Monthly Archives: January 2022

Students on grass at Canterbury campus

Time to Talk Day – Thursday 3 February 

From Claire Chapman, Talent and Organisational Development Consultant

Time to Talk Day is the nation’s biggest mental health conversation and it’s nearly here! Taking place on Thursday 3 February, it’s the day that we can all come together to talk, listen and change lives.

Why talking is important

One in four of us will experience a mental health problem in any given year.We want everyone to feel comfortable talking about mental health – whenever they like. Talking about mental health reduces stigma, helping to create supportive communities where we can talk openly about mental health and feel empowered to seek help when we need it.That’s why opening up the conversation about mental health problems is so important – by talking about it we can support ourselves and others. Talking and listening about mental health has the power to change lives. Each conversation we have contributes to reducing mental health stigma, helping to create supportive communities where we can talk openly about mental health and feel empowered to seek help when we need it

Walk and talk

Side by side conversations can make talking about mental health feel less awkward. Check out these tips for talking to help break the ice. Why not combine getting out in the fresh air with a chat, come and join the Walk and Talk on Thursday 3 February at 13.00. Meeting out the front of the Registry (Darwin Side), we will have a 30-minute walk around the campus, maybe taking in one of the routes of our campus walks. However you do it, have a conversation about mental health.

Support for you

Remember the University has a number of resources available to you, from the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) to Mental Health Allies and our Training and Referral Scheme – full details can be found on our Mental Health and Wellbeing webpages.

There are also a number of resources available to help you on Time to Talk day – from interactive bingo, screen savers and meeting backgrounds to true and false information and a conversation starter game. You can download these and other resources from the Time to Talk website.

Claire Chapman | Talent and Organisational Development Consultant

Wing of aeroplane in the sky

Covid-19 International Travel Update – January 2022

From Mark Reed, Assistant Director of Finance (Procurement)

Following changes to the Government’s international travel guidance, you may now book work travel to regions no longer on the Red List.

Please remember, however, that there are still some specific regions where the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises only essential or no travel.

Staff should not travel into regions where the FCDO advises against all travel, and should only travel to regions where the FCDO advises against all but essential travel when it is business critical and genuinely essential.

For any travel into a region where FCDO advises against all but essential travel, you will require a Travel Exceptions Authorisation Form signed by the Director of Division. You will also need a travel risk assessment, reviewed by our Safety, Health and Environment Unit.

Limited international travel

Taking account of both Covid-19 and costs involved, international staff travel should only occur where unavoidable and absolutely necessary. Conference attendance should be online where at all possible for the time being. Adding significant extra time to a trip for personal travel is in breach of our University Travel Policy You should not assume you will be able to travel as often as you may have done before the Covid-19 pandemic.

All travel should follow the Employee Personal Expenditure Policy – always check on our Finance webpages to make sure that you are using the most recent version of the policy.

Student travel overseas

Student travel overseas remains suspended until further notice and should not be booked this financial year unless it is essential to the subject studied and the promised student experience. Any student travel regarded as essential will require written permission, with a Travel Exceptions Authorisation Form, signed by the Director of Division.

Undergraduate students should not travel into any region where the FCDO advises against all travel or essential travel only. Postgraduate students should not travel into regions where the FCDO advises against all travel. Travel into any region where the FCDO advises essential travel only is subject to similar procedures as staff travel.

Find out more

Further information is available on our Finance webpages. If you have any queries, please contact any of us in the Procurement Team.

Mark Reed | Assistant Director of Finance (Procurement)

Students posing in front of the Hollywood sign

Where will Go Abroad Bitesize take you?

The Go Abroad team is pleased to announce Go Abroad Bitesize, an exciting new initiative supporting global opportunities for Kent students.

Current Kent students can now apply for funding to carry out short, extra-curricular placements abroad. The deadline to apply is 6 February 2022.

These could be anywhere in the world and could involve studying (for example a summer school), working (summer internship) or volunteering.

To find out what opportunities may be available, how much funding you could get, how and when to apply, please visit the Go Abroad Bitesize webpage.

See where other Kent students have travelled

Latest edition of Kent Magazine: Winter 2021/22 now available

Kent Magazine returns this winter 2021/22 to bring you all the latest news, research, and stories from the Kent community. It’s available a few different ways:

  • In print – we’ve posted copies to our alumni who have recently updated their postal address with us. If you haven’t received a copy but would like one, please email us with your current address and we’ll add you to the mailing list.
  • On our campuses, at college receptions and in magazine stands at select locations (available from Monday 24 January).
  • Online and to download as a PDF file on Issuu.com.

From graduate and staff profiles to news articles, find out what the latest edition of Kent Magazine has in store

Here are just some of the features included in the issue for you to enjoy:

Passing it forward – with Mike Wilkins MBE 

The alumni team caught up with Mike Wilkins MBE, who transformed sports at Kent, to hear about his life, career in football, and time at our university.

Using research to clean up our acts

In this article read about the research that a team of Kent psychologists undertook, which found that using carefully worded road signage can decrease the number of drivers leaving engines idling during queues at crossing barriers.

Abulrazak Gurnah

female student looking at large monitor and editing footage

Boost your employability with a specialised year

Develop your skills and get career-ready by adding a year to your undergraduate degree:

Stand out from the crowd in the job market and be ready to live and work in tomorrow’s world.

Grab a jab at a local drop-in clinic

Grab a Jab on Canterbury campus, Tues 1 February

Join the thousands of students getting vaccinated against Covid-19.

Following the success of the last vaccination clinic on campus, we will be running another on Tuesday 1 February, 12.30-16.30, in the Old Santander Bank on the Canterbury campus. 

Come along for your free Covid-19 vaccination – 1st, 2nd and booster vaccines are all available.

For 18s and over the gap is 8 weeks after the first dose and 12 weeks for the booster after the second.  Anyone who has recently had Covid should wait for 28 days before getting their vaccine/booster.

Can’t make these? Find a Covid-19 vaccination centre near you in Kent and Medway.

Home Office computer desk display

Care first webinars w/c 24 January 2022

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 24 January –  Friday 28 January) webinars are as follows:

Monday 24 January 2022 – ‘How Care first can support you’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please go to webinar link 

Tuesday 25 January 2022 – ‘Trying something new by stepping out of you comfort zone’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please go to webinar link

Wednesday 26 January 2022 – ‘Stress awareness’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please go to this webinar link

Thursday 27 January 2022 – ‘Parents mental health awareness‘
Time 12.00-12.30 – to register please go to this webinar link

Friday 28 January 2022 – ‘Coping with COVID uncertainty’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please go to this webinar link

Covid-19 Update: Changes from next week

From Martin Atkinson, Director of HR & Organisational Development 

Following the Government announcements on changes to Covid-19 restrictions earlier this week, there are a number of things for us to consider at Kent. While the national guidance has changed, our focus throughout the pandemic has been on keeping our entire community safe and, at this stage, that means making gradual changes so that we continue to limit the risk of infection while we return to our usual working practices.  

With that in mind, our intention is that we all treat February as a transition month where we can start to relax some of our existing measures at a pace that suits individuals in different areas while continuing to keep an eye on the situation locally.  

Returning to campus  

Any staff currently based at home are welcome to start coming back to work on campus from next week, with hybrid working arrangements back in place where relevant. Do discuss this with your line manager ahead of your return, and bear in mind when you do come back that we’ll need to keep safety at the front of our minds in busy areas in particular.   In-person meetings can also be booked where it makes sense – however, do consider what the appropriate format is for these, with a continued recommendation that we think ‘virtual-first’ given people will be working in different locations.  

Face Coverings  

We’ll also all need to recognise and respect the different situations both staff and students may be in and that some, particularly those who are more vulnerable, will be concerned about the changing picture nationally. With that in mind, our expectation is that everyone should continue to wear face coverings in teaching spaces, communal areas of our buildings and other areas where there are lots of people around. As before, in most cases those teaching classes won’t need to wear a face covering as they will have sufficient space at the front of the class.  

Face coverings can make a real difference to infection rates, along with reassuring those who are most at risk – we are also writing to students today to confirm that our current approach remains in place.  

Testing  

Everyone coming onto campus should also continue to test twice a week and register their results with the NHS – free lateral flow test kits are available on the Canterbury campus from College receptions, Campus Security, the Registry, Estates and the Templeman Library, plus at the Old Sports Hall at Medway.  

There is a lot to take in with a number of national changes happening in a short period of time – do talk this through with a manager if you have any concerns or via our Employee Assistance Scheme if you want to do this anonymously. Thank you also to all of you for your continued support with keeping each other safe throughout this period.  

Martin  

Martin Atkinson | Director of HR & Organisational Development

Students sat outside Sibson building

Covid-19 Update: Keeping our campuses safe

From Professor Richard Reece | DVC Education and Student Experience

Following my email on Wednesday about recent Government Covid-19 announcements, I wanted to follow up with a bit more detail on what this will mean for us at Kent. As you know, our focus throughout the pandemic has been on keeping our entire community safe, and our approach at this stage is on taking sensible steps to limit the risk of infection as we return fully to face-to-face teaching.

We also all have a role in recognising and respecting the different situations both students and staff may be in and that some, particularly those who are more vulnerable, will be concerned about the changing picture nationally. With that in mind, our expectation is that everyone should continue to wear face coverings in teaching spaces, communal areas of our buildings and other areas where there are lots of people around. This can make a real difference to infection rates, along with reassuring those who are most at risk.

Vaccinations

It was fantastic to see so many of you at our pop-up vaccination centre on our Canterbury campus earlier this week, joining the thousands of students who have been jabbed across the country. If you are heading into town this weekend, there will another walk-in at Whitefriars in the empty Ernest Jones shop from 10.00 to 16.00 on both Saturday and Sunday – we’ll also have another pop-up centre on Canterbury campus in the Old Bank on Tuesday 1 February from 12.30 to 16.30. Find a Covid-19 vaccination centre near you.

Testing

Everyone coming onto campus should also continue to test at least twice a week and register their results with the NHS – free lateral flow test kits are available on the Canterbury campus from College receptions, Campus Security, the Registry and the Templeman Library, plus at the Old Sports Hall at Medway.

Thank you once again for your ongoing support with this and for everything you continue to do to keep our campuses safe.

With all good wishes,

Richard

Professor Richard Reece | DVC Education and Student Experience