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The magazine of The UEA Difference Campaign

ISSUE 2 • 2020-21

WELCOME TO PIONEER Our world is ever-changing. Rarely more so than as we deal with a global health crisis. Yes, these are unprecedented days. But uncertainty only reinforces our hope. Hope to change things. Hope for better. Hope to prevent disease, improve access to education and back innovation. Hope that we will help build the world we want to live in.


ISSUE 2 Cover Images

(Clockwise from top left) Dr Stuart Rushworth, Norwich Medical School. Crescent Wing, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. Š Richard Bryant arcaidimages.com Monika Niroula (DEV19), recipient of the Rotary Global Scholarship. External view, the Enterprise Centre. 01

Your generosity turns hope into action. These pages are a celebration of the impact your gifts are making as part of something bigger. I hope you enjoy this issue of Pioneer, the magazine for supporters of UEA’s Difference Campaign. Thank you. Professor David Richardson Vice-Chancellor of the University of East Anglia


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19 15

03 Two sides to a scholarship 07 Meeting the challenge 10

Helping students fly


COVID-19: Our response


Art of the possible


Our fund for tomorrow


A world of opportunity


Answering the call for support

23 Fighting dementia together 27

A legacy of goodwill


A personal message of thanks

30 The last word



TWO SIDES TO A SCHOL ARSHIP George Snaith (ECO16) recently completed his studies at UEA. He spoke to Mike Hammond (SOC77), the donor who generously funded his scholarship. he Mike Hammond Scholarship is awarded every three years to support a UEA undergraduate student from a low-income background in the School of Economics. George (pictured, left), the second student to be awarded the scholarship, studied BSc Economics in 2016. After graduating with top honours, he began an MSc at UEA and now works at an economics consultancy in London. Mike Hammond also studied economics at UEA and enjoyed a successful career in insurance. He continues his passionate involvement with UEA’s work and is now watching Deren (pictured, right), his third scholarship student, progress with his studies. George Snaith I remember when I found out that I’d been awarded the scholarship. It was quite a shock but a happy experience. It made the start of University really fantastic. Mike Hammond I’m pleased to hear that because I am funding the scholarships to give young people like yourself confidence. GS That’s definitely true for me. On the financial side, it was a big help not having to worry about how I would pay my rent. I come from a low-income background so my parents are not in a place to support me. MH I was an underprivileged kid too. My dad was in the Merchant Navy and then a ticket collector on London buses. I only made it to UEA because of free tuition. I wanted to fund scholarships for people who might otherwise think twice about coming. GS I was also encouraged by your broader involvement with my studies and the mentoring that helped me form career choices. You were always so friendly and, from the first time we met, you had good things to say and advice to offer. 03



MH For me, the support is about getting young people on the first rung of the ladder for education, work or job opportunities. I find that side of things just as rewarding as the financial support itself. It’s been a two-way street, though – it was as much to do with you reaching out. GS I feel lucky because your advice on my career is something I wouldn’t have had without the scholarship. It really helped me get the most out of my time here. Whether through work experience or your knowledge about the second and third year that helped me with what I wanted to do. You’d been at UEA too, so your experiences really helped shape my University life. MH I have made it my choice to meet my scholars, your families, and have regular mentoring calls. It’s a commitment but also a fulfilling experience to see you come to UEA and succeed in your academic life, and then go on to begin your new career. GS Thinking back to our first meeting, I remember I was very nervous and so were my parents. We met after the Scholarship Reception for a drink in the Sainsbury u

George Snaith (left) and Deren Karausta (ECO19), recipients of the Mike Hammond Scholarship.


2019/20 scholarship recipients gather in UEA’s Enterprise Centre.

u Centre and the conversation just flowed. It turned out we come from similar backgrounds!

MH Well, UEA has always been diverse. Even when I was here back in 1977, there were lots of state school kids. It’s why I’m so confident in the University to provide a brilliant environment for scholarship students. In my view, it has never been more important that young people from any background have the chance to extend their education and gain new qualifications and experiences. GS Oh, I’ve loved it. Norwich has been one of my absolute favourite places to live. I was in the Ziggurats, and waking up to look out over the broad every morning was fantastic. I miss that view every day. The course was challenging but every year my grades improved. It was really rewarding. When I graduated, I got an economics award for distinguished performance. I was happy for two reasons – firstly, I’d worked really hard and, secondly, I didn’t let you down. I was quite afraid of that in the first year because I didn’t 05


know how well I’d do at university. But I knew that you had faith in me through this scholarship and I was so happy to do you proud at the end of the three years. I hope it made you happy as well. MH Definitely. It’s been rewarding for me. You know, I fell into the insurance world because I had no idea what I was going to do. Over time I built a successful career and I put that down to both the school I went to and UEA. So this was my way of giving something back. GS Thank you. Having your support has opened doors for me and allowed me to compete on a level playing field. I finally feel judged by my ability rather than my background. MH I think most of us donors are passionate about kids having the opportunity to take on further study. You are ‘at work’ for a long time. Scholarships are a very satisfying way to support the University’s goals and, at the same time, watch a young graduate begin the next stage of their life!


Scholarships annual fundraising target


SCHOL ARSHIP HIGHLIGHTS Over the past 12 months, 80 students have been awarded scholarships and bursaries worth over £600,000 thanks to our generous supporters.

04 HELP COMES AROUND UEA alumna and best-selling author Elizabeth Macneal (LDC16) (left) received the Malcolm Bradbury Memorial Scholarship in 2016. She becomes our first scholarship graduate to launch one of her own – for a student on the MA in Creative Writing (Prose Fiction).


05 BANKING ON SUCCESS In 2020, the Santander Universities Bursary is supporting 16 students from low-income backgrounds across any area of study. Funded by Santander Universities, the students will receive support with living costs during their first year.

06 A TALENTED FAMILY This year, we welcomed our first sibling scholarship recipient. In 2017, Emine Karausta (MED17) was awarded a Medical Aspirations Scholarship to study Medicine. In 2019, her brother Deren (ECO19) became the recipient of the Mike Hammond Scholarship to study Economics.

01 FUNDING FROM A FAMOUS FACE Awarded for the first time by the broadcaster and journalist Jake Humphrey and his wife Harriet (below right), the Jake Humphrey Scholarship supports an undergraduate student from a lowincome background to study in the School of Film, Media and Television Studies.

02 ASPIRATIONS BECOME REALIT Y The Medical Aspirations Scholarships programme celebrated its tenth year. Funded by UEA alumnus David Tibble (SOC70), 28 talented students have now been brought to UEA to work towards a career in medicine.


03 DRIVEN BY DIFFERENT This year, UEA alumni funded nine postgraduate and undergraduate scholarships – entirely through monthly gifts and one-off donations of all sizes. The Difference Scholarships went to students on courses including MSc Applied Ecology and Conservation and BSc Adult Nursing.


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UEA Prostate Cancer Tests fundraising target

(Clockwise from top left) A UEA prostate cancer researcher at work. The renowned Jarrold Department Store in Norwich city centre. Prof Colin Cooper, UEA Chair of Cancer Genetics. Movember’s annual fundraising campaign. Bob Champion recovered from cancer to win the Grand National with Aldaniti in 1981. The Trust was founded in 1983.



MEETING THE CHALLENGE Professor Colin Cooper shares the latest on the revolutionary UEA Prostate Cancer Tests. little over a year ago, I was discussing the UEA Tiger Test for the first issue of Pioneer in the atrium of The Bob Champion Research and Education Building. With all the progress we have made since, that now feels an awfully long time ago. In short, we’ve received a number of transformational gifts – and that generosity is already making an astounding difference. You might recall that the Tiger Test is a new biopsy test we’re developing at the University to identify the most aggressive prostate cancers (nicknamed ‘tigers’) so that men can get the most effective treatments. I’m delighted to report that the support we’ve received has catapulted the Tiger Test forward. We’ve set up a screening lab and, thanks to the generosity of the Masonic Charitable Foundation and Norfolk Freemasons, purchased an Affymetrix Microarray Scanner. The second phase of the project has begun – clinical trials to prove the Tiger Test in a research setting. We’ve taken a huge step towards our goal of a commercial test. But that’s not all. We’re also making great strides with another new test for prostate cancer called the Prostate Urine Risk (PUR) Test. It’s a non-invasive urine test to more accurately diagnose aggressive prostate cancers up to five years sooner than current methods and give more certainty to men on active surveillance. Our donors have provided a crucial NanoString nCounter machine, a piece of equipment that can analyse gene patterns in patients. The support we’ve received from Tiger Test supporters is also helping us progress the PUR Test. We can share equipment and resources

between the two projects to simultaneously conduct clinical research for both. There is still much work to do, and more we must raise, to make our tests ready for use in homes and hospitals worldwide. I sincerely hope that I will be able to inform you of similar strides forward over the coming year. In the meantime, I’d like to offer a heartfelt thank you to everyone who is supporting our research at UEA. With your help, we are one step closer to getting our new tests into doctors’ hands, so they can better diagnose men around the world and give them the life-saving treatments they need. SHARING SUCCESS Three trusts and foundations supporting our Prostate Cancer Tests discuss why they joined us to make a difference. UEA is fortunate to count on the backing of a wide range of generous donors and philanthropists, including trusts and foundations. Together, they are supporting pioneering change. Here, funders with different aims speak about finding common ground to help revolutionise diagnosis through the UEA Prostate Cancer Tests. Lucy Wilkinson The Bob Champion Cancer Trust first supported a grant for Professor Cooper in the early 1990s at the Institute of Cancer Research. We have followed him ever since and have been captivated by his enthusiasm, dedication and inspiration. It was our great pleasure to support, and lend our name to, The Bob Champion Research and Education Building, where UEA’s team are based. Mark Buzza Movember also has a longstanding and productive relationship with u www.uea.ac.uk/difference


From left: David Ellis, Dr Rachel Hurst, Dr Mark Buzza, Prof Colin Cooper and Laura-Jane Ryves in The Bob Champion Research and Education Building’s laboratories.

u UEA. Our support for the work here originated in 2011 as part of the global GAP1 biomarker project which actively fostered collaboration between over 200 clinicians and researchers from 14 countries worldwide. For us, it’s about achieving greater collective impact by helping scientists come together to integrate their research for the greater good, rather than competing for funding.

LW Our Trust was founded in 1983 by professional jockey Bob Champion, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer at the height of his career. Ultimately, we work to stop male cancer being killers and help men live longer with their disease. Our support for Professor Cooper’s research at UEA is a major part of that.

MB As part of our overarching strategic priorities, a critical goal of Movember’s is to make sure we invest in research that Caroline Jarrold The John Jarrold Trust is local to will help ensure every man diagnosed with prostate cancer Norfolk and also has a rich history of support for UEA. has access to simple, non-invasive tests that predict how Our company was one of the University’s first contributors aggressive his individual cancer is – and whether he’ll need and my father, Richard, was a member of its council. active treatment or not. Professor Cooper’s research has We recognise that the research here is world-class. enormous potential to transform the management and treatment of the disease, which is extremely exciting. LW Our interest in this research work has been an enlightening journey for us and one we are extremely CJ I’m proud to continue the legacy of my grandfather, John, keen to continue. We are excited to play our part in the who pioneered technical advances in the printing industry. development of tests to assist in the diagnosis of prostate For me, the Tiger Test continues his passion for science cancer. It’s so important to determine whether a patient and education. It’s inspiring to see the innovative research will require invasive treatment or not. happening as a result of our backing. MB Tremendous progress has been made in developing the PUR Test which has the potential to spot disease that requires treatment. The results so far have been very promising but, in order to validate the at-home test, it needs to be trialled on a larger group of men. We are delighted to be able to fund the next stage of development, in partnership with Prostate Cancer UK. CJ The Trust now concentrates its funding towards grants that support the pioneering work going on at UEA. Our trustees recently came to the campus to see the work in the lab and meet Professor Cooper. We’re very excited to watch the research campus developing between UEA and Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.



The Bob Champion Cancer Trust Lucy Wilkinson, Executive Director Movember Dr Mark Buzza, Global Director of Prostate Cancer Biomedical Research The John Jarrold Trust Caroline Jarrold, Secretary and Trustee

HELPING STUDENTS FLY How Rebecca Dewing (EUR88) donated more than £1,000 to The Difference Campaign by giving monthly. Looking back, Norwich was the perfect place for me to spread my wings. I was a very naïve 18-year-old, but UEA was a friendly and supportive place for me to develop. I really liked the idea of a campus university. When I got here, suddenly I was doing loads and exploring Norwich. It felt huge to me, as I come from a little village deep in the countryside. I love to give to charities that mean something to me personally. UEA was where I learned skills that have shaped the rest of my life – good communication, confidence with people, that kind of thing. The personal contact made such a difference. We did lots of reading and tutorials, which suited me, and I can remember everyone who taught me at the University, even 30 years on. I felt really lucky to come here. I got a full grant and didn’t have to pay a thing for my undergraduate degree. My parents were very encouraging – I remember them saying, “you really need to go. There are plenty who would love to but can’t.” That’s one of the reasons I wanted to help now.

For me, I’d much rather give a monthly amount rather than a one-off donation because it just builds up without even thinking about it. It’s an affordable way for me to give back, and I’d recommend it to anyone thinking about giving a few pounds a month.

A DIRECT DIFFERENCE Thank you to all of our supporters choosing to make a regular gift. Your donations, many of which are made through our telephone giving campaigns, add up to an enormous difference for the visionary work happening at the University, including dementia research, the UEA Prostate Cancer Tests and the Difference Undergraduate and Postgraduate Scholarships.

Three of our 2019-20 scholarship students, funded by generous supporters of The Difference Campaign.


Dr Stuart Rushworth, Senior Lecturer at Norwich Medical School, in his lab at The Bob Champion Research and Education Building.


COVID-19: OUR RESPONSE In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the UEA family have been coming together to offer vital help.


or people around the world, 2020 has been one of the most difficult years ever faced. The death toll continues to rise, health systems are overstretched and global lockdowns threaten livelihoods. Yet there has been positivity in the face of adversity. With a common goal to drive us, the UEA family has drawn even closer and aimed our resources towards research, support and solutions. David Ellis, Director of Development, said, “UEA is pulling together to face this challenge – both for our students and the local and global communities. It has undoubtedly made us all stronger, and wiser. “I’ve been humbled by the generous response of our alumni and supporters. In just the first three months of the crisis, the COVID-19 Student Hardship Fund raised £80,000 and the COVID-19 Research Fund reached an astounding £270,000 to allow UEA scientists to respond at pace.”

Prof Fraser’s test, which detects whether a patient has had the virus before and since recovered, will be crucial in the long-term recovery from the pandemic. It could help NHS, care home and other key workers return to work safely and help the general population return to their daily lives. Philanthropic support from Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Hertfordshire Freemasons and The Lugden Hill Charity provided the specialist equipment needed for the team to scale up testing from 600 tests to more than 2,000 per day. DETECTING THE INFECTION Dr Stuart Rushworth, group leader for molecular haematology research at Norwich Medical School, worked to produce coronavirus tests and is now developing a new way to detect those with an infectious virus.

Two of the first projects made possible by the COVID-19 Research Fund were led by Prof Bill Fraser and Dr Stuart Rushworth.

Previous tests determined whether or not a patient had already been infected with COVID-19, but couldn’t tell if it was live, replicating and dangerous to others. That meant long periods of quarantine for everyone, regardless of the actual risk.

A VITAL ANTIBODY TEST This extraordinary generosity is now funding the production of an antibody test by Prof Bill Fraser, Head of Norwich Medical School at UEA and a Consultant Metabolic Physician and Chemical Pathologist at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH).

Dr Rushworth’s new polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab test stands to change that. This vital work, funded by Norwich Consolidated Charities, The Geoffrey Watling Charity and other supporters of our COVID-19 Research Fund, could be a key difference that helps avoid future lockdowns should the virus resurge in the coming years. u



UEA researchers also used 3D printers like this one to produce PPE parts and support the pandemic response.

A VOICE OF REASON Prof Paul Hunter, Professor in Medicine at UEA, has been a major voice in the UK media on COVID-19 and an advisor to the World Health Organization (WHO). His research has most recently focused on the effectiveness of the use of face masks in the prevention of disease outside of a hospital environment and the impact of ‘fake news’ or misinformation on disease outbreaks. u

“I am one of hundreds of experts across the globe who provide advice and documentation for WHO to advise on infection prevention and control,” said Prof Hunter. “Misinformation means that bad advice can circulate very quickly – and our research showed it can change human behaviour to take greater risks. It’s absolutely vital that experts do media work because we have a responsibility for public health. I’ve been pleased to see many others at UEA also taking on this role through the crisis.” SUPPORTING OUR STUDENTS Alongside our commitment to support the scientific and medical response, we were also concerned about student welfare. The COVID-19 Student Hardship Fund was launched with the utmost urgency. At UEA, we acted to shut down our campus and move to online teaching, tutorials and assessment. Health and wellbeing was our priority but, nevertheless, some faced difficulties as a consequence.



The government’s unavoidable decision to temporarily close local businesses, which employed many UEA students, left many out of work and without the income they relied upon to fund their studies. Halls of residence fees were waived, but many students renting privately risked falling behind in their payments. Those travelling home from abroad faced huge airfares to return. For some, simply buying food and basic essentials soon became an enormous burden. We also saw the effects of digital poverty, as the closure of the Library meant a number of students lost their only access to a computer, leaving them no way to study online.


THE RESPONSE AT UEA A NEW HARDSHIP FUND UEA soon received a rapid rise in requests for urgent financial aid to the existing student hardship fund. In the three months following lockdown, our generous supporters gave £80,000 to support the creation of the new COVID-19 Student Hardship Fund. This generosity helped us respond to the need more quickly and provide access to financial assistance with basic living costs and vital equipment needed to complete studies. We are deeply grateful for all gifts to the COVID-19 Student Hardship Fund, which is safeguarding students and supporting them to continue their education. SUPPORTING THE LOCAL COMMUNIT Y In response to the national emergency, we also set about putting our campus resources to use. Our scientists turned dormant teaching laboratories in the donorsupported New Science Building into sanitiser gel factories. With help from the Lord-Lieutenant for Norfolk, we worked with regional brewers and distilleries to create hand sanitiser for regional NHS trusts and foundations, local authorities and local cancer patients.

Expanding our test capacity Thanks to generous supporters, Prof Fraser has been able to purchase a high volume pipettor to scale up testing capacity by a factor of three. He said, “We really are very grateful for the philanthropic support, which was raised in under three weeks. It’s fantastic!”

A project to 3D print parts for personal protective equipment (PPE) helped provide supplies at a local and national level, in partnership with healthcare providers and businesses. Now-vacant UEA halls of residence were made available to local NHS workers as temporary accommodation, and NHS essential workers were offered childcare in our closed Sportspark too. Louise Cooper, a Radiographer in the Breast Imaging Department at NNUH, said “I cannot express how valuable the Sportspark has been to me and my family. It has allowed me to come to work and contribute to fighting COVID-19 – and meant I can feel happy that my children are experiencing fun and normality during this strange time.

Childcare for key workers The closure of schools and nurseries meant local NHS workers struggled to find suitable childcare. Thanks to funding from Santander Universities worth £42,500, a day-care was opened at UEA’s closed Sportspark for children aged five to fifteen years old, supported by UEA students and staff.

“The staff are amazing and the children cannot wait to get there in the morning. I cannot thank UEA and its supporters enough. It has been the saving grace for our family.” Fifth-year UEA medical students also worked on the frontline in hospitals, others volunteered as childminders for NHS workers and our student nurses took on additional hospital placements, offering vital emergency support. STRENGTH IN NUMBERS Our actions during the hardest times define us. Thank you to everyone in the UEA family – including supporters, students and staff – for your relentless efforts that helped to protect our hospitals and save lives.

Supplying vital NHS resources In 12 weeks of production, UEA produced 3,880 litres of hand sanitiser for NHS partners. UEA Vice-Chancellor, Prof David Richardson, said, “I am immensely proud – that’s enough to wash 1.3 million pairs of hands! The University has the community at its heart and this proves it.”



ART OF THE POSSIBLE How one transformational gift founded the Sainsbury Centre on the UEA campus.

As a bachelor in my early twenties,” said Robert Sainsbury, “I bought my first work of art solely because it evoked an immediate visual response.” That first purchase was in 1929. Eight years later, Robert married Lisa and the couple set about amassing one of the greatest private art collections of the 20th century. After the Second World War, they set up a dedicated art account with which, on relatively modest budgets, they acquired remarkable pieces – relying on eye and judgment rather than spending power. Their refreshingly authentic approach would lead to personal friendships with great figures such as Henry Moore when he was a young and unknown artist, Francis Bacon, Alberto Giacometti and Lucie Rie. THE BIRTH OF AN IDEA Almost 50 years, and 570 works of art later, Robert and Lisa decided that they wanted others to enjoy their collection as much as they had. Their art was given to the University of East Anglia and the Sainsbury Centre was born. The Centre is now one of the most prominent university art galleries in Britain and an internationally-renowned home for art in Norwich. Ghislaine Wood, Acting Director at the Sainsbury Centre, reveals how, to this day, Robert and Lisa’s wishes define the way that visitors engage with the artworks on display. “The Sainsburys wanted people to be able to view the pieces just as they had been able to in their own house,” she explains, “which was a unique way of showing art in 1978. Their collection is not divided up by geographical region or ethnographic group. There is an equality of treatment across the arts – so you can see a Francis Bacon painting next to a fang head, with no distinction between how the two are displayed or interpreted. “The Sainsburys chose Norman Foster, a relatively young architect who had never designed a public building



THE S A I NS B URY S CO NC EI V ED O F A NEW K I ND O F MUS EUM – A NEW WAY OF S HOWI NG A RT. before being commissioned to design the Sainsbury Centre. The building is in itself a magnificent gift to the University and region. Their vision was for the space to become a hub for interdisciplinary learning on the campus. We’re at the end of the Lasdun Wall, and the idea was that the Centre would be a place for scientists and artists to meet. Really, it changed the way that people understood the modern museum. A DIVERSE HISTORY OF ART  “It’s such a special collection of pictures and objects. We have 5,000 years of human creativity on display, reflecting regions across the world. They gave the University some of the most significant collections of the work of Francis Bacon, Alberto Giacometti and Henry Moore – giants of the post-war art world. The collection is priceless and we are deeply grateful to the Sainsburys for their extraordinary gift. “It was always their wish to keep the collection as a whole, which is something other institutions may not have been able to facilitate. That’s part of why they chose UEA. It just goes to show the incredible energy there must have been around the University even back then – a greater sense of freedom that you can still see and feel today.” u

External view, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. Š Pete Huggins


Above: Ghislaine Wood in the Sainsbury Centre’s galleries. Below: Sir and Lady Sainsbury tour the building with Lord Norman Foster. @Foster + Partners

THE SUPPORT CONTINUES Dominic Christian, Chairman of the Board, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, said, “We couldn’t function without the support of benefactors. It started with the Sainsburys and of course continues with the great generosity of their son, Lord Sainsbury of Turville, and the support of the Gatsby Foundation. Much of our activity is funded by sponsorship and we hope to grow our community of patrons who enjoy being part of one of the most significant art collections in the world.” u

“I’d like to offer my personal thanks to all of our wonderful supporters,” Ghislaine continues. “I came to the Sainsbury Centre after 20 years as a senior curator at the V&A. To move from such a large, well-established organisation to a relatively young one was really exciting. And that excitement hasn’t gone anywhere in the years since! I can’t wait to see how the Centre will continue to grow and develop long into the future – all of which began with that one extraordinary couple.”



A GIFT FOR JAPANESE STUDY In 1999, Robert and Lisa Sainsbury once again showed their generosity when they endowed the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures to promote world-class research and be a leader in the study of Japanese arts and cultures, past and present. Over the last two decades, the Institute has built a global network of research and outreach activities, with close ties to Japanese universities and partnerships with the British Museum, The Japan Society and specialist publishers. Its latest initiative is the launch of a new MA in Interdisciplinary Japanese Studies.

OUR FUND FOR TOMORROW Thanks to UEA’s new Pioneer Fund, the difference you make could go on for many years to come…

When it comes to investment, there are broadly two schools of thought. One is based on timing the market; on risk and reward. The other is based on time in the market; on patience, and careful long-term planning. In my role to steward the resources for UEA’s groundbreaking work and keep it growing for years to come, there are no prizes for guessing my approach. Unlike older and larger universities, UEA did not benefit from a large permanent endowment in an investment bank at its formation. Consequently, we do not have the returns to invest in all the great things that now happen on campus that you will read about elsewhere in the magazine. Our first supporters helped build the University. Today, in an increasingly uncertain world, it is more important than ever that UEA is always here to continue its vital role on a local, national and global scale. UEA’s Pioneer Fund is a brand-new permanent endowment that will be carefully managed by a leading investment bank, for donors and supporters who want to see cash gifts to UEA grow over time for the University’s long-term benefit. In the new endowment, we will use annual growth to pay for really pressing needs; be it a scholarship, a new piece of lab equipment or an academic research project, while the original investment is left untouched. Together, we can build a significant sum. Both large donations and more modest unrestricted gifts made to UEA on a regular basis will be pooled and invested in


Pioneer Fund fundraising target

the fund. Of course, our wonderful legacy donors are able to direct their final gifts from their estates to the Pioneer Fund and ensure their impact on the world lasts forever. We welcomed our very first founding donors to the Pioneer Fund early in 2020, whose wish is to use the interest from a significant six-figure capital donation to fund a family scholarship at UEA in perpetuity. I’m deeply thankful for their vision and foresight – and will be inviting many more supporters to invest in the fund, at a level they can afford. In years ahead, our students and graduates worldwide will look back with pride upon these donations to endow UEA. It is the responsibility of us all to make sure the University remains a global force for teaching future generations and tackling the world’s greatest challenges. I cannot wait to see what our Pioneer Fund founders make possible. Mark V Williams (EUR81) was Senior Tax Partner at Deloitte. As UEA’s Non-Executive Treasurer, he has an honorary yet strategic role.



£2.25m Global Voices and ICCW fundraising target

Ayòbámi Adébáyò was the recipient of UEA’s International Scholarship for Creative Writing. © Tomiwa Ajayi


A WORLD OF OPPORTUNIT Y UEA’s first International Chair of Creative Writing will be African. We reflect on how the programme will be truly life-changing.

hanks to the enormous generosity of one visionary philanthropist, a respected and influential African writer will be invited to take up a newly-conceived position at UEA. Our inaugural International Chair of Creative Writing (ICCW) will be in post from the end of 2021, as the highlight of our Creative Writing programme’s 50th year celebrations. We also hope to welcome 10 talented African students to our campus, with all their course and living fees covered so that they can focus on writing and studying. THE FREEDOM TO WRITE Ayòbámi Adébáyò (LDC13) was the recipient of the International Scholarship for Creative Writing at UEA and is the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction nominated author of Stay With Me. She recalls how the course was a turning point in her literary career. “My time at UEA was the most productive year of my writing life up until then. For the first time, I didn’t have any other commitments apart from my writing and I could commit all my mental energy to it without interruptions or distractions. “It’s not just that you have all this time to focus on your work, you also become part of the truly international and stellar UEA Creative Writing cohort. Classmates challenge you and give you interesting and unique perspectives about your work. These are writers whose opinions, judgement and sensibilities I came to trust.

“The International Chair and Global Voices scholarship programme is such an exciting and ambitious project. It could foster diverse voices that would go on to make a difference both here at UEA and globally. “I think the programme will be mutually beneficial because the Chair and scholarship students will both enrich, and will be enriched by, the experience.” A GENEROUS PHIL ANTHROPIST “We were all energised by the prospect of the ICCW programme,” continues Dr Jean McNeil, International Co-ordinator for the u



u School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing. “It’s a pioneering initiative and not one that I believe any other university has ever done before – certainly not in the way we intend to. It will be unique in the context of global literature.

“But we knew that, without support from our philanthropic community, there was little hope of it becoming reality. So I was delighted when we learned of an individual whose curiosity was piqued. “Their interests were aligned with ours, and they decided to fund the first year in its entirety. It’s a resounding endorsement of what we’re aiming to do, powered by the reputation of the Creative Writing programme. It’s more like a partnership of philanthropy – the enthusiasm coming from both sides means we are working together. We’re listening to and guiding each other, and they continue to be interested and involved.” FINDING OUR FIRST CHAIR With funding in place for year one, the team’s attention now turns to finding the most suitable candidate, who will be in post by the beginning of the 2021-22 academic year and based both in their region and at UEA.

A selection of awardwinning novels from our illustrious UEA alumni.


“The Chair is going to bring new perspectives and open up opportunities for UEA across their region and around the world,” says Ayòbámi. “In my year, Margaret Atwood taught us for a semester as the UNESCO City of Literature visiting professor and we had a masterclass with UEA Creative Writing alumnus Sir Kazuo Ishiguro OBE. Both experiences were incredibly inspiring. “This project continues UEA’s long tradition of intense immersion and access to some of the best writers in the world. I think it will be quite impactful.” THE NEXT FIVE YEARS Our African Chair is just the first. It launches in time to coincide with our season of 50th anniversary celebrations for the prestigious UEA Creative Writing programme in 2020-21 – marking half a century of nurturing talented new writers. Over the next five years, the programme will encompass five regions of the world, each with an International Chair of Creative Writing and 10 Global Voices scholars to enrich the international spirit of UEA. Look out for more updates in the next 12 months.

Our 2019-20 student callers enjoyed catching up with alumni.

ANSWERING THE CALL FOR SUPPORT We are delighted to announce that the 2019-20 telephone giving campaigns, during which student callers spoke to alumni, have raised a wonderful £115,000 to support The UEA Difference Campaign. The call campaign is always a chance for our alumni community to connect with current students, share stories and advice, and reminisce about the campus and University life. It’s an opportunity to look back on a formative time in life and consider making a generous gift to fund UEA’s

pioneering work that is creating global change where it is most needed. This year, alumni pledged their support for projects including our brand-new research into dementia diagnosis, prevention, treatment and care. They are also bringing talented scholars to the University to complete their studies through the Difference Scholarships and developing Professor Colin Cooper’s exciting tests for prostate cancer. Some, meanwhile, made gifts to be spent where they are needed most

– which helps us respond to urgent opportunities and continue to make sure UEA is here for generations to come. “The generosity of our alumni never fails to surprise us,” said David Ellis, Director of Development at UEA. “And we also hear that they love catching up with current students about the University, the campus and their studies.” Thank you to this year’s telephone giving campaign supporters and those considering a future gift.




Dementia research fundraising target

Prof Michael Hornberger has been leading UEA’s dementia research since 2015.


FIGHTING DEMENTIA TOGETHER Through collaboration, UEA researchers are transforming dementia diagnosis, prevention, treatment and care. he brain is marvellous. We carry a supercomputer on our shoulders capable of powering the physical operation of our body, performing complex thought and processing emotions and feelings that are yet to be fully understood. Yet as we grow older, dementia can interfere with our brains. Globally, the World Health Organization estimates that up to 8% of over-60s will have the disease, and experience a decline in memory, language, problemsolving, judgment and other thinking skills. It is the biggest healthcare challenge of our time. That’s why UEA is launching a major new fundraising initiative to raise an ambitious £1 million. We’re inviting our generous supporters to back groundbreaking dementia research and our team of expert scientists working under one roof to tackle this debilitating disease. The project represents yet another exciting new direction for The Difference Campaign.

“I always loved working with older people,” explains Michael Hornberger, Professor of Applied Dementia Research and founder of the dementia research laboratory at UEA. “When I started, my colleagues didn’t understand. But I was fascinated by how our life develops and how our brain changes with age. Now, of course, things have caught up and dementia is a pressing topic. L AUNCHING OUR RESEARCH “I’m originally from Germany. I came over to University College London to do a PhD on memory, and from there I took up a research position at Cambridge University before helping to set up a dementia centre in Sydney, Australia. Then I was recruited here, to UEA. “UEA seemed like a vibrant place to build our own space. I loved the motto of ‘Do Different’ as it’s how I already work. And being based in Norfolk gives us the chance to support the local population, which has the third-highest average age in the UK. u www.uea.ac.uk/difference



TRENDS IN DEMENTIA “In the old days, everything was focused on diagnosis. Now it’s shifted and we work on two research streams – one where we support people following a diagnosis, investigating what happens to them over time, and one for people at risk of dementia to try and delay or prevent its onset, called pre-clinical research. “We now have evidence that you can reduce the risk of developing dementia by 30% if you know that people are at risk early enough. Our research could give doctors a much longer therapeutic window to prevent, delay or lessen the disease’s impact. MAKING PL AY WORK “Often the symptoms of dementia are very subtle, which means you need a lot of data to notice small differences. We’ve come up with a novel approach to help collect a larger amount of research data. “We want to launch a game for smartphones that people can play to help measure their memory. We will detect the very earliest symptoms of dementia that people might have and create a benchmark dataset. “I’m a big fan of gamification in science – the application of game-playing elements to research. Scientific tests can be boring to do but, by turning them into a game, we find that participants are a lot more engaged. It’s a technique we previously used with great success when we developed ‘Sea Hero Quest’ – an app that allowed us to collect data from 4.5 million people worldwide. “This amount of data equates to hundreds of years’ worth of lab research. This highlights the power apps have in research when used in the correct way and suggests research doesn’t always have to involve long hours of laboratory work. Our network has fundamentally changed experimental research – something I invite funders to our current work to be part of. “My aim right now is to create a pre-clinical research test that can be used by medical professionals to open up new opportunities or point us towards other solutions.” ASSEMBLING A RESEARCH TEAM “When I arrived at UEA, I met Prof Anne Marie Minihane and learned more about her pioneering pre-clinical dementia studies. Prof Minihane’s current work looks at the effects of a healthy diet and exercise. Risk factors for the disease are complex, but there are promising signs that a healthier heart may reduce the chances of dementia developing.



The team in the state-of-the-art laboratories in The Bob Champion Research and Education Building.

“Hopefully, we’ll discover which dietary components and patterns promote brain vitality as we age and reduce dementia risk. “We have also begun recruiting some of the UK’s best experts in the field of dementia to the University to join in the project and look at the disease from different angles.


“Firstly, Dr Michael Grey is looking at sportrelated head injuries in our SCORES project. It’s well-established that traumatic brain injury can lead to dementia, but his research focuses on repeated ‘micro-traumas’ caused by heading footballs. “Our research will study former professional and amateur players, as well as those who never played a contact sport, to better understand the link to neurodegeneration. We hope early detection will lead to a better quality of life for those with dementia. “Second, we are building a Brain Imaging Centre to help us study and understand the brain and early signs of dementia. The centre, which is funded by Wellcome Trust and the Wolfson Foundation, uses state-of-the-art equipment like an MRI scanner. “If we can find out how to detect changes in the brain that begin years before dementia symptoms present themselves, we could build early diagnostic tools, delay the onset of dementia and help people enjoy happy, healthy lives with their loved ones. “Lastly, Dr Alpar Lazar’s research is focusing on risk factors in sleep. We know that sleep is very important for dementia development and that sleep deficits are early markers in certain brain disorders.

(Pictured left to right above) Prof Anne Marie Minihane Specialism: Nutrigenetics, nutrition and preventive medicine Dr Michael Grey Specialism: Brain injury and sportrelated neurodegeneration Dr Alpar Lazar Specialism: Human sleep and circadian rhythmicity in brain health Prof Michael Hornberger Specialism: Early diagnosis, progression tracking and symptom management

“We want to open an advanced sleep brain clinic where we can study what happens to people’s brains during the night and when they are sleep-deprived. Our ultimate goal is to discover whether improving sleep could slow dementia’s onset. AN EXCITING OPPORTUNIT Y UEA’s dementia research will be a major focus of our fundraising over the coming year, with an ambitious target of £1 million. “We are determined to make a real impact at speed – making dementia research an extremely exciting prospect. We invite generous philanthropists to nurture this project’s development from the beginning. “Dementia will touch us all. That’s why the responsibility for better diagnosis and treatment is everyone’s to share.”



Arthur’s gift will fund entrepreneurs like George Bailey (ECO18), whose company Coral Eyewear produces glasses frames from discarded ocean plastics.


A LEGACY OF GOODWILL With a gift in his will, local builder Arthur Hamlin is transforming the prospects of UEA students.


tarting your own company is a fantastic way to learn new skills, gain new experiences and, for many, enjoy success you might never have thought yourself capable of. Now, thanks to one man, more budding entrepreneurs at the University are getting the support they need to take their first steps into the world of business, through the UEA Enterprise Fund. His name was William Arthur Hamlin, known to everyone as Arthur. “My brother wanted to introduce something new and innovative,” explains Arthur’s sister, Alison. “He always tried to help others who, like himself, had ambitions in life but didn’t necessarily have the resources to put those ideas into action. “He was concerned that young people with great ideas might not have the funds to build a prototype of their product or improve existing inventions. His aim was always to ‘be useful’.” From humble beginnings, Arthur’s natural tenacity helped him overcome challenges. Just like the UEA motto, he was proud to do different, Alison explains. “My brother was a thoughtful man, but he found school challenging. He was practical and resourceful, and believed in ‘using your hands’. As a teenager he sold the vegetables he grew to the local community.”

A builder by trade, Arthur converted five properties in Norwich that he rented to students. Over time, he got to know his tenants’ plans and the challenges they faced. With an extraordinary gift in his will of £943,000 to the Enterprise Fund, his legacy lives on. Arthur’s gift means that more student and graduate entrepreneurs will receive grants and equity investments through the fund to grow their business and make it commercially sustainable. Any returns are reinvested into the Enterprise Fund, and entrepreneurs are also offered expert mentorship, coaching and access to business resources. Since the Enterprise Fund was launched, over 20 new businesses and startups have received financial support worth more than £495,000. “Arthur loved the idea of retired professionals overseeing and supporting a new generation to inspire good,” Alison continues. “He was hard-working, kind and gently-spoken. I should think he’d be very excited to see the amazing things happening today thanks to his money. I know he’d be driving for their success.” We are deeply grateful to all those who have left a legacy or pledged a gift in their will to UEA. These generous bequests are helping The Difference Campaign plan for the future and support the University’s pioneering work.



A PERSONAL MESSAGE OF THANKS Helena Lopez Paredes (HSC13) was awarded £7,500 from the UEA Enterprise Fund to launch her business venture.

£3m Enterprise Fund fundraising target

Helena Lopez Paredes outside UEA’s Enterprise Centre.

Helena shares her thanks to everybody who has donated to The UEA Difference Campaign, and explains what the support meant to her… From the first day of my midwifery degree, I knew I wanted to start my own company. I felt so privileged to be a UEA student, fell completely in love with how they teach here and was inspired to share what I was learning to help women around the world. My business idea was to provide the best information and evidence-based techniques to midwives in hospitals, midwifery organisations and universities in Spain and Spanish-speaking countries through workshops, talks and events. 29


I didn’t have any idea about how to start a business. But here, students can get professional-level advice and support, connect with a huge network of top business minds and network to help propel their company forward. Plus, of course, grants and investment of up to £50,000. From accountancy to mentoring, the support I received through the Enterprise Fund has been amazing – it’s changed my life! The backing is helping us create an app for midwives with courses, education and access to current best practice. I know that other students have launched innovative new products. But none of their brilliant ventures would have been possible were it not for philanthropy.

I’m so grateful to everyone who is donating to UEA. Without you, things would be so much more difficult. You’re helping turn students’ dreams into reality and much, much more. Thank you so much.



by 2021 The Difference Campaign fundraising target

THE L AST WORD Maxine Saunders, member of The Difference Campaign’s Advisory Board, on why you should be very proud. Having first studied for an arts degree at UEA, my career in business is a great source of pride. It just goes to show how skills from one environment can help you succeed in others. That’s how I took the motto ‘Do Different’ to heart! Right from the beginning, our University has been a community where doing the same was never an option. Our number includes free-thinking scientists and game-changing entrepreneurs. Our graduates return from successful careers with illuminating insight. And our Difference Campaign supporters, of whom there have been thousands from all around the world, are helping to solve a wide range of the world’s great challenges. I hope you enjoyed reading about everything your support has made possible over these pages – and the stories of some

of those remarkable individuals we are proud to have at UEA who are benefitting from your generosity. It’s on your behalf that I work alongside my fellow board members and the University to drive the future direction of this visionary fundraising campaign as we seek to raise a historic £100 million. You are part of something unusually special here. I hope that this magazine helps remind you of that, and of the amazing difference you are making in the world. Thank you. Maxine Saunders (EAS83) Senior Partner in Financial Advisory and Vice Chair, Deloitte, UEA Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law and Member of The Difference Campaign Advisory Board.


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MAKING A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE AT UEA The Difference Campaign is UEA’s fundraising campaign to create pioneering change in the world. We are using the power of philanthropy to fund and further the University’s groundbreaking work – adding global reach and significance. Together with our donors, we are tackling the world’s greatest challenges and transforming lives. The money you give is put to work in four distinct areas; Creativity, Environment, Health and Opportunity. Thank you for helping to make a difference.

HOW TO GIVE If you would like to support The Difference Campaign, please donate online at www.uea.ac.uk/difference Or, to discuss your gift, please get in touch with the Development Office. Telephone: +44 (0)1603 592 945 Email: giving@uea.ac.uk Development Office University of East Anglia Norwich Research Park Norwich NR4 7TJ

This publication is printed on FSC certified paper. The contents of this magazine are protected by copyright belonging to the University of East Anglia and may not be reproduced without permission. UEA is an exempt charity: HMRC reference number XN423

Profile for University of East Anglia

Pioneer 2020 - 21 Issue 2  

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