Welcome to the last Peer Support News of 2018! This year feels like it has flown by so fast. The holidays are fast approaching and many of us are looking forward to catching up with family and friends during this time. Unfortunately this is not the case for everyone. Bear this in mind and offer or signpost support where you can. 

Looking Back

The lead peer mentor team have been sharing their thoughts and ideas about the undergraduate peer mentoring scheme in their November forums. Leaders enjoyed the challenge of creating the welcome events for the first year mentees. There was also an overwhelming feeling that the scheme helps create a greater sense of community for the students involved.

Academic and Foreign Language PAL leaders are continuing to do a great job running their group study sessions. The Psychology PAL leader team sent us this photo of their session, using rubber ducks for a critical thinking activity.

Email peersupport@bath.ac.uk if you have a success story you would like us to share with the peer support community. Remember if you are running a peer mentoring event or PAL session, take some photos or video and send them on to us. We would love to share these too.

Spotlight

The University of Manchester welcomed 71 student delegates and 30 staff delegates to the annual PASS/PAL Leader conference. Together they represented 31 institutions from across Europe!

Senior PAL leaders Joshua Tenn and Katya Kowalski as well as Psychology PAL leader Anca Salagean attended. 

Joshua and Katya presented an evaluation of their Psychology PAL scheme from last year. One of the activities they mentioned using in sessions, PAL Pong, has now been adopted in Sweden.

The three leaders share some of their thoughts on the event:

The conference had a wide variety of activities over the 3 days. There was a ‘team challenge’ where all students worked in small groups to create a pitch for what a University would look like in the future (any time after 2030). The goal of the task was to envision how Higher Education may change in the coming years, how PAL will fit into that and what its role will be. We all thought this was a fun and engaging activity which spanned the whole weekend.

Additionally to this, various keynote speakers presented at the conference on various topics, such as using the growth mindset and tackling generational differences in education. There were also smaller, ‘hands-on’ sessions on topics focused on specific elements of PAL sessions such as how to be more creative with sessions, how to increase attendance and how to promote wellbeing.

Overall, it was a great experience and we all got a lot out of it - something we would definitely recommend to any future PAL leaders!

Looking Forward

Look After Your Mate introduces students to mental health and how to be a supportive friend for someone who is struggling. The training session will be delivered by the SU Advice Team and is written by Student Minds. There is a session on Friday 7th December - 12:15-3:05pm and more sessions should be available next semester. We will keep you posted. 

Academic PAL leaders are invited to a refresher workshop on Wednesday 6th February. Save the date and we will let you know more details nearer the time

Volunteer of the Month

Pharmacy PAL leader Jenny Ly is this month's winner.  She was nominated by Julie Letchford, the department lead on PAL.

Julie commented on the great commitment Jenny has shown to the scheme from day one. Julie also said that Jenny's planning and communication has ensured the second year students get the most out of each session. 

A big thanks to the rest of the Pharmacy PAL team for keeping the scheme running this semester despite the complex timetabling and juggling the demands of your own studies. You are all stars!

If you would like to nominate a volunteer or group of volunteers for our first award, you can do so by emailing peersupport@bath.ac.uk before 25 January stating your nominee(s) and why you think they deserve recognition.

 

Have a great December and we hope you can take some time to relax and rest during the holidays.

The Peer Support Team