Your ideas improve staff welfare









In April 2018 the Staff Forum was granted funding, to seek and implement ideas from all colleagues, to improve staff welfare across the University. We received 51 ideas, 49 of which were eligible for consideration.

A working group of 6 Employee Representatives was established to agree how submissions should be structured and how colleagues could easily submit them. The campaign ran for 3 weeks with a deadline for submissions of 18th May 2018.

The Staff Forum is hugely grateful for the submissions colleagues made. We will continue to support colleagues in bringing their great ideas forward.

Thank you.


Welcome to Get Together - Staff Forum Project 5Get Together

The first ‘Get Together’ event was held on May 2nd. Proposed by Karen Thomas, idea number 37, originally entitled “Free Coffee Friday” was proposed:

” … Free coffee between 10-11.30 during certain months for a get together. The idea is around getting people together and talking / networking with other groups within the University. We get the free coffee to be hosted around a mental health or other communal idea / benefit.”

Staff Forum and the University Executive Board agreed this would hugely beneficial sand the idea was developed in late 2018 through talking with Heads of Schools and Function, in consultation with the Staff Forum.  Based upon colleagues feedback, ‘Get Together’ will focus upon the interests and topics that staff want to discuss.

Project 7 – Social Hub

Inspired by two submissions, ideas 41 & 11, Social Hub is currently in development. It will be an online web based resource for staff highlighting the current existing social activities and clubs at the University and to inspire colleagues to start new local events.

We are investigating the possibility of finding spaces for staff to relax and have more social meetings during the working day too.


Outside the Hopkins building & Chemistry building and outside the IT, Harry Nursten and Maths building

Project 3 – Additional outdoor facilities for staff

Works are due to begin in early May upon two areas that will be landscaped and new picnic benches installed. Both areas will have 4 new tables and the locations will be either paved or use reclaimed materials from around the University.

Dig permits have been obtained and we will update and announce these new facilities when they are ready for spring 2019.

Project 4 – Parent Friendly Facilities

The first dedicated parent friendly facilities will shortly be appearing on campuses across the University.

Having crested the specification for the facilities with Nicola Hall & Ellen McMannus-Fry who proposed ideas 17 & 27, both expectant and returning mothers will find these spaces, created by colleagues with previous experience, to support their needs.

Confirmed locations:

  • Early Gate – Meteorology building
  • WhiteKnights – The Library
  • London Road – TBC
Project 6 – Support You

Proposed by Louise Crompton, idea 15 sought to improve both the physical and mental health of staff. The Well-being Project Group (part of the People Plan) were seeking to achieve the same aims.

Staff Forum and the Well-being Project Group are now working together to make this happen. Employee Representatives are standing members of the Project Group lead (Claire Rolstone) to bring about improvements through  5 steps to Well-being:

Connect – Give to Others – Be Active – Keep Learning – Take Notice

Projects 1 & 2 – Improved access and outdoor seating in areas of the University.

Four separate ideas (1, 6, 31 & 46) all requested improved outdoor seating or access to areas.

Works were proposed for the Harris Gardens but upon review, Professional colleagues were able to show that recent improvement has been made. Further works were proposed but necessitated the removal of trees which transpired not to be feasible.

As alternatives, improvements to the pathways around WhiteKnights Lake to compliment new benching were agreed.

At present, arrangements regarding access around the lake area are being reviewed. As such, the plans and quotations obtained are being paused.

Ideas for projects

Two themes emerged from submissions: requests to make more use of campus grounds and events & activities to meet with colleagues, feeling part of a larger community.

Insight gained in discussions with University partners from Human Resources and Estates & Facilities, indicated that some ideas were: already in progress, do not require funding or able to be realised faster and easier in other ways. Approximate costs and feasibility questions were also discussed and answered. Following this meeting, the shortlist was shared with all Employee Representatives for consultation.


Having presented recommendations to the University Executive Board, 7 projects comprising of 13 separate submissions received funding. The combined indicative cost of these will be £75,000.

As funding decisions have only recently been taken, until more in-depth discussions are held between colleagues who proposed the idea and those supporting its realisation, giving specific details now could be misleading.


Criteria for Recommendation

The working group assessed all eligible ideas using five criteria, assigning a score of 1 (low) to 5 ( high) for each.

  • Value for money
  • Innovation
  • Ease of implementation
  • Number of staff that may benefit
  • Longevity of the project

Criteria were created and agreed ahead of the submission deadline.

Proposer’s names were omitted during scoring. Scores were averaged across the 6 Employee Representatives. Where potential conflict of interest may have occurred with an individual in the group, the idea was scored by a third party using the same criteria.

This process produced a shortlist of 25 ideas. Recommended projects to improve staff welfare comprised of ideas from the shortlist. The majority of recommended projects comprise of similar, separate ideas.