Monthly Archives: October 2020

Coronavirus

National lockdown announcement: University response

From Professor Karen Cox, Vice-Chancellor and President.

I wanted to contact you following the Prime Ministers announcement this evening. You will be aware that, from Thursday this week, England will be entering into a four-week lockdown. However, unlike the previous period of lockdown, the Government has decided that universities will remain open. 

We are now working through the implications of tonight’s announcement for our students and reviewing any adjustments that may be required to the way we currently deliver teaching, undertake research, provide support to our students and our staff and manage campus and University operations. 

Please continue to study as planned over the next few days and we will be back in touch with you during the day on Monday with an update on the current situation. 

Finally, I want to reassure you that the numbers of those testing positive for Covid-19 at the University remain low. However, the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff are our key priority and we continue to work closely with the local public health protection team and will be taking their advice on any changes that may be required to the way we are operating. 

We know that this is a worrying time and we are here to support and advise you. If you have any concerns and wish to speak to someone please call Student Support and Wellbeing on 01227 823158, email CovidSupport@kent.ac.uk or ring the University Nursing Service on 01227 823503. 

My very best wishes to you, your friends and your family. 

Yours sincerely 

Karen 

Professor Karen Cox | Vice-Chancellor and President 

National lockdown announcement: University response

From Professor Karen Cox, Vice-Chancellor and President.

I wanted to contact you following the Prime Minister’s announcement this evening. You will be aware that, from Thursday 5 November, England will be entering into a four-week lockdown. However, unlike the previous period of lockdown, the Government has decided that ‘universities will remain open’.

We are now working through the implications of tonight’s announcement for staff and students and reviewing any adjustments that may be required to the way we currently deliver teaching, undertake research, provide support to our students and our staff and manage campus and University operations.

For the next few days, please continue to work in line with the arrangements in place and agreed with your line manager/school, and we will be back in touch with you during the day on Monday with an update on the current situation.

If you have any concerns, please discuss them with your line manager in the first instance.

Finally, I want to reassure you that the numbers of those testing positive for Covid-19 at the University remain low. However, the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff are our key priority and we continue to work closely with the local public health protection team and will be taking their advice on any changes that may be required to the way we are operating.

Thank you to all of you for your continued contributions and support during these challenging times.

My very best wishes to you and your family.

Yours sincerely

Karen

Professor Karen Cox | Vice-Chancellor and President

Laptop, Coffee, Notebook, Pen & Glasses

Care first webinars w/c 2 November 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 2 November – Friday 6 November) webinars are as follows:

Monday 2 November 2020 –  ‘How Care first can support you’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link.

Tuesday 3 November 2020 – ‘Managing Stress & Pressure’
Time: 14.00-14.45 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Wednesday 4 November 2020 –  ‘Stress, Anxiety & Sleep’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Thursday 5 November 2020 – ‘How to keep motivated when you’re feeling stressed’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Friday 6 November 2020 – ‘he links between Nutrition, physical activity and stress’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Entrance to the Drill Hall Library in the sunshine

Medway catering: Some changes from 2 November

We’re making a few changes to our catering offer at Medway.

From next Monday (2 November), students and staff will be able to buy a wide range of food and drinks from the Deep End (Monday to Friday 11:00-20:00); the Archibald Hay Mess in Drill Hall Library (Monday to Thursday 10:00-20:00 and Friday 10am-5pm); Pilkington Cafe (Monday to Friday 8:00-15:00) and the Pembroke café (Monday to Friday 8:00-16:00).

We have temporarily suspended our catering operations at the Bistro No 1 and the Galvanising Workshop catering outlets for the time being and will be reviewing this position in the New Year.

All catering outlets are Covid safe and are fully compliant with university and government guidelines.

If you have any information then please email catering@kent.ac.uk.

Athena SWAN success for three more Kent Schools

The results from the last Athena SWAN submission round have been announced and we are delighted to announce that three new Schools were successful in securing Athena SWAN Bronze.

Congratulations to the School of Anthropology and Conservation, Kent Business School and School of Arts for securing their first Bronze award!

The overall success rate for an award this time round was 82%. You can read more about the Athena SWAN submission and success rate statistics on the Advance HE website.

These results bring the total number of Schools holding an Athena SWAN award to 13. Our current awards holders are:

Division of Arts and Humanities: School of Arts, School of European Culture and Languages, School of History

Division of Natural Sciences: School of Biosciences, Medway School of Pharmacy

Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences: School of Computing, School of Engineering and Digital Arts, School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science (Silver)

Division of Human and Social Sciences: School of Anthropology and Conservation, School of Psychology

Division of Study of Law, Society and Social Justice: Kent Law School, School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

Kent Business School 

Congratulations again to our newest award-holders SAC, KBS and Arts! Securing an award is always a result of hard work and commitment to the Athena SWAN principles.

You can find out more about Athena SWAN, including latest news and how you can get involved on Kent’s Athena SWAN webpages.

Estates Reward Scheme

Nominate a colleague in Estates for a reward

The Estates Staff Reward Scheme is open again from 1 November 2020, following a temporary suspension due to Covid-19 and lockdown.

The reward scheme was launched in 2017 to recognise Estates staff who have made a difference to colleagues or customers through dedication, innovation, understanding or skill.  Since then, more than 100 awards have been presented.

Award categories

The Customer Services Award is given to a staff member or team who provided a timely and professional service to customers, were responsive to customer needs and requests, were courteous and considered the needs of the customer when making decisions. Nominations are invited from colleagues across the University.

The Staff Excellence Award is given in recognition of a colleague who has shown consistent exemplary performance and has demonstrated integrity and a significant support to their teams in the course of their working day, whilst upholding the spirit of the Estates core values. This category is open to nominations from Estates colleagues only.

The winner/s in each category will each receive a £20 Amazon voucher to be awarded on a monthly basis.

In addition, the winner/s of each category will be entered into the Staff Member of the Year Award. This award will be presented to someone recognised by the Senior Management Team as providing outstanding commitment to the department. Nominees will be selected from the Customer Services Award and the Customer Excellence Award entries. The winner will receive a £100 Amazon voucher and the runner-up, a £50 Amazon voucher.

Nominations

To make a nomination, follow this link on the Estates webpages. Deadline for the November nominations will be Friday 27 November at midday. Any nominations received after the deadline will be rolled over to the following month.

North Atlantic flight paths

Kent academics feature in third public hearing for the Airspace Tribunal

A third public hearing for the Airspace Tribunal – an international forum to consider the case for and against a new human right to protect the freedom to live without physical or psychological threat from above – will be hosted online, from Toronto, next month.

The Airspace Tribunal is a public forum established two years ago by Kent School of Arts  Reader Shona Illingworth and Kent Law School Emeritus Professor Nick Grief.

The public tribunal is examining the impact of accelerating geopolitical, technological and environmental change on the composition, nature and use of airspace, and considering the case for and against a proposed new human right to protect all people from physical or psychological threats from above.

This year’s hearing in Toronto will take place over three two-hour panel discussions via Zoom on:
•       Sunday 1 November (14.00 –16.00) https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_bAjf_rYARQa9iJhYgsMmLA
•       Wednesday 4 November (14.00 –16.00) https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_2N9Ha14_TuacEUKSWWVITA
•       Saturday 7 November (14.00 –16.00) https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_UGG35bQFTiGb2pNQbr-3tA
•       A final one-hour summative session will be held on Saturday 14 November (14.00 –15.00). https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEqfuqorTwrG9H-6TDKDEtujPAmasBf6YZJ

All the webinars are free, with times indicated in Eastern Standard Time.
The first webinar will feature presentations by Shona and Nick, together with Kent Law School Reader in International Commercial Law Dr Gbenga Oduntan.

The Toronto hearing of the Airspace Tribunal is co-presented by The Power Plant and the Master of Visual Studies program at the Daniels Faculty, University of Toronto.

The Power Plant’s Director, Gaëtane Verna, will Chair each session and Counsel to the Tribunal, Kirsty Brimelow QC of Doughty Street Chambers will pose questions to the Experts. Members of the audience – acting as judges – will also be able to ask questions.

A full programme is available on The Power Plant website.

Black and white photo of person standing looking out of window from dark room

Mental health support

There’s a lot going on in the world at the moment, and students are being faced with challenges not yet seen before, which might make you more vulnerable to feeling anxious, depressed or just low.

Whether or not you have struggled in the past with mental health issues, take a bit of time to actively focus on your wellbeing and remember that whatever you’re going through, support is available at Kent.

What mental health issues can the University’s Wellbeing Team help with?

The Wellbeing Team can help with issues such as stress and anxiety, panic attacks, depression, eating difficulties, sleep problems, low self-esteem, self-harm and suicidal thoughts.

Is there any professional mental health support offered by the University?

The Wellbeing Team consists of Mental Health Advisers, Counsellors and Student Mentors. Mental Health Advisers are specialist practitioners who can offer mental health advice and support. They can provide short term focused interventions to promote wellbeing and support students to develop coping strategies, and help put in place an ILP or ‘inclusive learning plan’ if required.

We also have a free confidential Counselling service for all Kent students.

What about additional support?

There are many ways you can access mental health support. Togetherall offers 24/7 online mental health support overseen by qualified therapists. You can also give Canterbury Nightline a call to speak to a trained student volunteer about anything that may be troubling you during the night.

There are lots of charities such as Mind and Rethink Mental Illness who have many online resources. See our mental health webpage for more ways to access support.

Are there any wellbeing events or groups I can join at Kent?

Take a look at the Student Support and Wellbeing events calendar to meet others and find ways to support your mental health. There are regular events such as the online Wellbeing Café, International Wellbeing Group, student mindfulness sessions, social groups for autistic students and more.

Don’t forget to follow the Student Support and Wellbeing Team on social media @UniKentSSW for mental health and wellbeing free activities, events, peer support groups and online resources.

What should I do if I need urgent mental health support?

Please see our emergency support webpage for information on urgent mental health support.

PRIDE Award winners - September 2020

Congratulations to Kent Hospitality’s latest PRIDE Award winners

It was a bumper round of PRIDE Award winners last month with three staff members winning the award.

Congratulations are due to Angela Forsyth (Accommodation Co-ordinator), Keira Hannigan (Chargehand) and Jason Townsend (IT Systems, Development and Support Officer). PRIDE stands for ‘Personal Responsibility In Delivering Excellence’ and the panel felt that the hard work and dedication of all three exemplified this and could not be ignored, especially where multiple nominations were received for different projects each was working on.

While recognising how hard the entire Accommodation Team have worked throughout the Clearing and Arrivals period, Angela’s nomination singled her out for her ‘tireless’ work and “unflagging efforts” on the Clearing hotline call centre, both in training the team and responding to student calls. Additionally, Angela contributed and helped to implement a new procedure for processing student data in the Accommodation Office that “increases efficiency, is time saving and improves customer service”

Keira’s award recognised her “dedication, consistency, proactiveness, and her willingness to support and assist the Housekeeping Team in their work”. Her nomination focused on a recent three-month period where Keira stepped up to help run and manage one of the college Housekeeping Teams above and beyond her role. Keira has also taken on extra tasks and hours throughout the Covid-19 pandemic so far and has also helped to support new staff starters and has consistently shown why she is a “valued member of the Chargehand team”.

The final winner was a familiar face; however, the panel felt that Jason’s outstanding work producing 14 fully operational tracking devices from scratch for Kent Hospitality’s catering outlets deserved recognition. Jason designed a bespoke computer prototype, tested it, sourced parts and manufactured the final trackers often giving up his own time to ensure the trackers were ready as soon as possible. An extract from his nomination read that his “innovation, devotion and selfless voluntary service” on this project “has made the jobs of the Catering Team easier and safer”.

Many congratulations to Angela, Keira and Jason on their well-deserved wins.

We are sure that 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 quick and easy to nominate them for a PRIDE Award. To submit a nomination, just visit the PRIDE website and complete our online form.

The award is given in March, June, September/October and December with each winner receiving £100 of shopping vouchers, a certificate and a PRIDE pin badge.

The closing date for the next PRIDE Award is currently Wednesday 2 December 2020 at 12 noon.

Picture shows; Angela, Keira and Jason with their certificates.

Gulbenkian autumn offers- see films for just £3!

Have you visited Gulbenkian yet? We’re lucky to have a cinema and theatre at our Canterbury campus [see location on map].

Until the end of December Gulbenkian are offering all their standard film screenings (so not live and recorded or family films) for half price!

Half price films – This means students pay only £3 per ticket, and Gulbenkian student members pay only £2.50.

£1 filter coffee – Their filter coffee is supplied by Canterbury based Garage Coffee. If you love your coffee, enjoy a mug for only £1 from the Gulbenkian café.

Gulbenkian student offers

Gulbenkian Uncovered – gives students (18+) the chance to get behind the scenes, develop new skills and run events at Gulbenkian. Find out more about Gulbenkian Uncovered.