Staff Wellness Days

21 - 25 March

We’re delighted to announce a week of Staff Wellness Days, for all colleagues in March.

We hope you are able to enjoy activities within the Staff Wellness Days' programme and would encourage you to take part as your diary allows - where appropriate do check with your manager and agree that they are happy for you to attend activities during your working day. 

Colleagues can also get involved with Step into Spring! Running alongside the Staff Wellness Days, the programme gives staff reasons to get outside to support their wellbeing and re-connect with colleagues. 

Staff Wellness Days programme

Monday 21 March, 10.30am - 12 noon - Session has ended

Managing stress and overwhelm - Online via Zoom

Stress is a part of life that cannot be avoided. It can be helpful but also unhelpful, leading to overwhelm. Developing strategies to prevent as well as tackle unhelpful stress and overwhelm is key to looking after and improving your wellbeing. This session challenges you to shift your stress mind-set to enable you to take a more positive and empowered approach using practical tools and techniques proven to work.

Tuesday 22 March, 11.00am - 12.30pm - Session has ended

“How to say no at work and get away with it”, with comedian Steve Cross - Online via Zoom

Steve Cross is a freelance communication and engagement consultant who spent many years in the museum and university sectors. He routinely left meetings without any action points and once dissolved a major university committee just to avoid a three hour meeting.

This semi-serious session will cover:

  • Saying no to people so that the no sticks
  • How to rebut work requests without blame
  • The feeling of saying no
  • Managing your to do list
  • Managing your boss
  • How to win at meetings

Tuesday 22 March, 12.30pm - 1.30pm - Session cancelled

Block Printing workshop - Union Hall, John Henry Brookes building

Come and have a go at Indian block printing and create a spring tea towel, unique shopping bag or bring along a plain cotton white shirt or T shirt and make an individual fashion piece! No previous skill required!

Tuesday 22 March, 12 noon - 1.00pm - Session has ended

Brookes Books staff book group - Online

A friendly and informal gathering of staff who share what we’ve been reading and swap recommendations. Anyone is welcome. We also have a Google space we use for chats between meetings - email

Wednesday 23 March, 1.30pm - 2.30pm

Healthy habits in the virtual workspace - Online via Zoom

As virtual working looks set to continue as an integral part of our lives, in the move to create more 'agile' working patterns, it comes with its benefits but also its challenges. It can feel tough to work in a healthy manner and stay energised. This short but interactive session helps you identify your own virtual working habits and make small, impactful changes to build positive habits into your daily life.

In this workshop we shall:

  • Identify your own virtual working habits and the challenges you are facing
  • Discover changes you can make to improve your virtual working experience
  • Commit to new healthier habits

Wednesday 23 March, 12.30pm - 1.30pm - Session cancelled

Block Printing workshop - Union Hall, John Henry Brookes building

Come and have a go at Indian block printing and create a spring tea towel, unique shopping bag or bring along a plain cotton white shirt or T-shirt and make an individual fashion piece! No previous skill required!

Thursday 24 March

Wildflower planting and rewilding sessions - Outside Clerici building next to the visitor car park

Join us in rewilding an area of the University on Thursday 24 March. We are looking for staff volunteers to help in removing turf, prepping/turning the soil and wildflower seeding to make this area wildlife friendly! There are three sessions available on the day, and we are limited to five people per session, so book early to avoid disappointment! 

Friday 25 March, 2:30pm - 4.00pm - Session cancelled

Crafternoon Tea - Garden Room, Buckley Building

Everyone is welcome to an informal Crafternoon. There will be the opportunity to learn basic crochet, or you can bring your own craft and meet colleagues who share your interest. You do not need to attend all afternoon. Please sign up in advance, as space in the Garden Room is limited. There is also a Google chat for staff crafters - email to join.

Activities running across the week

Brookes Centre for Sport

Staff wellness checks - Book a slot at Headington gym for a 15-20 minute consultation with the fitness team, measuring weight and body fat percentage using our Inbody scanner - blood pressure and resting heart rate will be taken to enable to team to provide feedback on these metrics, and some basic advice given on types of training and exercise to improve health and wellness.

Free gym passes - a number of gym passes will be available to staff to try out the Headington gym.

Free gym classes - always wanted to try out a particular fitness session? Well now is your chance to have a taster session of Yoga, Pilates, HIIT and more. The Centre for Sport are offering free limited places on some of their fitness classes, so book early to avoid disappointment.

Please contact Richard Ormiston-Rees if you are interested in any of the above activities.

Lunchtime walks - walking has great benefits, offering a gentle exercise option for improving mental health and fitness as well as reducing stress levels. For this spring, we are encouraging colleagues to establish a lunchtime walk either around campus or within your local areas. If this is something you would be interested in, we would encourage you to set up your own OBU chat room up or join an existing group, and if there is not a room for you why don’t you start your own? If you don’t know where to start, the University has created some short routes through attractive surroundings close to all Oxford campuses. However, we would love to hear about more walking routes in and around the local area, so please feel free to share your routes and pictures with the Brookes Active team. And if you are happy, don’t forget to share your pictures from your walks to and we will share in future communication. 


Three second-hand bicycles to be won

Do you want to be in with the chance of winning a bespoke second-hand bicycle? Transport Services has teamed up with the University’s Bike Doctor to run this fantastic offer. In addition, Oxford Brookes Security Services will offer free bicycle marking, D-lock and lights for the lucky winners.

To enter this fantastic offer and to be within a chance of winning one of three bicycles, simply enter this raffle.

Don’t forget, if you need help and support with maintaining your bicycle you can visit our Bike Dr. They offer an on-campus, while-you-wait maintenance and repair service. Labour is free - you only need to pay for parts. Further details for when the Bike Dr is visiting can be found by visiting the University transport webpages