Welcome back! Exams are over and we hope you have had time to relax to relax during the inter-semester break. We have a packed semester 2 ahead of us. We will be asking for your help in recruiting our future peer mentors and PAL leaders but we want you to stay too! Check out our other peer mentor and PAL leader roles or drop us an email to say you want to stay involved next year. 

Looking Back

Thanks to all the lead peer mentors who arranged end of semester mentoring events. The Psychology mentors held a pizza and quiz lunch and Computer Science mentors ran an event to help mentees get a handle on housing. Management mentors and Pharmacy mentors ran events for mentees focused on getting to grips with revision and exam preparation. 

Postgraduate mentors and mentees had the opportunity to catch up at the Peer Mentoring and Mince Pie social in early December.  

Foreign Language and Academic PAL finished for the semester with many leaders creating festive and fun activities for their final sessions. The total student attendance for PAL sessions in semester one was a massive 1773. A big thank you to everyone involved in making this happen!

Email peersupport@bath.ac.uk if you have a success story you would like us to share with the peer support community

Spotlight

Sam Cook has been the Peer Support Coordinator since July 2018. He shares his thoughts on the SU Bath, his experiences in the role so far and looking ahead to the future. 

How have you found starting at the SU Bath?

The SU Bath is a great place to work. I have really enjoyed getting to know the volunteers and staff we work with. The University clearly values its mentoring and PAL schemes and it’s great to be involved. However, I am not quite used to working at a campus university yet and getting caught up in the bus drama during my first semester was interesting to say the least.

What have you enjoyed about the role so far?

As we did not have PAL at my university, I have found it fascinating learning about PAL, how it works and its history. Meeting students and staff from across Europe who are also running PAL schemes has been an invaluable experience and I’m hoping to implement some ideas over the next few months. Also, seeing the work of the PAL Leaders during observations was really inspiring – I have seen some very impressive PAL sessions this year.

What new initiatives have you been working on this year?

I have been really excited to be involved with establishing an Exercise Peer Mentor scheme which we are piloting this semester. The scheme helps students with mental health difficulties to start a regular exercise programme. Mentors work with their mentees to maintain their engagement. The scheme has involved working with departments across the SU and the University, including Student Services, SU Sport and the STV. We are hoping it will have a positive impact on the students involved.

How do you hope to develop peer support in the future?

I want to develop the peer support offer for postgraduate students. We currently only work with some doctoral students and only have one mentoring scheme for PGT students, but there is a real need for additional support. If you have any ideas for developing mentoring for postgraduate students we would be keen to hear from you.

Looking Forward

Undergraduate peer mentor recruitment for 2019/20 opens on 4 February. If you are a current peer mentor please encourage your mentees to think about becoming mentors. Lead peer mentors, you can do your bit too. Lecture shout-outs are great for raising awareness and sign posting how to get involved.

PAL leaders are invited to a refresher workshop on Wednesday 6 February at 13:15. This is a good opportunity to reflect on your PAL experience from semester 1 and get some ideas to develop your sessions and yourselves as leaders. 

Sign up now for the refresher workshop 

Remember to promote PAL sessions at the beginning of semester. You can collect flyers from the peer support office. Lecture shout-outs are also a good way to raise awareness of the great work you are doing.

Lead peer mentor forums are happening on Tuesday 12 February. These are a great opportunity for you to share your thoughts and experiences. Feedback then helps shape the scheme for the future. 

Sign up now for the lead peer mentor forum at 12:15 or 13:15.

Placement mentor forums are happening on Tuesday 19 February. We want you to suggest how we could improve the scheme for the future. 

Sign up now for the placement mentor forum at 12:15 or 13:15.

Postgraduate mentors are invited to our next mentoring social. Invite your mentees so you can relax and catch up with them as well as other mentors on Wednesday 13 February at 14:00. There will be the usual coffee and cake as well as some Valentine-themed sweet treats.

Sign up now for the postgraduate mentoring social 

Volunteer of the Month

Sport and Social Sciences PAL leader Beth Castle is this month's winner. Beth was chosen by the Peer Support Team for showing great leadership with the PAL scheme and planning sessions that have been really helpful to the students attending.

We would like to say a big thank you to the other Sport and Social Sciences PAL leaders Ellis Sharp and Fabio Marques Roque for making the scheme such a success!

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 February stating your nominee(s) and why you think they deserve recognition.

Have a good month everyone!

The Peer Support Team