The year 2020 will be remembered as a year like no other, with one topic mainly dominating the headlines. As we look ahead to a hopefully brighter 2021, the Review of the Year 2020 reminds us that, against the odds, the University community has continued to make the world a better place over the past 12 months.
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The start of the new year can be a difficult time for many people. Add the stresses and strains of a global pandemic and it’s normal to feel utterly overwhelmed about the year ahead.
Good mental wellbeing doesn’t mean you’re always happy or unaffected by your experiences. We might use it to talk about how we feel, how well we’re coping with daily life or what feels possible at the moment.
Looking after your mental health is more important than ever, and there are lots of services within the University to support you whatever you’re struggling with. You can also find plenty of advice to help promote healthy working environments and working practices.
Friday 11 December saw staff across the University take part in the annual Christmas Jumper Day to raise money for Save the Children. Although it would normally be celebrated differently, staff dusted off their Christmas jumpers to get involved. Bulletin shares a selection of the photos here.
Like all other events this year, the annual switch on of the University Christmas tree lights went online.
On 27 November, the University Christmas tree lights in the Old College Quadrangle were officially switched on. Instead of gathering in Old College, staff, students and alumni gathered around their computers.
If you missed the virtual event, you can watch the video below. It includes a short festive message from the Principal to all students and staff, and Christmas music courtesy of A Cappella group Fourtissimo.
Edinburgh students turned the coronavirus lockdown into an opportunity to channel their creativity for a virtual art exhibition in collaboration with Google.
As part of a project with online platform Google Arts & Culture and several art schools around the world, including the Edinburgh College of Art, students were encouraged to express themselves through their art while at home during lockdown.
With campuses closed, bedrooms and living rooms became studios and creative spaces. The resulting artworks by these resilient and resourceful students produced for the aptly named project, Room with a view, offer a snaphot into a time of looking out from within as the pandemic gripped the nation.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nine million more nurses and midwives are needed to accomplish universal health coverage by 2030. A lack of resources, rising chronic illnesses and ageing populations mean we’re seeing a huge strain placed on healthcare professionals which only looks to continue to grow.
In response, WHO named 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife at the World Health Assembly in 2019. The initiative aimed to shine a spotlight on the work of nursing professionals across the globe, and encourage more funding opportunities to support them during the next 10 years and beyond.
It’s hard not to marvel at the beauty of the Old Royal Infirmary building as you walk down Lauriston Place. A key part of Edinburgh’s history, the building served as the city’s main hospital until 2003 when it moved out to Little France, now known as Edinburgh BioQuarter.
But the building’s legacy will continue once restoration work finishes and it can house the Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI). Promoting a completely multi-disciplinary approach to building courses, EFI works, not only across the University, but across the city too, drawing on partnerships in government, industry and communities to be able to make a real impact both locally and globally.
What does it mean to see, imagine and reimagine bodies? How does biomedicine and technology shape what we think of as the human body? How might this change in the future?
These are just a few of the questions Ingrid Young, Chancellor’s Fellow, Stephanie Sinclair, Public Engagement and Knowledge Exchange Coordinator, and their colleagues in the Centre for Biomedicine, Self and Society, will be exploring in their events for the Being Human festival later this November.
Stuart Tooley is Community Relations Manager in the Stakeholder Relations team. His team has been key to developing the University’s Community Plan, which launches today. Here he explains the importance of the local community and how we can get involved in the University’s commitments to our city.
For the last 18 months or more, my colleagues and I have been working on a new Community Plan for the University. That’s why yesterday’s publication of that plan, represents a big day not only for me, but the rest of the University too.
At the end of a long, difficult week at work, do you put away your laptop, stretch out on the sofa and pick up your knitting needles? Do you spread out your pencils and sketchbooks? Do you fire up the sewing machine? Or do you switch on the TV and tell yourself you’ll try it tomorrow instead? You’re just not feeling inspired tonight.
One thing we’ve seen from this pandemic is that with all this extra time on their hands, people are reconnecting with their creativity. As we prepare to go into another kind of lockdown, and the long, cold winter months stretch out ahead of us, tapping into your creative side could be hugely beneficial. But being ‘creative’ can come with pressures, and it can be daunting to take the first step. So where to start?
Fewer than one per cent of university professors in the UK are black. Even fewer are black women. After the events that took place earlier this year, it’s clear that changes need to be made.
We’re all well aware this has been a difficult year. As we approach the winter months, many of us may be feeling that the prospect of six more months of stress and uncertainty is too overwhelming to even think about. There are many different ways we can learn to recognise and safeguard our mental wellbeing over the next few months.
Our Chaplaincy team have built a new programme to help our community manage and protect their mental health and wellbeing. The Abundant Academy courses will run across two semesters and are open to all staff and students. While a small donation is needed for the core programme, there are alternative payment options available.
Here Revd Dr Harriet Harris, University Chaplain and Head of the Chaplaincy Service, explains a bit more about the programme.