Apr 8 2014

Take The Grapevine survey

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It’s now been almost six months since the first blog post ran off the press at the Grapevine.

We thought that it’s a good time to ask you what you think about the Residential Services staff blog, so we’ve put together a short survey. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to complete and is open to everyone, whether you subscribe to the blog or not. It’ll run until the end of April.

We’ve had a great time collaborating with you to put together news and views from the division. Thanks to everyone for sending pictures and stories, and for reading and commenting – keep them coming! 

Now, enough said, help us shaping our blog and take The Grapevine survey.

Thank you,  

 Claire & Konni



Posted by: Posted on by Konni Deppe

Apr 8 2014

Residences ‘go selfie’ for LSE Vacations campaign

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Bankside Selfie

Bankside House – current winner of the title ‘Most people in one picture’

We like to think we’re a friendly bunch in LSE Residential and Catering Services, and some hall teams have been taking the selfies to prove it. 

High Holborn, Rosebery and Bankside got up close to get everyone into the picture. You can see reception staff, service managers, maintenance engineers, housekeepers, bar managers and chefs, to name but a few.


High Holborn presents: The Lucky Cat

The images were produced for the LSE Vacations facebook page, to show what a friendly, diverse and welcoming bunch of people are ready to look after visitors during the vacations periods. However, we liked the pictures so much that we wanted to share them here on The Grapevine, too. Thanks to Fiona for telling us about the campaign. 

Rosebery Selfie

Rosa and ‘The Roseberians’

More selfies are lined up, and we’ll be posting them on Facebook and of course here on the blog. 

So if you haven’t taken a selfie yet, no matter how small or large your team, we’d love you to send us one. 

(Okay, okay, do I hear you say you want a selfie of the admin teams too? Maybe that can be arranged…watch this space.)

Posted by: Posted on by Konni Deppe

Apr 7 2014

Bankside team overcomes Major obstacles

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You might think your average social event with colleagues involves chatting over a pint of something liquid down at Ye Olde White Horse, but Bankside House team members decided they were going to tough it out on a military-style assault course instead.

On a gloriously sunny Saturday at the end of March, Bankside warden Debra and front of house staff members Richard, Troy and Fabio took part in the 10k Major Series challenge.

The four ‘intrepid Banksiders’ made their way across Eridge Park in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, during the event organised by British Military Fitness.

The race was not your typical 10k run. Runners had to slog through muddy, knee-deep trenches, navigate electric fence wire, crawl through a pit of ice, vault over a dozen hay bales and space-hop towards the finish line. By the end of the race, everyone was exceptionally muddy and very sore.

While Richard and Debra are already keen runners, Fabio had to channel his inner Rocky Balboa to get him through the race. However, everyone ran their hearts out and all four finished the course in the fastest 35% of the 1600+ racers.

Fabio said: ‘It was a fun team building event and something we thought was just a good change of pace.’

If you’re interested in signing up for the next event in October, visit the Major Series website.

Make sure you train beforehand, and pack a change of clothes.

Troy White
Residence Assistant, Bankside House

Posted by: Posted on by Konni Deppe

Apr 1 2014

One thing you didn’t know about your colleague

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Now, here’s something you might not have known about your colleague Gabriele, who works in the Northumberland House admin team:

LAUNCH FLYER 300DPI FULL RESNext to his work at LSE, he’s nurturing a successful music career, and under his stage name ‘Trent Miller’, he’ll be releasing his third album later this month.

‘Burnt Offerings’ presents a series of ‘vignettes depicting the unravelling of a doomed love’, and the release gig is taking place at The Albany in W1, on 14 April.

His 2009 debut album ‘Cerberus’gained wide acclaim, receiving substantial press coverage and airplay, including on Cerys Matthews’s BBC6 Music programme. He returned with a second collection of arresting country-folk ‘Welcome To Inferno Valley’ in 2011.

For more details on the upcoming album, visit Trent Miller’s website

So if you haven’t got any plans for 14 April, support him at the Albany. Try to catch a signed copy of his album –  while you can still afford it!

The team at Northumberland house wishes Trent all the very best for his music career and hopes that the launch goes really well.

Davinder Ratra,
Front of House Manager, Northumberland House

Posted by: Posted on by Konni Deppe

Mar 31 2014

LSE and the Inter-University Bake Off!


Bake Off_2Fourth Floor Restaurant Chef Robert Hingston was delighted to be asked to join a judging panel of professionals for the first ever London Inter-University Bake Off, held by the Baking Societies of LSE, UCL, KCL and QMUL in the Saw Swee Hock building on 18 March 2014.

There were 52 entrants meaning Robert had a lot of prodding, tasting and cogitating to do with the other judges before pronouncing judgment!

The evening was a great success and raised £299.70 for cancer charity Target Ovarian Cancer.

LSESU Baking Society on FacebookYou can see pictures of the competing (and very, very moreish looking) entries on the LSESU Baking Society’s Facebook Page


Jacqui Beazley
Deputy Head of Catering

Posted by: Posted on by Claire Warne

Mar 31 2014

Residential Services info point a success at LSE Undergraduate Open Day

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Hundreds of potential students and their parents/guardians were welcomed at our accommodation information point during LSE Undergraduate Open Day on 26 March.

Undergraduate Open Day 260113_1A joint team of colleagues from Passfield Hall, urbanest King’s Cross, Bankside House and the Accommodation Office staffed the bustling stall on the first floor of the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre, and helped to answer questions about LSE Residences.

Accommodation fees, types of social activities and general safety advice topped the list of most frequently asked questions.

The event was a great opportunity for us to answer students’ key queries and to address the things they are concerned about, when applying to the School for accommodation.

Undergraduate Open Day 260113_2Why not pop by and take a look at our information point at Visit Day on 9 April 2014?  We would love to see you.

Trevor Murtagh, Senior Accommodation Assistant



Posted by: Posted on by Claire Warne

Mar 27 2014

RCSD: Are you up for a challenge? Ready to take on the world?


LSE is joining the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) this year and colleagues from Residential and Catering Services are invited to join other global competitors on a ‘virtual journey’ across the globe!

In teams of seven, colleagues are encouraged to look for opportunities throughout the day to get more active, whatever their current level of activity.

Together, you will set out on a 100 day ‘virtual journey’ around the globe. You can participate in mini-challenges and competitions along the way and will be rewarded for your achievements during the programme.

We’re being asked to form  a team for the division, that on 28 May will begin its virtual journey along with our LSE colleagues and other global competitors.

Each team member will receive a pulse accelerometer to track their activity. Activities can include walking, running, cycling, swimming, dancing, and every step counts towards the goal. The more active you are each day, the further your team will progress up the leader board.

Keep an eye on Staff News  and the Grapevine over the next few weeks for more details about how to register. Any immediate points around details can be obtained through contacting Chris Watt in HR on c.watt@lse.ac.uk.

I hope we’re able to enter more than one team for the division. If you’re up for a challenge, let me know.

Other than that, does anyone want me on their team?

Ian Spencer
Director of Residential Services

Posted by: Posted on by Claire Warne

Mar 27 2014

Private Housing Options: Housing Week talk at LSESU Venue

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Private Housing MeetingAisling Traynor from the University of London Housing Services spoke to students about their private housing options for the forthcoming year. Topics of last week’s talk included: where to start searching, what pitfalls to avoid and deposit protection. About 80 students attended which was a healthy number for the final week of term!

The event was organised in co-operation with the LSE Student’s Union (LSESU) and formed part of their “Housing Week”. It took place at LSESU Venue, an excellent new multi purpose space at the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre (SAW) and is marking another successful collaboration between Residential Services (Accommodation Office) and LSESU.

Trevor Murtagh, Senior Accommodation Assistant,  gave a brief introduction of the upcoming LSE Studentpad platform, which will be launched in April. This new student accommodation search engine helps students search for houses, flats and lodgings in London. Another housing talk is scheduled for the end of April in time for the launch. Here’s a sneak preview:


Trevor Murtagh
Senior Accommodation Assistant

Posted by: Posted on by Claire Warne

Mar 26 2014

What do you get when you move an office and relocate a luggage room? At Rosebery Hall, the answer is five new bed spaces.

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We looked at how we are using our space and realised that we could do more and be better.

So with a little re-jigging of our office and reception, a few pots of paint and a scuffle with Opera (our property management software), we’ve added four rooms with a total of five bed spaces. Of course the whole process was a bit more complex, but as the office and storage rooms that we converted had been designed as bedrooms when Rosebery Hall was originally built, works were comparatively straightforward. Rooms 218 and 217 were added last year. Rooms 216 and 249 are this year’s additions.

Take a look at our before and after photos of room 219: before, it was used as a music room and luggage store. Now it has been transformed into a gorgeous twin room.





The current resident in room 216 says
“I am very satisfied with the refurbished room. In comparison to the others, the flooring is far better, the cupboards, the closet and everything was improved and looks better.”

We are also very pleased with the result and hope that our students and vacations guests alike will enjoy their stays.

Amir Deng and Rosa Gil

Posted by: Posted on by Konni Deppe

Mar 12 2014

Celebrating new office space in Saw Swee Hock Student Centre

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OpenMorningAccommodationOfficeThe accommodation and fees teams have been proudly showing off our new state-of-the art offices during an open morning this week.

Invited guests were staff members of LSE and ‘third party’ accommodation providers, all people that we work closely with, but who may rarely meet with us face to face.

We’ve been in the new building since 6 January 2014,  and now that all boxes are unpacked and everybody has settled in, we’ve taken the opportunity to present our new office space in LSE’s latest landmark building.

Senior Accommodation Assistant, Trevor Murtagh, said: ‘The guests from urbanest, Sanctuary and Zebra Housing seemed impressed with the facilities. The open day was a chance for people who normally only speak on the phone to meet each other over a cup of tea. It was an opportunity to strengthen our working relationships, as well as appreciate the great facilities at SAW .’

The visitors were thanked for their support throughout the year by Head of Residential Life, Rachael Elliott. She presented our new branding that is now used widely across our communication channels, and that, together with a ‘barrier-free’ office layout, signifies a step towards a more welcoming culture in student accommodation at LSE.

Staff with Saw Swee Hock branded cups

Posted by: Posted on by Konni Deppe