Lady Phyll  – Patron, Kaleidoscope Trust

Phyll Opoku-Gyimah is the executive director of Kaleidoscope Trust, the charity working to uphold the human rights of LGBT+ people across the Commonwealth. 

Shaan Knan, EDI Consultant and Project Manager, GIRES

Shaan Knan (he/him), a trustee of the Gender Identity Research & Education Society (GIRES), is a London-based EDI consultant, educator, public speaker and heritage professional. 

Jake and Hannah Graf, Influential LGBTQ Advocates

Jake and Hannah are inspiring, compelling and engaging speakers. They are widely known as the UK’s ‘Transgender Power Couple’ after being named as the Most Influential LGBTQ Couple by The Guardian. 


She is also the co-founder and executive director of UK Black Pride, Europe’s largest pride celebration for LGBT+ people of colour. Phyll is an experienced community builder and organiser; an Albert Kennedy Trust patron, and a writer and public speaker focusing on race, gender, sexuality and class.



He is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Brighton. Shaan was the project manager of GIRES' groundbreaking a Legacy of Kindness archive project, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. He has spearheaded a number of UK landmark heritage projects including Rainbow Jews, Twilight People , Rainbow Pilgrims, and Through a Queer Lens at the Jewish Museum London.

Shaan is the author of ‘A Roadmap to Inclusion’ – a GIRES resource supporting trans and gender diverse people of faith. 




They are passionate speakers on gender, equality and diversity and having become something of an inspiration to the wider transgender community, they work tirelessly to represent it both in the UK and internationally, seizing every opportunity to increase acceptance and understanding.

They have presented keynote speeches, fireside chats and Q&As on a wide variety of themes and are best known for their documentary ”Our Baby: A Modern Miracle’ which was on Channel 4.


Jake is a London based actor, writer and director whose first nine award winning films have screened at over 100 festivals worldwide. His first feature film ‘Lavender’ is in development with BAFTA nominated MisFits Entertainment (‘McQueen’), and he is currently working on two television drama pilots. Jake uses the medium of films to elicit positive change, giving representation to rarely seen characters and stories and promoting acceptance and understanding. All are used as educational tools in universities, schools, prisons and media events internationally.

Recent roles include ITV’s Butterfly, DBO’s ‘Different For Girls’ and opposite Keira Knightley in feature film ‘Colette’.

He is a patron for Mermaids, akt and Ditch The Label and a judge for the European Diversity Awards, The Rainbow Honours, The Iris Prize Film Festival and The National Diversity Awards.

Jake’s background in film, acting and writing means he is equally assured when speaking on all manner of topics including the importance of positive representation, the media, and LGBTQ relationships, travel and inclusion. His difficult past pre transition and overcoming his struggles with addiction and destructive behaviour patterns are particularly pertinent when demonstrating the importance of supporting trans and LGBQ colleagues within the work place.


Hannah is a retired Captain in the British Army. She commissioned in 2010 and since that time has commanded soldiers across the world including in Germany, Canada, Kenya and Afghanistan. Hannah is also a transgender woman and her personal story of transition captured the imagination of the nation in 2015.

A true advocate for equality, she used her public profile to promote a realistic portrayal of transgender individuals in the UK, becoming an inspiration to many. Outside the Army she acts as Patron for the charity Mermaids and is an ambassador for LGBT Sport in Wales. Her work in diversity has won her several accolades including Cosmopolitan Woman of the Year, an honorary fellowship from Cardiff University and in June 2019, an MBE for her work updating LGBTQ policy in the British Army.

Hannah’s experience as a decorated Officer who transitioned within the Army perfectly places her to speak with confidence on all aspects of the military, diversity and inclusive leadership.

The Grafs have spoken at events for companies including: Warner Brothers, Herbert Smith Freehills, Stonewall Workplace Conference, Army LGBT Conference, NBC Universal, InterComms, InterMedia, InterBank, InterLaw, Pride in London Gala, BNP Paribas, Barclay’s , Lloyds, Citi Bank, Allen and Overy, HSBC, BP, PWC, P&G and TTG.


James Greenwood - Head of Residential Life, LSE

James Greenwood (he/him) is the Head of Residential Life at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), taking the strategic lead for all aspects of community building and wellbeing support. 

Greg Pevy- Residence Life Manager, The University of Sheffield

Greg is Residence Life Manager at The University of Sheffield with responsibility for the Student Support team, the residences Conduct team, and currently the Engagement and Development team.

Charlotte Axon, Lead People Scientist, Tailored Thinking

Charlotte is a Lead People Scientist at Tailored Thinking, specialising in encouraging and enabling individuals and teams to personalise their work.

James is also chair of the Global Initiatives network for the International Association of College and University Housing Officers. Additionally, James chairs the UK Residential Life and Student Experience groups as part of College and University Business Officers (CUBO) professional body.

James has worked within residential life for over 10 years at various universities across the UK and has created award-winning student experience programmes. 

Prior to residential life, James studied International Events Management at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. He has also worked in different events and communications-based roles across several different industries in the public and private sectors. James is passionate about diversity and inclusion within education and has chaired groups and networks to support LGBTQ+ staff and student communities. You can catch James on LinkedIn where he is always available to network and share best practices

The E&D team deliver a broad Residence Life programme in partnership with Sport Shefield and the Student's Union. The Conduct team has responsibility for managing student behaviour in residences and has been developing new systems and outcomes to respond to allegations of misconduct while ensuring the delivery of proactive and educational content.

Greg studied an MA in Higher Education Student Affairs and completed an internship in Ohio as well as attending conferences and study tours to help inform the development of novel and award winning initiatives, Greg has a particular passion for ensuring the Residence Life team are instrumental in delivering The University's equality, diversity and inclusion strategy.

Charlotte has worked in a variety of HR, inclusion and organisation development roles across the Higher Education sector, having led and supported projects relating to culture, change, inclusion and recruitment. She has a specialist interest in inclusion and belonging, and is passionate about making work better for everyone. Charlotte also has a wealth of experience in people analytics and how to practically use and apply these insights to make positive changes to the employee experience across organisations. 

Charlotte has a first class Master’s Degree in Occupational Psychology, and is a member of the British Psychological Society (BPS) Division of Occupational Psychology (DOP). She has published research focused on leadership, and presented her work at various conferences.

Jamie-Lukas Campbell, Postgraduate Officer, Queen’s University Belfast 

Jamie-Lukas is a PhD student and advocate for social justice at Queen’s University Belfast. Their research examines intersectionality within the US military and government, with a focus on the experiences of Black Americans and queer Americans.

Kitty Tray, Comedian, Drag Artist

11 years ago Kitty decided to leave her full time teaching job to become a freelance entertainer, having an interest in Drag she developed Kitty Tray.

Charity Shop Sue

The Nottingham-based charity shop manager who navigates the peculiarities and challenges of retail culture with wit, humour and panache. 

Prior to their PhD, Jamie-Lukas worked as a public affairs and communications consultant for US political leaders and organisations. Jamie-Lukas is a long-time champion of equality, sustainability, and social justice. They believe that everyone deserves to have a voice and that everyone should have the opportunity to thrive. Their interdisciplinary work examines how structural oppression impacts communities and what reforms can promote diversity, participation, and authentic inclusion on campus and in the community. Outside of academia, Jamie-Lukas is actively engaged in supporting community and progressive and accountable systems.

Jamie-Lukas is passionate about using their research and experience to make a difference in the world and on our campus by supporting efforts to decolonise the curriculum, bring the community together, and help amplify the voices of the underrepresented.

Within the first month she appeared on several TV shows and started creating a TV profile.

She appeared in a national paper also talking about my story. Kitty also made Radio appearances and documentaries. Kitty travelled the country working at Gay club venues and also for private clients that included birthday parties, Ladies' nights and conventions.

Kitty is the first person to bring RuPaul drag queen shows to Nottingham, creating, managing and hosting a 2-hour show for up to 450 people.

We've all met a Sue, and love her or hate her, this is why the character has been such a hit with audiences over the last few years. Filmed in Bulwell in 2019, Sue's videos received praise from The Guardian for being ‘bleak, relatable and so funny’. Since then, she has become an internet legend.

Daniella Dutton, Sports Participation Manager, University of Nottingham Sport 

I'm Daniella, the Sports Participation Manager at UoN Sport. I've worked at the University for just over 14 years now, starting my journey in the Careers and Employability Service and then moving across to UoN Sport in October 2016.

Rebecca O’Hare, Interim Deputy Director of Residential Services, University of Leeds

Rebecca O’Hare is the Interim Deputy Director of Residential Services at the University of Leeds and has worked in student accommodation for 16 years. 

Laura Maclean, Head of Accommodation and Customer Services, University of Kent

Laura Maclean is the Head of Accommodation and Customer Services at the University of Kent, overseeing the Accommodation, Reception and ResLife teams and taking a leading role in EDI initiatives.

The participation programme that I managed for 6 years won the Participation Programme of the Year at the 2019 British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) Awards. 

Physical activity and getting students from under-represented groups engaged in Sport is an area I'm highly passionate about. My key area of focus is to create a culture where physical activity is the norm and becomes a lifetime habit. Within my current role, I have the freedom to be innovative and creative with ideas, whilst also reacting to the needs and trends of student groups (including those from under-represented groups). 

Our Active Living programme was successfully awarded the CUBO Best Residence Life Experience Award in 2023 and I’m pleased to share the journey of this programme from its conception to plans for the future.

She holds an MA in Student Affairs in Higher Education where her research ‘Working in purpose built student accommodation: An Exploration into the Induction and Training Practices of Accommodation Managers & Deputy Accommodation Managers’ was awarded a distinction.

She previously worked for global PBSA operator Campus Living Villages as their Head of Residence Life and University Relationships and also provides external consultancy in the area of student experience to consortiums involved in DBFO projects.  Rebecca is a participant on the Unite Students ‘Living Black at University’ commission, was previously the chair of the ACUHO-I Global Initiatives Network, a former member of the ASRA committee and was awarded the APSAA Student Accommodation Journal Writers Award in 2023 and the CUBO Residence Life professional award in 2019.

Social Media Links


Sam Taylor, Campuslife

Sam is CampusLife’s superstar comms guy. With his finger on the pulse of student culture he knows how to craft content to engage with student communities. 


Mike Ritchie, Campuslife

Mike has worked with CampusLife since the very beginning in 2008.


Laura Palmour, Associate Director of Residences, University of Southampton 

Laura Palmour is the Associate Director of Residences at the University of Southampton with responsibility for Operations and Student Experience in Halls for 6,500 bed spaces.  

He’s been a key player on some of Campuslife's biggest projects and his work has received millions of page views.

He now heads up the team that manages, develops, and produces amazing content for the Browzer platform, which transforms how accommodation and Residence Life teams communicate with students.

Laura has a passion for leading transformational change in Residences with student voice, internal and sector connectivity at the heart of the process.  A particular interest for Laura is championing and leading work to ensure students feel seen, safe and supported in halls at Southampton.  

Building strong partnerships with nominated providers, Students’ Union and colleagues across Student Experience e.g Sports and Widening Participation and Social Mobility builds a fantastic foundation for positive change.   

Prior to this role Laura has worked in various Residences and Student Support roles over the past 13 years spanning roles that capture various aspects of the accommodation student journey.       

Anca Sticlaru, Digital Content Officer, Residential & Catering Services Division, LSE

Anca Sticlaru is a Digital Content Lead at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), overseeing all student communication for halls residents. 


Megan Janasiewicz, Head of Residential Experience, University of Nottingham

Dr Megan Janasiewicz (she/her) is currently the Head of Residential Experience at the University of Nottingham. She has worked in higher education for the past 17 years, has an MA in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Indiana University, and a PhD in University Student Affairs Administration from the University of Georgia. 


Hollie Snowball, Client Partnership Manager, WAU Agency

Besides from having the best surname in the biz, Hollie joined WAU with over 7 years of experience within the student sector where she has cultivated a deep passion for enhancing the student experience and promoting overall wellbeing.

Megan has worked in a number of student services areas, including Fraternity and Sorority Life, International Education, Career Services, and Residence Life. Megan is an American expat who loves exploring promising practices in higher education from a global perspective. In her free time, Megan loves cooking and baking, visiting local markets, and exploring all the best bits of her new home country.


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