Reflecting over the last 12 months feels like a really odd thing to be doing right now. It feels as if the momentum I have built up during Term 2 and 3 is immediately being halted despite me wanting to continue moving forward. Having said that, I feel very confident that we are handing over to another team of competent, passionate and incredible women, and I am really proud of all that I have achieved this year despite many challenges.
When I first started this role in July 2020, we were still in a national lockdown. I was meeting people via Teams and learning absolutely everything, from what a Trustee is to how the Wellbeing Services work, digitally. For the most part, working from home was a blessing in disguise, yet it wasn’t without its challenges.
I also had some issues with my health for the first six months of this role and ended up having surgery in November. This makes thinking back to the first half of this position quite difficult, as a lot of it is a blur, which is obviously not how I pictured my first term in office. Despite this, we still managed to run a fantastic virtual Black History Month event as well as campaigns such as International Day of People with Disabilities.
Fast forward to Term 2 and we start to hit the point in which I really felt I had gotten to grips with this role. I was planning for Wellbeing Week which took place at the beginning of February and saw fantastic engagement from our student community. From topics such as student sex work to drugs and alcohol abuse, this week of event tackled hard hitting issues that all impacted student wellbeing, whilst signposting to appropriate places for support.
I also used this as a springboard to launch our new Wellbeing Town Halls which sought to gather feedback directly from students with members of both Guild and University senior management present. These were a huge success, and the findings were fed directly into the Mental Health and Wellbeing Board. The engagement we saw from students in the last twelve months has been absolutely phenomenal – despite us being in a pandemic, the interactions we have seen from students this year just goes to show the dedication and passion that thrives within out student community.
The rest of my term included a whole host of wins including all the collaborative work between the Guild, the SU and the University around student safety, the launch of our wellbeing space Exehale and our Stress Less campaign. During this time, I had finally been able to start meeting people that I had been working with all year IN PERSON!!
I feel incredibly sad to even think about finishing this blog post- it feels like by finishing this piece, I am finally closing the door on my time in office. But I just cannot stress enough what an amazing experience the last 12 months have been. I have laughed, sobbed, shouted and swore countless times, and I have made friends for life along the way. Huge thank you to Sunday, Liv and Penny for lifting me up when I needed it, and for everyone who believed in me even when I didn’t.