Wellbeing in the College of Social Sciences

CoSS Wellbeing aims to create a healthier and happier workplace through improved colleague wellbeing in the College of Social Sciences.

See below for events, activities, news and tips from the Taskforce, colleagues in CoSS and the wider University.

From free lunchtime activities to sharing colleagues best practice and research, CoSS Wellbeing offers you the tools to understand and enhance your Wellbeing at work.

Sign up for our newsletter

Featured pages

Rest Bandit: Stealing Rest in a Land of Busy: 19 May 2021

RB and Sophie video playback

Watch our second CoSS Wellbeing: Rest Bandit session here.

Watch the video

CoSS Giving

Featured videos

What does mental health mean to me?
Alumni of the University of Birmingham 

Mental health and the workplace
Alumni of the University of Birmingham

Covid-19 and mental health
Alumni of the University of Birmingham

CoSS Cans not Cards

As part of this years Christmas Initatives, CoSS Wellbeing are asking you to donate Cans of food instead of sending Christmas Cards. This not only helps the enviroment but also helps charities in need. 

Please check below on the charity websites for the items each charity needs the most.


Contact Information

B30 & South Birmingham Foodbank

Webpage: https://b30.foodbank.org.uk/


Baby Aid Birmingham

Webpage: https://www.babyaidbirmingham.co.uk/


Guild of Students Community Pantry

Webpage: https://www.guildofstudents.com/support/communitypantry/


Drop off points are:

  • Alan Walters Building - Room 104
  • Education Building - Ground floor, Staff Room
  • Muirhead Tower - 2nd floor (west) 5th floor (east), 8th floor (east), 12th floor West (Jubilee Centre)
  • Park House - Ground floor Dining Room
  • University House - Atrium Reception



CoSS Wellbeing & Bereavement

As part of the COSS Wellbeing, we are keen to encourage colleagues to share their experiences of bereavement and work, to encourage colleagues to be able to understand a little more around the impact it has, how different people have felt and what really helped them, both at home and work.  

Find out more
hand hold bereavement L

CoSS @ Home

Now more than ever it's imperative to prioritise your wellbeing.

The CoSS @ Home page is a dedicated resource for stories and pictures from colleagues in the College of Social Sciences who want to share their tips, advice and experiences of wellbeing at home.

Coss @ Home


Our Approach to Workplace Wellbeing

The College of Social Sciences (CoSS) in the University of Birmingham set up a multi-disciplinary Wellbeing Taskforce in October 2018 to devise and deliver a Wellbeing Strategy with a programme of activity to improve the Wellbeing of colleagues across the College.

Find out more

Mental Health First Aid

When people feel safe to disclose mental ill health and are met with supportive responses from their organisation, they are more likely to access the services needed for recovery or management of symptoms. Mental Health First Aid forms part of the Wellbeing Strategy being developed by the Wellbeing Taskforce led by Sophie Sinclair and Dan Wheatley.
People who have completed the Mental Health First Aid training will act as a point of contact and reassurance for a member of staff who may be experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress. 

Find out more

Coronavirus wellbeing support from the University

The Univestiy recognises that this is an uncertain and worrying time for many of our staff and would like to share a number of resources to support your wellbeing during coronavirus.

Read the full article

Gardener's Corner

Gardener's Corner is a comprehensive source of tips and tricks for gardening from University of Birmingham Groundkeeper Lewis Warwick and the Wellbeing Taskforce's own keen gardener Jodie Hopewell. This page will be updated each week with new articles covering every type of garden.

Gardener's Corner


 What's happening

There are no results that match your search

CoSS Wellbeing Archive

Want to browse our back catalougue of articles, advice and resources? Visit the CoSS Wellbeing Archive.

CoSS Wellbeing Archive

Aims and objectives of the Wellbeing Taskforce

CoSS Wellbeing aims to create a healthier and happier workplace through improved colleague wellbeing in the College of Social Sciences.

From free lunchtime activities to sharing colleagues best practice and research, CoSS Wellbeing offers you the tools to understand and enhance your Wellbeing at work.

  • The Taskforce aims to successfully engage colleagues across the College in the wellbeing agenda and measure outcomes and successes
  • To enable the personal development of its members
  • To set the benchmark at UoB for best practice in wellbeing
  • To create measurable positive impact for wellbeing of colleagues in CoSS.

CoSS Wellbeing Taskforce Purpose:

  • To evidence how UoB research underpins best practice and creates organisational impact
  • To develop and deliver an initial twelve month programme of activities and supporting information resource to support improved wellbeing across the College
  •  To successfully engage colleagues across the College and measure outcomes and successes.

Who's Who in the Taskforce

The Taskforce includes academic and professional Services Staff from across the College with each School and central college services represented.

Current Members:

Elizabeth Goodyear

Workplace Wellbeing Lead

I am currently the Workplace Wellbeing Lead and joined the group as lead after many years as a member of the Women’s Network committee in various roles.  The work that has been done to date by the previous leads of the group and the team involved has been really beneficial and I am keen to ensure that we continue to make the wellbeing of colleagues in the College a priority.  Previous support and events have been identified through a research-focussed approach to the benefits of wellbeing at work and I am dedicated to following that approach.  I am currently undertaking a course in the Psychology of Kindness and Wellbeing at Work, which I am confident will bring more ideas and opportunities of ways we can support and benefit our colleagues in making their working lives more fulfilling and rewarding. (Photo of me with one of the most important things that contribute to my wellbeing!)

Ellie and Lila


Debbie Caine

HR Advisory Services

As well as having a personal interest in the topic of wellbeing, my role at the University gives me an insight into the wellbeing of staff across the College. I am always motivated to try to find ways to support staff in any way that I can, and being part of the taskforce gives me the opportunity to feed into the work being done across the College to positively influence the experience of others and to make a difference.


Ellie Macdonald

Digital Marketing and Communications Assistant, City-REDI

I am currently the communications officer for the COSS Workplace Wellbeing taskforce. I wanted to get involved with the team as I wanted to get involved in more within the university. The work the group has done previously was brilliant and I wanted to make sure that this carried on and that everyone within the college can benefit from the advice, resources and events. 

ellie macdonald

Habiba Abbad


My name is Habiba and I work as an intern within the wellbeing and student experience departments of the College of Social Sciences. I'm also a recent graduate of the university having studied my bachelor's degree in Political Science here from 2019-2023.

Intern Photo

Nora Olah

College of Social Sciences

I work in the College Hub as a senior administrator and personal assistant to multiple directors. I joined the Wellbeing team to collaborate with like-minded people who also want to make a positive impact on their colleagues’ lives. We all spend such a huge portion of our time at work and sometimes we forget to look after ourselves. I think it’s important to take a break occasionally and do something relaxing or recharging. I hope that people enjoy our events and resources,  and that it helps them take care of their physical and mental wellbeing.

Nora Photo

Paul Stephen

College of Social Sciences- Facilities


Paul Stephen1

Sarah Egan

College of Social Sciences

I have a keen interest in People and Culture and am committed to work that aims to understand and improve the staff experience at work.  I am part of the CoSS Workplace Wellbeing team as I am passionate about enabling colleagues to thrive at work through a pro-active approach to wellbeing.  I hope that by listening to staff feedback, and considering positive steps to take, the Workplace Wellbeing group can make a difference to staff wellbeing within CoSS.  

Sarah E

Vicky Glynn

College Deputy Wellbeing Manager

My name is Vickie Glynn, and I’m the College Deputy Wellbeing Manager supporting the Wellbeing Team in the Business School. Having experienced my own mental health challenges, the taskforce provides an opportunity to contribute to making positive change within the College that will support the wellbeing of staff. 



Klaudia Boguta

Research Support Officer

I am a Research Support Officer working in the College of Social Sciences, looking after a portfolio of research projects and our academics, as well as being the University’s alumna. Academically, I specialise in Big Data analytics (MSc) and Politics, Policy and Economics (BA).

As a hobby, I like to spend my time painting and creating pottery, as well as reading a good non-fiction on all matters “personal development and wellbeing". 

Klaudia Photo


Gaynor Zargar

School of Education

I work in the School of Education in the Hub team servicing the administrative needs of all of the departments.

Gaynor Photo Wellbeing


University Workplace Wellbeing

If you feel you would benefit from personalised wellbeing support, the University offers an Advice and Listening service to all members of staff. As well as a one-off consultation, you can also be referrred for professional counselling free of charge. Visit Workplace Wellbeing for more information.

All CoSS staff also have access to a number of Mental Health First Aiders who can help us understand our own mental health and recognise when a colleague is distressed or has a mental illness.

Five ways to wellbeing

In the coming months we will be introducing a variety of free, lunchtime activities for all CoSS staff based around the principles of the 5 ways to wellbeing. Below are some suggestions below of how you can introduce the 5 ways of Wellbeing into your working life.

  • Become a mentor - there are numerous opportunities across the university to share your skills and expertises with both students and colleagues.
  • Have a skill to share - whether you're a master baker or make your own honey - why not bring something handmade into the office to share with colleagues?
  • Become a School Governor - lots of Birmingham School are looking for people with expertise in areas across the University.

  • If you want to learn something new, why not try one of the University's free MOOCs - online courses on a range of topics so you can learn remotely.
  • Winterbourne is more than just a pretty place - they also run all sorts of classes and workshops teaching a range of crafts and skills!
  • We are lucky to have some amazing learning institutions right here on campus - visit the Barber Institute of Fine Arts or the Lapworth Musuem. Look out for their lunch lectures and activities or just pop in on your lunch hour.
  • If music is more your thing, attend a concert at the Bramall some of which are put on by our very own staff choir!

  • Get outside and take notice of what's around you. If you need inspiration, visit the Wildlife Trusts.
  • Winterbourne is also great for observing our beautiful surrounding - and a great spot for lunch!
  • Look out for our mindfulness courses to help you take notice of the here and now - coming soon.
Take notice

  • How about trying a walking team meeting?
  • Do people in your office have a shared sporting interest? Try setting up an informal lunchtime club - like badmington or squash.
  • If you fancy a bike ride but don't have a bike, you can hire one for free from the University.
  • UoB Sports offers one off classes that you can attend, or look out for our free yoga classes, coming soon.
  • Thought about trying running but not sure where to start? Join us in Couch to 5K.
be active

  • Some teams and departments have a monthly lunch or after work club. Though everyone might not be able to make it every time it's good to have something in the diary to catch up outside of meetings - all you need to do is send the calendar invite and suggest a place.
  • Have a skill to share - whether you're a master baker or make your own honey - why not bring something handmade into the office to share with colleagues. It doesn't just have to be edible either - make some art to brighten up the office or knit your constantly cold colleague a shawl.
  • Speaking of knitting - whether you are already working on your own craft project or you want to learn to knit, join UoB Crafts Social on Teams. All crafts are welcome.

Wellbeing logo