Maternity, Paternity, Adoption and Shared Parental Leave Champions

Maternity, Paternity, Adoption and Shared Parental Leave Champions

Do you work in the Faculty of Engineering? Are you expecting to go on family-related leave soon – including Maternity leave, Paternity leave, Adoption leave, or Shared Parental Leave?

If so, then you may like to talk to one of our Champions, all of whom have been on family-related leave in recent years.

They will give you guidance on what to expect or where to seek help and further support, based on their experiences, on issues such as:

  • Planning for family-related leave
  • Returning from family-related leave
  • Maternity Coaching scheme
  • Keeping in Touch (KIT) Days
  • Returning Carers Scheme
  • Wellbeing and stress management
  • HR policies and procedures
  • Useful networks

Please feel free to contact them directly at their work email addresses.
If you are pregnant yourself, please contact for a Pregnancy Risk Assessment to be carried out.

Engineering Champions for Maternity, Paternity, Adoption and Shared Parental leave are:

Leah Heslin, Maternity Champion

I’m Leah Heslin, a Student Administrator in CAME and I’ve been in the faculty for 2.5 years. I went on maternity leave in June 2019 to have my first child and took a year off. I am really keen to share my experiences of going on and coming back from maternity leave with others in the same position, and to help others navigate through all opportunities as well as the challenges.

Paul Marshall, Shared Parental Leave Champion

I’m a senior lecturer in Computer Science. I took shared parental leave to look after both of my children – Conor (4) and Niamh (18 months). I’m really keen to talk to anyone who is thinking about taking shared parental leave about my experiences at two different institutions, both about the positives, and the challenges of making this work in an academic context.

Becky Selwyn, Maternity Champion

I’m Becky and I am a lecturer in Mechanical Engineering (0.8FTE). I have two children, aged 4 and 2. I took maternity leave/shared parental leave for 6 months and 10 months and am happy to talk to anyone about my experiences around taking leave and working part-time.


Emma Tweddle, Maternity Champion

Hello, I’m Emma. I am an Executive Assistant/PA in Engineering Maths/SCEEM. I have a son called Sebastian. I took a year of maternity leave 2019-2020 so I can advise on my experiences of recent UoB policies, procedures, pay, handover, return to work, and my experience of maternity leave. It can be difficult navigating all the information and things you need to do in the lead up to maternity leave, I am here to help, offer friendly advice and to try and answer any questions you may have, please get in contact.

Carwyn Ward, Paternity Champion

I’m Carwyn and am a Lecturer and Senior Tutor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering. My desk can be found in Rm 0.117 Bristol Composites Institute (ACCIS) main office, Queens Building. I have been with my partner Jody for a little over 20 years, and in March 2018 we had a son, born in Southmead Hospital. I claim to do my fair share of the parenting and housework, but will admit that the real driver is Jo’s talents as a mother (and her very understanding employer) as I seem to spend most of the time building with BRIO & Duplo, the nursery runs, and juggling work commitments. My motivation in becoming a champion is to ensure that staff get the right level of support and information in the future, and try to reduce the feelings of an incompatible clash between family and work.


We also have two Adoption Champions in the faculty, whose names cannot be shared on this public website due to sensitivities around the adoptions.
However, as staff members in Engineering, you will be able to contact either Adoption Champion as their names are here on the Faculty Sharepoint.

From Adoption Champion 1:
Hello! I’m a Lecturer in Engineering. I took two weeks adoption/paternity leave and combined this with some annual leave, as the adoption introduction process is quite lengthy.
No-one’s journey through adoption is ever simple or the same, but I’m really happy to chat with you about it if you would like to know more!

From Adoption Champion 2:
I am a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Engineering. I took adoption leave for 6 months and I’m happy to share my experiences around taking parental leave in general and handling the uncertain timing of adoption in particular.