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UCC Colleagues Respond To Covid-19

Updated: Apr 3, 2020

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) the #Covid19 Outbreak is a global crisis not seen since World War II. University College Cork (UCC) has responded strongly with lectures, examinations as well as administrative and technical support moving fully online in very short order.

Despite the enormity of this crisis, we can, individually and collectively make a difference. The following blog post is comprised of supportive information posted by UCC colleagues over the last three weeks on UCC's internal email system. I would like to thank colleagues for all the information they provided, which can hopefully assist both those working within the 'UCC Family' as well as the wider community that UCC seeks to serve & support ~ GH

Supportive Network For Family Carers

I wish to draw your attention to the support link for family carers (see below), which was kindly brought to our attention by a member of staff.

This may it be of interest to UCC staff and students who care for family members, particularly those impacted by CoVid19. At present, the forum has over 700 members and is moderated by trained psychologists, counsellors and former carers. It contains a lot of practical information for carers at this time. It is particularly important as many supports e.g. respite services have changed and may even have ceased during the challenging times we all find ourselves in.


Source: Dr Emer Clifford, Senior Executive Assistant, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Unit, UCC


Free Online Learning

In light of the Covid19 situation, LinkedIn Learning - the online training resource from LinkedIn is currently offering a number of its professional development online resources free to professionals. Just some of the 16 titles include:

  • Time Management-Working from home

  • Managing stress for postive change

  • Building Resilience

  • Productivity Tips: Finding your productive mindset

A contents section is provided for each module. They can be viewed in full or you can choose sections of most interest/relevance to you. This is an excellent and very flexible resource well worth checking out.


Source: Anne Gannon, Mary (Niamh) Horgan & Grace Conway, Staff Wellbeing & Development Team,UCC


This ‘National Emergency Library’ is offering free online access to 1.4 million books


Source: Marian Caulfield, Skills Centre tutor, UCC


Coursera is an online learning resource which collaborates with 190+ leading universities & companies worldwide and has over 45+ million learning via their platform. At one's own pace, one can enhance one's skills with courses, certificates and degrees at affordable rates.

They have just made a selection of their wellness courses completely free during COVID-19. From de-mystifying mindfulness to understanding the science of happiness, they have developed a central learning resource which offers between now and 31 May 2020 a selection of well-being programmes absolutely free and available to you.

This is a unique opportunity to avail of this free resource for a limited period of time. Your discount will be applied at checkout.


Source: Anne Gannon, Mary (Niamh) Horgan & Grace Conway, UCC Staff Wellbeing & Development Team, UCC



Amazon is expanding its remote working section. If you know of someone who is tech savvy, has an internet connection and is available for remote work, then they may be interested in applying.

For further information please visit the link below.


Source: David Murphy, School of Computer Science & IT, UCC


Financial Assistance

People remote working can claim tax relief for lighting, heat and broadband.


Source: Jao Costa, Lecturer, School of Education, UCC

General Interest

In these days of self-isolation, I thought I would share this blog with you of two woman who decided to spend more than 6 months in a small cabin in Svalbard (inside the Arctic circle). They are living autonomously there, carrying out citizen science projects and pretty much testing the limits of endurance. The blog entry below reflects on the crisis the rest of the world in now facing and is of interest to us all. Enjoy.


Source: Neil Dwyer, Deputy Director, Coastal & Marine Research Centre, UCC


If you would like to buy chemical-free vegetables from Eddie and Caroline Robinson this Saturday you could choose from the lit below and send an order to by Thursday evening. This will let us know how much we need to pick on Friday and help reduce waste and get everybody what they want.

The pickup point would be 'Siopa gan Ainm' on the Coal Quay on Saturday from 8am to 12pm. If you have any extra 'Bags for life' please donate them to us as we don't want to buy anymore plastic!

All items cost 2.50 euros.

Purple sprouting broccoli, Spring tips ( like broccoli but off a sprouting cabbage), Kale tips, Red Russian kale, Mandalay kale, Thousand head kale, Green curly kale, Spinac, Rainbow chard, 2 kg Connect potatoes (white floury), Parsnips, Salad Leaves, Winter purslane, Baby spinach, Baby kale, parsley - only curly, coriander, stir-fry geens, Endive lettuce [bitter but nice chopped with onions and salad dressing and stirred into hot mashed potato]

Source: Kathy Glavanis-Grantham, UCC


Jack Ma’s Alibaba foundation invited many frontline doctors in China to write a handbook to share some experiences on preventing and treating #Covid19 in China. I think this would be very useful for all of you.


Source: Guangbo Hao, Senior Lecturer, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Dept, UCC


St Fin Barre’s Cathedral needs your help, and all it takes is a click. The cathedrals is trying to get 1000 subscribers on its YouTube channel so it can live stream services and music from a mobile device. As someone who live streams for a local parish, I know how essential streaming is as a means of outreach to those in the community. All you need to do is go to: Link: and subscribe.

Source: Simon Woodworth, BSc, MSc PhD, Director, Health Information Systems Research Centre, Researcher, Centre for Resilience and Business Continuity, UCC

Charity Sector

Cork comedian, Tadhg Hickey has come up with a novel way to raise funds.


Please give what you can, to help Pieta House with their important work in suicide and self-harm prevention.

Source: Eoin O’Sullivan, Audio Visual Media Services, IT Services, UCC


Breakthrough Cancer Research

As a cancer research charity this is an unprecedented time and so many of our clinical cancer collaborators are at the forefront of the current situation and so many of our cancer community are particularly worried. And yet we have to find ways to keep going in a new normal. Like many charities all events and gatherings are cancelled and we have to develop new ways to keep research moving forward in an exceptional situation, so the treatments we are developing don't get delayed.

So embracing the Lockdown we have launched, The Race That Nearly Wasn’t and are asking people to sign up to do 2km a day for 20 days in April. Allowing people to do something individually but as a collective and within all the necessary guidelines and current restrictions. It's a Virtual Race recorded on a free app which will record your distance whether you are doing laps of the house, your garden or venturing out but within the 2km limit. It’s a way we can all stay active, with a small daily goal because exercise is vital for cancer prevention, as well as our mental well-being.

So please click on the link above or image below to find out more and help raise funds for cancer research, even while we fight this virus. Join us and many others, challenge yourself and others to do the same ~ Orla Dolan, CEO, Breakthrough Cancer Research


Source: Dr John Mackrill, Physiology Department, UCC


Health & WellBeing

Here is a link to a useful HSE resource – it is targeted at Healthcare professionals, but relevant to us all in managing our emotional response to unprecedented circumstances.


C Check the facts

A – Accept and acknowledge current emotions

L – Let go of judgement

M – Mindfully manage response


Source: Dr. Michele Hill, Consultant Psychiatrist, Student Health Department, UCC


The Mountain meditation by Jon Kabat Zinn is a helpful practice to ground and steady ourselves in times of change or uncertainty. This short practice is an easy introduction practice for teenagers and children. Link:

Source: Maura O’Neill, Student Wellbeing Coordinator, UCC


Five ways to care for yours mental health during the Covid 19 outbreak


Source: Maura O’Neill, Student Wellbeing Coordinator, UCC

UCC WellBeing Page


HSE Minding Your Mental Health


Source: Anne Gannon, Mary (Niamh) Horgan & Grace Conway, Staff Wellbeing & Development Team, UCC



Check out the Examiner’s excellent article Mindfulness for Children: 3 easy exercises to try with your kids. As with all Mindfulness practices, repeating any or all of these simple actions with your children daily will strengthen the effect of the practice,as well as offering a lovely shared experience.

Bangor University’s Centre For Mindfulness Research and Practice has a wealth of online resources to try at home.

UCC introduction to Mindfulness:

UCC Student Wellbeing Page:

Source: Maura O’Neill, Student Wellbeing Coordinator, UCC


Working From Home With Kids

For anyone who may be interested, especially those working from home with the kids. This 2-minute cartoon is an excellent resource for explaining COVID-19 and social isolation to our young people. It’s written by UCC nursing graduate, Gail Condon; and voiced by our daughter, Rosie.


Source: Dr Michael Carter, Infant Centre Dept of Paediatrics and Child Health CUH, Wilton, Cork

For UCC Staff Only

New UCC Online Platform/Workvivo

We are delighted to be rolling out the internal communications platform, Workvivo, to all UCC staff today. We hope that Workvivo will play a role in supporting you to keep connected, keep working and keep well.

We encourage you to log on to Workvivo from today ( using your UCC work e-mail and password. You can also download the Workvivo App on your Apple iOS and Android mobile devices from the App Store and Google Play.

Through Workvivo, you can:

  • Keep up to date with news, services, and activities across the UCC staff community

  • Share updates from your area and get social

  • Acces the whole range of UCC web applications, including Microsoft Teams, Canvas, Agresso and Employee Self Service (ESS) from one place through the App Launcher

  • Set up and manage team spaces so that you can engage and communicate with your group

Coming to Workvivo will be:

A weekly roundup of the higher education sector

Regular campaigns to keep you social including

Glucksman Creativity

Pets of UCC

Foodie Friday

Tips to help you work remotely and stay well

Your posts and initiatives from your areas

You can access our short videos and user guides to get started:

Source: Eoin Hahessy, Donna O’Driscoll and Michael Tobin, Office of Media and Communications/Workvivo Project Managers, UCC


UCC Teaching & Learning/(Online)

The Keep Teaching website contains practical tips as well as links to many Canvas support resources.


Keep Assessing

UCC has convened an Examinations Business Continuity Group led by John McNulty, Director of Academic Services and which includes the Deputy President and Registrar, the Vice-President for Learning and Teaching, the Student Examinations and Records Officer, the heads of all colleges, representatives from the Centre for Digital Education and IT Services, among others. This group is currently working on the Keep Assessing site which will be updated regularly over the next couple of weeks.


Training and Support

We have recently seen a large uptake in Canvas Training Sessions delivered by the Centre for Digital Education. These sessions were delivered initially on campus, but are now online. We encourage you to reach out to the CDE if you have any Canvas-related questions. Details on all Canvas supports can be found here. Each department/school is more than welcome to book their own Canvas webinar by clicking here. In addition, individually, every staff member can book a consultation with a member of the CDE by clicking here. Please get in touch with us through these forms if you have any questions on using technology for education.


Source: Professor Paul McSweeney, Vice-President for Learning and Teaching, UCC


UCC Skills Centre:

UCC Skills Centre on Youtube:

Source: Kathy and The Skills Centre Team, Office of the Vice President for Learning & Teaching, UCC


Peer Support Networks

Further to our email yesterday, we have received good interest from administrative, professional, research and academic colleagues across central administration, colleges and research centres interested in joining a small peer support groups. Simply reply to UCC Training and development with your expression of interest by Monday next 6th April at 5pm.

Source: Anne Gannon, Mary (Niamh) Horgan & Grace Conway, Staff Wellbeing & Development Team, UCC


UCC Staff Wellbeing & Development is pleased to announce that arising from strong interest from UCC colleagues for these two new online live workshops on working remotely, we are running two additional workshops. These online sessions are a worthwhile resource for both managers and UCC staff generally in response to the need for us to now work remotely under unexpected circumstances. The workshops are facilitated by Vitae Consulting.

  • Each online interactive live session is approximately 90 minutes in duration

  • Interested managers and staff members are invited to register in advance and be available to participate in the live session.

  • Pre-reading and loGon details for Zoom will be sent to attendees in advance.

  • Total time commitment is approximately 3 hours including pre and posTwork.

  • Workshop For Managers: Remote Working - How to develop and maintain relationships remotely

  • Workshop for Employees: Self Care & Wellbeing

Aim: To provide practical tools and methods to staff to support themselves in working remotely. The workshop will present ideas and information that you can implement in your working day.

Source: Anne Gannon, Mary (Niamh) Horgan & Grace Conway, Staff Wellbeing & Development Team, UCC


Building Your Resilience

We are pleased to invite you to participate in a 6-week programme on 'Building Your Resilience'. This programme will initially be facilitated online and take place weekly for the next 6 weeks via Zoom. It will be facilitated by our UCC colleague - Maura O'Neill. The programme starts on Wednesday 8th April at 10am & will continue (until otherwise advised) every Wednesday at 10am. It will be approximately 1 hour in duration. Details of this programme together with key learning outcomes are outlined below.

What is Resilience?

We are currently in a national crisis situation. We are all dealing with so much change, so many difficulties, emotions and worries. We wonder what will happen and how we will cope? This is when we call on our resilience i.e. our ability to adapt well in the face of adverse events and experience.

While adverse events can be painful and difficult, they do not have to determine the outcome of our lives. Even in the most restricting and challenging circumstances there are many aspects of our lives we can control, modify and even grow with. This is the role of resilience building - a process of learning, responding and adapting and all skills we can identify, develop and enhance. Learning to become more resilient not only helps us get through difficult situations, it empowers us to grow and even enhance the quality of our lives along the way.

This series of workshops will help us to develop the aspects of our lives and behaviours that science shows us will enable us boost our resilience and wellbeing. Along the way Maura hopes that programme participants will also have some fun!

Participants will:

  • Learn the building blocks of personal resilience and wellbeing

  • Identify what builds and what drains our resilience

  • Understand how stress operates in our lives

  • Recognise personal stress responses and stress triggers

  • Develop stress management skills and resources

  • Increase creativity and flexibility of approaches to problem solving

  • Explore constructive resilience building techniques and behaviours

  • Create a personal sustainable resilience building plan.

If you wish to sign up for this programme, please respond to UCC Staff Wellbeing & Development Team.

Source: Anne Gannon, Mary (Niamh) Horgan & Grace Conway, Staff Wellbeing & Development Team, UCC


Your Health & Wellness

The recent and sudden change from going out to work each day to working remotely and managing ourselves during this current period of uncertainly can be a challenge. Coaching may assist colleagues who are currently experiencing thoughts and feelings such as:

  • I'm finding it hard to focus...

  • I need to identify some goals for the next few weeks...

  • Managing work and home responsibilities is proving difficult...

  • This change is proving difficult for me...

Members of our UCC coaching panel are available on a confidential basis to any staff member who feels they might benefit from a coaching conversation. Whether it is around making a routine, homeworking or putting in place a practice around self and peer support, our UCC coaches are available to listen & talk with colleagues and can assist in providing a reflective space in which to foster your thinking and future plans.

Coaching Link:

Source: Anne Gannon, Mary (Niamh) Horgan & Grace Conway, Staff Wellbeing & Development Team, UCC


The UCC Library’s Learning & Teaching Librarian team has created the Library Learning Resources page on Canvas ( to provide online access to the learning and teaching materials for the various workshops that this team has delivered face-to-face all academic year. The materials available are:

· Finding Academic Resources for your Assignment

· Citing, Referencing & Plagiarism

· Literature Review – an introduction to searching for the literature

· Google Scholar & beyond.

The Canvas course also includes library video tutorials. More materials will be provided in time.

Source: Alan Carbery, Head of Academic Technology & Communication, UCC Library


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