Author Archives: Alice Allwright

Kent Digital Accessibility Conference 2021

Kent Connects invites you to virtually attend its 3rd Digital Accessibility Conference on Wednesday 16 June 10.00 – 16.00.

Sign up to attend the third annual Kent Digital Accessibility Conference to inform Public Sector organisations about digital accessibility and inclusion and the impact of the Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations, hosted by the University of Kent & Kent Connects.

Join them for any or all of the sessions covering key themes including:

  • Mobile application compliance
  • Staff engagement
  • Accessible documents and PDFs
  • Testing accessibility
  • Lived experiences of accessibility in practice

There will also be a supplier session at the end of the day to allow you to network and experience products that may help your organisation with their digital accessibility compliance journey.

Full details of speaker sessions and meeting links will be confirmed to booked attendees nearer the time.

Public sector, private sector, freelance workers and students are all welcome to attend and learn more about the growing field of digital accessibility.

Follow their Twitter account @KentDigiAccess and #KentDigitialAccessibility2021 to keep updated on the event

Estuary 2021

We are excited that Estuary 2021, a key element of Creative Estuary opens this coming weekend, bringing over 90 artworks and events to the 107-mile trail of the Thames Estuary between 22 May and 13 June.

The festival has been curated in response to the Thames Estuary and the lives, landscapes and histories found there. A mix of large scale and intimate visual art, literature, music and film, it celebrates culture, creativity, recovery and renewal. Conceived to be enjoyed for free, outdoors and in a COVID-19 secure way, the festival invites visitors to take an epic walk along the stunning shorelines of South Essex and North Kent encountering contemporary artworks, storytelling and performance within the estuary’s landscape, historic sites and coastal towns.

Gravesend Pier

The programme for the ambitious online opening weekend of specially commissioned artworks and discussion exploring the three festival themes of climate, rebellion and imperial legacy has been announced.

An Unknown Earth – 22 May – 23 May

This Unknown Earth event  has been curated by four artists all of whom know the Thames Estuary as home:

  1. Jas Dhillon is a multimedia practitioner inspired by the people, script, language, symbolic objects, and poetic experiences, of the love and identity imprinted on her as a first-generation Indian female raised in Kent.
  2. Elsa James is a British African-Caribbean, conceptual artist and activist living in Southend-on-Sea. Recent projects Forgotten Black Essex (2018) and Black Girl Essex (2019) explore the historical, temporal and spatial dimensions of what it means to be black in Essex.
  3. James Marriott, writer, artist, activist and naturalist lives on the Hoo Peninsula and works as part of Platform. He is co-author of the forthcoming book Crude Britannia, which tells the story of Britain’s energy past, present and future with a focus on the Thames Estuary.
  4. Lu Williams who, through Grrrl Zine Fair, has been amplifying marginalised voices with a focus on DIY culture, workshops, intersectional feminism and working class culture since 2015.

Nadav Kander, Water3 III, part 1,2 and 3, (Shoeburyness towards The Isle Of Grain), 2015

Alongside the festival, the Associated Programme offers a rich range of events, installations and digital content, and includes work commissioned as part of Creative Estuary Co-Commissions: Ebb and Flow, Precarious Straights and Siltings

Find out more about the full programme on the Estuary Festival website.

Creative Estuary is supported by The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and led by the University of Kent on behalf of a consortium of public sector and cultural organisations.

A stack of newspapers

Subscribe to our daily Scoop.It! newsletter

Did you know that colleagues were mentioned today in the Financial Times, The Guardian, Fox News, Hindustan Times and more?

If you are interested in keeping up to date with the latest University mentions in the news, then why not subscribe to our daily Scoop.It! newsletter. Each morning we circulate a selection of coverage from around the University – a great way to keep up to date what our colleagues are working on. Our newsletter will allow you to read articles (excluding subscription publications) and listen to broadcast clips.

Last year staff, students and alumni contributed to nearly 10,000 pieces of coverage (print and online) and were heard over 2,000 times on TV & Radio.

To subscribe to the daily newsletter, simply email Karen Baxter in the Press Office.

Laptop on top of table beside a vase of flowers

Care first webinars w/c 17 May 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 17 May – Friday 21 May ) webinars are as follows:

Monday 17 May 2021 – ‘How Care first Can Support You’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Tuesday 18 May 2021 – ‘Understanding the new COVID-19 guidelines and things to consider’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Wednesday 19 May 2021 – ‘Easing of Lockdown Anxiety‘
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Thursday 20 May 2021 – ‘The benefits of Nature on our Mental Health’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Friday 21 May 2021 – ‘Things to consider when returning to the Workplace’
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 Researcher’s Week – for applied health and social care researchers

Calling all applied health and social care researchers – the Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) KSS Academy is running a Researcher’s Week from Monday 12 to Friday 16 July 2021.  Over the course of the week, there will be a varied programme of workshops and presentations from ARC KSS colleagues and external speakers in the areas of capacity building, co-production, Public and Community Involvement and Engagement (PCIE),and Implementation.

The full programme of events and booking details are available

As part of Researcher’s Week a poster competition is taking place for outstanding contributions to research.

The aim is to recognise and celebrate the contributions that applied health and social care researchers have made, over the last 12 to 18 months.

The competition is open to any applied health and social care researchers working in Kent, Surrey and Sussex including academics, health care professionals, social care professionals or anyone who works to support health and social care in our region.

Closing date is 17.00, 18 June 2021

Find out more on the NIHR website 

Catherine Mayer talk – how the pandemic has affected gender equality

As part of the University’s Belong and Grow week Catherine Mayer will be giving a talk on Monday 17 May at 10.00 ‘ titled ‘; ‘The Coronavirus Pandemic is taking Gender Equality back decades’.

Catherine will be talking about how the Pandemic has affected Gender Equality on individual and organisational level. She will also touch upon the topic of loss, grief and trauma. The talk will be about 30-40min with plenty of time for questions, comments and dialogue at the end.

How to book:

  • Log into Staff Connect
  • Go to ‘My Training Details’ à Training Requests
  • Search with the date 17/05/2021.

‘If you have any questions email

Association of University Administrators – upcoming events

Do you have an administrative job in a professional service department or academic school? If so, you might benefit from joining the AUA (Association of University Administrators).

The AUA @ Kent network is a cross-institutional group, encompassing all backgrounds, grades and levels of experience, which aims to support and enhance its members’ professional development.

Who’s who in the AUA at Kent

There are many active AUA members at Kent with different roles within the University and the nationwide AUA organisation.

AUA Advocates at Kent this year are:

  • Natalia Crisanti, Student Engagement and Communications Officer, Student Services
  • Emma Spiller, Education & Student Experience Manager, Study of Law, Society and Social Justice
  • James Redmond, Director of Operations, Division of Natural Sciences

In this unprecedented year, we’ve had to flex and grow as HE professionals, and we hope that he AUA @ Kent network will be a source of inspiration, practical ideas and support for colleagues.

Upcoming events

Here are some of the upcoming networking and learning opportunities and events available for members of the AUA @ Kent group:

Looking after your mental health – Wed 12 May 12.30 – 13.30

A brief overview of the psychological impacts of the pandemic, including those most pertinent to the HE sector. To book, visit the AUA South Network website.

AUA Conference Presentation – Thurs 27 May 12.00 – 13.15

Hear highlights from the AUA Annual Conference 2021. This will include a shortened version of one of the working sessions delivered by Kent colleagues on Think Kent Global Showcase and the GOLD programme, and perspectives from a session on Networking. Email to receive a Teams link.

HE Beyond Brexit and Pandemic: future plans – Thurs 10 June 12.30 – 13.30

Brexit, Covid-19, and the climate emergency are forcing us as a sector to review, and in some cases, reset the way we do things. To book, visit the AUA South Network website.

Reflection on pandemic working – Fri 2 July 11.00 – 13.00

This is an opportunity to discuss our experiences and learnings of the past year and think about how we’d like to develop over the coming year. Whether you joined Kent recently, changed jobs within the organisation, or had to flex your way of working to respond to changing needs, this will help reflect on the challenges and strengths we can take forward. Email to receive a Teams link

Canterbury picnic – July tbc

Informal lunchtime gathering outside Dolche Vita cafe (or an alternative location depending on weather conditions!) come and meet others and discuss how you’ve found remote working/ return to campus/ feelings on September return. Email to be included in a Doodle poll to find a date.

 Wellbeing days on Canterbury campus – Jul/August tbc

Several sessions to help staff recharge and enhance their wellbeing such as Mindfulness, Tai Chi/ yoga/ workshop on improving sleep. Email if you’re interested to be included in a Doodle poll to find a date.

Keep in touch

To join our mailing list, find out about joining the nationwide Association of University Administrators or suggest future AUA @ Kent events, please email us at

The Summer Festival of Food

The beginning of the Summer term marks the start of a brand-new food festival on the University of Kent campus.

The 6-week-long Summer Festival of Food will take place on the Registry lawn around an impressive stretch tent structure and will feature a dazzling array of street food dishes from around the world.

The festival will run from Monday 10 May to Friday 18 June, and will be open Monday to Friday, 11.30 – 14.30, and Friday evenings 18.00 – 21.00.

The Street Kitchen, Smokeworks, Canvas, and Taste of Thailand will join forces to create the ultimate multicultural foodie experience. Each week, the street food stalls will serve food from a different part of the world, meaning visitors will be able to enjoy vibrant dishes from Europe, Africa, Asia, and The Americas. There will also be a special week dedicated to Kentish cuisine, featuring Kentish Old Spot Sausages, Brogdale beef burgers, beer-battered haddock with chips, and gypsy tart.

Themed weeks:

  • 10 May – 14 May – Flavours of Europe
  • 17 May – 21 May – Flavours of Africa
  • 24 May – 4 June – Flavours of Asia
  • 7 June – 11 June – Flavours of The Americas
  • 14 June – 18 June – Flavours of Kent

On Friday evenings, visitors will be able to enjoy live music, a pop-up bar, and an outdoor cinema (on selected nights).

Screenings for the outdoor cinema will be held on the Gulbenkian lawn. Tickets must be pre-booked in advance via the Gulbenkian box office. Each ticket is for a zoned area which can accommodate up to 6 students. Food and drink can be purchased through the OnTapp app.

Friday 28 May – 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

Friday 4 June – Dazed and Confused (1993)

The Summer Festival of Food will be laid out in a socially spacious way, allowing a safe experience for everyone following all government guidelines. Visitors can keep themselves and others safe by respecting all people on site and following all guidelines/procedures that have been put in place, maintain good hand hygiene, and keep a safe distance between other households/groups throughout their visit.

Find out more by visiting the Summer Festival of Food webpage.

Oscar Films Screened at Gulbenkian from 18 May

The University’s cinema at Gulbenkian is opening again from Tuesday 18 May 2021.

From the 18, the Gulbenkian will be screening this year’s Oscar film winners:

  • Nomadland
  • Minari
  • Judas and the Black Messiah
  • Mank and Sound of Metal plus Ammonite
  • The Dig and Rocks and more.

Tickets are only £6.95 for Uni Kent Staff and £6 for Students. Go to the Gulbenkian website for full listings and tickets (note Box Office open for screenings only from 18 May so please book online).

UK Philanthropy Archive: Shirley Lecture – 13 May 2021

From UK Philanthropy Archive:

We are delighted to be holding the inaugural UK Philanthropy Archive Shirley Lecture, and even more delighted that our speaker will be Dame Stephanie Shirley CH – IT entrepreneur, philanthropist and founder of the Shirley Foundation.

An inspirational and engaging speaker, Dame Stephanie will talk about her life and experiences, her charitable interests and philanthropy. She arrived in the UK as an unaccompanied child refugee on the Kindertransport, an experience she describes as leaving her wanting to give something back to the country that became her home. After experiencing sexism and difficulty getting promoted and recognised professionally within the male-dominated IT industry in the 1960s – she went on to found a hugely successful IT software company that specialised in employing women, usually freelancers who often had caring responsibilities and worked from home.

After the sale of her company Dame Stephanie used the wealth she achieved in business to give back to society through her charitable foundation – The Shirley Foundation – which granted more than £60 million to a variety of projects before spending out in 2018. The inspiration for much of her philanthropy was initially technology after her professional interests, and later autism research, after her son Giles was diagnosed as profoundly autistic. Autism research and supporting families and children with autism to live happy and successful lives became the main focus and passion of her philanthropy over many years.

In 2019 Dame Stephanie generously donated the papers of The Shirley Foundation, as well as further archive material relating to her personal life and experiences, to Special Collections & Archives initiating the development of the UK Philanthropy Archive.

This is a not to be missed opportunity to hear from Dame Stephanie herself – so please join us next Thursday! You can book via the EventBrite webpage.

Please email Beth Astridge, Project Archivist at and let her if you would like to purchase a signed copy of one of Dame Stephanie’s books – ‘Let it Go’ and ‘So to Speak’ which will be available to order with all proceeds going to Autistica – the UK’s leading autism research charity.