Be Connected

Connecting with people, feelings of closeness, being values by others, is a basic human need. Social relationships are critical for promoting wellbeing and for acting as a buffer against mental ill health for people of all ages. Positive relationships can help you to build a sense of self-worth, a sense of belonging, opportunities to share experiences, gain and give emotional support.

Covid-19 has meant that we have had to try and connect with people in new ways, which is not easy, but vitally important for our wellbeing. There are lots of groups, networks, societies and clubs at the University, shown below, and beyond, that you can join to make new connections and improve your wellbeing. A lot of these are still operating digitally in some way.

Realte have some tips about staying connected with people during this global epidemic.

If you feel like joining something is too large a step for you at the moment, you can also make small changes in your life which can help you connect or re-connect to people at work and at home.

Small steps….

  • Take time each day to connect with your family or friends
  • Arrange to catch up with friends or a colleague you haven’t see for a while
  • Think about how technology affects your wellbeing- check out wellbeing apps, or search for an online community.
  • Pick up the phone! It's easy to get into the habit of only ever texting, messaging or emailing people

Please contact the Wellbeing Work Group if you have more wellbeing related staff networks to add staffwellbeing@lancaster.ac.uk thank you.

You can also connect with staff and students from Lancaster University Social Media.

Groups and Networks

Disabled Employee Network

If you would like to be involved in the Disabled Employee Network and have your say on how to improve services for staff with disabilities across Lancaster University, or have any questions about the network, email the network.

There is also guidance from the Government's Disability Confident in relation to Access to Work and mental health during COVID-19:

  • Access to Work: In recognition of the challenges of COVID-19, the new Access to Work Blended Offer includes a package of home working assistance which can be blended into support in the workplace. There’s also a mental health offer for people returning to work after a period of furlough or shielding. The Blended Offer may also be able to assist with support to travel to work for those who may no longer be able to safely travel by public transport due to disability. Find out more about Access to Work during COVID-19.
  • Mental health during COVID-19: NHS Every Mind Matters offers advice on subjects like working from home and loneliness, as well as stress and anxiety strategies and top tips for a better night’s sleep. The employerhelp website also has a section on health and wellbeing. Employees with a mental health condition can also access confidential advice and support as part of the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service. Find out more about the Service by visiting: Able Futures or Remploy.

Menopause Group

Members of the Lancaster University Women’s Network have formed a new group to raise awareness and develop a policy for the University on the Menopause. Contact Pam Pickles to find out more.

Lancaster University Race Equality Network

The Lancaster University Race Equality Network (LUREN), is a supportive and grassroots activist network of BAME and non-BAME staff and students at Lancaster University. Members of the Network coordinate various projects around decolonisation, awareness-raising of attainment and pay gaps, the Race Equality Charter and Black History Month. If you are interested in being involved, please contact Miranda Barty-Taylor, or you can find LUREN on Facebook to keep track of upcoming events and information.

Parents’ and Carers’ Network

Lancaster University Parents’ and Carers’ Network (PCN) is a support network for all staff who count themselves as a parent or carer. We are a self-run network, started in Summer 2019, and provide an opportunity for parents and carers to share experiences and provide support to each other. We currently meet informally once a month, alternating days to accommodate different working patterns. Upcoming events are listed on the Staff Intranet Events page. Network members can join our Microsoft Team to communicate outside of meetings. Contact us if you’d like to join either our Microsoft Team or our mailing list - and check out the new PCN website for more information and resources.

If you need help now, see have a look at this page for some options.

Specialist Support

You can also access a huge range of specialist local, national and global specialist support to help improve your wellbeing. Our Wellbeing Work Group links up with organisations to highlight additional support that staff can access. Please see our Specialist Support page for more details and get in touch with the Wellbeing Workgroup if you have more to add.

You can also be referred to Occupational Health by your line manager.

Five Ways to Wellbeing

Find out about the other pathways to wellbeing below to improve your wellbeing:

Five Ways to Wellbeing