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Veterans and Reservists Staff Network

Information on how the University of Sunderland's Veterans and Reservists Staff Network has run between 2021-22.

What is the Veterans and Reservists Staff Network?

The Veterans and Reservists Staff Network was set up in April 2021 as a way for community members and allies to be socially active and support each other.

As of August 2021:

  • 17 members attend the BAME Staff Network
  • 100% believe that the networks support the delivery of the University Value of Inclusion
  • 60% welcome allies to the group
People in the army

100% agree that they create connections, a safe space, shared purpose, interests and sense of belonging for members

A group of people on the beach

100% agree that they are able to share problems, knowledge, ideas, situations and lessons

An army soldier in a tank

100% agreed that they solve problems, bringing resources, processes and other ways of change to the University

Two people studying with a book

67% agree that they are a powerful voice and source for positive change, embedded across the whole University.

Chair of the Veterans and Reservists Network

Simone Bedford

Team Leader for Professional Healthcare Practice and Midwifery

University of Sunderland staff and armed forces personnel

Our impact

As well as supporting the student recruitment team in their advertising specifically to attract veterans and reservist they have also celebrated armed forces day.  The network asked the University for the veterans garden on city campus to pay tribute to those who have served their country over the years with honour and distinction which was opened in May.

British soldiers

Why do staff attend?

  • To meet with other veterans and reservists from the university to share ideas
  • To share ideas with staff and hear their opinions, with the aim of improving applicant and student experience at the University
  • To meet like-minded people, to support veterans and reservists at the university of Sunderland
  • To meet other colleagues who share same interests
  • To help to integrate into university life

University of Sunderland student Mark Walsh

Inclusive or exclusive?

Reasons why members think the network should be inclusive include:

  • An ally could be a family member of a serving person, veteran or reservist
  • It is important that allies are encouraged
  • Exploiting networks is an important part of continuous improvement

Reasons why members think the network should be exclusive include:

  • Veterans and reservists have a common mindset that may not necessarily be shared by those who have not served
  • It depends on the value added by them
A Royal Air Force plane

Other areas

  • 67% feel the network would benefit from a more structured action plan
  • 50% feel the network would benefit from having assigned roles for individuals for example Chair, Events coordinator, note taker
  • 67% would like to see the networks recognised in appraisals

Staff testimonials:

We asked the members of the Veterans and Reservists Staff Network their opinions.

Exterior of Cityspace at night

"The Network provides a safe space to discuss issues relating to veterans and reservists who work at the university."

Stairs outside the Prospect building at Sir Tom Cowie campus

"The network was set up to enable like-minded people to support each other, especially for those who are transitioning to civilian life."

City campus at dusk

"It allows us to share experiences, exploit information and identify how Sunderland University can provide support to Veterans in the future."

Contact us

We welcome feedback on Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Social Responsibility.

Please contact our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager, justine.gillespie@sunderland.ac.uk or,
the Student Union LGBTQ+ Officer at yoursu@sunderland.ac.uk