Staff Excellence Awards – April 2022

Julie Gellatly and Hayley Blindell, Housekeeping Supervisors  (Hayley pictured)

The nomination was received from Becky Verlin in recognition of the outstanding commitment demonstrated by Julie and Hayley, ensuring a consistently high standard of cleanliness, which includes additional buildings both are now responsible for.  Becky commented, a number of compliments have been received at Woody’s and the Coop and are as a result of Hayley’s commitment.  Whilst Julie has stepped in to cover staff inductions in addition to providing cover for the Sport areas.

Jenny Martine, Interior Services and Signage Manager
The nomination was received from Laetitia Gullett on behalf of herself and many staff members in MORA for the recent redecoration project.  Laetitia commented that Jenny has gone the extra mile in every aspect of the project, ensuring all members of staff felt included and more importantly happy with all the arrangements. Jenny has demonstrated excellent customer service skills.

Alex Watson, Building Services Engineer
The nomination was received from Martin Jones in recognition of Alex’s role during the recent works to repair the underground high voltage network.  Alex worked closely with UKPN to ensure minimal disruption, which resulted in the area being reinstated in readiness for a crucial University Open Day event.

In awarding the Staff Excellence Award the Senior Management Team, acknowledge the impact made to both the Department and the University.

In recognition of the award Julie, Hayley, Jenny and Alex will each receive a £75 top up to their Kent One card.

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Staff Excellence Award – March 2022

Tracey Davies, Electronic Systems Engineer

The nomination was received from Martin Jones as a result of feedback provided by Mark Arnold for Tracey’s response to providing access control during the Jennison EDA data breach.  Both Mark  and Martin Jones recognised Tracey’s professionalism and commitment to the University.

Lindsay Robson, Ben Casey and John Kirkness, Maintenance

The nomination was received from Katrina Dodge, Housekeeping Supervisor in Darwin College for the work  carried out at Darwin College to avert a major loss of heating and hot water.  The team improvised and used their skills to come up with a make shift sleeve pipe wrap that enabled the heating and hot water to function.

In awarding  the Staff Excellence Award the Senior Management Team, acknowledge the impact all have made to both the Department and the University.   Trevor Pereira, Director of Commercial Services and Estates presented certificates and all recipients received a £75 top up to their KentOne cards.

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Staff Excellence Awards February 2022

Estates Staff Excellence Awards were presented to Lesley Knox, Training and Development Officer and Teresa Curteis, Head of Traffic Management and Travel.

Lesley was nominated by Chris Wright, Landscape and Grounds Manager. Chris wanted to acknowledge the support provided to enable him to complete his apprenticeship.  In his nomination Chris commented that Lesley is key to the development of staff in Estates and always goes that extra mile for anyone that needs it.

Teresa was nominated by Gary Law, Assistant Director of Estates, Campus Services in relation to her response to storm Eunice, unprompted and whilst on annual leave.  Knowing that there would be travel disruption Teresa was in a position to make contact with travel providers when the weather warning changed from amber to red in the early hours of Friday 18 February 2022 and fed information into the university decision making process.

In awarding  the Staff Excellence Award the Senior Management Team, acknowledge the impact  made to both the Department and the University. In recognition of the award Lesley and Teresa will each receive a £75 top up to their Kent One card.

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Estates Staff Excellence Award – January 2022

The Estates Customer Services Team (Bev Braiden, Becky Medlock, Angela Durling and Eli Harnett were awarded the Estates Staff Excellence Award, for January 2022.

The team were nominated by Sarah Cooke, Head of Customer Services and Engagement, in recognition of  the Estates Customer Services team successfully retaining their Customer Service Excellence accreditation for the third year.  The Assessor outlined how the team are clearly empowered to promote and participate in the customer focused culture of the organisation, the assessment confirmed they are now compliant in all 57 areas of the criteria. In awarding the Staff Excellence Award the Senior Management Team, acknowledge the impact made to both the Department and the University.

In recognition of the award, Trevor Pereira, Director of Commercial and Facilities Management presented the team with their certificate and each received a £75 top up to their Kent One card.

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Client of the Year SECBE Award 2021

The Constructing Excellence SECBE Virtual Summit and Awards took place on Thursday 1 July and the University of Kent was announced as winner of the Client of the Year category.

These awards recognise and celebrate the very best companies, collaborations and projects from across the London & South-East region. The nomination, submitted by Willmott Dixon, demonstrated their collaboration with the Estates Department on the construction of Sibson, Kennedy and Kent and Medway Medical School (KMMS), and highlighted these key elements:

  • The delivery of three vital education facilities that not only fostered cross-faculty learning but took on lessons learned from each building to improve the delivery of the next.
  • Exemplary collaboration between the client, contractor, and the whole supply chain.
  • 74% of the total spend on local supply chain partners, bringing real wealth to the region.

Mark Ashmore, Project Manager in Estates, described how he felt when the result was announced, “It is brilliant that Kent has finally been recognised for its contribution to the construction industry as a great client.  This is an award that all of the Estates Department should be proud of, as it takes contributions from everyone to deliver successful project after successful project.

As a category winner, Kent will automatically go through to the Constructing Excellence National Awards, which will be judged alongside other regions over the summer.

The full SECBE Awards 2021 finalist – University of Kent blog post can be read here:—University-of-Kent


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March 2020

Graham Pagdin (Maintenance).

The nomination was received from Phil Whittall, Head of Maintenance. Graham identified a trend in failed shower heads for which we have 246 across the campus, often resulting in the shower head being replaced at a cost of £140. Graham sourced replacement parts and is investigating the use of alternative parts moving forward.

In awarding you the Staff Excellence Award the Senior Management Team, acknowledge the impact made to both the Estates Department and the University.

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March 2020

Ben Casey and Charlie Champion (Maintenance) – (Charlie has since left the University his award will be posted out)

The nomination was received from Phil Whittall, Head of Maintenance, for the repairs carried out to the blocked WC’s in Cornwallis East. Crispin Woolnough, building supervisor commended both for their tireless, methodical approach to the problem and for remaining professional in an unpleasant environment.

Ben Hadlow and Calvin Froud (Logistics)
The nomination was received from Paul Glover, School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research who recognised the exemplary service provided by Calvin and Ben whilst moving 90 boxes to the archives store in Canterbury on a particularly wet day. Calvin and Ben were a delight to work with and nothing was too much trouble.

In awarding you the Customer Services Award the Senior Management Team, acknowledge the impact made to both the Estates Department and the University.

The awards were presented by Ron Moore, Assistant Director of Estates, Maintenance and Technical Services on behalf of the Director of Estates.

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Estates staff news

This blog feed will be used for publishing news and information of interest to Estates staff.

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Kent and Medway Medical School

On 19 October 2020, the University welcomed the first staff and students to the Pears Building, the new home of the Kent and Medway Medical School.  This an exciting collaboration between Canterbury Christ Church University and the University of Kent and will offer first-class medical education and research.

Starting in May 2019, the Estates Department worked alongside the building contractor; Willmott Dixon to construct a new 3 storey building.  This new facility provides a 150 seat lecture theatre, seminar rooms, IT suites, offices, social spaces and a GP simulation suite.  The building was constructed to BREEAM Excellent standards.

Photographs courtesy of Willmott Dixon.

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Top 5 Bedding Plants

During this tumultuous time, getting out in the garden can be a fantastic way of stimulating both your physical and mental wellbeing. Gardening is known to be a great source of relaxation, pleasure, and fulfillment. From gardens, to window boxes, or even just a windowsill, gardening can be achieved in the smallest of spaces and with the tiniest of budgets. In this article, Chris Wright our Landscape Supervisor, shares his top 5 bedding plants that can be enjoyed over the next few months:

Before I started at the University, I managed a family-run plant Nursery. Working in this environment enhanced my love for seasonal bedding plants, which I hope has shown with the development of bedding plants in selected locations on campus. I love seasonal bedding due to the impact of the colours they can have to a garden, flower bed, planter or hanging basket all season long. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that with the environmental challenges that we all face, bedding plants can be a strain on precious resources but by using drought-tolerant plants or greywater I think they still have their place in our gardens.

Here are my favourite 5 bedding plants and some tips for planting them in the right conditions:


1. Bacopa (Sutera cordata): 

Bacopa plants are most easily done in containers. This allows for the consistent moisture necessary to avoid the interruption of flowering. Use Bacopa trailing annual as a filler plant in mixed containers and hanging baskets. Grow Bacopa trailing annual in full sun to part shade location. The tender annual is sometimes bothered by aphids, which can be dispersed with a strong blast of water from the sprayer. If aphids persist on new growth, treat them with a soapy spray.


2. lobelia ‘String of Pearls’:

‘String of Pearls’ is a spreading annual to 25cm in height, with neat foliage and flowers in shades of light and deep blue, purple or white, some with a white eye. They grow in deep, fertile, reliably moist soil in full sun or partial shade. Apply a balanced fertilizer every two weeks during spring and early summer and a nitrogen-free fertilizer every two weeks from mid-summer onwards. Slugs may be a problem however.



3. Geraniums (Pelargonium x hortorum):

Geranium care is pretty basic, so perfect for a beginner gardener. In addition to watering, which should be done deeply and at least weekly outdoors (though potted plants may need daily watering in hot weather), fertilizing is usually necessary. Regular deadheading of spent blooms will also help encourage additional blooming. When watering outdoor plants, it is best to avoid overhead irrigation, as this can lead to pests or disease issues. Geranium plants root easily from cuttings and can be propagated in fall for overwintering of outdoor plants. They can also be dug up and brought inside.


4. New Guinea Impatiens:

New Guinea Impatiens are a great choice for a long-blooming flower for a sunny spot in your garden. Like their shade-loving cousins the common impatiens, New Guinea impatiens form small clumps and hold their many flowers above their foliage, where they make a colourful display. No deadheading is required to keep them repeat blooming for months. With few pests or problems, New Guinea impatiens offer low maintenance and high performance. These plants need watering regularly. Do not let them remain dry for extended periods or they will stop blooming, decline, and could potentially die.



5.   Petunia:

Petunias are one of our most popular summer bedding plants, flowering throughout the summer until the first severe frosts of autumn. Their mass of flowers bring lots of great colour to gardens. The compact, bushy varieties are perfect for planting in beds and borders and the trailing types brighten up hanging baskets and for flowing down the edges of containers. There is great variety in petunia flowers: a wide range of colours; both single and double blooms; smooth or ruffled petals; solid single, striped, veined or picotee-edged colours; and even fragrance. Recent breeding has also removed the scourge of old petunia varieties turning to mush in a wet summer. Keep the soil moist by watering regularly during prolonged dry periods in summer. Plants in containers will need regular, possibly daily watering. The aim is to keep the compost evenly moist but don’t overwater, as too much water will cause the plants to become leggy with few flowers. Feed regularly throughout summer with liquid plant food to ensure a continuous supply of flowers. A high potash liquid plant food will encourage more, high quality blooms over a long flowering period until the first autumn frosts. Removing faded flowers and any developing seed pods will prolong the display. Straggly plants can be cut back quite hard and then fed with liquid plant food to produce fresh new growth and a profusion of flowers.

I hope these flowers provide you with a bit of inspiration and help to get you gardening over the next few weeks.

If you would like to read more on gardening and its health and wellbeing benefits, the RHS offers some fascinating articles which can be found at:

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