I am new to the world of academia, having worked in the private and third sectors in my previous jobs. Much of the culture and what the team is engaged in is also therefore also new to me. As a local, it was a (welcome) revelation that the University has a team of people dedicated to researching into the development of Birmingham specifically and cities generally. With the word ‘Economic’ in the title, it is understandable that this is its main focus. However, I’ve been pleased to find the team has a broader focus including other aspects of city living such as social, environmental and equality concerns, exploring everyday issues that directly affect people’s standard of living and wellbeing. These are all things that are close to my heart, and so I’m gladdened to be part of a team that has an interest in, and impact on, so many different areas of city living.
Since arriving, as well as settling in supporting the City REDI Team, I have availed myself of some of the many opportunities and benefits available to staff and students at the University, enjoying the wonderful Winterbourne Gardens, the Barber Institute and Lapworth Museum to name but a few.
Prior to joining City REDI, I was the manager of the Birmingham Buddhist Centre for 6 years. This was challenging and varied work, but also very rewarding. As well as a place of worship for local Buddhists, it was also used by the wider community as a centre for various activities from school visits, yoga classes and therapy space, as well as for business meetings.
As a practising Buddhist much of my life outside of work is taken up with supporting our community in Birmingham, and particularly in Moseley where both the Birmingham Buddhist Centre and the community in which I live are located. This includes practising and teaching meditation and Buddhist practice, and helping to organise and run events including some of the festival days that we put on throughout the year.
This blog was written by Matt Patterson, Administrative Assistant, City-REDI.
The views expressed in this analysis post are those of the authors and not necessarily those of City-REDI or the University of Birmingham.
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