An invitation to Meet the Chancellor of Durham University event was extended to our team, and we were thrilled to be included in the conversations.

Chancellor, Fiona Hill, has long championed the work of the Durham Miners Association and her journey from Roddymoor in County Durham to The White House. She has also worked with our chair of trustees, Professor John Tomaney on how to return hope to left behind places.

Chancellor of Durham University, Fiona Hill pictured with Professor Janet Stewart, Executive Dean (Arts & Humanities)

In the Meet the Chancellor morning session, Fiona profiled her own academic research following her tenure as a Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin, where Fiona carried out comparative work on connections between deindustrialisation and the rise of populist politics.

Durham University researchers and scholars from different faculties then spoke about a range of work directly benefiting our region, the North East of England.

In the afternoon, we were invited by our partner, UNESCO Chair Archaeological Ethics and Practice in Cultural Heritage, to support the facilitation of a postgraduate masterclass with Fiona.

The focus of our discussion centred on the ongoing efforts to embed the UN’s Strategic Development Goals into the County Durham heritage sector. The students’ engagement and enthusiasm were commendable, as they shared some fantastic ideas on how Durham University and Redhills could actively integrate these goals.

Throughout the masterclass, two key themes emerged organically: the paramount importance of placing the community at the heart of the conversation and the understanding that organisations should serve as facilitators rather than sole leaders.

Heena Carahaa feeds back to the masterclass on how Redhills and Durham University could integrate SDGs into their work.

It was inspiring to witness the students’ depth of insight and dedication, reinforcing the belief that sustainable development goals can be effectively achieved through collaborative efforts.

Thank you to Assistant Professor Mark Manuel for extending the invitation and allowing us to contribute to this thought-provoking masterclass.

Students, alongside Assistant Professor Mark Manuel and Chancellor Fiona Hill, were immersed in an overview of the work of Durham Miners Association and the Redhills charity.

We look forward to continuing our partnership to see the positive impact these collaborative initiatives will have on the County Durham heritage sector.