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September 12, 2012

Journalism News
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» Olympic legacy for women – challenge to the broadcasters

So the Olympics are finished and the buzz word is “legacy”.  I’ve heard plenty of discussion about a change in our perception of disability, a new affection for the union flag, a lasting regeneration of the East End of London,  … Continue reading

September 12, 2010

Chaplaincy Blog
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» Chaplaincy launches Faith Calendar – an excellent tool for furthering Equal Opportunities implementation

The Chaplaincy to the University of Glamorgan is pleased to announce the launch of our on-line Faith Calendar .

This calendar, compiled with assistance from the Chaplaincy’s faith advisors, indicates the main fixed and movable observances of the UK’s nine major religions, up to December 2013.

Most of the world’s religious faiths include festivals and fasts. On festival days, followers of a religion may consider themselves required to attend a place of worship or to rest from their daily work. Fasting can include avoidance of all food and water from dawn until dusk (such as the Muslim practice of Ramadan) or the avoidance of certain foods on certain days (many Christians avoid meat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday).

Under new Equality legislation the University is required to avoid discrimination against its employees, students, and other clients, on grounds of religious faith or philosophical beliefs.

The Chaplaincy’s Faith Calendar is offered as a tool to help University personnel in planning future activities. The calendar identifies the principal celebrations within the UK’s nine major faiths which are most likely to impact the working arrangements of believers, and provides links to summary information about the festival.

The Chaplaincy welcomes feedback from University departments which could improve the usefulness of this calendar.

Further information on the relevant equalities legislation can be found in these documents from ACAS , from the Government’s Department for Communities and Local Government and from the Equality Challenge Unit

The University Chaplain and the University’s Equalities Manager are also available for further advice.

March 11, 2010

Chaplaincy Blog
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» Equality and Freedom – are they Compatible?

Issues of equality are very complicated, said Ziauddin Sardar at the Chaplaincy Lecture on Monday evening.

Talking of the current controversy about the Equalities Bill and the Pope’s remarks on it, he drew attention to the tension between contradictory points of view that each have their own validity. Freedom of speech and conscience are in a sense absolute: therefore religious bodies should not be forced to employ people whose beliefs and way of life are contrary to what they stand for. But equal rights are also in a sense an absolute: therefore no-one should be subject to discrimination on the ground of their gender or sexual orientation. But when these “absolutes” clash, the issue becomes complicated.

Ziauddin Sardar is a leading Muslim scholar and author. He was delivering the Chaplaincy Lecture on ‘Re-thinking the Contemporary Relevance of Islam’. As a former member of the Equalities Commission, he gave examples of the kind of dilemmas often faced, and stressed that every case must be considered individually in its context, and we need to learn to live with contradictions. He went on to say that faith and belief systems are full of contradictions, including science, which he described as a kind of belief system with its own contradictions.

On Islam, he pointed out the difference between the Qur’an as the supreme authority and the Sharia as the product of tradition in different historical contexts. He likened tradition to a lake – a rich source of refreshment and nourishment for plants, animals and people, but needing to have a constant influx of fresh water or it will become stagnant and a source of disease rather than life.
In answer to a question from the floor Dr Sardar said he felt very positive about future co-operation between faith communities and optimistic about the essential contribution they make to society.

The lecture, which was held at the Glamorgan Conference Centre, was attended by people of different faiths from the University and the local community. Details of further Chaplaincy lectures will be posted on the Chaplaincy web site

October 21, 2009
» The health, social care and housing needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender older people: a review of the literature


I’ve just come across this journal article and want to pass it on to you. The authors are seeking to address an important gap in the evidence base. I do hope that work in this area continues.


This paper reports the findings of a literature review of the health, social care and housing needs of older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) adults undertaken in 2006 for the Welsh Assembly Government. Peer-reviewed literature was identified through database searches of BNI, PubMed, CINAHL, DARE, ASSIA and PsychInfo. Follow-up searches were conducted using references to key papers and journals as well as specific authors who had published key papers. A total of 187 papers or chapters were retrieved, of which 66 were included in the study; major themes were identified and the findings synthesised using a meta-narrative approach. The main themes that emerged from the review were isolation, health behaviours, mental health and sexual health behaviours. The literature indicates that the health, social care and housing needs of LGBT older people is influenced by a number of forms of discrimination which may impact upon the provision of, access to and take up of health, social care and housing services. Understanding of the health, social care and housing needs of older LGBT people is limited and research in this area is scarce. The research which exists has been criticised for using small samples and for tending to exclude participants from less affluent backgrounds. The focus of research tends to be on gay men and lesbians; consequently, the needs of bisexual and transgender people remain largely unknown. Additionally, research which does exist tends to focus on a narrow range of health issues, often related to the health needs of younger LGBT people. Discrimination in various forms has a major impact on needs and experiences, leading to marginalisation of LGBT people both in the provision of health and social care services and neglect of these groups in public health research.

Journal article