Tell us a bit about your role…
My role at the University involves enhancing support and prevention in relation to gender-based violence, hate crime and harassment. My role is characterised by the way in which I work with a range of teams from across the University including the Students’ Union, academic departments and professional services teams. An important part of my role is also to strengthen relationships with specialist organisations and for the past year, I have been working in partnership with CRASAC (Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre) on sexual violence prevention and support.
Tell us about your award-winning project/work…
The University was successful in securing HEFCE Catalyst Funding to review its processes and procedures relating to sexual violence against women, hate crime and harassment. The project was delivered in partnership with CRASAC, an dour key outcomes included developing a coordinated institution-wide response to sexual violence, hate crime and harassment. Our new dedicated sexual violence prevention and support pages provide clear information on what staff and students might expect in terms of support and reporting options.
This project is relevant to each member of the Warwick community and we encourage staff and students to familiarise themselves with the Sexual Violence Support Pathway and the Sexual Violence Awareness leaflet. Hard copies of this leaflet are available from Wellbeing Support Services. As a result of collaborative efforts between the Students’ Union, Wellbeing Support Services and CRASAC we have a newly appointed University Outreach ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Advisor). Our ISVA Charlotte Lewis works for CRASAC but she is dedicated to providing specialist advice and emotional support to staff and students at the University of Warwick. She is based both within Wellbeing Support Services and the Students’ Union Advice Centre.
This project impacts everyone because it goes beyond tackling individual issues and focuses more broadly on Warwick’s Respect Agenda. We are in the process of developing a Respect for All at Warwick resource which outlines positive, expected behaviours as well as those behaviours which do not belong on campus and the reporting and support options available. The resource is aimed at students who are new to Warwick but will be made available to everyone. It is really important for staff and students to know that we care, respect and we will believe you if you choose to come and talk to us. Our challenge is now to maintain momentum working in these areas so that together we can engender a community that promotes dignity, respect, health and wellbeing.
How does it feel to have won the Outstanding Contribution award?
To find out that someone has noticed the work that you do and that they have taken the time to nominate you is a truly amazing feeling. I found it very energising and uplifting as it often takes a very long time to reach the end of a project. It feels fantastic to have won in the knowledge that more people across the University will get to hear about the project and find out about how we can tackle sexual violence, hate crime and harassment.
I must acknowledge the outstanding contribution made by CRASAC, the Students’ Union and Wellbeing Support Services who provide survivors with emotional support and are there for all our students and staff who may have experienced or been affected by sexual violence, hate crime or harassment.
Why do you think people should get involved with nominating for the University Awards?
People should get involved with nominating staff for the Awards as it really makes a huge difference to know that your work gets noticed and that people value what you do on a daily basis. It gives you a real boost! It’s also a great way to spread the word about fantastic work going on across the University. It’s an opportunity to celebrate people, and we should try to find time for this as it means a great deal.
What was a personal highlight for you from the Awards evening on 18 May?
My highlight was being able to share the experience with the team from Wellbeing Support Services and my husband. A group of us attended and we enjoyed a really lovely evening.
The University Awards are a great way for the University to improve and learn from staff initiatives over the year. If you could change one thing at the University, what would it be?
I must admit that all the things that I would consider changing are already in the process of being developed – we have better car parks, a new Sports Centre on the way and a number of opportunities for staff to come together at networking events to improve communication across the University.
What would you like to say to the person – or people – who nominated you?
I would like to thank Anna for taking time out to put together the nomination for me and to let her know that it has made the world of difference to know that the people around me value the work that I do and think that it is important enough to receive an award. I feel very humbled and privileged, and the occasion marks the end of what has been a challenging but extremely rewarding project.
Enjoyed hearing from Annunziata? Read more profiles from award winners
It is really important for staff and students to know that we care, respect and we will believe you if you choose to come and talk to us. Our challenge is now to maintain momentum so that together we can engender a community that promotes dignity, respect, health and wellbeing."