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Calendar is talk of the Toon

A University of Sunderland art and design student has created a one-of-a-kind drag queen calendar that has become the talk of the North East.

Haydn Brown has teamed up Newcastle’s most glamorous community in a bid to support transgender children and young people across the UK.

Haydn, who is studying a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, along with Louise Harvey, pulled together the Newcastle Drag Queen Calendar on the 'spur of a moment'.

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From drag queens posing on a carousel to more candid snaps taken behind the scenes at performances, the calendar aims to celebrate the very best that their hometown's drag scene has to offer.

Haydn, 19, from Gateshead, said: “We really wanted to produce something that represented the Newcastle scene.

“It was important to us because as members of the Newcastle scene we spend a lot of time with so many diverse people from different backgrounds and places and it doesn't matter who you are, or what you identify as, people will still spend the time to talk to you or go out of their way to help.

“I think we're really lucky to have such a tight knit community that a lot of places don't have. So we wanted to use the profits made from this calendar to help young people who don't feel like they have a place to get the support they need to find one.”

All proceeds from the calendar will be donated to charity Mermaids UK who work to support gender variant and transgender children, young people and their families.

The pair said they chose the charity because Mermaids supports a cause close to the hearts of so many people on the scene.

Haydn added: “We wanted to make sure any money raised went to a charity that everyone thought was important, especially with everything going at the moment regarding trans’ equality and trans’ rights.”

After coming up with the idea in September last year, the duo were left with less than three months to shoot and create the entire calendar in time for the start of the New Year.

“We didn't really have a lot of time to shoot,” Haydn added. 

“We decided to do it at the end of September so we really had to work non-stop and do as many photo-shoots as we could to get to done by December. At one point we weren't sure if we'd even get it done.”

However the calendar was complete on time and is now on sale across the UK.

Haydn, who used to go to Thorp Academy in Ryton, Gateshead, is hoping to continue his career in photography once he leaves University.

The pair have had buyers from America purchasing the calendar online, with the help of one of the world’s most famous drag performers Yehuda Yamasaki, a contestant on American reality TV show Ru Paul's Drag Race, who posted about the product on her Instagram.

“It’s great to see people supporting a great cause as well as supporting Newcastle's local drag,” said Haydn.

To find out more or purchase a calendar visit LAH photography.

They were the go-to nightclubs for a generation of young people from across the North East - and beyond.

But Sunderland’s Blue Monkey and New Monkey venues were as controversial as they were popular.

Now, years on from their closure, two University of Sunderland students are making a documentary on the impact of the clubs, their music, and their reputation on cultural life in the city.

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Rob Kilburn and Lewis Dodds, third year Digital Film Production students, are interviewing key figures involved with the clubs, from door staff to DJs, as well as trying to trace those who regularly danced the night away at the venues.

While Rob, now 25, was much younger at the peak of the clubs’ popularity, he still remembers the impact and reputation they had on young people growing up in Sunderland.

Rob, from Seaburn, said: “They were the most talked about places; they reached beyond being just nightclubs. The music they were playing was quite wide-reaching.”

The venues highlighted music genres including Makina, a form of hardcore techno which originated in Spain with a keen following in the North East, and Monta, the events held to dance and listen to it.

Rob added: “Even though the New Monkey has been closed for more than a decade, the impact [of the clubs] is still there and I thought it would make an interesting subject as a documentary for part of my dissertation.”

Sunderland’s Blue Monkey was located in an old bingo hall on Bedford Street in the city centre, the site has now been demolished to make way for the new Empire cinema. But during the 90s, it was a haven for ravers before it burned to the ground.

In 1999, efforts began to turn the former Plaza Bingo Hall in Pallion into a new nightclub, this time called the New Monkey. However, residents living near the venue objected to the plans, claiming their lives would be disrupted by late night comings and goings, loud music and antisocial behaviour.

But bosses behind the club resubmitted plans, this time saying they aimed to open a private members’ only dance club, serving only soft drinks - thereby removing liquor licence control by the local authority.

So began the era of the New Monkey which finally ended in March 2006 when more than 100 police officers raided the venue, seizing drugs and making 14 arrests. Search warrants were also simultaneously executed at the homes of senior management and staff from the trouble-hit venue.

Rob and Lewis hope their 25-minute documentary will encapsulate the impact of the clubs during the height of the UK’s rave scene.

This is not the first short-film Rob has made. In 2012 he made a documentary about the often-forgotten Seaburn Zoo.

He said: “I was blown away by the fact that a zoo which had tigers had just been around the corner from where I now live.”

As well as a short film about Parkour, Rob and Lewis are currently finishing off a film about the history of graffiti in the North East – called Broken Window – which they hope to have completed by the beginning of next month, just in time for the Sunderland Short Film Festival.

Rob believes that thanks to streaming services like Netflix, documentaries are now becoming much more mainstream and hopes to continue perfecting his craft ahead of graduating from the University this summer.

The 25-year-old also started popular Facebook page Tyne and Weird which looks back at North East folklore, urban legends and street history.

Speaking about his time at the University of Sunderland, Rob said: “It’s been a great three years and I have learnt a lot.

“After graduating, I’m looking forward to building on documentary making as well as my work on Tyne and Weird.”

Anyone who would like to get in touch with Rob and can help provide archive footage or stories of the Blue and New Monkey clubs can send a message via the page or email

Rob Kilburn and Lewis Dodds

Are you Club of the Month?

Here’s your opportunity to see your club recognised across the University - but hurry, the deadline closes soon.

Following on from the success of last month’s club of the month presentations by the Vice-Chancellor, Sir David Bell, to our winners for October and November, Pole Fitness and Cheerleading respectively, entries are open for the December award.

Team Sunderland is committed to recognising the achievements of our teams this year and club of the month is a great way to showcase your team’s successes.

Team Sunderland President Natalie Gray said: “We are looking for teams to demonstrate their commitment, improvement and dedication across the month. The winning club gets a certificate and personalised engraved trophy while also having their achievements displayed across the university.”

She added: “Our Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell KCB will again be selecting the Club of the Month and will be presenting the award for December.”

Entries close on Monday 14 January at 2pm, for more information contact Natalie at

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A sports injury specialist from the University of Sunderland has spoken of the “mental and physical pain” that may force Andy Murray off the tennis court.

Dr Saeed Fayaz is an academic in the area of sports injury with over 25 years of experience of teaching physiotherapy, medical science and sports medicine.

He was speaking as former world number one Murray said he planned to retire after this year's Wimbledon, while expressing fears next week's Australian Open could be the final tournament of his career due to an ongoing hip injury.

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Dr Fayaz said: “In this major turning point of Andy’s life, everyone in Britain appreciates the extent of pain both physically and mentally.

“There is no record of what his hip injury involves, but for example, if it was a severe cartilage damage of his hip joint or a similar deep and serious pathology, he will have tolerated enormous amounts of pain, physical and emotional stress.

“It is really unfortunate for British Tennis and, in particular Andy Murray that his injury looks likely to cause his early retirement.

“Even heroes require good health and a great time with family and personal or social life. Let’s convey our empathy and best wishes for our Andy. We should all be really grateful that we were all able to witness of him playing at his best.”

The three-time Grand Slam winner, who is struggling to recover from hip surgery, was in tears at a news conference in Melbourne on Friday.

"I'm not sure I'm able to play through the pain for another four or five months," said the 31-year-old Scot.

"I want to get to Wimbledon and stop but I'm not certain I can do that."

However, Murray says he still intends to play his Australian Open first-round match against Spanish 22nd seed Roberto Bautista Agut next week.

The former world number one had surgery on his right hip last January and has played 14 matches since returning to the sport last June.

Murray ended his 2018 season in September to spend time working with rehabilitation expert Bill Knowles but still looked short of the required level when he played world number one Novak Djokovic in an open practice match at Melbourne Park on Thursday.

It’s been a hectic few years for University of Sunderland student Rebecca Daurat.

The 25-year-old has spent the past two years performing the ultimate juggling act – working full time, giving birth to two children and fitting in her university studies.

But, with graduation in sight, Rebecca’s sleepless nights and endless hard work could be about to pay off.

Now, the BA Social Work student has been nominated for a new campaign – Rate Your Mate - which aims to shine a light on hard working students who go above and beyond in their studies, life and work while at the University.

Rebecca, who will graduate this summer, says the nomination, made by pal Rachel Mole, also 25, has been a big boost during a frantic time in her life.

She said: “To say it’s all been a bit of a whirlwind is an understatement so when I heard about what Rachel had done it kind of made everything feel worthwhile.”

Any student who would like to nominate their friend can email and let us know what makes your mate amazing

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Rebecca, from Pallion in Sunderland, had initially been working full-time at a callcentre, using her holidays from work to make time for her studies, at the same time she had children Henri George, now two, and 12-month-old Genevieve.

“It has been a real juggling act and a couple of times, when I was breastfeeding, I had to bring my baby in to University with me,” says Rebecca.

“But I’ve always wanted to be a social worker and I’m now so close to getting there, it’s all been worth it.”

Rachel, who nominated her friend for the award, says she can think of a no more deserving person.

“Rebecca is a wonderful student, leader, mother, wife, and all round fantastic person,” added Rachel, from Framwellgate Moor in Country Durham. “She has shown unwavering determination and resilience.”

Rebecca has also been acting as Student Representative for the Social Work course.

Rachel said: “She has thrown herself into university. As well as becoming a Student Rep and fighting our corner, she has also become a mentor to younger students through the University’s Sunderland Futures scheme.

“I truly admire Rebecca for being the wonderful student, leader, mother, wife, and all round fantastic person that she is and that is why I am nominating her for Rate Your Mate.”

Rachel and Rebecca will now feature in a poster campaign to attract more students to Rate Your Mate – with all nominated students going forward to the finals in July, where the Student Achiever of the Year will be named at the 2019 summer graduation ceremonies.

Any student who would like to nominate a fellow student for Rate Your Mate can email: and let us know what makes your mate amazing.

Happy Birthday Fashion North.

The popular fashion and beauty website, created and run by students studying Fashion Journalism at the University of Sunderland is celebrating a milestone.

Launched back in December 2013, with the full online launch in January 2014, the site is playing a key role in helping students break into the highly competitive fashion world.

Five years on, it remains a force to be reckoned with videos, podcasts and content which is helping set the fashion agenda.

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Every week, the fashion students hold an editorial conference to brainstorm ideas that will appeal to 13-35 year-olds interested in style, beauty and homeware.

They then use the skills they’ve been taught on the University’s Fashion Journalism course to write catwalk reports, produce trend mood-boards, style and organise fashion photoshoots, and record podcasts – as well as running the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube accounts.

So far, the team has created 2,894 pieces of content and their graduates who’ve learned “on the job” here have ended up in dream fashion jobs such as glossy magazines like Stylist, Elle, You magazine at the Mail on Sunday and Vogue, social media platforms, and even public relations working for Jimmy Choo and Victoria Beckham.

Fashion North Fact box

Fashion North has published 2,894 stories – with a further 86 in draft waiting to be edited!)

Since their first post, there have been over 100,000 page views.

Fashion North’s most-viewed YouTube videos:

Primark’s cutest hot water bottles

Fashion North go to Clarins Spa at John Lewis Newcastle

University of Sunderland fashion journalism freshers’ trip to John Lewis Newcastle


Fashion North podcast figures: Total plays 162, minutes listened 569.

Four babies! Yes, four of the programme’s graduates are now proud mums.

Living the high life

Case study: Paige Mooney

In the fast-moving world of fashion, Paige Mooney is making a name for herself with all the right brands.

The UoS graduate has worked for some of the biggest names in the industry.

Life has moved into the fast-track ever since Paige left university following her three year degree in Fashion Journalism.

“Since being 16 I knew I wanted to work in fashion and I knew I wanted to work in London,” said Paige.

“Of course, my mum would just nod and smile and say ‘yes dear’.”

Spurred on by her tutors, Paige spent the last few months of her final year emailing some of the world’s most well known fashion magazines, determined to secure an internship.

And it paid off, when she heard back from Marie Claire magazine.

“I was buzzing,” said Paige. “I knew it would only be for six weeks, but when I got there, I just worked as hard as I could.

“By week four, one of the beauty editors asked what my plans for the future were and I just said I wanted to get as much experience as possible.

“She had a friend who was an assistant at Vogue and would see if I could get a place there.”

Within a few weeks, an email landed from Vogue and Paige secured herself another internship.

“Obviously that was the highlight of my life,” she recalls. “I love Vogue and it was right around the time they were celebrating their 100th anniversary, so there was this incredible buzz about the place.

“Kate Middleton was on the cover of the centenary issue and there were lots of things happening.

“It was an exciting time, meeting Kim and Kanye at an event and lots of parties; just seeing life from a whole new angle.”

During all the excitement, Paige was slowly starting to build up her contacts and make a name for herself in the industry.

During the course of nine months, she spent time working other well known publications including Grazia, Red, Glamour and In Style magazines.

“It quickly dawned on me how crucial it was to get internships,” said Paige.

“The fashion world might seem like a big place, but in reality it wasn’t and everyone knows everyone else. You have to prove yourself.”

It was around this time that Paige saw a full-time job come up in public relations for fashion label Jimmy Choo.

Knowing she had built up a strong book of contacts, she impressed the panel of interviewers and landed the role.

Over the next 12 months, the graduate dealt with designers, organised press meetings, worked on social media and got an incredible grounding in the industry.

“It was amazing,” said Paige. “I was doing a job I really enjoyed and getting paid too. It felt like all the hard work had really started to pay off.”

Often working 12-hour days, Paige built her reputation and went on to land herself a dream job with Victoria Beckham’s fashion label.

“It’s really focused on moving the brand forward, and an incredibly exciting opportunity.

“When I look back it seems like I’ve covered a lot of ground in a relatively short time.”

Rate Your Mate

We want to shine a light on students who go above and beyond their studies to help others with Rate Your Mate.

Is your mate great? Rate Your Mate aims to shine a light on hard working students who go above and beyond in their studies, life and work while studying at the University of Sunderland.

The scheme is unique, as nominations are made by students – so Rate Your Mate is for and by students.

If you would like to nominate a student you can nominate using this form and email it to  

You can also nominate by filling in a form at the Studio and Riverside cafes - look out for the Rate Your Mate nomination boxes.

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Darwin and Dale works

Works will begin on 14 January on Darwin and Dale buildings. Please be aware that there may be impact on parking at the Sciences Complex.

We are investing £6.7 million in classroom teaching to improve student experience, improving and modernising teaching spaces in Dale and Darwin Buildings, and providing accommodation for our new Medical School opening in September 2019. Disruption will be kept to a minimum.

Changes which may affect you:

  • Teaching for students studying PharmacyAnatomy and Physiology will relocate to the Darwin Annex.
  • Teaching for students studying Biomechanics will relocate to Unit 4, Tech Park.
  • The Sport & Exercise Sciences team will relocate to the Design Centre.

 You can view and download a map of City Campus here. 

 Works begin in January and will be completed by September 2019.

 Please ensure that you check your semester 2 timetable available via the University ePortal

If you have any concerns contact

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CitySpace New Year's offer

Join CitySpace in January and get one month's membership FREE.

CitySpace will also throw in a free gift.

Contact 0191 5152009 or

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Remember to Tap In

We’ve recently updated how campus cards work for your safety and security, so you’ll have to tap your card on one of the square readers. All you need to do is hold your card on a square networked reader, which are normally near the building entrances, as demonstrated below.

This is to keep your access to buildings and classrooms updated, just in case anything has changed while you’ve been away.

 If you do have any issues accessing buildings, just try repeating this process.

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Graduate nominated for BAFTA

A film created by a world-renowned Sunderland graduate and based on memories of growing up in the Black Country during the era of Margaret Thatcher has been nominated for a BAFTA.

Ray & Liz, written and directed by Richard Billingham, who graduated from BA Fine Art in 1994, is in the running for the title of Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer.

The drama delves into photographer and artist Billingham's troubled childhood growing up in council flat.

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The 48-year-old came to prominence through his candid 1996 photography book Ray's A Laugh, which documents the life of his alcoholic father Ray, and obese, heavily tattooed mother, Liz.

Focusing on his parents, their relationship, and its impact on Richard and his younger brother Jason, Ray & Liz is Richard's, who now lectures at University of Gloucestershire, first feature film.

It premiered at Locarno Festival in August last year where it won a Special Mention and is due for cinema release later this year.

The synopsis on the British Council Film's website says: "On the outskirts of Birmingham and the margins of society, the Billingham family perform extreme rituals and break cultural taboos as they muddle through a life decided by factors beyond their control.

"Turner Prize-nominated and Deutsche Börse Prize-winning artist, Richard Billingham, returns to the striking photographs of his family during Thatcher-era Britain.

"The film is based on Billingham’s memories, focussing on his parents Ray and Liz, their relationship, and its impact on Richard and his younger brother Jason.

"At times shocking and laced with an unsettling humour, three episodes unfold as a powerful evocation of experience of growing up in a Black Country council flat."

Billingham is a recent recipient of The Douglas Hickox Award and Davies of the Breakthrough producer Award at BIFA 2018.

In 2006, Richard Billingham exhibited a series of photographs and videos inspired by his memories of visiting Dudley Zoo as a child. The series, entitled Zoo, was commissioned by Birmingham-based arts organisation, Vivid.

The artist spent time studying animals in zoos throughout the world, from the UK to South America, to produce the work which was exhibited at venues including Wolverhampton Art Gallery.


'Leonardo da Vinci: A life in drawing' with Martin Clayton from the Royal Collection Trust

Wednesday 27 February, 6.30pm - Murray Library Lecture Theatre, City Campus.

Tickets are free but must be booked in advance via EventBrite

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To mark the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens has been selected by Royal Collection Trust to be one of 12 UK venues to host simultaneous exhibitions of 12 Leonardo da Vinci drawings. The exhibition will be on display at the Museum from Friday 1 February – Monday 6 May 2019.

On Wednesday 27 February University of Sunderland will host a talk with Martin Clayton, Head of Prints and Drawings from the Royal Collection Trust, followed by a Q&A with the audience.

Drawing was central to all Leonardo’s work as an artist and scientist. Many of his wide-ranging projects are known today only through his surviving drawings, allowing a unique and intimate insight into his mind. This talk will trace Leonardo’s career, and the development of his thought, through his beautiful drawings in the Royal Collection – focusing especially on the twelve exhibited in Sunderland.

This event is free and open to the public.

Tickets now on sale for Leonardo exhibition

Tickets are now on sale for what is one of the most eagerly-anticipated exhibitions ever to be held at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens – Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing.

The exhibition, featuring 12 drawings from the Italian master, is part of a national tour to mark the 500th anniversary of his death. Sunderland is one of 12 UK venues chosen by Royal Collection Trust to simultaneously host the exhibition, which will feature a total of 144 of Leonardo’s drawings. The exhibition will run from February 1 to May 6.

Following the exhibitions at the 12 venues the drawings will be brought together to form part of an exhibition at The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, the largest exhibition of Leonardo's work in more than 65 years. A selection of 80 drawings will then travel to The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse in November, the largest group of Leonardo's works ever shown in Scotland.

Keith Merrin, Chief Executive of Sunderland Culture who deliver the programme at the museum on behalf of Sunderland City Council, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to see the extraordinary drawings of perhaps the world’s most famous artist. We’re delighted Sunderland will be hosting part of such a major exhibition and we’re sure it will prove popular throughout the region and beyond.

“The 12 drawings selected for Sunderland reflect a range of Leonardo's interests – architecture, music, anatomy, engineering, cartography, geology and botany. They also include a range of examples of the drawing materials employed by Leonardo, including pen and ink, red and black chalks, watercolour and metal point.

“The exhibition also presents new information about Leonardo's working practices and creative process, gathered through scientific research using a range of non-invasive techniques, including ultraviolet imaging, infrared reflectography and X-ray fluorescence.”

A range of artistic projects and programmes, organised bySunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, will complement the exhibition.

Jo Cunningham, Exhibitions, Collections and Archive Manager at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, explained: “We’re using the drawings and the high-profile exhibition as a catalyst to inspire and educate through a programme of projects and activities for people of all ages.

“These include a variety of activities, assemblies and workshops for schools and a project with University of Sunderland students working at FabLab and responding to the question ‘if Leonardo was alive now, what would he create?’ “

There is also a family programme which includes a Leonardo-themed week during February half-term (February 18 – 22); Leonardo trails around the Museum and a takeover by the Dominic Wilcox Little Inventors project during the Easter holidays. There will also be monthly exhibition sessions for families with children who have additional learning needs or learning disabilities.

An adult learning programme will include: a free talk by Martin Clayton, Head of Prints and Drawings at Royal Collection Trust on Wednesday, February 27 at University of Sunderland’s Murray Library Theatre (6.30pm – 8.30pm) and then a guided tour of the exhibition by Martin the following day (11am); a botanical illustration workshop at the Museum on Saturday, April 27 and life drawing classes exploring nude, drapery and theatrical costume on Sundays, March 3, 10, 17 and 24 (12.45 – 4.45pm).

Tickets for Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing, costing £2.50, can be pre-booked online by visiting or at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens' reception during opening hours. Entry for under-16s is free, but they will need a ticket.

For information and updates on the supporting activities and events, log on to the museum’s website or check social media using the hashtags #SunderlandLeo and #Leonardo500.

Leonardo, who lived from 1452 to 1519, painted some of the most famous images in world art, with The Mona Lisa and The Last Supper among his most famous pieces.

Sunderland Culture

Sunderland Culture was set up in 2017 to bring together the cultural programmes of Sunderland City Council, University of Sunderland and Music, Arts and Culture (MAC) Trust into a single, independent, resilient delivery model and realise the ambition of a city brimming with creative potential. Sunderland Culture works in National Glass Centre and Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, Arts Centre Washington, The Fire Station and delivers programmes of cultural engagement and events across the whole city. It works across the city to ensure the power of great art, culture and creativity is harnessed for the benefit of Sunderland, its residents and visitors. Sunderland Culture's mission is to improve life for everyone in Sunderland through culture. In spring 2017 Sunderland Culture was successful in its bid to be one of 16 pilot areas for the Great Place scheme, jointly funded over three years by Arts Council England (ACE) and Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) with funding made possible by National Lottery players, to put arts, culture and heritage at the heart of communities. On April 1, 2018, Sunderland Culture joined Arts Council England’s National Portfolio.

Royal Collection Trust, a department of the Royal Household, is responsible for the care of the Royal Collection and manages the public opening of the official residences of The Queen.  Income generated from admissions and from associated commercial activities contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational programmes. Royal Collection Trust’s work is undertaken without public funding of any kind.

The Royal Collection is among the largest and most important art collections in the world, and one of the last great European royal collections to remain intact.  It comprises almost all aspects of the fine and decorative arts, and is spread among some 15 royal residences and former residences across the UK, most of which are regularly open to the public.  The Royal Collection is held in trust by the Sovereign for her successors and the nation, and is not owned by The Queen as a private individual. 

The Royal Collection contains by far the greatest collection of drawings by Leonardo da Vinci. The group of more than 550 sheets has remained together since Leonardo’s death in 1519. Because of the potential for damage from exposure to light, these very delicate works on paper can never be on permanent display and are kept in carefully controlled conditions in the Print Room at Windsor Castle. All the drawings can be viewed online on the Royal Collection Trust website at

Exhibition dates:

Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing (1 February – 6 May 2019)

Exhibitions of 12 drawings at the following locations:

Ulster Museum, Belfast

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

National Museum Cardiff

Derby Museum and Art Gallery

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow

Leeds Art Gallery

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

Manchester Art Gallery

Millennium Gallery, Sheffield

Southampton City Art Gallery

Sunderland Museums & Winter Gardens

Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing (24 May – 13 October 2019)

Exhibition of over 200 drawings

The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London

Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing (22 November 2019 – 15 March 2020)

Exhibition of 80 drawings

The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh

For more information please visit

A multimillion-pound transformation of a former office block is helping train the healthcare professionals of the future.

The £5 million-plus regeneration of Shackleton House in Sunderland is today playing a key role in training the next generation of medics: including nurses, psychologists, paramedics, and soon, doctors.

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Along with a specially-equipped, fully working training ambulance, the cutting-edge facilities aim to give students a taste of real-life emergencies within the safety of a training environment.

The once 1990s office building is now a modern facility with two mock hospital wards, assessment suites, a mock Patient Transfer Suite and an industry-standard Isolation Room, designed to give students as close to a real-life emergency experience as possible.

On the second floor of the building there is a Point of Care area and multi-functional space with dividing walls and rooms of various sizes for a variety of uses, including objective structured clinical examination (OSCE).

The top floor is the most recently developed space, which now replicates a Mental Health Ward. Here students will learn how to deliver restorative interventions to those experiencing mental distress and illness, develop interpersonal therapeutic skills to promote recovery and positive mental wellbeing.

The School of Psychology is also housed here. 

James Rodgerson is a student Paramedic at the University. He said: “For me this type of exercise is about as close to the real thing as you can get. It allows you to see the progression you are making very quickly.”

Stacy Humphrey, a second year Nursing student, also took part in the exercise.

She said: “I still have 18 months left on my course but this is preparing me well for going out into the working world. The simulation has been fantastic providing an NHS environment within the University.”

Mark Willis, Programme Leader for Paramedic Science and Out of Hospital Care at the University, said: “This exercise helps show that we now have the ability to provide training for wrap-around care for emergency patients.”

A University of Sunderland Nursing and Paramedic Open Evening is being held on Tuesday, February 12 - 4pm to 7pm - for potential students.

For more information on BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing Practice Programme, click here

For more information on BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science and Out of Hospital Care, click here

For more information on BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing Practice, click here

For more information on Pharmacy course, click here

Wednesday 27 February, 6.30pm - Murray Library Lecture Theatre, City Campus - Tickets are free but must be booked in advance via EventBrite

To mark the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens has been selected by Royal Collection Trust to be one of 12 UK venues to host simultaneous exhibitions of 12 Leonardo da Vinci drawings. The exhibition will be on display at the Museum from Friday 1 February – Monday 6 May 2019.

On Wednesday 27 February University of Sunderland will host a talk with Martin Clayton, Head of Prints and Drawings from the Royal Collection Trust, followed by a Q&A with the audience.

Drawing was central to all Leonardo’s work as an artist and scientist. Many of his wide-ranging projects are known today only through his surviving drawings, allowing a unique and intimate insight into his mind. This talk will trace Leonardo’s career, and the development of his thought, through his beautiful drawings in the Royal Collection – focusing especially on the twelve exhibited in Sunderland.

This event is free and open to the public.

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