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Creating Connections East: spaces available for event on 10th June

Benjamin Meunier24 May 2019

Creating Connections East: UK 2070 Commission on Inequalities

Monday 10 June 2019 15:00 – 17:00

Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, Bethnal Green, E2 6HG

Creating Connections is a regular networking event bringing people together from UCL with representatives of community organisations, charities, residents’ groups, social enterprises and statutory organisations. For our next event, we’re teaming up with the UK2070 Commission, an independent inquiry into social and economic inequality in the UK. We warmly invite you to join us.


We’ve still got some spaces available – find out more and sign up at studentsunionucl.org/volunteering/about/creating-connections/creating-connections-east

And if you know anyone else at UCL who might be interested, please do feel free to pass on this invitation.

Topics will include:

Local talent & skills: Come and talk to people interested in: how to nurture local skills, ensuring local talent is part of the economic future, support for vocational training, how universities can support local job markets, how we can help people overcome barriers to entering the workforce.


New technology: Come and talk to people interested in: how new technology can create new jobs, how the Voluntary and Community sector can benefit from new technology, how schools can prepare young people for technological change, how data science can be utilised by communities, what opportunities are there in clean tech?


Local cultural and sporting sectors: Come and talk to people interested in: how to engage under-represented groups in the cultural and sporting activities; what role universities have in the cultural and sporting sectors; the role of culture and sport in economic development.


Supporting projects for the future: Come and talk to people interested in: What types of projects would transform east London for long term success? What services and activities should local decision-makers focus on? What would success look like in east London?


This is a short networking event for people interested in these issues – a starting point for finding like-minded people you might want to collaborate with. It’s intended for experts, beginners and everyone in between. It’s not a conference and there won’t be long plenary speeches or workshops!


Light refreshments will be provided.


Find out more and register at:


If you’ve any questions or comments about the event, contact John Braime at Students’ Union Volunteering Service (j.braime@ucl.ac.uk) , Briony Fleming in UCL’s Public Engagement Unit (b.fleming@ucl.ac.uk) or Lucy Natarajan from UCL / UK 2070 (lucy.natarajan@ucl.ac.uk)


Creating Connections East is organised by UCL’s Public Engagement Unit, Students’ Union UCL’s Volunteering Service and The UK2070 Commission

Estates strategy consultation forum opens to UCL community

Benjamin Meunier5 April 2019

An online consultation forum has been launched by UCL Estates for staff and students to share their ideas and thoughts on UCL’s current estate and their views on opportunities and investment priorities for its future development.

 The consultation will feed into a refreshed strategy for the university’s estate, which UCL Estates is preparing to align the next phase of UCL’s physical development with UCL 2034. The strategy will consider UCL’s buildings and physical estate, the impact of UCL East and other satellite locations and the opportunities for growth.

 Among the comments and discussions posted so far include the need to for the strategy to ensure UCL sites outside of its Bloomsbury campus feel part of the UCL family and a suggestion for innovative bike storage on campus.

Visit the forum and share your views.

NB: After entering your UCL email address you will be sent your individual access link, which you can bookmark. You will be automatically logged in for a period of 30 days after which you will need to revisit the original email link.

UCL East: consultation

Benjamin Meunier11 May 2017

Two consultation exercises relating to UCL East are currently underway, and Library Services colleagues are invited to take part in both:

  • Help shape the website for UCL East

The UCL East programme is currently creating a new website, which will have the majority of the content that you can see on the site now, as well as the latest information about UCL East and an updated look and feel.

To make sure that the new website is relevant and helpful – and has all the information that you would like to know – the team would love to hear your views on our current site, how it can be developed and any suggestions for the future.

To give your thoughts and feedback, take a look around the current site and complete this survey – there are nine short questions, and it will only take a few minutes to complete.


  • Find out about the plans for the first building at UCL East

Pool Street West makes up part of the first phase of UCL East and will feature student accommodation, academic, retail, community and engagement uses for UCL students and staff and the public. The building will feature a London Memory Archive, a partnership between Culture Lab and Library Services which will include digitization facilities, an oral history recording booth and exhibition space. There will also be a Library to support the students and staff based on the new campus, which we are working to develop in tandem with ISD Student & Registry Services to provide joined-up services to students on site.

Public consultation meetings have been scheduled for the first UCL East building on Pool Street will take place on 17-20th May. Times, dates and locations are provided below.

Pool Street West – Road Show Exhibition Details

Wednesday 17 May, 11am – 2pm

UCL Bloomsbury | South Quad In front of the Print Room Café

Thursday 18 May, 11am – 2pm

UCL Bloomsbury | Main Quad South Side, in front of the Wilkins Building

Friday 19 May, 11am – 2pm

Stratford Broadway In the public space adjacent to St John’s

Saturday 20 May, 11am – 2pm

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park At Waterworks Place, adjacent to the play fountain

If you are planning to attend the events in Stratford, further information can be found in this leaflet: stage1-roadshow-events-flyer.

Creating Connections East 5 – now open for booking

Benjamin Meunier20 January 2017


Colleagues from Library Services are warmly invited to attend the next Creating Connections event, where a number of topics will be discussed ranging from mental health support to safeguarding vulnerable people and the role of the library and of the university in the wider community. Full details below.

Creating Connections East 5 Wednesday March 8th from 3pm – 5pm.

Stratford Library, The Grove, E15 1EL (10 minute walk from Stratford Underground / Train Station)


Register at uclu.org/creating-connections

Creating Connections East is a networking event that brings together staff and postgraduate students from University College London and the University of East London with representatives from community organisations, charities, residents’ groups, social enterprises and statutory organisations. The afternoon is a mixture of themed discussions in small groups with more informal networking; the aim is to find areas of common interest and encourage collaborative working.

Previous events have had a good turn out and we’re now onto our fifth edition. We are trying out holding the event in the afternoon this time. We hope this will make it more accessible and attract some new people.

If you work or are a postgrad student at UCL and UEL and are interested in making links with community organisations from East London and beyond – please come along.

If you work for a community organisation, or are a member of one, and would like to explore ways you might work with people from UCL and UEL – this event is for you too!


Topics will include:

  • Safeguarding women

The event will be held on International Women’s Day, so come and meet people interested in how we can safeguard women and girls in our communities (forced marriage, domestic abuse, female genital mutilation, amongst other issues)

  • Mental health support

How can we best support people with mental health issues in our communities?  What non-clinical support services are there? What support do charities need to run non-clinical support services? And how can university research on mental health help? What role can social prescribing play in mental health support?

  • Libraries in the community

Come and meet people interested in libraries as community hubs; creative ways in which libraries can be used; university libraries and public engagement; use of libraries for community research.

  • The university in the community

With UCL building a new campus on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and with UEL’s long legacy of working in East London, let’s discuss how we can best work with the local community. What kind of projects would be beneficial? What do you expect from partnership and project working with a university? How can UCL and UEL break down barriers and make ourselves more accessible to the community?

  • Involving men in volunteering and engagement

Women tend to volunteer and get involved in engagement projects more than men. Come and meet people interested in redressing the balance. How can we encourage more men to get involved? What is it that prevents men from volunteering and doing engagement? How can we make it easier for them, break down barriers and challenge perceptions?

  • Refugees and migrants

Come and meet people interested in supporting refugees and migrants. How can we support recent immigrants to access health services? What are the best ways to involve them in local decision making? How can we deal with the need for housing? How can we improve educational provision for young immigrants?

Note that the event is a short networking event for people interested in these issues – a starting point for finding like-minded people you might want to collaborate with. It’s intended for experts, beginners and everyone in between. It’s not a conference and there won’t be long plenary speeches or workshops!

Light refreshments will be provided.


Register at uclu.org/creating-connections

If you’ve any questions or comments about the event, contact Kim Townsend at UCL Public Engagement Unit, Joe Crook at UEL Volunteering, or Jyoti Singh at Newham Council


Creating Connections East  is organised by UCL’s Public Engagement Unit, UCLU’s Volunteering Services Unit, University of East London, and London Borough of Newham.

UCL Special Collections opens new reading room in the Wilkins building

Benjamin Meunier23 November 2016

On Monday 21st November 2016, a group of Library Services staff and supporters including UCL academics and Professional Services staff celebrated the formal opening of a new reading room which will allow wider access to UCL’s rare books, manuscripts and archive materials for research and public engagement, supporting UCL’s distinctive Connected Curriculum.

Dr Paul Ayris said a few words to mark the opening of the reading room, sited at the heart of UCL. Paul highlighted that the project had delivered a high-spec space which UCL could be proud of. The opening marks a new phase in the history of UCL Special Collections, which started largely as a set of collections donated by the widows of early professors at UCL. Developments are afoot to establish permanent new bases for the treasures held in Special Collections, with a collaborative venture in partnership with Senate House Library and members of the federal university, as well as expansion facilities in future phases of UCL East. Paul congratulated all those involved in establishing the new reading room, and the party toasted the future of UCL Special Collections.

UC School pupils

As described in a recent tweet, the site where UCL Special Collections’ new reading room is located was once a playground for University College School pupils…

What’s in our Special Collections?

UCL’s collections of manuscripts, archives and rare books date back as far as the 4th century AD and cover a vast range of subject areas, notably: London, Social History, Latin America, Jewish Collections and the Orwell Archive – which is the most comprehensive body of source material for Orwell studies anywhere in the world.

A selection of Special Collections treasures were on show at the event.

A selection of Special Collections treasures were on show at the event.

Did you know?

  • Some of the earliest donations to the Library include the 4,000 books given by Jeremy Bentham in 1833.
  • We recently discovered the manuscript of a poem by Byron inscribed into Samuel Rogers’ The Pleasures of Memory (London, 1810).
  • The first major manuscript gift, a magnificent 13th-century illuminated Latin Bible, was presented by William Steere in 1859.
  • Sonia Orwell, George Orwell’s widow, chose UCL Library Services to house the precious manuscripts and notebooks of the author of Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm.

The new reading room is located in the South Junction and is open weekdays from 09.00-17.00 with appointments to consult material between 10.00 and 16.00. The room can hold up to 8 readers at any one time.

UCL East Housewarming event

utnvbsc25 May 2016

Last week, I attended a workshop in West Ham hosted by UCL’s public engagement team. The aim was to bring together groups from a range of stakeholders to begin discussing what the museum and engagement space should look like at UCL East. There were lots of people from PACE (Public and Cultural Engagement) – especially from the UCL Museums. I was joined by colleagues Tabitha Tuckett and Peter Field in representing UCL Library Services. The first thing we learnt is that it is imperative that engagement with the local community begins well before the building space itself is constructed – and this demonstrated to me how UCL East is so much more than just a building.

A point of discussion which exercised us for quite some time was how to ensure we create a space which can accommodate a disparate range of users. It was felt that a range of suitable spaces for debate and dialog was important in enabling connections between researchers and residents in Newham Borough to be created. Also, that whilst many specific activities might be catered for on the site (e.g. swimming), people would also want a place to congregate, network, and socialise and find information. What better place than a UCL Library Hub for such a venue?

As the new KPA Outreach representative for UCL Library Services, this was a great opportunity to meet colleagues in PACE and learn more about what UCL is trying to achieve with this project. It was great to be able to contribute ideas which will help place the library at the centre of this.

UCL East

Sarah Custard30 June 2015

In April 2015, UCL entered into a partnership with the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) to deliver UCL East, a new campus on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (QEOP).

ucl east

Professor David Price, Vice-Provost (Research), is now the project champion and work is underway to refine the academic vision for UCL East. You can find out information about the types of cross-disciplinary initiatives as well as public engagement and collaboration projects at the recently updated UCL East staff intranet page.

UCL Library Services continue to be involved in discussions with academic colleagues in UCL and also with partners in east London, as we develop the concepts shared in this blog.

If you are interested in getting involved or would like to share your ideas, please contact Ben Meunier (benjamin.meunier@ucl.ac.uk).

Benjamin Meunier
Assistant Director, Public Services

LDA Design appointed to develop a master plan for new UCL East campus

Benjamin Meunier14 May 2015

UCL announced today the appointment of LDA Design to prepare a masterplan for the new campus on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park:


The team also includes Nicholas Hare Architects, who are currently working on the New Student Centre in Bloomsbury.

Creating Connections East

Benjamin Meunier30 April 2015

I participated yesterday in the third “Creating Connections East” event, organised jointly by UCL, UCLU and UEL at Stratford Public Library. There were students and colleagues from UCL (Public & Cultural Engagement, Institute of Education (their Pro-Director Academic was on my group), DIS and other academic departments), UEL and local authorities and groups. I was facilitating one of the group discussions – our table theme was “Libraries and Communities” which provided some valuable early insights to help develop the vision for our future public academic library at UCL East.







Topics from my outline presentation of the UCL plans (based on my previous post) which resonated particularly with the group were:

  • Providing exhibition space for local artists as well as UCL Special Collections and Museums. Residents and London Borough of Newham participants noted a particular shortage of exhibition space in the area, and this would be of great interest. Some local groups have recently bid, and unfortunately failed, to gain funding to create a cultural/exhibition area in  the borough. I described the excellent “Treasures from the east” project from 2012 (looking farther east than Stratford), which UCL Special Collections’ Tabitha Tuckett and Gill Furlong were heavily involved in. This was hailed, particularly by colleagues from local councils, as a type of project which there is great appetite for in East London.
  • Engaging with local communities from the earliest stages of design to get input. There is a sense amongst residents that the Olympic Park is “for posh people”, so special effort is required to attract East Londoners from less affluent households. The team at Stratford Public Library is starting work on this with their users, for instance with tours of the Olympic Park. But this is certainly an area which requires more work and we discussed some ideas to try and ensure that we truly are accessible to the communities.
  • Initiating a programme of outreach to local schools and community centres. The experience of one particular charity based in Newham was that people are territorial, and it would be essential to start creating links between UCL and the communities. Another suggestion was to host guided visits of UCL for interested students/pupils (and possibly their parents)
  • Using the library as a base for “Citizen science” projects with space to enable these. One local organisation provides facilities for bio-hacking and other sorts of hacking (ranging from coding to carpentry). Given UCL’s plans to base Design research and education on the new campus, could this be a facility UCL could host close to the Library?


The Wellcome Library was noted as an example of great practice, as a “fantastic interactive space”.

At UEL, TimeBank and SkillBanks have been set up, where members donate time or skills in exchange for sharing their own time/skills with others.

A particular challenge identified was how to find routes into local communities? Other than faith, language/literacy and education were identified as relevant to all community groups. In the group I was leading, there were plenty of examples of successful initiatives where organisations support local communities: the public library runs language classes, one local organisation offers workshops in e-Literacy (to create websites) and another uses drama and the arts to help increase the confidence of disadvantaged young people. By partnering with local organisations, we could form a broad information literacy programme, incorporating our own expertise in identifying and making accessible resources to support research and education.


It was an enjoyable evening, very well organised by colleagues in PACE and UCLU. I thoroughly recommend it for any library colleagues who are interested in plans to develop our presence in East London or in outreach generally, as a place to talk to a wide-ranging group of people and to discover opportunities for new initiatives. To find out more, visit the Creating Connections webpage.

If you have any ideas or comments, please post them below!