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The Warwick Innovation Fund

Thanks to donations, students have been able to make many incredible projects a reality. Here are just some examples:

Let’s Talk About Classism

How does class impact the experience and voice of Widening Participation Students? With Kieran Barry and Thalia (Founder of 93% Club). A campaign to include public lectures from education experts and members of the student community with Widening Participation leadership experience, a community event to support the inclusion and integration of Widening Participation students into the community. A series of videos to be published onto the Student Union’s social media highlighting student experiences with direct and indirect classism within the Warwick environment, and how students can be more supportive in allyship and change behaviours moving forward.

Blackness, Imagination, Liberation

A month-long series of activities showcasing the imaginative work of Black creatives at Warwick. Attended by over 300 students, activities included seven community focussed events such as speaker events, creative sessions and a mental health workshop for Black Students. Community building took place over the course of the project, bringing together students to form new connections and friendships, providing a creative outlet and to creating a safe space for students to talk about and reflect on the challenges of being a Black Student at University. The project has sparked long term engagement of students with the Students Union and with the work of VP Welfare Tomi Amole. Offshoot projects are already in development to keep momentum going throughout the year and further in the future.

Sexual Health and Guidance (SHAG) Festival

Sexual health and guidance designed to be educational while also light-hearted to promote consent and healthy relationships. To break down barriers and engage students in a fun and non-taboo way with open and frank conversations surrounding sexual health and wellbeing. Working alongside Report & Support as well as a range of sexual health charities including Coppafeel, The Survivors Trust, and Ovacome to deliver educational content to students in an approachable way.

Inclusive Sports Day

Sports day with a series of adapted and inclusive sport that can be played by persons of all physical abilities. Sports include Sitting Volleyball, Boccia, Kwik Cricket and a Sensory 1km course. This day is supported by Power2inspire by bringing necessary equipment for chosen sports.

Liberation Conference

A week-long, in-person, co-collaborative set of workshops, talks and discussions where students can discuss and learn about a variety of intersectional issues affecting marginalised people. It will provide students the opportunity for co-creation and learning and provide access to expert thinkers enhancing the student experience particularly for BAME, LGBTQUIA+, disabled and international students.

Women in Sport Conference

A days long conference celebrating women is sport to encourage female participation in sports at Warwick. The event will bring together a range of speakers including Kare Odenegan, Paralympic medallist and Warwick Alumni and Charlotte Moore, Paralympian in Wheelchair Basketball.

Koan Records

Student-led non-profit record label aimed at recording, distributing, promoting and facilitating live-performance opportunities to student musicians at Warwick. The project is aiming to grow the music scene and set up a small-scale Warwick Music Festival for student performers and musicians.

International Student Engagement Project

Survey and research the international student experience so that the University and SU can advocate for services which better represent this cohort which comprises a large percentage of the student population. Identifying issues within the international student experience which can be addressed in a “Breaking Down Barriers” project aimed at promoting access to support services, as well as more generally improving the SUs ability to represent and advocate for international students.

Stand Up to Islamophobia

Month long project during Islamophobia Awareness Month in November to showcase the work of Muslim students and foster an inclusive environment on campus by developing a network between Muslim and non-Muslim students. This was the most extensive anti-Islamophobia project the Students Union has ever undertaken. Including seven events with a range of speakers including Warwick and partnering academics, poets, and activists.

Offering a lifeline to students suffering mental health crises...
Food
At least one in four students experience mental health issues during their time at university, and it’s on
the rise.

Philanthropic donations funded an awareness campaign run by Warwick SU called 'Are You OK?'.
It’s all about being more open about mental health and wellbeing, promoting dialogue between friends and acknowledging when things are tough so people can be helped. Every month students were encouraged to spread
the 'Are You OK?' message and ask their friends how they’re doing.

A whole programme of events was offered, covering Housing, Stress and Time Management, Drugs, Alcohol,
Exam Stress, and more. This is especially helpful for students coming from backgrounds or cultures which
stigmatise mental health. By debunking myths and educating students on spotting and supporting mental
illnesses, this campaign aims to keep people healthier and happier throughout their studies and beyond.

A new aspect of 'Are You OK?' was the creation of ‘Food for Thought’. This was specifically targeted at new students
living on campus, particularly undergraduates who were living away from home for the first time and may have never cooked independently before. The format of the recipe cards included the prices of ingredients, serving suggestions, and the number of servings each recipe could yield.
Helping our experts to work on ways to diagnose and treat Alzheimer's...

Right now, nearly one in six people in the UK are over 65, and one in three will develop dementia.

dementia-patient-stock-photo.jpg



Dr. Joanna Collingwood (Associate Professor at the University of Warwick’s School of Engineering) and her
research team used the funding to investigate the role of iron in the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease.

They found that in brains affected by Alzheimer’s, several chemically-reduced iron species including a proliferation
of a magnetic iron oxide called magnetite - which is not commonly found in the human brain – occur in the
amyloid protein plaques. The team had previously shown that these minerals can form when iron and the
amyloid protein interact with each other.

Understanding the significance of these metals to the progression of Alzheimer’s could lead to more effective future therapies which combat the disease at its root. Delaying the onset of dementia by five years would halve the number
of deaths from the condition, saving 30,000 lives a year.

Encouraging students to take part in volunteering activities...
school

'Give-it-a-go' activities deliver volunteering opportunities for students.

They include a variety of activities such as green/environmental projects, activities for school
children, painting and decorating community centres, walking dogs awaiting rehoming, and
gardening activities which befriend people with learning disabilities.

As of June 2018, 555 students have volunteered their time to one-off projects within the
local community. Students said it increased their confidence and communication skills,
improved their wellbeing, and gave them a chance to socialise with people from other cultures.

The majority of those who volunteer once will volunteer again, demonstrating the success of the project. The wealth of positive feedback, both written and verbally from community partners and students, show that the 'Give-it-a-go' programme is not only popular, but important.