Christmas closure: Imperial to introduce additional support over holidays

As we approach the end of term, Imperial is ensuring that a wide range of services and support for students is maintained across the holiday period.

With the end of the Autumn term on Friday 18 December, the College will enter the Christmas vacation and the College closure period. Although this is traditionally a time where many students return home, it is anticipated that a higher number will remain in halls or in London than in previous years.

In recognition of this, the College and the Imperial College Union (ICU) will be making extra efforts maintain a variety of services for the majority of the Christmas period and provide students with support.

Jane Neary, Director of Campus Services said: “We know that this will be a different holiday period than we might have had in previous years, with more of our students staying on or around campus.”

“In what has already been a year of some disruption, we’re determined to ensure that our services and support for students are maintained as much as possible.”

Support in halls

With the anticipation that around 1000 residents will remain in halls of residence, many term-time services will be maintained during the vacation period in halls.

Round-the-clock pastoral and emergency support will remain available throughout from wardening and security teams, as well as the comprehensive package of measures for students who are self-isolating. This includes free food delivery and help with laundry for those who require it, as well as a warm welcome for those student who are newly arriving in halls.

For the majority of the vacation period, any student who is self-isolating will receive a varied menu of food options, including a Christmas meal. Festive goodie bags will also be delivered to all students in halls.

Wellbeing

The wide-ranging support available through the Student Support Zone will be bolstered with additional virtual resources for all students, as most one-to-one services will be temporarily closed for the vacation.

The resources will include comprehensive, proactive guidance on managing common concerns, such as heightened anxiety or isolation. There will also be a schedule of events and activities (at College and in London) to ensure students have opportunities to socialise and encourage a break from their studies.

The enhanced website will be available from early December and will provide a single location that will signpost students to all available services, including those offered by the ICU.

Hannah Bannister, Director of Student Services, said: “While many students will be looking forward to a well-earned rest, Christmas can be a difficult time of year for some, particularly in a year that has provided so much uncertainty. We’re developing a package of materials to ensure students are well-supported throughout this time and to mitigate the impact of the short interruption to the usual services and term-time structure.”

The Union will also be offering chances to keep connected over the Christmas period with virtual events and an in-person buddying scheme.

The Student Hub will be available for virtual appointments across a number of days over the Christmas holiday, providing a one-stop-shop for many of the College’s services.

In order to support physical wellbeing, Move Imperial are expanding their standard Christmas programme.

Ethos in South Kensington will be open for the majority of the Christmas period, supplemented by a variety of remote resources available as part of the MoveFromHome campaign. iGym in North Acton and the Silwood Park gym will also be open from 29 December.

Space on campus

Students in and around London will be able to enjoy a variety of spaces and services across most of the Christmas vacation.

The Central Library will remain available from 8.00 to midnight (except for Bank Holidays).

ICU’s FiveSixEight will open for the week leading up until the end of term, and then again from Sunday 27 December, providing a space for students to safely socialise under current government guidance. The College’s Breakout Space in the Queen’s Tower Rooms will also remain available from 8.00 to 17.00 on all days where the Library is open.

The Library Cafe and Essentials Store will also be open on most days, excluding Bank Holidays. Free hot drinks will be available from vending machines in the Sherfield Building foyer during times when the Library Cafe is not open.

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