journalism department and she encouraged me to mention these things, because they represent a unique and valuable perspective that should be shared and heard. That made me realise that these aren’t just details about me, they’re things that are valuable to the world.

The theme for LGBTQ+ History Month this year is Politics in Art: The Arc Is Long, which prompts us to think about the journey, how far we’ve come and also what is still to be achieved.

What do you see as the greatest achievements of the LGBTQ+ community in the last few years?

It’s really hard to say because so much has happened. In terms of achievements, the first thing that springs to mind is the change to the marriage laws.

But in terms of societal changes and shifts, I think the community is just getting a lot more attention and traction. I think that the way LGBTQ+ representation in the media has changed is a really significant achievement. It’s something that ripples outwards and feeds into popular understanding.

What work do you think is still to be done to promote inclusivity and understanding?

As a trans person, I think trans rights in this country have a long way to go.

The rise of narratives that trans and queer people are a threat is deeply concerning. For me, if your feminism doesn’t include all women, including trans women, it is incomplete.

I think we need to think more about intersectionality, about the layers of difficulties that marginalised people face. Within queer culture we need to think about people of colour, disabled people, and other groups, and the way that these things stack and intersect and how that actually impacts upon people’s unique experience in the world.

We should ask ourselves – are the things we’re doing for queer rights actually available, applicable and accessible to large groups of people within the population?

There’s a lot of learning still to be done. What are your top 5 recommendations for where our readers can learn more about LGBTQ+ issues?
1.

Logical Family – A Memoir by Armistead Maupin, Harper 2017.

2.

Quick and Easy Guide To They/Them Pronouns by Archie Bongiovanni and Tristan Jimerson, Oni Press 2018.

3.

Gender Reveal by journalist and educator Tuck Woodstock, explores the vast diversity of trans experiences through interviews with a wide array of trans, nonbinary and two-spirit people.

4.

Out with Suzi Ruffell, is a podcast all about the inspiring lives of LGBTQIA+ people. Comedian Suzi Ruffell talks about coming out, being out, and finding one’s place in the world as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community.

5.

Bristol24/7 Queer Catch-UpAn eight episode podcast series by Kit and Lowie Trevena exploring all things Bristol and LGBTQ+.

Information, advice and support for staff and students

For information and FAQs on support at UWE Bristol please see our policy and guidance referring to trans and non-binary staff or students.

Please report any inappropriate behaviour to Report + support.

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The host of engineering past, present and yet-to-come

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Our landmark building marks a new era for engineering at UWE Bristol. Designed to revolutionise the way engineering is taught, it’s equipped with the latest digital technology.

So what are the roots of engineering at UWE Bristol and how has the way we teach engineering changed over the years?

Where we started

Although UWE Bristol is a modern university we can trace our educational roots back a long way.

In 1894 the Merchant Venturers’ Technical College occupied a premises in Unity Street, Bristol city centre. By 1909 the basement was a motor car engineering workshop run by England’s first professor of motor engineering and housed a collection of equipment including a 12-14 horsepower Talbot car*.

 This college divided and in 1949 the Bristol College of Technology in Ashley Down was born, later becoming Bristol Technical College (college engineering workshop pictured above, from an early prospectus circa 1950 – 60).

By 1974 construction was underway to build Bristol Polytechnic at Frenchay, housing the new Engineering department. N block was the home of engineering up until last year.

Photo of machining workshop, N block Frenchay campus
N block machining workshop

Photo of the exterior of N block, Frenchay campus
N block exterior

Our new building

Officially opened on 19 November 2021, our School of Engineering sets new standards for the industry. It won Project of the Year at the British Construction Industry Awards where judges praised its intelligent and sustainable design.

The new School of Engineering

It also achieved an “excellent” rating for its sustainability credentials from the international scheme BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method).

The building is home to specialist laboratories equipped with the latest digital technology, including engine test cells, driving and flight simulators, a virtual and augmented reality cave, and ‘smart factory’ testing facilities. Watch a short video tour on twitter of the new facilities by MSc Mechanical Engineering student Emaan.

New light-filled workshop

Tod Burton, Executive Dean for the Faculty of Environment and Technology at UWE Bristol, said:

“With our fantastic new contemporary building, fit for the 21st century and the digital era, we now have one of the top engineering facilities in the South West that will inspire the engineers of the future.”

Engineering the future

The new building has been designed to attract a new more diverse engineer. The department actively seeks to enrol more students with neurodiversity and double the numbers of female engineering students.

Lisa Brodie Head of the Department of Engineering Design and Mathematics at UWE Bristol explains why we’re aiming to produce more ‘non-standard’ engineers in the coming years, and attract different types of people into the profession. She says,

“If we keep having the same type of people, we’ll keep having the same types of solutions.”

Brodie is clear that to solve tomorrow’s problems, we need to embrace different ways of thinking and doing, and celebrate differences.

“Engineers will need to be far more creative and innovative over the next decade, particularly with some of the challenges we face in areas such as the climate crisis. We aim to be the difference,”

she explains.

Your memories

Did you study engineering at UWE Bristol? We’d love to hear about your memories. Share your stories and photos with us.

*taken from ‘University of the West of England, A Family History’ by William Evans.

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Award-winning filmmaker Lindsey on penguins, people and the pandemic

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Lindsey Parietti is passionate about telling stories that highlight how humans impact the natural world.

Through the medium of wildlife filmmaking, she hopes to capture a sense of wonder about nature. But not just that. Lindsey aims to invoke a sense of environmental and social consciousness and empowerment to make positive change.

Her fundamental motivation to promote the support and protection of the natural world is evident both in her own films and those she’s worked on with the likes of the BBC Natural History Unit and Apple TV+.

“If my work challenges people to reconsider their relationship with nature, then that would be the greatest honour,”

Lindsey says.

Image from The Year the Earth Changed

Lindsey works on new BBC nature series tracking 7 years of ecological change

The BBC has just commissioned a landmark documentary series Our Changing Planet, following how nature responds to the extraordinary ecological changes happening around the globe.

Lindsey is working on the series, which will closely observe six habitats around the world and the species living within them, over a seven-year period. The public will be able to follow as the stories unfold. The first programme is due to air in April 2022.

Our Changing Planet is the most ambitious environmental series the BBC has ever commissioned. It will stand as important evidence of this critical moment for life on earth.

Alongside the urgent ecological messages, it will be a story of hope. You’ll meet incredible conservationists who are working to turn the tide, preserve ecosystems and save species from extinction.

Filming nature’s response to the global lockdowns

Image from The Year the Earth Changed

During lockdown in 2020, Lindsey worked on what has become the most watched documentary on Apple TV+. The Year Earth Changed was narrated by Sir David Attenborough.

The programme was inspired by evidence that members of the public were paying closer attention to birdsong last spring and filming unusual sightings of wild animals. It includes striking footage including penguins crossing a deserted city road and turtle hatchlings able to start their lives unhindered by beachgoers.

Image from The Year the Earth Changed

Since it began streaming in April it hit the top spot for most watched documentary.

“I think people really responded so much to nature during a difficult year, and maybe this programme gave them hope.”

Lindsey reflects.

Lindsey’s talent was spotted early in her career

She won a student BAFTA for her film ‘Blood Island’ whilst studying for her MA in Wildlife Filmmaking at UWE Bristol in 2018. The film tells the story of laboratory tested chimpanzees abandoned on a remote island in Liberia.

Next, she successfully pitched a story to the BBC’s Natural History Unit, which went on to be made into a 3-part series Baby Chimp Rescue. She worked on the programme which was aired on prime time BBC2 in 2019.

The traumatised chimps lost their families to hunters and were sold into the illegal pet trade. Viewers were captivated by watching baby chimps rediscover their personalities with the support of a dedicated team of human carers.

Baby chimp featured in Baby Chimp Rescue, copyright BBC Lindsey Parietti

The future

Lindsey is happy to be back out in the field filming again after so long working on remote projects due to the restrictions of the pandemic.

“It’s sobering but also uplifting to meet people all over the world who are facing some unprecedented challenges with so much energy and determination. I love learning and seeing the world through their eyes and my hope is just to keep telling these stories as long as I can,”

Lindsey says.
Lindsey Parietti, copyright Tom Campbell

Green Week

Our annual festival of eco ideas, events and smart living takes place from Monday 18 to Sunday 24 October 2021.

2021 is a crucial year for sustainability and climate action!

Get energised and find more about what UWE Bristol and The Student Union at UWE are doing to address the challenges. 

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Dr Zara Nanu – women’s economic rights activist and visionary entrepreneur

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Dr Zara Nanu is passionate about creating Fair Pay globally. She’s an unstoppable campaigner in workplace gender equality, and an entrepreneur at the forefront of women in business in the South West. She believes business can drive social change.

“The World Economic Forum predicted it would take 217 years for the global gender pay gap to close! We thought that this was too long,”

says Zara.

She started her career combatting human trafficking and campaigning on women’s rights issues. Inspired from years spent working for women’s charities in Moldova, the U.S. and the UK, she identified an opportunity to use technology to break down gender bias in the workforce.

She’s now CEO and co-founder of Gapsquare, leading the drive for technology to build more inclusive workplaces. Launched in 2017, her pioneering tech company is transforming pay equity, using data science and technology to help companies narrow their gender pay gap faster. Gapsquare offers diversity and equality data intelligence, report generation, and expert consultancy.

 “We know for many businesses transparency around compensation, fairness, and pay reporting is high on the agenda,”

Zara explains.

Zara as campaigner

Dr. Zara Nanu is an expert on how diversity and inclusion can shape more dynamic and productive teams and a more engaging and empowering workplace. She is Chair of the Women in Business Task Group and a member of the Global Future Council on Equity and Social Justice at the World Economic Forum.

She can be seen speaking at international events, sharing her ideas with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and through her recent TED talk, as well as in a range of reports and publications. Zara believes in putting the power and responsibility of equality and diversity in the hands of employers.

Gapsquare is acquired by XpertHR

Gapsquare was this year acquired by global organisation XpertHR. Together they’re dedicated to creating a fairer world of work.

Scott Walker, Managing Director of XpertHR:

“I am excited to bring Gapsquare into the XpertHR family. Our mission is a simple one: to create purposeful workplaces for every person in every organisation. Both businesses are dedicated to improving the experiences of millions of working professionals around the globe.”

Gapsquare’s innovative software FairPay® Pro provides businesses with instant insights into wage gaps across various demographics such as gender, race, ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation. They count organisations such as Vodafone, Conde Nast and The London Metropolitan Police among their clients, and their software has analysed the wages of more than 270,000 employees in the UK.

Notes

Dr Zara Nanu studied a PhD in Social Science at UWE Bristol.

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“We’re going to make a little house for the bugs around here…”

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“… so they can have a better home than before” explains a pupil taking part in a local environmental project funded by the UWE Bristol Community Fund.

Bug hotels, bird boxes, bogs, stone mounds and log piles are just some of the new homes for wildlife being created by children from Park Primary school.

Students from UWE Bristol and pupils from the school are renovating a neglected area of Kingswood Park in East Bristol. Together they’re creating a nature area to support local biodiversity.

After an initial audit of existing nature in the area, design work began to plan new homes for wildlife. Over the summer work parties have been busy clearing pathways, removing brambles, digging out a bog and planting hedgerows and wildflowers. There are also plans for a tree trail from school to the park.

Children completing nature audit

Encouraging children to value nature

Hayley, who’s studying BSc Hons Environmental Science at UWE Bristol, is one of the students who volunteered their time to get stuck in creating and improving habitats with the children. She lives locally and was keen to get involved in a project which engages the community in looking after the nature around them.

“If you want people to care about nature, you have to first make them aware of it.”

says Hayley.
Work party from Park Primary school, Kingswood

The project has involved the entire school of 530 children, from wheelbarrow pushing 5-year olds to skilled secateurs users from year 6. They’re proud of their transformation of this part of the local park.

“Before children didn’t want to come here, but now they are asking their parents to come here all the time.”

Addison, Park Primary School Year 6 pupil

Building confidence through outdoor learning

Kelly Goodfellow, Senior Neurodiversity Practitioner at UWE Bristol saw an opportunity to help build children’s confidence through outdoor learning. Working with Kirstin Whitney, outdoor learning expert and teacher at Kingswood Park School, Kelly devised the project specifically to support children with a neurodiverse profile, who do not necessarily ‘shine’ in the classroom-based learning environment. 

Outdoor learning is proven to develop children’s self-esteem, cooperation and creativity. Children are given the freedom which empowers them to be forward thinking, problem solving, independent decision makers.

Bog digging

Making university an achievable goal

Kingswood Primary is in an urban area of South Gloucestershire bordering Bristol, identified as a disadvantaged community. The UWE Bristol Community Fund prioritises projects where students will work with young people in areas with low progression into higher education.

The project has brought positive role models from UWE Bristol into contact with the pupils and the community of Kingswood.

“The experiences and relationships it has created are an important step towards making university education an achievable future goal for pupils,”

Kelly says.

The future of the project

A year 6 pupil reflects on how the project will continue to evolve –

“We’re looking forward to carrying on the work over the coming years and keeping a record of the insects, amphibians, spiders and mammals that we find. We hope that you enjoy it as much as we do”.

Pupil using magnifying glass to observe bugs

Notes

Find out more about the project by watching this film made by the school.

The Community Fund is part of the UWE Bristol Fund.

To find out more and to donate, visit our UWE Bristol Fund webpages.

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Child of the Windrush generation determined to make Bristol better

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Carole Johnson was appointed Deputy Lord Mayor of Bristol City Council 2020 – 2021.

Her strong sense of civic duty and her commitment to unlocking the agency of Bristol’s BAME communities is driven by her life experiences.

The daughter of Jamaican parents, Winston and Patricia Johnson, Carole was born in the UK.

Her parents moved here from Jamaica separately to London and Birmingham, in 1959 and 1961 respectively. They were full of hope, based on the promise of a ‘better’ future. But her parents, with others in their generation, subsequently felt bitterly let down by the British government.

Black and white photograph of Patricia Johnson standing in front of TV c1960.
Carole’s mother, Patricia Johnson
Black and white photograph of Patricia and WInston Johnson on their wedding day.
Carole’s parents Winston and Patricia Johnson on their wedding day in the UK

Carole’s family moved to Bristol in 1976 and she attended St George’s Secondary School until 1982, before qualifying both as a teacher and social worker at UWE Bristol. She now lives in East Bristol. As a first-generation mother of two primary-aged children, she’s keenly aware of the inequalities still in existence in the city.

Carole explains,

“My vision is to lay foundations which create a climate of perennial change that positively impacts future generations. I’m passionate about readdressing the current societal imbalances in our city, so our children can inherit a world of increased and increasing equity and equal life chances.”

Portrait of Carole Johnson
Carole Johnson

Dedicated to supporting her community

Carole’s working and personal achievements span politics, education, law, health and community life in Bristol and the South West region.

She is proud to have been Deputy Lord Mayor of Bristol City Council this year, only the third woman of Caribbean descent since 1899, and an elected local councillor for Ashley Ward in Bristol (2016 – 2021). Her duties extended to serve also as Deputy Cabinet Minister for Communities, Equalities and Public Health.

As Magistrate, she presides over 621 Magistrates as Deputy Bench Chairman for Avon and Somerset, the first of BAME descent in the region. This year, Carole founded the first Magistrates Black Asian and Ethnic Minority and Allies Support Group.

She is also Interim Chair and Non-Executive Director of St Paul’s Carnival and served as school governor to St Barnabas, Easton Academy, St Patrick’s and Hope Virtual School as well as hospital governor for University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust.

Carole Johnson in civic regalia, 2020
Carole pictured in Deputy Lord Mayor civic regalia, August 2020

Windrush Ambassador

Following the Windrush scandal in which British Citizens with Caribbean backgrounds were threatened with deportation, a new working group was set up to address the challenges faced by the Windrush generation.

In 2020 Carole was appointed as one of 41 Windrush Ambassadors tasked with raising awareness of the Windrush Compensation Scheme. The collective work of the group received praise from the Home Office as huge progress was made, notably the lowest compensation award was raised from £250 to £10,000.

Windrush Generations project at UWE Bristol

It was in light of all of this work and her leadership in BAME communities that Carole was asked to share both her personal and professional experience with the UWE Bristol community through the Windrush Generation project. The project has explored, celebrated and documented the contribution of the Windrush generation in Bristol, British societies and across the African Diaspora.

Since both of her parents are now deceased, Carole’s commitment to telling the story of their lived experience is even stronger. For Carole it’s a matter of legacy and it’s of incredible historical importance that their whole lives are remembered and recorded correctly for future generations.

 “The best thing about the Windrush Generations project has been having the opportunity to share the Windrush Experience cross generationally. This supports the legacy and provides a vehicle for the truth of their stories to be told.”

Carole

Learn more about the project and watch films of the online workshops on the Windrush Generation project webpages.

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