Armed Forces Steering Group

LJMU has established a cross-university Armed Forces Steering Group to formalise and drive forward its commitment to supporting students, staff and its wider communities who have a connection to the Armed Forces.

The group meets every six weeks to identify, build and strengthen its activity to underpin the pledge that it made in 2021 as part of the Armed Forces Covenant, promising to support and champion the contributions of serving personnel, both regular and reservists, veterans and military families.

The group is chaired by LJMU’s Armed Forces Champion Dr Gus Ryrie.

Aims and objectives

LJMU’s Armed Forces Steering Group concentrates its efforts on:

  • creating mentoring opportunities and implementing better support strategies for students and staff who are veterans, reservists, or family members of Armed Forces personnel
  • pursuing cross-faculty research and knowledge exchange opportunities, as well as collaborations with external partners and organisations, that focus on the Armed Forces community
  • identifying, building, and strengthening links and partnerships with organisations in the Liverpool City Region associated with supporting veterans and with tri-service military organisations to establish tailored recruitment support for both those seeking to work or study at LJMU
  • raising further awareness and understanding about the university’s pledge under the Armed Forces Covenant and encouraging staff and student participation in key national activities such as Armed Forces Day and Remembrance
  • gaining silver and gold status under the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme
  • facilitating the development and sharing of good practice across all aspects of the university in support of the Armed Forces Covenant

Members of the group

Steering Group Chair and Armed Forces Champion

Dr Gus Ryrie - School of Sport and Exercise Sciences

Professional Services

Wendy Bowe - Faculty of Arts Professional and Social Studies
Amanda Mannion
- Human Resources
Jo Bleasdale - Student Advice and Wellbeing Services
Philip Bakstad - Student Advice and Wellbeing Services
Ella Lynch - Corporate Communications and Stakeholder Relations
Janine Johnson - Corporate Communications and Stakeholder Relations
Dave Leigh - Student Recruitment Marketing and Admissions
Rob Knipe - Student Recruitment Marketing and Admissions
Anthony Moran - Vice-Chancellor’s Office
James Cullen - Sports and Physical Activity
Ben Brimage – Faculty of Health
David Dale – Campus Services
Jeremy Crayden – Campus Services

Academic Staff

Steve Jones - School of Justice Studies
Dr Emma Murray - School of Justice Studies
Ester Ragonese - School of Justice Studies
Justin Moorhead - School of Justice Studies
Professor Zoe Knowles - School of Sport and Exercise Sciences
Laura Cole – School of Nursing and Advanced Practice  
Sian Dunne – School of Civil Engineering and Built Environment
Dr Scott Foster – Liverpool Business School
Dr Marek Palace – School of Psychology
Rob English - School of Engineering and Technology


John Goulding - School of Education
Charlie Hands - School of Civil Engineering and Built Environment
Callum O’Toole – School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Science

John Moores Students’ Union

Bea Hyde - Student Voice and Support

Join the group

All LJMU students and staff are invited to be a part of the group, and especially those who may have a personal or professional connection to the military be that as a veteran, reservist, or Armed Forces family member.

Get in touch with us by using the contact enquiry form below.

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Terms of reference

Read the Armed Forces Steering Group terms of reference (PDF).