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Parents and Carers Together

‘The whole idea behind setting up this network is to bring parents and carers together on one platform and address the needs of a diverse community… Sometimes talking to others in a similar situation is the most powerful form of support.’

(Madiha Sajid, Co-Chair of PACT, UCL Equalities and Diversity Strategy).


UCL Parents and Carers Together (PACT) is a volunteer-led grassroot network that was established in May 2014 to raise awareness of the needs of working parents and carers. The network directly meets the strategic objective number 2 of UCL 2034 Strategy which is to ''Improve the consistency of experience and support of staff and students around pregnancy, maternity, paternity, childcare and caring responsibilities'’. Issues commonly facing parents and carers include: part-time working, flexible working, techniques and strategies for communicating with colleagues and/or managers, dealing with discrimination and stereotypes, managing expectations of other staff, challenging inappropriate comments, emerging technology and its impact, and establishing work-life balance.

Click here to view the leaflet with more information on the network.

Core aims

- to support staff members who are balancing new or ongoing caring responsibilities with work;
- seek to raise awareness of UCL policies that support parents and carers;
- open up discussion about the matters facing parents and carers working in universities;
- empower individuals throughout and beyond life at UCL;
- help the institution realise and achieve its strategic aims and aspirations. (Notably UCL 2034, the Equality, and Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy 2015-2020 and the UCL Grand Challenge of Human Wellbeing).

PACT also adheres to the following UCL founding principles: Fairness and equality; Diversity; Collegiality and community building; Inclusiveness; Openness; Ethically acceptable standards of conduct (i.e. duty of care); Fostering innovation and creativity; Developing leadership.

Structure of PACT

a) Steering group

Madiha Sajid (Professional Services, Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care) & Andy Harris (Professional Services, Office of the Vice-Provost Development)

Click here to see the group profiles for the PACT steering group members.

b) Members of the wider PACT network

PACT is for anyone with caring responsibilities for children or adults that impact in some way on their working life or wellbeing. The network is open to all staff groups and since its creation in May 2014, has accumulated over 200 members.

What does PACT do?

PACT aims to be responsive to its members’ needs. Bi-monthly events provide an opportunity for parents and carers to gain expert advice and insights from UCL colleagues and external service providers. It is also a chance to meet other members with a view of sharing stories, tips and strategies relating to work and/or home in open and informal environment. The group also maintains a virtual presence via Moodle. Within 3 years, we have delivered 26 session which have been attended by more than 600 people. Many of them are innovative and have never been run before such as:

- Bilingualism for children
- Dementia friendly session
- Leave entitlement at UCL
- Time management for working parents
- Caring for elderly parents: personal perspective from senior UCL colleagues
- Approaches to Flexible Working at UCL
- Maternity coaching series: A unique and novel support series which has never been provided previously.

Maternity Coaching comprises of workshops for those about to take maternity leave and for those returning from it. These two-hour workshops provide support to expectant and new mothers, discuss shared concerns, boost confidence and develop a good work/life balance. It is a very good opportunity to meet others who are returning to work at UCL.

Awards and nominations

PACT won the ‘Provost’s Excellence Award’ in 2016 for its service to UCL staff members and for providing coaching and practical support.
PACT was runner-up for the ‘Provost’s Excellence Award for Service to Staff’’ in 2017 and was shortlisted from 97 entries.

Join the PACT network

If you would like to join the email network, please subscribe by visiting:

Please email equalities(AT) to obtain the enrolment key to join the Moodle forum.

Join the PACT Yammer group.

Upcoming events




Last updated: 02nd October 2017