Semester one is well underway and we have over 1,100 volunteers busy supporting students through the Peer Mentoring and Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) schemes. Amazing!

Looking Back

We have had our first month of Academic PAL. 75 leaders have been working hard to deliver PAL sessions for 12 schemes across the 4 faculties. We have had over 525 students attend at least one session. 

Foreign Languages PAL is in it's second year supporting students to develop their language skills and intercultural awareness. There are weekly sessions for 8 different languages. Sessions are open to all students so check out the timetable for more information.

Postgraduate mentors have been getting to know their mentees at the Doctoral Welcome Reception.There was also a chance to catch up at a coffee and cake event later in October.

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

Chao Fang is a doctoral student from the Department of Social and Policy Sciences. Not only has he has been a postgraduate mentor, he has worked behind the scenes to develop and support the scheme in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. He shares his thoughts on the postgraduate peer mentoring scheme.

What made you decide to get involved with the mentoring scheme?

I wanted to improve the peer support for doctoral students in the University. I never had a mentor so I wanted a better experience for new students beginning their studies. I wanted to use my experience to benefit other students.

What has been the most positive aspect of being a mentor?     

Being a mentor is a positive distraction from my own research and a great way to get to know some new people. Some of my mentees became my friends.

What skills have you further developed as a result of being a mentor?

I have developed my communication skills and also gained a better knowledge of University services and resources.

Why would you encourage others to get involved with the scheme?

Being a mentor is a great experience in PhD life. The most important thing is, it is not time- consuming at all!

Which three words best sum up being a mentor?

Support, share and enjoy.

Chao's involvement with the scheme is coming to an end. We wish him well for the future and want to say a big thank you for his enthusiasm and dedication to the scheme.

Looking Forward

Some of our PAL leaders will be attending the annual PASS/PAL Leader Conference which is being hosted by the University of Manchester. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Empowering Leaders of the Future: Who Will We Bee?’ We will let you know how they got on next month.

If you are a peer mentor we hope you are checking in regularly with your mentees. Keep an eye out for any events being hosted by your department and lead peer mentors to catch up face-to-face.

As peer support volunteers, you are able to use the Student Leader Hub to do your work and meet up to plan events, activities and PAL sessions. There is also a bookable, 16-seat meeting room and a café downstairs if you wanted somewhere different to meet you mentees.

The Student Leader Hub is on the 2nd Floor of the Virgil Building, Manvers Street in the centre of Bath. It is open until 10pm. You just need your library card to swipe in.

Volunteer of the Month

The winners are Psychology lead peer mentors Nele Gewert and Helena Whitley. They were nominated by Ian Fairholm, the department lead on undergraduate peer mentoring.

"Helena and Nele really hit the ground running, showing lots of enthusiasm, helping to make the welcome event we did with our first years very successful.

They also went above and beyond by creating a newsletter for all the mentees/first years, full of helpful advice from mentors who have 'been there and done that'.

Their enthusiasm, hard work and application have really impressed me so far and I look forward to seeing what they come up with next!"

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

Have a great November,

The Peer Support Team.