Page 1


December 2012

In this issue:

Downing Street Debate Discussing Dementia Care at No. 10 p.6

Knowing the Limits Which Generation Knows Their Units? p.9

Packed With Inspiration Phil Packer MBE Gives Motivational Talk p.11

Graduation Over 2,500 Students Graduate p.4-5


MENTOR AWARDS 2012 Health and social care professionals who mentor students from the University of Worcester were celebrated at a special awards ceremony. The University’s annual Mentor Awards recognise outstanding contributions to the student practice learning experience by professionals in the workplace. Dr Jan Quallington, new Head of the Institute of Health and Society, said: “Health, social care and community sector environments are undergoing unprecedented change and reconfiguration. However, in spite of this, the professionals who mentor our students in practice environments continue to provide outstanding support, role modelling and practice education for the health, social care and community practitioners of the future.

“We are very grateful for their dedication and time. The mentor awards are an important celebration in our annual calendar and provide an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the valuable contribution that mentors make in our programmes.” The University has held the Mentor Awards for the past four years in collaboration with its NHS practice partners. More than 100 guests attended the prestigious ceremony including mentors, NHS trust managers and representatives from the University. The event further reflects the University’s reputation for excellence in nursing training, which was ranked top in the country in the recent National Student Survey 2012. Helen Blanchard, Chief Nursing Officer at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “I would like to thank all our mentors and especially the nominees for their commitment to providing a positive learning environment for students. The significant role they play in preparing the professional of the future is vital for high quality patient care to be achieved.”

(L-R): Tenbury Surgery, West Midlands Ambulance Service and Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust

The Winners Outstanding Mentor Award - Worcester Royal Hospital Amanda Hill Outstanding Mentor Award - Alexandra Hospital & Kidderminster Hospital Kathy Crosbie Outstanding Mentor Award Midwifery – Worcester Deborah Hughes Outstanding Mentor Award Worcestershire Health & Care NHS Trust: Community & Specialist Services Alison Cutler Outstanding Mentor Award Worcestershire Health & Care NHS Trust: Inpatient Services Danny Whyte Outstanding Mentor Award - Wye Valley NHS Trust: Acute Marian Hill

Outstanding Mentor Award - Wye Valley NHS Trust: Community Katherine Bouifraden Outstanding Mentor Award Midwifery – Hereford Pauline Crockett Outstanding Mentor Award 2gether NHS Foundation Trust Julie Powles Outstanding Mentor Award - Independent Sector Mary Morris Outstanding Mentor Award Birmingham, Black Country & Warwickshire Ambulance Locality Vanessa Hodgkins Outstanding Mentor Award Worcestershire Ambulance Locality Lorraine McHugh Outstanding Mentor Award - Herefordshire & Shropshire Ambulance Locality Russell Keogh

2 / December 2012 /

Outstanding Mentor Award - Social Work Gill Allard Outstanding Mentor Award - Youth and Community Ellen Sanders Outstanding Practice Learning Environment, Social Work Primrose Hospice Outstanding Practice Learning Environment, Youth and Community Perdiswell Young People’s Leisure Club Outstanding Practice Learning Environment, Worcestershire Accident & Emergency Department, Worcester Royal Hospital Outstanding Practice Learning Environment, Herefordshire St Michael’s Hospice Outstanding Ambulance Station Cradley Heath Ambulance Station

COVER STORY wELCOME Clockwise from top left: Discussing Dementia pg. 6 Graduation pg. 4 Robertas Javtokas pg. 7 Homework Club at The Hive pg. 10 and More Spiritualism in Education pg. 13

contents FEATURE Mentor Awards 2012

December 2012


elcome to the December issue of News & Views, featuring a round-up of news, updates and milestones from the past month at the University of Worcester. In this month’s issue we celebrate the achievements of our students, our staff and our graduates. Our 2012 award ceremonies proved once again to be an unforgettable occasion as over 2,500 students graduated from the University of Worcester.

The Institute of Health & Society topped off a successful year hosting their annual Mentor Awards Ceremony. The event, which celebrates health and social care professionals who mentor our students, further reflects the University’s reputation in nursing training which was ranked top in the country in the recent National Student Survey. We wish all readers a very happy Christmas and look forward to receiving your news and stories in the new year. Send your news to us at

CAROL SERVICE 2012 You are warmly invited to the University’s annual Carol Service, on the evening of Wednesday 12 December, 7.15pm for 7.30pm. This year, for the first time, the service will be held in St Johnin-Bedwardine Church, WR2 5BS. The Service is arranged by the University Chaplain Revd Dr Fiona Haworth. This year Fiona has chosen to focus the Carol Service by examining the familiar and much loved Christmas story from Joseph’s point of view with readings from the bible and poems. The Carol Service will, of course, contain well loved carols.  

A collection will be held in support of Acorn’s Children’s Hospice which is this year’s University Charity of the Year. Family and friends are also very welcome to accompany you to the Carol Service. Please RSVP by Friday 7 December by emailing or call Catherine North on 01905 54 2237


COVER STORY Graduation 2012


news Carol Service 3 Debating Dementia at Downing Street 6 Inspiring Coach Wins Award 6 From the Basketball Court to Worcester Cathedral 7 Fine Art Student’s Work Presented in Prestigious Exhibition 7 Cake Sale 7 Students’ Research to Help Worcestershire Wildlife Trust 8 Elgar On Display 8 Knowing the Limit  9 Lest We Forget 10 Homework Club launched at The Hive 10 Help With Academic Writing Writer In Residence 11 Successful EU Project Funding Bid 11 Phil Packer MBE Inspires Worcester Students and Staff 11 A Very English Christmas 12 Leading Basketball Figure Awarded Honorary Professorship  12 Academic Calls for More Spirituality and Mindfulness in Education13 Police and Crime Commissioners Workshop13 Staff Christmas Quiz 13 Going Global 14 White Ribbon Campaign 14 Madhatter’s Tea Party 14 / December 2012 / 3

4 / December 2012 /


Class of 2012 More than 2,500 students in graduation splendour


Year-on-year the University of Worcester celebrates the success of an increasing number of students. This year, the bar was set higher again with eight ceremonies being held over four days to allow for 2,536 successful graduands to receive their degrees, two thirds more than just five years ago.

Angela Brinton: Deputy Lieutenant of Worcestershire and wife of the late Lord Lieutenant of Worcester Michael Brinton.

Professor David Green said: “This has been an excellent year for our students and we are delighted that so many have graduated. “Our graduate employment is still one of the highest overall for any English university. This is testament to the quality of our degrees and the level of practical teaching and work experience that we provide for our students.” The University of Worcester awarded four University Fellowships and five Honorary Doctorates in this year’s ceremonies to people selected by the University Honorary Awards Committee for outstanding achievements and distinction in their field. Professor Green continued: “The University is developing its strengths in arts, culture and heritage and health and wellbeing. This year’s University Fellows and Honorary Doctorates have been chosen as inspiring examples of people in these fields.”

Chris Jaeger: Chief Executive of Worcester Live!. Dr Kathryn Martyn: Chancellor Emeritus of University of Minnesota Duluth. Pam Taylor: Former Principal of Newman College, Chair of the Plater Trust and Education Committee for Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark as well as a governor of St Joseph’s school in Malvern. RECIPIENTS OF HONORARY DOCTORATES 2012 Karen Armstrong: Author of 12 books on comparative religion and a well respected commentator. Les Bailey: At the age of 62 he competed in his first Duathlon World Championship and qualified for the European and World Championships every year. At the age of 75 he is still competing. Sir Philip Craven: President of the International Paralympic Committee and former paralympian. Nicholas Lloyd: Chief Executive of Malvern Theatres. Sir Michael Perry, GBE, Kt: Former Chairman of Unilever, Chairman of the Leverhulme Trust and a trustee of the Daiwa Foundation. / December 2012 / 5


Debating Dementia at Downing Street

poses an enormous challenge and covers a complex range of different syndromes. Our health and social care services aim to support people through targeted The Prime Minister instructed the Head screening, timely diagnosis and post of Dementia Studies at the University of diagnostic support and adjustment. Worcester, Professor Dawn Brooker, to “People living with dementia need to “hold his feet to the fire” receive support at each stage of their complex journey, which will include if his Government did changing lifestyle needs and adjusting to not deliver on dementia help at home. This needs to be done with care. the respect and sensitivity to the person’s lifestyle and family circumstances.” Professor Dawn Brooker spoke with The Prime Minister’s Challenge on the Prime Minister at the Downing Dementia aims to develop changes Street reception for the Dementia in three areas: creating dementia Challenge. The event was held to friendly communities that understand coincide with the publishing of the how to help, driving improvements in report ‘Delivering major improvements much easier journey for all concerned. health and care and better research. in dementia care and research “What makes the PM Challenge so by 2015: A report of progress’. Professor Brooker added: “As I walked important is that it says very clearly Prime Minister David Cameron launched down that famous staircase at number 10, the Prime Minister is not ashamed looking at the pictures of the past prime his PM Challenge on Dementia in or fearful of standing up and talking ministers I know that at least two in my March this year to tackle one of the about dementia. If he can do this then life time have experienced dementia. I most important health issues the it makes it safe for every politician suspect there were many others too. nation faces as an aging population. and leader to do the same.” Dementia affects everyone in society. It’s Professor Dawn Brooker, Director of the a dreadful disease but we need to face University of Worcester’s Association up to the fact that it happens to a lot of for Dementia Studies, said: “Dementia people and a lot can be done to make it a Head of Dementia Studies reassured by Prime Minister’s challenge to improve dementia care

Inspiring Coach Wins Award Senior Lecturer in Sports Coaching Science, David Mycock, won the Olympic Inspired award at the recent Herefordshire & Worcestershire Sports Partnership Awards. David, who coached the Great Britain blind football team at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, said he was shocked to pick up the award, recognising those who had made strides in inspiring the next generation of Olympians and Paralympians.

“I’m really delighted and shocked to have won this award,”

David (left) receiving his award

he said. “There are lots of people in the two counties doing some excellent work to encourage people to get involved in sport. It means a lot that people think what I do is inspiring and making a difference,” David said. David is Head Coach of Worcester Blind Football Club and also gives his free time to coach youngsters at New College Worcester twice a week. He has been responsible for scouting and coaching eight members of the England and Great Britain blind football squad in recent years.

6 / December 2012 /


From the Basketball Court to Worcester Cathedral World Championship Captain of Lithuanian National Basketball Team Graduates from University of Worcester One of the world’s top basketball players, Robertas Javtokas, has graduated with an MSc in European Basketball Coaching Science. The innovative course is delivered by Worcester in partnership with the Lithuanian Sports University and is endorsed by FIBA Europe. Top: Robertas on the court Robertas is a 6ft 11in Bottom: graduating with colleagues from Lithuanian professional the Institute of Sport & Exercise Science basketball player for Žalgiris Kaunas, in the Lithuanian Basketball League. He has also played for top clubs in Europe such as Dynamo Moscow (Russia) and Panathinaikos (Greece). He has been a member of the Lithuanian national team since 2004 and has played in the full range of elite events including the European Championships and the Olympics, and captained his country to a bronze medal in the World Championships in 2010. In June this year, Robertas was named as one of the best Eurocup players of all time. “I am proud to be graduating with an MSc in Basketball Coaching Science,” Robertas said. “To combine study and play has been a very challenging yet worthwhile experience and something I will also benefit from in the longer term.

Fine Art Student’s Work Presented in Prestigious Exhibition A painting by a University of Worcester Fine Art graduate has been accepted into the Royal West of England Academy Autumn Exhibition. Holly Kuehn’s work Hut is one of the 541 works selected for the 160th Autumn Exhibition, which is Holly Kuehn organised annually by the Royal West of England Academy. Holly’s work will be presented at the exhibition from now until the 30 December at the Royal West of England Academy in Bristol. The 24-year-old graduate from Malvern said: “To achieve a degree and have one of my paintings accepted for the exhibition feels glorious. My new paintings are progressing well, and I am looking forward to discovering where they take me in the future. I am thrilled that my painting is part of this diverse exhibition.” Holly began painting three years before she decided to take up her qualification in Fine Art. She exhibited her work twice during her studies at the Flood Alert: Be Prepared exhibition at The Hive and at is_Space, the opening exhibition of a artist-led studio space. Dr James Fisher, Fine Art Course Leader, said: “Holly is an exceptionally talented painter, so we are delighted but not surprised to hear of this accomplishment in having her work recognised in this competitive exhibition. Holly is one of a number of young artists who have graduated from the Fine Art course at Worcester and who are now experiencing fantastic success in the area of painting, both nationally and internationally.”

I would like to thank all of the staff for their support.” Mick Donovan, Head of the Institute of Sport & Exercise Science, said:

“We have attracted student athletes and coaches from all over the world onto this course. We are delighted to be celebrating this academic success with Robertas, who is one of Lithuania’s finest ambassadors on the court.”

MAKING A TASTY TOTAL A big thank you to everyone who supported the Children in Need Cake Sale on 23 November. The total raised for Children in Need was £508.65. Well done! / December 2012 / 7


Students’ Research to Help Worcestershire Wildlife Trust Geography, Ecology and Environmental Science students are helping Worcestershire Wildlife Trust and the Environment Agency to gain valuable information about one of the county’s failing waterways. The Bow Brook, which rises in Redditch and meets the river Avon near Defford, is currently rated as ‘poor’ for its ecological status. The EU Water Framework Directive requires all main rivers, including this one, to achieve ‘good’ status by 2015 or financial penalties will be imposed.

were approached by WWT with the aim of providing WWT and the Environment Agency with vital knowledge that could be used to improve the quality and ecology of the rivers.

know that your research will actually count towards a live project.”

Edward added: “We all benefit; WWT and the “This is a fantastic opportunity Environment for our students to work on Agency get the a live research project and research they to know that their work is actually going to make a need and we get As a result, Worcestershire Geography student Sarah Massey to work on a real difference.” Wildlife Trust (WWT), in research project partnership with the Third-year Geography student and complete an interesting Environment Agency, is Sarah Massey and third-year opportunity to contribute to and relevant independent working on a number of Conservation Ecology student a project that is making a real study.” remediation projects and Edward Noyes are two of the difference to water quality approached the University for students participating in the Peter Case, Water and and enhancing biodiversity help with research to identify Wetlands Officer at WWT, project. in Worcestershire. The what is causing the problems. said: “It is vital that we partnership strengthens our “It’s an excellent way to gain continue to monitor the Dr Ian Maddock, Principal already excellent relationship work experience while also Bow Brook, both to direct Lecturer in Geography said: with the University of completing my independent future project work and to “We have particular expertise Worcester and we look study,” said Sarah, from assess improvements already in teaching and research in forward to continuing to Bridgnorth, Shropshire. “It’s made. The partnership river science here at Worcester. support students during great to make contacts and to provides students with a great 2013/14.” As a result five of our students

Elgar On Display in Edward Elgar Building Renowned Sculptor Donates Elgar Bust to University A former art lecturer and renowned sculptor has donated a bust of Edward Elgar to the University of Worcester. Victor Heyfron, who taught in the University’s art department from 1972 to 1990, visited the institution recently and said he noticed that although the main building was named after Elgar, l-r: David Morphy, David Green and Victor Heyfron there was no visual representation of the famous musician. So he set about creating a bronze bust, which was unveiled during a special reception at the University. “I have created a number of Elgar busts over the years,” said the artist. “I’ve had them unveiled in the Royal College of Music and at the Royal Worcestershire Hospital in Worcester. “I think this is my best yet though and I’m delighted to have been able to donate it to such a wonderful educational institution.” Mr Heyfron has been commissioned in the past by such big stars as Sir Cliff Richard, Hank Marvin and Eric Morecambe. David Morphy, President of the University’s Alumni Association, said: “The Alumni Association was delighted to accept Vic’s generous gift of one of his lifelike sculptured heads of Edward Elgar. It now provides a personal welcome to all who enter the Elgar building at the University and is a fitting tribute to Vic’s contribution as a lecturer, tutor and Warden of Bredon Halls.”

8 / December 2012 /


KNOWING THE LIMIT WHICH GENERATION IS THE MOST RESPONSIBLE? Middle-aged are more ignorant than the young about alcohol levels in lager and wine, study finds •

People aged 40 – 60 are most likely to underestimate number of units in a glass of wine and a pint of lager

Few people aware of recommended maximum alcohol units per week

Less than a third of adults know how much alcohol they should limit themselves to per week to stay healthy, a new study has found. The survey, published to coincide with November’s Alcohol Awareness Week, also suggests that middle-aged people have as much to learn as the younger generation about the alcohol content of certain drinks and the effects of over-indulging in them. Just under 29 per cent of people responding to a poll by researchers at the University of Worcester knew the maximum number of alcoholic units it is recommended they should consume per week. The survey found that while nearly three quarters thought they drank less than the maximum recommendation per week, a high proportion did not know how to calculate units. Lager and wine accounted for much of the knowledge gap, with 70 per cent of people underestimating how many units are in lager and over a third misjudging the alcohol content in wine. Middle aged and older respondents, aged 40 to 60, were most likely to underestimate the number of units in these two drinks, with a quarter getting it wrong compared with 15 per cent of 18 to 25-year-olds. People aged 26-39 were almost as unaware as the older age group, with 24 per cent underestimating units in lager and wine.

Professor Dominic Upton, Associate Head of the Institute of Health and Society at the University of Worcester, said: “These findings have important implications since it is clear that most people have little idea about the recommended maximums for alcohol intake. “Recommendations have changed over the years from weekly limits to daily limits, and the current message states that women should have no more than 2 to 3 units per day and men no more than 3 to 4. Additionally, the advice is to have two to three alcohol free days per week. Our survey findings suggest that many people are confused by this.”

Many middle aged and older people may have developed a potentially dangerous habit of drinking at home while watching television, unaware that drinks they think are relatively harmless are pushing them over safe limits, Professor Upton warned. “It can become a regular habit for the older age groups to regularly consume alcohol whilst watching TV, and measures of alcohol in our own homes tend to be much more generous.”

Professor Upton added: “The high proportions of people who underestimate how many units are contained in lager and wine are a particular concern since these are very popular drinks. Some respondents showed significant miscalculations, with one guessing that five bottles of wine contained just five units, when this amount could actually contain as much as 45 units. Therefore, it may well be that people are consuming even more units than our findings suggest.” Professor Upton said: “It is clear that knowledge of unitary content does not tell us everything. Those aged 40 to 60 appeared to know just as much, if not more on occasions, about the unitary content of alcohol as other age groups, although the impact of alcohol on this age group is significant – with higher rates of admission for people of this age due to alcohol related problems than other age groups. It is therefore apparent that we need to explore attitudes towards drinking in middle aged adults and turn our focus away from labelling young people as the worst offenders for alcohol abuse.” / December 2012 / 9


Lest We Forget: Public Grief Becoming More Acceptable

Homework Club launched at The Hive

Says Leading Academic Britons are losing their inhibitions when it comes to public grief, according to a leading academic, ahead of the annual Remembrance Day celebrations. Professor Maggie Andrews, Associate Head of the Institute of Humanities & Creative Arts, has conducted research into the nature of commemoration and remembrance. She found that mass media and social networking had made public outpourings of grief and mourning more acceptable and widespread in Britain. The nation’s new-found obsession has been reflected in the creation of tribute pages on social media websites such as Facebook and, increasingly, through road-side shrines to the victims of road traffic accidents – a phenomenon that was virtually unheard of 30 years ago. Professor Andrews said the response to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, was a key moment in the development of the contemporary cultures of remembrance. Media saturation of the event in August 1997 drew in the wider public, leading to almost mass hysteria, an indication that people in the UK have become more open and less inhibited about the way they mourn, she said. As a result, commemoration is no longer reserved for Remembrance Day. For example, the mass paying of respects to the weekly procession of fallen soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan became a ritual in the village of Wootton Bassett, and caused so much discomfort for the Government that it seems the air base to which the bodies were returned was changed. “The community turning out in force to pay their respects was effectively saying regardless of whether or not we agree with your wars, this is the

outcome,” Professor Andrews said. Remembrance Sunday has also broadened in its meaning and significance for British people. “Over the years we have seen shifts in the way we commemorate Remembrance Sunday,” she said. “It began as a means for war veterans to remember their fallen comrades, but today it is a way for people to express their patriotism and Britishness and to support the ordinary men and women in the military who have now become ‘heroes’. “People like to feel a sense of involvement and community, even if the event has not touched them personally. During a minute’s silence for the dead, people often personalise the moment by thinking of the loss of someone close to them.” Professor Andrews has worked with the National Memorial Arboretum and Nottingham University to organise a series of seminars on Remembrance, Commemoration and Memorials in Contemporary Culture. The events, originally funded by the British Legion, have led to a jointly edited book, Lest We Forget: Remembrance and Commemoration, and a special remembrance edition of the Journal of War and Culture Studies. Professor Andrews added that the way in which people mourn was becoming ever more “complicated”. “There has always been a fascination with death reflected, for example, in the way drivers slow down to look at a road accident,” she said. “We no longer have as much engagement with death as we used to have years ago, when the deceased relative was laid out overnight in the front room prior to the funeral. These days death is more hidden, yet mourning is more open and public.”

10 / December 2012 /

A new initiative has been launched by the University of Worcester to help young people across the region to learn. A team of staff and students involved in various aspects of youth work have launched a new homework club and advice service at The Hive. The aim is to help young people using the new library in Worcester to find what they need and to make the most of the facility. More than 40 young people turned up to the launch, held during National Youth Work Week. Kate Thackeray, Lecturer in Youth and Community Studies at the University, said: “It was a great event where we shared information with young people and gained ideas about what they would like. We are now going to develop a plan of action.” It builds on the University’s extensive work in the field of youth work, which also includes being part of another new initiative, the UK Flagship, a charity aimed at inspiring young people through science and education aboard a purpose-built Marine Research Tall Ship. The University is collaborating with the UK Flagship in the areas of Access and Inclusion, Education, and Health and Society, providing a valuable evidence-based approach to the design of the Charity’s educational model. Val Yates, Director of Access and Inclusion at the University, said: “The project at The Hive and the UK Flagship are just two examples of the extensive work that goes on here at the University to improve educational opportunities for young people. “We also run mentoring programmes in local schools, helping to raise aspirations among teenagers and numerous theatre and sporting workshops.”



- WRITER IN RESIDENCE I am writing to remind students and staff that I am here to help with academic writing, whatever the discipline or level. My brief is to advise on a confidential, oneto-one basis and I can comment on work or work in progress. The advice can cover such areas as expression, style, accuracy, planning, structure and relevance. I am at the university 9am-5pm on Mondays and Tuesdays. An appointment can be booked by email and will generally last for about 45 minutes, depending on what is needed. I am currently offering appointments on the hour each day from

9am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm and the sessions will usually be in Bredon 176. If possible, please email sample work or work in progress to me in advance at so that I have some material to consider. The service is free and is sponsored by the Royal Literary Fund which provides over eighty such fellows in universities and institutes of higher education throughout the UK. Please draw these details to the attention of anyone who might benefit from the help.  Many thanks. Duncan Forbes RLF Fellow Ext: 2193

Successful EU project funding bid This month Dr Val Chapman, Director of the Centre for Inclusive Learning Support (CILS), will be collaborating with Dr Richard Woolley, Head of Centre for Education and Inclusion, Dr Ruth Hewston and other colleagues from the Institute of Education to act as partners in a new EU funded project that will be led by the Italian organisation Aforisma. The project aims to create an online in-service training course for teachers which will help them to better meet the learning and social needs of secondary school pupils with learning difficulties such

as dyslexia, dyspraxia and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The course will be made available in each partner country: Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain and the UK. The project, worth 299,500 Euro, brings funding to the University of Worcester of 108,000 Euro. For further information please contact Dr Val Chapman on

Phil Packer MBE Inspires Worcester Students and Staff A former Army officer, who suffered a spinal cord injury and was told he may never walk again, visited the University of Worcester to complete part of a 2,012 mile walk. Phil Packer MBE, who founded the British Inspiration Trust (BRIT), visited the University as part of his BRIT 2012 challenge. He met students and staff and delivered an inspirational talk on the 296th day of his challenge. While at the University he completed six miles of his 2,012 mile walk. Aiming to spread awareness of adversity and trauma in young people, Phil wants to L-R: Kynton Swingle, David raise £15 million to build the Green, Phil Packer, Glyn Harding and Kate Moss BRIT Centre of Inspiration for young people facing adversity and help them transform their lives in a positive way. During his talk, Phil shared his personal story. He suffered a severe spinal cord injury in 2008 and was told that he would be unlikely to walk again. His desire for life and motivation made him establish the British Inspiration Trust and complete a wide range of charity events, including rowing the Channel and walking the London Marathon in 2009. He has received a number of awards in recognition of his efforts, including Fundraiser of the Year, and the BBC Helen Rollason award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards. Earlier this year, Phil embarked on a challenge to walk 2,012 miles, walking six miles every day meeting young people at schools, colleges and universities across the country. Phil said: “This is about providing a physical legacy for our young people who face their darkest times. With the support of businesses and the engagement of enthusiastic young people like the students at the University of Worcester, the BRIT Centre will come to life. It’s been a great day!” The BRIT 2012 Challenge can be followed on Twitter at @PhilPacker and on Facebook at British Inspiration Trust.

Phil Packer (centre) with his Worcester walkers / December 2012 / 11



Leading Basketball Figure Awarded Honorary Professorship The Secretary General of the Lithuanian Basketball Federation and member of the FIBA Europe Board, Mindaugas Balciunas, has been awarded an Honorary Professorship at the University of Worcester. Mindaugas has played a critical role in the University’s development as one of the most successful basketball universities in Europe.

An international Christmas DIna (far right) enjoying Christmas in Worcester

Being an international student in the UK has a lot of benefits – not only academic, but personal as well. However, being away from family and friends can sometimes be difficult. Some international students are spending Christmas away from home for a variety of reasons. How magical can Christmas be if they are away from their loved ones? Such was the story of Dina Tomas, a student at Worcester from Bulgaria: “I spent last Christmas in Worcester because all of my exams were in the first two weeks of January and going home wouldn’t have helped me prepare well.” The International Office offers a range of events for students who are staying during the Christmas holidays – from having a meal with a local family on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve to spending the day at one of the churches in the area. “I was lucky that my flatmates were staying in Worcester for Christmas. If I was alone, I would have gone with the offers from the University and enjoyed Christmas Day with one of the kind families who are hosting students” said Dina. “We managed to create our own magic of Christmas – it was a bit of a challenge in preparing all the meals and doing the set up. I remember talking to my mum on Skype, asking her how she does all the meals as I have never ever prepared them before. “It wasn’t the same spirit, I missed my family, but it was exciting because it was a new way of celebrating Christmas and I think we all enjoyed it – putting up all the decorations and the Christmas tree and all the presents under it.”

12 / December 2012 /

In 2005, as a visiting lecturer from the Lithuanian Sports Mindaugas Balciunas University where he is now Chancellor, Mindaugas attended an international week at the University of Worcester with a clear focus upon developing a partnership that would incorporate research, coaching and player development. His PhD thesis formed the template for fitness and conditioning of elite youth players in Lithuania and he worked with Worcester sports scientists to adopt the template for England Basketball. Mindaugas also had the responsibility for the Lithuanian Coaches Association and he organised several student exchanges and visits for University of Worcester students to attend European Camps and seminars. Significantly, Mindaugas played an active role in securing European funding to enable students from Worcester to attend. In collaboration with Mick Donovan, Head of the Institute of Sport & Exercise Science, Mindaugas created the FIBA European MSc European Basketball Coaching Science degree in partnership with the University of Worcester, Lithuanian Sports University and the Lithuanian Basketball Federation. In 2007 Mindaugas became the youngest ever Secretary General of the Lithuanian Basketball Federation and in 2010 the youngest ever FIBA Europe Board member. Since then he has organised a range of World and European championships from junior boys and girls to senior men and women.

The most recent event that he organised was the EuroBasket 2011, which will arguably go into the history books as the most competitive and enthralling editions of the biennial event, with the final being watched by over 20 million people worldwide. Mick Donovan said: “One of the greatest strengths that Mindaugas possesses is the ability to have a critical understanding of the relationship between education and sport. He has fully embraced the philosophy of the University of Worcester, recognised our strengths and been a fantastic ambassador for us throughout the world.”



Academic Calls for More Spirituality and Mindfulness in Education An academic is calling for a radical reform of education, introducing more spiritual techniques in order to help children cope in the 21st Century. Dr Scott Buckler says Western education has been too focused on developing intellect, ignoring the development of the child as a whole. His findings were presented in a conference paper at the London International Conference on Education. Dr Buckler has explored how the ‘transpersonal’ can be applied within education. The transpersonal stems from the work of psychologists over the past 50 years and focuses on personal transformation. According to Dr Buckler, the transpersonal concerns achieving, then exceeding one’s potential through actively combining the mind and body through a variety of practises. “While schools are worrying about league tables that only measure the intellectual ability of children, transpersonal education should embrace the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual development of our future generation,” he said. His research indicates that over 90% of the respondents agreed that the principles of transpersonal education should be central to education. Such principles include being able to relate well to others, to ensure that education is enjoyable, and a process of self-discovery which links theory to practice. Dr Buckler says that such principles are central to a teacher’s personal educational philosophies, something which does not necessarily apply to coaching children through exams. He also explains that a variety of transpersonal practises have been researched within schools, such as relaxation, meditation, and mindfulness.

L-R: Rob Sykes, Jacky Courtney and Paul Middlebrough

“Many research studies have focused on the use of martial arts training and the reduction in stress and aggression, while enhancing confidence in children,” he said. “Similar research has also been conducted with a variety of meditative practise.” This unity of the human mind and body is not a new concept, Dr Buckler explains. He specifically highlights the historical and global range of methods and traditions that aim to bring such unity, “many of which have been ignored by Western education at the expense of developing the intellect.” He said: “Through transpersonal education, children may connect with their inner depths, with others, and with their environment. At a time of monumental social, economic, and political change, one could question the exponential budgets invested in particle accelerators or the theoretical musings of the edges of the Universe. As opposed to looking to the far reaches of the Universe, we should invest equally in exploring the depths of human being.” In light of his research, Dr Buckler is calling for a more open discussion between countries to share practises which in turn may prepare children for the remainder of the 21st century. He is also calling for teachers to return to their personal educational philosophy and to engage in collaborative discussion to continue to develop and enhance the curriculum.

One week prior to the first Police and Crime Commissioner Elections that took place on 15 November, the Centre of Ethical Leadership held a workshop to discuss how people could make the best of the new arrangements. The session attracted a wide range of senior people from the Public and Private Sector. The speakers included Paul West, ex-Chief Constable of West Mercia Police and Jacky Courtney, Chief Executive of West Midlands Police Authority. The session was introduced by Rob Sykes, director of the Centre and exChief Executive of Worcester County Council. The session looked at the dangers and opportunities in the new system and the role of the new Police and Crime Panel was also discussed. It was Chaired by Councillor Paul Middlebrough who made a valuable contribution. The Centre will be keeping an interest in the new arrangements as they unfold.

STAFF CHRISTMAS QUIZ After the success of last year, The Pear Tree are holding their second annual Christmas Staff Quiz on Friday 14 December starting at 4.30pm. There will be free entry with lots of great prizes including a food hamper and a meal for six. For further details please contact Philip Roberts Commercial Development Manager Worcester Students’ Union / NOVEMBER 2009 / 13 / December 2012 / 13


Going Global

White Ribbon Campaign


A virtual theatre event, being created by Drama Lecturer Liz Swift, has been selected for an international festival and will be shown in fourteen countries across the world this December. Liz’s theatre company, Void, specialises in creating events which combine live performance and interactive digital media. She is among 100 artists from across the world commissioned to create a production for the Upstage Festival of Cyberformance. The new performance work is called ‘Babble’ and is set in a virtual library. It features actors, singers and musicians who will perform live in front of computers. Audience members may interact with the piece by logging on as avatars and following the performance through the library. Alternatively they may attend one of the live screenings of the event taking place in galleries, museums and theatres in cities across the world from Buenos Aires in Argentina to Wellington in New Zealand. The UK venue for the festival is the theatre at Exeter University. ‘Babble’ is the latest in a series of Void productions which have used classic stories alongside advanced digital technology to explore how ancient practices of storytelling can exploit the possibilities of a digital culture.

‘Babble’ draws on a short story by Jorge Luis Borges called The Library of Babel – which is set in a vast library whose books contain every possible combination of words in every real or imagined language - but no catalogue. Audiences to the event will be led on a search through the library by virtual actors and will encounter a series of stories as they go. There are various opportunities for the audience to interact with the work and they can even put on a pair of wings and go flying from the library tower! The prestigious Upstage Festival is now in its sixth year and organiser Helen Varley Jameson said: “Where else could you get to see international groups performing live from all corners of the world for a global audience? The festival breaks down barriers of time and distance.” The development of the performance has been supported by the University, particularly through the work of Karen (Tim) Johnson who has created a University of Worcester domain in Second Life where the Babble project has been developed. The performance will take place on 11, 12 and 13 December. For times and further details contact Liz on

Artist impression of the reading room

University staff members joined together to support a campaign to end domestic violence. Staff donned white ribbons, which were also placed on trees around the University, to show their support for the 16 Days of Action, being co-ordinated by the Worcestershire Forum Against Domestic Abuse, which runs until December 10. Ruth Jones, Senior Lecturer, Researcher and Consultant specialising in domestic and sexual violence, said: “This campaign is very important and I’m really pleased that colleagues at the University have shown their support. “There is much work to be done to end domestic violence, but by raising the profile and getting people to show their support, we can hopefully go some way to sending out a clear message that it will not be tolerated.” Ruth was among just 12 people across Europe earlier this year to have been named as a ‘Woman Inspiring Europe’ for her work in the field of domestic abuse. She was also last year’s recipient of the Worcestershire Woman of the Year for Achievement.

Tea for Charity Two Worcester Business School students are organising a fundraising campaign to support The Primrose Hospice in Bromsgrove. Rebecca Crowther, Rebecca Crowther and Louise Ketley a Marketing, Advertising and PR student, and Louise Ketley, a Business, Marketing and PR student, are combining their second year of study with organising a charity event. Demonstrating their creativity and keen interest in the events industry, the two students are hosting a Mad Hatter Tea Party at the Bentley Village Hall, near Redditch, on 20 April 2013 from 7pm.

14 / December 2012 /

News and Views December 2012  

University of Worcester magazine

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you