Monthly Archives: March 2020

Woman wearing activewear lying on an exercise mat with her hans on her head, in the sit up position

Kent Sport launches Stay Well at Home

Since closing Kent Sport facilities last Friday the Kent Sport Team have all been discussing ideas to keep our membership community and University partners engaged in physical activity, wellbeing, follow good habits as well as a provide a brief sense of normality with instruction or advice from a familiar Kent Sport face.

With this in mind they are launching a regular Blog and Vlog through the Kent Sport webpage and social media channels as well through our University partner webpages.  The breadth of content will provide information and guidance for different levels, abilities and age groups and try to account for the different environments you all find yourself in.

Some content may not be helpful for everyone but they will endeavor to provide a broad range utilizing the talent, expertise and personalities they have available at Kent Sport and help you stay on track.

They will also provide some useful links and signpost other services and material that may be useful.

Coming Soon

  • Home Workouts
  • Wellbeing Ideas
  • Health Tips
  • Sport @ Home
  • Kids Activities
  • Nutrition Tips
  • Music Mixes
  • Fitness Articles
  • Kent Sport News
  • Positive Links

Feedback and engagement is completely welcome and if you have ideas for content or want to keep in touch please engage on social media accordingly by using #KentSportStayWellAtHome

Be sure to like them on Facebook and follow on Instagram and Twitter @UniKentSports, enjoy and join in!

Man and a woman holding hands

Helping out in your community

Helping and supporting others is essential in times of crisis. NCVO, which champions the voluntary sector and volunteering, has some good suggestions on ways you can get involved with your community during the coronavirus outbreak:

Look out for your neighbours

The simplest thing everyone can do right now is look out for their neighbours and offer help with shopping and other errands.

It’s not just about neighbours who are self-isolating or vulnerable. Other people in the community who might also appreciate help are:

  • stretched medical staff and volunteers
  • staff and volunteers in key worker roles
  • supermarket workers
  • delivery drivers.

Remember it’s a marathon not a sprint – your help will be even more crucial in a few weeks’ time. For now, the best thing to do is to check in on neighbours.

Stay safe when supporting others

  1. Keep washing your hands often for 20 seconds.
  2. Stay at least two metres away from people you’re helping.
  3. If you’re helping someone with very serious issues – don’t be afraid to flag with appropriate statutory services.
  4. Support family, friends and neighbours by phone or video call.
  5. Offer to run errands for people but stay outside of people’s homes.
  6. Let family and friends know what you’re doing.
  7. Don’t take on too much – it’s often better not to offer at all than to let someone down.

Volunteer with organisations providing support

Charities are working with the government and local authorities to create ways for people to get involved.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • If you don’t have a particular charity in your local area, contact your local Volunteer CentreCVS or visit the Do-it website.
  • You can sign up to NHS Volunteer Responders who are supporting the NHS during the covid-19 outbreak.. Once you’ve registered and checks are complete – you’ll be provided a log-in to the GoodSAM Responder app.

Other ways to help charities

Supporting charities including as a volunteer or trustee would be incredibly valuable to help keep their work going.

Getting involved locally

Why not check your local council’s webpages? Kent County Council’s website has a ‘How Can I Help?’ section with a handy list of local authorities in Kent and links to the sort of volunteering support they’re after. And you can register to help in and around Medway on the Medway Voluntary Action website.

Self isolating as a parent

Studying while self isolating can be difficult as it is but when you have other priorities such as childcare then you will need to rethink how you work.

The first thing to do is to establish a routine and stick to it. Children find routine very reassuring and calming so keep your getting-up, meal and bed times the same as normal and make sure that school work is still getting done.

Get your own studying done during evenings and mornings when your children are asleep or having some down time. You could get a head start by planning what you will study at each time.

If your children are teenagers then the key is to balance your time so you can give them the space they need.

If you have more than one child then try to find time while you are isolated to have parent one-to-ones with each of your kids. This could be hot chocolate or breakfast together, reorganising a room, anything that gives opportunity for conversation.

Make the most of having the children at home by involving them in the day to day running of the house – even nursery-age children are able to help with washing-up, dusting and laundry, so you don’t need to wear yourself out whilst they zone out in front of the TV.

If you can balance childcare or caring responsibilities with a partner please consider doing so. In the event that you are finding it impossible to balance childcare or caring responsibilities, or any other issue with your studies, please contact your School Support Office to discuss your individual concerns.

Coronavirus

Postal Services Update

Our Postal Services team is currently operating a reduced service ​and is not undertaking scheduled deliveries and collections around Campus. Anyone who needs to collect incoming ​mail or deliver ​outgoing mail ​for posting can arrange this by telephoning ​the Estates Post Room on 01227 823210.  The opening times are between 8am and midday, Monday to Friday (except bank holidays).

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.  Please contact Estates Customer Services if you have any Estates-related enquiries on 01227 816666 or by email. Alternatively you can find useful information on the Estates website.

Woman placing sticking notes on a wall in front of other people sitting at a desk with their laptops

Learning and Organisational Development Delivery

Update 30th March 2020

Further to recent University communications in response to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) the Learning & Organisational Development (L&OD) team will be postponing the delivery of its current training and development courses and workshops, at this stage up to and including those on Friday 1st of May.

During this suspended delivery period, the L&OD team will continue to work on enhancing our online training options as well as ensuring that arrangements are put in place for rearranging postponed training and development activities. Our Session Leads are currently assessing whether there are resources we can point you towards in the absence of the face-to-face sessions.

Staff are not required to action anything at this stage; we will be working on alternative dates for activities and will communicate these to staff affected by the cancelled activity directly in due course.

We will continue to follow the University’s guidance, along with Government, NHS and Public Health England advice and provide regular updates as the situation develops.

This is a challenging time for all of us. Please look after your own health but also be aware of the health and wellbeing of others around you.

Please check the coronavirus information online.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the L&OD team: LDev@Kent.ac.uk

Coronavirus

VC’s student update – 27 March 2020

We have reached the end of yet another week during which you have had to further adapt to the challenges of new ways of learning and living. I realise this is a challenging time for all of you as you adapt and adjust to the reality of the impact of COVID-19 on your day-to day-life.

I know many of you have had to return home earlier than you had planned or hoped, leaving behind the many friends you have made here in Canterbury and Medway.

For those of you who remain on our campuses or in your houses and flats locally, you are also adjusting to the new rules of staying home and following the rules of social distancing.

I know that we have asked a lot of all of you in a short space of time during which we have moved to online learning. At the same time, we have had to close buildings because of government requirements and most of our staff are now working from home.

I also know you have a lot of concerns about your final assessments and examinations. Please be assured that we have been working hard to protect your educational outcomes and minimise the impact of the changes we are having to make as we move teaching, learning and examinations, where needed, online.

We have made changes to accommodation charges and for those who need to remain on campus we are providing appropriate support. Health and welfare support services continue to be available to all and can be contacted at wellbeing@kent.ac.uk.

Yet, despite being in such difficult times, I have been witness to acts of kindness, compassion, resilience and ingenuity over the past days as you have supported each other and put in place new ways of keeping your relationships close whilst spending time apart.

Kent Union has been working closely with us to ensure that your needs are fully considered. The sabbatical officer team has been fully involved in our decision-making and the Union has kept services open on campus to support all those students who continue to live on campus. For all this, I offer my thanks and gratitude.

I will continue with regular updates for all students in the days and weeks ahead. For further updates as to how the University community, including Kent Union, is stepping up to help the wider effort to combat Coronavirus, please keep checking our Student News and the Coronavirus – information for students pages. Please keep us updated as to news stories that we can share on all this great community activity.

With my very best wishes to you and your families.

Yours sincerely

Karen

Professor Karen Cox | Vice-Chancellor and President

Colyer_Ferg_Hall_VMP

University of Kent Virtual Music Project goes live

We’re delighted to say the University of Kent Virtual Music Project is now live!

As from today, we’re encouraging student, staff and alumni musicians at the University to get involved in a virtual collaborative music project, which launches today with the first movement of Vivaldi’s enduringly-popular Gloria – and we want YOU to take part!

You can now access a recording of the accompaniment in two versions – one piano, one harpsichord – and we’re inviting you to record your individual part, using resources on the following links, and send it in.

Rehearsal accompaniments

 Choral scores

 Instrumental parts

 Trumpet in Bb parts

In the same folder as the recordings of the accompaniment, there’s also a short guidance sheet on how to make your recording, and also how to submit it: https://app.box.com/s/lcpnluvucrqolxmicbgg0gdp1uezv3dn

We will begin to build a virtual performance by combining all the recordings submitted, and are asking you to send in a selfie too, so we can create a visual record of everyone involved in the process.

The deadline for submitting your recording of the first movement is Friday 10 April, and we will then move on to the next stage of the project.

Please share your experience of being involved in the venture, and of making your recording, on social media using the hashtag #unikentVMP, so we can see how everyone is getting along and share your posts!

 So, what are you waiting for ?! Download or stream the accompaniment, grab some earphones or headphones, make your recording and send it in! We look forward to hearing the results and putting them together.

Find out more about the Virtual Music Project on its Facebook Page.

(Please note we are accepting recordings from University of Kent students, staff, alumni and current  external members of Music department ensembles only)

How to keep physically active while you are self isolating

Self isolation can be tough – along with studying, eating well and catching up with your friends and family, you need to make sure you are getting enough exercise.

With the sports hall closed and public gyms closed for the unforeseeable future, getting your regular exercise can be tricky. Also staying at home for long periods of time can make you lose the motivation to keep fit.

However, it is imperative that you take up physical exercise because not only does it keep you calm and will also boost your health during this unprecedented time.

Here are some tips on how to stay physically active when self isolating.

Take short active breaks during the day

Short bouts of physical activity add up to the weekly recommendations. Dancing and performing domestic chores such as cleaning and gardening are other ways to stay active at home.

Follow an online exercise class

If you can’t get up in time to join Joe Wicks, why not take advantage of the amount of online exercise classes available on YouTube? They are free and there are lots to choose from.

Walk

Even in small spaces, walking around or walking on the spot, can help you remain active. If you are on a call with classmates, stand or walk around your home while you speak, instead of sitting down. If you decide to go outside to walk or exercise, be sure to maintain at least a two-meter distance from other people.

Stand up while studying

Mix up your study habits by standing up whenever possible. Consider setting up a standing desk by using a high table or stacking a pile of books or other materials, to continue working while standing.

Try something new

We asked on our Instagram stories @unikentlive what you’ve been doing to keep fit and here are some of the answers- yoga, dog walks, running, taekwondo, hula hooping, online exercises classes (e.g. from Kent Dance) and even turning your housemate’s empty bedroom into a home gym!

Kent provides specialist equipment and volunteers to help fight COVID-19

Kent’s School of Biosciences will support Kent hospitals to increase the number of COVID-19 tests that can be carried out each day.

Specialist molecular biology equipment will be loaned to boost the capacity in NHS labs to carry out more tests for COVID-19 and detect infected samples.

More than 30 academics, postdoctoral researchers and PhD students from the School have volunteered to help perform testing at hospitals in the county.

Professor Dan Mulvihill, Head of the School of Biosciences, said: ‘We are in a privileged position to help the NHS and offer resource to help fight this virus. Our volunteers will use their skills to work alongside NHS workers during this time of need and hope to make a difference.’

Dr Jill Shepherd, Programme Director for Biomedical Science within the School of Biosciences, said: ‘The first thing we wanted to do was to see how we could best support our NHS colleagues. It is a great opportunity for our academics, researchers and students to utilise their molecular biology skills to make a difference here and now.’

To see KMTV’s report on this go here.

Three pride award booklets to the three Hospitality staff who each won an award

Fantastic news for Kent Hospitality’s March PRIDE Award Winners

Not one, but a record breaking three members of Kent Hospitality staff have won the most recent Pride Award.

Congratulations are due to Claire Whale (Housekeeping Supervisor), Heather Dyer (Domestic Assistant) and Jason Townsend (IT Systems, Development and Support Officer), who all showed a dedication to deliver fantastic service to students and fellow staff members in their nominations according to the panel.

Claire Whale’s award recognised her consistent hard work and proactive attitude in assisting with accommodation viewings and resolving problems before they develop. Claire’s nomination noted “there is never a time that you feel you are asking too much of Claire because her positive attitude and helpful demeanour is always at the forefront of any correspondence” with one specific occurrence citing that “without her assistance the viewing would not have happened successfully.”

Heather Dyers’ award recognised her generosity and kindness towards others, exemplified by one example when helping a Christ Church student in need where her “concern and kindness shown to a stranger certainly goes beyond her job role”. Part of an email sent by a friend of the student wrote: “the amazing compassion your colleague showed towards my friend is commendable and not everyone would have helped her in the way that she did. We wanted to extend our thanks to her and let her know how much we appreciate what she did.”

Finally, an extract from Jason’s nomination that summarised why he should receive the award read: “he regularly works beyond his required hours and his ever positive attitude and willingness to make time to help everyone, no matter what the task, has been widely noted and appreciated across the department […] Jason consistently surpasses expectation, gives up his personal time, and demonstrates pride for the department and the University through his actions, which are a positive example to others.”

Many congratulations to Claire, Heather and Jason on their well-deserved wins.

We are sure that during these changing times there are lots of our staff going above and beyond, so if you know of any Kent Hospitality staff member from either the Canterbury or Medway campus it is really easy to nominate them for a Pride Award. To submit a nomination just visit the Pride website.

The closing date for the next Pride Award is currently Wednesday 17 June 2020 at 12.