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Thrive During Covid-19 Project

The Thrive During Covid-19 Project, run by the St George’s community for the community launched during April 2020 with a programme which is wide-ranging and varied. Colleagues have given their time and energy to create videos, virtual events, resources and blogs. These offer you the chance to connect with others, explore new ideas and skills and find out a bit more about your colleagues. Each week, we’ll be publishing details of what is coming up in George’s Weekly. 

St George’s Dance

Harriet Russell and Emily Cooper (Fashion Show), Aditi Mukherjee (India Society) and Shilpa Raj and Blessy Thomas (Diwali show) have organised a St George’s Dance video to the song "Better when I'm dancing" by Megan Trainor for staff and students to learn. We will be splitting the dance up into parts which will be published each week in St George’s Weekly

Kickboxing for beginners

Dr Anna Dulic-Sills, Director of Research Operations is a martial arts enthusiast, and with help from her daughter, Katie, has taken the time to introduce us to her kickboxing skills so we can see how inspiring the sport is.

Katie Francesca – Katie’s Pilates

Katie Francesca trained as a professional dancer, graduating with a BA Hon’s degree in 2005. Early in Katie’s dance career she experienced the benefits of Pilates, attending regular studio and mat work classes which kept her lean, strong and prepared for the athletic and intensive demands of a dancer’s life. She learned the important role that Pilates could play in injury prevention and rehabilitation. and recognised the power of intelligent movement.

Please see for more details about Katie’s Pilates.

Keeping fit and healthy during lockdown

As part of the Thrive during Covid-19 project, Senior Lecturer David Rees, with help from his colleagues, has produced a video for staff on keeping fit and healthy in lockdown.

The video includes:

  • ideas and inspiration for exercising in the current circumstances.
  • reasons to increase the amount of exercise you take.
  • ideas to get you moving during the day and reduce sedentary ways of living/working.

Watch the video here.

David is a musculoskeletal physiotherapist who has worked in professional sports, private practice and the NHS. He teaches both undergraduate and postgraduate students on physical activity and exercise promotion and the avoidance of sedentary behaviour.

Good reads

Some of the St George’s Community have recommended their favourite Good Reads for us to enjoy. 

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Good reads recommendations from the St George's community
Annie Bartlett recommends “How to be Both” by Ali Smith

Wonderful poetic novel dealing with gender and sexuality and also bereavement.

Addy Babajide recommends “The Pursuit of Happyness” by Chris Gardner

This book is about survival, determination and persistence and never giving up on one’s dreams to create a better life. Your passion guarantees success and happiness is doing meaningful things.

Carwyn Rhys Hooper recommends “The Plague” by Albert Camus

Aside from being a fabulous existentialist novel, it is incredibly germane given that we are all living through a pandemic. 

Jane Lindsay recommends “Brief Answers to Big Questions” by S Hawking

It puts the current situation in perspective asking questions such as “how did it all begin” and “will we survive on earth”! I found Stephen Hawking’s writing style to be optimistic, readable and full of humour!   

Rachel Allen recommends "Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup" by John Carreyrou

This is a great piece of science journalism that provides an insight on the intrigues of a biotech startup that took it from a multibillion value to collapse, fraud and conspiracy charges within less than a year. 

Deborah Bowman recommends "Actress" by Anne Enright

A poignant, intelligent and compelling novel about performance, Ireland and being Irish, sexual politics, mothers, daughters and marriage. If anyone, like me, was brought up in a large Irish family where folk tales abound of the unique qualities of Irish butter, there is a perfectly observed scene that made me ache with nostalgia and laugh out loud. 

Derek Baldwinson recommends "Demon Fish: Travels Through the Hidden world of Sharks" by Juliet Eilperin  

It's an environmental journalist's wide-ranging account of the interplay between sharks and humans in history and culture, with a few "shark attack" stories thrown in for good measure. Ideal beach reading.  

Amal Awadh recommends “A Thousand splendid suns” by Khaled Hosseini 

A beautifully written emotionally intense book weaving beauty of love and friendship in distressing times.  

Movie nights

Our film gurus Kirsten Hylan and Glen Delahaye have recommended the following films to watch:

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Film recommendations
Searching (2018)

Drama, Mystery

After his 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a desperate father breaks into her laptop to look for clues to find her.

May appeal to those who cannot get enough of Microsoft Teams calls, as the film is set entirely on computer screens and smartphones.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)

Adventure, Comedy

A national manhunt is ordered for a rebellious kid and his foster uncle who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush.

The charmingly offbeat Hunt for the Wilderpeople unites a solid cast, a talented filmmaker, and a poignant, funny, deeply affecting message.

Ace in the Hole (1951)


A frustrated former big-city journalist now stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to rekindle his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus.

Explores the balance between reporting a story accurately and reporting a story in whatever way sells the most newspapers. The film also shows how a gullible public can be manipulated by the press.

Rear Window (1954)

Mystery, Thriller

A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder.

With the protagonist unable to walk, the entire film takes place in one apartment. Much like many people’s lives these days.

Past events

Pottery, Imperfection - and Circles

Wednesday 8 July at 1pm on Microsoft Teams

Professor Jane Saffell spoke about her recent journey into pottery and reflects on what she has learned - about life as well as the craft. Jane invited everyone to join her in a virtual lunch chat to discuss any of the themes or share your own stories about craft and art. 

Watch the video here:

Cooking with Pinky via Microsoft Team

We were delighted to welcome Pinky Lilani back to St George’s as part of our Thrive During COVID 19 project. Pinky is an author, motivational speaker, food expert and women's advocate. She is the founder and chair of several awards recognising influential women and leaders, including the annual Women of the Future Awards and the Asian Women of Achievement Awards. She has been recognised widely for her work and was listed as one of the 100 most powerful women in the UK by BBC Radio 4’s programme ‘Woman’s Hour’.  Pinky has written several books, including Spice Magic: An Indian Culinary Adventure and Coriander Makes the Difference

Watch the video here:


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Details of previous Thrive During Covid events
Monday Movie Night

Monday 1 June at 6:50pm for 7pm - Monday Movie Night, hosted by Kirsten Hylan and Glen Delahaye.

‘Virtual’ SGUL Quiz, hosted by Professor Andy Kent, Executive Dean & Pro Vice-Chancellor, Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, Kingston University & St George’s, University of London

Friday 29 May at 12pm. 

‘Virtual’ Drinks with Rachael Bevilacqua, Head of Student Conduct and Compliance, Governance, Legal and Assurance Services

Thursday 21 May at 5pm. 

Virtual lunch, hosted by Professor Deborah Bowman

Tuesday 5 May from 1pm to 1:30pm. 

Knitting for Beginners session with Julie Leeming and Susan McPheat

Friday 15 May at 12.30pm.

The St George’s Athena Swan Network Events

Wednesday 5 February: ‘Everyday inclusion: better together’: Dr Jill Armstrong, a Bye-Fellow at Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge spoke about her research and practice exploring gender, work and careers.

Monday 13 January 2020: Lunch and Conversation: An Informal Networking Event.

We would like to invite all members of staff at St George’s, University of London to our next Athena Swan Network event. The event will be an informal lunch with the opportunity to meet, talk to and network with colleagues from across the University. During the lunch, we will pause to hear from three members of staff who will be in brief conversation with Deborah Bowman.

For more information, download the event poster (PDF).

  • 12 November 2019: Inspirations, Innovations and Ideas series of events: Niall Dickson CBE ‘The NHS long term plan - does the emperor have any clothes? Listen to the lecture on Panopto (login required).

  • 29 May 2019: Inspiration, Innovation and Ideas: Baroness Amos CH, "Running to Stand Still" (pictured below). Listen to the lecture on Panopto

  • 12 June 2019: The St George’s Athena Swan Network Event: “Kindness, Collaboration and Coriander – A Recipe for Success" event with Pinky Lilani, CBE, DL chaired by Professor Jenny Higham, Principal of St Georges, University of London.

  • 23 January 2019: A conversation with Angela Saini, the author of Inferior

  • 3 October 2018: Women Leaders in Conversation

  • 3 May 2018: Imposter Syndrome, a talk by Vivienne Parry, OBE

  • 10 October 2017: Leadership – from Oxfam to a Cambridge College – Dame Barbara Stocking.

THRIVE events
  • Working Well When Times are Hard – 18 March 2019

Everyone experiences times when what is happening in our lives causes worry, stress and pressure. It may be illness, caring responsibilities or significant life events such as bereavement or divorce. What does it mean for our working and professional lives when times are hard? How can colleagues support each other? How open should you be? Are there times when it is right to stop working? What is helpful for those who are experiencing difficult times? 

At lunchtime on Monday 18 March, Professor Deborah Bowman was in conversation with three members of staff to explore their experiences of working well when times are hard and to reflect on what she has learned from working with cancer. Professor Anthony Albert, Professor Hannah Cock and Meg Errington joined her for the conversation.

  • Are We Moving Enough? Physical wellbeing for all at St George's – 4 November 2019

At this event, Professor Deborah Bowman led a session on physical wellbeing for all at St George's, with speakers including:  

Jo Dawes is a physiotherapist, lecturer and the course leader of the MSc(pre-reg) physiotherapy programme at St George’s. She is a keen cyclist, swimmer and runner and her research includes exploring physical activity interventions for minority and excluded groups. 

David Rees is a musculoskeletal physiotherapist who has worked in professional sports, private practice and the NHS. He teaches to both undergraduate and postgraduate students on physical activity and exercise promotion and the avoidance of sedentary behaviour. 

The speakers recommended you read the Chief Medical Officer's Physical Activity Guildelines.


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