Update in relation to the COVID-19 situation and University Centre Weston.

Update - 15th January 2021

Although the information published below in our previous update will continue to apply to many of our students, we are now in a position to provide limited access to campuses and facilities for identified students who are finding it difficult to work from home to enable them to access IT facilities and wi-fi.  

Students in accommodation and those who do not have access to appropriate resources will be prioritised along with other identified students.   

The Winter Gardens will be open every Thursday from 10am – 3pm.  Students can work in the library or the open area downstairs to access PCs. Creative arts students can also access Macs and appropriate software upstairs in the Winter Gardens.  

Access to facilities will be limited and in order to keep everybody safe we will require all staff and students to have taken two lateral flow tests three days apart initially and then be tested weekly before accessing any UCW/Weston College facilities. Students will need to forward their negative test to heart@ucw.ac.uk in advance and will be required to show proof of their negative test on arrival. 

Students will also need to book a place onsite by booking a computer in advance. This will need to be done by 3pm on a Wednesday using the library booking system. Again students should also send a copy of their booking to heart@ucw.ac.uk when they forward their negative results to us. 

If you but do not have the equipment you require at home but cannot come on site, or if you have a device but require specialist software, there may also be funds available to help you. If you would like more information regarding these options please email finance@ucw.ac.uk    

Please remember that if you are struggling to complete your work or are finding this lockdown difficult emotionally, your HEART team are there for you! The team are available to support you if you want to talk to someone confidentially and have a range of support available. You can contact HEART on 01934 411768 or 411403 or email heart@ucw.ac.uk 

If you have any queries, or if you haven't received the email inviting you to to work at the Winter Gardens but feel you meet the criteria, please don’t hesitate to contact us at heart@ucw.ac.uk.

Principal's update - January 2021

Dear Students,

In light of the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday 4 January, UCW is now closed to visitors, and all teaching has been moved online.

I appreciate that you will have many questions, and I am hopeful that we will have more information in the coming days where I can provide you with further clarity.  As more information is released to us we will update you via Teams, social media, and our website. 

If you have any urgent queries, or do not have access to an appropriate device for online learning or the required equipment / resources at home should please contact HEART@ucw.ac.uk to explain the situation and we will consider what additional support can be put in place on an individual basis.

You can still access all support via HEART, or the specialist support team, online via teams or you can ring 01934 411768 or 411403 or email heart@ucw.ac.uk.  Out of hours you can access a range of resources and support via Togetherall (www.togetherall.com ) If you want to talk to someone you can call Samaritan’s on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org. As always if you are concerned about your safety or someone else’s, you can also contact the safeguarding emergency number 01934 411464.   

Dr Paul Phillips CBE
Principal and Chief Executive

Principal's update - December 2020

Dear Students,

You will probably be aware through the media that the government has issued revised guidance regarding the start of the new term following the Christmas break. This guidance includes the introduction of more regular testing of staff and students as part of measures to stem the spread of COVID-19 and further enhance the safety measures that were implemented in the Autumn term.

As a result, all teaching during the first week of term – week beginning 4th January 2021 will now be online, for HE Students via your normal platform. The only exception will be where there are essential summative assessments which must be undertaken in person onsite. Most assessment will go ahead but will now be done online, the deadlines may be adjusted to enable you to have more time to prepare if that wasn’t already the intention. Any changes will be communicated to you via your tutor.

If you do not have access to an appropriate device for online learning or the required equipment / resources at home please contact HEART@ucw.ac.uk to explain the situation and we will consider what additional support can be put in place on an individual basis.

In order to continue to do all we can to protect everyone, we are asking that all staff and students take a test before accessing any UCW/Weston College facilities. We are establishing protocols for students to be tested through lateral flow testing centres at a number of our campuses. Staff will be tested during the week of the 4th January.

The Lateral Flow Antigen Test aims to identify those most at risk of spreading Covid-19 (those who are infectious, but not aware of this). By taking this test you will help to stop the spread of Covid-19 and protect our community. If you have the virus, but do not have symptoms this test will let you know, enabling you to isolate and prevent the virus from spreading to others.

This new type of test is safe and gives a trusted result within a day, it comes at no cost to you, it is self-administered and minimally invasive (swab of nose and throat). You need to have two tests three days apart. Once completed, you will leave the test centre and await your result via a text message.

If you develop any symptoms of Covid-19 (a high temperature, a new and continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) the actions are the same as usual - book a Covid-19 test through the NHS: https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test. You should also continue to report your symptoms or absence to your tutor and HEART at the first opportunity.

You can still access all support via HEART, or the specialist support team, online via teams or you can ring 01934 411768 or 411403 or email heart@ucw.ac.uk. Out of hours you can access a range of resources and support via Togetherall (a href="www.togetherall.com">www.togetherall.com). If you want to talk to someone you can call the Samaritan’s on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org. As always if you are concerned about your safety or someone else’s, you can also contact the safeguarding emergency number 01934 411464.

We are committed to ensuring that learning can continue safely and appreciate the ways you are working with us to keep everyone safe. Please continue to follow all the measures we have put in place to protect everyone. Please wear your mask in all communal areas, remember to regularly wash your hands and use hand sanitiser, follow the one-way systems in place and maintain social distancing.

Dr Paul Phillips CBE
Principal and Chief Executive

Information and support

Where can I find the latest information about coronavirus?

This continues to be an evolving situation and staff and students are asked to continue to visit and regularly check the following websites for the latest updates and guidance:

Public Health England advice

NHS 111 coronavirus service

NHS coronavirus information

What precautions should I be taking?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If you are coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. Throw the used tissue away into a bin and wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your flexed (bent) elbow.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who you know has Covid-19 symptoms and follow the latest lock down rules.

Where can I go for welfare support?

It's understandable that many of our students are feeling anxious at the moment! The UCW HEART student services is team is still available online and in the Winter Gardens from Monday to Friday 8:30am to 50m (4:30pm on Fridays) and you can contact them if you need welfare support! Please get in touch in the first instance by calling 01934 411 403 or by emailing HEART@ucw.ac.uk.

Additionally, there is so much out-of-hours support available.

If you want to talk, the Samaritans are always ready to listen - you can contact them on 116 123 or you can email jo@samaritans.org.  You can also use www.Togetherall.com to access a range of supportive advice and guidance.  

Further information