Monthly Archives: September 2020

Two green Unibuses lined up together

Commuting to campus

The new academic year has started and here are some tips on what to expect from the Transport Team around changes to travelling to, from and around our campuses to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

Plan your journey 

We recommend you plan for all your journeys (including your return one) before you leave home. Be prepared to carry a face covering and hand sanitiser for use in line with the Government, University of Kent guidance, and travel providers restrictions. Where possible pay contactless or purchase tickets online and maintain social distancing. Here are some useful links to help you plan ahead.

Walking and cycling

Alongside the Government safer travel guidance, we are encouraging all staff and students to walk and cycle to and from our campuses where reasonably possible.

Please be aware and consider others when using our cycle parking bays to maintain social distancing. When more people return to campus, restrictions may be put in place.

Campus roads and car parks 

When using our car parks, be aware and check your surroundings for others before entering and exiting your vehicle, maintain social distancing, and sanitise your hands frequently. Parking permits are still required to use our car parks on weekdays 8am – 5pm, with parking enforcement still in operation. Restrictions remain in place for students.

There may also be some disruption as car parks are currently being used to assist in COVID-19 Testing.  To keep updated with car park updates visit www.kent.ac.uk/transport/news

Campus shuttle 

Shuttle services will resume on the 19th of September and will be operating at 50% capacity. Face coverings will be required and booking your seat is essential.  The driver will not be able to accept any passengers unless they have booked a seat.  Bookings can be made up to 30 minutes before departure.  Please ensure you cancel your seat if you have made a booking and no longer require your seat to allow someone else to travel.

Buses and coaches

These are currently operating at approximately 50% capacity. Keep in mind you may not always be able to board the service you intend to catch because of this reduced capacity. You might need to wait for the next bus or coach. Remember to maintain social distancing whilst queuing, unless you are travelling with someone in your social bubble. Allow room for passengers to disembark and walk away from the bus. If you intend to pay by cash, check with the travel company to ensure that they are accepting cash. You are required to wear a face covering when travelling on buses.

You can read more about travelling by bus on the Stagecoach COVID-19 page.

Trains 

Southeastern trains are currently operating at 80% capacity. You are required to wear a face covering when travelling on the train and within the stations.

You can read more about travelling by train on the Southeastern COVID-19 page.

Eurostar, ferries, and flights 

For other modes of transport, makes sure you are aware of what is expected. This may include requirements of the Ferry company you are using, the associated Ports, the plane company you are with, and, or airport you are travelling to and from. Travel restrictions may also be in place so make sure you plan your journey before you travel.

You can read more on the Eurostar service information page.

Please remember to follow the Government requirements at all times. Stay alert, travel safely, and social distance. Keep updated and be aware of any changes using the COVID-19 Transport page.

Kent Logo

Kent signs up for Race Equality Charter

Vice-Chancellor Karen Cox has formally submitted Kent’s application for membership of the Advance HE’s Race Equality Charter.

The Race Equality Charter provides us with a framework to enable a significant step-change at the University, and through signing-up we reaffirm our commitment to race equality.

Professor Georgina Randsley de Moura, Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Academic Strategy, Planning and Performance will lead on this, working with colleagues and students across the University to ensure that the work required is understood, resourced and advanced appropriately.

Vice-Chancellor Karen Cox comments ‘On behalf of all of the Executive Group, I would like to thank colleagues and students who are working tirelessly to tackle racism through education, research, evaluation and engagement. I am confident that we have amongst us all the skills, knowledge and drive to make this step-change.’

We acknowledge that there is still much to do. We will update you on the next steps the University will be taking shortly and how you can get involved.

 

Person holding a yellow flower in their palms

Taking care of your health and wellbeing at Kent

Whether you’re new to Kent or returning to complete your studies, this year will inevitably feel a little different. Needless to say, 2020 has been challenging with lots of us adapting to a new normal. With so much going on around you, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed and wondering how you are going to look after yourself this academic year. Here are some self-care tips which you may find helpful in adjusting to this academic year.

You may be feeling worried or anxious starting the term and be concerned with being around others. With everyone’s safety a top priority, the University has done their best in making sure we follow the Government’s guidelines and have made a number of changes to campus-life to help keep everyone safe. From changes to the campus itself, teaching, and catering, here’s a quick overview of what to expect.

It’s also important to be aware of the guidance available for you at Canterbury or Medway, so if you do want the additional support, now or later on down the line, you know what’s available. There’s lots of help for you when it comes to looking after your wellbeing.

If you’re new to university life, it can be a little daunting to know where to go for help. Your first point of contact is either the Colleges and Community Life Team or your Academic School, both of which can provide you with assistance, advice, and support or signpost you in the right direction for further support. If you have a disability, chronic condition, mental health condition, specific learning difficulty, or autism, don’t forget to contact Student Support and Wellbeing to see how they can help you make the most of your university journey. The team can help with any challenges you are going through, whether this is something you’re experiencing for the first time or have been dealing with for a while. Students also have access to a free confidential counselling service, and for Canterbury students, a Medical Centre and a Nursing Service are located on campus. You definitely won’t want to be filling in forms should you become unwell at any point during your time at Kent so make sure you’ve registered with a local doctor so you can receive treatment if you ever need it.

There are still plenty of opportunities to meet other students online for support, games, and creative activities. Virtual Wellbeing Cafes are perfect to help you unwind in an informal, friendly setting whilst getting to meet fellow students. These are currently being held weekly. Here are some more ideas on ways to connect with those in a similar position to you if you’re a mature, commuting, or part-time student (or a combination) or if you’re a parent or carer. There is also the MPCC common room located in the Chipperfield building, providing a social meeting space equipped with lockers and kitchen access.

Getting involved in a sports team or society is also a fantastic way to make new friends so make sure to check out the Virtual Welcome Fair for Kent Union and GKSU! The University Chaplaincy also runs a wide range of religious and social events. They are also a good contact for advice and support. You can also see their guidance around socially distanced faith and worship.

From money worries to housing issues, academic problems to visa support, you can get free, impartial, and confidential advice from your Students’ Union. For Canterbury students, Kent Union are your Students’ Union, who run the Kent Union’s Student Advice Centre. You can also get in touch with your Kent Union full-time officers who are each responsible for specific areas. For Medway students, GKSU are your Students’ Union, who run the GKSU Student Advice Service.

For those living away from home for the first time, it’s important to learn how to cook and make sure you are eating regularly and well. Ask for help with making your favourite meals – in person if you’re at home, or if you’ve moved already, why not have your friends or family back home on a video call whilst you cook and catch up at the same time? Another tip is to make a food shop budget and stick to it. Shopping cheaply is easier than you think – the Plaza and Parkwood Co-op offers a 10% discount to NUS cardholders, and own-brand food from the supermarket is often of the same quality as the more expensive branded alternatives. Simple, student-friendly recipes are a good place to start to get inspiration. These will focus on using simple ingredients, cooking on a budget, and or with limited kitchen appliances. You can still make some delicious microwave meals if that’s all you have access to!

Finally, take some time to get to know the local area by heading to Visit KentKent County CouncilMedway Council, and Canterbury Council. This will come in handy if you’re looking for ideas for getting some fresh air through socially distanced activities with your new housemates here in the Garden of England!

 

student art pass

Student Art Pass – a year of art and opportunities for a fiver

A Student Art Pass lets you dive into culture on a budget with free entry to hundreds of museums and galleries across the UK, and 50% off major exhibitions.

Plus, you’ll gain access to paid arts opportunities and grow your network by joining the #WeAreArtful @StudentArtPass community. All for just £5 a year.

Available for a limited time. Get your £5 pass today.

NHS Test and Trace app

NHS Test and Trace app

On 24 September the Government launched the new NHS Test and Trace app. Through the app you can report symptoms, order a coronavirus test, check in to venues by scanning a QR code and help the NHS trace those who may have coronavirus. The app will do all this while protecting your identity and data security. If you haven’t done so already, please download it and help keep our University community safe.

If you or anyone you’ve had close contact with test positive for coronavirus, you’ll be contacted by NHS Test and Trace either by email, text or phone and asked to self-isolate. You will be asked to provide them with information they’ll need to help stop the spread of the virus. Further information on how you will be contacted can be found on our Student Coronavirus page and Staff Coronavirus page (Health and Wellbeing Section).

A newly added FAQ has also been added to the Student Coronavirus and Staff Coronavirus pages concerning where you be able to see the NHS track and trace on campus. This confirms there are some venues on campus that display the NHS QR poster and what you need to do in order to check in whether you have downloaded the app or not, according to Government guidelines.

Things to do on and off campus – Week starting 28th September

We have put together a selection of activities that you can get stuck in this week.

On Campus

We have a few in-person activities that you can attend.

Pleasure in Painting Exhibition – Keynes College

By a Kent Alumnus, ‘Pleasure in Painting’, is on display in Keynes College on two levels in the Atrium for the Autumn term.

College Life Photo Competition – Everywhere!

Submit a photo a day for the next 2 weeks themed around your College and University Life! Prizes to be won… did someone say a cash prize!?

Walking College Trail

Explore the campus, discover your college, and get some fresh air on our self-guided tour around the University!

Social RunMonday and Thursday 5 – 6pm

Sign-in, meet your running partners, and set-off.

Joker: Free Outdoor Screening – Wednesday 8 – 10:30 pm

Another chance to see Joaquin Phoenix’s sensational performance as Arthur Fleck, a man disregarded by society and his journey that led to the Joker. To support social distancing, you can book a ‘zone’ for up to 3 members of the same household/bubble.

Bohemian Rhapsody: Free Outdoor Screening – Saturday 8 – 10:30 pm

Rami Malek shines as Freddie Mercury in this foot-stomping celebration of Queen leading up to their famous performance at Live Aid (1985). To support social distancing, you can book a ‘zone’ for up to 3 people from the same household/bubble.

Gulbenkian Cafe

You can also pop into the Gulbenkian Café for lunch, they are open between Monday to Friday from 12:00 to-2.30.

Off Campus

While you have a bit of spare time on your hands why don’t you get to know your student town? Whether you are at Canterbury or Medway, you will find that both towns have a lot to offer.

Student Canterbury Shopping Week

Students – welcome (back) to Canterbury! We are delighted that you will be studying in our beautiful city and look forward to seeing you in Whitefriars soon. Enjoy some exclusive discounts that are available to you over the next two weeks within Whitefriars and the rest of the City!

Canterbury’s Pride – The Story of Pride Canterbury

With Pride Canterbury delayed until 2021, this exhibition allows you to experience a little bit of Canterbury’s Pride, through photography and film, giving you the background to Pride’s origins.

City Feast 2020

A new weekly Street Food Market will take place in central Canterbury on Guildhall street (just off the high street), creating a unique environment and vibe for enjoying some of the best street food Kent has to offer. The Market will run from Friday afternoon until Sunday evening.

Cathedral to Coast Cycle Ride – Canterbury to Dover

Undertake your own Pilgrim’s Progress on this 50-mile circular ride that links Canterbury, Dover, and Folkestone. The route passes along leafy lanes and bridleways amid rolling hills, wide skies, woodland, country villages, and hamlets.

The Historic Dockyard Chatham

This is Chatham’s holy grail and steeped in history. The Crown and Call the Midwife have been filmed here along with many films. A visit here will ensure you return to the ‘Age of Sail’ when the Dockyard built mighty ships that mastered the world’s oceans. Test your sea legs as you peer through the periscope of HMS Ocelot, a Cold War Submarine; take charge on the bridge of HMS Cavalier, a Second World War Destroyer; and ring the ship’s bell on the deck of HMS Gannet, our Victorian Sloop.  Watch our Master Ropemakers at work using centuries-old techniques on in our Victorian Ropery.

Brogdale Farm Orchard Walks

For anyone seeking to escape the house or office for some fresh air and gorgeous countryside, the Orchard Walks at Brogdale Collections are an ideal option. Brogdale Collections, based near Faversham, hosts the country’s National Fruit Collections and is home to the largest collection of temperate fruit in the world.  The charity has opened its beautiful orchards and operating self-guided walks so visitors can enjoy the hundreds of fruit trees.

Walking on the White Cliffs of Dover

The White Cliffs of Dover are perhaps most famous as an iconic landmark, the white chalk face a symbol of home and wartime defence, but they have so much more to offer; stunning views, a serene walk, a wealth of wildlife, an abundance of history and, most importantly, two tea rooms offering delicious treats. It’s a short train or bus journey away.

The Beaney Collection

The Beaney has completed a ground-breaking 18-month long volunteer project, designed specifically for students affected by anxiety. It was funded by the Museums Association Esmée Fairbairn Collections.

Heritage Walk Treasure Hunt

Take a quirky, self-guided heritage walks with a treasure hunt theme – looping around the better-known sights, as well as some of the more unusual and quirky ones, which combined make Canterbury an amazing place to explore! You’ll get detailed directions, a map, clues (with answers in the back!), pictures to march, and some interesting snippets about the history of Canterbury and the people that have shaped it.

At Home

Bond with your housemates by chilling out with a DVD boxset or binge-watching a great TV series or film. Netflix, Amazon, and Apple TV have some great options.

 

Kent Sport Centre building

Kent Sport team profile – work during lockdown and returning to campus

As more of us start returning to campus and facilities begin to reopen, Mel Clewlow, Director of Sport describes how Kent Sport team members have risen to the challenge, both during lockdown and preparing for the new academic year.

Work during lockdown

‘During lockdown and throughout the summer, our members have been very much at the forefront of our minds. We set up several initiatives to support fitness, mental health & wellbeing during some challenging times, including  ‘Stay well at home Wednesdays’ led by Oli Prior, Head of Physical Activities, and offering a free trial of Les Mills on demand to our members. We also had staff contribute content such as Jenni Mullane’s dance sessions, Karen Drake’s virtual run, Gavin Connor with disco beats and Laeticia Pelacchi on workout routines.’

Kent Sport was also faced with issuing partial refunds to its members while facilities were closed for the five-month period. Susan Hickmott, Head of Business Development, led work on liaising with the University’s Information Services department to develop an online form for processing the requests, liaising with Payments Office to ensure they had all the information to process them, and working with Kent Union to ensure all students submitted in their applications. On lockdown, the Kent Sport team notified payroll immediately to pause the staff monthly deduction and advised public members of their membership options.

Vicky Annis, Head of Physiotherapy Clinic, provided free initial online physiotherapy consultations, in which over 100 people accessed and many of whom were kind enough to help raise money for NHS charities. These free consultations have now become a new offer and Vicky herself swam the English Channel to raise donations for NHS Charities Together.

Working alongside Occupational Health, Kent Sport’s fitness team also delivered a series of activities designed to “give the brain a break” and reduce stress and anxiety levels.

Reopening facilities

Christopher Monteiro-Sharratt, Head of Operations, led his team and worked relentlessly behind the scenes on getting Kent Sport facilities reopened according to Government and University’s guidelines. Liaising with the Safety, Health and Environment Unit and University’s Estates, the Kent Sport duty teams moved the cardio and fitness equipment spaces apart for social distancing, ensured our fresh air units were in great order, worked on a one-way system throughout Kent Sport facilities, and created a schedule to allow the cleaning team to do daily deep cleaning during the day.

The team also reprogrammed sessions to reduce capacities, which turned out to be a very labour-intensive task.

Advance re-introductions were organised for early August to ensure all staff were aware of the new processes and a walkthrough of the new layout of our facilities via the one-way system.

Kent Sport’s reopening also involved its marketing team, led by Susan Hickmott, communicating all the changes to the facilities, videos to showcase reopening policies and social distancing, and liaising with central communications on reopening.

In summary, Mel says: ‘The Kent Sport Team has worked hard on our reopening strategy, ensuring every consideration for a clean and safe operation has been taken into account. We opened our doors in mid-August and have implemented many new policies and procedures including a fully cashless operation and online booking system to manage our reduced capacity and shorter opening hours. Both new and returning members are being asked to visit our website to keep up to date with latest fitness and wellness timetables, our opening hours,  availability and guidelines.

‘It was truly a team effort across the board, and we were delighted to be able to reopen as soon as possible and offer activities to our staff and students within safe measures.’

The Work-Study Scheme have students ready to work for you!

The Work-Study Scheme (run by the Careers & Employability Service) have nearly 2000 keen and enthusiastic students ready to work for you! We can help you recruit to roles such as Social Media Assistant, Web Content Editor, Administrator, Research Assistant or Marketing Assistant, or shorter-term roles such as Welcome Helper or Promotional Assistant. The students appreciate the opportunity to build their employability skills further, and in turn can bring fresh ideas to your team.

We have a bank of job descriptions so if you have an opportunity that could be filled by a student, just let us know, and we can help you draft a role description. We advertise the role, can shortlist and support with interviews as needed, and undertake all employment checks and paperwork, with no cost to you – all whilst providing support to the students along the way, and ensuring they receive developmental feedback and support.

We recently hired 150+ Student Helpers to work at welcome events at Canterbury and Medway. They have been stationed across campus, welcoming new and returning students and their families, answering questions about student life, and ensuring that no one is left lonely on campus by being a friendly presence. They have also assisted with the Office Lockdown Escape Room, bushcraft and life skills activities, and delivering Campus Tours. These students are all ready to work, hold a contract and have undertaken all appropriate checks, had an induction and even  have a Student Helper t-shirt and face shield, so if you need any to support your welcome activities, or longer-term roles, please do let us know!

We have limited funding available, which can be used to match-fund your costs fifty-fifty, where appropriate (students earn £9.40 per hour if they are under 25, £9.99 per hour if over 25, with no cost to you). We undertake all the employment checks, contract paperwork and training – all we need to know is how many you need, where, when, and their duties, and we recharge costs back to you once the work is completed.

Contact Hannah Greer and Jen Davey on workstudy@kent.ac.uk for more information, or to hire Student Helpers.

Notepad, mobile phone laptop on a table

Care first webinars w/c 28 September 2020

Our official Employee Assistance Programme provider, Care first offers a numbers of services and provide useful advice and support, including weekly webinars.

This week’s (Monday 28 September – Friday 2 October) webinars are as follows:

Monday 28 September 2020 –  ‘How Care first can support you & an update on our services’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link.

Tuesday 29 September 2020 – ‘Positive Minds’
Time: 12.30-13.00 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Wednesday 30 September 2020 –  ‘Fake News’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Thursday  1 October 2020 – ‘Returning to the Workplace
Time: 12.00-13.00 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Friday 2 October 2020 – ‘Work Life Balance’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

What’s different this year in the Templeman Library?

As you return to using the Templeman Library, you’ll notice some differences which we’ve made for your safety, and in line with Government guidance.

These services are being regularly reviewed and so are subject to change.

  • Follow our Covid -19 blog for the latest updates.
  • View this short film to see the measures we have taken to become COVID-secure.

Key changes:

Restricted numbers in the Library – you may have to queue outside to access the building, consider if you can use a Study Hub or a digital resource from the Digital Library instead.

Check out our revised opening hours this term.

Group study rooms / booths are not available for booking this term and are first come – first served one person occupancy.

Laptops are not available for loan currently.

We have been updating our website with lots of useful guides on how to access all our services.