Belong and Grow Week 2021 – Reflection

2021 saw the T&OD team deliver a virtual BAG week for the second year – we are hoping to be able to return to face to face delivery in 2022!

Despite the fact that the majority of Kent Staff are still working from home, the T&OD team still wanted to bring a week of learning opportunities and resources to staff across the University, and although scaled back, we had a schedule consisting of a variety of sessions to promote self-development:

The Coronavirus Pandemic is taking Gender Equality back decades – How can we address this as an organisation and individual? External Keynote: Catherine Mayer

The week started with a thought provoking and emotional keynote by Catherine Mayer, author and Co-Founder of the Women’s Equality Party and Primadonna Festival. Catherine shared her personal experiences with coronavirus, and the ways different people are affected by grief. The session was a combination of Catherine sharing her knowledge and an open space for staff to ask questions and spark discussion.

Creative Writing and Writing for Wellbeing, Facilitated by Steve Cope

We have been lucky to include Steve’s popular sessions for a number of years now as part of BAG week, and always get great feedback! Writing is an outlet that many staff maybe haven’t considered before, but these sessions are aimed at freeing your imagination, and exploring how writing can positively impact your wellbeing and happiness.

We are already looking forward to including the sessions as part of 2022 BAG week!

Apprentice Information Session, Facilitated by Loretta Finch

Our Employee Apprenticeship Manager, Loretta, is always happy to discuss apprenticeships, be that staff looking to undertake one themselves, or managers thinking about employing one. For more information on apprenticeships, please email Loretta directly:

Exploring Neurodiversity, supported by the Disability Staff Network

The T&OD team hosted an open and safe space for colleagues to talk about neurodiversity in the workplace.

As part of our Inclusive Employers membership, we are happy to share that we have five spaces available on their upcoming webinar, Neurodiversity in the workplace, on the 22nd June, 9am-10am. If you would like to attend, please email the team directly:

Balanced Breathing, Facilitated by Rebekah Osborne

Our last session of the week was Balanced Breathing, facilitated by Rebekah, and a personal favourite of mine! This 30minute session offered a much needed break from everything going on, and allowed participants to take the time to focus on their own relaxation. Rebekah guided everyone through a controlled breathing exercise, leaving you feeling much more relaxed. If you want to find out more about Rebekah, please visit her website:

Coffee with a Mystery Colleague

We ran Coffee with a Mystery Colleague all week long, and it provided an opportunity for staff to be matched with a “mystery” colleague, giving the chance to get to know someone new who you probably wouldn’t normally cross paths with in your day to day role. We had a good up take, and we hope everyone who took part enjoyed their virtual drinks and meeting someone new!

We would also like to share some of the resources that we included for staff via our Teams Channel:

We hope those who were able to take part, be it by attending one of the sessions or using the resources we shared, found it beneficial – if you did attend a session, we would love to hear how you found it, and if you have any suggestions for next year, please let us know!