Making a Difference Award 2019

Back in February, the ‘Have You Heard?’ project was shortlisted for the Making a Difference Awards for Social Responsibility 2019. This is a wonderful achievement that the whole team was proud to be recognised for.

So once it came round to May, the trio of Donna, Jack and myself dressed up to the nines to enjoy an evening celebrating all the great work happening at the University of Manchester. From innovative prison-based modules in criminology, to a hate crime prevention project using Holocaust education in schools and communities across Manchester. It was truly inspiring to learn about the wide spectrum of on-going projects by students and staff of the University of Manchester.

HYH had tough competition in the category of “Outstanding local engagement in public and community engagement initiatives”. This was the most nominated category, taking up almost a third of the applications for the Making A Difference Awards.

It was a shock to us all, but we came back from the awards as winners!

Massive thanks to everyone who has supported us. In particular Engagement@Manchester for the funds to get us started and Dee-Ann Johnson for her eloquent summary of the project – [video]

Here’s to a future of making more of a difference.


Have You Heard? at Ziferblat NQ

For the final session of 2018, the HYH team ventured over to the Northern Quarter in Manchester to work with a group of young adults with Katharine Cresswell from Public Programmes Manchester.

This was a new challenge for the HYH project, as we’ve never had a real chance to trial out our workshop with teenagers.

However, we had an engaged group who were interested and found it “thought provoking” to explore this world between science and the media that they had never acknowledged before. This definitely gave us an insight into what the younger generation may do to seek the news, and how they interpret the cutting edge science that surrounds us.

We opened the floor to discussion and it was impossible to avoid the CRISPR genetically modified baby in China that broke headlines. We continued our conversation on the science, the ethics, the cultural differences, and the media frenzy alongside it.

We followed up with Jack Barton explaining the process of science making its way into the media with his own experience as an avid blogger, and how his stories have been skewed incorrectly by the media. After getting an idea of the journey from the lab, to publication, to journalism – we all got a better view of where and how miscommunication of the message could occur.

New recruit, Julieta O’Flaherty, then took over and ran the Headline Game and we went through some examples of sensationalised headlines from recent years.


We explained the science behind some of these stories, and gave our young adults the infographic and tools required to pick apart what is real science, misunderstood terms, and just plain “fake news”.

Take things with a pinch of salt and remember to read past the headline!