Peter Symonds College recently held a Health and Wellbeing Fair for current students with a diverse range of stands and attractions aimed at promoting mental and physical health, helping students de-stress ahead of exam season.
A wide range of organisations exhibited inside the Mercers’ Sports Hall, offering information and advice on a variety of topics. Students had access to healthy food freebies, condoms and chlamydia testing, meningitis awareness, stop smoking advice, stress and anxiety advice, and defibrillator and CPR awareness. Additionally they could sign up to be a bone marrow donor, indulge in some beauty treatments, take photos in the Photobooth, ride a smoothie bike, stroke a therapy dog, play ping pong and do a bit of rowing.
Outside a visiting farm allowed students to de-stress through petting pygmy goats and alpacas, grooming ponies and handling tortoises, guinea pigs and rabbits. A basketball bungee run and bouncy castle provided more active options for burning off any nervous energy.
Ruth Kirkby, representing Tesco’s Race for Life scheme, said, “This event has been a real pleasure. Students have been so upbeat and engaging and it’s been great to see that people getting together to do something positive has rung a bell.”
Exhibitors throughout the venue commented on an impressive level of attendance and a high level of student engagement with the issues being discussed. Winchester Marrow, the Winchester University group signing up students to the Anthony Nolan bone marrow donation register had their best ever recruitment, signing up a massive 92 students to the bone marrow register (compared with 50 the last time they visited college).
Students commented, “The event is absolutely a good thing. It’s great to relax a bit before exams start.” “It starts a conversation about issues.” “It’s been really useful. It’s a great mix and an opportunity to learn about a lot of important topics.”
Charlotte McIver, Student Welfare Officer, said, “this is an opportunity to give students a chance to relax and have fun before their exams, and educate them on the things likely to affect them during this busy period, such as stress, smoking, alcohol abuse and diet. It promotes awareness of these issues and of how to overcome them effectively now and in the future as they move on from college and become more independent.”
Liz Crouch, Head of Student Services, said, “The event went really well and the spectrum of services and information on offer ensured there was something of interest or use for everyone. This can be a stressful period for students coming up and we wanted to equip them with the tools and information to take care of themselves properly. At Peter Symonds we believe that supporting students in their personal lives is crucial to enabling them to achieve academically, and events like this are a great way to provide that support.”