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14th March, 2011

We have all been shocked and saddened by the events unfolding in Japan over the weekend following the earthquake, tsunami and repeated aftershocks. We now know that the death toll has been high and conditions for people in some parts of Japan are extremely difficult. We recognise that some staff and students at Aston will be personally affected by this tragedy and we sincerely hope that your relatives and friends are safe.

Here at the University, we will do our best to offer you practical and emotional support.

For students, The Hub advice team can offer practical assistance and a friendly face. The Hub is open from 9.30am until 5pm each day except Wednesday when it opens at 10am. You do not need an appointment. You can also contact staff in The Hub by calling0121 204 4007.

The Counselling service has professional counselling staff who can assist students and staff. Please go to The Hub if you would like to see a counsellor or call 0121 204 4007. Full details as well as information about out of hours support can be found at: http://www1.aston.ac.uk/current-students/health-wellbeing/counselling/contact/.

The staff at the Martin Luther King Multi-faith Centre will also be pleased to help students and staff. The Centre is situated just next to the Library entranceand is openfrom 9am until 5pmthis week. You do not need an appointment, just call into the Centre to speak to one of the team. The Chaplaincy team can also be contacted on0121 204 4729. The Chaplaincy will be holding multi-faith prayers for staff and students in the Centre this Thursday, 17th March, between 1 and 1:30pm as an opportunity to express condolences, to pray and reflect about recent events. Prayers will be offered in several languages including Japanese and English. All are welcome.

If you have urgent concerns outside of these hours, please go in person to Security in the Main Building lower foyer because they will be able to contact a senior member of University staff.

The British Foreign & Commonwealth Office has set up a helpline for anyone in the UK worried about friends or relatives in Japan affected by the earthquake and tsunami. The number is020 7008 0000.

Updates about these services will be posted through the University websiteand further BBC updates can be found at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12709598.

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