Monthly Archives: July 2021

British Heart Foundation celebrates 60 years!

From the Estates team:

This year, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) is celebrating 60 years of life saving research!

Since 2012 University of Kent students and staff have generated 15,636 bags of donations through the donation points on campus. That’s £218,904* raised to help support help life-saving research, driving breakthroughs for heart patients all across the UK.

These donations have allowed the BHF to be a part of breakthroughs like heart transplants and pacemakers, stents and clot busting drugs and their goals for the decades ahead are more ambitious than ever. Cures for inherited heart diseases, radically improved treatment for stroke, ways to stop vascular dementia in its tracks, and of course recovering from the brutal blow that is the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thank you and keep donating!

We would like to say a huge thank you to our staff and student who have donated books, bags, shoes, clothes, homeware and much more through our BHF donation points. Without you, we wouldn’t have been able to make such an impact.

Please continue to donate items that you don’t need any more through our donations points, which you can find on our map of locations.

For any waste, recycling or reuse guidance please look at our Estates website, follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and you can always email us on

*based on average value of £14/bag

Congratulations to Vicky Annis

Congratulations to Vicky Annis, Kent Sport Physiotherapy Clinic Manager, for completing her Channel swim!

Here’s what Vicky had to say about her big achievement:

Sunday 18 July 2021 will be a day I will cherish forever. The day a childhood dream came true of swimming the English Channel.

I stood upon Samphire Hoe beach at 4am, completely clear of the water, to officially begin this challenge. You could hear the water rippling against the beach and a large horn blasted from the boat, Masterpiece, that was around 50m off shore. I was told to leave all my doubts on the shore and then began making my way to the side of the boat, far enough away not to touch the boat and also not to inhale too many of the fumes. It was not completely dark even at that point and within an hour of setting off, a beautiful sun rise was emerging.

The reason for the 4am start, was to make good use of any slack water, before the flood tide started which pushes you east. I set off at a strong and comfortable pace and began making my journey south easterly. The first section to cross is the English inshore water. As my left hand entered the water, I brushed past something very slimy and warm. It was a little daunting as there was not enough light to know what I touched, but I knew I needed to just keep moving.

Once past the English inshore, I made my way into the south west shipping lane, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. I cannot deny I was somewhat entertained by these extremely large ships! The pilots know the exact positions of these ships so I could comfortably take in the views of them passing when breathing bilaterally. These ships were all moving from my left to right and the less I saw, the more I was thinking have I made it to the next zone called the separation zone. The hot sun on my back and the marginal wind made me feel as though I was in a swimming pool at times. One of the main differences is that in a swimming pool I do not have jelly fish for company. I could see a lot of jelly fish and as I looked up to the boat as I breathed, all 5 of my support crew were looking down into the water. My mind was thinking it best just be jelly fish and nothing bigger. I seemed to be so focused that day, that even when the jelly fish caught me on my face, right arm and left leg, I decided that the equivalent of a nettle sting was not going to beat me today.

I began approaching the separation zone and was wondering if I would be able to distinguish my location. The crew kept me updated during feeds, but there are all sorts of discussions about the separation zone that are not all that pleasant. It is known as the central reservation of the Channel, were only the small fishing boats and ferries cross. With such a reduced flow of traffic, there can often be a build up of various substances. During my swim, the main obstacle I encountered was sea weed, which although I needed to pull off my head and neck, it could have been a lot worse.

Half-way there!

In my mind, reaching the separation zone suggested I was around half way between England and France. That is true, but with the tides changing, it does not mean you have the same amount of time to then reach France. The ebb tide began and although I kept swimming strongly, I was being pushed west with some southerly progress. The north east shipping lane was a tough section and what I had not quite realised was the it was not as simple as going perpendicular. It was much more of a diagonal direction which seemed like a life time. You can see France by this point also, which is so difficult, because it is still a long way away.

Due to the strong progress I made in the first half of the swim, plus the ebb tide, I stayed east of the ZC2 buoy. In fact, I did not see it at all. This buoy is 3 miles from France. Having not seen it, I started to wonder where I was and if I was going to make it. On my next feed, which was thrown to me attached to a dog lead, I was told I was soon entering the French inshore water. I really wanted to kick my legs harder, but my hip flexors were so sore. I kept my arms moving and although I should not have done so, I kept having a little glimpse ahead to see whether I would hit beach or rocks. Knowing how sore my legs were, I was not sure rock climbing was going to work! A little while later, I saw the pilot getting the dinghy into the water and that was when I knew we were close. The dinghy escorts you the last part when it is too shallow for the boat. Even when you are within the last kilometre, every stroke counts to get you to the beach.

After 12 hours exactly, I reached France. A little unsteadily, I cleared the water and soon laid on my back taking in the warmth of the pebbles beneath me and looking up to the sky. In that moment, all I could think about was all of the support and encouragement I have received in the build up to this challenge and how fortunate I am.”

Support my charities

If you would like to still donate to Vicky’s chosen charities then please visit her JustGiving page!

Clearing 2021 – get involved

Help us to make Clearing 2021 a success! We need help and support from everyone; particularly around offer-making, staffing the hotline and making calls to prospective students.

The 2021 Clearing campaign was soft-launched in May, raising awareness and collecting leads from students who were thinking about using Clearing for back-up,  because they haven’t yet applied or want to change their subject or university.

Clearing ‘proper’ opened on 5 July and applications are already being processed for those who have their results. The extensive campaign is phased across awareness, consideration and decision and uses a wide range of media, targeted to specific audiences. Digital platforms TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and Google are a major part of the advertising but also included are Spotify, mobile phone in-app, YouTube and Snapchat.  More traditionally, and important for both students and their influencers, there will be adverts on billboards and at bus stops, radio, SkyAdsmart, in the local press, and email campaigns through 3rd party specialists, all driven by data showing where Kent’s potential students are living and studying.

All the leads we generate, either as enquirers or applicants, will become part of our nurture and conversion email campaigns which are designed to build a relationship between the student (or supporter) and the University, focusing on the supportive and diverse student community, academic and personal support and highlighting the accommodation guarantee and free sports membership offers.

Get involved

If you’re able to help, particularly on Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 August, and you’re not already on a Clearing rota, please get in touch with Laetitia Gullett via

Full training will be given and, for anyone who hasn’t done it before, it is a really rewarding experience. Clearing will be run remotely so we can guarantee we have the staff cover we need, with full support for everyone taking part and supervisors on hand to help at all times.

Thank you for all your help and support.

The Gulbenkian with red flowers at the forefront of the image.

Covid-19 update – 20 July 2021

From Nikki Hyde, Deputy Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development

As you will be aware, Government Covid-19 guidance changed earlier this week (Monday 19 July) and most legal restrictions have now been lifted in England.

In keeping with the Government’s emphasis on a gradual return to workplaces for those who have been working from home, our roadmap for staff returning to campus remains unchanged:

  • Any staff who wish to start working back on campus are now free to do so, but they should talk to their line manager first to ensure that returns are managed and gradual.
  • From 20 September, all staff are expected to work on campus, albeit with increased flexibility offered by the new Hybrid Working Scheme where possible.

While the restrictions have ended, staff still working at home should only come back on campus as much as they are comfortable with from now until 19 September.

A range of guidance, activities and initiatives will be available soon to help support staff with a gradual return to campus from mid-August, and to support teams manage new hybrid ways of working.

The return to campus process of requesting approval from HR and the requirement for a logged Risk and Concern Conversation is no longer in place. However, the framework for holding conversations with staff and the option of logging any concerns remains in place if line managers feel this is appropriate.

Updated risk assessment

The University is currently revising its Covid-19 risk assessment following the receipt of new Working Safely guidance from the Government and has begun the process of consulting with Staff and Union reps. Once the risk assessment is finalised and published, we will update our staff FAQs and supporting guidance.

Although all social distancing requirements and therefore current building occupancy limits are being removed, the resulting changes to campus layouts and signage will take time to implement. During this period, until the risk assessment is finalised, staff should follow existing rules and signage, where still in place. In line with Government guidance, we recommend face coverings continue to be worn in crowded and enclosed spaces, and where possible natural ventilation should be increased by keeping doors and windows open.

Thank you for helping us manage the process of safely returning staff to campus. If you have any questions, please contact


Nikki Hyde | Deputy Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development


MacBook Air beside gold-coloured study lamp and spiral books

Care first webinars w/c 26 July 2021

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 26 July – 30 Friday July) webinars are as follows:

Monday 26 July 2021 – ‘How Care first can support you’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Tuesday 27 July 2021 – ‘Prioritising time effectively & establishing old routines’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Wednesday 28 July 2021 – ‘Unwelcome behaviour online and how it affects our Mental Health’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Thursday 29 July 2021 – ‘How Care first can support with financial concerns’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Friday 30 July 2021 -‘Maintaining working relationships as people return to work’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Home Office computer desk display

Care first webinars w/c 19 July 2021

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 19 July – Friday  July) webinars are as follows:

Monday 19 July 2021 – ‘How Care first can support you’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Tuesday 20 July 2021 – ‘Drinking sensibly as restrictions ease’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Wednesday 21 July 2021 – ‘Recognising others choices’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Thursday 22 July 2021 – ‘Return to work anxiety: things to consider’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Friday 16 July 2021 -‘Preparing for the School Summer Holidays if working from home’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Kent, Surrey and Sussex

ARC KSS – call open for Individual Development Awards

Applied Research Collaboration Kent, Surrey and Sussex (ARC KSS) has launched its second round of Individual Development Awards (IDAs), to help support individuals to build their research careers across the region.

All Awards need to closely align with one or more of the ARC KSS research themes and will be allocated to applicants that can demonstrate a clear path in their career development, as well as evidence of how this award will help them towards their research goals.

The two IDA opportunities currently available are:

1. The SpringBoard Awards  – aimed at health or social care professionals (including social work and public health), employed by an ARC KSS member organisation. The awards provide either £1000 or £5000 to undertake activities aimed at developing research skills. The activities that will be funded can be found in our full Remit document (link below) Closing date: 10 September 2021 at 5pm.

2. Investment in future research leaders Award – aimed at employees of an ARC KSS member organisation including health, public health, social care or social work professionals or individuals in academic posts. These awards will enable the individual to undertake their first small scale project as lead. More details of eligible activities can be found in the full Remit document.

Closing date: 31 October 2021 at 17.00.

For further details and how to apply please see these Individual Development Awards 2021documents

A webinar Q and A session will take place for applicants on 9 August at 11.00. To attend please complete our registration form

The session will be recorded and available to view on our website if you are unable to attend.

Dr Lucy O’Meara appointed as new General Editor for Modern Language Review

Senior Lecturer in French, Dr Lucy O’Meara, has been appointed as the new General Editor for the Modern Humanities Research Association’s (MHRA) flagship journal, Modern Language Review (MLR). Founded in 1905, it is one of the oldest journals in the field, and has published more than 3,000 articles and 20,000 book reviews. Dr O’Meara is the first woman to serve as General Editor for MLR, having previously served as section editor for French.

In her own research, she has a particular interest in the relationship between literature and theory and works mainly on twentieth-century topics, including Roland Barthes, French literary and cultural responses to Japan, crime fiction, and the Oulipo group. Dr O’Meara is the author of a book on Roland Barthes and is currently writing another on attitudes towards encyclopaedic knowledge in European fiction and autobiography from the late 19th century to the present day.

Dr O’Meara says, “The Modern Language Review is one of the best-known and longest-established modern languages journals in the world. It publishes research in modern and medieval European, Latin American, and English literatures, languages, and cultures. It’s a real honour to become its general editor and to represent Kent and my department, Modern Languages and Linguistics, in that role. The Department already has international links across several continents, and this appointment further cements Kent’s status as a leading institution for Modern Languages research.”

Kent logo

Condolences for Will Simpson

Words by Helen Buhler

The University was very sorry to hear of the death of Will Simpson on 7 July 2021.

Sadly, and unexpectedly, Will Simpson, the University of Kent’s second Librarian, died on 7 July  at home. Since succeeding Stephen Darlow, Kent’s Founding Librarian, after four years as his Deputy Librarian, Will’s time in the best office on campus was characterised by forward-thinking and efficient management, together with a deep dislike of red tape and paperwork. He was a major figure in the development of KLACS, Kent’s online circulation system, written by the Computing Lab’s Rod Saunders, which came into use in October 1976, and was the first in a British university library. This was eventually replaced by Cambridge’s cataloguing and circulation systems.

Will was also instrumental in fostering a relationship with the Cathedral Library, and was (together with Naomi Linnell and David Shaw) involved in the Cathedral’s online catalogue of pre-1801 printed books. The Templeman’s extension on its eastern side owed its initial planning to Will, aided by Margaret Smyth.

Always approachable and helpful, Will made the Templeman a very pleasant place to work. I have happy memories of those years. Needless to say, his retirement was marked by the Templeman’s best and biggest party!

Our condolences and thoughts go out to June and to their children, Harold, Lucy, and Victoria.

May Will rest in peace.


Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability Induction

From Jim Bloor, Head of Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability

In collaboration with Amy Terry from Talent and Organisational Development and as part of their project to review and update the staff central induction, we are pleased to introduce an online Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability induction for all new staff.

This enhanced module replaces the half-day face-to-face Safety and Fire Awareness induction and provides all the general Health & Safety and Environmental Sustainability information needed by staff in a streamlined and accessible way.

By moving this material online, new staff have access to this mandatory training immediately on starting work and all staff can refer to it for information at any time.

To access this training go to Staff Training Moodle and search for Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability Induction.

The launch of this training module marks the start of the evolution of the SHE Unit into Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability with further changes to come over the summer.