Grace and Barney – a day of reflection, remembrance and a celebration of their lives

May 29th, 2024

A two-minute silence marking the anniversary of the deaths of students Grace O’Malley Kumar and Barney Webber, and Nottingham school caretaker Ian Coates, will take place on Thursday 13 June at 12noon.

The silence will be observed across our campuses, but staff and students are invited to join us on the Djanogly Steps on University Park to mark the moment together as a community, if they wish.

The university chaplains, the Vice-Chancellor and other senior leaders, and the families of Barney and Grace will be present. There will also be an opportunity for attendees to leave tributes on the steps.

The day will be one of reflection, remembrance, comfort and support for the university community.

The event on Djanogly Steps is an opportunity for us to come together and support each other, but we encourage colleagues and students to mark this day in a way that feels right for them. This may be joining the community silence, taking time to be alone, or planning a way to come together locally within your own teams or friendship groups.

Wellbeing support

This will be a difficult day for the university community. Support is available – please reach out if you need to.

  • Oasis (A floor of Portland Building), the memorial garden walk (behind Hemsley at the top of the Downs) and the Chapel (A floor of Portland Building) are spaces close to Djanogly Steps that have been designated for quiet reflection
  • Chaplains will be in the Chapel (A floor, Portland Building) to provide support to staff and students of all faiths and none, and to enable silent meditation and prayer and to light candles. Chaplaincy colleagues will also be available at Djanogly Steps and the quiet areas – in marked t-shirts and hoodies
  • Chaplaincy Offices are available on other campuses. Visit the Chaplaincy website for locations
  • Colleagues from the Wellbeing Team will be present in Portland Building and close to Djanogly Steps from 10am to 4pm – do approach them if you need support, they will be wearing bright green t-shirts and hoodies
  • For more information accessing student wellbeing support in the run up to the anniversary, or on different campuses, please visit our student wellbeing webpage
  • For more information accessing staff wellbeing support in the run up to the anniversary, or on different campuses, please visit our staff wellbeing webpages.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Shearer West said: “A year ago our university, and the city of Nottingham, was forever changed by the deaths of Barney, Grace and Ian.

This is an opportunity to come together as a community – whether you join us on the Djanogly Steps or mark this day privately – to reflect on our loss but also to remember and celebrate two amazing young people who touched the lives of so many here at UoN.

“This will be a difficult day for us all. We must ensure that we take the time we need to process these complex, challenging feelings. The strength of our community lies in our care for those around us, but please also remember to look after yourself and reach out for any support you may need.

“We will celebrate the lives of Grace and Barney, and the huge impact they had on their families, friends and on the university. Their achievements and contributions will never be forgotten.”

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