GW4 Funds PGR-led Mental Wellbeing Initiatives

May 30, 2019

GW4 has awarded funding to four student-led Mental Wellbeing projects, as part of our GW4 PGR-led Mental Wellbeing Initiative, following a workshop for successful applicants to further develop their ideas.

The ‘sandpit’ style Mental Wellbeing workshop took place on 30th April at the Engine Shed in Bristol. Guided by Anna Britton, expert facilitator for wellbeing programmes, along with consultation from GW4 university Wellbeing Advisors, postgraduate students from across GW4 discussed their ideas and further developed collaborative proposals.

Jen Hawkins, GW4 Building Capacity Manager said: “A wealth of valuable information and ideas emerged from the workshop that will be shared with the network of Wellbeing Advisors, in the true spirit of GW4, drawing on and adding value across the consortium and growing the capability of all HEIs. In this arena there is more to gain than to lose competitively and we can now demonstrate how valuable it is.”

The result of the workshop was funding for four initiatives: creating a wellbeing network, local wellbeing toolkit, student report on wellbeing and Laughter Therapy sessions. The Laughter Therapy project will be led by an Occupational Health and Social Work specialist PhD student at Cardiff University who will run sessions and train other PGRs to be practitioners, ensuring the sustainability of the project, as well as reach across the consortium.

A Postgraduate Research degree is a unique experience for the researcher, but also carries with it a set of very specific and challenging demands. The GW4 PGR-led Mental Wellbeing Initiative is part of the wider support and a host of benefits and opportunities GW4 provides our postgraduate research community. Through this pilot scheme we encouraged the GW4 PGR student community to suggest and evolve new ideas to support positive Mental Health across GW4. There are, of course, already lots of activities in this space at each of the four GW4 universities and we plan to complement these with these student-led projects addressing the GW4 community.