Monthly Archives: December 2019

Catching Lives

Kent Hospitality Housekeeping staff raise £500 for local homeless charity

The Kent Hospitality Housekeeping team have raised £500 for Catching Lives which is a local homeless charity. They organised a festive Christmas raffle which topped off a fantastic year of fundraising activities.

Becky Verlin and Lydia Lee from Kent Hospitality Housekeeping team made the donation in person to the Canterbury based charity on Wednesday 4 December.

Becky said: “Catching Lives were extremely happy to receive our donation. I am humbled and very proud of the support from staff throughout the year for their generosity for this fundraising and to achieve over and above our expectations is a credit to all.”

Catching Lives is an independent charity aimed at supporting the rough sleepers, homeless and vulnerably housed in Canterbury and East Kent; those who have, for many reasons, fallen through the gaps in society and feel they have nowhere else to turn.

Anna Katharina Schaffner

BBC Radio 4 produces documentary based on Anna Katharina Schaffner’s research

BBC Radio 4 has produced a documentary called Exhaustion: A History based on the research of Anna Katharina Schaffner. Anna Katharina is the Reader in Comparative Literature and Medical Humanities for the Department of Comparative Literature.

Are we really more exhausted today than we have ever been before? This programme sets out to discover a forgotten history of listlessness, burn-out and fatigue.

A couple of years ago, I noticed there was a really extreme increase in reports about stress and exhaustion,” Anna explains in the programme, “I found, to my great surprise, that exhaustion really is a ubiquitous concern that many people in many different cultures over many different years have worried about.”

Group photo of everyone who planted trees

Students lead tree planting event on campus

Students from the Environmental Conservation Sustainability Society (ESC Soc) brought together students and staff from across the University to plant 50 new native trees on campus.

The UK Committee for Climate Change has called for dramatic increases in woodland creation as part of achieving net zero emissions by 2050. The Woodland Trust are calling on all areas of society to participate as part of their ‘Big Climate Fightback’ campaign and ESC Soc thought what better place to plant trees than on our wonderful green campus.

Supported by the University’s Landscape and Grounds team from the Estates Department, ESC Society secured 50 free trees from The Conservation Volunteers ‘I Dig Trees’ fund, and a piece of land that borders Bluebell wood on the Canterbury campus for the trees to be situated.

On Wednesday 4 December volunteers came together to plant the trees on a beautiful winter’s afternoon. The new trees, once established, will be an extension of Bluebell wood providing more cover for the numerous bird species that feed and nest in that area, such as Great Tits, Wrens, Nut Hatches and Tree Creepers.

Tommy-Joe Brown

Beyond Cinema students organise topical screenings

Film students on the module FI624: Beyond Cinema have organised a series of film screenings with a difference this December.

Beyond Cinema considers the changing nature of where, when and how audiences engage with film and the moving image. As part of the module, students have organised screenings of classic films as an immersive experience and appropriate to the time of year.

The series opens with a 25th anniversary celebratory screening of Friends on Sunday 8 December at 7pm, including a Friends themed quiz, starting at 4pm in the Gulbenkian Cafe. Four episodes of the classic TV show will be screened, and tickets cost between £4 and £10. To book online please visit the Gulbenkian’s website.

On Monday 9 December there will be two screenings of Duncan Jones’ science-fiction drama Moon (2009) held in Jarman Studio 1. The screening will be an immersive experience, with an airlock walkway and the film will be show an astrodome. Seating will be on the floor, but there will be plenty of cushions to make it as comfortable as possible.  The screening has been organised by BA (Hons) in Film student Tommy-Joe Brown (pictured, building the walkway), and the event is held in partnership with School of Physical Sciences.

There are 16 tickets per screening and cost £3 each and may be booked by the Gulbenkian’ website.

To capitalise on the festival season, there will be a screening of the Christmas Rom Com Love Actually (dir. Richard Curtis 2003). As this is the season of goodwill, the event is held in support of the student-led charity initiatives Kent Marrow and Canterbury Homeless Outreach. Katie Head, also on the BA (Hons) in Film and who has organised the screening, said: ‘I wanted to do a charity fundraiser for Kent Marrow and Canterbury Homeless Outreach in particular, as although they are two charities that need help and support all year round, Christmas is a time that I believe they need it the most. I thought that Love Actually would be the perfect film to bring people together for a joyous evening and then also give them the opportunity to support these charities in any way they can.’

Tickets cost between £4 and £8.70, and may be purchased from the Gulbenkian.

The final film in the series is The Grinch (dirs. Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier 2018) which will be shown at a family-friendly screening at the Gulbenkian cinema, at 11am on Sunday 15 December. Tickets cost between £2.50 and £4, and may be purchased from the Gulbenkian’s website.

Gulbenkian open day

Free coffee and nibbles – it’s the Gulbenkian Open Day 2020

Back by popular demand all University staff are invited to a very special Gulbenkian open day on Friday 17 January from 11.00 to 14.00.

You can:

-Meet our team

-Find out what’s on in 2020 and learn about your staff discounts

-Hear about our £100,000 redevelopment of the Café/Foyer space

-Taste the best coffee on campus (oh yes it is!) and fresh food from our chefs

-Find out how you can hire our spaces, volunteer, or become more involved with your arts centre here on campus

-And much more!

We look forward to seeing you then.

Warning sign

Launch of eSAFETY online accident/incident reporting system

The new online accident/incident reporting system eSAFETY has now been launched.

The link to the system and further information and guidance can be accessed via the button called ‘eSAFETY accident/incident reporting system’ on the front page of the Safety Unit website.

Please ensure that any incidents recorded on the Interim Accident/Incident/Fire Related Report form are now entered via the eSAFETY Portal as soon as possible.

In addition, please ensure that any links to iCASS that you have saved are updated.  The new system should work in multi-browsers.

Relevant staff will be notified of new accidents/incidents by email from with a subject heading including the word ‘eSAFETY’.

Any enquiries to Julie Martin (ext 4589 or email or Angela Hewlett-Day (ext 4588 or email

christmas ornament

Christmas movie night- Elf, 7 Dec

To get you into the festive spirit, the College Life Team would like to invite you to a special Christmas screening of the movie ‘Elf’.

Date: Saturday 7 December
Time: 15.30
Location: Rutherford Lecture Theatre 1

Join us and follow everyone’s favourite elf, a fully-grown human man named Buddy (played by the wonderful Will Ferrell), on his adventures to find his real dad after spending his whole life living in the North Pole.

There will be free pizza at the event too, so make sure you’re not late and grab a slice before we begin. All attendees will also be entered into a free raffle for the chance to win one of several prizes, including: ​

  • 1st prize: £40 Amazon Voucher 
  • 2nd prize: Google Dot
  • 3rd prize: £20 Just Eat voucher
  • PLUS 4x £5 vouchers at Cafe Nero to be won!

Look out for your College Life Team representatives advertising the event later on in the week around campus.


Spice jars

DICE talk on wildlife trade – 12 December

‘Wildlife Trade on the New Silk Roads’ is the theme of the December DICE talk.

The talk will be  given by Dr Amy Hinsley, Postdoctorate Research Fellow at the University of Oxford and a Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) alumna. Amy will talk about her work looking at threats and opportunities from the global expansion of traditional Chinese medicine.

The talk takes place on Thursday 12 December, from 18.00-19.00, in Grimond Lecture Theatre 3, Canterbury campus. It  is free to attend and everyone is welcome.


Medway Elf Day and afternoon tea, 6 Dec

Elf Day will take place on Friday 6 December at the Medway Campus to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society.

Medway College would love to see as many students and staff in elfish wear as possible. It could be an elf t-shirt or even just an elf hat but please all join in with the festive fun (£2 donation for dressing up or down). On the day, please don your favourite festive gear and bring some cash to help spread some cheer for people affected by dementia.

Micky at the Medway Building reception will be selling raffle tickets to win a tasty elf cake (you can see a photo of the cake at reception). There may also be a cupcake or two for sale in the morning. All proceeds raised will be donated to Alzheimer’s Society.

Join us over in No1 Bistro from 15.00 for afternoon tea and the turning on of the festive lights on the tree. Take a break, play some games, chat with fellow students and staff and enjoy some nibbles. Register for your free afternoon tea by Monday 2 December.

Elf t-shirts are available from Primark, Tesco and Asda from £6, elf hats are available from The Works for just £2 (student discount available). There are also some fab outfits available on Amazon and eBay.

Thank you so much for joining us and we look forward to seeing everyone’s outfits!

Christmas tree

Keeping healthy over the Christmas holiday

For most people, preparations for Christmas are in full swing.

For many, there is much to look forward to: the family getting together, the giving and receiving presents, lots to eat and drink, a holiday getaway abroad, building memories and reflecting on Christmas Past.

For others, the upcoming festivities are a nightmare prospect: the family getting together, the giving and receiving presents, lots to eat and drink, a holiday getaway abroad, building memories and reflecting on Christmas Past!

Whatever your practices and beliefs about the upcoming mid-winter festivities, there are things you can do to help you manage through the period. Below are links to advice from a number of different organisations on what to do to keep healthy and well, in mind and body:

Reducing stress

Mental health



General wellbeing advice

Brenda Brunsdon, Occupational Health & Wellbeing Team Manager