Networks and societies
As a student at DMU, you are able to join our diverse societies, where you can discover new hobbies, nurture your talent, explore your identity and discover new friendships!
Through the Students’ Union, it is also possible to set your own society, if you have three other interested members. For further information, please visit the committee hub on the Students’ Union website.
Staff Network Groups
I became a member of the network within a week of joining DMU and found a welcoming and supportive place to have genuine conversations with like-minded colleagues.
At DMU, we have four staff network groups, a space for colleagues to collaborate and share experiences:
- DisAbility and Wellbeing Network
- LGBTQ+ Staff Network
Our staff networks:
- Provide a safe environment to discuss common issues and to enable members to seek mutual support.
- Provide opportunities for professional and social networking amongst members.
- Seek to change the culture of the organisation by empowering confidence within the group to make organisational change using the skills and attributes of members.
- Seek to improve the working environment of underrepresented staff across the university.
- Break down barriers by organising events to encourage respect for diversity and to raise cultural awareness within DMU.
- Provide advice and input into the development and implementation of new and existing DMU policies and procedures at DMU, drawing upon the experiences of the group, to ensure fairness and equality.
- Offer consultation on policies and support for learning and development opportunities.
- Offer the resource of the group to decision making committees.
- Provide a formal link to the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee to represent the network members and issues raised at the network gatherings.
- Improve awareness of the groups and champion the groups' activity.
DisAbility and Wellbeing Network
The DisAbility and Wellbeing Network (DAWN) exists to bring together members of staff who live with conditions that are considered a Disability under the Equality Act 2010, including:
- Medical Conditions, e.g. Epilepsy, Diabetes, Cancer
- Auto Immune Conditions
- Mental Health Conditions
- Autistic Spectrum Conditions
- Sensory Disability, e.g. Deaf and/or Blind
- Specific Learning Differences, e.g. Dyslexia
- Physical Impairments
*This list is not exhaustive
The aim of this network is to provide a safe space, to promote dialogue and consciousness about disability and health (physical and mental), and for everyone to feel supported irrespective of the barriers they are experiencing. In doing so, the DSN aims to strengthen an organisational culture of inclusivity, respect and kindness towards others.
Our underlying vision is to bring about a more informed and respectful way of thinking about health and wellbeing, in its broadest possible sense in order to enable each and every person at DMU to feel supported and respected, be able to enjoy equal access to facilities and resources and not feel stigmatised in any way. The format of our engagement is as flexible as possible in order to cater to a wide variety of needs. It includes regular get togethers over coffee which can be online or face-to-face, awareness raising sessions, mindfulness and relaxation sessions, training sessions as well as campaigning work on key issues.
Support and Connection
We run regular friendly get-togethers online where we discuss our experiences on a variety of issues such as poor sleep, exercise, pain management, issues relating to mobility and access, support we receive from healthcare professionals, how to manage multiple health conditions, how to manage childcare, work and health/disability, stress, anxiety, depression, how to develop resilience and many other topics. We are not prescriptive and we are happy to discuss whatever is of interest to the group. Our inclusive approach means that wherever possible, we will also work with other networks such as DMU Women, LGBTQ+ and Allies Staff Network, Race Equality Networks or the Disabled Student Network.
Awareness Raising and Culture Change
In keeping with particular calendar dates, we run up to four awareness-raising events a year, for example in line with Blue Monday (generally the third Monday in January), World Cancer Day (4 February) and World Autism Awareness Day (2 April). As previously outlined, we are keen to bring health and disability to the fore in order to create a fairer and more compassionate working environment.
We also run events to raise awareness of how to respond to someone who is experiencing health problems or support training sessions on non-discrimination towards people with health and disability issues, for example, by ensuring that line managers give staff members enough flexibility to join support networks during working hours. Wherever possible, we will seek to remove barriers to personal growth and well-being.
Disability History Month
In 2021, the network organised the first Disability History Month (DHM) at DMU. This year's DHM highlights include Deaf Awareness and British Sign Language taster sessions, a live showing of the film Crip Camp followed by a panel discussion, conversations about the importance of intersectionality, a Disability Confidence workshop and much more.
Vision and Objectives
DMU Women is a fully inclusive network for all women who work and study at De Montfort University (DMU) as well as our graduates, local and global communities and partners. The network's aim is to encourage women to feel confident, listened to and supported in their work and study.
Our vision is for a network that lifts each other up and reaches out beyond the campus to connect and work with people in our city, our country and our world. We will support DMU Women through collectively delivering projects, events, research, conferences, celebrations, volunteering and fundraising.
To achieve this, our mission is to amplify voices through connection - to provide platform from which we can address issues of concern in a supported and supportive environment.
We will do this through:
- Increase the current reach of the network to at least double the current constituency and ensure that it reflects the diversity of DMU women (our intersectionality). By widening participation and membership of the network we will create stronger bonds and opportunities for staff, students, alumnae, as well as women in communities and partner organisations. For our catalogue of planned events, we will widen our invitations to join speeches, workshops and other sessions – beyond DMU Women – where it is appropriate and helpful for all staff to be included.
- Apply our individual and shared experiences, research, teaching and professional knowledge, to further enhance and improve policies and working practices, to support women and to reduce the impact of the 'invisible women data gap' on our working environment. We will work with a network of networks to investigate ways to support one another in this ambition.
- Be a network of 'discovery' (engaged research) that provides a platform for DMU Women to raise awareness, funding and research evidence to support a particular issue in our city. Linked to the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty and reduce inequality, we will be examining the issue of homelessness in Leicester, building on previous research and engagement to continue to challenge and resolve street homelessness.
- Examine and explore all aspects of health and well-being to enhance the living and working lives of DMU Women, providing a safe space for discussion and shared learning experiences to build confidence, mutual support and embedding well-being as a priority for ourselves and others.
- Support positive educational experiences for women and champion professional development and discovery at DMU by facilitating opportunities and activities through the network by working with DMU colleagues and departments, local and global partners and our alumnae members e.g. employment and research short placement opportunities.
- With the ethos of 'public good' at our heart we will actively seek an external partnership network to connect DMU Women and our allies to ensure that we are collectively working towards achieving a fairer, healthier world.
- Creating space and opportunities for women to understand and achieve their limitless potential, whilst addressing barriers to growth, change and development will enable individual and institutional benefits with impact at work, in homes and in communities.
- Volunteering and fundraising activities alongside our programme of events and diverse research, projects and activities will create opportunities to change the future for women - to connect, discover and transform not only our working lives – but the world around us.
International Women’s Day
Each year, the network organises International Women’s day, marking this with talks and workshops open to all to attend, showcasing the work of women at DMU and beyond.
LGBTQ+ Allies Network
The DMU LGBTQ+ and Allies network is aimed at providing a safe, supportive space for LGBTQ+ staff, and working with allies to normalise inclusion and celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. The network's aims are underpinned by inclusivity, bringing together LGBTQ+ staff to learn from, connect with, and support one another.
Communication: We use events and speakers from both DMU and externally on LGBTQ+ topical subjects to help expand knowledge, education, and awareness.
Connection: We bring together staff from all backgrounds to capture representative experiences of the LGBTQ+ community, to support individuals and share as a community.
Celebration: We promote celebration of the LGBTQ+ community in a variety of ways including projects, activities, and talks, from hosting Pride events to smaller network events and web pages.
Every year for the past nine years, the network has organised a month-long celebration of LGBTQ+ culture and reflection on history to mark LGBTQ+ History Month in February. This month normally holds events raising awareness of important issues to the LGBTQ+ community, holding lectures, workshops, film and theatre trips and engaging allies.
Information on our most recent events.
Race Equality Network
We set an annual programme of events and activities that aim to:
- Inspire colleagues to aim higher and achiever their career potential
- Support colleagues by providing opportunities to share and receive guidance to elevate their professional and personal lives
- Achieve positive outcomes for colleagues by acting as an advisory/consultation network to leadership boards.
The network organises a number of events, raising awareness, highlighting colleagues’ experiences, and assisting the development of staff, for example, sessions on mentoring, and promotions.
Black History Month
Each year, the network organises Black History Month, which features a richly diverse calendar of events celebrating the heritage, history, arts, culture and accomplishments of people across the African, Caribbean and South Asian diasporas in the UK.
This year’s event featured film showings, dance sessions, an exhibition, talks on diversity in the media, a Black tech fest, a Black business festival, a session on dealing with microaggressions, a cook-a-long, and book recommendations.
Further information and engagement
Internal staff – find further information on the staff networks, including how to join on sharepoint.
If you are external to DMU and are interested in collaborating with our staff networks, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We also have a Christian Staff Network, a Christian chapel and a Muslim chaplain and prayer room at DMU, who provide spiritual support, advice and encouragement to students and staff of all faiths and none.
At DMU, we highly value spiritual support on campus and recognise that it is a great tool for coping with many of life’s challenges. Spirituality is an integral part of wellbeing for many students at DMU and as part of #HealthyDMU we want to ensure that our spiritual services empower you and enrich your student experience.
OpenFaith is a part of #HealthyDMU that incorporates faith and spirituality within our wellbeing and welfare services. OpenFaith encourages students of all faiths and no-faith to come together in celebrating diversity and universal humanitarian values. The initiative encourages campus cohesion by welcoming all students and staff of all faiths and no faith to access a variety of spiritual facilities.
This DMU initiative 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 focus on the health and wellbeing of students as well as supporting growth and personal development.
To find out more about OpenFaith, email healthyDMU@dmu.ac.uk
Information on the Faith Advisory Team
Information on the Christian chapel
Information on the Muslim Chaplaincy
Information on the Muslim prayer room
Information on faith services in Leicester