Monthly Archives: July 2022

Bunny on campus near flowers

How to access support over summer 

Student Support and Wellbeing, College and Community Life and Kent Union are fully open during the summer term, including the busy conference season. All our services are hybrid and can offer in person and online support at your choice.  

We are here to offer emotional, wellbeing, practical and living support to all students in the community. We are safe spaces for all at Kent and our professional teams across Student Support and Wellbeing, College and Community Life and Kent Union are here all year round to protect, support and safeguard all students. We respect, value and celebrate all in our community. 

Support available  

You can walk in and speak to our friendly staff if you don’t know who to contact first or just need a quiet space where you can be sure you well be welcomed by supportive and non-judgemental staff. 

Student Support and Wellbeing (SSW) 

Student Support and Wellbeing provide counselling, disability support, mental health advice and specialist wellbeing support. They are available Monday – Friday 9.00-17.00. Scroll down for out of hours support.  

The SSW Team are based in Keynes H block (Canterbury) and Gillingham building (Medway). As well as visiting the team, you can also get in touch by calling 01227 823158 or emailing KentSSW@kent.ac.uk if you’re a Canterbury student. If you’re based at Medway, you can call 01634 888474 or email MedwaySSW@kent.ac.uk. 

College and Community Life (CCL) 

The College and Community Life Team can help with general advice about living in accommodation, activities and events, living in the local community and welfare and personal issue support. They can available Monday to Friday 9.30-16.30. 

The CCL Team are located in the first floor of the Locke building (Canterbury) and in the Medway building. As well as popping in to see the CCL Team, you can also contact them by phone by calling 01227 827010 / 824018 / 824961 (Canterbury) or 01634 888807 (Medway), or you can email cclteam@kent.ac.uk. 

Kent Union 

Kent Union are your students’ union. They offer impartial and confidential advice and guidance via their Advice Service, general support from Kent Union Staff and Full-Time Officers, as well as a range of events and activities. Kent Union are available Monday – Friday 9.00-17.00. 

You can find them at the Mandela Student Centre (Canterbury) or at The Hub in Medway. Or you can get in touch by calling 01227 82 4200 or emailing kentunion@kent.ac.uk. 

Out of hours support 

We understand that things don’t always happen between 9.00-17.00 but through our partnerships we have out of hours support and regular self-help support you can access in your own time:  

Spectrum Life  

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis or need emergency in the moment crisis support outside of Student Support and Wellbeing working hours, our external partners Spectrum Life can offer you online, text and telephone support from qualified counsellors and mental health professionals.    

Spectrum Life will work with you in getting initial support and help during your crisis and the University Student Support and Wellbeing teams will contact you on the next working day  

  • Spectrum Life is available on Monday to Friday evenings from 20.00 – 8.00, and on weekends and Bank Holidays.  
  • Telephone: 0800 0318227 and press option 1 or Text ‘Hi’ to: +447418 360 780  
  • Search for the Spectrum Life app from your app store and follow the log in instructions  

Togetherall  

Togetherall is a peer led online community with self help and therapeutic support online guides and workshops  

  • Peer talk therapies where members initiate or join forums on topics ranging from depression and anxiety to relationship issues, work stress, abuse, self-harm and eating disorders  
  • peer support and networks where students make ‘friends’ to create a support network as a reference group, source of motivation and a means to improve self-awareness  
  • creative therapies employing art and writing therapies where members express themselves are posted to TogetherAll where they can choose to share and discuss the underlying ‘story’  
  • brief counselling providing immediate 24/7 support from Guides who are trained counsellors  
  • 24/7 guided groups that are based in therapeutic approaches such as interpersonal therapy and cognitive behaviour therapy 

Our services a Kent are open, free and inclusive to all. Please get in touch with us if you need support. 

 

 

 

Man jumping in the air reading a book

New look Research and Innovation Active newsletter

Research and Innovation Active is the brand-new look quarterly newsletter that brings you research and innovation news from across the University.

Discover

Get access to a fascinating range of stories and events, find out who is at the heart of research and innovation activities across the university, and discover opportunities to get involved.

Access the latest issue of Research and Innovation Active: July 2022.

Share

We feature stories from across the research and innovation network of professional service and academic colleagues.

Use our dedicated form to submit your story or event to be featured in the next edition.

Subscribe

Subscribe to Research and Innovation Active to automatically receive future issues and avoid fear of missing out.

Contact us

If you have any questions or comments, please email Josie Caplehorne and Lyle Young.

Evidencing Impact workshop

Due to the popularity of the event, an additional date has been scheduled for the In-person workshop “Evidencing impact”.

When:

Tuesday 23rd August, from 14.00 – 16.00

Where:

Tuesday 23rd August, from 14:00 – 16:00

Book in early to secure your place – to do this visit the Evidencing Impact website.

Getting the pieces right

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 work together to identify strong evidence pieces.

Speakers:

Dr Ann Kinzer, REF Impact Officer –  What is good evidence for impact and how can I obtain strong testimonies?

Claire Perera, Research and Policy Support Officer – Interactive Breakout Session: Selecting strong evidence pieces and curating evidence.

Packing clothes

What to pack?

‘Don’t over pack!’ is one of the most common responses whenever we ask students for the advice they would give for those about to arrive on campus for the first time. It can be tricky to know what you might need and what you should bring with you, so this is definitely a decision that shouldn’t be based on ‘what more can I cram into the car/suitcase?

So with this in mind, listen to the voice of experience as these students and staff share their top tips so you can save yourself the pain of trying to squeeze in a second food dehydrator…

Aleena, psychology student and Liane, English Language and Linguistics student – ‘make a packing list’
Aleena: ‘making a list would be useful as I found I missed out a lot of essentials and had to spend money buying things I already had at home.’ Fortunately we have a packing list to help get you started but another piece of advice is to ‘pack boxes so items related are put together (e.g. kitchen, bedding, bathroom etc.)’ says Liane ‘this makes unpacking quicker and easier’.

‘Double check that you have everything you need (especially kitchen utensils and hygiene products) so you don't have to scramble to get what you need last minute.’ - Liane, English Language and Linguistics student

Laura, from our Accommodation Team – ‘check what’s already in your room’
All rooms on campus will have some items included, so know what’s already included to avoid wasting valuable space by packing a duplicate. You can check what is in your Canterbury room or Medway bedroom We’re not just talking about big things either, for example we’ve provided cleaning products in the accommodation kitchens and cleaning cloths in your bedroom, but when you pop to the shops you’ll still need to pick-up a few other bits and bobs like washing up liquid, sponges, and laundry detergent.

Omar, Architecture student – ‘don’t forget the essentials but prioritise things you can’t easily buy’
Bring your chargers and double check on things that you need to use every day, such as soap, as it’s easy to forget. But don’t worry too much about these as you can literally get them from anywhere, just mainly bring the things that aren’t easily bought or replaced if you need them.

line art of bed sizes
You can find out what size bed is in your room online.

 

Becky, from our Housekeeping Team – ‘know your bed sizes’
Aside from forgotten passports or driver’s licences this is one of the most common mishaps for new students. There are different bed sizes across the rooms on campus (and in private accommodation) so don’t buy any bedding until you have accepted your room offer so you can double check the bed size online so you know what sheets to buy. Some folks have trouble getting hold of sheets for the 7ft beds, but a king size flat sheet will fit.

Phil, from our Catering Team – ‘don’t pack the kitchen sink’
Just bring enough to get you started as you may want to go in with your flatmates for to buy some items. If you live in part-catered accommodation you shouldn’t need anything beyond your basic crockery and cutlery, as kettles are provided. If you’re going to live in self-catered accommodation we suggest just buying a set of crockery and cutlery for yourself, plus food storage containers and basic pots and pans.

luggage and suitcases in car for departure
Another cheat to avoid overfilling the car is to utilise UniKitOut. This company delivers essential items direct to your room on campus so it’s there ready for you when you arrive. Just order before midnight on Tuesday 7 September 2021. There’s even a 10% discount when using the ‘KENT10’ code

 

Beth, History and Social Anthropology student – ‘make it home’
Best bit of advice was to bring decorative items. Strings of lights, small potted plants for the windowsill or desk, photo frames with silly, happy photos, blankets and pillows, etc. It makes the room that bit more comforting and homely, and can help with the homesickness.

Alexander, Anthropology student – ‘bring something to break the ice’
‘Bring sweets, give them to your flatmates when you introduce yourself’. If sweets aren’t your thing, and you’re feeling nervous about introducing yourself just remember your fellow students Eve and Becky’s advice ‘don’t stress, everyone’s in the same boat and wants to make new friends too […] put yourself out there and make friends. Particularly at this time, campus is a great place to be for that’.

students laughing playing cards at table

Of course, there are also some things you should 100% not be bringing. You can probably guess these but anything with a naked flame, (such as candles, incense, joss sticks, oil burners, barbeques, or smoking paraphernalia) is one to avoid. Cars, mini-fridges, adhesive strip lights, heated airers, multi-way cube adaptors and pets are some of the other items featured on the restricted items list which can be found in the Accommodation Handbook if you need to double check anything.

Our Canterbury Arrivals and Medway Arrivals pages are full of useful info to help get you ready to arrive at Kent including more info on what to bring (Canterbury and Medway editions). Plus we’ve got more advice from previous students coming your way, including tips for settling in, so keep an eye on the Accommodation Twitter and Facebook pages for all the latest blogs and useful information before you arrive.

We look forward to welcoming you to Kent soon!

Industrial action

Industrial action update: check your emails if you think you are due a goodwill payment  

We have just sent details of the Goodwill Payment Scheme to students affected by Industrial Action during 2021-22. The email has been sent your Kent account. If you have any questions or haven’t received the email but think you’re eligible, please email industrialaction@kent.ac.uk 

How the Goodwill Payment Scheme was agreed 

The University decided that the most accurate way to find out which students were impacted by industrial action was to assume that, where a staff member had declared that they were on strike, that the teaching events due to take place on those days would have been impacted in some way. This could have taken the form of a missed class or missed content, for example. Adopting this principle, we determined that there were almost 8,000 students who experienced at least one affected teaching event. Of these, around 2,770 were impacted ten or more times with approximately 2,300 students impacted by just one missed teaching event. I am aware that many of these missed teaching events were also mitigated by, for example, make-up activities or through the availability of alternative resources.  

The savings made by the University across all strike days in 2021/22 through withheld salaries amounted to around £194,000. Whilst the amount of savings might seem significant, when divided between impacted students, it becomes thinly stretched and potentially would not acknowledge the level of disruption suffered by the more seriously affected students. Therefore, in order to provide an appropriate and meaningful goodwill payment to those affected most significantly, we reached the decision that students who were affected only once by an impacted teaching event, would not receive a goodwill payment.  This is regrettable, but please be assured that the decision was made after very careful modelling of a variety of banding options for payments in consultation with Kent Union. This consultation involved presenting different options and models to student representatives to understand what the most satisfactory decision would be to as many students as possible.  

The following goodwill gestures will be offered:  

Band A: Students impacted 11 times or more = £75  

Band B: Students impacted 6 – 10 times = £50  

Band C: Students impacted 2 – 5 times = £25  

Band D: Students who were impacted once and will be returning to study next academic year, will receive a drinks voucher to use on campus when they return.   

If you have any questions, please email industrialaction@kent.ac.uk 

 

Staff Conference 2022 (15-16 September)

Following the success of last year’s virtual event, we are excited to announce that preparations are well underway for this year’s Staff Conference. We have received some wonderful contributions, so thank you to everyone who has submitted their ideas.

The Conference will take place on campus from 15-16 September 2022 with the theme ‘Building our University Community’. On the Friday afternoon, the event will close with an all-staff barbecue, and we hope it will top off two days spent celebrating our learning and enhancing our connections with one another.

Over the two days, we are planning numerous activities, both informative and informal. These might include:

  • Seminars about projects, initiatives and activities across the University
  • Talks on what it is like to work at Kent
  • Discussions and workshops on important topics such as wellbeing and support
  • Informal events which you can take part in, either individually or as a team
  • Demonstrations or tours of facilities

The Conference allows us to mark the start of the academic year together, providing opportunities to learn about each other’s work and giving us a chance to reflect on how we all – whether academic, professional services, technical staff, or otherwise – contribute to achieving the University’s ambitions.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Whitstable road, Canterbury

Join a focus group to shape the student experience off campus

Have you lived, or are you planning to live, off campus whilst studying at Kent? A huge percentage of our students live in their local community and we need your help to shape the student experience off campus. College and Community Life are running a few community living focus groups to discuss what students living in the city want from support teams, events, volunteering and community building opportunities.

We love being in the heart of Canterbury, a beautiful historical city with a lot to offer its local residents; and we want to know how, we as a university, can help to make your off-campus experience the best it can possibly be.

The focus groups will be held online between Wednesday 3 August and Thursday 11 August 2022, with the Community Life Officer Josh.

We will be talking about:

  • What events and community building would you like us to organise off campus?
  • What is the best way to share information about the university, events, and internal and external support services?
  • What is the best way to get in touch with your house off campus?
  • What will help to improve your sense of belonging in the local community?

We will be offering a £10 voucher to all participants for an hour-long online focus group on Microsoft Teams.

If you are interested in signing up, please fill out this online focus group interest form, and we will be in touch!

templeman sunburst

Keeping safe in the heatwave

From Brenda Brunsdon |Occupational Health and Wellbeing Team Manager

We are going through a sustained period of very hot weather and the Met Office issued its first ever red warning for extreme heat last month. Such high temperatures present a challenge to our health and wellbeing. In addition to sun care awareness, it’s important to know the signs of when the heat or sun exposure can affect someone to the extent that they can become ill and be aware of what one can do to prevent becoming overheated in the first place.

OH issues advice on sun exposure every year. We refer people to the advice given by the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) and the NHS. BAD offers advice based on an easy to remember SOS theme: Save Our Skin:

  • Slip On a Shirt
  • Seek Out Shade
  • Slap On Sunscreen

Accessing their website below provides additional information on sunscreen, skin advice for skin of colour, sun protection advice for children and babies, a Vitamin D factsheet and sun awareness leaflets.

The NHS also offers comprehensive advice on how to keep yourself safe in the sun; the link to their website is also below.

What can you do you do to stay safe in the heat? The UK Health Security Agency have the following advice:

  • stay cool indoors by closing curtains on rooms that face the sun – and remember that it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
  • drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol
  • never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
  • check that fridges, freezers and fans are working properly
  • try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm, when the UV rays are strongest
  • walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat
  • avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day
  • make sure you take water with you if you are travelling

When a person does get too hot, it can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion is the lower level condition which can progress to heat stroke. Both can occur when a person’s body overheats to the extent that its natural temperature control mechanisms fail to cope. When this happens, the affected person feels unwell, lacking in energy, and is usually dizzy and nauseous. They could develop cramp in their limbs or in their stomach. Signs you can observe for heat/sun stroke are a person having clammy, very sweaty, pale skin, and they often have a faster pulse than normal, sometimes exceeding 100 beats per minute.

Some sectors of the community are more susceptible to developing heat exhaustion/stroke: babies and toddlers; the elderly; people who are physically active through work or exercise; people with chronic, debilitating illnesses.

The NHS advice on immediate treatment for helping someone with heat exhaustion is:

  1. Move them to a cool place.
  2. Get them to lie down and raise their feet slightly.
  3. Get them to drink plenty of water. Sports or rehydration drinks are OK.
  4. Cool their skin – spray or sponge them with cool water and fan them. Cold packs around the armpits or neck are good, too
  5. Stay with them until they’re better.

They should start to cool down and feel better within 30 minutes.

They also give advice on when you should consider reaching out for assistance by ringing 999, either because the situation is the same after 30 minutes or because the person’s symptoms are so debilitating that you suspect heat stroke; follow the NHS link below to read more.

For those of us who are able and where it fits in with the demands of our role, the University has said we currently have the flexibility to work from home if this provides us with a cooler work environment. However, not all members of the University workforce are able to do that. Cleaners and maintenance and grounds staff have to work as usual. They and their managers need to be more aware of the possibility of heat/sun stroke.

‘Heatwave: National emergency declared after UK’s first red extreme heat warning’ on bbc.co.uk

British Association of Dermatologists’ Sun Awareness website

‘How to Stay Safe in the Sun’ on the British Skin Foundation website

‘Staying Safe in Extreme Heat’ by Agostinho Moreira Sousa on ukhsa.blog.gov.uk

Heat Exhaustion and Sun Stroke on NHS website

Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke’ by Dr Sarah Jarvis MBE on the patient.info website

Signs of Heat Exhaustion, Heat Stroke’ by CBS Los Angeles on YouTube

How to Identify and Treat Heat Stroke’ by BBC Earth Lab on YouTube (very good demonstration of simple First Aid treatments for heat exhaustion)

How to Treat Heat Stroke – Signs and Symptom’s by St John’s Ambulance on YouTube

 

New water bottle

Heatwave: how to stay cool on campus

As temperatures today could hit record numbers, make sure you take precautions and look after yourself during the heatwave.

Whether you’re working from home or on campus, here are a few tips on how to take care of yourself:

Tips to say cool and well

  1. Keep your windows closed so you don’t let the hot air inside. Only open your windows first thing in the morning or late at night once the temperature has dropped
  2. Keep blinds and curtains closed to stop heat from the sun warming up your home or office
  3. Use a fan – if you’re on campus contact the Estates team to see if you can borrow one
  4. If you’re on campus and are too hot in your office, you could visit an air-conditioned area of campus (see locations below)
  5. Keep hydrated (see water refill locations below)

Where are the coolest spots on campus?

The following buildings on our campuses have areas of air conditioning:

Canterbury campus

  • Templeman Library
  • Sports Centre

Computer rooms on campus are also generally air conditioned.

Medway campus

  • Gillingham building
  • Medway building
  • Medway Park
  • The Engineering Workshop (Dockyard)
  • Drilling Shed (Dockyard)

Computer rooms on campus are also generally air conditioned.

Where can I refill my water bottle on campus?

Locations behind the counter – ask colleagues who will happily fill your water bottle for you

  • Create Café (Marlowe Building)
  • K-Bar (Keynes College)
  • Origins Bar & Grill (Darwin College)
  • Gulbenkian

Open access locations

  • Sibson Café (Sibson Building) – designated water station next to coffee machine
  • Rutherford Dining Hall (Rutherford College) – designated water station in open fridge in the dining area
  • Dolche Vita (Keynes College) – designated water tap in dining area
  • Oasis Lounge in Rochester building – tap
  • The Hook Lounge in Clocktower building- tap

NHS advice

The NHS provides advice for how to cope during the hot weather and signs of heat related illnesses to watch out more.

New water bottle

Heatwave: how to stay cool on campus

As temperatures today could hit record numbers, make sure you take precautions and look after yourself during the heatwave.

Tips to say cool and well

  1. Keep your windows closed so you don’t let the hot air inside. Only open your windows first thing in the morning or late at night once the temperature has dropped
  2. Keep blinds and curtains closed to stop heat from the sun warming up your room
  3. Use a fan
  4. If you are too hot in your room, you could visit an air-conditioned area of campus (see locations below)
  5. Keep hydrated (see water refill locations below)

Where are the coolest spots on campus?

The following buildings on our campuses have areas of air conditioning:

Canterbury campus

  • Templeman Library
  • Sports Centre
  • Cornwallis
  • Darwin
  • Eliot
  • Ingram
  • Jennison
  • Kennedy
  • Keynes
  • Sibson
  • Wigoder
  • Woolf

Computer rooms on campus are also generally air conditioned.

Medway campus

  • Gillingham building
  • Medway building
  • Medway Park
  • The Engineering Workshop (Dockyard)
  • Drilling Shed (Dockyard)

Computer rooms on campus are also generally air conditioned.

Where can I refill my water bottle on campus?

Locations behind the counter – ask staff who will happily fill your water bottle for you

  • Create Café (Marlowe Building)
  • K-Bar (Keynes College)
  • Origins Bar & Grill (Darwin College)
  • Gulbenkian

Open access locations

  • Sibson Café (Sibson Building) – designated water station next to coffee machine
  • Rutherford Dining Hall (Rutherford College) – designated water station in open fridge in the dining area
  • Dolche Vita (Keynes College) – designated water tap in dining area
  • Oasis Lounge in Rochester building – tap
  • The Hook Lounge in Clocktower building- tap

NHS advice

The NHS provides advice for how to cope during the hot weather and signs of heat related illnesses to watch out more.