March 26, 2013, by Malvika Johal

London hosts Talent on Tour

Written by John Coffield – Alumni Officer, London and the South East (MA Eng Lit 2012)

Last week the top floor of the Royal Academy of British Architects (RIBA) was invaded by University of Nottingham staff, alumni and friends for the London edition of the university’s popular Talent Roadshow. The Talent Roadshow, be it in Nottingham, London, Bristol of Manchester, takes a couple of elements from the university’s £150 million fundraising campaign on tour to show you what we’re doing as part of Impact: The Nottingham Campaign.

This particular Talent Roadshow was focusing on two aspects of the ‘Health and Wellbeing’ strand of the campaign. Prof. Saul Becker was presenting on young and young adult carers, and Prof.  Marion Walker on stroke rehabilitation.

Once the Alumni Relations team had finished setti ng up and the gorgeous evening views across London and the BT Tower from RIBA’s balcony had been duly cooed over, the alumni and guests began to arrive. The talks were to be held in the Wren room and drinks and canapés were being served in the Hawksmoor room next door. The place was soon buzzing with alumni and university staff happily chatting and networking over wine and canapés – ( I soon learnt to my cost the surprisingly potent sinus-clearing effect of wasabi by over-enthusiastically dipping a rice ball whilst discussing Hawkmoor’s churches.)
Once the talks were due to start, I turned on the foghorn and everyone filed through into the Wren room, where the Vice-Chancellor gave what might be termed a ‘state of the union’ address updating the alumni and guests on what was going on strategically and geographically with the University and Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, before taking some questions.
Up next was Prof. Saul Becker describing his research into young and young adult carers, revealing some truly shocking statistics in a lively and characterful presentation from a man who has done so much work to globally exposing an issue that has only recently come fully to light in the UK and abroad. After a lively Q&A session, Prof. Marion Walker took the stage to illuminate us on the ground-breaking work that the Impact Campaign is funding in the area of stroke rehabilitation, an issue that affects 1 in 9 people in the UK. Stroke Rehabilitation is also the chosen project for Lifecycle 3, when the Vice –Chancellor and other members of staff will cycle though all the major cities in the UK to raise money for this inspiring project.

Both presentations and the Vice-Chancellor’s introduction were delivered expertly and did much to bring me up to speed on the campaign; this was my first Talent Roadshow in my capacity as Alumni Officer for London and the South-East and as such I was experiencing it from a very different angle from before.  The amount of London-based alumni who specifically stopped to talk to me during the networking session post-talks reflected this, and it helped to make the event that much more memorable for me. All too soon it was time to pack everything up and start the journey back to Nottingham, still buzzing a little.
Bring on the next one! – which incidentally is in Manchester on the 19th of June. Do come along; it’s a great chance to find out what’s going on, quiz the V.C and meet other alums.

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