Time to Talk Day – 1 Feb 2024

Time to Talk Day is the nation’s biggest mental health conversation and takes place on 1 February. We have conversations with our family, friends and colleagues on a daily basis, but how often do we really listen to what they are telling us? How often do we actually open up and talk about anything that is really important? Would you be able to recognise if someone was struggling with their mental health?

A national survey in 2018 of over 2,000 people highlighted that asking “How are you?” just once often prompts nothing more than a meaningless exchange. A campaign encouraging people to Ask Twice shows that you genuinely care about their response and means they are more likely to open up about how they are really feeling.

Norwich City football club put this short video together which highlights the importance of talking to those around you – a simple conversation could save a life.


If you want to talk, the University provides many resources which are listed on our wellbeing pages. And if you are talking to anyone today, make a point to Ask Twice, and give them a chance to answer honestly.

Introducing the LGBTQ+ Travel Tool – An Interactive Policy Development Tool

Primary Investigator Dr Frances Hamilton (Associate Professor, School of Law) and Research Assistant Tahlia-Rose Virdee (Postgraduate Researcher, School of Law) are proud to introduce the LGBTQ+ Travel tool. This interactive tool has been designed to assist both Higher Education Institutions and businesses in the development of policies and processes which are mindful of the concerns and experiences of LGBTQ+ colleagues (both students and staff), who are considering travelling internationally for the purposes of work or education.

As an ally and advocate of LGBTQ+ communities, Dr Frances Hamilton has been conducting a number of research projects recently, concerning the manner in which Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in England and Wales reconcile their responsibilities of protecting their LGBTQ+ staff and students when implementing globalisation initiatives. Together with co-author Dr Cameron Giles (London South Bank University), Frances published a research output detailing their findings from Freedom of Information requests sent to all UK Higher Education Institutions, Nationwide. These findings detailed that advice given to LGBTQ+ staff and students considering international travel for the purposes of work or education is lacking, and often does not consider the specific concerns and experiences of LGBTQ+ persons (See Frances Hamilton and Cameron Giles, ‘International Academic Mobility, Agency and LGBTQ+ Rights: A Review of Policy Responses to Internationally Mobile LGBTQ+ staff / students at UK HE Institutions with Recommendations for a Global Audience’ Policy Reviews in Higher Education (2021) 1 -22. DOI: 10.1080/23322969.2021.1969990).

This research was furthered by a project conducted by Dr Frances Hamilton and Postgraduate Research Assistant, Tahlia-Rose Virdee, concluding in March 2022. This second phase project explored the lived-experiences of fifteen LGBTQ+ academics at UK HEIs, and was concerned with interviewee observations and conceptions of institutional globalisation initiatives and the inclusion of LGBTQ+ stakeholder concerns and experiences in policies and processes regarding international travel. The cumulative findings of these research projects highlight that there is a distinct lack of effective policy which includes consideration of specified LGBTQ+ risks, dangers and concerns. These circumstances have been exacerbated by several factors, including: LGBTQ+ stakeholders not being consulted or having their concerns dismissed in the process of institutional policy formation, a lack of or poorly informed policy to safeguard against specific risks to LGBTQ+ persons, and the use of objective risk assessments which do not produce thorough and well-considered plans of action for LGBTQ+ international travellers.

Said distinct oversight on policy considerations can cause barriers to access for LGBTQ+ staff and students considering international travel for work or education purposes, including concerns on how to stay safe and avoid discrimination, violence and even prosecution in jurisdictions that are legally culturally, and socially hostile towards LGBTQ+ individuals, and a lack of redress for discrimination faced in receiving international jurisdictions upon their return home. These omissions of specific LGBTQ+ experiences are particularly concerning when considering the disparities in the treatment of LGBTQ+ persons on a global scale, where presently over 70 countries worldwide retain criminal sanctions for consensual same-sex sexual activity between men, over 40 countries criminalise sexual activity between women, and many other jurisdictions discriminate on various grounds against LGBTQ+ persons (Human Dignity Trust, 2019).

Operationalising these findings and using Research England’s Rapid Response Policy Engagement Fund, Dr Frances Hamilton had proposed to produce an electronic toolkit to assist HEIs, and public and private sector companies to pursue their duty to safeguard their LGBTQ+ stakeholders and commit to their globalisation initiatives, simultaneously. The development of the LGBTQ+ International Travel Tool was completed by July 2023, in accordance with the parameters of the funding. The key deliverable, the interactive tool and its host website, can be viewed here: LGBTQ+ International Travel Tool (lgbtqtraveltool.com).

This interactive and freely accessible toolkit guides both LGBTQ+ persons who may have concerns about travelling abroad, and their employers or organisations who owe duty of care to potential travellers to minimise risks to their safety and wellbeing. Upon completion of the tool, users are provided with personalised feedback and suggestions (dependent on their input into the tool) to consider when developing international travel polices for stakeholders with protected characteristics, with a particular focus on the safeguarding of LGBTQ+ persons.

It is hoped that the data entered into the interactive LGBTQ+ Travel Tool will provide further clarity on the polices and processed in place at HEIs and within businesses to safeguard LGBTQ+ persons, whilst providing these organisations with suggestions on how to improve these measures and protect the safety and well-being of LGBTQ+ persons travelling internationally for the purposes of work or education.

Dr Frances Hamilton has also developed a policy brief with recommendations for LGBTQ+ stakeholder safeguarding, which she is sharing with potential policy decision makers in a bid to ensure that there will be standards implemented for LGBTQ+ persons travelling internationally, with clear and concise duties to LGBTQ+ persons for their employers and education providers to follow.

Contact details

If you have any questions, queries or suggestions, please direct all correspondence to Dr Frances Hamilton via email: f.r.hamilton@reading.ac.uk.

The logo for the LGBTQ+ International Travel for Work Policy Development Tool Website. The logo is the rainbow flag in a square shape with rounded edges. On the flag is a white circle in the centre and within the circle is an icon of a black aeroplane.

Black History Month 2023: Saluting our Sisters through Celebrating and Remembering

Black History Month is officially underway and this year the national theme is ‘Saluting our Sisters’ to pay homage to black women who have had their contributions ignored or voices silenced. You can read more about the theme this year on the Black History Month website.

A banner for Black History Month with the University of Reading logo on the left and the words Black History Month: More than just a month' on the right


The Black History Month flagship event flyer. The content is described within the text copy.

The University of Reading is hosting a number of events this year to honour Black History Month. The flagship event will be on the 19th October, In Conversation with Dr Deborah Husbands. Dr Husbands will be joining us from the University of Westminster to share her expert insights and lived experiences, the impact of the BME Network she founded and its impacts on colleagues, as well as covering PhD research and the focus on BME students and their sense of belonging. This event is open to all – public, staff, and students.





Black History Month is more than just a month. The stories, experiences, and achievements of Black women are numerous and long in their history and the resonances of the impact are felt today. I hope to introduce some of them to you.

Sister Olive

Olive Morris passed away at the age of just 27, but during her short life, she campaigned for the rights of Black people across England in Manchester and South London.

Olive was a founding member of groups like the Organisation of Women of African and Asian Descent (OWAAD) and the Brixton Black Women’s Group and is known as an important civil rights figure.

We remember her.


The Black History Month Saluting Our Sisters event flyer. The content is described within the text copy.

Another event we are excited to deliver is our Saluting our Sisters event. This is a collaborative event between Women@Reading and the B.A.M.E. and Allies Network. In order to honour the National Black History Month theme this year, we are learning from the experiences and celebrating the accomplishments of our Black female community members here at Reading. This event takes place on the 26th October and is open to all. We hope to see you there.



Sister Phillis

Take the story of Phillis Wheatley, a young girl born in West Africa in 1753. She was sold into slavery to work for a family called the Wheatleys and was put onto a ship – the Phillis – that she was named after.

Her name was erased, but still she used words to give shape to her power. She was taught to read and write and, by the age of 14, she wrote her first poem.

At 21, she published her first book which made her the first African-American poet to be published, with her first volume of poetry in 1773.

We remember her.


The Black History Month Black Arts Showcase event flyer. The content is described within the text copy.Artistry, in a variety of forms – music, art, poetry – is abundant and permeates Black cultures. We want to be able to showcase this talent. As part of Black History Month, the Reading Students’ Union will be hosting a Black Arts Showcase. This Showcase will host artistic works from our Black students and local community members in Reading. This event will take place on the 19th October at 16:00 – 23:00 in the 3Sixty room in the Reading Students’ Union building. Email Gabe James, gabe.james@reading.ac.uk, or Kayleigh Fryer, k.fryer@reading.ac.uk, for more information. The event is open to all – public, staff, and students.


If you are a staff member or a student and want more music in your life this BHM, you can also join the Limpopo Groove Drumming Workshop taking place on the 10th October from 12:00 – 13:00 in the SU. Spaces are limited so make sure to contact community@reading.ac.uk first! You can also join us for many different screenings on at the Reading Biscuit Factory.


We wish you a fantastic Black History Month, where we remember our history, we acknowledge it, and celebrate the successes of Black women across the world.

As ever, best and be well,

— Your Diversity and Inclusion Advisor.

Mixed Race in the Workplace

When I started my role at the University of Reading, I made a choice: I asked to be known as ‘Immy’ by my colleagues. My full name is ‘Imogen’, but outside of work and school I have almost always been called Immy. Don’t get me wrong, I love my name and surname, as both have roots that speak to my Irish heritage. That said, I am aware that most people probably don’t expect a mixed race woman of English, Irish and Pakistani descent when they hear the name ‘Imogen Lawlor’. I’ve always considered ‘Imogen’ to be my ‘white’ and formal name, so when people only knew me as ‘Imogen’ it felt like I wasn’t fully being myself to them.

Having mixed heritage can be an amazing thing that evokes pride and provides access to multiple cultures, but it sometimes presents us with puzzling situations. Mixed people generally don’t have to deal with the same degree of racism and discrimination as black people, for example, but we face different kinds of issues. Because I am (mostly) white passing, it was easy for me to hide behind my white name for most of my life, and not confront my feelings about my race. Of course, being white-passing is a privilege, but this has placed me in difficult situations where some white people feel comfortable enough to express racist sentiments in front of me. For example, when a former white colleague ranted extensively to me about their friend “who is so annoying because she ALWAYS plays the race card”, I found myself wondering “Would they have said that in front of me if they knew that I am a person of colour?”. Moreover, white colleagues have used me as a sounding board in the past, to ask the questions they are “too nervous” to ask other people of colour. Sometimes I feel like I am a ‘palatable’ person of colour to them, who they think will tolerate their curiosities because I’m half white. As much as some questions and comments are well meaning, it grows tiring when yet another person remarks on your skin colour, making comments like “But you don’t look mixed, you’re quite pale. Maybe you’re more white than brown.”

Despite the lack of diversity during my undergraduate studies, university was a place where I embraced my identity. I was on the founding committee of the Oxford Mixed Heritage Society: the first university society of its kind in the UK, which is still running and has inspired other students to form their own mixed heritage societies. University is a place where students can explore their identities, but working in a university means that you are bound by a different set of rules and expectations. Race is a protected characteristic by law and you should never feel obliged to talk about your race, if you don’t feel comfortable. Being able to speak up at work when you experience racism relies on a workplace of transparency and allyship for people of colour. I work in a mostly white team now, but I am fortunate that there is a culture of acceptance and inclusivity.

If I were to say one thing to my mixed race colleagues, it would be that you should never feel that you have to pander to white people’s questioning. Your racial identity is your own and it is up to you how you express or define it. Don’t get bogged down answering other people’s questions. You have the right to say no. Moreover, experiences of being mixed heritage are vast and detailed. The difference between Immy and Imogen might be small to some, but it could mean the world to you.


Immy Lawlor, Assistant Student Recruitment Officer

World Childless Week 2023: supporting colleagues who have experienced pregnancy or baby loss

Back in May, I published a written piece about what childlesss not by choice (cnbc) means. The 11th – 17th September is World Childless Week and I wanted to write another profile on a related topic because it can be hard to know how to navigate issues of grief, infertility, and childlessness at work as the subjects can be very confronting. 

The focus of this blog is looking at what support we can offer colleagues who have experienced pregnancy or baby loss, but before I get into the details it is important to remember that, as a colleague,  

…your role is not to be a counsellor or even someone’s best friend. But looking out for your colleagues, being prepared to listen, and showing empathy are part of building a caring and compassionate workplace.

CIPD, Workplace support for employees experiencing pregnancy or baby loss, 2022 

Acknowledging and talking about these topics can be really hard, but doing so offers us all the opportunity to work in a more compassionate environment and support colleagues who may be going through times of really challenging emotional hardship. 

The CIPD have produced a helpful guide for colleagues outlining what types of pregnancy and baby loss there are and their definitions, what you can do to help a colleague who has experienced pregnancy or baby loss, and some useful resources. This blog focuses on what you can do, but please read page 3 of the guide, if possible, to familiarise yourself with the types of loss that may occur as it is often presumed this means miscarriage or stillbirth, but these are not the only types of loss during pregnancy and during and after birth. 

It is also important to note that not included in the guide are instances of missed miscarriage: 

A missed (or silent) miscarriage is one where the baby has died or not developed, but has not been physically miscarried.  In many cases, there has been no sign that anything was wrong, so the news can come as a complete shock.

Miscarriage Association, Missed miscarriage 

People experiencing pregnancy and/or baby loss and its impacts may be feeling a range of emotions including grief, shock, anger, confusion, self-blame, and sorrow. This includes the person who has directly experienced the loss as well as their partner(s), friends, family members, surrogates, among others who may be impacted. It is important to not expect and demand that somebody continue on with their work as though nothing has happened and instead offer them compassion, care, and consideration. 

What does this look like in practical terms for colleagues? 

It is very common to not know what to do when someone experiences loss or bereavement of some kind. The CIPD guide provides very useful information gleaned from Miscarriage Association: 

What to say and not to say  

Comments that could be helpful:  

  • “I’m very sorry that you have lost your baby.” 
  • “This must be really difficult for you.” 
  • “I don’t know what to say.”  

Things not to say:  

  • “Don’t worry, you’re young. You can always have another baby.” 
  • “It wasn’t meant to be.” 
  • “It was probably for the best.” 
  • “At least you have other children.”  

After a statement like “I’m very sorry to hear about your loss,” you can ask open-ended questions like, “How are you feeling?” This gives someone the choice to open up and talk about their feelings but it may be that a person doesn’t want to talk about their loss in detail or at all. One approach is no better or worse than the other, but, as colleagues, “acknowledging that their loss has happened is very important” (CIPD, 2022).  

What if I don’t know?

It may be the case that you do not know if a work colleague has experienced pregnancy or baby loss. In this case, there are general good practice actions you can take to be mindful of people who may have experienced these things or who may be childless not by choice (cnbc) due to other reasons. 

  • Baby announcements. It can be really exciting when a colleague has a baby and it is okay to share this news. However, it is good practice to not include people who do not know the colleague who has had the baby. For example, I was copied into a baby announcement email that included 73 people in the email chain. While I am happy for that colleague, I didn’t and do not know them and now I know the name and birth date of their new baby which is information that they themselves may want to keep more private. If you are going to do baby announcement emails, keep the circulation to people who know the colleague 
    • Notifying. Relatedly, some colleagues in the sector at childlessness events have shared that if they have disclosed to a close colleague that they do not want to hear about baby or pregnancy announcements, it can be helpful if that colleague warns them that there is a baby announcement email in their inbox before they open it unexpectedly. This is not required, but can be helpful  
  • Pictures in baby announcement emails. After attending various talks online and in-person from colleagues across the sector on childlessness, something that can be very common, and quite hurtful for people who are childless not by choice or going through pregnancy and/or baby loss, is receiving baby announcement emails with pictures of the baby included in the email itself. If you wish to share an image of your newborn, you can of course do this. However, instead of embedding them directly in an email where, once opened, the picture is immediately visible, attach them in a zip file that a person can choose themselves to open 
  • Office visits. It can be nice to bring your new baby into the office. However, if you would like to do this, try and schedule when you will bring your baby in and, if possible, book a room where people can come to you. Bringing a baby into an open plan office will not give people who are cnbc or who have experienced pregnancy and/or baby loss who are not ready to engage with the situation the choice to stay in the office. They may feel they have to leave or feel pressured to stay, despite feeling very emotional 
  • Language. Culturally, it is often assumed that people of a certain age have children. However, this is not everyone’s reality but this assumption still appears in our language. For example, I was told about an instance where the Chair of a meeting wished people in the meeting a nice holiday with their children. Instead, they could have just said “enjoy your holiday.” Be mindful of presuming that people have children as this is not the case for everyone 

Support for colleagues

If you have been impacted by pregnancy and/or baby loss and you would like support at work, please feel free to access the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). The University offers the EAP, which is an independent, free, confidential support and counselling service run by CIC and called Confidential Care. You can find out more information, including how to contact Confidential Care on the University of Reading HR pages. 

If you would like to talk to someone at work, you can talk to your line manager, HR Advisor or Partner. 

Please feel free to visit the World Childless Week website to find out more about what’s on this year. 

World Childless Week 11th – 17th September

The 11th – 17th September is World Childless Week, which aims to raise awareness of the childless not by choice (cnbc) community and enable every childless person to share their story with confidence (should they wish to). 

Stephanie Joy Phillips is the founder of World Childless Week which offers support, resources, and hosts events that raise awareness of what it means to be childless not by choice, whether this is due to a medical condition or life circumstances. 

There are an abundance of events happening this World Childless Week. One of the first events being hosted for World Childless Week this year is “Male Childlessness: unpacking the elephant in the suitcase.” This event focuses on men’s experiences of childlessness as, within the underdiscussed topic of childlessness, men’s experiences are often much less heard. The event is this Monday the 11th at 11:00. 

If fiction and film is an interest of yours, on Thursday 14th September there is a webinar on the stereotyping of childless women in fiction and films.  

In terms of research, a webinar on Sunday 17th focuses on involuntary childlessness researchers. This event looks at what it means to do research with and about the childless not by choice community. 

Throughout this week there will be some posts about World Childless Week to raise awareness of specific issues people may be facing and what we can do in the workplace to support our colleagues who may be childless not by choice or who are going through complex fertility journeys. 

Watch this space!

Introducing the newly branded University of Reading LGBTQIA+ Staff Network

The University of Reading LGBT+ Staff Network has now been rebranded as the University of Reading LGBTQIA+ Staff Network! Pleased to meet you all!

Over the summer, the LGBT+ Staff Network has been working on re-strategising our efforts to increase awareness of the Network, and to better reflect the diverse identities which we are keen to celebrate and support across campus and beyond. This has included the addition of some new objectives for the Network.

These new objectives are: to increase membership of the Network, encourage allyship initiatives across campus, install a robust steering group structure to oversee the day to day running of the Network, and to build a fundraising model for the Network to expand our support and outreach initiatives both on campus and in the local community in Reading.

The idea of a rebrand was considered to mark a new era of the Network for LGBTQIA+ Staff at the University of Reading characterised by proactive support, strong and cohesive LGBTQIA+ communities, an increase in presence both on and off campus, new volunteering opportunities and the development of a robust fundraising model for the Network. Additionally, we wanted to ensure Postgraduate students, and sessional, part-time, and casual staff are supported and represented within our initiatives.

After liaising with the existing LGBTQIA+ Action Plan Group (APG) on the idea of rebranding the Network, the idea was overwhelmingly supported. We consulted the LGBTQIA+ APG on preferred new names for the network, with the majority vote indicating that our APG was keen on the rebrand featuring the renaming of the network to the University of Reading ‘LGBTQIA+ Staff Network’.

With direction from our APG, the existing Staff Network Team consisting of Co-Chairs Ruvi Ziegler and Tahlia-Rose Virdee, Lead Ally, Michael Kilmister and Dean for Diversity and Inclusion Allán Laville worked together with the Creative and Print Services on campus to produce a new logo, email banner, events banner and merchandise for the newly minted LGBTQIA+ Staff Network. The new logo and merchandise is inclusive of the Progress Flag with the Intersex symbol to ensure that we are representing the diversity which comprises our campus and community.

The branded merchandise we have ordered was informed by suggestions from the wider LGBTQIA+ APG, including aluminium enamel pin badges and Network postcards, which detail how to contact us and feature the words ‘LGBTQIA+ Champion’ for those who would like to advertise their support for the Network across campus. We shall be looking into further merchandising options next academic year based on the suggestions of the LGBTQIA+ APG.

We shall be showing off our new branding at Reading Pride on Saturday 2nd September 2023, where there will be a face painter and glitter technicians at our stall to brighten your day further. Come and say hi!

Please see our new Logo and email banner, which you are all free to use to promote the Network, show your support, and demonstrate your commitment to the LGBTQIA+ communities at the University of Reading:

The new banner for the LGBTQIA+ Staff Network at the University of Reading

The new logo with the dark grey background for the LGBTQIA+ Staff Network at the University of Reading. It features the progress pride flag and intersex symbol in the shape of a ring around text that reads 'Staff LGBTQIA+ Network'The new logo for the LGBTQIA+ Staff Network at the University of Reading. It features the progress pride flag and intersex symbol in the shape of a ring around text that reads 'Staff LGBTQIA+ Network'









The LGBTQIA+ Staff network would like to express special thanks to all who have been part of this rebranding project! Firstly to the Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Allán Laville, who has supported the rebranding and the revamping of the Network no end. Secondly, to Hannah Tollett and the CPS Team at the University of Reading for translating our design ideas into sleek visuals. Thirdly, to our wider LGBTQIA+ APG who provide constructive and creative feedback which is of the upmost value to our Network. Finally, to the Diversity and Inclusion Team at the University of Reading, including Ceara Webster and Sinead O’Flynn who support our day to day running! We salute you all.

There are exciting things to come over the next academic year, and we shall update you frequently on our progress. To track our progress please follow us:

Twitter/ X: @UniRDG_LGBTPlus

Facebook: UORLGBT

To join our LGBTQIA+ Staff Network on Teams, please send us an email: lgbtplus@Reading.ac.uk

All the best,

The University of Reading LGBTQIA+ Staff Network Team

Reflections on Pride Month: LGBT+ Staff Network Allyship

June, being international LGBTQIA+ Pride Month, was a busy period for the LGBT+ Staff Network. The Network hosted a series of events, most notably the flagship Wolfenden Lecture which you can read about in this blog post here. Things were busy on the allyship front, too, with two introductory allyship training sessions being run by the authors of this blog post. The sessions – which the authors of this blog post ran on 21 and 30 June – saw some of the strongest attendance this training has seen, with 35 attendees across the two events.  

A total of 11 schools and functions were represented at allyship training during Pride. This data has been compiled from ‘meeting’ attendance lists generated by Teams and is supplied by People Development.  


  • Campus Commerce
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing, Communication & Engagement (MCE) 
  • Research Services 
  • School of Archaeology, Geography & Environmental Science (SAGES) 
  • School of Arts and Communication Design (SACD) 
  • School of Humanities 
  • School of Literature and Languages (SLL)
  • School of Mathematical, Physical & Computational Sciences (SMPCS)
  • School of Psychology & Clinical Language Sciences (SPCLS)
  • Student Services

In total, 61 members of staff have undertaken LGBT+ allyship training so far in 2023. We thank sincerely all colleagues who have made time in their busy schedules to attend the training! 

Alongside a promotional push on the Staff Portal for Pride Month, attendance was very likely helped along by an allyship training pledge initiative. Earlier in June the Network’s leadership group, led by co-chairs Tahlia Virdee and Dr Ruvi Ziegler, co-signed a letter to heads of schools and functions that urged them ‘to encourage … colleagues and members of department to take part in the allyship training’ and to start ‘the work we can do together to ensure that campus is a safe, supportive and enriching environment for both LGBT+ staff and students at the University of Reading.’ The Network has already received a number of emails from senior leaders pledging their support for the initiative.  

Haven’t had an opportunity to get along to an allyship training event yet? There is an upcoming ‘Introducing Allyship and the LGBT+ Ally Staff Network’ session on 30 August, which you can sign up for on UoRlearn. We look forward to seeing you there! 

Dr Michael Kilmister, Lead Ally of the LGBT+ Staff Network

Diversity and Inclusion Initiative Fund – Applications Open!

Colleagues at the University of Reading can now apply for funding to help boost projects that promote diversity and inclusion at the University.

The Central D&I team is accepting bids for funding between £300 and £1000. Previous successful bids include work to decolonise the curriculum, networking activities, allyship training and efforts to tackle attainment gaps.

Applications that align with key priorities, which include considerations of disability and neurodiversity, LGBT+ inclusion, racial equity, sex equality, and their intersections, are particularly welcome.

Applications are welcome from all colleagues across the University. Projects suggested by students, supported by a staff member as the project lead are also invited.

Any allocated funds must be used by July 2024.

Assessments will be based on the following principles:

  • Diversity and inclusion relevance specifically to School, Function or University.
  • Link to School/Function/University aims or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) – although we would also encourage initiatives relevant to other protected characteristics.
  • Potential and plan for longer term impact on wider University.

Please note that as a condition of the funding, some reporting back is required:

  • A 1-2 page report received by the end of August 2024 that details: name of project and leaders and funding awarded; what has been done; what has been spent; what impact(s) there have been and any measurement of this; what follow-up plans there are, or plans for sustaining activities into the future.
  • Where possible, 1-2 photos relevant to work you have done as part of the project that might use in publicity, such as the Staff Portal or through social media, together with a completed permission form if relevant. These should be high resolution.
  • A short piece to be published on the #DiverseReading blog. This can be reflections at the end of the project, or a progress report part-way through.

How to apply

Applications must be made either through the MS Form or by using this Application Form (Word). If you wish to use the Word form, please complete and email it to the central Diversity and Inclusion Team at diversity@reading.ac.uk.

The deadline for applications is 17:00 on Monday 11 September 2023.

Applicants should be informed of decisions on funding bids by October 2023. The decisions made by the panel are final. Feedback will be provided where possible.

Wolfenden Lecture 2023 – 8th June – 17:30

The Wolfenden Lecture is a special event, part of our annual University lecture series, given by high profile members of the LGBT+ community. It is named in honour of the 1957 UK Report of the Departmental Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution (better known as the Wolfenden Report). The report was written by the Wolfenden Committee, which was chaired by Lord Wolfenden, the University’s Vice Chancellor between 1950 and 1964. The report became a key milestone in UK LGBT+ history when it recommended that, ‘… homosexual behaviour between consenting adults in private should no longer be a criminal offence.’ This annual event was established in 2017 and celebrates an extraordinary part of our University’s heritage.

We are thrilled that our lecture this year will be an exploration of global LGBT+ inclusion as we listen and learn from our two speakers – Dr. Drew Dalton and Lauren Rowles – about LGBT+ inclusion in different contexts and sectors.


Dr Drew Dalton, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Sunderland and Founder of ReportOUT - a global LGBT+ human rights charity - sits smiling in front of a blue background with his forearm resting on a table in front of him.Drew Dalton (He/Him) is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology and the Programme Leader for the MSc Inequality and Society at the University of Sunderland.  Drew has significant industry experience in the Third Sector, human rights, HIV and AIDS, and in education. He has been Chair of several organisations including those that have highlighted LGBTQI+ histories, working with people living with HIV, and those that support LGBTQI+ Muslims. Currently he is the Founder and Chair of ReportOUT, an award-winning global human rights charity for sexual and gender minorities across the globe. Drew is a proud bisexual man.

Drew will be delivering ‘The Pink Line: What is happening to sexual and gender minorities globally?’


Lauren Rowles MBE is a World, European, and two time Paralympic Rowing Champion. She is also an inclusion consultant and public figure within the disability and LGBTQ+ community and is passionate about ensuring that there is greater inclusion for the next generation.

In the interests of making Wolfenden 2023 accessible for those who cannot join us in person, the event is hybrid. This means you can register to come to Wolfenden in person on the 8th June at 17:30 in the Van Emden Lecture Theatre at the University of Reading, or you may register to attend virtually.

We really look forward to welcoming our guests, hearing their stories and insights, and welcoming you to join us.