At the beginning of July 2023, we held SHS Summer Celebration Event with focus on Wellbeing. Acclaimed author and University of Manchester lecturer Horatio Clare talked candidly about his struggles with mental health and how he has overcome them, during an interview with Jim Pendrill. In particular Horatio discussed his memoir Heavy Light which details his own mental health battles, and how his recovery was self-discovered as opposed to relying on medical interventions. During the session Horatio took a number of questions from our audience who found the event deeply engaging and thought provoking.


Jim Pendrill (left) interviewing Horatio Clare (right)

This was followed by writing and wellbeing workshops. SHS staff were invited to access their inner storyteller at this year’s summer celebration event. Following on from the highly successful We Are All Storytellers course last semester, this standalone workshop led by writer Tara Guha encouraged participants to get scribbling, via a range of exercises designed to bypass the inner critic. The second half of the workshop focussed on how best to use expressive writing, and journalling in particular, to benefit from the many health and wellbeing benefits that writing has been shown to bestow. Participants commented on how the session had improved their wellbeing, and all reported enjoying and learning from it. Comments included

I really like the workshop! It’s the first time I wrote about my feelings in over ten years.

I don’t often get the opportunity to do sessions like this….so it was a breath of fresh air.

Writing came more easily than I expected – and a catharsis from writing …which I wasn’t expecting.

I think we all get too bogged down with writing emails and scientific papers that we forget how to enjoy writing in itself.

Nice to have chance to chat to other people about personal things and reflect on how we manage our wellbeing.

We also run energy management, relaxing head massage and yoga sessions.The range was designed to cover both Academic and Professional Services colleagues from across the School. There was also a fantastic BBQ where colleagues were able to catch up with each other over food, drinks and delicious ice-cream.


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