Celebrating and Developing Community Engagement

The portfolio of projects undertaken by University of Plymouth researchers in collaboration with partners across the region has, and continues to have a hugely positive impact on our communities. 

From tackling issues around deprivation through food-related wellbeing and health passports for vulnerable adults, to live project work on urban regeneration and capturing heritage through oral histories, the transformation for these communities through education is evident.

In celebration, we invited you to join researchers from across the University, together with partners as they showcased 25 of these inspiring projects, in the heart of our community at the stunning Devonport Guildhall. 

We were also delighted to welcome Director of the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement, Paul Manners who delivered the keynote address, University public engagement: what's the story?, prior to guests and collaborators taking the opportunity to discover more and network at the poster presentations or contribute to the future of effective community-related research through our round-table discussions.

Join the conversation on social media with #Plymresfest.

  • Devonport Guildhall, Ker Street, Plymouth PL1 4EL

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This multi-institute event showcased past and ongoing research from across the University with a range of stakeholders. 

The afternoon also provided an opportunity for informal networking with both University researchers and community partners. 


13:30: Arrival and refreshments

14:00: WelcomeProfessor Jerry Roberts, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise, University of Plymouth 

14:15: Exhibition of projects for guests to explore the research with the academic and community partners

15:15: Keynote address ‘University public engagement: what’s the story?’ - Paul Manners, Director of the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement

15:45: Roundtable discussion ‘How can University researchers best engage with the community?’ 

16:25: Refreshments 

16:30: Panel discussion with audience Q&A ‘Achieving effective community engagement’ 

17:00: Close

The event was hosted by PedRIO, iSPER, The Arts Institute and the Sustainable Earth Institute.
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Speaker biography: Paul Manners

Paul is Associate Professor in Public Engagement at UWE and founding director of the UK’s National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE). The NCCPE was established in 2008 to support universities to embed innovative approaches to involving the public in their work. The NCCPE is widely recognised for its expertise in supporting organisational change, partnership working, impact assessment and innovation in engagement. 

Paul’s whole career has been education related. He trained as a secondary English teacher and after teaching for five years, joined the BBC where his credits include the long running BBC2 series, Rough Science. He was an executive producer in BBC Learning, responsible for a number of broadcast-led public engagement campaigns, including the People’s War project, gathering tens of thousands personal reminiscences about WWII into an online archive. He is chair of the National Trust’s advisory group on Collections and Interpretation.

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