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Portsmouth Praised for Mental Health Practices

Posted by Richard Ward in ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

The University of Portsmouth's Welcome Ambassadors project has been recognised as an example of national good practice at the launch of a new task force, set up by Education Secretary Damian Hinds.

Mr Hinds announced that the new task force will look at how students moving from sixth-form college to university can be better supported in their first year.

The network will look at what works to help students handle the challenges of moving into higher education, as well as spread good practice from examples of initiatives, such as Portsmouth's Welcome Ambassadors project.

The Welcome Ambassadors at Portsmouth's lead online networks to ensure every new student feels welcomed. Every new student is then assigned to a welcome group who they meet as part of a closed online group, with the option to meet up in person during the first few weeks of term.

Dr Denise Meyer, Head of Wellbeing of the University of Portsmouth Student Wellbeing Service, said: "Our idea was to do something a bit different from a traditional 'buddy scheme', focusing more on helping new students get a head start on making those good connections and networks that really help with settling in and feeling like you belong."

"Helping them to fulfil the motto, 'Lead. Inspire. Connect.' the Welcome Ambassadors' training focuses on developing respectful and inclusive leadership skills. They inspire new students by sharing their own experiences of overcoming challenges in the transition to university."