The secret life of lecturers

Lecturers live many lives. We are teachers, researchers, administrators, event organisers, project managers, PR officers, and sometimes even journalists or broadcasters. You might be surprised by what we get up to outside work, too. Next weekend, I’ll be jumping out of a small plane 10,000ft about the earth’s surface, to raise money for a charity I believe in very strongly: the Rahab Project.

Rahab offers support to anyone involved in the sex industry in Reading. I’ve been volunteering on its night outreach team for more than 3 years, during which I’ve met many interesting and engaging people living in very complex circumstances. No two stories are ever the same, but often these women fall through the cracks between other voluntary and statutory services – that’s where Rahab is invaluable, by offering simply to walk alongside someone as they take steps towards a different life. I can trace my involvement with Rahab to my undergraduate and postgraduate studies in feminism and postcolonialism, when I developed a commitment to social justice. So I’m delighted that one of our 2014 graduates, Anja Nielsen (BA English Literature and International Relations), is now undertaking a Santander internship at Rahab. You can find more info on Rahab’s work here:


The prospect of skydiving is fairly terrifying, but it’s worth it for a cause I’m so committed to. If any of you would like to show your support for Rahab by giving financially, now’s your chance! You can donate by visiting my fundraising page, here: Any amount you can give really does help; even a few pounds contributes towards an evening’s outreach, buying drinks and chocolate bars to show people we care. And you can rest assured that all funds go directly to Rahab – I’m paying for the pleasure (?!) of free fall myself!

About Cindy

Associate Professor in the Department of English Literature at the University of Reading. Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
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