Wellbeing champions

by | Mar 13, 2019 | Wellbeing | 0 comments

Wellbeing champions actively promote the University of Manchester’s Six Ways to Wellbeing in the School. If you don’t know about the Six Ways to Wellbeing, we’d encourage you to have a look at the student support section of My Manchester. There are lots of ideas on how small actions can make a big difference. 

We are lucky to have 2 enthusiastic champions who have been busy this year helping increase awareness of opportunities you can get involved with. 


Picture of Wellbeing Champion

Bethany Barnes Wood

“My name is Beth, and I am currently in my second year studying French and German. I would say my highlight so far of being a student is going to society events as it has allowed me to meet people with similar interests as me, and has allowed me to socialise more.


My role as a wellbeing champion is promoting wellbeing around the university, using the “6 ways to wellbeing”. I have taken part in several events and activities, such as blog posts about wellbeing but also events like hiding envelopes around the university for students to find giving them free biscuits and coffee vouchers, for example. This encouraged students to give as the joy on their face as they received a gift from an unknown person was really gratifying.


I really like the idea that students are at the heart of everything we do. We are constantly finding ways to make such an important experience even more enjoyable, and taking part really is rewarding. I like the fact that there is a strong emphasis on healthy living, which a lot of students can struggle with, so we aim to give advice and activities which can help this.


I first heard about wellbeing champions at a volunteering fair and I knew it was something I wanted to get involved with as physical and mental health is such an important factor in an enjoyable university experience and I wanted to make sure that this was reciprocated to others. I had not really heard about wellbeing champions before and I wanted to raise awareness of their presence within the university so that students know what they can do to stay healthy and well.


We attended a training session at the start of the year which was really helpful and informative. We were taught about the six ways to wellbeing and how these can be applied in everyday life, but also what support is on offer at the university should anyone come to us for help. Being taught the basis of wellbeing and the ways to wellbeing, we were then encouraged to brainstorm ideas of activities and events which could implement these ways to wellbeing throughout the university which are so rewarding to take part in.


My first advice for a student who wanted to become a Wellbeing Champion would be – GO FOR IT! It’s such a gratifying opportunity, it allows you to meet more people, get to know the university better, but also get to help others. I have become so much more informed myself about what is on offer and it is such a nice way to promote such a positive thing to other students. I would encourage students to think of how they can implement these ways to wellbeing in their own.


Picture of Wellbeing Champion

Louis Haddard

Hi! I’m Louis and I’m in my second year of a history and Spanish degree at UOM. It’s felt like great journey so far from coming here as a slightly terrified but excited fresher in September 2017, and I’d say the best part of it has been discovering more about myself as I’ve become more independent and (hopefully!) a bit more like a real adult.


One of the most rewarding parts of my experience at uni so far has to be all the opportunities we are given to get more involved on an extracurricular basis, and one of those roles for me that I signed up to earlier this year was being a wellbeing champion. In this role, me and many others across a whole cohort of different courses discuss, plan and execute exciting events and produce content that promotes the University’s Six Ways to Wellbeing.


 I decided to go for this role as physical and mental wellbeing have always stood out to me as fundamental factors in thriving as well I can in many areas of my life, and in this transitional period at university, the importance of making positive decisions for yourself becomes even more important. Training was a great (and actually quite fun!) session with the brilliant and very lovely team of student interns we have here running Wellbeing Champions at the University. The session allowed me to meet new people from other courses that shared a similar attitude and ideas around helping others and being well – it’s still quite nice to bump into other champions I’ve met during these sessions and say hello around campus! Every two months, when the Way to Wellbeing changes and we begin planning promotional activities around it, everyone meets up again and we have another session sharing ideas and planning.


There is brilliant ongoing support that we receive from the team and each other in our own communications that happen through university emails and  facebook group, so It’s all very interactive and open ended, giving you the choice of suggesting activities, leading them or just taking part. If, like me, you are passionate about different specific areas of wellbeing – like mental health awareness, sport and exercise or mindfulness – there are great opportunities to blog online through the wellbeing channels too. If you would like to get involved with wellbeing champions, my main piece of advice would be go into it with an attitude of wanting to promote what is meaningful to you, as this is definitely a space where everyone’s individual ideas and values  are listened to and have the opportunity to be platformed.


You’ll be able to follow Bethany and Louis through this blog! 

If becoming a Wellbeing Champion is something you think you might be interested in, you can find more details about the role by visiting My Manchester. If you do sign up, don’t forget to get in touch with us and let us know how you’re getting on!