In the beginning there was pumpkin…
With little publicity I burst upon the Business School scene dressed as a pumpkin! Well you need to dress to impress, and I did. My first session was in the Postgraduate Teaching Centre during the lunch hour and I saw quite a number of students and staff. It was a great day and I gave so many cuddles I had to go back to the office for a nap.
So began Winnie Wednesdays…
I visited the PTC each Wednesday meeting some many people telling them about my work as a Pets as Therapy Volunteer and from there it has taken off. I have been invited to meet our MBA students, attended induction talks, met prospective students at Offer Holder Days I also enjoyed an afternoon with a Primary School Visit. More recently I have been meeting students in Aberconway Library during the revision and exam period.
Nail-biting rescue in the garden
I was taking my pre-lunch stroll when I spotted Bertie Bee on the floor, the poor chap looked exhausted and in need of some help. I quickly rustled up some sugar water for him and waited with him. It was a tense time, however, Bertie Bee soon recovered and returned to his pals in the hive. It was dramatic and I was lucky that my Furred Aid Training kicked in and Bertie Bee was ok.
October to date
- Students = 587
- Staff = 225
- Library visitors = 40
- Offer holder days (4) = 20 students and parents
- Primary school visit = 30 pupils + 4 teachers
- Invited to meet exec MBA students
- Photobombed a Society photo shoot
- Photos taken of Winnie = probably in the 1,000s.
Pets as Therapy
PAT is a national charity which aims to enhance health and wellbeing in the community through the visits of trusted volunteers with their behaviourally assessed animals.
We’re very lucky in the Business School to have a dedicated Student Support Adviser and a Pets as Therapy Volunteer. That means students who are seeking advice on range of issues including: fees and funding, visas, housing, counselling, mental health and well-being or any other issues that students may have, can call into see Winnie and Myself.
Many students miss their own pets and just want to say hello, have a cuddle or take a photograph.
In the Business School, Winnie enables students to express their fears and feelings in a relaxed, informal environment.
We have been holding ‘Winnie Wednesdays’ since October with Winnie meeting students in the post graduate teaching centre (PTC) during lunchtime. The response has been great with Winnie usually meeting 20 – 30 students each session.
Without doubt every student who has met Winnie has given a very positive response, many commenting on how fantastic it is to have Winnie in the office or the PTC and they look forward to seeing her each week.
Lots of students have told me that they feel much happier after meeting Winnie and this is helping with their general wellbeing. Having Winnie with me has allowed us to break down the barriers that can sometimes stop students from accessing support.
Health and Wellbeing is of course an important element of this. Good health and wellbeing is essential because if you’re feeling happy and healthy, you study better. In fact, you do everything better. Being at the forefront of this work with Winnie and PAT is brilliant for the Business School and we are proud to be the only School in the University currently undertaking student support work of this kind.
We have a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including: Advice and Money, Careers and Employability, Counselling, Health and Wellbeing, Disability and Dyslexia and International Student Support
Denise Brereton is Student Support Adviser at Cardiff Business School.
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