Grace’s Good News

My name is Grace and I am the Senior Community Facilitator at KCL. I am a bit behind the scenes at the moment, but if you need anything or have any questions then please do contact me on Instagram @kingsresilife and join our Resilife Group by clicking HERE and I am more than happy to chat.

If you, like me, are feeling a rather strong sense of impending doom due to the current state of the world then I have news for you. Turns out, there is still lots of good stuff happening – we just aren’t hearing about it. I would like to share with you my favourites from the last month, I hope you enjoy!

  1. Stumpy the Labrador

Meet Stumpy, named after his little legs which were too short for him to pursue a career as a Guide dog.

Luckily, Stumpy found another way to help and became a Pet Blood Doner. He is now the Pet Blood Bank’s highest donating dog, having donated blood 30 times so far, and saving OVER 120 dog’s lives. Now that is one seriously good doggo, don’t you think?

 

  1. Global pandemic? Don’t know her.

Bea Lumpkin aged 102 (left) and Joy Young aged 96 (right), would not let anything get in the way of them voting in this election. Having not missed a single vote since 1940 when she was first allowed to, Bea turned up in full PPE to post her ballot last week. Joy showed similar determination, being blind AND deaf, she rocked her mask and made it to her 78th vote.

 

  1. 12-year-olds these days…

 

 At the ripe old age of 12 years, Caleb Anderson is achieving big things, as he is the youngest student to begin studying Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Tech. When he was 3 years old, he gained acceptance to MENSA (the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world). Well done Caleb!!!

 

  1. A little kindness goes a long way.

 

And finally… just incase you haven’t seen it, here is an adorable video of a little boy who bakes birthday cookies for his favourite waste collectors on his birthday.

 

 

Wishing you a great week amidst the chaos and hope to see you at our Resilife events soon!

Everything You Need to Know About the Positive Peers

Post contributed by Helen Kursten-Holmes, Positive Peer Supervisor

The Positive Peers are a student-led volunteer group that sits within KCLSU Wellbeing. We aim to enhance the personal and collective wellbeing of King’s College London students by giving evidence-based information to improve student mental health and wellbeing, sharing experiences and connecting each other with helpful resources. We organise a variety of interactive events and workshops throughout the year that all students can participate in. Through our projects and events, we seek to promote, support and celebrate the wellbeing of students at King’s and to create a healthier and happier community. The Positive Peers team is divided into 3 main strands, each led by Positive Peer Supervisors. The strands comprise of Peer Run-Support, Peer Health Education, and Engagement and Online Support.

The Peer-Run Support strand delivers one-to-one and group support for students experiencing mental health difficulties. This includes Positive Minds, a 4-week course to support students experiencing low mood and mild depression. We will be launching this course in November, so if you’re feeling a bit low and finding university difficult, you can attend our peer support group Positive Minds or reach out for a one-to-one chat with us. Alongside this, we also offer wellbeing checks where we interact with new students to support their transition to university and to highlight KCLSU Wellbeing resources and other essential services. During Welcome 2020, the Positive Peers spoke to over 100 new King’s students in our one-to-one virtual King’s Check-in sessions. These sessions were offered to new students to make sure that they had everything they needed to get started and thrive at King’s.

The Peer Health Education strand leads on education and outreach through delivering workshops and facilitating initiatives about mental health and wellbeing, online, on campus, in residence halls, and for specific student groups. This strand’s activities include wellbeing checks, Cooking and Conversation, which is a cooking workshop in partnership with King’s Residences where students learn a new healthy recipe while getting to know other students, and our 3 part programme, Thrive. This 3 week course gives students the support to learn strategies that can promote positive wellbeing and equips them with the tools and activities that can be included in their daily routine so that they can flourish. Thrive is one of our most popular courses and in light of the pandemic, we have been delivering it virtually. To join our next Thrive programme starting in November, sign up for it using our Eventbrite page.

The Engagement and Online Support strand runs the team’s digital outreach by creating accessible communications for all students (including those not on campus) to improve their wellbeing and promote the team’s activities. The digital team also creates the monthly Positive Peers newsletter, detailing our recent news and campaigns, upcoming events and wellbeing tips. You can read our October newsletter by clicking here. The team also writes blog posts for the KCLSU website and each blog post delves into a variety of wellbeing topics, tips and themes, our most recent one is Settling in at University. In addition to this, we have a podcast and lots of content on social media to help boost wellbeing and increase awareness of mental health and wellbeing events and concepts. For Wellbeing Week (2nd November – 6th November), we are organising a Positive Peers Instagram takeover of Project X’s Instagram and collaborating with Big Pitch Energy on a competition that will be open to all King’s students, staff and alumni, where you can win £50 and be featured on our newsletter. So, make sure you keep an eye out on our socials for more information about how you can take part!

We hope to see you at our upcoming events and if you have any questions, our inbox and social media are always open so feel free to get in touch.

Visit our website: www.kclsu.org/help/wellbeing/positivepeers

Email us: positivepeers@kcl.ac.uk

Connect with us on social media:

A review of Evening Yoga in Julian Markham

 

 

 

 

Post contributed by CF Jacky

Did you know that you get a free King’s Sports BeActive membership when you live in King’s residences?

BeActive has over 50 classes a

week from football to Pilates. These events take place in your residences or campus so that they are very accessible to students. There are also Move Your Mind Online events so you can join in even if you are self-isolating!

I participated in a yoga session in the residence I live in (JM). Yoga is a very relaxing thing to do when you’re stressed because of university or just life in general, and it’s amazing t

o have someone teach you how to do it properly. Yoga is an ancient form of exercise, which is recommended by many healthcare services to promote wellbeing, both for the mind and body. You don’t have to have had any practice doing yoga before as the instructors will help teach you as a beginner, or if you are more advanced they will give you modifications so you can keep challenging yourself.

Another perk of the session was that I got the opportunity to meet people responsibly, while following the social distancing rules because of COVID-19. I’d recommend the BeActive program to all students and to really make the most out of it because it’s fun, easy, and free!

To activate your free account please click HERE and entering your King’s email address. After your account is activated you can access the Beactive, Move Your Mind Online and Resilife timetables and book spaces on the events.

 

Room Hacks: A guide to efficient living in King’s Residences

Post contributed by CF Rad

Moving into a new place is one of the most exciting things about starting uni, but it is also quite a monumental task. Add a pandemic to the mix, and you have the perfect recipe for a stressful couple of weeks.

But worry not- here at King’s ResiLife we have compiled a comprehensive list of tips and tricks you can use to avoid any hassle and settle into your new home as quickly as possible. It is a by-product of our collective experience of living in student halls, so you know that these recommendations are worth a try!

Bedroom Hacks

Decorating:

  1. Door tags are a wonderful way to introduce yourself to your flatmates, and not to mention, they look extremely cute! If you are self-isolating, you can also put your social media handles on there so your flatmates can reach out to you online.
  2. Plants fulfil many purposes- apart from adding a pop of colour, they also keep the air in your room fresh and add a homely vibe. Cacti and succulents are extremely popular with students as they require minimal care and are also sold at low prices at local supermarkets.
  3. Photos of friends and family, or postcards of places you have visited are a great way to personalise the space. Websites like Snapfish will print your photos out for you and deliver them to your door. Photographs also go well with fairy lights and will look great on your notice board!

Organising:

  1. Most rooms in residences have two main areas for storage- under your bed, and on wall-mounted shelves and cabinets. It is best to use the under-bed storage for larger items such as suitcases, and items you do not use often- for instance, you could store your winter clothes under your bed during warmer months. Shelves can be used for books and trinkets, or any other items you need often.
  2. Drawer dividers are an efficient way to organise underwear, socks, and other small items. They make it easy to find your things and utilize drawer space that otherwise might go wasted.
  3. Desk organisation units are a great way to make the most out of your workstation. Most stationery shops like Ryman and WH Smith sell file racks, bookends and pen stands in sets; consider buying these for a more cohesive look!

Cleaning:

  1. A list of equipment you will need to maintain a clean bedroom:
  • Multi-purpose spray
  • Glass cleaner spray
  • J-cloths
  • Microfiber clothes 
  • Duster 
  • Dustpan and brush
  • Optional: Mini vacuum

**Pro tips: Try talking to your flatmates about pitching in to buy a set of these for everyone’s use!

2. Make a cleaning timetable for yourself. Look at your university timetable and extracurricular activities and find the days which work best for you to clean do your laundry and freshen up your room. Your laundry day might be different than your cleaning day!

3. Here is the most efficient set of steps to clean your room, so that you don’t have to repeat any task:

  • Dust: When dusting, make sure you work from top to bottom, left to right. This way you’re not scattering dust on surfaces you have already cleaned.
  • Glass: Wipe mirrors with a microfiber cloth and some glass cleaner spray, also useful for picture frames.
  • Wipe surfaces: Wipe surfaces using a j-cloth and some multi-purpose spray.
  • Vacuum: After dusting / wiping, vacuum your room. Make sure you go under your desk too!
  • Take out the trash!! Take the rubbish out your bin and replace the bin-liner. Make sure you take the rubbish to your buildings rubbish room and separate into recycling/rubbish.

4. Clean up spillages as soon as they happen. Take out old plates and used dishes when you are done eating- this way your room won’t smell of old food.

5. Since candles and incense sticks are not allowed in residences, you may use room spray or a reed diffuser to make your room smell nice. Reed diffusers can be bought at Sainsbury’s for £3.

We hope that these tips are helpful for you! Tag us on social media using #kingsresilife if you use these so we can see you thriving in residences!

70 Second Mug Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoons Nutella

Vegan Alternatives

  • Aquafaba
  • Oat Milk

Vegan Alternative Links:

Instructions

Step 1: Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa and baking powder in a bowl.

Step 2: Make a well in the centre and add the egg, milk and oil. Use a whisk or a spatula to beat until combined.

Step 3: Spoon into a 400ml mug or whatever size is available to you this size I have just found works best.

Step 4: Spoon the Nutella into the centre. Microwave 70 seconds or until risen.

Top with double cream or ice-cream and dress with some fruits!

How to make brownies – with CF Amnah

Vegan Brownies Recipe – Nora Cooks

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp Ground Flax
  • ½ Cup water
  • ½ Cup Vegan Butter
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Flour

 

Method

  • Prep a pan by placing baking paper into it and set to the side
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  • Make the flax eggs by stirring together the ground flax and water. Set aside to thicken
  • Melt the vegan butter and measure 1/2 cup either in a saucepan which is quick or in 20 second intervals in the microwave
  • In a large bowl, whisk the melted vegan butter and sugars together. Add the flax eggs and vanilla. Whisk until combined and smooth
  • Into the same bowl, sift flour and cocoa powder. Add a pinch of salt and baking powder and combine simply with a spatula
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top with a spoon or your hands
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes
  • Allow to cool for around 15 minutes and this usually allows them also to firm up
  • Remove from the pan let cool for another 15 minutes before slicing them and serving

 

Cheesecake Brownies

Ingredients

  • Brownie Batter
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • Cheese Layer
  • 225g cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  • Preheat Oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  • Line a baking tin with baking paper
  • Melt the butter down either in a saucepan or in the microwave in 30 second intervals
  • Add in the cocoa powder and mix together
  • Add sugar and whisk until combined. Add the eggs, vanilla extract and combine them into the mixture
  • Add flour and fold, using a rubber spatula, just until combined. Set aside 1/3 cup of the batter and pour the rest into the prepared pan. Smooth the top
  • Beat together the cream cheese and the sugar until a smooth paste forms
  • Add egg and vanilla extract and beat until combined
  • Dollop onto the brownie batter then take the reserved brownie batter and dollop that on top of the cheese
  • Using a fork or a toothpick swirl the two together to create a marbled effect
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cheesecake is set and an instrument inserted into the brownies comes out with just moist crumbs and not batter. It should not be dry
  • Allow the cheesecake to set and cool down completely
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days
  • For a Gluten Free version simply purchase gluten free flour!

CF Jiashu’s Restaurants of the Month

 

  1. Flat iron
    • A steak house that actually tastes alright while being economically viable, and eh, you don’t see that every day in London. Or, as they say it themselves, great steak, at affordable prices.
    • A mouth-watering flat iron steak served with house salad for £10, accompanied by a choice of sides like dripping cooked chips, creamed spinach and market greens. This easily makes up for the fact that you can’t reserve a table, instead they have a nifty way that involves texting when there is a space available.
    • They also offer free icecream! After your steak, you will merrily receive a Mr. Whippy-style caramel mousse in a mug, with rock salt crystals to scatter according to your whim.
    • They have many restaurants within the reach of central London, located in London bridge, Covent Garden, Hackney and Spitalfields.

  1. The breakfast club
    • This is probably London’s most popular all-day breakfast and brunch place. It’s been called many names, the ‘London must-do’, the ‘most amazing all-day breakfast’. And it’s not just the food that’s perfect. It’s also bright, colourful, saturated with cultural references and intriguing ornaments and memorabilia. If you are into the styles of the 1980s, or just wish to experience some pop culture, here would be the perfect place to walk down.
    • Price range quite affordable, £12.50 for full Monty, which is one of the more expensive dishes.
    • They have an all-day breakfast menu, including the classics, such as Eggs Benedict (£9.50), Berry pancakes (£9.50) and Avocado on Rye (£7.00)
    • I recommend the All American (pancake stack, bacon, sausage, crispy homestyle potatoes, fried eggs and maple syrup); as well as the Full Monty, a deviation from full English (bacon, sausage, crispy homestyle potatoes, garlic mushrooms, hash brown, black pudding, beans, tomato, fried eggs and toast).
    • These cafes are easy to find. They can be found all around London, Battersea, London Bridge, Soho and Spitalfields.

Self-Care

Post contributed by Jasmin, Welfare Lead

I’m Jasmin, and I’m one of the Residence Welfare Leads here at King’s. Members of our team live on-site at each residence to provide welfare support for our student community. Moving into residences is a big change, even without some of the additional stresses we are facing this year, and it’s totally normal to be feeling worried or overwhelmed. Your wellbeing is really important and so we thought we’d share a bit about self-care!

What is self-care?

It can be really easy to get lost in buzzwords, so we’ll keep it simple here. Self-care is anything you consciously do to promote your mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.

What kind of things can I do?

Self-care is a personal thing and it looks different for everyone! It doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming and regularly choosing an activity that takes 10 minutes or less can make a real difference. Action For Happiness have some great tips on their #SelfCareSeptember daily action calendar.

We’ve also listed a few ideas below, and you can check out the KCLSU Wellbeing Hub for activities, events and resources around King’s to boost wellbeing all year round.

  • Taking an online exercise class
    We all know exercise is physically good for us, but it can also give a real boost to your mood too! King’s Sport offer access to their BeActive program for free if you are a resident at King’s Halls. 
  • Listening to music
    Music can be a powerful tool for both relaxing and getting motivated. Whatever you choose to listen to, taking some time for your favourite music can help in making your new space feel a bit more like home. 
  • Doing something creative
    Spending some time on a creative hobby can provide the break you need to boost wellbeing. You might want to learn a new skill or practise an old one! If you’re looking for inspiration, keep an eye on the King’s ResiLife virtual events for their Creativity Nights.
  • Having a nice cup of tea
    Or any hot drink really – I’ve saved one of the simplest until last! Taking ten minutes to step away from daily stresses and relax.

   

About the Residence Welfare Lead Team

We’re a group of friendly, trained volunteers who live in the King’s Residences to support with student welfare.

Our duty hours are between 8PM – 8AM on weekdays and 24 hours on the weekend. We can be reached over text, phone or email and you can find our contact details around the residence as well as on our webpages here.

Settling into life at King’s

Are you ready for move-in day?

It’s so close now, you can almost smell it! 

I’m Lukas, a second year Business student at King’s. Last year, I moved into King’s Residences, which meant moving away from home for the first time, so trust me, I know exactly how excited, nervous and maybe even a little bit apprehensive you’re feeling right now. Continue reading

Getting to London and your King’s Residence safely

You might have started thinking about decorating your new bedroom and speaking to your new flatmates on Facebook but have you thought about your actual arrival to London?

Arriving at KCL is one of the most exciting times in your first year but it’s also a pretty jam-packed period. Lots of people are moving in, getting settled and adapting to their new environment. You will need to know how to make your way around London, your local area and campus pretty quickly, but that can be easier said than done!  Continue reading

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