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Staff benefits and wellbeing update

12 May 2022

Catch up on the Making a Difference Award winners, women's health week, mental health support for you and your family and how to access discounts

Making a difference awards

The Making a Difference Awards returned in-person, with a hybrid livestream from Whitworth Hall on the 10th May. The Awards highlighted the extensive range of social responsibility initiatives of our staff, students, alumni and external partners, and covered categories such as benefit to research; widening participation; environmental sustainability and equality, diversity and inclusion. Nearly 160 amazing entries were submitted this year, with judges recognising 16 winners and 23 highly commended.

  • Details of all the winners and highly commended can be found on the social responsibility website.
  • Short films about each of our winners are available on the social responsibility YouTube channel.
  • Catch-up with the full Awards event.

Volunteer of the Year

The 10th May also marked the Volunteer of the Year Awards. Dr Florian Walter was the overall winner in the staff category. He is a Lecturer in Nursing. He volunteers for an online crisis helpline called Shout, supporting those who are struggling to cope. Florian goes above and beyond by often volunteering through the night and choosing shifts at the busiest times for the service, including at Christmas and New Year.

Women's Health Week 

It's Women’s Health Week and as part of this there has been new resources added around menopause. Our University recently announced that we are ‘Committed to being a Menopause Friendly Employer’. Our aim is that within the next 12 months we achieve ‘Accredited Menopause Friendly Employer’ status. The Menopause Friendly Accreditation is a recognised acknowledgement, by a highly qualified independent panel of judges, that an organisation is offering the right awareness, education and support. Big themes at the moment are getting help and support from GPs and HRT shortages, so visit the women’s health week page for information on getting support from your GP.

Over the coming months there will be more information shared around menopause and opportunities to attend events and provide feedback to help develop the right support. If you would like to be alerted to menopause related news stories please email and you can be added to a menopause mailing list.

Mental Health Week

Loneliness is the theme for this year’s Mental Health Week. If you or a colleague is struggling The University offers a number of mental health resources and support services.

Validium is a free to call 24/7 confidential helpline provided by an independent external provider. It offers access to support from trained counsellors and advisors who are ready to listen and provide help on everything from your emotional and physical health, mental health, relationships, managing stress and anxiety, money issues and more.

Counselling for you and your family

As well as our on campus counselling service, Validium also provide free counselling for our staff, as well as an online Wellbeing portal. The Validium service is also available to be used by your family (i.e. partners and adult children aged 16 to 23 living at the same address).

If you are experiencing relationship difficulties free couples counselling is also available. As a member of staff you and your partner (even if not an employee) would have access to the full allotment of sessions (6 sessions per annum). Adult children (16 - 23) have access to one-off, single counselling sessions provided, and they can have more than one call per year. Every call would be treated as a single session, but there is no limit per year.

Any contact you may have with any mental health support is totally confidential. The University only receives anonymised statistics showing usage of the service.


If you haven’t already registered with Vivup, simply visit and register with your university or personal email address. You will need to enter your employee/payroll number when registering - you can find this on your payslip online or front of your staff ID card. You can also access locally negotiated offers via UniDiscounts.

The video below highlights how to talk to your healthcare provider about menopause.

Further information 

Staff benefits and wellbeing