Monthly Archives: June 2022

Emma Spiller completed Coppatrek!

Emma Spiller, Education and Student Experience Manager for LSSJ at the University of Kent has completed Coppatrek with Gi in support of the breast cancer prevention charity CoppaFeel!

With ‘I’m a Celebrity winner’ and author Giovanna Fletcher leading the way, Emma and 100 fellow participants trekked 100km of the beautiful, but unforgiving Pembrokeshire coastline navigating rocky terrain and steep accents over 5 days, and 6 nights whilst camping in between treks.

Celebrity captains including Strictly Professional dancer Amy Dowden, Comedian Kiri Pritchard-McLean, Body Positive Public Figure Megan Crabbe, and Love Island contestant Sophie Piper, led the groups and kept morale high throughout the week bringing laughter, support, and dance warm ups from Amy.

All of the trekkers had been affected by breast cancer either directly or indirectly, and some had only recently finished treatment making the achievement even more inspirational.

Emma has raised £2665, and the whole group together are on track to raise the target amount of £400,000.

The money raised will go towards raising awareness to educate young people on the signs of breast cancer, and how to check themselves regularly to empower individuals to seek help and advocate for themselves should they ever need to.

Whilst undertaking the fundraising Emma connected with Kent Uni Boob society who are also doing fantastic work in fundraising for CoppaFeel! and spreading this important message to University of Kent students.

What’s New in Talent and Organisational Development

Why complete EDI training

Equality and diversity in the workplace have become increasingly important in recent years. While it would be nice to think that both of these aspects of working life would manage themselves in a modern-day environment, they sometimes require a bit of help. In many cases friction in the workplace is based much more on lack of understanding than on actual malice or prejudice.​​​​​​​

​​​​At Kent we provide a wide range of Equality training which is available for all staff to complete either online Via Staff Training Moodle, links within the university EDI webpage, by attending one of the face-to-face sessions which is bookable via staff connect or by contacting

Talent and Organisational Development Survey

As the 2021/22 academic year draws to a close the T&OD team have already started to plan for 2022/23.

We are reviewing our processes, session offering and the method of delivery with the aim to provide as much development as possible in a way that makes it accessible to all

We would be incredibly grateful if you can spare us five minutes of your time to participate in/cascade our survey. This survey will help us understand your needs and enable us to keep bringing you a high-quality service that has value for you.

Please complete your survey by Friday 12th August 

Bag Week Round up

2022 saw us return to more in person sessions for BAG Week, and it was great to see staff getting involved whist being on campus!

We had a varied and full programme, and were able to offer a range of sessions for staff to take part in.

What’s on in June and July

June and July have a number of training opportunities open to all staff, and bookable via Staff Connect.

Evidencing Impact Workshop – 11 July

We would like to invite you to participate in our Evidencing Impact Workshop, on Monday 11 July, from 12.00 – 13.30.


Woolf seminar room 6, Woolf College, Canterbury campus

About the workshop

This workshop provides you with the tools to understand how to evidence impact. We will discuss what does and doesn’t work for different types of impact and what pieces should be part of a good evidence parcel. We will learn how to obtain strong testimonies, and we will have a hands-on breakout session where we have identify strong pieces.

How to sign up

There are limited places available so make sure you book your space as soon as possible. Please visit Evidencing Impact Workshop – Research Policy and Support to book your spot on the workshop.

Home Office computer desk display

Care first fortnightly webinars

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

Due to the stabilising situation of Covid, they’ll be doing a side-range of webinar topics. Here’s the schedule for two weeks:

Week commencing 4 July 2022

Monday 4 July – ‘What is short term solution focussed counselling’– This webinar provides further information on short term solution focussed counselling and ‘in the moment’ support.
Time: 12.00-12.30 – click on this link to sign up

Wednesday 6 July  – ‘How Care first can support you’ – A webinar for awareness and how to access the EAP service provided by Care first.
Time: 12.00-12.30 – click on this link to sign up

Friday 8 July – ‘Talk to us 2022’ -This webinar highlights how talking over how we are feeling about certain situations and life events can improve our overall wellbeing. In association
with Talk To Us Month 2022.
Time: 12.00-12.30 – click on this link to sign up

Week commencing 11 July 2022

Monday 11 July – ‘Practical information and advice through Care first’ – The webinar provides detail about our Information Specialists and their role as part of your EAP service.
Time: 12.00-12.30 – click on this link to sign up

Wednesday 13 July – ‘How Care first can support you’ – A webinar for awareness and how to access the EAP service provided by Care first.
Time: 12.00-12.30 – click on this link to sign up

Friday 15 July – ‘Top tips for a good night’s sleep’ – A webinar detailing how a good night’s sleep can improve your overall wellbeing whilst offering tips how you can sleep better.
Time: 12.00-12.30 – click on this link to sign up

Issues with KentVision

Update: 24/06/22 – 15:00

The KentVision system has been stable throughout the day. We are engaged with the system supplier to identify the root cause and to provide a fix for the intermittent performance issues experienced by colleagues. We will continue monitoring the system and will update you on our progress.

For more live updates please follow our Service Status page.

23/06/22 – 15:00

We have continued exploring all mitigations for the intermittent performance issues and assessing the root cause. The KentVision system has been stable throughout the day despite similar levels of usage from colleagues – a further update will be provided tomorrow.

23/06/22 – 09:40

Yesterday, additional computing capacity was brought online to help mitigate the intermittent performance issues with KentVision. We have continued to monitor the system and we are aware some colleagues are still experiencing issues. We apologise for the impact this is having, especially given the tasks currently underway. We are working urgently with the supplier to provide a fix – a further update will be provided by later today.

22/06/22 – 16:00

We have brought additional computing capacity online to mitigate the performance issues experienced by colleagues today – this appears to have made a positive difference. We will continue to monitor the system and gather live feedback from users.

22/06/22 – 13:30

We are aware of the performance issues being experienced with KentVision; this is currently under urgent investigation. Users will be informed when the system issues have been fixed – a further update will be provided later today.

Hearstopper characters Nick and Charlie

A love letter to Heartstopper

By Dr Lindsey Cameron, Kirsty Gravestock [PhD student], Hannah Bassom and Abigail Lugg [undergraduate students], School of Psychology.

We can’t stop thinking about Heartstopper.  

Heartstopper has opened a ground-breaking new chapter in LGBTQ+ representation. This beautiful, unapologetic, boy meets boy love story follows two 15- and 16-year-old boys as they become friends, fall in love, and discover who they are. The boys are surrounded by their close circle of friends, each on their own journeys to understand their LGBTQ+ identity. But Heartstopper is much more than a love story – Dr Lindsey Cameron and Kirsty Gravestock research diversity in young people’s media, and can tell you that this new Netflix series, and the books it is based on, is nothing short of radical and just what the world needs right now.  

The characters refer to homophobic and transphobic bullying they have experienced in the past, and there are several instances of homophobic victimisation depicted in the series, but the show focuses more on the positive relationships and lives the characters are building for themselves. This fictional, and somewhat rose-tinted view of life for LGBTQ+ young people may bring about complicated feelings for some in the LGBTQ+ community, but Heartstopper provides a joy and hope-filled view of what life could be like for LGBTQ+ young people today.  

Heartstopper is a breath of fresh air – a book and TV series specifically created for young viewers. When myself and my girlfriend were growing up, we were surrounded by dominant heterosexual norms, but perhaps greater exposure and diversity in relation to LGBTQ+ media would have helped me work out my sexuality a lot earlier.” – Abigail Lugg 

So here is why you should stop what you’re doing and watch (and read) it now – not just because it’s wonderful, but because decades of psychological research help show why it’s essential viewing for everyone. 

1.Representation matters – Heartstopper’s positive role models smash gay stereotypes and provide a much-needed shot of LGBTQ+ diversity, and we need more diversity in young people’s media. We need our young people, including LGBTQ+ young people, to see themselves reflected back in books, TV and film, to feel validated, valued, seen, and accepted. Mainstream shows featuring positive, life-affirming LGBTQ+ story lines send an important message: representation matters, equality matters, LGBTQ+ people matter.  

2.We need positive LGBTQ+ storylines for a younger audience –Whilst the show depicts 15- and 16-year-old characters, the storyline, characters and key messages will appeal to both younger and older audiences alike. It’s a show that younger adolescents, as well as older teenagers and their parents can watch together without too much cringe. And that is important: from a young age, parents are a crucial source of information for children as they learn about their social world. By watching Heartstopper with their children, parents will have an opportunity to talk about the LGBTQ+ community and identity (whether their child is part of the community or not), and maybe even inspiring their child to open up about their experiences. 

3.Challenging prejudice and stereotypes – Victimisation based on sexual orientation emerges mainly during early adolescence, when homophobic name-calling is common. Decades of research on diversity in books, films and TV tells us that that the simple but immersive act of reading and watching characters that are different to us in some way, and who we connect with, can reduce prejudice and stereotyping, build support for equality, and increase openness to diverse friendships. 

Researchers from Psychology holding Heartstopper books smiling

4.Being a good ally – Heartstopper models constructive ally behaviours by providing examples of how parents, peers and teachers can support and create comfortable environments for LGBTQ+ young people, as well as demonstrating potential ways of standing up for and supporting victims of LGBTQ+ bullying. Research tells us that viewing, and forming attachments to LGBTQ+ characters, as well as observing or engaging in cross-group friendships with LGBTQ+ peers, fosters empathy and constructive ally behaviours, helpful bystander reactions to homophobic bullying, and support for social change and equality. 

“As a Gen-Z-TikTok-addicted-bisexual, it was shocking to see how accurately the plight of discovering one’s own sexuality was portrayed.  From Nick’s confusion over suddenly liking a boy, to panic-searching BuzzFeed quizzes to determine his sexuality for him, to more serious topics such as homophobic bullying, Heartstopper truly shows people what it’s like to not be straight. Heartstopper works by showing us it’s okay to love who you love and be who you want to be unapologetically.” – Hannah Bassom

Heartstopper gives us a view of what life could and should be like for young LGBTQ+ people. And this is why Heartstopper is so important, and so radical: we need more unapologetic, joyful, positive stories like this for young people, filled with optimism, love and Pride.  

To see all the research references and find out more about the blogpost authors’ areas of study, please view the full blogpost on the Psychology website. 

SummerZone returns this August!

With the Summer holidays just around the corner, you may be thinking about how to keep your children active and entertained. With our SummerZone sports and activity camp for children aged 5 to 12, you won’t need to worry. During SummerZone we provide daily sports and activities, all under the supervision of experienced and DBS verified camp staff. Activities include Nerf, tennis, cricket, mini golf, New Age Kurling and much more. 

“Really impressed by EasterZone; facilities, staff, children and activities were all fantastic. Our children cannot wait for SummerZone!” – Parent feedback from EasterZone 2022

Dates and times:

SummerZone 2022 runs from Monday 15 to Friday 19 August. You can drop your children off from 8.30am and pick up at 3pm. We also offer a late pick-up option from 3pm to 5pm.

Booking and prices:

Online booking for SummerZone 2022 is now open. Please ensure you complete a form for each child you wish to book on SummerZone. Booking and payment can be completed online.

University of Kent staff

  • One day £30 per child
  • One week (five days) £125 per child

Members of the public

  • One day £35 per child
  • One week (five days) £150 per child

Late pick-up (3pm to 5pm)

Our late pick-up option includes fun and engaging activities tailored to the location, such as table tennis, table football, new age kurling, bowls, speed stacks, twister, board games, and creative drawing.

  • £10 per child per day


If you have any questions about our holiday camps, or if you would like to be added to the mailing list for future camps, please email or call 01227 816391.

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Kent Clearing Team

Call for Clearing Volunteers 2022!

From Simone Davies | Director of MORA

As many of you will know, Clearing is the time of year when we fill any remaining places on our courses. We receive phone calls from potential students who have not yet secured a place at University, meaning that during Clearing our hotline is especially busy.

This year, we require support from members of the University to ensure the success of our Clearing campaigns. We are therefore inviting volunteers to work in our Applications Support Team. You can work from home or from the campus, and training will be provided. The shifts for the Applications teams are:

Thursday 18 August: 07:45–15:45 or 09:00-17:00

Friday 19 August: 09:00-17:00

If you would like to get involved, please speak with your line manager and email Ami Solomon

Thank you in advance for your help in supporting future students on their journey to Kent – we can’t do this without you.

Come and join Little Amal on 27 June!

Staff and students are warmly invited to the return of Little Amal to our campus in Canterbury!

After captivating the world by travelling 8,000km from Syria to the UK embodying the urgent message “Don’t forget about us”,  Amal – a 3.5-meter puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee and now a symbol representing hope for migrants is once again coming back to the University of Kent!

This return has been organised in collaboration with the Migration and Movement Signature Research Theme.  Amal will join us as part of her New Steps New Friends tour with focus on Together Again on Monday 27 June at 14.00, where she will mark World Refugee Week and share a message of resilience, healing and hope with anyone who has been forced to leave their homes.

This event is a platform for us to heal through movement with Amal – a moment to express ourselves, exchange learning and our shared lived experiences, and to embody different cultures and communities through music and dance.

Come join us and Amal share awareness of the worldwide mass displacement!

For more information about Amal’s visit and register your attendance, visit  Together Again: Healing through Movement with Amal – Public and Community Engagement