FBMH at the Making a Difference Awards 2023
Article written by Natalie Liddle, Senior Engagement Officer.
Institutionally recognised as the ‘Oscars of the University’, the annual Making a Difference awards are free to enter and open to all staff, students, alumni and external partners across the organisation.
The buzz in the Whitworth Hall was palpable, with President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell reflected on our University’s achievements across the past year, University Chancellor, Nazir Afzal, capturing the hearts of the audience with his personal anecdotes and encouraging words.
Competition was fierce this year, attracting over 130 entries that exemplify the impact work towards the social wellbeing of our communities and wider society, and offer the opportunity to share best practice about social responsibility initiatives and encourage others to get involved.
The Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health faired well, securing five winners and three highly recommended awards.
BMH winners included PhD student, Beth Barnes who scooped the award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion’ for her work with ‘The Alternative Football League’, regardless of ability, experience, gender identity, or background, the league is open to all, especially those that feel like traditionally they have not had a safe space to play.
Our School of Dentistry students were selected for the ‘Outstanding public and community engagement initiative: Outstanding local/civic engagement’ with their project, ‘Dentists in Primary Schools’, plus Dr Ali Baird and team who also won the staff award for this category with their campaign, ‘Don’t brush it under the carpet – A Greater Manchester campaign’. You can view the full list of winners and highly commended below.
Outstanding benefit to society through research
- Winners: Professor John Radford, Dr Sacha Howell, Professor Richard Cowan, Dr Joanna Williams and Ms Elsita Payne – Revolutionising the screening of women at high risk of breast cancer.
- Emerging impact winner: Adrian Parry-Jones, Lisa Brunton, Kate Woodward-Nutt and Emma McManus – Acute bundle of care for intracerebral haemorrhage.
- Highly Commended: Dr Kate Duhig and Professor Jenny Myers – Placental growth factor testing for suspected preeclampsia.
Outstanding public and community engagement initiative: Outstanding local/civic engagement
- Winner: ‘Don’t Brush It Under the Carpet’ campaign team – Don’t Brush It Under the Carpet – a Greater Manchester campaign.
- Student winner: Yasmin Egonu, Rachel Lee, Annabel Johnson and Olivia Nelson – Dentists in Primary Schools (DiPS).
- Highly commended: The ‘Still Life’ team – Still Life: pregnancy and loss in the Jewish community.
Outstanding contribution to equality, diversity and inclusion
- Student winner: Beth Barnes – Alternative Football League.
Outstanding contribution to widening participation
- Highly commended: Christine Furber, Silvia Collins, Kathy Murphy and Shirley Brown – The ‘With Women’ project.
Earlier in this week, FBMH secured winners in both the student and student group categories of the Volunteer of the Year awards, congratulations to:
Hannah Walton, School of Biological Sciences
Hannah advocates for educational equality and accessibility for young people through the organisation she founded, the One/Third Project. She is passionate about encouraging positive mental health action for underprivileged and underrepresented students, by drawing on her personal experiences of leaving school at the age of fourteen, to influence positive and beneficial change for future generations. She aims to tackle the concerning amount of young people leaving education due to mental health difficulties and/or a lack of support.
In the first 12 months of her project she has worked with over 900 students and young people and is collaborating with multiple organisations, in order to create opportunity and community for young people to grow, develop and balance their situation with wellbeing while being encouraged to pursue their goals through social action projects.
One event of particular note is the newest and biggest, the Lead the Way Youth Summit, which will launch in August 2023.
Peaches Womb Cancer Trust
Dr Eleanor Jones, Dr Helena O’Flynn, Dr Chloe Barr and Dr Helen Clarke are all PhD students involved in womb cancer research. In September 2020, they launched Peaches Womb Cancer Trust together, the UK’s first national charity dedicated to womb cancer. Peaches aims to improve the lives of those with and affected by womb cancer by: raising awareness so that all women know the symptoms; supporting patients through coffee mornings, webinars and online information; advocating for womb cancer on a national level including consulting on national guidelines and new drug appraisals; and promoting and funding research into womb cancer.
The Peaches team have set up and grown the charity as its founding Trustees. They have gradually brought in volunteers with relevant experience in HR, law and finance as the charity has expanded. The charity has grown exponentially and now has a turnover of over £40,000. In September 2022 it welcomed its first employee, a Fundraising and Operations Manager, who the Peaches Team line manage, and the team are looking to expand further with another employee later this year. Thanks to ever-increasing donations from the public, Peaches is continuing to grow. As it does, the support services offered will be increased and a national womb cancer awareness campaign is planned for later this year.