Herts Heroes: The Dean of Students' Teams
During term time there are few working environments that can compete with the University of Hertfordshire for atmosphere and variety. And you'd be hard pressed to find a campus like Hertfordshire that is such a hive of activity, especially this last term, it only seems like yesterday that we were serving up Christmas dinner to our students who could not go home for the holidays.
All this changed suddenly on 14 March 2020 and as the University buildings shut down and learning moved on-line an unwelcome hush descended on our beautiful campuses. There are two teams that have been my special Herts Heroes in the last few weeks; the Dean of Students Office teams and Security.
From the moment the Campuses started to close and staff were working from home both these teams have refused to go home, they have stayed and have worked around the clock to give front-line support, comfort and security to our students who cannot travel home, or have nowhere to go.
The Dean of Students team, including the Halls student support and our student staff-RA’s, Student Procedures, Counselling, Disability, Mental Health, Chaplaincy & Nursery Teams have not faltered in their support for the students and within 48 hours had sourced, packed and delivered over 1000 care packs to students, answered over 4000 e mail enquiries, set up an on-line community for all our students with daily activities and interactive timetables to get involved on-line.
They are delivering zoom counselling and mental heath appointments, giving advice and emotional support through this period to our students.
The Nursery team are here every day looking after the children of key workers, keeping the children and our team smiling.
At the start of these difficult last few weeks, probably the last time we were all together in one room ( for now that’s a virtual room!) a colleague observed;
“I don’t think I’ve ever been in a room with such a group of people putting everyone else’s wellbeing completely before themselves..”
All of the teams have shown enormous strength, humour, humility and big hearts, they are my heroes!