The gardens at Winterbourne remain open during this period of national restriction and UoB staff are entitled to free entry on production of their staff ID card.
This year, Winterbourne House and Garden took over responsibility for the University Herbarium, a collection of endangered plant specimens dating from the early 1800s to the mid-20th century. The correspondence associated with this collection tells an important story about early plant collecting, and thanks to an intern recruited through the College of Arts and Law Experience Arts Scheme, we have been able to explore that story in depth. Work is now underway on an exhibition.
If you’re starting to think about Christmas gifts – look no further. Winterbourne gift memberships start at just £32 a year and include unlimited access, two seasonal Members Magazines plus 10% off plant sales. Visit https://www.winterbourne.org.uk/support-us/membership/ to find out more.
At the start of November, the catering team took time to deliver approximately £5,000 worth of food stock to a local food bank in Northfield.
During half term, The Oaks Day Nursery also supported Northfield Food Service, providing lunch and tea meals to support their school meals campaign. The team also collected food for both Northfield and Quinton food banks for their Harvest Collection, filling two shopping trolleys of food and easy meals.
The campus will welcome athletes and spectators during the 2022 Commonwealth Games, from 28 July to 8 August 2022. The hockey and squash competitions will take place in Sport & Fitness and on the outdoor pitches, and The Vale will be used as the main athlete village, hosting over 2,800 guests.
The University was also recently announced as an official partner of Birmingham 2022, creating opportunities for volunteering for staff and students. You can keep up to date on the latest news via a dedicated intranet page.
Security Services took part in Welcome Week this year, offering Crime Prevention tips and free D-locks to the students.
Bike theft remains the focus of crime in the area at the moment, so if you’re still cycling to campus make sure you register your bike with the Bike Register.
In the mean time the security team have been busy patrolling campus and ensuring that visitors, staff and students embrace our new COVID secure culture; working with colleagues from Student Services and Community Wardens to provide a safe student experience during this difficult time.
Security Services will continue to offer 24h a day support throughout national restrictions, Christmas and beyond.
During the second period of national restrictions, Sport & Fitness launched a Home Workout Hub for members to access previously-recorded classes and workouts. So far, there’s been a great uptake with over 1000 members accessing the exclusive footage.
During this last term, the team have supported students with 775 complimentary self-isolation grocery boxes. These food boxes have been delivered to students who have either reported symptoms of Covid-19 or have had to self-isolate due to a house mate reporting symptoms.
Staff from Catering, Accommodation, Events and Sport have gone above and beyond in their delivery of multiple daily food packages, wellbeing support and a Canvas-based Home Workout Hub, accessible for students who have had to self-isolate in accommodation. The innovative and pioneering spirit of the teams to get these projects designed, executed and delivered has been inspiring.
The Elms and Oaks Day Nurseries have both achieved the Platinum Just Quality Accreditation this month; an award-winning programme which helps nurseries to demonstrate, through evaluation and reflection, the positive impact they make on children’s lives.
The Elms Day Nursery has also been shortlisted in the Initiatives - Team Development Award category of the Nursery World Awards, which will take place in February; and the Mapleshas achieved the award of an Attachment and Trauma school, meaning they are able to better support children who have experienced trauma, toxic stress and attachment difficulties, who will have more emotional and mental health needs.
Keeping the seasonal spirit alive, Winterbourne donated almost 100 pumpkins to the Oaks Day Nursery and the children had a fabulous week of pumpkin trails.
Opening in September 2021, The Exchange – the University’s new city centre venue – will bring together the city of Birmingham to shape ideas and solutions that will make our cities and regions better places in which to live, work and learn.
There will be an all-staff briefing on 3 December at 11am, where you will be able to see a virtual tour of the redevelopment of the former municipal bank in Centenary Square and learn how The Exchange will use the University’s research and teaching to create a place of curiosity, celebration, collaboration and change. Keep an eye on your emails for registration details.
University train station
The proposed new University train station will provide flagship facilities to accommodate future rail passenger growth and act as a fitting gateway to the world class hospitals and University campus.
Including a new station building, toilets and shop, the redevelopment will be able to host over 7 million passengers a year, compared to the current 500,000 capacity in the existing station that dates from 1978. Construction is set to commence in the New Year.
Cycle to work scheme
The new Cycle-to-Work scheme opened in October 2020 offering members of staff a new bike and equipment worth up to £3000, and the opportunity to make large tax and NI savings via a salary sacrifice.
Find out how the scheme works, eligibility criteria, and how to order on the HR intranet. All ordering, whether from your local bike shop or direct from Cycle Solutions, the scheme provider, is done via the university’s dedicated landing page.
Ceri Griffin, our Cycle Solutions account manager, can support with any questions you may have - contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Voluntary Leavers Scheme (VLS)
This year has been unlike any other, and one of the results of these changes has been the introduction of the Voluntary Leavers Scheme. This scheme will see a number of our valued and dedicated colleagues finishing their time with us towards the end of this year. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have applied for the scheme, for their ongoing support and commitment to their roles with us. We wish you all the best with your future plans.
Campus Services staff should continue to undertake a number of mandatory training courses, to ensure that we are up to date with the basic health and safety knowledge and processes at the University. Including courses such as GDPR and IT security, all courses are available on Canvas – you just need your University login and password to access.
We are pleased to be shortlisted at the CUBO Awards 2020 in the Best Campus Experience category. The award winners will be announced on Thursday 3rd December as part of the Winter Conference.
The Edgbaston Park Hotel was also a finalist in the recent Conference & Hospitality Show Awards for Independent Hotel of the Year.
Congratulations to everyone involved.
The Conference & events team have launched a series of virtual and hybrid event packages, which mean that they can continue to support customers with meetings and events, despite the ongoing national restrictions. You can find out more via this short film.
Thanks to Stewart Turner from the catering team, for the following Christmas themed recipes.
Roasted butternut squash soup
Flavoured with pancetta and parmesan
- 1.6 kg butternut squash
- 20ml olive oil
- 50g butter
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- 1 large carrot, roughly chopped
- 1 stick of celery, roughly chopped
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 1g ground nutmeg
- 1g ground ginger
- 2 springs thyme
- 940ml vegetable stock, hot
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 40g toasted pumpkin seeds
- 20g chopped flat leaf parsley
Finely grate onto a non-stick tray and bake in the oven at 200 degrees until golden, remove from the oven and allow to cool, then using a spatula scrape from the tray breaking into shards.
On a lined baking tray place 2 thinly sliced pancetta and cover with parchment paper and another baking tray so the slices are completely flat. Bake in the oven at 200 degrees until the pancetta is crispy, around 15-20 mins. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on kitchen roll. Once cool break up into shards.
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.
- Slice the ends off the butternut squash. With a flat surface on the bulb end, stand the butternut squash on end and carefully slice it in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to remove the seeds.
- Transfer the butternut squash to a baking tray cut side up, coat with oil and sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 60 minutes, whilst this is in the oven carry on with the following steps.
- In a hot pan melt the butter. Add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic cook until softened and lightly coloured, stirring occasionally. Add the spices and cook for a further minute.
- Add the vegetable stock and simmer until all the vegetables are soft.
- Remove the butternut squash from the oven. Once it is cool enough to handle, use a large spoon to scoop out the flesh and add to the rest of the ingredients.
- Transfer to a blender keeping back some of the stock. Blend until smooth; add more of the remaining stock until you achieve your desired consistency.
- Taste the soup and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Pour the soup into bowls and garnish with pumpkin seeds, parsley, crispy pancetta and parmesan.
Norfolk turkey and red wine casserole
Norfolk turkey braised in red wine, roasted shallot, carrot and sprouts with buttery mashed potato.
- 500g floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper or Desiree
- 75g butter, cut into cubes
- 75ml milk or double cream
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 700g Diced Norfolk turkey (leg and breast)
- 1 bottle red wine
- 500ml fresh chicken stock
- 15 round shallots, peeled
- 15 fresh sprouts, cut in half
- 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
- 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- Thyme leaves
- Black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- Butter, for frying
- 150g Pancetta, cut into thickly diced cubes
- 15 large button mushrooms, cut in half
- 100g plain flour, seasoned with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Pre heat an oven to 180oc
- Bake the potatoes until soft
- In a pan bring the milk or double cream to the boil and remove from the heat
- Carefully remove from the oven and split in half
- Scoop out the potato, put through a potato ricer into a bowl (or use a masher if you don’t have a ricer)
- Add the butter to the potato and gently fold the butter into the potato
- Slowly fold in the warm milk or double cream until desired consistency
- Adjust seasoning to taste
- Dip the turkey into the seasoned flour, shaking off the excess.
- Heat a large pan or flameproof casserole and add a knob of butter and brown the turkey pieces on all sides. Remove the turkey and set aside.
- Add the pancetta and lightly brown then remove it from the pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, keeping them separate cook the mushrooms, sprouts and shallots for a few minutes until they colour then remove them from the pan and set aside.
- Turn down the heat add the garlic gloves and gently soften.
- Return the turkey, pancetta, mushrooms and shallots to the pan.
- Add the carrot and celery along with the thyme and bay leaf.
- Pour in the red wine and simmer until reduced by half.
- Add the chicken stock and simmer with a lid on for one hour.
- Add the sprouts to the pan.
- Let the casserole rest for about 15 minutes then add the parsley.
- Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Serve with buttery mashed potato.
Spiced rum and honey glazed clementine milk tart with ginger shortcrust pastry
For the filling
- 9 large organic egg yolks
- 75g caster sugar
- 500 ml whipping cream
- 25ml spiced rum
- 1 whole nutmeg, for grating
For the sweet shortcrust pastry
- 230g plain white flour, sifted with a pinch of salt
- 150g softened unsalted butter, diced
- 75g icing sugar
- 10g ground ginger
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 1 medium organic egg beaten with 1 medium organic egg yolk
- Plus: 2 medium organic egg yolks, lightly beaten, to glaze
For the garnish
- 4 clementines, peeled and sliced
- 20g clear honey
For the pastry
- On a clean work surface, add the flour, icing sugar, ginger and orange zest and form a well in the middle.
- Add the beaten egg and butter to the well and combine together until it looks like scrambled egg.
- Using a pallet knife gently chop the flour and butter together until start to form a dough.
- Gently shape it into a ball, flattening slightly, then wrap tightly in clingfilm, and refrigerate for 2 hours before using. The pastry is very fragile, and handles best when well chilled.
- Heat the oven to 170⁰ C fan (190⁰ C/gas 5).
- Line a large roasting tray with non-stick baking parchment. Place a buttered 18 x 3.5cm pastry ring (or loose-bottomed tart tin) in the centre.
- Roll out the pastry about 3mm thick; use to line the ring, letting the surplus hang over the top. Chill for another half an hour.
- Cover the pastry with 4 layers of clingfilm in a crisscross about twice the length of the pastry. Pour in rice making sure that the rice is at the edge of the pastry, fold over the excess cling film to enclose the rice.
- Bake the pastry case blind for 15 -20 minutes until it starts to turn golden brown. Remove the paper and rice, and brush the inside of the party case with the egg yolks. Return to the oven to bake for 5 minutes. Leave to cool.
For the filling
- Turn the oven down to 130⁰ C fan (150⁰ C/gas 2).
- Next, make the filling. Put the egg yolks and sugar into a bowl whisk to combine.
- Pour in the cream, mix well and then strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a heavy pan. Warm over a low heat to blood temperature (37⁰ C), stirring all the time. Put in a jug.
- Put the cooled pastry case, still in the ring, on the parchment-lined tray, on the middle shelf in the oven. Slowly and carefully, pour in the custard, filling the case as full as you can - right to the very top.
- Grate nutmeg liberally all over, to cover the custard completely.
- Bake the tart for 45-50 minutes until the custard looks set but not firm - it should have a slight, even quiver across the top when you gently shake the roasting pan.
- Leave to cool to room temperature.
- Place the sliced clementine on an oven tray.
- Gently warm the honey and coat the sliced clementine.
- Using a blow torch or very hot grill scorch the clementine.
- Carefully trim the excess pastry and remove the ring.
- Cut into neat wedges with a sharp knife; serve with honey-glazed clementine slices.