The Big Walk 2016

The Team

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The Teams

West Coast

Professor Wyn Morgan - Team Champion

PVC for Learning and TeachingWyn Morgan

Wyn took up the post of Pro Vice-Chancellor for Learning and Teaching in September 2015 having previously been Assistant PVC for Teaching and Learning at University of Nottingham. He graduated from University of Exeter with a BA in Economics before a short stint in the banking sector. He studied for his PhD at University of Nottingham and during this period gained a lectureship in the School of Economics in 1990 before becoming a full Professor in 2010.

A keen walker, cyclist and sports enthusiast, he is looking forward to getting to know his colleagues better and to challenging himself. Last year he took part in the "Way of the Roses", which consisted of a 180 mile cycle ride from Bridlington to Morecambe to raise money for dementia research. He is supported by his wife and two daughters, one of which will join him for the last leg of the walk (the other two being unable to be there due to work commitments).

Wyn is very proud to be a Team Champion to help raise money for a cause that he strongly supports and believes in.

Support him via Wyn's JustGiving page

Lindsey Allport

Clerical Officer, CiCSLindsey Allport

Lindsey has been at the University since 2004, and is married with two children.

She is a fun-loving person who enjoys taking part in adventurous activities in her spare time, from skiing holidays to horse riding and team building challenges. Having two children, she enjoys spending time with her family and being in the outdoors. Lindsey regularly goes on bikes rides and walks with family and friends, in the beautiful rural surroundings where she lives. She also enjoys spending time at the gym and taking part in exercise classes, and believes that all these activities will aid her in completing this charity walk.

Being an adventurous person and a team player, Lindsey is looking forward to the challenge of being part of the team walking the Trans Pennine Trail for charity. Although never having walked for long distances she sees this as an excellent opportunity to achieve her own personal goal. In particular she is looking forward to taking in the scenery and raising as much money as possible for the cause.

Support her via Lindsey's JustGiving page

Lucy Brooke

Deputy Security Operations ManagerLucy Brooke

Lucy has worked for the University since 2008 in a couple of varied roles, and has just taken up the position of Deputy Security Operations Manager.

She is a keen gym goer, loves the outdoors and spends most of her free time outside with a camera in her hand or tending to her vegetable patch.

She has a degree in contemporary fine art and in particular enjoys photography.

The cause the big walk is supporting is one very close to Lucy's heart. Lucy comes from a family who were refugees at a time when it was very dangerous to be Jewish in pre-war Europe. They were able to rise above their poverty and avoid persecution because they were admitted into the UK, given the opportunity to work hard to establish businesses and follow trades and they were granted British citizenship.

The big walk will be a great personal challenge for her, and allow her some time for reflection.

Support her via Lucy's Just Giving page

Linda Danson

Housing OfficerLinda Danson

Linda has worked at the University for 20 years, since graduating from Lancaster University. She is responsible for a small team at propertywithUS helping students find suitable accommodation, mainly in the private sector. Linda is passionate about her job and loves the interaction with a diverse range of students and landlords.

Although she loves keep fit, and regularly attends the gym with her partner, she has never been a keen walker and she is looking forward to the personal challenge of the walk, and also the scenery over the Trans Pennine Trail.

This year’s Big Walk is something which Linda feels very strongly about and wants to raise as much money as possible to help those who have had to flee their countries, leaving everything behind. Many of the refugees carry out the arduous journey on foot which is where Linda will draw her inspiration from on the last leg of the walk when her legs are tired from several consecutive days of walking.

Support her via Linda's JustGiving page

John Egginton

Project Engineer, AMRCJohn Egginton

John has worked for the University at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre for almost 10 years since joining as an Engineering apprentice when he was 17. The University gave John the opportunity to start his career in Engineering and he is now looking forward to raising money in order to help others get a chance to study and begin their own careers at this great institution.

As a Sheffield native John has always enjoyed going out walking in the Peak District and has once completed the 42 mile Lyke Wake Walk for charity. John is already aware of how tough long distance walking can be but realises doing it for consecutive days will make this challenge even more difficult!

John is also a keen ice hockey player and has represented the University for 6 years playing in goal for the Sheffield Bears, as well as playing in the annual Varsity game on a few occasions. He is now looking to swap his ice skates for walking boots and get as many practice miles in as he possibly can before the Big Walk begins.

Support him via John's JustGiving page

Dr Andrew Isaac

EU Implementation Manager, RISAndrew Isaac

Andrew regretted not being part of The Big Walk in 2015 so is really pleased, and excited, to be part of this year’s challenge.

His main motivation though, is to support this year’s cause – to raise awareness and funds for refugees and those seeking asylum. As someone who has been able to take for granted the stability and comfort of his own upbringing, the scale and relative proximity of the crisis, fuelled by events in Syria, is truly shocking.

Having children of his own and thinking “there but for the grace...” makes this feel doubly shocking – and important that we try and help.

Andrew knows this will be a stiff test. Walking 20 miles in a day is plenty, and to do this for six days on the trot is pretty daunting. His dodgy Achilles tendon is likely to be his Achilles heel (pardon the pun), so he’ll have to be a little careful with that. Otherwise the main challenge will one of bonding as a team, nursing blisters and finding a suitably carb-rich breakfast each morning.

Support him via Andrew's JustGiving page

Nick Kennard

Alumni Relations AssistantNick Kennard

Nick has worked at the University since 2013, and before that studied geography, graduating in 2010. He currently works on communications for the alumni office; from social media to publications and everything in-between.

Having been part of the team that worked on the Big Walk in 2015, and after taking part in the One Day Challenge, Nick has seen how hard the challenge can be, but also the great spirit that is shared between teams. So this year he opted to take the next step and join the full team.

This year, instead of just helping to spread the news of the walk he is planning to share as much of the walk as he can, to help show just what the teams go through, but also to raise as much awareness as possible for this vital and under-supported cause.

Support him via Nick's JustGiving page

Dr Claudia Mazzà

Lecturer, Mechanical EngineeringClaudia Mazza

Claudia is a core member of the Insigneo Institute for in silico medicine. She moved to Sheffield form Rome in 2013. Her research focuses on musculoskeletal biomechanics, and she is particularly obsessed with sticking sensors to people while the move!

She has a strong passion for skiing and hiking, which comes from all the summer and winter holidays spent in the Dolomites with her family and friends. She has done some tough walks before, including a bit of the Camino di Santiago and a few days of trekking in Nepal, but none of them was even close to being so long and challenging.

Claudia has always been active in supporting human rights. After many years of volunteering for Emergency, an independent Italian organization that provides free, high quality medical and surgical treatment to the victims of war, landmines and poverty, she is now an active volunteer for Assist, a charity that help destitute asylum seekers in Sheffield by providing accommodation, food and support to those in most need or distress.

The Big Walk is the most obvious way for Claudia to join her research interest and her passion for walking with her strong desire to support the refugees and make them feel as welcome as she does in this City of Sanctuary!

Support her via Claudia's JustGiving page

Hannah Perry

IP Contracts Coordinator, RISHannah Perry

Hannah moved to Sheffield over 10 years ago to study archaeology, and has been here ever since! She currently work in the Commercialisation team in Research & Innovation Services where they work with our academics and external contacts to develop the University’s intellectual property.

She is currently what you’d call a ‘recreational rambler’, and can be found on long walks in the Peak District with her husband and dog most weekends. Hannah has also undertaken the 14 miles of the Sheffield Round Walk several times, which she hope will stand her in good stead for the Big Walk, although she has never walked 20+ miles a day for 6 days in a row, so the task in hand seems pretty daunting right now! Hannah is really looking forward to taking on the challenge of walking the Trans Pennine Trail, taking the inevitable blisters in her stride (quite literally!), and getting to know all the other walkers.

Walking aside, Hannah has recently started running and would love to take on a half-marathon at some point in the not-too-distant future. She also enjoys spinning and yoga, all of which she hopes will help build her stamina up!

Hannah is looking forward to raising funds for this year’s cause – few can have failed to be moved by the images of thousands of people fleeing conflict and instability in their home countries, and it only serves as a reminder of how lucky we are to live in comfort and security.

Support her via Hannah's JustGiving page

Dr Jessica Redgrave

Clinical Lecturer in Neurology and StrokeJessica Redgrave

Jessica is a NIHR Clinical Lecturer at Sheffield Insititute of Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) and an honorary consultant neurologist. She has a clinical and academic interest in stroke and is working to develop ways to enhance recovery of limb weakness.

Jessica enjoys sporting challenges having previously taken part in long distance cycling and running events. She also loves being part of a team and so she is very excited about taking part in the Big Walk. Jessica is a mother of two boys who always keep her on her toes but some more dedicated training for this event will involve swapping her cleats for hiking boots and enjoying the great outdoors at a different kind of pace.

East Coast

Professor Gill Valentine - Team Champion

PVC for Social SciencesGill Valentine

Gill Valentine is Pro-Vice Chancellor for the Faculty of Social Sciences and a Professor in the Department of Geography. Her research has been varied but it has focused on three interconnected areas: social identities and belonging; childhood, parenting and family life; and urban cultures and consumption.

Gill is proud to be a Team Champion to help raise money to support academic and student refugees and asylum seekers. The resettlement of migrants is something that Gill knows quite a bit about, having recently led a large European funded project ‘Living with Difference’, which looked at European communities with unprecedented levels of migration and increasing diversity.

Gill also acts as the University's Senior LGBT Champion. She champions LGBT staff at all levels of the institution to raise the profile of LGBT equality in the University.

Support her via Gill's JustGiving page

Dr Ana Campos Marin

Research Associate in Computational MechanobiologyAna Campos Marin

Ana moved to Sheffield from Spain in 2011 with her artner to learn English and develop her professional career. She recently finished her PhD in Computational Mechanobiology at the Insigneo Institute for in silico medicine, where she is currently working as a Research Associate.

She is passionate about sports, practicing capoeira and african dance during the week and on the weekends enjoys going for long walks and cycling while admiring the landscape of the Peak district. Ana is a big fan of adventures and new challenges and her next goal is to walk 120 miles along the Trans Pennine Trail for the Big Walk.

Besides the personal challenge, this experience has a strong personal meaning. During Ana's first years in Sheffield, one of her closest friends who is a talented researcher couldn't finish his PhD due to the political situation of his home country. She found herself helpless and broken in tears saying bye to him on his last day in Sheffield. She would have walked way more than 120 miles to help him. Thanks to the Big Walk she can now help innocent people whose future is being stolen.

Support her via Ana's JustGiving page

George Credland

Senior Systems Analyst/Programmer, CiCSGeorge Credland

George has worked at the University for 21 years, currently in the role of Senior Systems Analyst/Programmer in CiCS, supporting the SAP systems. 

George is a regular walker, typically walking locally through Loxley, Bradfield and the Peak District. He took part in the One Day Challenge for Big Walk 2015 and will now take this to the next level by walking 120 miles from Hornsea, on the east coast, to Sheffield over 6 days.

We should never forget that refugees are just ordinary people fleeing conflict or persecution. Whilst we can’t solve all the world’s problems we can make a difference to the lives of some of them and play our part. Together we will raise funds to enable academics and students to study at Sheffield. They will have a safe place to live and study, and the University will also benefit from their ideas and perspective.

Support him via George's JustGiving page

Sue Cresswell

Project and Building Manager, LibrarySue Creswell

Sue has worked for the University for over 30 years, in the then Medical Library, RHH, the Architecture Library and Western Bank Library. She has spent the last 10 years as Project and Building Manager for the University Library.

She walks with a Ramblers group most weekends. She would like to be a better photographer and according to her husband she is an armchair gardener.

Last year Sue completed the Edale to the University One Day Challenge part of the Big Walk, and is incredibly pleased to be chosen to take part in this year’s Big Walk. She don’t usually walk on consecutive days so this is something that she is going to work on at the weekends which will probably result in more armchair gardening!

The University has a great tradition of helping refugee academics and students. One of our Nobel Laureates Hans Krebs fled from fascism in the 1930s and spent "nineteen happy years" at the University.

Sue worked with the wife of one of our past PhD students who was spotted on the television fleeing over the mountains as a result of persecution after conflict and rescued by University colleagues. She cannot imagine what it must feel like to leave their home and country with few if any possessions.

We will be walking for pleasure--these people are climbing over mountains in fear of their lives.

Support her via Sue's JustGiving page

Sue Davidson

Sue DavidsonQuality Management Adviser, Learning & Teaching Services

Sue has worked for the University for over 15 years, joining the then Teaching and Learning Support Unit in 2000, supporting University-wide quality assurance and helping to develop learning and teaching policies. In the last four years, she has worked with staff in the International Faculty in Thessaloniki, Greece to advise on quality assurance for learning and teaching.

Sue has always been keen on the outdoors and walking in particular, and in the past has spent less time walking with a full rucksack and wild camping, and more time on child-friendly walks with a nearby tea shop. 20 miles per day is going to be quite a challenge!

Like many of us, Sue has been shocked at the plight of those seeking refuge in the UK and across Europe. She is proud to be part of the Big Walk to help the University to show its support. Last year Sue completed the University One Day Challenge part of the Big Walk, walking 18 miles from Edale to Sheffield, and feels very lucky to have been chosen to join the team this year walking from Hornsea to Sheffield.

Support her via Sue's JustGiving page

Scott Fox

Research Assistant, ArchitectureScott Fox

Having started his job at the University in early February this year, Scott has been pleasantly surprised by how motivated most staff members are in supporting worthwhile causes. Scott felt welcomed into this environment immediately because of the profound warmth displayed to him, but more importantly because he subscribes to the idea of actively supporting what he feels are worthwhile causes. There is most certainly a unique buzz in the air caused by the inherent environment fostered at the University of Sheffield, of which he am extremely excited to contribute towards.

Walking the Big Walk is understandably going to be provide a challenge he has never confronted before. That being said, the refugees, for which this walk is inspired by, would have walked far further, with minimal practice and with the added mental burden of fear fuelling their exodus. As a human that fiercely believes we are all fundamentally the same, with the same desires, fears and needs, Scott is walking because he believes that direct experience will help to deepen understanding of their journey.

Support him via Scott's JustGiving page

Dominic French

Landscape Team LeaderDominic French

Dominic has been at the University since June 2014. He is a landscape team leader looking after the grounds of the student residences at Endcliffe, Ranmoor, and the other accommodation blocks.

His job keeps him outside all day every day, come rain or shine. As well as tending the grounds and making them look great the landscape services team are also responsible for clearing the ice and snow over the winter months, and for providing the floral displays that adorn the buildings.

Dominic doesn't often get the chance to do much trekking out in the countryside, he is more likely to drive out for a carvery, but his job can entail him walking up to 60 miles per week. So as well as looking forward to taking part in the Big Walk Challenge, and supporting its worthy cause, it would be nice to go for a walk without pushing a lawnmower ahead of him.

Dominic has witnessed refugee camps in Palestine, and heard first-hand accounts of the ordeals refugees have suffered, and daily we are confronted with the desperate plight and risks people take to reach safety. he believes it is our responsibility that having reached safety we should do what we can to help those that have suffered and lost so much. With so much anti-refugee politics and reporting by the media at the moment, that only goes to fuel the crisis further, he is looking forward, with some trepidation, to partaking in some bucking of that trend.

Support him via Dominic's JustGiving page

Dr Matthew Malek

Lecturer, Physics and AstronomyMatthew Malek

Matthew is new to the University having just arrived in 2015. He is delighted to be able to participate in the Big Walk and contribute to the worthwhile work of the wider university. Originally from New York City, Matthew completed his Bachelors, Masters, and PhD in the United States before moving to the UK to do postdocs in Oxford and at Imperial College London.

Academically, Matthew's research focuses on the areas where the smallest and largest scales of the Universe intersect, like neutrino astronomy and ultra-high energy cosmic rays, and dark matter. He also has a keen interest in applying particle physics technologies to practical purposes, such as medical imaging and safe production of energy.

When not in the classroom or the lab, Matthew enjoys challenging himself with triathlons. He is also church bell ringer and, with his partner Lisa, an avid theatre-goer. Having previously hiked the Hadrian's Wall path and Minnesota's Superior Hiking Trail, Matthew is very much looking forward to tackling the Trans-Pennine Trail.

Even more important than the hike itself is the reason for hiking. The current refugee crisis from Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere has reached horrifying proportions... and the large-scale response from the developed world leaves much to be desired. Matthew knows that he is only one person, and this problem needs action on a massive scale. Even so, he is ready to play his part and do what he can to support the refugee and asylum-seeking academics and students here in Sheffield.

Support him via Matthew's JustGiving page

Tom Rhodes

Head of International RelationsTom Rhodes

Tom came to Sheffield in 1989 to study Politics. Having worked in a number of different roles across the University's professional services Tom is now Head of International Relations.

Tom is an experienced walker and is usually out walking in the Peak District at weekends. He has undertaken long distance treks in the Cairngorms, Northumberland, and the Atlas Mountains. He has also completed the Oxfam Trailtrekker and Trailwalker challenges (both 100km in under 30 hours).

In 2015 Tom was part of the Big Walk Team that completed the Pennine Way (one of the best things he has ever done!) and has now caught the Big Walk bug. He feels extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in 2016.

Support him via Tom's JustGiving page

Dr Liz Sharp

Senior Lecturer, Urban Studies and PlanningLiz Sharp

Liz is a senior lecturer in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, with a specialist interest in water management. Her research focuses on how water governance organisations interact with the public in making and implementing water policy. This means that life always becomes more interesting when there is a flood or a drought! Much of her research comes under the auspices of Sheffield Water Centre and is conducted in collaboration with colleagues in Engineering, Geography and / or Animal and Plant Sciences.

Liz first trained as a geographer and then worked as an Environmental Consultant before doing her Planning MA and PhD at Sheffield. She spent 15 years lecturing in the Department of Environmental Science at Bradford, before returning to Urban Studies and Planning just over two years ago. Liz lives in Nether Edge (at least partly) because it forces her to get exercise travelling to and fro from work.

Liz is passionate about the countryside, and a decade ago very much enjoyed walking from St. Bees Head to Robin Hood’s bay on Wainwright’s coast-to-coast walk. She walks most weekends – but prefers a hilly 10 miles with views. “I know I get knackered at anything over 15 miles” she commented, “so 20 plus flattish miles a day for six consecutive days is going to be really quite hard!”

Support her via Liz's JustGiving page

Dr Tony Strike

Director of Strategy and PlanningTony Strike

Having moved from the South Coast four years ago Tony can be found walking with his dog around Bradfield, Strines, Derwent Edge, Back Tor and the nearby Reservoirs.

Tony is concerned that walking for him is a weekend based, stress-busting, leisurely meander around! He questions the wisdom of his decision now 50 years old to take part in this adventure but is aware the refugees who are walking across countries to flee war and instability were not given the luxury of a choice. The decision with your family to leave your home and everything you know to go on a journey at the mercy of strangers or to stay and face persecution and violence is impossible to imagine.

Ten years ago Tony walked 150 miles along the route of the Camino de Santiago in Spain which involved a ‘No Pain, No Gain’ T-Shirt and plenty of blister plasters so this time he knows to better prepare for what lies ahead.

Support him via Tony's JustGiving page


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