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Showing 12 News Articles from Public Engagement:
Stoke Newington Methodist church
Provost's Award Spotlight: 200 Years of Methodism in Stoke Newington
9th Oct 2017
One of the highlights in the UCL public engagement year is the Provost's Awards for Public Engagement. This takes place every year in the spring and recognises the fantastic work that UCL's staff and students do to open up research and teaching at UCL to the wider world by engaging with communities.There were seven winners earlier in the year – which you can read about here – but we had over fifty nominations from across UCL.  With such a wealth of projects, we didn’t want to miss an opportunity to shout about this work – which is all amazing.   So we decided to run this new news feature - the Provost Awards Spotlight.  This feature will run throughout the rest of the year in the run up to the next Awards, and will tell the stories of these individuals using their platform at UCL to mobilise, inspire and amplify.[[{"fid":"5575","view_mode":"medium","fields":{"format":"medium","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Ruth Slatter","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"left","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"medium","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Ruth Slatter","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"left","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"400","width":"400","class":"media-element file-medium"}}]]This month we’re featuring Ruth Slatter, who has just completed her PhD in the UCL Department of Geography. Her research focuses on the material design of Methodist practices in London from 1851 to 1932 and the everyday experiences of their congregations.Ruth’s project, 200 Years of Methodism in Stoke Newington celebrated the anniversary of the first Methodist church built in Stoke Newington, and the opening of a brand new church on the original site. She told us, “The project aimed to engage both the church’s congregation and the local community in the history of Methodism in Stoke Newington and introduce them to the new church building, which was specifically designed to be a flexible space for community use”.[[{"fid":"5579","view_mode":"xl","fields":{"format":"xl","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Stoke Newington Methodist church","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"©Tim Crocker","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"%3Cp%3E%26copy%3BTim%20Crocker%3C%2Fp%3E","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"xl","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Stoke Newington Methodist church","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"©Tim Crocker","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"%3Cp%3E%26copy%3BTim%20Crocker%3C%2Fp%3E","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"580","width":"870","class":"media-element file-xl"}}]]Ruth helped the church's launch by working with members of the church's community, local historians and a photographer to run events, produce a podcast, and host an exhibition of the area's historical geography.  Julian Cowie, architect of the new development said of the church's opening ceremony, “the youngest member of the church unveiled the foundation stone which has been laid in the entrance foyer space and is inscribed with an excerpt from scripture that is important to the ethos of the church. The service was a joyous occasion filled with music and blessings for the new church and the Methodist community in Stoke Newington.”The words committed to stone like this seemed an appropriate symbol for the wider context of Ruth’s research. The idea of personal reflection being built into the fabric of the building is an interesting parallel to some of the questions Ruth was asking the congregation.“Part of my research is interested in exploring how the physical design of church buildings affects how people engage with their religious practices. For example, I ask questions like how does the arrangement of the seats affect what congregation members can see, how does the position of the windows and the light conditions influence the mood of the space?”[[{"fid":"5587","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Stoke Newington Methodist church stained glass","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"%3Cp%3E%26copy%3BTim%20Crocker%3C%2Fp%3E","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Stoke Newington Methodist church stained glass","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"%3Cp%3E%26copy%3BTim%20Crocker%3C%2Fp%3E","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"580","width":"712","class":"media-element file-large"}}]]Ruth commissioned photographer Susanne Hakuba to capture members of the congregation in the new church, in poses reflective of their faith. She displayed the photos with short testimonies - an idea we loved.[[{"fid":"5599","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Congregation members","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Congregation members","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"2000","width":"2000","class":"media-element file-large"}}]][[{"fid":"5603","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Congregation members","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Congregation members","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"2000","width":"2000","class":"media-element file-large"}}]][[{"fid":"5607","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Congregation members","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Congregation members","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"2000","width":"2000","class":"media-element file-large"}}]][[{"fid":"5611","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Congregation members","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"%3Cp%3EPhotography%20by%20Susanne%20Hakuba%3C%2Fp%3E","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Congregation members","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"%3Cp%3EPhotography%20by%20Susanne%20Hakuba%3C%2Fp%3E","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"2000","width":"2000","class":"media-element file-large"}}]]“The portraits are much more than representations of congregation members in physical spaces and they begin to reveal how church spaces are 'metaphysical' spaces, spaces created by individuals' lived experience in, and memories of, these places. When these portraits were taken each congregation member was asked to stand in a pose that reflected their approach to worship and in the exhibition these portraits were accompanied by a short biography. These biographies included quotes from each congregation member about their experience of church, religion and faith".One congregation member said,"I like the Methodist Church, which is like a second home to me. If I don't come to church I feel very unhappy. I look forward to coming to church. I look forward to meeting people. I look forward to worshiping. I like the Methodist Church and their style of worshiping and I like their method of Christianity. The method is: 'All are welcome".Ruth’s inquisitive approach to public engagement has had a lasting impact on the church and its visitors. She told us, “The exhibition and events arranged to celebrate the church’s opening encouraged members of the local community to come into the church and they now host a community activity on nearly every day of the week!”[[{"fid":"5615","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Stoke Newington Methodist church","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"%3Cp%3E%26copy%3BTim%20Crocker%3C%2Fp%3E","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Stoke Newington Methodist church","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"%3Cp%3E%26copy%3BTim%20Crocker%3C%2Fp%3E","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"580","width":"870","class":"media-element file-large"}}]]Her work also leaves us with some really interesting questions to ponder, whether we are religious or not. How do the spaces you use each day affect your mentality? Do you have favourite places to go and think? How can we use spaces more effectively to create community?We’d love to hear your thoughts as we continue the conversation on Twitter @UCLCulture.
Train and Engage
Winners of Train and Engage funding announced
8th Sep 2017
UCL Culture is committed to the development of UCL staff and students, and firmly believes that Public Engagement can be a major contributor to this development. Train and Engage is a program designed to do just this, giving UCL research students training in the theory of public engagement, along with practical tips for running a project. Upon completing the training, students have the opportunity to bid for up to £1,000 to make these projects happen.In the past, the program has funded over 50 project leaders, who have gone on to continue their career in research, gain promotion, and use their new skills to work on other projects in a variety of contexts.[[{"fid":"5627","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Women of Methodist church","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"Women of Methodist church","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"%3Cp%3EParticipants%20at%20Ruth%20Slatter%26rsquo%3Bs%20%26lsquo%3B200%20Years%20of%20Methodism%20in%20Stoke%20Newington%26rsquo%3B%20project.%20%26copy%3B%20Susanne%20Hakuba%3C%2Fp%3E","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Women of Methodist church","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"Women of Methodist church","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"%3Cp%3EParticipants%20at%20Ruth%20Slatter%26rsquo%3Bs%20%26lsquo%3B200%20Years%20of%20Methodism%20in%20Stoke%20Newington%26rsquo%3B%20project.%20%26copy%3B%20Susanne%20Hakuba%3C%2Fp%3E","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"667","width":"1000","class":"media-element file-large"}}]]We are proud to announce the winners of 2016/17 grants and to welcome our newest cohort of funded PhD students. Nine project leaders have been funded, and will be working with public groups on projects linked to festivals, playgrounds, infant development, herbal medicine, photosynthesis and much more. The information on each of the project leaders and a summary of their project is available to download.[[{"fid":"5635","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Train and Engage","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"%3Cp%3EMaddison%20Coke%20and%20team%20at%20Green%20Man%20Festival%202016%2C%20with%20%23challengeMartha%3C%2Fp%3E","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Train and Engage","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"%3Cp%3EMaddison%20Coke%20and%20team%20at%20Green%20Man%20Festival%202016%2C%20with%20%23challengeMartha%3C%2Fp%3E","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"720","width":"960","class":"media-element file-large"}}]]The next training sessions for Train and Engage will be in the spring term and the next funding deadline will be in June 2018. You can find more information on Train and Engage here. For announcements and information about Train and Engage and other funding opportunities for public engagement projects you can also sign up to our newsletter.
Liz Pellicano
Provost's Awards Spotlight: Promoting wellbeing of autistic young people
7th Sep 2017
One of the highlights in the UCL public engagement year is the Provost's Awards for Public Engagement. This takes place every year in the spring and recognises the fantastic work that UCL's staff and students do to open up research and teaching at UCL to the wider world by engaging with communities.There were seven winners earlier in the year – which you can read about here but we had over fifty nominations from across UCL.  With such a wealth of projects, we didn’t want to miss an opportunity to shout about this work – which is all amazing.   So we decided to run this new news feature - the Provost Awards Spotlight.  This feature will run throughout the rest of the year in the run up to the next Awards, and will tell the stories of these individuals using their platform at UCL to mobilise, inspire and amplify.[[{"fid":"5459","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Everyone's normal is different","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Everyone's normal is different","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"281","width":"500","class":"media-element file-large"}}]]What would you define as normal behaviour? And if someone described you as being normal would you think that was a good or a bad thing anyway? Everyone’s definition is unique, and it was exactly this idea behind a brilliant public engagement project to help young autistic people with their mental health.Know Your Normal was the result of the partnership between Professor Liz Pellicano of the Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE) and charity Ambitious about Autism. Their research project set out to help promote an understanding of what wellbeing looks like for autistic children and young people. [[{"fid":"5487","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"CRAE and Ambitious about Autism","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"%3Cp%3EProfessor%20Liz%20Pellicano%20and%26nbsp%3BDr%20Laura%20Crane%20of%20CRAE%2C%20Jack%20and%20Georgia%20from%20Ambitious%20about%20Autism%3C%2Fp%3E","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"CRAE and Ambitious about Autism","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"%3Cp%3EProfessor%20Liz%20Pellicano%20and%26nbsp%3BDr%20Laura%20Crane%20of%20CRAE%2C%20Jack%20and%20Georgia%20from%20Ambitious%20about%20Autism%3C%2Fp%3E","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"771","width":"1878","class":"media-element file-large"}}]]“We worked with a team of young autistic people, from the charity Ambitious about Autism, to carry out an important piece of research on mental health in young autistic adults (16-25 years). The young people selected the topic of the research, decided how they wanted to research it, and took an active role in analysing and reporting the findings – all under the guidance of the CRAE team. The resulting report, co-authored by CRAE and the young people themselves, highlighted high levels of mental health problems in young autistic adults. It also called for better support for young autistic people, to help them identify that they are experiencing mental health problems, as well as more initiatives to reduce stigma associated with autism and mental health, and greater autistic involvement in service design and delivery.” – Liz Pellicano[[{"fid":"5479","view_mode":"medium","fields":{"format":"medium","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Crisps in size order","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"right","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"medium","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Crisps in size order","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"right","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"281","width":"500","class":"media-element file-medium"}}]]Autism is not a mental health condition, yet a staggering 70-80% of children and adults on the autism spectrum have experienced mental health problems. Liz and her team conducted interviews with young autistic adults to try to identify why that connection exists. Liz found, “Many young people felt that these problems stemmed from the pressure to act “normal” in a “neurotypical” world (the world of non-autistic people). As one young person told us: “If somebody who wasn’t autistic grew up being excluded, bullied, and pressured to be something that they are not, they would very likely develop the same conditions.”At a presentation event earlier this year, Fern from the charity explained how confusing even professionals can find diagnosis, “Many of us have experiences of our ‘normal’ being mistaken for mental health issues, while many of us have had mental health issues and have been told it’s just part of being autistic, and it’s been dismissed”.Since the Provost Awards in February for which Liz’s project was nominated, the collaboration between CRAE and Ambitious about Autism has gone on to create a digital toolkit to identify mental health issues. This video explains how to use it.[[{"fid":"5463","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Know Your Normal","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Know Your Normal","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"1005","width":"1860","class":"media-element file-large"}}]]Finding solutions like this would not be possible without such close collaboration with the users themselves. Liz told us, “We have worked towards making sure that autistic people and their families are more involved in the decisions that shape their lives – including the type of research that gets done. My own belief is that we need to listen more to the people that we ‘study’ and that we need to work together to make the research that we do really count. Persuading all of my scientific colleagues to reach out in this way can sometimes be difficult. But I’ll keep trying.”[[{"fid":"5467","view_mode":"small","fields":{"format":"small","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Liz Pellicano","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"left","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"small","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Liz Pellicano","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"left","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"1500","width":"1000","class":"media-element file-small"}}]]It’s also a question of sharing those unique findings with a wider community. Since research of this type and quality is in short supply, spreading the word becomes important too.“Our aim at CRAE is to make sure that people on the ground - autistic people, their families and friends, educators, clinicians, and the wider public - hear about the results of studies just like this one. To this end, we give talks to professionals and parents, highlighting the results - in this case, the alarmingly high rates of mental health problems in young autistic adults and their negative experiences of the (mental) healthcare system. For example, I gave a talk last week to the Hackney Autism Alliance Board, a partnership board consisting of stakeholder representatives (autistic adults, parents, local councillors, professionals) set up by Hackney Council and City and Hackney CCG in response to the Autism Act 2009. They are developing an Autism Strategy for children, young people and adults in Hackney - and so they were keen to the Know your Normal findings and how they might better serve the mental health needs of young people in their borough”.This sense of urgency was emphasized by Fern from Ambitious about Autism, who said “What autistic people deserve needs to become something we don’t just talk about here, or something that’s only tweeted about tonight, or something that is just presented in research findings to show what we’re not achieving. Instead what young autistic people deserve is for active changes to take place so that we can identify mental health issues when they occur, be taken seriously by professionals in mental health services and get support that works and helps us return to our normal”.You can read a full report of the Know Your Normal project here, and listen to a conversation about the project between Professor Liz Pellicano, Dr Laura Crane (also of CRAE) and Georgia and Jack from Ambitious about Autism here.Finally, if you are a young person with autism and want to join the discussion with Ambitious about Autism, you can find out about their Youth Council events here. 
Beacon Bursary
Beacon Bursaries
29th Aug 2017
Our Public Engagement Unit is delighted to announce the awardees in the latest round of Beacon Bursaries. After another very competitive round, the unit is proud to have funded 13 projects at the end of 2016/17.Activities we have supported in this round include promoting access to health information and services in the Chinese community in the UK, addressing sewage management on canal boats, creating a photo exhibition on parental leave for fathers, and a host of other projects that will connect with a variety of public groups.[[{"fid":"5419","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Beacon Bursaries","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"%3Cp%3EParticipants%20from%20%26lsquo%3BBeat%20Boxing%20after%20laryngectomy%26rsquo%3B%2C%20a%20Beacon%20Bursary%20project%20led%20by%20Dr%20Evangelos%20Himonides%3C%2Fp%3E","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Beacon Bursaries","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"%3Cp%3EParticipants%20from%20%26lsquo%3BBeat%20Boxing%20after%20laryngectomy%26rsquo%3B%2C%20a%20Beacon%20Bursary%20project%20led%20by%20Dr%20Evangelos%20Himonides%3C%2Fp%3E","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"920","width":"1379","class":"media-element file-large"}}]]Previous Beacon Bursary winners have run workshops in remote communities around the world. Energy mapping and photography skills were shared with off-grid solar home users in Rwanda to assess the technology and its impact in the communities. In Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, mapping skills were used to gather data on urban water access. The data collected increased the negotiating power of local residents when appealing to their governments for service improvements. These skills mobilised individuals who might previously have felt powerless, and effected real change in the community.[[{"fid":"5495","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Mapping workshops Iwona Bisaga","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Mapping workshops Iwona Bisaga","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"1880","width":"2816","class":"media-element file-large"}}]]We’re really excited to see how this year’s projects develop with the support of the Beacon Bursaries, and will invite project leaders to update on their progress throughout the year.Beacon Bursaries are available to UCL staff and postgraduate research students looking to connect their research or teaching with people outside UCL in a new way. The next deadline for the fund is in June 2018, and the round will be open in January 2018. Sign up to our newsletter for further announcements and information.To read more about the Beacon Bursaries, please visit our project page here. 
Virginia mantouvalou
Provost's Awards Spotlight: Protecting Migrant Workers
3rd Aug 2017
One of the highlights in the UCL public engagement year is the Provost's Awards for Public Engagement. This takes place every year in the spring and recognises the fantastic work that UCL's staff and students do to open up research and teaching at UCL to the wider world by engaging with communities.There were seven winners earlier in the year – which you can read about here but we had over fifty nominations from across UCL.  With such a wealth of projects, we didn’t want to miss an opportunity to shout about this work – which is all amazing.   So we decided to run this new news feature - the Provost Awards Spotlight.  This feature will run throughout the rest of the year in the run up to the next Awards, and will tell the stories of these individuals using their platform at UCL to mobilise, inspire and amplify.[[{"fid":"5127","view_mode":"super_xl","fields":{"format":"super_xl","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Virginia mantouvalou Provost Award Project","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"%3Cp%3E%26copy%3B%202017%20London%20charity%20Kalayaan%3C%2Fp%3E","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"super_xl","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Virginia mantouvalou Provost Award Project","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"%3Cp%3E%26copy%3B%202017%20London%20charity%20Kalayaan%3C%2Fp%3E","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"2912","width":"4368","class":"media-element file-super-xl"}}]]This month we’re featuring Virginia Mantouvalou, reader in Human Rights and Labour Law. She has been working with a London charity Kalayaan which works to provide practical advice and support to, as well as campaign with and for, the rights of migrant domestic workers in the UK.In 2015, the UK granted 17,352 visas for domestic workers, doing jobs such as cleaning, nannying and cooking. The vast proportion of these workers are women from countries such as the Philippines, India, Indonesia and a majority of them begin their employment outside the UK with families in the Gulf. It is when these families visit the UK bringing their staff with them, that UK employment law comes into effect. Though it’s not employment law as you know it.[[{"fid":"5119","view_mode":"small","fields":{"format":"small","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Virginia mantouvalou","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"left","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"small","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Virginia mantouvalou","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"left","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"588","width":"588","class":"media-element file-small"}}]]We asked Virginia what her research involved:“It is a study consisting of interviews with overseas domestic workers who are in the UK under a visa system that is linked to ‘modern slavery’. This is an extremely difficult group of workers to reach for numerous reasons (an invisible, sometimes undocumented, very fearful workforce, employed in private households).”It seems hard to believe, but as a domestic worker from overseas, you could be expected to work any hours of the day, for far less than national minimum wage. In a report by Kalayaan in 2010, 48% of overseas domestic workers worked at least 16 hours a day, and 56% received a weekly salary of £50 or less.[[{"fid":"5123","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Virginia mantouvalou Provost Award Project","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"%3Cp%3E%26copy%3B%202017%20London%20charity%20Kalayaan%3C%2Fp%3E","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"right","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Virginia mantouvalou Provost Award Project","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"%3Cp%3E%26copy%3B%202017%20London%20charity%20Kalayaan%3C%2Fp%3E","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"right","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"2157","width":"3252","class":"media-element file-large"}}]]These workers are in a position that is uniquely vulnerable. They may have poor levels of English, and are unable to access the little support that does exist. In many cases they simply do not know their rights, but it’s not just a lack of information. The laws surrounding this group have only further compounded the situation.Between 2012 and 2016, their visas were dependant on the single employer with whom they entered the country. If they left their job they would be actively prevented by UK laws from finding another, in what was an attempt by the government to reduce net migration. This forced many into undocumented work and the potential for further exploitation.Despite this, many have taken their chances and fled. In 2014 Virginia begun the difficult process of interviewing some of these individuals,“Meeting these workers, building a relationship of trust with them, trying to address their fear and anxiety, and, perhaps above all, hearing their stories, which were often devastating, was a really difficult experience for me. I was really glad that I could give them a voice through my publications.”As one Kalayaan interviewee described:  “I ran away. I left them sleeping… I packed my things and ran away without any documents, without any pocket money. I just had my stuff and myself that cold night.” (Bianca, migrant domestic worker)And it’s easy to see why. Among workers who registered with Kalayaan between 2012 and 2015, 81% were given no time off during their employment. In some cases workers reported not being allowed to leave the house unsupervised, having to sleep on bathroom floors, and surviving on scraps of food left over from their employers’ meals.In March 2015 after much publicity, the landmark Modern Slavery Act was passed to try to protect workers. This enabled overseas domestic workers the right to find a new employer, but only to work in the UK for a total of six months. For many having fled abusive workplaces, this was too little time to find anything else.Shortly after the Modern Slavery Act was passed, the government called for an independent review of the visa system to investigate claims of modern slavery. The review recommended that the six-month limit on visas be lifted. This recommendation has still not be implemented, and a national minimum wage is still not required by law.According to government advice that can be found online:“If the applicant is not a member of the employer’s family but they live in their home they will not qualify for National Minimum Wage for work done for their household if they are having meals and accommodation provided free as if they were a family member.”This phrasing is very much open to interpretation.The research that Virginia continues to undertake with Kalayaan has become a unique resource, and has been debated in Parliament.She says, ‘The exploitation of migrant domestic workers is a pressing social issue, giving rise to several human rights violations, which I have been exploring in my research and teaching. Kalayaan are doing really important work in the field. My continuous collaboration with them provides me with important insights both for my research and teaching.’Virginia is a model of academic activism; not only acting as a volunteer advisor on labour law and human rights, her collaborative partnership with Kalayaan has helped shape new research questions that she is addressing in her scholarship. For this reason she was one of our winners this year.She is Co-Director of the UCL Institute for Human Rights, a member of the Editorial Committee of the Modern Law Review, and was previously joint editor of Current Legal Problems. Before joining UCL, she taught at the University of Leicester and the London School of Economics. She has also been Dean’s Visiting Scholar at Georgetown University Law Centre in Washington DC.In 2016-17 she was a specialist advisor to the UK Joint Committee on Human Rights on ‘Business and Human Rights’. She teaches on human rights and labour law courses, and is the Director of Graduate Research Studies in the Faculty of Laws.
Rafael Prieto Curiel
Provost's Awards Spotlight: Chalkdust Magazine
21st Jul 2017
The Provost's Awards for Public Engagement takes place every year in the spring to recognise the fantastic work that UCL's staff and students do to open up research and teaching at UCL to the wider world by engaging with communities.There were seven winners earlier in the year – which you can read about here – but we had over fifty nominations from across UCL. With such a wealth of projects, we didn’t want to miss an opportunity to shout about this work – which is all amazing. So we decided to run this new news feature - the Provost Awards Spotlight.  This feature will run throughout the rest of the year in the run up to the next Awards, and will tell the stories of these individuals using their platform at UCL to mobilise, inspire and amplify. [[{"fid":"4955","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Rafael Prieto Curiel","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Rafael Prieto Curiel","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"321","width":"1392","class":"media-element file-large"}}]]Our first Spotlight is on Rafael Prieto Curiel, a mathematician from Mexico. Rafael worked for the Police Department in Mexico City before coming to UCL, first for a Masters in Statistics (2013-2014) and then decided to carry on with a PhD in Mathematics and Crime. Alongside his studies, Rafael has created Chalkdust – a magazine “for the mathematically curious”, and we wanted to know more.The magazine - now in its fifth issue - brings the world of mathematics to a broad audience through fun how-to guides, articles and interviews. There’s something for everyone, from the light-hearted, ‘What’s your least favourite number?’, to the delicious-sounding, ‘Croissant equation’ to ‘Linear Algebra… with diagrams’ and all sorts in-between.[[{"fid":"4943","view_mode":"xl","fields":{"format":"xl","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Hot and Not","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"Keep up with all the latest maths trends.","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"Keep up with all the latest maths trends.","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"%3Cp%3E%3Cem%3EKeep%26nbsp%3Bup%20with%20all%20the%20latest%20maths%20trends.%3C%2Fem%3E%3C%2Fp%3E","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"xl","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Hot and Not","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"Keep up with all the latest maths trends.","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"Keep up with all the latest maths trends.","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"%3Cp%3E%3Cem%3EKeep%26nbsp%3Bup%20with%20all%20the%20latest%20maths%20trends.%3C%2Fem%3E%3C%2Fp%3E","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"251","width":"1512","class":"media-element file-xl"}}]]It’s also pretty surreal. One of our favourite regular features is that of 19th century mathematician Johann Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet, who makes an unlikely return as Chalkdust agony aunt in the ever-popular Dear Dirichlet column. He’s helped readers with their feelings on free-market capitalism and awkward social interactions, and is mildly obsessed with badgers. Who knew?[[{"fid":"4915","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Dear Dirichlet","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Dear Dirichlet","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"300","width":"670","class":"media-element file-large"}}]]We asked Rafael why he started the project and why it continues to be important,“It matters because of the impact it has. We sometimes work with the authors (particularly the younger ones) to create an article with them. We’ve published A-Level students who wouldn’t easily be able to publish an article in a maths journal or magazine.”Giving students their first experience of being published is a great way to both build confidence and to engage with the next generation of maths whizzes. It’s also acted as a pull for prospective new students to UCL. One Chalkdust contributor told Rafael, he wasn’t sure whether or not to accept the place he was offered for his PhD but then saw the magazine, “I realised UCL would be a great place to study when I learnt about Chalkdust, a magazine produced by students here”. Chalkdust demonstrates a fantastic way to share ideas outside of lectures and a way to get new students excited about their subject. But it’s not just UCL bods getting in on the action….[[{"fid":"4907","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Maths graphic","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Maths graphic","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"355","width":"792","class":"media-element file-large"}}]]Chalkdust works through submissions, and receiving them is one of the most exciting parts of the process for Rafael, “People from different parts of the world have sent us articles that could be published by us and that is precisely one of our aims: to create a space for everyone to share maths”. This formula seems to be working - since its start, Chalkdust has published the work of 70 different authors, generating over 260 articles, produced by 40 undergraduate and postgraduate students, who have circulated 15,000 copies, and distributed to over 25 UK universities![[{"fid":"4959","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Chalkdust covers","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Chalkdust covers","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_caption[und][0][format]":"limited_html","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":"278","width":"1008","class":"media-element file-large"}}]]Despite this momentum, Rafael has had concerns for the project. He told us, “Chalkdust  is  an  ongoing  project,  so  there  were  two  challenging  parts: beginnings and  endings. In  order  for  our  project  to  survive,  we  strongly  depend  on  recruiting  new members  of  the  team,  since  we  are  all  students  and  we  will  all  finish  our degree at a certain point.”. This highlights a common problem in volunteer projects, how do the original members ensure the project lives on, even after their departure? Rafael remains optimistic however, and has been investing time in the next generation to equip them with the skills and encouragement to flourish. He hopes this will protect the project’s future, “For the past six months, I have passed my experience and knowledge about directing a maths magazine to the new generation of Chalkdust members. Once I finish my PhD in the next months, I will carry on doing research and hopefully, I will also be a keen reader of the new issues of Chalkdust produced by the new generations”  - We hope so too!If you would like to read Chalkdust’s articles, or contribute to the next issue, Rafael wants to hear from you – so visit the website and see how you can get involved www.chalkdustmagazine.com.
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