Hamied was the force behind the University’s Disabled Staff Network being set up in 2006/7, after identifying the lack of support available for disabled staff compared to students. This group now supports hundreds of staff at the university. Hamied then went onto be a founder member of the National Association of Disabled Staff Networks to support staff networks in Higher Education nationally.
Hamied provides a voice within the Higher Education and further Education sector, promoting disability equality. He has organised a range of conferences to highlight a number of issues and has influenced policy, for example being instrumental in the university appointing its first Disabled Staff Advisor.
Isla led a pioneering Gareth Malone-style choir on behalf of the Leonard Cheshire charity bringing together young and older members of the community, people with traumatic brain injuries, hearting and visual impairments, behavioural difficulties, autism, Asperger’s and learning difficulties. They worked towards a common goal, culminating in a concert which raised money for the charity.
Many of the members had never sung in a choir before but Isla prepared the music, directed rehearsals and managed the multiple needs of the choir members.
The choir was based at a residential Acquired Brain Injury Service in Stockport. For those on a rehabilitative journey not yet able to leave the centre it brought the outside work in to them on a weekly basis, helping to support their recovery.
Natalie left her engineering job to volunteer for six months in Zambia and Togo with charities Challenges Worldwide and Y Care International. In Zambia she used her engineering background to support a solar renewable energy start-up. In Togo she led a team of British and local volunteers to deliver workshops in sanitation, languages, health and entrepreneurship skills to local young people.
On her return Natalie volunteered with VSO to design and deliver a youth day event to engage young people with charity work. She is also on the advisory board for Y Care International to support and develop their work with young people. This has included advising on new marketing, changes in the charity’s core values and on upcoming campaigns. She is a representative for the charity providing a valuable link between YMCAs in the UK and in developing countries.
Once a Month is a monthly project where student volunteers put together packages containing sanitary items, and then distribute them to homeless women around the city centre. They work with charity partners ‘Mustard Tree’ and ‘MASH’.
The project aims to be part of the fight against period poverty, enabling all women to access the sanitary products they need. They aim to reduce the stigma surrounding periods, and period poverty as a whole. Project leaders Gaby and India designed the project together, selected charity partners and manage the work of their volunteer team. By working with key partners they ensure the efforts of their volunteers never go to waste and supplies reach those who are in need.