As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, Bath College put on a Summer Wellbeing Festival. The festival, which ran across both campuses, had students leaving their exam stress aside and enjoying playing in the sunshine for a couple of hours.
With a focus on positive mental health, exhibitors from local businesses and health and wellbeing organisations held stalls at the festival, which enabled students to be signposted to the right people should they have any concerns.
Exhibitors included Project 28, Curo, Vault 29, Tamara Pitelen Yoga, Comptoir Libanais, the Young Carers’ Centre and Off the Record.
Day one of the festival at the Somer Valley Campus saw students braving a giant climbing wall, letting loose on a bouncy castle and eating ice-cream in the 22-degree May sunshine.
Day two of the festival at the City Centre Campus had students participating in group yoga and Eft tapping to relieve stress, while others bashed each other around on the giant inflatable ‘Extreme Demolition’.
Hannah Backstrom from Vault 29, a company who sell comic books with a focus on mental wellbeing, said of the festival: “It’s so good to see the College taking ownership of their students’ mental health.
“With events like this, they now know where to go.”
In between visiting the stalls, students took part in karate sessions, learned how to box and rowed as far as they could on a rowing machine in a minute. There were also students from the Hair and Beauty Academy giving hand massages to help festival goers relax.
The stonemasonry department provided the festival with stones that were decorated to build a miniature wellbeing wall, on each stone an individual representation of positivity.
Students were in high spirits as they played Frisbee, football and ping pong. Many of the tutors also decided to get involved, with a surprising amount making a bee-line for the bouncy castle.
People were stumbling around the courtyard as they had lost all sense of direction when they got to try out beer goggles from the staff at Project 28, who were there to raise awareness for their services for young people, which help people with problems surrounding substance abuse. Jahnene Green from the project was very impressed with the festival, remarking: “Great food, great staff, great students!”
Harriet Rose, an LGBT+ development worker from Off the Record found that her stall was busy: “We’ve had so many young people come and have a chat.
“We’ve had some great discussions with allies, not just those who identify. Off the Record’s slogan is ‘you talk, we listen’ and that sums up today really.”
Bath College Welfare and Participation team did an excellent job of creating a safe environment where staff and students could have a break from the stresses of their day-to-day routine and connect with their inner child, everyone leaving in a more positive headspace than when they arrived.
For more information about Mental Health Awareness Week and The Mental Health Foundation, click here.