Staff networks: What's new? — articles for 2020

Christmas around the world

We asked our staff network members what Christmas means to them:

World map


Nine Morning  (A Unique Vincentian Tradition)


Greet the dawn celebrating a traditional festival experienced only in St. Vincent & the Grenadines. Awaken the Christmas season with our indigenous Nine Mornings Festival.  Since 1913, residents share this expression of local culture, it is definitely unique and I always look forward to this festival every Christmas; it is for this reason my family journey from the UK almost every Christmas. Annually throughout December, members of several communities eagerly entertain age-old cultural practices in the form of mock hangings, creole dances, harmonious caroling, street parades, boom drums, string bands, creole breakfast and early morning sea baths among other traditions. Then the ultimate community celebration climaxes ‘Nine Mornings’ before Christmas (December 16th - 24th) at Heritage Square, Kingstown (the Capital City of St. Vincent and the Grenadines) from 4 a.m.


Nine Mornings is a memorable Christmas warming experience ‘Celebrating A Unique Vincentian Tradition!’

  Nine mornings celebrations   Christmas tree



During the holiday season, one of the most important occasions in Spain is the Three Kings’ Feast, or el Día de los Tres Reyes Magos. In the same way the three Kings brought gifts for baby Jesus at his birth, gifts are exchanged on January 6th and are often preceded by a night of local parades, music and celebrations in towns and cities. When families return to their home thereafter, the children will remove and clean their shoes in the hope that they are filled with presents the following morning and wake up at 6AM to open their gifts.



During holiday season, the 24th of December is main festive day with many celebrations and family gatherings in Poland. On this day, supper begins after the appearance of the first star in the sky in memory of the Star of Bethlehem. Twelve dishes (symbolic of the twelve apostles) are prepared and served at the table which are typically meat-free, with the main dish being Carp. Small amounts of hay are placed underneath the tablecloth of the dinner table as a reminder that Jesus was born in a manger and in many homes, one seat at the table is left empty in remembrance of baby Jesus or for a lost wanderer who may be in need. Dinner is initiated by all individuals by the breaking of a wafer biscuit called oplatek to symbolise their unity in Christ.



The Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates both Christmas and the baptism of Jesus on January 6th. In the lead up to the 25th of December, some Armenians may fast until the 24th of December where they have an important meal called Khetum. This often includes rice, fish, nevik (green chard and chick peas) and a yogurt/wheat soup called Tanabur. Traditional desserts include Rojik (whole shelled walnuts threaded on a string and encased in grape jelly) and Bastukh (a paper-like dessert made of grape jelly, cornstarch and flour).



Christmas in Peru was First celebrated in 1535, where the run up to the 25th of December consists of meeting family and friends in special events called Chocolatadas; people gather to drink hot chocolate and eat a traditional cake called Panetón. This tradition originated from sharing gifts and food with those who could not make ends meet and for those struggling during this time of year. The main decorations are the elaborate nativity scenes called Pesebre, where native Peruvian animals such as alpacas and llamas are also added to the scene! Baby Jesus is put in the nativity crib only on Cjristmas day. The main Christmas celebration is held on Christmas Eve or Noche Buena where many people attend a 10pm mass called Misa de Gallo; After mass is special dinner held with family and friends, Cena de Navidad, which consists of roast turkey, chicken or pork with salads and dishes such as tamales.

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International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Today is International Day of Persons with Disabilities which aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and rally support for the dignity, rights and wellbeing of people with disabilities.  There are an estimated one billion people living with disabilities worldwide who face many barriers to inclusion in many key aspects of society, including their place of work. 


To celebrate this important day under this year’s theme ‘the Future is Accessible’, and help break down those barriers together, we would like to bring your attention to Health Passport.    Successfully piloted with our Project Search interns, the passport is designed to help colleagues who have a disability, long term health condition, mental health issue or learning disability/difficulty access the workplace place support they need as they move through their NHS career.  More information about the passport can be found here.


Please contact us for further information/queries on 

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Do you have an outstanding BAME colleague?

Both the NHS Long-Term Plan and the People Plan emphasise that developing a positive, inclusive and people-centred culture, where diversity is respected and valued, is an essential aspect of achieving the NHS ambitions over the next 10 years.

The National BAME Health & Care Awards have been developed to celebrate the progress made in supporting BAME staff to thrive in our organisations. Where healthcare organisations are investing in prevention of health inequalities, we want to acknowledge and share good practice interventions and tools as well as innovative ideas that contribute to better patient care.

Award winners can be from any background but need to demonstrate that they have made a positive and sustainable difference to the lives of BAME people, staff, patients, users of services or communities.

Who can nominate?

Who can be nominated?
Nominees must be either a current employee or a team in an NHS or  social care service in the statutory, voluntary or private sector in the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).

How to nominate:

  • The nomination will be through an online form on the website. There is also Word version of the form available.

  • People can be nominated for more than one of the award categories (but each nomination requires a separate entry).

  • Individuals completing nomination forms need to demonstrate how the nominee meets all of the criteria for each category. The maximum word limit is 250 words for each criterion. Anything beyond 250 words will be rejected. 

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Disability History Month Events

Autism and Reasonable Adjustments in the Workplace,
Dr. Catriona Stewart OBE, Scottish Womens Autism Network SWAN Wednesday 25th November 11-12


Join Dr Catriona Stewart OBE, the founder of SWAN: Scottish Women’s Autism Network and Dr Fiona Kumari Campbell, Professor of Disability and Ableism Studies, School of Education and Social Work, University of Dundee for this workshop that raise as many questions as answers, such as: The Equalities Act stipulates the requirement for employers to make 'reasonable adjustments' for employees with protected characteristics.  What if, for autistic people, no-one knows what those adjustments might be, including the autistic employee? What about the barriers to gaining employment in the first place for autistic people? And what if, even when they scale those barriers, issues of communication in the workplace are so profound, they marginalise and discriminate in ways that are 'invisible' to all except the autistic employee? What is the cost and who pays it?


Disability Consciousness-Raising and COVID-19: Possibilities and Challenges - Prof Fiona Kumari Campbell  Wednesday 2nd Dec 11.30 – 12.30 

This event is a speaker swap which has been co-ordinated by the National Association of Disabled Staff Networks (NADSN) and University of Birmingham

Professor Fiona Kumari Campbell (FRSA) explains that, while the COVID-19 epidemic has had horrific consequences in terms of life, social isolation, the demonization of disabled and aged people, and challenges to the economy; it has also acted as a moment to reappraise the meaning of ‘disability' and affords the opportunity to build up the disability rights movement. 

This presentation will discuss the convergence of these new realities and consider the COVID-19 crisis as a moment of opportunity to harness the role of consciousness raising strategies, in order to bring together disparate groups of disabled people in conversation, reflection and ultimately, action around institutionalised ableism.




Dundee’s?Inaugural?Annual Eddie Small Disability?LectureMr John Horan

Thursday 3rd December 2020, 16.00- 17.30 GMT

?On the 3rd December, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities please join us for the inaugural Eddie Small Lecture. The late Mr Eddie Small was an active member of the Disabled Staff Network, a historian, playwright, creative writing tutor and Public Engagement Officer in the School of Humanities, University of Dundee.


In this year’s lecture John Horon, Cloisters Chambers, London. Nominated for Outstanding Contribution to Diversity & Inclusion Award at the Chambers and Partners UK Bar Awards 2019. Listed by Power 100 (2016) as one of Britain’s most influential people with a disability. Awarded Bar Council "Pro Bono Lawyer for the Year" in 2003. John will be highlighting his background as a disabled barrister as well as discussing the theme of ‘doublespeak’ in accessing justice for disabled people. John will be joined by Fiona Kumari Campbell FRSA, Professor of Disability and Ableism Studies, School of Education and Social Work, University of Dundee.  

There will be an opportunity after the talk, for question & answers.


Changes and challenges in higher education for disabled students and staff - a personal perspective over 25 years, Dr. Shirley Hill, Head of Disability Services at the University of Dundee. Friday 4th December 11-12pm 

Dr Shirley Hill, Head of Disability Services, University of Dundee presents 'Changes and challenges in higher education for disabled students and staff - a personal perspective over 25 years’. Shirley Hill is Head of Disability Services at the University of Dundee. In this role, she is primarily responsible for managing the delivery of a range of confidential services for disabled students and staff. She is a Chartered Psychologist, an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, and has a Doctorate in Education. For her doctoral research, Shirley investigated the experience of disabled students on professional practice placements and subsequently published the key outcomes of this research in the peer-reviewed journal Disability & Society. Prior to her role in Disability Services, Shirley worked as a research psychologist on various projects, including research on dyslexia and literacy development, and peer-supported learning in higher education. 



Integrating tactic knowledge into students learning from the Schools of Computing and Education and Social work, Rolf Black, Susan Levy and John Dow. Wednesday 9th Dec 12 – 1pm

This presentation will provide insights into the approaches and models adopted in the Schools of Education and Social Work, and Science and Engineering to involve service users and carers in students’ learning. The integration of user perspectives is effectively supporting students to co-produce outcomes through design and social work practice that is inclusive and can enhance the lives of people with disabilities. Discussion of current good practice in the two Schools will be used as exemplars that could be adopted by other Schools.  The presentation will also provide a space for exploring opportunities to develop a University wide user group for collaborative work, true to the One Dundee approach. 


Disabled Researchers – Threats and Possibilities? Peripheries Research Group

Friday 11th December 9am – 10.30 

Disabled researchers continue to be underrepresented in the academy, even ironically in the field of disability studies. This panel brings together some of the brightest minds – disabled researchers – working on social change, empirically and/or theoretically. This international panel will explore such topics as our personal journeys and opportunities as well as barriers to undertaking research.  Please join us and this international panel where we will ponder –  

• Why are disabled researchers invisible in the academy?  

• How do university arrangements impact on your capacity to be research productive?  

• Is there anything ‘distinctive’ to being a disability researcher?  

• What needs to be done to elevate the profile of disabled researchers?  

The seminar will be followed by a live Q&A. 

M/C: Professor Fiona Kumari Campbell, University of Dundee, 


  • Professor Debbie Foster, University of Cardiff, Wales; 
  • Dr Huhana Hickey, Independent Researcher, NZ; 
  • Professor Anita Ghai, Ambedkar University, India; 
  • Dr Anne Ferguson, Central Queensland University, Australia; 
  • Dr Camit Noa Shpigelman, Haifa University, Israel; 
  • Professor Michele Moore, London Southbank University, UK, Editor in Chief, Disability and Society


Dr Fiona Kumari Campbell, FRSA

Professor of Disability & Ableism Studies

PhD QUT; BLegSt (Hons) La Trobe; AdvDipTheol Univ Div; JP (Qual);

School of Education & Social Work, University of Dundee,

Perth Road, Dundee, DD14HN. SCOTLAND, United Kingdom



Academia site:

Fellowship of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).

Member, The Society of Legal Scholars


* Co-Chair, Disabled Staff Network –

*Co Lead, Peripheries Scholarship & Research Theme, School of Education & Social Work

*Steering Group, Feminist Researchers & Teaching Network (UoD)

*Adjunct Professor in Disability Studies, Department of Disability Studies, Faculty of Medicine

University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka



Executive Editorial Board, Disability & Society

Editorial Board, Indian Journal of Critical Disability Studies

Editorial Advisors, Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies

Board of Advisors, Socio-Legal Review, National Law School of India University

Series Editorial Board, Corporealities: Discourses of Disability



Advisory Group, Scottish Just Law Centre

Board member, Inclusion Scotland

Board member, SWAN, Scottish Women’s Autism Network

Steering Group, National Association of Disabled Staff Networks (NADSN); Co-Lead for Scotland

Womens Officer, Dundee West branch, Scottish National Party

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Invite- Devon Wide BAME Network

Devon Wide BAME Network Invites you to

Equality Diversity and Inclusion, A way forward.

Date 2nd December 2020

Time 9.30-11.30am

Location MS Teams


9.30-9.45am Liz Davenport CEO of Torbay and South Devon Healthcare Foundation Trust Welcome and opening address

9.45-10.00 am Roger Kline Author of Snowy white peaks in the NHS.

10.00-10.15am Q&A Session for Roger Kline

10.15-10.30am Ali Khan, Founder NHS wide BAME Network Chair’s Forum

10.30-10.45am James Miller, WRES Expert, Surrey Heartlands ICS

10.45-11.00am Sarah Zanoni Chair of the equality cooperative

11.00-11.15am Q&A

11.15-11.30am Thank you and close Sanita Simadree Chair of the Devon Wide Bame Network

Please click on the link below to join: on 2nd December 2020 at 9.30am

Click here to join the meeting

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