DMU has celebrated its commitment to people’s beliefs and the part it plays in their wellbeing with the official launch of OpenFaith.
Mayor of Leicester Sir Peter Soulsby joined Interim Vice-Chancellor Andy Collop at the event which was held in the Breathing Space at DMU, along with Phil Scarffe, DMU’s Head of Student Welfare, and Mej Rahim, Student Cohesion Officer.
Faith and wellbeing advisors with Sir Peter Soulsby in the Muslim prayer room
OpenFaith is a part of #HealthyDMU and incorporates faith and spirituality into wellbeing and welfare services.
OpenFaith encourages students of all faiths and no faith to come together in celebrating diversity and humanitarian values.
The initiative encourages students and staff to access a variety of spiritual facilities including the prayer room, chaplaincy and the Breathing Space.
It is open to all regardless of belief and encourages staff and students to be able to explore spirituality, faith, religion and all belief systems in an open and accessible way.
As part of #HealthyDMU, all OpenFaith related activities, such as meetings, masterclasses and visits, focus on the health and wellbeing of students as well as supporting growth and personal development.
Following a tour of the facilities, Sir Peter said: “This event today represents all the very best in Leicester and all the very best in DMU. You not only have a very diverse university but you are in a uniquely diverse city.
“I do not for a moment pretend everything is perfect, although we do things better than any other city I know.
“The diversity and cohesion that we are so proud of is always a work in progress so OpenFaith and this Breathing Space are important.
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“DMU is exemplary in the physical connection it has with the city but what is amazing is the extent to which the people in the university set out to be an integral part of the city too.
“This is more than just a physical space. It is about a community and the communities within that. With that I congratulate you and wish you well for the future.”
Interim Vice-Chancellor Andy Collop said: “We are very proud of our diverse community of students and staff and one of the great things we can do as an institution is to support that diversity and allow it to flourish.
“People are at the heart of the university and faith plays an important role for many of those people’s wellbeing.”
Harminder Singh Jagdev is Sikh faith advisor at DMU. He said: “This space is brilliant. Since I started in September I have seen more and more people coming here and using it. I hope that growth continues.”
Mej Rahim, Student Cohesion Officer at DMU, said: “I think this space is integral to the student experience.
“People look for a place that they belong and this has become really popular with the students. We have people of different faiths and no faiths coming together and talking to each other and breaking down barriers.”
Posted on Thursday 20th February 2020