Sunday 21 July 2024
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University Vice-Chancellor’s message to staff and students after Nottingham attacks

Following yesterday’s tragic events, the University of Nottingham’s Vice-Chancellor has written to staff and students to share her support for everyone in our community, “particularly those who knew Grace and Barnaby well as friends, students or team mates.”

A personal message from Professor Shearer West:

Following the tragic events of yesterday morning, I am writing to share my condolences, my sympathies and my support for everyone in our University community, particularly those staff and students who knew Grace and Barnaby well as friends, students or team mates.

It is hard to find the words to express the shock and grief felt across our institution at the senseless loss of two first year students who have had their bright futures brutally curtailed by a seemingly random act of violence.

Grace was a Medical student, thriving in her first year of study and inspired to a career in medicine by work placements in a GP surgery and her volunteering for the nationwide vaccination programme during the Covid-19 pandemic. She was a talented sportswoman, playing International Hockey for both the U16 and U18 England Hockey Team and Essex U15 Women’s Cricket. She was held in the highest regard by her tutors and team mates alike.

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Barnaby was a History student, with a particular personal interest in geopolitics of both the USA and China. His tutors recall his energy as a student and as fun, friendly, and full of life in his seminars. He too was a sporting talent, playing hockey, rugby and cricket for his school and local clubs and excelling at sports at Nottingham. His role in the Combined Cadet Forces also saw him exhibit his volunteering and leadership skills.

The University is supporting Grace and Barnaby’s families at this immensely difficult time, and I hope to meet them privately today to express my deep condolences and continue to offer every support at our disposal – although I recognise that nothing will compensate for the loss of a cherished daughter and son.

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I will also join the families at our campus vigil on the Djanogly Terrace at 4 pm, where I hope as many of our staff and student community as possible can attend to remember our fellow students and show our support for their families.

Against this backdrop of deep sadness and loss, I hope we can draw some comfort from the public reaction locally, nationally, and indeed globally to this dreadful crime. Nottingham is a wonderful and distinctive city, and our University and civic communities are united both in our grief and in our knowledge that this terrible act is not what our city is about.

I know that many in our University will be affected by these events and would encourage anyone who needs support now or in the coming days to contact our well-being services.

With my deepest condolences,

Professor Shearer West

Vice Chancellor

University of Nottingham

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