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News, Student Spotlight

Case Study: Emily Bryan, Sport and Exercise Science Student

 

We spoke to Emily Bryan, a passionate Irish dancer who is currently studying Bath College’s new Level 3 Sport and Exercise Science course.
 
 

How did you get into Dancing?
When I was in year 1 (5 years old) there was an after school club for Irish dancing and I really liked the sound of it so I went to it and haven’t stopped since.
 
What is your favourite aspect of competing?
My favourite aspect of competing is performing in front of the judges and showing them how much I love to dance. I also love travelling and meeting lots of people. Its also an amazing feeling when I do well at competitions as it tells me that all the hard work I put into dance is worth it.
 
What is the highest level you have competed at?
International. I qualified for the world championships in November 2018 and attended the worlds this April in North Carolina.
 
What attracted you to the Sport and Exercise course at Bath College?
P.E. was always my favorite subject for GCSE as I found it very interesting so when I saw what the sport and exercise science course consisted of I knew that’s what I wanted to do as I knew I was going to enjoy it and find it interesting.
 
How do you balance college/training?
I can find this difficult sometimes, especially leading up to bigger competitions. But whenever I’m not dancing I just do any college work I have and make sure I still have time to do it even when I have dance a lot of the time. When I do not have training I usually do any college work I have then practise dance at home after.
 
How do you feel your course at the College has helped you?
In the future, I know that doing this course will benefit me a lot and give me an option of pathways that interest me.
 
What are your aspirations after finishing College?
My biggest aspiration when I leave college is to travel the world in a dance show. However I also love the idea of being a physio or something along those lines. I would also love to become a qualified dance teacher one day as I like teaching others how to dance.
 
 
For more information about the Sport & Exercise Science courses, click here.
 

News

Sally Wilson, Bath College’s Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor

 
Bath College will be running brand new First Aid courses dealing specifically with Mental Health, starting in October 2019. These courses will be run by qualified Mental Health First Aid instructors, and accredited by Mental Health First Aid England. Everyone has mental health, and better mental health is better for all of us, this is why MHFA England are dedicated to ensuring there is zero stigma to discussing mental health.

Sally, Care Academy Co-Ordinators at Bath College, is one of our new Mental Health First Aid Instructors.

 

Mental Health is not something we should take lightly, and by having qualified Mental Health First Aiders in places of work or education, we can begin to remove the stigma surrounding discussing Mental Health. It’s just as important as physical health, and should be taken just as seriously. Sally will be specialising in Youth Mental Health First Aid, which makes her courses ideal for those working in Education, or directly with Young People.

 

We had a chat with Sally to find out why she’s decided to become a Youth Mental Health First Aider, and why she thinks Mental Health First Aid is important, scroll down to see her answers!

 

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

As well as being a Mental Health First Aid Instructor, I also work as Bath College Care Academy Co-Ordinator. I work in partnership with health and social care employers and practitioners to develop employability skills for the current and future health and social care workforce.

I have worked for the careers service, as a playworker, a teacher overseas and an Inclusion manager for a secondary school; working with children and young people experiencing crisis.

I have also worked in partnership with many agencies, in a wide range of settings, supporting young people’s personal, social and emotional development.

I am a qualified Youth Worker, Lecturer and Assessor and have taught and assessed youth work study programmes.

I love working with young people, developing projects from scratch, sunshine, travelling and cake!

 

What is Mental Health First Aid?

Mental health first aid is about having the practical skills and confidence to spot the triggers and signs of a range of mental health issues. You will then be confident to step in, reassure and support a person in distress using the Mental Health First Aid action plan.

Just as in Physical First Aid, people are trained to use an action plan to support those whose safety is at risk. Mental Health First Aid does the same, but with the person’s mental wellbeing at its centre.

 

Why do you think Mental Health First Aid is important?

Looking after our mental health has so often been overlooked, and stigma and misinformation around mental health conditions has not helped.

Having worked with vulnerable young people in crisis for many years, I have always felt there has been a great need for this. Last year alone, the Samaritans offered tailored support to schools and colleges with 185 suicides or suicide attempts.

It is imperative that more and more of us feel confident enough to approach and offer support to those experiencing crises, as well as to develop further awareness of how we can all look after our mental health.

 

How did you get into Mental Health First Aid Facilitation?

I have always loved facilitating training courses, there is always so much more to learn from everyone who participates.

The instructor training course was a great way to learn more about a range of mental health issues from many practitioners, as well as from young people who were experiencing mental health issues and what they had found helpful. This was an ideal opportunity for me to explore mental health issues in more depth and has inspired me to keep up to date with research around this topic.

As part of our training we are also offered a range of continual professional development opportunities to ensure we remain accredited trainers.

Mental health is of great interest to so many people. It is fascinating. Being an instructor helps me to equip others with the confidence and skills to both support others, and to look after themselves.

 

Who do you think will benefit from Mental Health First Aid?

I would say all of us. It is about helping to build larger communities where people feel able to support young people experiencing mental health issues. It helps us to tackle stigma and open up conversations, to help others to help themselves.

 

What’s different about Youth Mental Health First Aid?

 Youth Mental Health First Aid is based around working with children and young people aged 8-18. Adolescence is a period of huge transition – socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually.  It presents so many challenges, even for those for who do not experience trauma. Many recent studies have highlighted how lonely young people can feel.

Within this course you learn about the potential impact of adolescent development on young people’s behaviour as well as the work that targeted services can do to support young people.

 

Finally, what has been your favourite part of leading these courses?

Meeting and working with the group! As with every training course, each of us brings a wealth of experience, from our personal and professional lives. There are always such a range of people with different job roles from parents/carers to youth workers, teaching assistants and advisers. All of whom are keen to learn more about mental health and to support others. It is a difficult but interesting subject, and the sessions are enjoyable and stimulating!

 

 

If you’re interested in enrolling on a Mental Health First Aid course, you can find them by clicking here. Our first Youth course starts on the 30th October, but we have more running throughout the year.

 

 

Molly Cook SU Equality & Diversity Officer

News, Students Union

Meet our new SU Equality & Diversity Officer, Molly Cook

 

We spoke to our brand new Equality & Diversity Officer, Molly, who got elected onto the Students’ Union after running a successful campaign at the end of last academic year.

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Molly Cook and I have autism. I love to socialise with different people. I like to make new friends and get to know people. I love music and I like to chat to people about things. I love to be out and about with people and on my own. I go to clubs outside of college. I am a lovely person. I just love chatting to people to get to know them.
 
What course are you doing at Bath College?
I am doing the LILS (Life and Independent Living Skills) course at Bath College at Somer Valley Campus.
 
Why did you apply to be Equality & Diversity Officer?
I applied to be Equality and Diversity Officer because I want to make a difference around the college and make college a better place. And I want to share my personal experience of autism and raise awareness of other disabilities and make college a more equal place.
 
What would you like to achieve during your time on the Students’ Union?
To make college a better place and to make people aware that I am the same as everybody else in college including all of my college friends. And I want to plan some events about different things. I’m looking forward to starting my campaigns.
 
Where can you be found on campus?
I can be found in the Wellow Building at Somer Valley Campus.
 

Group Photo - Agricultural Mechanics Alumni

News

Agricultural Mechanics students return to College after 50 years

 

Nine ex-students of Norton Radstock College returned to what is now the Somer Valley Campus of Bath College to have a 50-year reunion.

 

They studied Agricultural Mechanics from 1967-69 and decided to meet up to catch up with each other, share memories and see if the course itself led to the paths they took with their careers.
 

The alumni had a tour of Somer Valley Campus in Radstock, where they spoke to lecturers from a range of disciplines including carpentry & joinery, bricklaying, refrigeration, electrical, plumbing, animal care, stonemasonry, engineering and motor vehicle.
 

Stuart King, Head of English & Maths at Bath College, led the tour and gave the group a brief overview of how College has changed since they left. He said: “it’s been fantastic having the alumni with us. Hearing their stories of 50 years ago and how successful they have gone on to be is really heart-warming.”
 

The ex-students very much enjoyed their tour of the College before heading off to a reunion lunch at a local pub.
 

Steve Crowe said: “Years ago when we studied here it was far more based on mechanical and hand-skills. Now I get the impression it’s much more diverse focusing on many different skills. I’ve been so impressed, especially with the stonemasonry workshop which is a real unique selling point.”
 

Mike Church said: “Coming back to the College has shown an incredible change. Like everything, including all the people here today, everything has moved on. I have been very impressed seeing the broad curriculum that is taught here, it has really opened my eyes.”
 

Nick Dee Shapland, who organised the reunion added: “We couldn’t have asked for more this morning, what an enterprising college! Each lecturer has really given us an insight.”
 

News

Paula Power, Bath College’s new Adult Mental Health First Aid Instructor

 

Bath College will be running brand new First Aid courses dealing specifically with Mental Health, starting in October 2019. These courses will be run by qualified Mental Health First Aid instructors, and accredited by Mental Health First Aid England. Everyone has mental health, and better mental health is better for all of us, this is why MHFA England are dedicated to ensuring there is zero stigma to discussing mental health.

 

Paula is one of our new Mental Health First Aid Instructors, specialising in Adult Mental Health First Aid. We did a short Q&A with her to find out why she chose to become an instructor and why she thinks Mental Health First Aid is so important.

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am the business owner of My White Dog and facilitator for the 1 and 2-day adult and youth courses. I am a MHFA Instructor, NLP Practitioner, Mountain Leader, with Business Studies, Further Education Certificate and Social Science at the Open University.
I started out in a corporate environment, but always enjoyed adventure and outdoor space, climbing, mountaineering and sailing. When I realised the positive impact of my own wellbeing in this space, I went onto develop skills in education and mountaineering and led groups in the outdoors including expeditions to Africa and Asia. A rewarding role watching students age 13-18 develop latent and new skills when stretched, build resilience, team and leadership skills. I went onto explore other personal challenges when selected to take part in the first all women expedition to the geographic North Pole in 1997. 20 women relaying in teams of 4 across the arctic over 3 months. We went onto become Guinness book record holders.
I ocassionally work in partnership with Wiltshire MIND and am affiliated with Mental Health First Aid England on raising mental health awareness, reducing stigma and how to improve wellbeing in work schools and communities.

 

What is Mental Health First Aid?

Mental health is part of our overall health, physical and mental wellbeing. Mental Health First Aid approach is similar to physical first aid, in preserving life and preventing a condition worsening, promoting recovery; however, as mental health is not easy to identify, it can be more complex to recognise, we teach the skills to recognise signs and symptoms. We explore language stigma, listening skills, and then how to signpost in order to help and provide hope for the future. We also explore strategies and coping strategies for our own wellbeing. Our approach is interactive engaging using group activities, various mediums, video and plenary speakers (lived experiences).

 

Why do you think Mental Health First Aid is important?

Currently, 1 in 4 adults will experience some form of mental health issue in their lifetime. The economic cost of mental health issues in England are estimated at £105 billion each year. In addition, 10% of primary school children suffer from a low sense of wellbeing and about 13% of young people aged 5-19 meet clinical criteria for a mental health disorder. Mental health first aid is a great early intervention towards professional help, for example, people can fully recovery from their first episode of psychosis if they receive the appropriate help.

 

How did you get into Mental Health First Aid Facilitation?

From my own personal experience of mental illness within my family – I recognise the impact of early intervention and an opportunity to close a significant gap within the Mental Health support system.

 

Who do you think will benefit from Mental Health First Aid?

Everyone will benefit as it opens channels of communication, it empowers others to reduce stigma and discrimination and raises awareness in the workplace, communities and schools.

 

Finally, what has been your favourite part of leading these courses?

Thought provoking and light bulb moments. Many people have come to me at the end of a course realising that awareness is the ‘tip of the iceberg’, but they feel confident going forward. It’s a journey and learning takes place in a safe and inclusive environment – many delegates go on to become advocates within work and communities

 

 

If Paula has inspired you and you’re interested in enrolling on a Mental Health First Aid course you can find them by clicking here.

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