Cirencester College is currently undergoing some incredible changes to its campus, including a £5 million pound T-Levels building that will serve to focus on nursing and health care. Alongside the impressive digital skills centre that we recently visited.
However the changes don’t stop there, with the college being one of the first in the country to begin rolling out proactive support across mental, physical & financial wellbeing support in the form of Wellmi, the AI based wellbeing app.
We spoke to Jess Smith, Student Enrichment Lead to find out more about the amazing ways Cirencester College is leading the way in proactive student care for its 3000 students.
When asked “Why is student wellbeing so important to Cirencester College?” Jess told us: “Here at Cirencester College the welfare of our students and staff is imperative to what we do. We try to take a holistic approach. Working to not only support them now, but also provide them with the tools they need after college.
Our focus is on encouraging and empowering the students wherever we can. Providing them with the support network, initial tool kit they need and the power to self-refer.”
Can you speak to us about some of the benefits the college has seen from creating such a great support network, including the staff and welfare teams alongside the App itself?
“A vast number of students have reached out to the pastoral team for support around anxiety. Being able to provide them with the proactive resources such as tapping and EFT therapy via the app is incredibly useful for us.
In the college here we actually have a multi layered support system including many members of the pastoral team. It’s been hugely successful, and we’ve noticed many other colleges replicating a similar approach to his. Every student has multiple points of access to support. Including a personal tutor, a pastoral tutor and a pastoral lead. These three layers are then further supported by the App giving them support while away from college, at home or anywhere else. They are never without care and an option for outreach.”
We are incredibly proud at Wellmi to be involved with such a forward-thinking college. Can you tell us a little more about other initiatives including Health & wellbeing week?
“We have numerous different initiatives including Health & Wellbeing week that takes place every year. These are used to again raise awareness and exposure for every resource that’s available to the students. Our pastoral team put in incredible hours all year round to maintain the initiatives. Wellmi helps the team by always being there for them as an amazing tool, 24 hours, 7 days a week. Ensuring that the care never stops.”
Not all colleges or Universities are where you are with proactive student wellbeing yet. Why do you think some of the industry is behind/
“Perhaps it comes down to awareness. I don’t think everyone is fully aware of what support systems and tools are available out there. Things like the Wellmi app. The more people that are aware as time goes on then the better. Ever since Covid we’ve seen an unprecedented number of students that are struggling with their mental health.
It’s having access to this level of support resources and libraries that we can tap into that makes the difference. There are lots of extrinsic factors that effect a student’s wellbeing and by giving them access and empowering them with the right toolkit we hope that they can benefit.
More and more educational institutions are starting to see the value and buy in to the idea. Which is great to see. I think the industry is moving forward and making progress, and we’re proud to be doing so here at Cirencester College.”
How have you found the implementation of Wellmi so far?
“I love the fact that we have so many staff in our college now trained on how to use the system. The more people that are aware about its features, like making the support provided bespoke to those students needs for example, the better.
That’s what is powerful about this particular app. We’re able to tailor exactly what our students need that month and adapt it into our enrichment program.”
We try to include subjects on Wellmi that have previously been shied away from, like anxiety, menopause, female hormones etc. Why is it important for students that we work to tackle these subjects?
“It’s more necessary each academic year that we have a fresh cohort of students. Because they are coming forward expressing that they’re struggling with these subjects. We deal with these conversations on a daily basis. The more we talk about it, the more people are willing to come forward and access crucial support via our team and things like the App. That’s why Wellmi is great, it’s a proactive resource for them to tap into before it escalates further”
Thank you to Jess and the team at Cirencester College for taking the time to show us the brilliant new developments on campus and speak to us about they’re amazing student wellbeing support system.
We couldn’t be prouder to count you as a client.
To book a demo of Wellmi for your school, college or university click here.