Monthly Archives: July 2021

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.

Dr Debbie Reed receives Janet Goodwin Dental Care Professional Award

Dr Debbie Reed has been announced as the 2021 recipient of the inaugural Janet Goodwin Dental Care Professional Award from the Royal College of Surgeons Faculty of General Dental Practice.

This prestigious addition to the Royal College’s Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK) Annual Awards recognises the Dental Care Professional (DCP) who has advanced and empowered the role of DCPs, in order to educate and improve oral healthcare for the population. The award is open to all General Dental Council (GDC) registered DCPs, and in 2021 there were 73,662 DCP registered with the General Dental Council. It was due to Dr Reed’s extraordinary commitment to education and her advocacy for DCPs to have the same career opportunities and experiences as dentists that secured her this new accolade.

Dr Debbie Reed is Head of the Department for Digital and Lifelong Learning at the University of Kent, where she established and remains the course director to the Masters in Advanced and Specialist Healthcare (). Debbie has also been leading the development of degree and higher apprenticeships for the University, building links with employers across the UK and various industries. Academically, she has researched, written and contributed on topics such as professionalisation of occupations, credentialing and qualifications, and pedogoised careers. In 2020 Debbie was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Professional Practice Award by the British Dental Nurse Association.

The nomination for the Royal College’s Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK) award was submitted by a former Advance Specialist Healthcare (MSc) student, who said: ‘Dr Reed is passionate, knowledgeable and as a tutor, has the ability to take you on this journey with her and have you feel joy about a topic as much as she does. She is patient, finding different ways to explain things and always made time for us, for me, either in person or on the telephone. She motivated and inspired me and encouraged me to be the very best that I could be’.

‘Not only in my studies, but by encouraging me to take on an executive role myself with BSDHT. I never would have believed I could do that if Dr Reed had not instilled in me this ‘can do’ attitude. She is a dental nurse, she tutors the whole DCP team; there have been dental nurses, dental technicians, dental hygienists, and dental therapists that have attained this MSc – she models the idea that if she can, anyone can. She wants DCPs to have the same opportunities and equity of experience that dentists have always enjoyed and has forged a pathway and opened the door for us. She has inspired me, and along with my fellow students, we would not be the people we are today were it not for the exceptional esteem that she evokes.’

The Royal College’s Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK) judging panel described Dr Reed as an educator being “accomplished and passionate”, and commented on her ”extraordinary commitment to education” and her “enthusiasm [which] inspires others to want to achieve their very best”.

The award, which honours the late dental professional Janet Goodwin, and is focused on the all-round performance and skills required to become a passionate and committed advocate for DCPs, reflecting the legacy of Janet Goodwin. The award highlights the qualities of leading by example, a commitment to lifelong learning that goes beyond statutory requirement, and a wider commitment to the dental profession.

On responding to the award, Dr Reed said, ‘I am reassured that my work as an educator and my research has practical application, and has provided transformational opportunities to those employed across the whole of the dental sector. I had the honour to have known Janet Goodwin as colleague, she also contributed to my research, which makes receiving a prize in her name so meaningful and such a poignant privilege’.

Coronavirus

Condolences for Dr Jingqi Miao

The University was very sorry to hear of the death of Dr Jingqi Miao on Friday 2 July.

Dr Miao was appointed as a Lecturer at the University in 2001 and she retired two years ago. She was a valued member of the School community and the sad news of her death has been deeply felt across it.

Dr Jingqi Miao

Jingqi joined us at a challenging time, when subjects like Physics were facing a shortfall in Higher Education funding. After taking up her academic post at Kent, Jingqi was immediately confronted with the task of increasing undergraduate student recruitment in Physics and Astronomy, a role she relished and made her own. The increase in recruitment that she helped generate set up the School on a path of substantial growth over the next decade.

She was successful in making a powerful case for renewing funding from the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council to establish “Space School” which quickly became an annual SPS tradition. This event ran in the summer every year from 1999 (and was only suspended in 2020 due to COVID).

Jingqi’s research was appreciated across the world. Her work on the origin of stars, using computer simulations, will hold a special place in the future development of the subject. Her enthusiasm for her research was unwavering and transmitted to her students and collaborators.

All of her colleagues will always remember her as kind, modest, hardworking and devoted to her family. Well-liked and respected by all, she was the kind of colleague that made the School a better and happier place to be in.

A fuller tribute to Dr Jingqi Miao, by Dr Silvia Ramos and other members of the School of Physical Sciences, is available on the School website.

International Nonbinary People’s Day – 14 July

14 July is International Nonbinary People’s Day, where we celebrate the contributions and resilience of nonbinary people worldwide. We also join with people around the world raise awareness of the issues faced by nonbinary people. Nonbinary people do not identify with the binary distinctions of ‘man’ and ‘woman’. In the UK, nonbinary people face poor mental health, physical harassment and ongoing discrimination.

To address this at Kent, we encourage you to engage with learning about the experiences of nonbinary people. The Stonewall “10 ways to step up as an Ally” highlights some steps that you can take as an individual to build an increasingly inclusive community at Kent. At Kent, our pronoun guide can help with creating an inclusive culture for everyone in our community. Our LGBT+ Staff network and student network are welcoming to all – the  Kent LGBT+ Staff Network blog has many resources, for both members of the community and allies, including a post wishing you a Happy International Nonbinary People’s Day!

We recognise there is more work to do in creating an inclusive community for nonbinary members of our community at Kent, and we encourage you to report incidents of harassment so that we can address systemic discriminations.

Throughout the day, stories written by nonbinary people will be shared on social media through the hashtags #internationalnonbinaryday and  #ThisIsWhatNonBinaryLooksLike – this is an opportunity to learn of the experience of nonbinary people and to amplify their voices.

BAME Staff Network statement in response to racism following England’s defeat in Euro 2020 final

From the Co-chairs of the BAME Staff Network:

Dear BAME Staff Network members and all University staff and students,

The BAME Staff Network wishes to express solidarity with all members of the Black staff and student university community, our local Black community in Canterbury and Medway, and our Black brothers and sisters across the nation in what has been a very upsetting and disturbing run of events following England’s defeat in the Euro 2020 final on Sunday. The racism to which the three marvellous England football team players, Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford, have been subjected to, is despicable – yet many people in the Black community have said, not surprising.  Indeed, many of them sadly predicted what unfolded, evidencing that we are still very much living in a society where racism is prevalent and where many Black members of our community continue to feel unfairly treated.

Yet again, we are reminded of how quickly the tide can turn when it comes to matters of race and how progress can be so seriously threatened – from Black Lives Matters, to unhindered and overt racism. There is so much more we as co-chairs can say, but for now we wish to acknowledge the deep hurt such abusive comments have caused to the players, their families and friends, and to all of our fellow Black citizens.

We wish to remind everyone of the policies against racism and harassment and the support services based at the university, should you feel the need to access these:

https://www.kent.ac.uk/hr-staffinformation/policies/dignity.html

https://www.kent.ac.uk/challenging-racism

https://www.kent.ac.uk/equality-diversity-inclusivity/harassment

https://www.kent.ac.uk/student-support

https://livekentac.sharepoint.com/sites/MentalHealthSupport

https://www.kent.ac.uk/equality-diversity-inclusivity/reporting-incidents

The events reaffirm the absolute need for us all to continue our discussions on race but more importantly, to take action at an individual and organisational level and have the courage to challenge any form of discrimination, overt or covert. Only through this collective action can we dismantle the structures which allow such behaviour to continue.

As the BAME Staff Network, we will certainly continue to engage in relevant discourses and action in coming months, and keep working towards dismantling systemic racism through our committed efforts as educators. If anyone wishes to contact the network co-chairs, even if it is simply to talk through how they feel about these events, please email bamestaffnetwork@kent.ac.uk and we will arrange a suitable time to talk with you.

Take care all,

Vanisha, Bridget, Barbara and Dave
Co-chairs of the BAME Staff Network

What Clearing is all about

What is Clearing

Clearing is an opportunity for students to explore their options and consider other possibilities if their plans have changed, or they are having second thoughts about their course. It’s organised by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

Clearing isn’t just for students who didn’t get the grades they need to go to their first-choice university. They can choose to use Clearing if they’re eligible for these following reasons:

  • they’re applying after 30 June
  • they didn’t receive any offers (or none they wanted to accept)
  • they didn’t meet the conditions of their offers
  • they’ve declined their firm place

Clearing is a University-wide effort at Kent and students can apply to study here through Clearing from 5 July if they have their results and are not already holding an offer from a university or college.

We need volunteers from across the University to help, whether offer-making, staffing the Hotline or making calls to students. 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 schoolsliaison@kent.ac.uk. Take a look at our ‘We need you! Clearing 2021’ story for further details on giving your support.

For more information on Clearing at Kent visit the website, read this Guide to Clearing 2021 or watch this useful YouTube video.

Embargo training  

If you would like to help with the Clearing process then please ensure you take the Embargo training which is run by UCAS, and mandatory for anyone who has access to student data, speaks to students, has access to online systems such as Kent Vision and/or will be working in Clearing.

The results embargo period – which will run from the 4 August at 12:00 until 10 August at 08:30 – covers the time from when UCAS receives qualification results from awarding bodies, matches them to applicants, and supplies them to universities and colleges, to enable them to make informed decisions on applications.

During this time you cannot communicate with students about their results or anything that would indicate what their results are.

If a breach occurs there are serious ramifications for the university. Breaches occur in many ways that you will not have thought of so it’s imperative to do the training.

Drill Hall Library

Drill Hall Library summer improvement works

This summer the library’s Quiet and Silent Zones will get a fresh new look! The zones will be revamped with a new layout and furniture for a better study experience.
Some of these works may cause some noise disruption in parts of the library so we apologise in advance.

Study spaces
The access to these zones will be sectioned off during July to allow work to take place.
All students can still find plenty of usable study space in the Group Zone.

The Drill Hall library summer opening hours:

Monday to Friday 9:00 – 19:00
Saturday and Sunday 9:00 – 17:00

How can I borrow or access books this summer at the Drill Hall Library?
Whilst we are refurbishing the Quiet and Silent Zones, you won’t be able to access books by yourself after 2nd July, but we can help you!
1. Select items from the library catalogue and complete a book retrieval request form available at the reception.
2. Hand the form to staff at the reception and a staff member will come to assist you.
3. Once you receive the items requested you can add them to your Library account using our self-service machines.

Book moves
Books belonging to the Computing, Sports and Exercise Sciences will move to the University of Kent Templeman Library in Canterbury this summer. There will be periods when access to these books will be limited, but arrangements will be put in place should you require effected items. Please contact your liaison librarian if you have any questions or concerns. Email dhl-librarians@gre.ac.uk

 

See the Drill Hall Library website for Latest News updates or follow the library on social media (TwitterFacebookInstagram).

Laptop, Coffee, Notebook, Pen & Glasses

Care first webinars – w/c 12 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 12 July – Friday 16 July) webinars are as follows:

Monday 12 July 2021 – ‘How Care first can support you’
Time: 13.00-13.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Tuesday 13 July 2021 – ‘What to expect when you call Care first’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Wednesday 14 July 2021 – ‘Support for Parents on Children’s Mental Health’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Thursday 15 July 2021 – ‘The benefits of the outdoors (in line with Love Parks Week’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Friday 16 July 2021 – ‘Tips to look after your Mental Health as restrictions ease’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Staff elections for Council

From 1 August 2021 there is a vacancy for the representative of non-academic staff in Grades 1 – 6 on Council.

The Council is the University’s governing body and its primary responsibilities are detailed on this Primary Responsibilities document. The full membership of Council can be found on the Governance webpage.

Meetings of the Council are normally held as follows:

  • Autumn Term: two routine meetings (October and November)
  • Spring Term: two routine meetings (February/March), Strategy Meeting (January/February)
  • Summer Term: two routine meetings (May/June)

To express interest, you should follow the link that has been emailed, no later than 30 July 2021.

If more than one expression of interest is received by the deadline a ballot will be held. Any queries or difficulty accessing the form, please email Claire Taylor.

Vicky Annis prepares for solo Channel swim attempt

Later this month (July 2021), Vicky Annis, Kent Sport Physiotherapy Clinic Manager, will attempt to swim the English Channel solo to raise funds for Cancer Research UK and Canterbury Welcomes Refugees.

Vicky talks about her challenge:

‘Last year, I had my first taste of what it is like to swim the Channel. I completed the Channel as part of a 4-person relay. The conditions were perfect. Glorious sunshine and calm sea. There are not many days you will see zero waves across such an expanse of water. It took us 11 hours and 32 minutes before we stepped foot on French territory.

There have been some heroic attempts to cross the English Channel in years gone by and to say that the history of the Channel fascinates me is an understatement!’

‘In July I will be attempting the swim on my own, with the support of a boat and crew called Masterpiece. I will have a couple of coaches and friends on the boat also, who I know will encourage me through the good and tough sections of the swim, feed me at regular intervals and most importantly, check that I am safe and not getting too hypothermic.’

One question I have been asked a lot is why? Why this challenge? I never thought I would ever get the opportunity first and foremost. We all have different body types and for me, swimming comes a lot more naturally than running. I have always said I would rather swim the Channel than run a marathon and hopefully I will be able to attempt this in July.

Another reason, like many challenges we do, are often in memory of people who have inspired us. I grew up with swimming and swam with a club; Whitby Seals. One of the club members, Nora Swales, supported me with my swimming and would always come to the galas. As a child, we swam in the River Esk, and my competitive edge would always get the better of me. Chasing down fellow swimmers and coming out a shivering wreck! Nora took me home and made sure I was able to talk again! Nora volunteered so much of her time to teaching young children to swim and sadly we lost her to cancer. When this swim gets tough, I will be thinking of her, and others who have battled through cancer. I would like to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

I would also like to raise money for Canterbury Welcomes Refugees. Up until swimming last year, I did not fully grasp the distance and unpredictability of the Channel and how people are risking their lives every day crossing the Channel. It made me realise how lucky we are not to start or experience such difficulties in life. This charity supports Syrian families with language support, housing, employment support and much more which can indescribably change lives.

Many people have dipped their toes in the sea over the winter months due to the pools being closed and although the thought of getting into the water when the temperature is less than double figures, it honestly is a brilliant feeling once you come back out!

Preparation has been less than ideal, but that makes the challenge even more exciting and unpredictable. Spring of 2020 brought warm weather in April and May, however, this year we seem to have seen rain, wind and snow for so much longer!

In order for the attempt to be official, you must register with the Channel Swimming Association and have an observer on the boat who makes sure that all rules are followed. This includes wearing one costume, one hat and goggles. You must not touch the boat at any time and feeding requires a coach to throw the food and drink towards you but not touch you. It is very strict, but this way it is the same for everyone attempting the swim.”

The attempt will be made between 14 and 22 July 2021 – we don’t know the exact date as it is dependent on weather conditions.

The swim can be watched live by using the live tracking device at Channel Swimming Association.