Collaboration, Connections and Creativity

Published: 11 October 2023

Susan Grant, School of Health and Wellbeing Community Engagement Coordinator, looks back on her Athena Swan issue from last year and reflects on how far the hopes at that time of Clarice Pears promoting inclusivity and equality have come to fruition and launches our new Hub Mondays!

Susan Grant, School of Health and Wellbeing Community Engagement Coordinator, looks back on her Athena Swan issue from last year and reflects on how far the hopes at that time of Clarice Pears promoting inclusivity and equality have come to fruition and launches our new Hub Mondays!  

Last October I was thinking ahead to the move to our new home and in Hawkeye, I explored the question ‘Can the Clarice Pears building support The School of Health and Wellbeing’s commitment to equality and diversity?’ (University of Glasgow - Schools - School of Health & Wellbeing - Byres Community Hub - Community engagement updates - Can the Clarice Pears support SHW's commitment to E&D?)

Byres Community Hub as it was only just being named at that time now has its own identity, communication channels, and a developing programme of exhibitions and events all driven by our community consultation and coproduction workshops in 2022 but a year on, have our ‘staff and students made connections with people and groups traditionally underrepresented in education and research?’ 


In the six months since Byres Hub opened, we have seen:

  • ‘Creative Health and Wellbeing in our Communities’ exhibition with 11 community groups in Glasgow. 
  • ‘The Public’s Public Health’ with four organisations in Glasgow who work with communities most effected by health inequalities. Participants said that this project had

developed new skills in photography,’ that ‘it built confidence after losing my man, it helped a lot to learn new things’ and ‘that seeing other people’s photos gave me different perspectives.’

  • Community events such as ‘Feel Good Future’,  ‘Doors Open Day’ including ‘Public Health History Health Walks’.  UofG external relations team said in a recent funders report that

It has been so inspiring to see the local community coming in and actively connecting with researchers and staff in the School. The building is not only a beautiful addition to our campus and for the University staff, but also a means to create opportunities and enable knowledge exchange within the community.’

  • UofG Widening participation partner school visits.
  • Conferences and events from external organisations such Volunteer Glasgow’s Inclusive Volunteering event the upcoming ‘Mind the Gap’ with Govanhill Newsroom and The Ferret on local solutions to health inequalities.
  • Meetings and events for over 60 not-for-profit organisations including some of University of the Third Age (U3A)’s groups like their German conversation, book and knitting groups. Pasna Salis, from Weekday WOW Factor said,

We finally have a place to think, reflect, build partnerships & create without affordability issues to our volunteer led, tiny community organisation. I am proud to say because of the opportunities you have provided us we can actually hold our first proper staff meeting in the six years of our existence. Huge thanks for supporting us to support our local communities.’ 

  • Last year’s article also focused on the design of Clarice Pears. The accessibility of Clarice Pears and location just off Byres Road has been critical for many of the groups using Byres Community Hub.  Kay Ritchie from the Scribble health and wellbeing writing group which originated in the Maggie Centre and who have been using the Hub weekly said,

We love the building and thoughtful designed, light-filled rooms, and have found everyone so welcoming and helpful.  It is very exciting to be part of this new university campus in this environmentally friendly building, whose ethos is to be inclusive and open the community. As a School of Health and Wellbeing, is the perfect place for the needs of our group.’

  • Breastfeeding Friendly Scotland membership with our Athena Swan Maternity, Paternity and Carer’s Group and a new breastfeeding support group will soon be in Byres Hub each week.
  • Local NHS Health Improvement Teams bringing hundreds of staff from the voluntary sector working on the ground to tackle some of greatest health challenges into Clarice Pears for training such as ‘Gender Based Violence First Responder’ and ‘Suicide Talks’.
  • Exhibitions to showcase the health and wellbeing work and happening in communities including the ‘Rights in Action’ with Maryhill Integration Network and Poverty Alliance and ‘Health Inequalities’ with Chance2Change and Queens Nursing Institute as part of The Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival. Leanne McBride of Chance2Change said during our official building opening last month,

When the group are completing these bits of work, they don’t really see the importance of it until it ends up on a wall like and they think I can go to Glasgow Uni, this place is for me.’

  • Research groups across the school using the ground floor meeting rooms such as Mental Health and Wellbeing’s BRIDGE project and Partnerships for Change and larger spaces out with teaching such as for MRC Social Public Health Sciences Unit’s SHINE Schools Network conference. A note left on our wall made the comment that,

I love this building. It is perfect for Glasgow as people make Glasgow and need to feel welcome.’

  • Collaboration with the wider university such the Community Funder’s Fair in The Advanced Research Centre (ARC) and The ARC’s large public engagement programmes such as ARCadia and Explorathon and our Health Economics and Health Technology Assessment (HEHTA) team are going to be part of their new film programme with a documentary how decisions are made as to which medicines to fund in our NHS, capturing many different perspectives on the evening of 22nd November so please save the date. University of Glasgow - Research - Advanced Research Centre - What's on

Lots of connections and links have been made through the community engagement and researchers are now beginning to codevelop research such as HEHTA and MS Revive Scotland.  They are helping groups with their research such as Master’s in Public Health and The Beatson Cancer Charity. They are finding innovative ways to ensure the voices of under-represented communities are included in research such as General Practice and Primary Care’s research project with North West Glasgow Voluntary Sector Network and they are working in partnership with third sector organisations bridging research and practice such as collaborations at the forthcoming Festival of Social Sciences.

We have to sustain these links though and be prepared to act on opportunities and respond to research questions because as Florence Dioka from Central and West Integration Network said during our opening event,

When we work in partnership with the Uni, migrants and asylum seekers that we work with can use their lived experience to be able to inform research through this building.’

She added that,

What is means is that we will work as equal partners to be able to produce materials, evidence that will help to change things for the community in Glasgow, Scotland and the world.’


This is going to take a whole school effort and partnership effort, but it will undoubtedly continue to support equality and diversity.

Clarice Pears has also been a place for our staff to connect better with one another on level one with social events like our Spring Fling, Summer BBQ and forthcoming St Andrew’s Ceilidh and have been a chance for our friends and families to come along too.  We hope our new Hub Mondays will help to continue to broaden access and offer networking opportunities for staff, students and the public because as was quoted in last year’s article,

It is from small social conversations that big ideas emerge.’



Hub Mondays

An image of two Byres Hub Volunteers with Susan Grant showing off the new Byres Hub Volunteer shirts


If your new to our Hub, or if you’re already familiar with us, come and pop in and boost your wellbeing by meeting some of our Hub volunteers and fellow members of your community.  Our Hub Mondays are a chance for community organisations, members of the public, staff and students to come in for a cup of tea, an opportunity to chat and network, dedicated time to see the Byres Community Hub space and our public spaces and the chance to have a tour of Clarice Pears including our top floor meeting room with a view. Join us and start your week on a high from 10am-12pm on Mondays 30th October; 6th, 13th, 20th, and 27th November; 4th and 11th December. On Monday 18th December the School of Health and Wellbeing is holding its inaugural Christmas Lecture at 3pm. The lecture by Professor William Stewart is entitled ‘head injury, sport and health: the gift that keeps on taking’. We will have tea and mince pies and tours at 2pm instead that day. 

ESRC Festival of Social Sciences Saturday 4th November

An image of the Festival of Social Sciences Flyer

The theme for this year’s ESRC Festival of Social Sciences is ‘Lifelong Wellbeing’ and it is celebrating 75 years of the NHS so it is fitting that UofG is having a community event in our School of Health and Wellbeing on Saturday 4th November. You can see the full programme on the UofG’s listing on the ESRC FoSS website: Events | Festival of Social Science. The programme includes lots of other SHW research: SIPHER’s ‘Equivalent income calculator’; Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory showcasing five different activities including their new ‘Research for All’ project; Public Health’s ‘A health education’; Social Public Health Sciences Unit (SPSHU) ‘Discover heritage in your local neighbourhood’; Social Sciences in Health ‘Wellbeing across the generations’ and Social and Political Sciences have ‘Football, betting, and gambling harms’ in partnership with The Machine Zone who were part of our hub consultation and Mental Health and Wellbeing’s collaboration with COPE Scotland on a ‘global stressors and mental health’ activity. We look forward to showcasing the outcomes from this final activity as part of an exhibition in Byres Hub during National Self Care week 13th – 19th November. 



T: UofGByresHub

Susan Grant 
SHW community engagement coordinator 

First published: 11 October 2023

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