University to confront regional issues with Centenary Community Engagement Fund

The University of Leicester is working with community partners across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to respond to some of the most pressing issues impacting the region.

The University’s Leicester Institute for Advanced Studies (LIAS) has launched the Centenary Community Engagement Fund (CCEF) to tackle some of the complex challenges faced by local communities.

The fund will support collaborative projects led by research experts, community leaders, practitioners and volunteers from third-sector organisations and charities.

Dr Ning Baines (University of Leicester School of Business) is working with The Circle Foundation to identify and address structural challenges for entrepreneurs with disabilities.

Dr Moya Burns and Dr Ceri Jones (Psychology, Biological Sciences and Informatics) are working to improve access and engagement with nature-based wellbeing activities alongside Emmanu-El Apostolic Academy, Mandani Foundation and the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre.

Work to examine perinatal mortality and health in the gypsy and traveller communities is being conducted by Dr Winifred Ekezie (Centre for Ethnic Health Research) and a cross-College team alongside the Leicester Gypsy and Travellers Equality group.

Dr Emma Sleath (Criminology) has partnered with Leicester’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Juniper Lodge, to establish a ‘Lived Experience Group ‘ for survivors and victims of gender-based violence.

A team led by Dr Himanshu Kaul (Engineering) are working with Leicestershire-based hospice charity, LOROS to create a digitalised survey framework aimed to increase the quantity and quality of patient feedback during critical stages of care.

Dr Amy Clarke (Criminology) is leading a project to better understand and respond to refugee experiences of language, well-being and belonging in Leicester, alongside Bright Path Futures.

Professor Clare Anderson, Director of LIAS said: “Our University was established a century ago by the people of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland: and so it is only right that these community engagement projects are giving back to those same communities.

“All six of these projects highlight the very best in collaborative working between academic experts and those leaders and volunteers who understand their own ‘subject’ – their communities – better than anyone.

“We are delighted to support the projects and look forward to seeing the positive real-world impacts of these partnerships in the weeks, months and years to come.”

The projects form part of the University’s Centenary season. The programme was initially designed by Steve O’Connor. He said: “I’m excited by the prospects for these novel, interdisciplinary research projects and the beneficial outcomes for our local communities at such a challenging time. This initiative truly reflects and complements the University’s wider and continuing commitment to civic engagement.”