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Student Volunteering Week: Working with St John Ambulance

The scope of St John Ambulance’s student volunteering initiative is really quite impressive; approximately 1500 student volunteers, based at 50 universities, have provided over 80,000 volunteer hours to the organisation in the last year alone. The volunteers work on their university campuses and in the local community to help St John Ambulance achieve its vision that “no one should suffer from the lack of trained first aiders.” Work begins at a university’s Student Union where a First Aid Society must initially be established. St John Ambulance provide a helpful Guide to walk you through this process, including tips on promoting your society and finding funding. Members are given first aid t

University Mental Health Day 2017

University Mental Health Day takes place on March 2nd this year. The initiative was started by UMHAN (University Mental Health Advisers Network) in 2012 and is supported by Student Minds and members of the Alliance for Student-Led Wellbeing. Last year's event saw over 70 universities, 3000 students and 650 members of staff take part. The day is based around organised events and activities aimed at facilitating a campus-wide conversation on mental health issues, raising awareness of the challenges facing those with mental ill health, and the support available. This year’s University Mental Health Day theme is Active Mental Health - students are being encouraged raise awareness of the support

The Safe Spot Scheme: Working Together to Keep Bradford's Students Safe

The Student Safe Spot (SSS) scheme launched in 2009 in response to the level of street harassment being reported in Bradford City Centre. The initiative is delivered through the collective efforts of City Centre Beat, West Yorkshire Police, Bradford Council, Bradford College, Bradford University and their respective Student Unions, to help members of Bradford's 30,000+ student population if they ever find themselves in a distressing situation. A wide range of venues and businesses are involved in the scheme, including shops, hotels, bars, theaters and libraries, as well as those on the Bradford University and Bradford College campuses. Participating venues agree to display the Student Safety

The Stand Alone Pledge: Helping UK universities to support estranged students

The Stand Alone Charity was founded by Becca Bland in 2013, to provide help and support to adults who are estranged from their family, or who have lost contact with a key family member. The charity’s research shows that 1 in 5 families in the UK are affected by estrangement, with over 5 million people having decided to cut contact with at least one family member. Some common causes of estrangement include clashing personalities, values and beliefs; emotional abuse; poor communication and significant or traumatic life events – but the reasons are innumerable and diverse, as the Estranged Stories site (where those dealing with estrangement can connect with others) shows. Estrangement can happ

ProtectED launches first student safety and wellbeing accreditation scheme

A new accreditation scheme launched by the University of Salford will make it easier for prospective students and their parents to identify safe universities in the UK. All higher education institutions across the UK are now being encouraged to join ProtectED – an accreditation scheme assessing the work done by universities to ensure their students’ safety, security and wellbeing. They can then work towards accreditation by providing details about the services and structures they provide to enable students to avoid problems and achieve their full potential. ProtectED is the first accreditation scheme in the UK’s higher education sector to comprehensively consider practices across the areas o

The Police-Student Volunteers helping to keep Cardiff safe for students and the wider community

Over the last six years, South Wales Police have worked with Student Volunteers from Cardiff University, Cardiff Metropolitan University, The University of South Wales and The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, to help ensure the safety and wellbeing of South Wales’ students and the wider community. We spoke to PC Student Liaison Officer Mike Neate to find out more about this initiative. It all begins with the recruitment process which is facilitated by Student Volunteering Cardiff – a student-led charity that runs a wide range of volunteering projects throughout Cardiff. Those interested in becoming Police Student Volunteers can apply for the role when the recruitment window opens twic

Bringing the HE sector up to date on staff-to-student sexual misconduct

The last few months have seen a slew of headlines revealing serious problems of sexual misconduct from academic staff towards students in higher education in the UK as well as elsewhere in the world. A front-page story in the Guardian in August focused on the use of non-disclosure agreements by universities to ensure that students who have experienced various forms of sexual misconduct do not talk publicly about this. The Guardian followed this up with a call-out for anonymous accounts of sexual harassment in higher education and has so far received over 200 stories. For those of us trying to bring about change in this area, these stories made depressingly familiar reading. Ranging from subt

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Staying on Top of University Coursework

You have hopefully survived the first semester of the academic year and have recently emerged (relatively) unscathed on the other side of January exams. Studying might be the last thing you want to think about right now, but this is the perfect moment. Reflecting back on the last year, understanding the things that worked and those that didn’t, while they are still fresh in your mind, can help you to move forward with confidence, safe in the knowledge that your precious time will be spent efficiently and effectively! 1. I will learn from my mistakes: Cast your mind back to last semester. Did socialising often take priority over work? Set yourself a clear timetable of work and downtime; stick

Universities must rethink how they ensure student safety, security and wellbeing

Students may be more at risk of crime and mental ill-health at some universities than others because of differences in the way institutions consider the safety and well-being of their students. Last year, 2.3m students started university in the UK, representing 4% of the population. These students are at greater risk of crime than other people in Britain. Figures from the Office of National Statistics show that 19% of full-time students were victims of crime in 2014-15, compared to 16% of all adults in the general population. Full-time students experienced higher levels of victimisation than the general population for a number of crimes, including burglary, violence, domestic violence, muggi

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