Skip to content
November 4, 2021

SPARK! November Newsletter

Hello everyone,

Autumn is a beautiful season with all its reds and yellows, but let’s go purple for a little while with the November Spark Newsletter! This week sees the kick-off for this year’s Graduation Ceremonies, with students and their families gathering the city centre for the important day. Quite the shift from this time last year. I (Thomas) would argue that seeing so many excited people on campus again is a nice step towards the new norm, right up until the extra-long queues interfere with your quick coffee break of course!

Before I move on to the actual news, my Aspergers would like to pop up for a second and point out that this year marks the 30th anniversary of the Sonic the Hedgehog computer games. A true 90’s classic! So, to mark the occasion, here is a little Fall themed doodle I found:

Rights at Work events

SHU staff networks are hosting a week in focus exploring your ‘Rights at Work’. This week is open to all members of staff and is focused on ensuring all staff know exactly what is meant by ‘Rights at work’, this includes what an employee’s rights are in law, what this means in practice at SHU for both academic and professional services staff, how you can support the rights of your colleagues and what to do if you think yours or anyone else’s rights aren’t being respected.

The week in focus will consist of a mix of content, in different formats and includes two virtual events; one is an informative talk on Tuesday 23rd November 2pm focused on what your legal employee rights are, how this law is applied to SHU policies, and what process to follow if you have any issues. The other event is a questions and answers session on Wednesday 24th November at 10:30am with a panel of experts both internal and external to SHU who can help guide you on a specific situation. Questions should be submitted in advance and will be shared anonymously with the panel.

Additional guidance and supporting information will be shared throughout the week, ensuring that staff and managers know where to look if further support is needed.

Event 1: Tuesday 23rd November 2pm – Understanding your rights at work:  This event will inform you about your Rights at Work, this includes information about your legal protection, SHU policies, and support available if you don’t feel your rights are being respected. Speakers include Eversheds Employment Legal Specialists, University and College Union representatives and SHU HROD Senior Advisers. The event is open to all SHU staff and will discuss flexible working rights, discrimination policies and support available to staff. Link to register via Eventbrite.

Event 2: Wednesday 24th November 10:30am – Your rights at work – Q&A session: This event is hosted by Professor Kevin Kerrigan, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Business and Enterprise, and is an opportunity for you to submit your questions about your rights at work to a panel of experts. The panel will include Eversheds Employment Legal Specialists, Unison representatives, SHU Employment Law Solicitor Mark Serby and SHU HROD Senior Advisers. Questions should be submitted in advance using the following form and will be shared with the panel anonymously.  Submit questions anonymously in advance via the following Microsoft Form. Link to register via Eventbrite.


New Hallam EDI Objectives

The new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) objectives are now available to view on the intranet.

​​​​​​​“Our Equality Objectives embody the university’s ambition to create a transformational and aspirational culture of inclusion for all students and staff. We are proud of the rich diversity of our Hallam community, and value a culture where every individual can succeed and thrive…”

The page features the five themes that the objectives were built around and includes a downloadable copy that can be viewed anytime.

The network would be interested to see what feedback can be gathered and would encourage members to view and share their thoughts.


Disability Sheffield Events 

Sheffield Voices is hosting an event for people with a learning disability and/or autism on 11th November between 6-8pm to explain what your rights are under the UN CRDP and listen to your views. View Poster for details and how to book a place.

Disability Sheffield is holding a second event for disabled people which will give an over-view of the CRDP and the shadow reporting process on Tuesday 16th November between 6–8pm. View Poster for details and how to book a place.


Meeting with the University of Sheffield Disabled Staff Network

Holly and Nick met virtually with members of the University of Sheffield Disabled Staff Network on Friday 22nd November for the first time. This was a really exciting opportunity to share experiences between the two networks and we hope to work with them more in the future to share ideas and potentially host a joint event at some point.


Call for new committee members

The network is in need of more committee members in order to help sustain Spark and continue to grow the work that the network can do.

Please email Spark at if you might be interested in joining the network committee and wish to know more about the roles available.


Best wishes 

Thomas and the Spark! Network Committee