Staff Welfare

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact us all, and along with the practical challenges this brings to our daily lives, it can also have a significant effect on our mental health and wellbeing. Julia, Paula and Sarah in the HR team are committed to supporting you all at this difficult time, and would like to remind you of the various welfare support currently available to all staff:

Keeping Active

  • For the avid runners, walkers or cyclists among us, why not join our BNC Strava group to record your exercises and motivate your colleagues. 
  • We are also offering yoga sessions via Zoom every Wednesday in Hilary Term from 12:30pm – 1:15pm. Please contact if you would like to sign up (a small weekly fee applies).
  • The University website is full of helpful tips for your health and wellbeing, including ‘Active Anywhere’ which provides free access to online classes to help you get moving.
  • Why not take a walk around one of the many University gardens or grounds:
    • Wytham Woods is a semi-natural woodland and home to a range plants and wildlife. This is free for all staff although a permit is needed. (The Woods is currently closed so monitor their website for further updates on an opening date).
    • Harcourt Arboretum covers 80 acres of land and entry is free for staff with a College Staff Card. Book a slot online.
    • The Oxford Botanic Garden is the oldest in Britain and entry is free for staff with a College Staff Card. Book a slot online.

Remaining Calm 

  • To help clear and focus your mind, meditation and mindfulness sessions are available through the Headspace App, which is free for all staff to download and register using your BNC email address.
  • For further relaxation, the In Equilibrium podcast recorded by Dr David Mason Brown takes you through a relaxation session, including a brief introduction, progressive relaxation, breathing and visualisation.

Staying Connected

  • The ‘I love Brasenose’ Staff Forum is a great way to stay connected and share information with your colleagues. Join us on MS Teams and get involved in the discussion.
  • You may be out of sight, but not out of mind – do join us for a virtual chat over coffee or lunch as we’d love to see you. 

Further Support

  • Our Employee Assistance Programme Care First is free for all staff and provides confidential advice, information and counselling on a range of issues. Please contact HR if you would like the login details.
  • The BBC have recently launched Headroom, a new mental health and wellbeing toolkit that includes mindful tips, discussion podcasts, and ideas to boost motivation. 
  • Oxfordshire Mind, Samaritans, and Restore are just a few of the local charities that can offer support if you are struggling with your mental health and need someone to talk to.
  • The NHS have published a number of Mental Wellbeing Audio Guides that cover range of issues, including how to cope with low mood & depression, how to control anxiety, and how to build confidence. 
  • For additional support, Talking Space Plus is a free NHS service that supports people with depression and anxiety using psychological therapies.  Contact by phone (01865 901222) or email ( for more information. 
  • Togetherall is an anonymous online support community where members can connect with others and access resources. Register for free and select “I’m from a university or college” when you sign up.
  • Omer Tariq in the Lodge has offered to provide additional welfare support for academic and non-academic staff,  and is available to talk in person or via email:  
  • There are some useful talks by the University’s Experimental Psychology department that cover a range of issues regarding mental wellness, including overcoming stress, depression and sleep problems. The series can be viewed via Youtube.
  • Everyone has a bad day from time to time! Don’t forget that there is always someone to talk to. We take it in turns to be in the HR office a couple of days a week at the moment and are available by phone and online and happy to help.