This week’s distressing news of large-scale conflict in Israel and Gaza is of significant concern to us all.

The continuing events are having a devasting impact on the region and are very upsetting, particularly for our students and staff with connections to the area or with family, friends, or colleagues within the affected region. Our thoughts are with any member of our University community who has been affected.

We do not align ourselves with any political party, or the policies and actions of any government or state. We are a community committed to a safe and inclusive environment for everyone.

For anyone worried about the ongoing situation in Israel and Palestine there are a range of support options available to both staff and students to help them at this difficult time.

Students can access support through the University’s Student Wellbeing Advisers and Mental Wellbeing Team who work with external partners to provide 24/7 support, as well as the Students’ Union.

Staff have access to CIC, our main provider of employee assistance, and they can be contacted at any time 24/7 by calling 0800 085 1376. They also have an online wellbeing portal with a range of resources (username: ‘canterburylogin’, password: ‘wellbeing’). There is more information available through Staff Wellbeing and Mental Health.

Our Chaplaincy team is also available to provide wellbeing support to all members of our University community. We will continue to ensure all our staff and students are supported as much as possible and adapt our provision as the situation develops.

The UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all but essential travel to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The FCDO has also issued advice on what to do if you have friends or family who are travelling to the region at the moment, and guidance on who to contact if you need advice or support overseas. 

We recognise that members of our University community may be anxious and upset, and that there could be strong feelings connected to these recent events. As a University we are a supportive, inclusive and compassionate international community and we do not tolerate any form of discrimination on our campuses. If you experience any discrimination, please use our Report + Support tool so that we can quickly TAKE ACTION and connect you with appropriate support within the University. Or visit our Expect Respect web pages to find out more. 

Friday Vigils of Peace

Every Friday at 1:15pm, the Chaplaincy will be hosting a silent Vigil for Peace in the University Chapel on the North Holmes Campus. All colleagues and students are welcome to attend. The Vigil lasts for 30 minutes, but people are free to come and go as they are able. This is an entirely non-political event to remember and pray for all communities impacted by violence.

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