Wellbeing at Manchester: Your wellbeing - a priority
14 Sep 2021
A message from Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Banji Adewumi and Director of People and Organisational Development Adèle MacKinlay
We hope that over the summer months you have all managed to have some time off.
Over the coming weeks and months as we start the new academic year, we want to continue to enhance our services and support to you to maintain your wellbeing and keep yourself feeling good and functioning well for the tasks ahead.
In this first edition, we want to remind you of the programmes and facilities we already have in place that you can access right now to support your wellbeing.
We all know our last academic year was really challenging as the pandemic gripped us. As the UK’s largest university, with very high infection rates and earlier lockdown restrictions that remained in place over a longer period in Greater Manchester, the impacts on you and students alike have been particularly tough and complex.
And as we begin to return to campus this Autumn, to do our very best for the new academic year ahead, we’d like to begin with a number of thank you’s.
- Thank you to every member of staff for the passion, professionalism and commitment you have shown over the last year and more. The mammoth efforts to move much of our learning online almost overnight, the dedication of all those staff who remained on campus throughout, the tremendous efforts to make additional mental health services for students and staff, there are so many examples to applaud.
- Thank you to all the hundreds of staff and volunteers from across our University community who answered calls, handled queries and just did everything they could to help students, parents and supporters through the Admissions process in August. We know that Admissions is a year-round task, but that period in August can be particularly challenging and anxious for some and joyful and exhilarating for others.
- Thank you to those in every part of the University, who are now preparing for the new academic year. We recognise that our popularity, alongside better than expected A-level results, has represented a challenge for many of you – who have already worked so hard to adapt and support our students through the last academic year and more.
A commitment to wellbeing support – resources for you
We are now more aware than ever of the importance of wellbeing, whether individually or collectively. Wellbeing in part is linked to workload, and we are recruiting more staff to support areas where there is increased pressure due to the additional students we have had to take. We will continue to do all we can to help manage workloads.
In addition to this, we have listed below all the available and the existing staff wellbeing channels at your disposal:
- An overall approach to staff wellbeing
- Supporting wellbeing
- TogetherAll our 24/7 mental health helpline and Counselling service
- Fitness,wellbeing and sport
- Wellbeing rooms in the Simon building
- Our manager guidance on supporting staff returning to campus
- Practical suggestions on return to campus at our wellbeing blog
- Our Wellbeing News Feed on StaffNet which has all the latest events and activities
Looking forward, we’ll focus in more detail on topics such as the launch of our new staff and student wellbeing strategy, workload management and our hybrid working pilot. The latter is part of our ethos of creating a more flexible and inclusive future for people because we know that it can benefit us in our working and personal lives. The current pilot is taking place across Professional Services and will last until August 2022.
We are sure people are aware of this, but it is worth re-stating that it is everyone’s responsibility to look after their wellbeing both individually, and for those of you who manage teams of people, to think about, design, and embed wellbeing into your everyday practices.
Our wellbeing is vitally important and should be a fundamental feature of our thought and action, as we emerge from the pandemic and create our new patterns of work.
Oyebanji (Banji) Adewumi
Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)
Director of People and Organisational Development (OD)