On Thursday 23 November the School welcomed Loughborough University’s Dr Gemma Witcomb to give an enrichment lecture to the 5th and 6th Form. Having gained a First Class degree from Loughborough in 1998, Gemma was awarded the Sir Robert Martin faculty prize for Outstanding Academic Achievement before completing a PhD in 2005. She is now a lecturer and researcher whose focus is on understanding and promoting mental health and wellbeing, and as a consequence physical health, and the interplay between the two. She works in areas including eating disorders, transgender health, and trauma & resilience.
On Thursday she spoke about the very current topic of transgender health, including sharing some of her research done with the World Health Organisation on the re-classification of Transgender, moving it out of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual as a mental health disorder. She also talked about its misconceptions in the media, the poor understanding of it and some of the health effects linked to it. In an engaging and energetic talk, she fielded a variety of questions from a number of the pupils in what can be a very controversial topic.
After the lecture, Alex Laybourne said:
It is fantastic to get someone like Gemma Witcomb in to talk to our pupils. She is a leading figure in her field and she delivered a challenging topic to our pupils in a way that opened up some excellent debate.