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Information for students staying in Cambridge over the festive period

Our current focus is to ensure everyone is aware of college closure information together with any social and welfare activities on offer during the festive vacation.

For any students planning on remaining in Cambridge for either the whole, or part of, the winter vacation, please read the below document. It contains important college related information as well as other more general information

Do please reach out to other Hughes Hall students who you know will be staying in Cambridge over the Christmas period. Even though it has been an unusual and challenging year, there are still a wealth of activities to participate in, and plenty of ideas to create your own, COVID safe, entertainment. We want to make sure that no-one feels isolated over this festive period.

General College Information

The Dining Hall will close after the usual dinner service on Fri 18th Dec and reopen at 10.00 am on Mon 4th Jan.

Until then opening times are as follows:
• Lunch (12 noon – 2.00 pm) weekdays
• Dinner (6.00 pm – 8.00 pm) weekdays
• Brunch (11.00 am – 2.00 pm) weekends
• Coffee and Tea will be available in the Peter Richards Room, Mon to Sat (12 noon – 8.00 pm) and Sun
(11.00 am – 2.00 pm) until 4.00 pm on the 18th, reopening at 12 noon on the 4th Jan.

College offices will close for the Christmas holiday period at 5.00 pm on Wed 23rd Dec and reopen at 9.00 am on Mon 4th Jan.

Library Services
• The Edwin Leong Library: closed 23rd Dec 2020 – 3rd Jan 2021 inclusive
• Cambridge University Library: closed 24th Dec 2020 – 3rd Jan 2021 inclusive
• Departmental and Faculty Libraries: please check individual websites for information

Holiday reading: the Library has a small section of recreational books (crime, fantasy, classics, literary fiction, non-fiction) on the first floor – students are very welcome to come and choose some light reading
for the Christmas vacation. Please book a slot in the usual way. A virtual bookshelf showing what is available is on the Moodle site.

During the closure period, students will have access to the public rooms of the Margaret Wileman Building.

Please remember there will be no cleaning services during the closed period.

The Lodge will have limited opening hours on the following dates:

Thurs 24th Dec 2020 – 8.00 am – midnight
Fri 25th – Mon 28th Dec 2020 – 9.00 am – 2.00pm
Thurs 31st Dec 2020 – 7.00 am – midnight
Fri 1st Jan 2021 – 9.00 am – 2.00 pm

On other days, the Porters Lodge is open 7.00 am – 2.00 am

Emergency duty cover is in place outside of these times and the number is 07917 535806.

During the vacation period, outer doors for all buildings, the main gates and the electronic pedestrian gate will be locked but accessible using your access card. Please remember to carry your access card with you at all times to avoid getting locked out while the College is closed. During the holiday period it is important to be vigilant and safe in College with regard to security. Please do not let strangers, guests or anyone that you do not recognise into any of the College buildings.

Practical/Welfare Information

Useful Phone Numbers
Police, Fire or Ambulance: dial 999 for all emergencies.
For non-emergencies: 101 for police and 111 for the NHS.

If you want to send letters or gifts abroad, there are last posting dates to ensure items arrive before
Christmas. Click on this link to find out more.

For welfare and health information, including accessing the appointment system for the college nurse and the college counsellor, and Christmas closure times, click here.

GP practices are open on Christmas Eve, 27th Dec and New Year’s Eve. From 4th Jan practices will be open as usual. For more information check your GP practice website.

For urgent medical assistance out of hours contact NHS 111 by dialling 111 from any phone or online. More information about the service provided by NHS 111 is available here

For urgent mental health issues contact the First Response Service to speak to trained mental health professionals. To access this service telephone 111 and select Option 2.

In the case of life-threatening emergencies only call 999 to request an ambulance. If you call an ambulance please inform the Porters so they can direct them to your location.

If you are unsure which service is most appropriate the local Stay Well website can help.

The Accident and Emergency Department of Addenbrookes Hospital remains open throughout the Christmas holiday period.

It is important we all keep up to date with the latest Government guidance and legal obligations. If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms contact the Porters; this page summarises the other steps you must follow. The college has a wealth of information here and there is also essential information on the University website.

Combating Isolation/loneliness
We recognise that many of our students use the winter vacation to catch up with friends and family – either in the UK, Europe or further afield – and that plans this year have been severely disrupted. The HH Welfare Team will be hosting twice weekly ‘Check-in and Chat’ calls to connect with students to share stories and tips on how best to manage this challenging time, have a friendly chat, or to discuss any questions you might have. Please do not feel isolated or lonely – the team would love to hear from you!
Drop in any time on a Wednesday (23rd & 30th Dec, 6th Jan) and Sunday (27th Dec, 3rd Jan), between 5.00 – 5.30 pm using this zoom link. Meeting ID: 939 3172 4742, Passcode: 919310

For further details of all the welfare support available to students, see our website, here.

What happens in Cambridge over the Christmas period?

MCR activities
The MCR is planning social activities for those staying over the vacation. Keep an eye on their Facebook page and specifically this temporary Christmas Holiday Group page.

CUSU/GU Winter Holiday Activity Guide
The Cambridge Student Union annual guide has been updated this year to give students who remain in Cambridge over the holidays suggestions and ideas for COVID safe activities. It is a live document which is updated on a daily basis as the Cambridge SU receives more submissions from colleges, student groups etc.

Shops, Pubs, Restaurants
In addition to COVID restrictions, many shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes close for parts of the holiday period, or operate limited hours. For information check individual websites.

Many bus and rail services do not run at all on Christmas Day, and run a reduced service on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
For up-to-date information, check:
Trains: www.nationalrail.co.uk
Buses: www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/travel-roads-and-parking/buses/bus-timetables/

Most churches have special services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, although many will be held online this year. For a list of churches, and COVID adjustments, see www.colc.co.uk/shared/religion.html

Entertainment in and around Cambridge
Key websites for (socially distanced) happenings in the Cambridge area are www.visitcambridge.org and www.admin.cam.ac.uk/whatson. Another good website for students is www.joinagora.com.

The Christmas pantomime is a famous British tradition in the form of a musical-comedy theatrical production and is well worth trying. The Cambridge Arts Theatre is staging Dame Trott’s Panto Palaver until 3rd Jan 2021. Also worth checking out is the ADC Theatre, which is showing The Nutcracker (17th-19th Dec).

Cambridge has a wealth of musical events occurring throughout the year, but these take on a distinctly festive theme in December. King’s College has two famous music events: Carols from Kings, is recorded for television early in December and broadcast by BBC2 on Christmas Eve. A Festival of Nine Lessons is broadcast live on BBC Radio 4 at 3.00 pm on Christmas Eve. For more details click here.

City Walks
If you are looking for something to do over the Christmas break, we recommend a private or group guided walking tour of Cambridge (including ghost walks), led by our own Life Fellow Tony Rodgers. Tony brings his talks to life with humour and his in-depth knowledge of Cambridge. www.cambridgetourguide.co.uk. These walking tours comply with Government Covid-19 guidelines. Do let Tony know you are a Hughes Hall student!

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all Seniors and Staff at Hughes Hall!