A message from Simon
The pool as you’ve never seen it before
The Sport & Fitness team have been carrying out weekly maintenance and testing. Last week, however, they embarked on some essential pool work too.
This included lifting the floor of the pool to keep the water warm and stop the development of bacteria. Here’s Lucy standing on it!
The team also worked on strengthening the boom for new lane fixtures, meaning new lane configurations will be available to members when the pool reopens. It’s all part of their ongoing work to make sure the whole of Sport & Fitness is ready to reopen without delay, as soon as it’s appropriate to do so.
Thank you, team!
Conferences & events keep delivering
Events may have been cancelled on campus until 1 September, but the Conferences & events team have been looking to the future. The team have successfully postponed many planned events, securing important income for the University.
They’ve also brought in lots of exciting new events, including:
- Digital Health Conference July 2021 – planned to take place in Warwick this summer, and now being held with us next year
- BISS July 2021 and July 2022 – residential course
- World Blind and Visually Impaired Games August 2023 – creating a complete Games Village for around 1500 athletes over 6 to 10 days for this major international event
Meanwhile, the team have been collaborating with colleagues to develop options for virtual and hybrid conferencing, and making plans for socially-distanced venues.
Accommodation team stay busy
Although many of the Accommodation Services staff are working from home, lots of us are still here to look after the students still in residence.
Claire’s working at the Vale reception, answering lots of calls from parents and students who are at home, and handling phone and email enquiries from students on campus.
Claire’s Netflix rec: Afterlife series 1 and 2 – ‘very funny but with a sad side to it’.
Sheila’s working at Jarratt Hall. Here she’s litter picking: no matter what’s going on in the outside world, we always want to keep the students’ living space clean and keep standards high.
Sheila’s lockdown hope: to get back to normal before her Amazon shopping gets out of control and she orders a hot tub.
This is Melodie at Pritchatts Park. Organising the store cupboard is one of those things she never has time to do – until now.
Melodie’s wish: to get back to playing Ultimate Frisbee. ‘It’s like American Football but with a Frisbee. Google it!’
Nurseries celebrate VE Day
Our nurseries teams continue to provide care for key workers’ children at The Elms Hub, with teams working through closed days and Bank Holidays.
They celebrated the early May VE Day holiday with lots of red, white and blue crafts, and a picnic in the sunshine!
Families at home also joined in with their own picnics.
The Elms Hub children have also created this cheerful rainbow of support for our NHS, which has been put up on campus by the maintenance team.
Starbucks’ Mermaids cookie makes a splash
Before restricted operations came into force, individually-decorated Mermaids cookies were available to buy at both Starbucks stores at the University of Birmingham as part of their #whatsyourname campaign.
The charity Mermaids provides vital support services to the transgender community and their families, and has seen a 600% increase in demand for its helpline service in the past five years. Starbucks aimed to raise at least £100,000 for the Mermaids helpline, with 50p donated from the sale of every special-edition Mermaid cookie.
On campus, we sold 218 of the cookies. This meant a donation of £109, which Mermaids were delighted to receive.
Garden tips from Winterbourne
Are you spending more time in your garden thanks to lockdown?
Why not get the advice of Winterbourne’s professional gardening team? Join the weekly Ask a Gardener chat on Twitter and Facebook to get bespoke advice. Or subscribe to the newsletter for regular tips on what garden jobs to do at this time of year, direct to your inbox.
Staying safe online
An increasing number of spam and fraudulent emails are being sent in the UK, exploiting the pandemic to scam individuals and businesses. Visit the National Cyber Security Centre for advice to help protect businesses and keep families secure online.
We are staying together by meeting online instead. However, some have experienced unwanted guests joining in and causing disruption on sites like Zoom.
Read the step-by-step security guidance for online meetings - PDF (1.73MB)
Unfortunately, hate crimes still occur during times like these. If you experience a hate crime, online or in person, then please report it to West Midlands Police as soon as possible.
Our young people are also spending a lot more time online during the lockdown. Find advice online about what to look out for to protect them from extreme ideas, or read this parents’ guide.
Parents’ guide to identifying extremism - PDF (659KB)
The view from campus
One positive side effect of restricted operations: wildlife! This is particularly noticeable at night, when a cohort of badgers emerge and roam fearlessly through the streets.
There have also been sightings of foxes, badgers, voles and squirrels whilst Security carry out their night-time patrolling routine.
In the daytime sunshine, campus continues to look beautiful, with spring flowers everywhere.