Five ways to up your exam game

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Exam season is just around the corner and we know that this can be a stressful time, so we have gathered our top tips from some of our Business and Law academics to give you a head start in acing your upcoming exams.

Read the question, answer the question

Lucy Rees (Associate Head of Department, Law)

It might sound obvious, but it’s really important that you carefully read the whole question thoroughly and actually answer the question. Take time to identify the key words – if it asks you to define, you get marks for defining, if you are asked to provide examples that means you will get marks for your examples. Only write what is relevant and required in the question.

Remaster the art of pen to paper

Hilary Drew (Associate Head of Department for Partnerships and Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management)

How much time do we actually spend writing these days? Writing with a pen on paper, for two and a half hours, even the thought of it is enough to make your wrists ache! When doing your revision, actually write up your notes by hand instead of typing them. Buy a fancy notebook, some highlighters, and a new pen or two! By writing your revision notes longhand, not only will you be training your arm for the exam marathon, but also engaging with your learning at a deeper level. It helps you to absorb the information you need to learn, making it easier to recall it in the exam room.

Make it easy for the person marking it

Osman Yukselturk (Associate Head of Department, Accounting and Finance)

Sometimes presentation can be as important as calculation and arriving at the result. Remember that somebody will be marking your paper, so present your work in a clear and understandable way that makes it easy for them to see how you got to the answer. Having a look at the mark allocation might give you a hint about how detailed your answer should be and how much time you should spend on it.

Prepare for the exam, not just the content

Marcus Keppel-Palmer (Senior Lecturer, Law)

Answering an exam is a skill, the same as any other skill or assessment. You get better at sport or piano by practising, and it’s the same with essays and exams. The more you practice writing out answers in full – adhering to time limits, word limits and structures – the easier it is under the extra pressure of the exam setting. If the first time you write an answer out is actually in the exam, you are trying to master a new skill under stressful circumstances. Write out your answers in full and within the time limit, then read them back. It’s amazing how you will see an improvement.

Read the entire exam paper

Yvette Morey (Associate Head of Programmes, Marketing, Events and Tourism)

Don’t dive straight in, take some time to read the entire exam paper first. Take in the scope of the paper and questions, and start thinking about what is being asked of you. By doing this, your brain will start doing some of the processing for you. Use some paper to do a rough plan of each answer – it’ll help you remember, save you time when you come to later questions, and break the paper down into smaller, more manageable chunks.

UWE Alumni Spotlight: Bristol Sport’s Growing UWE Alumni Contingent

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We caught up with some former UWE Bristol Faculty of Business and Law students who are operating within key roles at Bristol Sport – the organisation that encompasses Bristol City Football Club, Bristol Bears Rugby and Bristol Flyers Basketball, housed at Ashton Gate Stadium.

These alumni share how their UWE journey and experiences prepared them for their careers in the sport industry.

Jess Berry headshot

Name and role

Jess Berry, Head of Retail and Wholesale

UWE course studied

Business Studies

Current job role and responsibilities

“My role at Bristol Sport spans across the retail and wholesale departments for the group as a whole. The depth of my role means I can do be doing anything on a day to day basis, such as working with manufacturers to develop playing kits for rugby, football or basketball, to agreeing terms with couriers delivering our product, or attending photoshoots with players to get content for launches.

Retail is a very varied industry, but sports retail can often be hard as it can be affected by a lot of external factors, particularly on field performance. Having said that, there is a lot of scope for creativity within the job, bringing out new and exciting products to share with an engaged base of fans.

Broadly speaking my role consists of the strategy management of the retail department, ensuring revenue and profit targets are met, buying, overseeing both the bricks and mortar store as well as driving our e-commerce business. I also manage our wholesale department, which I am looking to develop over the next few years.”

How my UWE experience helped

“My course was a 4-year sandwich degree, in which I spent a year working as a recruitment consultant. I enjoyed the job, and although I didn’t feel like that industry was what I wanted to pursue, it gave me invaluable skills in how to work within a corporate environment. The sales training in particular meant I learnt key negotiation skills, and how to build lasting relationships, both of which help now with my buying, and with working with manufacturers.”

Steve Devereux headshot

Name and role

Steve Devereux, Commercial Manager – Bristol Flyers Basketball

UWE course studied

Business with Marketing

Current job role and responsibilities

“Managing, implementing and coordinating the day-to-day commercial and operational activities of Bristol Flyers Basketball Club.

My main areas of focus include:
Partnership management and activation; Commercial strategy; Commercial services co-ordination (ticketing, media, communications, retail, marketing etc.); Gameday management and delivery. Flyers are set to move to a new purpose built circa 3,000 capacity venue in the next few years (Ashton Gate Sports & Convention Centre), so I am currently focused on helping to build the commercial foundations to make this a successful transition.”

How my UWE experience helped

“Studying Business and Marketing at UWE provided knowledge and understanding of core concepts that underpin many of the activities undertaken as part of my role. However, it was my extra-curricular UWE activities that benefited me the most, specifically being president of the UWE Basketball society. This role gave me responsibility and a project relevant to my degree and future career path. We were given a budget, targets, the ability to create roles and the creative freedom to rebrand and raise the profile of the club digitally. Running this society was like running a small business and also led me to make the connections that helped me gain the job I have today.”

Rob Shotton headshot

Name and role

Rob Shotton, Commercial Account Executive/Partnership Activation Team

UWE course studied

Business and Management

Current job role and responsibilities

“At Bristol Sport, I work within the sponsorship activation team, where I ensure that all sponsors’ contractual obligations are met whilst always looking to go above and beyond the client expectation. Furthermore, I account manage over 25 main sponsors across the Bristol Sport group including national and international clients. I also work very closely with Premiership Rugby, the English Football League and their respective partners.

I work matchdays at Ashton Gate, welcoming match sponsors and ensuring that the commercial activities run smoothly. I am also responsible for ensuring that matchday assets such as the perimeter LED advertising are playing the correct content.

At Bristol Sport, we are very dedicated to changing lives through sport and inspiring the community with sporting success. To see sponsors and fans alike become engaged and passionate when it comes to sport is fantastic!”

How my UWE experience helped

“The ability to combine my University degree with a sandwich placement year was very beneficial for understanding the industry that I wanted to forge a career in. During my third year of Uni’, I secured a placement at Macclesfield Town Football Club where I worked in all departments, specifically within Commercial, Events, Media and Marketing and I was responsible for the transition of kit supplier, moving from Carbrini to Umbro. With the knowledge and business know-how gained at UWE, I was able to transfer these skills into getting the most out of my placement year.

In my final year, I was given the freedom to merge my studies with writing a dissertation on my chosen topic – Sponsorship in Sport and How it Benefits Both Parties. This is something that then helped me to understand the commercial world of sport in further detail before applying for jobs in that particular sector.”

Tom Kent headshot

Name and role

Tom Kent, Marketing Assistant

UWE course studied

Business Management with Marketing

Current job role and responsibilities

“Setting up campaign promotions including social media advertising and other paid advertising for product areas including ticketing, membership retail and hospitality. I also build and send weekly email campaigns across all the business areas (Bristol City, Bristol Bears, Bristol Flyers etc). I liaise with the internal design team & external printers to obtain departmental requirements and manage print deadlines.”

How my UWE experience helped

“My time at UWE helped me to understand the theory behind the practical requirements of my current job role. During my time at UWE, I was able to learn and understand the different areas of marketing, which I have since been able to put in to practice. This knowledge has proven to be crucial in my current job role. As well as the theoretical side of my studies in my third year at UWE I also partook in a placement year where I worked at a Bristol-based Marketing company. This year in industry was crucial for my professional development and is something I would highly recommend.”

Bristol Business School awarded the Small Business Charter

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We are proud to announce that we have successfully completed a reassessment and will continue to hold the Small Business Charter Award until 2024.

In December 2020, Bristol Business School underwent a two-day reassessment to renew the Small Business Charter. The Small Business Charter Award provides recognition to business schools that play an effective role in supporting small businesses, local economies, and student entrepreneurship. 33 UK business schools hold the Small Business Charter Award.

The award applies to the Bristol Business School but recognises activity across UWE Bristol. Our success is a testament to the volume and quality of work that staff undertake within our programmes, to our research and knowledge exchange culture, and to the energy and creativity of our students. Above all, the award represents excellent team working across departments, between faculties, and with colleagues in all parts of the university.

“We are delighted these business schools have again demonstrated the incredibly valuable contributions they make to small businesses and their local economies. The work that they do to help businesses grow and to support students into entrepreneurship has lasting impacts in their regional economies. Having business schools like these on the doorstep of local businesses is fantastic for our recovery, regionally and nationally. Following the announcement that the nationwide Help to Grow: Management programme will be delivered through business schools accredited by the Small Business Charter, we are pleased that these four business schools will continue to be a part of the SBC.’’

Anne Kiem OBE, Executive Director of the Small Business Charter and Chief Executive of the Chartered Association of Business Schools


“I am delighted that Bristol Business School has once again been awarded the Small Business Charter, and we look forward to further deepening our relationships with other SBC schools as well as with our student, public sector and SME stakeholders. The award reflects the investment we have made over the past 5 years in enterprise education, support for businesses, and engagement with our regional, national and international networks. As we implement our UWE Bristol Strategy 2030, our focus is ever more on encouraging enterprise and supporting the SME ecology through pro-bono advice clinics, business hatcheries, programmes of professional development, funding schemes or student engagement with businesses. The SBC is a mark of the quality of our activities and an indicator of our aspirations to grow further.

Ray McDowell, Interim Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law, UWE Bristol Business School

Read more about the Small Business Charter Award.

International Women’s Day: In conversation with Amy Kington

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By Rachel Evans, Relationship Manager at UWE Bristol, with Amy Kington, Founder and CEO of Community of Purpose, Faculty Board Member and UWE Bristol Alumni.

As we join together again to celebrate International Women’s Day 2021, perhaps this year, more than any other, we are asking how we can challenge both societal and workplace norms to give ourselves the space to be the best version of ourselves.

The last year has been immensely challenging for everyone and whilst some advances will undoubtedly improve the flexibility we have within our professional roles, we may all feel overburdened and find ourselves questioning our purpose and how we can support ourselves and each other to flourish in a post-COVID workplace.

This is where I see the value in UWE Bristol networks such as WILWAL (Women in Leadership and Women Aspiring to Leadership) and in taking time to actively celebrate our shared experiences through events like International Women’s Day. I recently took some time to ask Amy Kington; Founder and CEO of Community of Purpose, about her professional career, the challenges she has faced along the way, and why she values networks and events that celebrate women.

Hi Amy, can you tell me about you and what you do with Community of Purpose?

Thanks Rachel, as you have mentioned, I am the Chief Executive Officer of Community of Purpose, a C.I.C that empowers people and their communities to overcome big challenges. We have an army of dedicated, hungry, and passionate staff that encourage the creation and sharing of ideas to help the wider community become an amazing place!

Our approach is a combination of innovation and pragmatism. Over the last four years, working with the communities, we have acted as a link between the local authorities and voluntary sector, found ways to involve businesses, and developed a range of activities that aim to build aspiration and tackle inequality.

In 2011 I also led a transformational change programme at Bristol City Community Trust that helped the organisation respond to the challenges that the City faced whilst also supporting the football club to achieve its goals. This involved measuring, evaluating and rethinking to reach a higher level of strategic execution. I developed a team that built a sustainable and innovative business model that adapted, innovated, and envisioned the future. Together, we created economic opportunities and leveraged resources that brought millions of pounds into community, sport, and educational development.

What fantastic work! What led you to be where you are now?

I’ve been involved in using sport for social change in Bristol since 1998. I am passionate about improving the life chances of young people and creating opportunities so that they can fulfil their potential. Previously I have served as a special police constable with Avon and Somerset Police, a position that I held for 10 years. I have also worked for Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, Bristol City Council, The Football Association and Bristol City Football Club. Whilst working in each of these organisations it’s been great to see my work receive recognition through the achievement of national awards.

The truth is – I never sit still! I believe that learning is a daily adventure that one should carry and explore throughout life.  I also completed an Executive MBA at the University of the West of England and I am a Learning Ambassador for the City.

As the female CEO of Community of Purpose, how are you tackling the biggest challenges our city and region face in terms of child poverty, hunger, health, education and race inequalities?

We have an unwavering belief that everyone can contribute meaningfully to society if they are given the right support and opportunities. Communities are at the heart of our organisation: we work within Bristol’s communities, with individuals and families, empowering them to identify what is needed to transform their lives and then supporting them to act.

Our projects are focused on supporting communities that are culturally, economically, and geographically disadvantaged.

Our three key projects in the community are;

Break Free

We launched Break Free in 2018 in partnership with Youth Moves, who are based in one of the most deprived areas in Bristol, to address the problem of holiday hunger. It offers daily sessions for 8–13-year-olds during the school holidays, providing high quality educational and physical activities – from football and cricket to theatre school and computer coding – along with breakfast and lunch.

In 2019, we provided 824 free meals and 124 session hours to 223 children.

Bristol Together Championships

Using the universal language of football and the many benefits that participating in a team sport can bring, we launched the Bristol Together Championships in 2012. The aim is to create community cohesion, by bringing boys and girls from different ethnic, social, geographical and faith groups together to form football teams.

In 2019, 140 children from 28 diverse Bristol primary schools took part, with teams of five from each school twinned with another school from a very different demographic. They were given professional training sessions at each other’s schools before competing in the Championships, held at UWE Bristol in June. Four schools were then selected to represent the city on a memorable visit to Bordeaux, France.

Bristol Young Heroes Awards

These awards were originally established by the Mayor of Bristol seven years ago to showcase and celebrate young people who have overcome adversity to achieve greatness or gone above and beyond in their community. Community of Purpose took over the awards three years ago and we have worked hard since then to grow them, seeking new sponsors and supporters to enable us to expand the categories, reach more young people and add additional opportunities for the worthy nominees, such as work experience with local businesses.

Being so values driven forces you to challenge societal norms and injustices. What barriers have you faced in doing this?

Being the first female to lead a male academy at a professional football club was an interesting and challenging role. I loved every second, not least, because of the role and responsibility but also because it provided a platform to challenge societal norms. I have often thought about writing a book, but I’d have to work hard to anonymise things. Cliff-hanger moment… it would be a riveting read!  

What value do you attribute to events like International Women’s Day, and why?

International Women’s Day is amazing as it provides a wonderful platform to celebrate the lives and futures of all women, including those who act as a force for good to create a fairer and more inclusive world. This year’s theme on choose to challenge resonates with me and all that I have done throughout my career. 

Thank you to Amy for taking the time to speak to us about her amazing journey and community impact in the city. You can follow Amy on Twitter to keep up to date with her work.

BBS | BLS Virtual Christmas Fair

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Welcome to the Bristol Business School | Bristol Law School Christmas fair. This year we have had to take our usual Christmas fair held in the Bristol Business School Atrium online. But don’t worry, we still have a fantastic range of products on offer with representation from UWE Bristol students, staff and businesses in the local community.

All you need to do now is click the link below to view the stalls and links to shop, or download the PDF and get browsing! We hope you enjoy.

If you have any questions please email bbec@uwe.ac.uk. Thank you to everyone who has been involved in this year’s virtual fair.

Team Entrepreneurship students tackle Global Business Challenges

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A group of 13 students on the BA (Business) Team Entrepreneurship programme at Bristol Business School have been selected to take part in the Global Business Challenge, a three-month experiential learning opportunity focused on solving real challenges for real businesses. Throughout the three-month programme, students will be working in cross-cultural teams with fellow entrepreneurial students from four different countries – the UK, Ecuador, the USA and Finland.

The Global Business Challenge has been co-created by six universities: UWE Team Academy, Aston Team Academy and Team Entrepreneurship at Bishop Grosseteste University in the UK; the University of Holy Spirit Specialties in Ecuador; Southern New Hampshire University in the United States and Proakatemia within Tampere University of Applied Sciences in Finland, the birthplace of the Team Academy methodology on which UWE Bristol’s Team Entrepreneurship programme is based.

Staff from across the six universities, which include Team Coaches and other academic staff specialising in entrepreneurship, have collaborated to provide a unique learning opportunity for their students, adopting the self-directed, team-based, experiential learning approach that is core to Team Academy degree programmes. Staff are supporting the learning of their students by taking on the role of Team Coach for one of the 10 cross-cultural teams that have been created.

The student teams meet virtually on a weekly basis to collectively ideate and problem solve around a specific business challenge from one of the five international businesses that are partners for the Global Business Challenge: the UK’s team profile company Belbin, First Republic Bank from the USA, business incubator ASAP Business in Ecuador, Canadian organic production supplier Organic4Greens and global translation and localisation specialists Lionbridge.

At the end of the programme the teams will present their solutions to their partner business, receiving invaluable feedback from the business professionals and identifying future opportunities to continue working together. The Global Business Challenge offers UWE Team Entrepreneurship students a unique opportunity to form meaningful connections with fellow students and business professionals on a global scale. This is the first international collaborative business challenge of this kind that has been established between the partner universities and the team of staff behind the programme are hosting regular virtual meetings to discuss further opportunities.

Within UWE Team Academy, the Global Business Challenge has been supported by Team Coaches Lauren Davies and Valtteri Melkko who are each coaching an international team, in addition to continuing to coach their own Team Company within the UWE Team Entrepreneurship programme. The Global Business Challenge is one of the many opportunities for UWE Team Entrepreneurship students to “learn by doing” and Valtteri and Lauren have been encouraging students to grasp this and the many other opportunities offered by the programme and beyond. Valtteri commented:

“It’s amazing to see how much growth and excitement it’s possible to see in our students when they are put to work in an international team in a challenge that is longer than a few days or weeks – they are full of energy.”

Valtteri Melkko

Reflecting on her experience of the Global Business Challenge so far, second-year Team Entrepreneurship student Natalie English said:

“Being part of the Global Business Challenge has allowed me to explore a new international team environment, a business challenge and working in an online space – all in one. Obviously, this hasn’t come without challenges, but having a coach means we are able to talk about these challenges in a safe environment. However, the most exciting elements for me so far have been putting my UWE course into practice and getting to see how those techniques are invaluable in any teamwork environment. Working with a real business, with a real challenge has opened my eyes to all the possibilities there are out there, as well as getting to network internationally!”

Natalie English

Case study: Thet Naing Oo, BA(Hons) Business Management (top-up)

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I always wanted to study in the UK, and with the support of an agent here in Myanmar and from speaking to other students I made the decision to join UWE Bristol. I chose the Business Management top-up degree, as I had already completed two years in a different discipline in the UK, but after some reflection chose to focus on building my knowledge and skills in the area of Business.  

From virtual to reality  

I really enjoyed the practical element of the course, in particular the airline simulation where we had to work in small groups and run a business. It was brilliant, and I felt like I was running a real firm. It was a great experience that allowed me to look into the different operational aspects such as marketing and finance (profit, loss etc). Each week we would come together and reflect on how we could improve. There was friendly competition amongst the different groups in the class which encouraged us to make our business the most successful.  

“The practical nature of the top-up gave me the confidence to set up my own business. And I’m currently running an Education Consultancy – supporting students from Myanmar to come and study in the UK” 

The future is bright  

I had always thought about setting-up my own business, and on my return to Myanmar I took the time to think through what I loved and what I know and started to develop some business ideas.  

I created Unigo Education Consultancy as a way to help the younger generation realise their potential and strive to study a degree overseas and greatly increase their career prospects. It’s a great way for me to share my experiences of studying in the UK and to help them navigate their way through the education system.  

“Studying on the top-up degree was a great experience as I got to work alongside students and academics from all around the world.” 

UWE Bristol launches The Bristol Distinguished Address Autumn 2020 Series

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The Bristol Distinguished Address Series (BDAS) provides a unique opportunity to hear about challenges and decisions being made at the highest level of strategic leadership by high-profile business executives from across the country and is back for Autumn 2020. Normally, the lectures are held at Bristol Business School, however, we are now running an online version of the talks.

Upcoming Bristol Lectures

The Virtual Annual Bolland Lecture 2020: NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol Panel Discussion

14 October 2020

The Nightingales are part of a nationwide effort to respond to the greatest global health emergency in more than a century. The temporary hospital at the Exhibition and Conference Centre on UWE Bristol’s Frenchay campus was vital to help support NHS efforts with the COVID-19 pandemic and support the local community and wider region at an exceptionally challenging time.

NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol was a truly collaborative project across a wide range of organisations and companies. Completed in just 20 days, the build of the 300-bed hospital demonstrated incredible team effort and the speed at which the hospital was been built is testament to the dedication, hard work, and teamwork from UWE Bristol staff, the Army, the NHS and the contractors, Kier. Collaboration was key with all stakeholders uniting and working together, safely, swiftly and with absolute skill and commitment. The agile response from all involved – with teams working 12 hours a day – was central to the construction project being complete in such a short time.

We are delighted to host a panel discussion focusing on the construction of the NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol, panel members include:

  • Professor Steve West CBE, Vice-Chancellor, President and Chief Executive Officer
  • Marie-Noelle Orzel, Chief Officer, NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol
  • Tim Whittlestone, Chief Medical Officer, NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol
  • David Snell, Operations Director, Kier

Virtual Bristol Distinguished Address: Doug Perkins, Chair and Founder and Dame Mary Perkins, Co-founder, Specsavers

04 November 2020

Doug and Dame Mary Perkins founded Specsavers with the aim of offering affordable eye care to everyone. They will talk about how they saw the opportunity to revolutionise the optical market, following a relaxation of UK regulations, which allowed opticians to advertise products and services for the first time.

Specsavers is not built on a stock exchange model but rather on a unique joint venture partnership, where directors part-own and manage their own stores. Theirs is a values-led approach to business, which has led to a world-wide organisation that turns over 3 billion a year, operating in 10 countries and employing 35,000 colleagues.

Doug and Dame Mary met in Cardiff while studying optometry at university. After graduating they bought Mary’s father’s optometry business in her home town of Bristol, which they built into a successful chain of more than 20 stores across the south west. This provided invaluable experience when they set up Specsavers.

With Mary being Bristol-born and educated and Doug living in Bristol for 15 years (and even playing for Bristol rugby club), they will describe how their business experience in Bristol acted as an extended pilot for the birth of Specsavers and inspired their vision for affordable eyecare and audiology at scale.

After selling their original chain of stores, it took a further three years of worldwide research of partnership and franchises, which were unheard of in the medical sector, to create their unique business model.

Virtual Bristol Distinguished Address: Perminder Mann, CEO, Bonnier Books UK

11 November 2020

Have you ever felt like you needed to conform to fit in? What does aspiration mean to you? Do you have inspiring role models in your life? Perminder Mann, CEO of Bonnier Books UK, a publishing company with sales of over 80million and a regular on the publishing industry power lists, shares an honest account of her path to success. Overcoming personal obstacles and challenging stereotypes head on, Perminder argues how we all must bring our authentic selves to work. As a passionate believer in the power of books and the role the publishing industry must play in our society, Perminder also lays out her manifesto for positive change.

You can discuss all the events on Twitter by using #BristolLectures. We’re running this series online so you can watch from the comfort of your own home. This event will be hosted on Microsoft Teams – you can either view via the web or download the app. To join the event, please follow the link that will be sent in your event reminder a couple of days before the event.

UWE Bristol alumni launch new Family Wellbeing app

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Benjamin Draper, Business Management with Economics graduate and William Testeil, International Business graduate, have created an app that makes it fun and simple for families to improve their wellbeing by encouraging them to exercise, eat well and stay mentally active together, and all within their own home if necessary – very pertinent in the current climate and beyond.

The app differentiates from what currently exists in 2 primary ways:

Firstly, it is the first app specifically catered to families, covering all 3 fundamental elements of wellbeing, exercise, nutrition, and mental health.  Within each category is a variety of challenges and activities, appropriate for both children and parents. These range from simple workouts to more innovative challenges with different difficulty levels and time taken to complete them. This range of activities means the app can adapt to a busy family lifestyle and diverse needs. This allows families to easily implement health habits into their routine to achieve their desired health and effortlessly spend more quality time together.

Secondly, the app combines health activities with gamification through an engaging personal avatar that tracks their progress. This enables the family members to visualise the positive impact their healthier lifestyle is having on them, providing a fun and motivation experience to improve wellbeing as a family. Keeping everyone’s character healthy = keeping the family healthy! Additionally, to further motivate each family member, the app also contains a simple and engaging rewards system. Each time you successfully complete a challenge you gain a seed, collect multiple seeds in a row and you can earn a wellbeing flower! The aim is essentially to grow and collect as many wellbeing flowers as possible while enhancing your own health and happiness.

As we all know having a healthy family unit is incredibly important. When a family spends more time together and keeps a healthy routine, they tend to be much happier.

Benjamin and William say that “while there are a significant amount of health and fitness resources to help individuals, we have recognised a lack of solutions and support available to families. The current lack of solutions to this problem can result in children becoming disinterested to engage in healthy activities, and with parents having numerous responsibilities and limited time, it can be a challenge to implement essential health habits into a family routine.”  

From this realisation, they believed it was time to fill this gap in the market and provide the tool families deserve to help them stay healthy and happy.

After a full year of extensive market research, they have been able to gain invaluable insights from talking directly with children and parents. “Through this customer-centric research approach, we built numerous prototypes, to test our assumptions and allow families to give us feedback to develop a compelling concept. In turn, the combination of our passion for health, helping others and our research has led us to leveraging modern technology to provide this simple and engaging mobile application with one objective in mind – help children and parents collectively achieve their desired health in a fun and convenient way.”

The app has had very encouraging feedback from both children and parents:

Parent’s feedback;

“This is a great idea and would have been amazing when my kids were younger. I searched for similar at the time and never found anything like this”

“I love this idea, my girl is 6 and she loves anything that may be a challenge!”

“Translating the health of the app-user into a facial expression is a great way to motivate the user to care for themselves”

“I really like the selection of challenges. Cleaning or climbing upstairs is something you do every day without realising the benefits”

Children’s feedback;

“I think it is really cool to take care of your own character, and it has definitely motivated me to be healthier”

“This makes improving my health fun and not so boring sometimes!”

“Downloaded the app 15 minutes ago, we have completed something out of each category. I think the workout 1 is the most I’ve been able to happily get my 5-year-old to move during lockdown. Also the food lucky dip he has just happily eaten an apple. He’s already asking what else we can do next. Really enjoying it so far. “Yep I’m enjoying it” – George 5 years”

What was your biggest challenge?

“One of the biggest challenges so far has been funding for the project. While we are very driven individuals, we have only recently graduated university and lacked the start-up capital we needed for this amazing project. That is why we set up our Kickstarter campaign, to present our idea to the public and get people as excited about it as we are. Fortunately, the campaign got amazing support and we achieved 115% of our funding goal.”

“Another challenge we face concerns choosing features to include in the app to further its development. We want to make sure we are providing families with exactly what they need and want to achieve their wellbeing goals, so making sure the correct features are included is very important to us. While we have conducted extensive research on this, there is still room for more improvement by testing not just what features will be included but also how they are integrated to provide families with maximum value.”

How does it feel to have launched the app and secured funding?

“We were completely blown away by the community involvement in our app, as well as the belief in us and this project. Securing 115% of our funding goal was amazing and we did not take it lightly!”

“Since then, we have worked very hard to create something that truly helps families and that we would be proud of. To have all this hard work come to fruition and get the reactions we have already had from parents and children feels amazing. It is a very fulfilling feeling to see and be told by your own customers about the positive impact that we are making on their lives.”

“One of the most exciting things for us is that we are only at the very beginning of this exciting journey and we are only going to improve what we provide from here. We cannot wait to introduce the app to more and more families to help them achieve the health and happiness they have always wanted.”

What are your hopes for the future?

“Our ambition is to be the go-to, trusted platform, families can easily access to effectively improve their health in an enjoyable way. Offering a simple solution to a large problem.”

“We also hope to create partnerships with schools, as well as local gyms, to reach and positively impact tens of thousands of families on a global scale. On a personal level, we cannot wait to continue positively impacting families lives and get more people healthier and happier. At the moment we are only able to work on this part time so getting funding to enable us to have this as our full-time work would be amazing. These are our goals over the next 12 months.”

Find out more on the family wellbeing website.

Challenging male dominance through the substantive representation of women: the case of an online women’s mentoring platform

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A new research article that analyses ‘alta‘ an online mentoring platform for women in aviation has been published by Susan Durbin, Professor in Human Resource Management at UWE Bristol, Stella Warren, Research Associate in the Bristol Leadership and Change Centre at UWE Bristol and Ana Lopes, Lecturer in Human Resource Management at Newcastle University (UK).

Susan Durbin is also a board member of the European Sociological Association’s Research Network 14, Gender Relations in the Labour Market and the Welfare State. Her research fields are women working in male dominated professions and gendered careers.

Stella Warren has a background in applied social research. Her research topics include social marketing and the understanding of psychological pathways for behaviour change in health; gender and inequality in organisations; the gender pay gap; and women working in male-dominated industries.

This article analyses the design of an online mentoring platform—for women by women—in a high‐technology, male‐dominated UK industry: aviation and aerospace. Based on interviews with professionals and managers, they analyse the journey of the women involved and contribute to the understanding of the role of women (individually and collectively) in challenging gendered norms in a male‐dominated industry through the theoretical lenses of ‘critical actors’ and ‘critical mass’. They combine these concepts, usually seen as mutually exclusive, to explain the success of the online platform. This shows how a small number of self‐selected critical actors represented, listened and responded to the needs of the women in their industry, thus achieving the substantive representation of women. They also argue that while critical actors were key to its inception, the mentoring platform now needs a critical mass of women to ensure its success. You can read the article in full online.

Find out more about alta in their recent case study about the importance of mentoring platforms, especially relating to the corona-virus pandemic. Stella Warren also took part in our Future Impact Webinar series to talk about supporting women in male-dominated industries which you can listen back to online.