by Grace Biddulph, EDI Coordinator, EDI Team.
UWE contractor adds colour to Frenchay campus with Pride walkway
Staff at UWE are always looking to integrate equality, diversity and inclusivity (EDI) into all aspects of our campuses. This may be through events, working groups, networks or through our physical environment that shapes the way we, as a community, promote an inclusive culture. Our working environment is connected to wellbeing and can be an opportunity to demonstrate allyship with under-represented groups.
The Estates and Facilities teams, who are largely responsible for our working environment, are an essential part of embedding EDI into our campuses and were the catalyst for the new EDI champions programme. The programme originated with estates and facilitates, who meet monthly to discuss how to promote EDI within the service. The programme has now been scaled up to be university-wide, and EDI champions are currently being trained in most UWE professional services (staff only link).
The latest EDI achievement of estates and facilities is the Pride walkway, located near E block on Frenchay campus, which has been refreshed this month. Each archway now represents a colour of the Pride rainbow flag, red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. The archway is used by hundreds of staff and students daily, and the new colours are a great example of how physical spaces can be used to promote positive messaging.
Painter and decorator, Martin Clark, who was the inspiration behind the new Pride flag walkway provides his reflections below and discusses how his idea to paint the walkway has contributed to creating a vibrant, and welcoming community.
Please tell us your name, pronouns and role working with UWE.
Martin Clark, he/him, I am a fully qualified painter & decorator.
How long have you been working with UWE?
I have been working on the UWE contract for GRAHAM FM for just over four years.
Please let us know how the colour change came about, from white to the rainbow flag.
We (GRAHAM FM) were given instructions to refresh the walkway from E Block to the existing white colour as the existing paintwork was flaking and looking weathered. Whilst sanding down and preparing the posts to repaint, I thought the area would be received well if it was brightened up as when my work was done, nobody would have necessarily noticed the refreshed paint back to white, which would have been a shame as a lot of hard work and effort goes into this type of works.
What inspired you to paint the arches in the rainbow flag colours?
Our Contract Manager Nick Brown is always looking to support the core values that underpin Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity and has involved our GRAHAM team to share these values wherever possible or when the opportunity arises. I thought in this case, this would be a great opportunity to showcase the colours of the Pride rainbow in this area where a great deal of people will walk past, evidence, raise awareness and maybe start conversation.
Please do take a minute to admire our new pride walkway and thanks to Martin for his creativity in adding colour to our campus.
Finally, if you have an EDI or Health and Wellbeing story to tell, please do get in touch at email@example.com as we welcome contributions from all staff for our blog.