BAGIS Scientific Symposium 2019


Thursday 3rd October & Friday 4th October 

Ushaw, County Durham

BAGIS are pleased to announce that the BAGIS Scientific Symposium 2019 will be held at Ushaw, just outside Durham city. Durham is a beautiful and historic city and is home to the World Heritage Site of Durham Cathedral. 

The annual Scientific Symposium is opportunity to hear up to date research and practice from a wide range of disciplines working within the field of gender dysphoria and transgender healthcare. It is a chance to meet colleagues within the field both from your discipline and associated ones to share best practice with a view to developing excellence and enhancing skills and knowledge. 

This year, due to several factors, BAGIS is solely hosting the event. The title of the Symposium 'Navigating the Seas of Change' not only reflects the potential changes to commissioning arrangements for England and Wales, but also changes in practice, developments in knowledge and understanding, the changing needs of and expectations of service users, and indeed the very process that people undertake to navigate their way to be able to live as they wish to. The programme includes presentations and workshop opportunities linked by this theme.  Click on the link below to the programme (this is subject to change).  



The venue, Ushaw, is a five minute drive from the centre of Durham. It is a former Catholic Seminary and features stunning Gothic Revival Architecture by the Pugin and Hansom families, for more information on the venue visit

Ushaw has a vibrant programme of events on throughout the year as well as opportunity to wander through its magnificent architecture and surrounding gardens. Take opportunity to visit their latest contemporary artwork 'The Nerve Wrack' by Internationally renown artist Matt Collishaw. For more information on this, follow the link. 


Ushaw has its own Bed and Breakfast accommodation. Ushaw does not advertise itself as a hotel, more a historic house with rooms. All rooms have single beds and shower en-suite. There are also accessible rooms if required. All rooms have single beds and breakfast is a continental breakfast served in the Refectory at 8am. 

Room rates

Single £52.50 per night per room

Twin £69.95 per night per room

Triple £87.40 per night per room

To book your accommodation with Ushaw please call them on 0191 334 5119 or email 

Please note: If you are staying in Ushaw on the Wednesday night in advance of the conference, Ushaw does not serve evening meals. There is the New Board Inn within walking distance which serves food until 9pm and The Cross Keys at Esh a short drive away. Links are provided below.


There are also a range of accommodation options located in Durham City which is a short taxi or bus ride away. Taxi fare from Durham city centre to Ushaw is approximately £10-£15. 

The City and County of Durham

Durham Cathedral and Castle are a UNESCO World Heritage site and are located on top of a peninsula created by a steep bend in the River Wear, thereby creating a natural defence from attack. The city, though relatively small, is vibrant, with lots of independent shops, traditional covered market and many pubs and drinking houses. Durham University is prominent within the city and adds to its culture and diversity, from Botanic Gardens to the Oriental Museum. 

Why not extend your stay and take opportunity to explore County Durham. Many people just associate County Durham with either the city of Durham or coal mining, but stray further-a-field and there are some wonderful visitor attractions and stunning countryside. Take a look at the developing visitor site of Bishop Auckland Castle (former home of the Prince Bishops), visit the Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle, re-live the past at the award winning Beamish Museum, or get your walking boots on and explore the beauty of the Durham Dales. For more information follow the link below.

Thursday Evening Social Event 7pm

This event is free to delegates (£20 for non-delegates)

Hot buffet with pay-for bar available

The evening will feature

*gender not included

This one person non-binary cabaret performance explores gender identity, self-discovery and acceptance, using the personal experiences of writer and performer Melody Sproates. A story told entirely through lip sync, meeting a collage of sound clips ranging from The Prodigy to Piers Morgan along the way. Come and have a dance, a laugh and let's climb in and out of the box together!

Melody Sproates is a writer and performer who makes challenging and sometimes daft work to help represent the underrepresented, break binaries and to just have a bit of a dance to some bops. *gender not included is Melody's first full-length work, and is supported by public funds from Arts Council England

DJ Ziggy


Melody's performance will be followed by music from DJ Ziggy of Hi-Life Ents Ltd. 

Former record label owner, producer and massive music fan of all genres, DJ Ziggy needs little in the way of hype.

He started out being influenced by the original breaks, from early jazz, funk and reggae (his family hail from Barbados), although he is very much a northerner. He plays all styles of music, contemporary and retro from funk and soul, to disco, hip-hop, indie and rock, deep and funky house, urban and electronica. For us he will be playing some classic 80's and 90's sounds, but he is open to receiving requests!

Travel to Ushaw

Postal Address: Ushaw College, Co. Durham, DH7 9RH

By car

From the South, leave the A1(M) at junction 59 north of Darlington and continue north on the A167 (for 14 miles) to the traffic lights at Neville’s Cross, on the outskirts of Durham City. Continue to the third set of traffic lights by Sainsbury’s Local and turn left. Signposts will direct you from here.

From the North, leave the A1(M) at junction 63, Chester-Le-Street. Continue south on the A167 until you reach Crossgate Moor on the outskirts of Durham. Turn right at the first set of traffic lights just past the pedestrian footbridge. Ushaw is signposted from here.

SatNav Users: As we are such an old establishment, sometimes SatNav systems get a bit confused and send visitors to the wrong entrance. For the best results, please use DH7 7DW, which will bring you in the correct way. 

It is free to park on site.

By bus

The No.52 bus stops at the end of drive to Ushaw college. It takes approximately 20 minutes from Durham bus station to the end of the drive. Cost is £2.70 single, £4.50 return. 

By train

The nearest train station is Durham on the East Coast Mainline which also makes it an easy journey from Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels. There is a taxi rank immediately outside the station. A taxi to Ushaw from the train station costs approximately £10-15. The train station is relatively centrally located in Durham but please note that it is quite hilly! The trek between the train and bus stations is particularly steep.

By plane

The nearest airport is Tees Valley airport which is really only useful for planes from Amsterdam. A taxi from Tees Valley Airport to Ushaw will cost approximately £46.

Newcastle airport has flights from Aberdeen, Belfast, Dublin, Southampton, London, Cardiff, and Exeter. There are also flights to most major European airports. Newcastle airport is a taxi ride away, which will cost about £56.

Getting to Durham from the airport is fairly easy, by taking the metro to Newcastle Central Station, then a train to Durham.  Depending on connections, this should take about 50 minutes but taking a taxi thereafter is probably most practical.  It is possible to travel to Ushaw from the airport by public transport alone, but you may still be on it by the time the conference finishes! The journey could take over 2 hours.  

By sea

Newcastle ferry port connects you with Amsterdam (Ijmuiden) in Holland with a choice of up to 7 ferry crossings per week. The duration of the Newcastle to Amsterdam crossing is from 15 hours 45 minutes and the crossing is operated by DFDS Seaways.

By river

There are no navigable rivers in County Durham and it is devoid of canals - sorry!