Celebrating PEP Stories
We were delighted to welcome six brilliant Public Engagement Professionals (PEPs) to speak at the PEPTogether on Thursday 21st of May, each sharing their experiences and reflections of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has affected their working lives. Their varied reflections touched on the need for creativity in our response to this crisis, as well as trusting in both ourselves and our audiences when testing new approaches; we learned from their successes and failures, as well as their experiences from previous roles in other sectors; and we were inspired by positive words of encouragement and stories of hope.
We really hope you enjoy listening to their stories below:
Bella Starling - Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow, Director of Public Programmes, Manchester University NHS Trust
Bella reflected on the response of the research community to this crisis, where engagement fits in and how time, creativity and relationships play a part.
Niyah Campbell - Youth Participation Lead, Institute for Mental Health, University of Birmingham
Niyah shared his experience of working with young people and how they have embraced online engagement, as well as addressing the tricky term 'hard-to-reach'.
Emily Burns - Director of the Centre for Public Engagement, Queen Mary University of London
Emily moved to her current role with an HEI from the charity sector during lockdown. She reflected on this transition, and what it has been like to do it during the current context.
Bentley Crudgington - Creative Facilitator, University of Manchester
Bentley produced a video about the Sci-Fi Salon - an engagement event from 2016 - reminding us that engagement can be about kinship and hope.
Watch the video (password: PEPTOGETHER)
Sophie Morris - Public Engagement Trainer, Engagement with Impact
Sophie reflected on her move to online training: the sucesses, and the not-so-successes.
Helen Obee Reardon - Impact Specialist, School of Engineering, Cardiff University
Helen shared some inspirational words on the many ways in which our sector has responded to the COVID-19 crisis, and positive changes that have happened in such a short amount of time.