It’s been a busy week here on campus. With exams, revision and deadlines approaching, it’s been an incredibly stressful time for many. The Guild has therefore embraced Mental Health Awareness Week, working hard to ensure that people know of the services and workshops that are currently running to help deal with stress and many complex mental health issues. One, particularly exciting feature of the week involved welcoming the long anticipated Guide Dogs and their dedicated owners on Thursday as part of an exam de-stress exercise.
The event, which managed to raise a staggering £1071.73 for the Guide Dogs Association through generous donations and sponsorship, gave students the opportunity to take some time out of their busy revision schedules and spend some quality time with the dogs. This follows research that has indicated the calming effects of dogs and other animals during times of stress and emotional pressure.
Meet the Guide Dogs, a feature of VP Welfare and Diversity, Alec James’ manifesto during his election campaign last year, turned out to be a runaway success, bringing a smile to the faces of everyone who entered the room. The Guide Dogs themselves proved to be incredible company; very patient, lovable and content to be cuddled and fussed over by their adoring fans throughout the day. One final year student said: “it was a brilliant way to take a break from revision and de-stress. We got to speak to the trainers and the owners to learn about what they do and then spent time playing with the dogs"
Alec, who worked incredibly hard with the Guild to ensure that the Mars sponsored event came off smoothly and successfully added: “It has been amazing to have Guide Dogs on campus, not only have we raised money for an amazing charity, but it is ideal stress relief, and an excellent thing to do particularly during exam season and Mental Health Awareness Week.”
Of course, while very beneficial for the students here at the University, the event was also very important in raising awareness of the amazing work that these Guide Dog superstars do day to day and raising funds for such a worthy cause that transforms the lives of so many.
For more information on the Guide Dogs Association and what they do, please go to: www.guidedogs.org.uk