February 2019 at the University of Winchester

8 Mar 2019

In a varied and exciting month at Winchester, our students took action in the community for Student Volunteering Week, former professional footballer John Barnes MBE visited and called for society to tackle racism by exploring personal prejudices and one of our graduates won a national competition for unpublished writers.

Read our highlights from the month below:

Winchester students make a difference in the community

Student Volunteers in orange tops giving thumbs up

66 student volunteers took action to support local community projects around the city for national Student Volunteering Week 2019.

A Community Action Day saw students team up with Winchester City Council to paint benches, plant flowers and collect rubbish to transform the much-loved Somers Recreation Ground in Stanmore.

Other activities included a LinkAges Tea Party for residents of local care homes at our West Downs Quarter and a Big Tidy Up of Stanmore with local residents.

Find out more 

Former professional footballer John Barnes MBE discussed racism and how to tackle it

John Barnes with University staff including Vice Chancellor Joy Carter

The nature of racism in society and the sporting world was the topic of conversation when former football manager John Barnes MBE chatted to international journalist and Senior Lecturer Angus Scott in a thought-provoking public lecture at the University. 

Drawing on his experiences, John discussed how football ‘permits’ and normalises abuse between opposing teams, which opens the door for racial abuse and discrimination. However, he argued that racism is a far more insidious and pressing problem in wider society as this is less likely to be identified and dealt with. Guided by his belief that misconception is the root of discrimination, he went on to advocate that we all examine our personal prejudices to tackle racism as a society.

After his talk, John made time for a meet and greet with fans, posing for selfies and answering questions.   

Find out more here and keep an eye out for John’s blog on our website in late March.

Debut novel by Winchester graduate wins ‘Search for a Bestseller’ competition

Claire Gradidge shortlisted for Search for Bestseller competition

Creative Writing graduate and Associate Lecturer Claire Gradidge has won Richard and Judy’s third ‘Search for a Bestseller’ competition with the novel she wrote as part of her PhD at Winchester.  

Her historical crime novel, The Unexpected Return of Josephine Fox, is set during World War II in the nearby Hampshire market town of Romsey. Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan hailed the book as ‘stand out’ and described Claire as a ‘compelling new voice’.

Claire has been awarded a publishing contract with Bonnier Zaffre, worth £30,000, and her book will be stocked in WHSmith from July 2019.

Listen to Claire speaking about her book on BBC Radio Solent here (starts 1.21.25) and find out more here

We launched new partnership with Minstead Trust

Minstead Trust partnership representatives stand with Vice Chancellor Joy Carter

Winchester students and young people with learning disabilities worked side by side to deliver a short Chapel service to mark the launch of the University Chaplaincy’s new partnership with learning disability charity Minstead Trust.

The event signalled the launch of a new Chaplaincy fundraising project to raise £1,500 to buy furniture and white goods for a new supported housing block in Totton.

Minstead Trust offers a range of day services, respite care and supported accommodation to individuals with learning disabilities to help them achieve greater independence and lead fulfilled lives. Vice-Chancellor Professor Joy Carter CBE DL was appointed Patron in 2017.

University of Winchester Writers’ Festival launches scholarships and bursaries

Woman writing in book on black countertop

The University of Winchester Writers’ Festival is offering two fully-funded scholarships to talented writers this year.

Hampshire-based Lindsay Literary Agency are offering a scholarship to a children’s fiction writer from an under-represented background, while the Monica Wood Scholarship will award a place to a young writer aged 18-25.

Scholarship recipients will receive free admission to the three-day Festival, which includes access to all workshops and talks, a seat at the keynote address by novelist Katherine Rundell and four one-to-one appointments with industry experts.

A number of £50 bursaries are also available for writers experiencing financial difficulties through the Winchester Writers’ Festival Bursary Fund.

Applications for all awards are open. Information on how to apply is available on the University of Winchester Writers’ Festival website.

Find out more 

We offered hospital staff overnight shelter during heavy snow

 Snow outside University reception

Stranded staff from Royal Hampshire County Hospital took refuge at the University of Winchester when snow struck the city in early February.

Seven members of hospital staff were given complimentary accommodation for a night in University student accommodation and a hospitality pack, including toiletries, to ensure they got a good night’s rest.

Alex Whitfield, Chief Executive of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are incredibly thankful to the University of Winchester who supplied accommodation for some of our staff who came into work to care for patients but had no way of getting home.

“It was fantastic to hear that our staff received such a warm welcome from our partners at the University and I know they all appreciated the efforts that were made to make them feel comfortable so that they were re-charged and ready to continue providing outstanding care to our patients. It’s been wonderful to see our partnership in action and I again want to thank University of Winchester for their support over the period of extreme winter weather.”

Construction commences on University-sponsored community cycling facility

Groundbreaking for new Handlebar Cafe

Head of Future Students, Susan Henderson attended a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the start of construction on a new café that will serve cycling enthusiasts of Hampshire.

The Handlebar Café concept was developed by young people through local architecture and design project charity SPUD Youth. The University of Winchester was one of several sponsors who provided funding to make the concept a reality in line with our commitment to support all students, staff and visitors to travel sustainably.

Located at the foot of the St Catherine’s Hill cycle path, the café will be operated by Bespoke Biking and will offer food and drink, bike hire and repair, and facilities to cyclists and walkers.

Find out more about the project

Student success and recognition

We were delighted to see a number of our students recognised for their work this month.

Victoria Quinn, BA (Hons) Journalism graduate, has been nominated for Best Factual Documentary in the RTS Student Southern Centre Awards for her final year film Road Racing: The Risk and the Rush (View above). She was previously nominated for the British Journalism Training Council Student Journalism Awards 2018.

Victoria said, “It's so exciting to know that my work is being viewed by industry professionals and what's more, recognised in their eyes as good enough to be shortlisted for these awards. I am so grateful for the opportunities and experiences my final year project documentary has provided me with to date."

The University of Winchester Student Law Society has been shortlisted for the Lawcareers.net Student Law Society award in the Best Careers Event category for hosting a Law Fair. Charley Dugdale, President of the Winchester Student Law Society, and fellow LLB (Hons) Law student Kate Bignall have also secured a place in the finals of the national Client Interviewing Competition after taking second place at the Exeter regional competition. Congratulations to both, we have our fingers crossed!

Rachel Smith, MSc Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law student, has been named as the winner of the International Fund for Animal Welfare and University of Winchester Centre for Animal Welfare annual essay competition. In her compelling winning essay (which can be read here), Rachel reveals the true nature of the wildlife trade in Asia and delves into the social and cultural reasons behind it.

Winchester student tries to find love at first dance

A man and woman dancing on decking at sunset

Rayna Smith, a first-year BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy student, met a stranger on the dancefloor during Channel 4’s newest dating show Flirty Dancing.

Rayna was matched up with firefighter Jay and they both performed a romantic routine in the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard to ALMA’s Chasing Highs.

Did Rayna meet her match? Check out the full episode on All 4 catch-up. The dance begins at 33.30. 

Blog Highlight: Is the promise of social mobility through education a myth?

Open laptop with 'application' written on the screen

Maisha Islam of the Centre for Student Engagement discusses the discrimination that racial and religious minorities face when taking the leap into the job market and reveals that education and qualifications do little to equalise the playing field. She concludes that the higher education sector in the UK has a long way to go before it becomes truly inclusive of minority groups.

Read more

Back to media centre