Peer Wellbeing Mentors

Your Peer Wellbeing Mentors are current ARU students who are here to help you through your university experience, available on campus and online.

The mentors deliver a range of social activities and campaigns throughout the year to promote positive wellbeing and the opportunity to meet other students. They also provide you with advice and guidance on a range of topics/issues and signpost to services within the University.

The Peer Wellbeing Mentors provide a listening service, drop in sessions, fun activities and events, info on ARU Counselling and Wellbeing Services, kitchen meetings with students, and they run the ARUTogether Facebook page.

You can email the Peer Wellbeing Mentors on your campus if you have any questions or want to talk about anything.

Just email wellbeingmentors@aru.ac.uk

You can also contact them, take part in their online activities and follow them on Facebook: facebook.com/groups/arutogether

Meet our Peer Wellbeing Mentors

 

Cambridge

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Sarah Armstrong

Campus: Cambridge
Course: Forensic Science
Nationality: British

I wanted to be a Peer Wellbeing Mentor so I can help and support my peers and I am so excited to get the chance to do so! I hope I can be a friendly face to all, making everyone feel comforted and included.

Tips: It's important to take a step back and truly reflect on situations. Often I have found that what I'm worrying or concerned about, upon reflection, isn't as big of a mountain that I originally thought it was.

Lauren Atkin

Campus: Cambridge
Course: Animal Behaviour
Nationality: British

Being a Peer Wellbeing Mentor means that I can help students who are struggling to settle into uni, as it is a big change to go through for most of us, so can be very difficult, but I can put myself in their shoes having gone through the same. I can also help those who need to talk about any other problems they may be having, whether it's uni related or not, or offer them a distraction and just have fun together instead.

Tips: Talk to someone if you're struggling with anything, even if you think it's only a small problem, because bottling it up usually makes it a lot worse.

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Nicole Chihuri

Campus: Cambridge
Course: BA (Hons) Sociology
Nationality: Zimbabwe

What being a Peer Wellbeing Mentor means to you: It means I’ll be able contribute to creating a positive impact on the ARU community. What are the benefits of students being aware of the peer mentors and your activities: They will have access to support and care throughout the duration of their studies.

Tips: Try and relate to positive student wellbeing: "Friendship is the purest love" - Osho

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Robyn Hawkins

Campus: Cambridge
Course: Psychology with Criminology
Nationality: British

Being a Peer Wellbeing Mentor means a lot to me, knowing I can support people just like me. The benefits of students being aware of peer wellbeing mentors and what we do is, is for them to know they are not alone and always have someone there to support them.

Tips: 1 in 4 of us will experience mental health problems every year, the biggest step is reaching out for help.

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Suresh Kumar

Campus: Cambridge
Course: International Business
Nationality: Indian

Being a Peer Wellbeing Mentor means I can help support students and make sure they have the best experience.

Tips: Connect with other people, undertake regular or optimal mindful exercises, read inspirational quotes, to be creative and look after your physical health.

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Chisom Meludu

Campus: Cambridge
Course: PhD in Biomedical Science
Nationality: Nigerian

As a research student I have come to appreciate the significance of peer support. Being a Peer Wellbeing Mentor provides an opportunity to give back to the ARU research community by providing support to peers through shared experiences.

Tips: Get some air. Speak to someone!

Lucas Negroni

Campus: Cambridge
Course: BSc Strength and Conditioning Science with Rehabilitation
Nationality: British

To me, being a Peer Wellbeing Mentor means supporting the people around us. My High school was I believe that ARU's wellbeing services are invaluable, and I want to help the best that I can. Students are not pressured to attend our activities, nor are you put under additional stress when participating in our events. They are designed to make you feel good and relax. By having these options, it is possible to unwind and get to know fellow students and peer mentors.

Tips: Allow yourself to have some ‘me' time. This could be watching tv, going to the gym, going for a walk, or putting on a facial mask and chilling in the bath.

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Morgan Pererano

Campus: Cambridge
Course: BA Politics
Nationality: British

To me being a Peer Wellbeing Mentor means being that one who people can talk to, regardless of who they are and what they need. It’s important that students know that we are here for them. Aside from the mental health support we provide, students can also benefit from help on matters of finances, grading, and balancing personal life with academic life.

Tips: Sleep, eat and shower. It’s very easy to underestimate how important these three simple things are for us, but these are forms of self-care that remind us of our self-worth. Try a form of meditational exercise such as Tai Chi, as doing so can at times help us to reset our minds if we have been thinking about stuff that makes us anxious or upset.

Spread your work load as thinly as you can. The more you do in the beginning, the less you have to do later. When the amount of work you have to do becomes too big, it becomes too hard to face, therefore making procrastination more likely to happen until the last minute. It is vital to stay on track.

Find hobbies that help with self-development – ones that challenge the mind and body. When we accomplish new things that we may have thought were impossible in the past, we begin to believe in ourselves a lot more because we know how capable we are of achieving things.

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Yasmin-Mei Pola

Campus: Cambridge
Course: Biomedical Science
Nationality: Portuguese

By being a Peer Wellbeing Mentor, I sincerely hope that I can help others see what is best about them and to fully appreciate all the parts of their being which make them so unique. We can help students connect and fine hobbies or societies, and even ways that help them find strategies to do better in classes and when managing the great amount of emotions that arise from a new and exciting phase of our lives.

Tips: Try new things regularly, as they challenge our way of thinking and allow us to grow as a person. When feeling less motivated or tired, there are always great options such as doing sports, taking some time to wander surrounded by nature, or to create something new. Reconnecting with ourselves and with what we are passionate about is essential.

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Abhijith Ramesh (Abi)

Campus: Cambridge
Course: Computer Science
Nationality: Indian

University work can be exhausting, especially with the pandemic going on around us. If I can make these times bearable and maybe even hopeful for at least some of my peers, that would be an accomplishment to be proud of.

Nahiba Uddin

Campus: Cambridge
Course: Biomedical Science
Nationality: British

As a Peer Wellbeing Mentor I would like to offer someone that sincerely listens to any concerns and is someone to talk to. If other students connect with us they can find fun ways to connect to other people in the community through activities such as cake decorating, soap making, and gaming.

Tips: If like me you are looking for a casual way to improve your physical wellbeing, I recommend the CouchTo5K app!

 
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Amy Wright

Campus:  Cambridge
Course: PhD in School of Life Sciences

Nationality: British

I understand and appreciate the stresses that postgraduates can face, so I want to ensure that everyone feels a sense of community, connectedness and safety in their study and time at ARU. Postgraduate study can be lonely and insular at times, it is therefore important to be aware that there is always someone to talk to in the Wellbeing Team. The activities that we run are not only good for the mind, but a great way to meet new friends too.

Tips: If it’s out of your hands, it deserves freedom from your mind too.

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Rachel Ownsworth

Campus:  Cambridge
Course: PhD in School of Life Sciences
Nationality: British

I think it can be easy to become isolated and swamped with work as a PhD student – as a Peer Wellbeing Mentor I want to create opportunities for us to connect, relax and support each other, and just feel less alone. We’re to support you with whatever wellbeing needs you have. If you just need to vent, we’re here. If you need mental health support or resources, we can help you to access it. If you want to have a nice time with other students in the same boat as you, come along to some of our events; and if you have any ideas about wellbeing activities you’d like to see, we’ll try and make it happen!

Tips: Make sure you’re doing something other than uni – your work is important, but you are more than your uni work! Plan to allow yourself some down time (time spent procrastinating doesn’t count). Be big headed – imposter syndrome is the worst and it’s so easy to spiral into low self-esteem. If you do something impressive, tell somebody about it. Try to make jokes about how smart you are instead of self-deprecating ones. These are small things that can start to change your internal monologue into one that is kinder to yourself.

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Nurbanu Somani

Campus:  Cambridge
Course: PhD in Vision Sciences
Being a peer wellbeing mentor means I can use my own experiences to help new students transition into university life. We are friendly bunch and would love to meet you. Our activities allow everyone to make new friends across year groups in a relaxed environment and we hope you’ll have fun time.
Tips: My top tip for achieving positive student wellbeing is self-care. Self-care means taking an active role in protecting your own wellbeing and happiness. One simple way to incorporate a self-care routine is to schedule time in your calendar to do something you enjoy. This could anything from listening to your favourite music, listen to new podcast, mediating, reading a book or going on a nature walk.

 

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Kruti Gupta

Campus:  Cambridge
Course: PhD
Nationality: Indian

As a Peer wellbeing Mentor I sincerely hope to help and support my colleagues and give back the immense support I have received from ARU community since I joined. I hope to connect students to all the resources available to them. Bring back the feelings of being a part of community like we were before the pandemic.

Tips: Don’t give up on your hobbies, give time to your hobbies.

Chelmsford

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Daisy Bapolo

Campus: Chelmsford
Course: Medical Sciences
Nationality: Portuguese

Being a peer well-being mentor means so much because I want to help people finding a sense of community within university.

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Fatima Bibi

Campus: Chelmsford
Course: Medicine, Primary Medical Qualification
Nationality: British

I like being a peer mentor because it means that I can be there for others and listen to them in a safe space. I can then signpost students if they need further support. This means a lot to me as being able to speak to others confidentially about things on my mind is vital especially during university.

Tips: Always keep up-to-date with student services, if you don't know any contact details or whether the uni can support something in particular speak to one of the mentors who can signpost you to the support you need.

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Tina Curwen

Campus: Chelmsford
Course: Medicine
Nationality: English

Being a Peer Wellbeing Mentor is a privilege, to have the opportunity to work with lots of students and meet people from all different backgrounds it great. I get to offer support to students which is very rewarding - especially when you see the positive impact it has.

Tips: Don't suffer in silence and ask for help if you need it - there are lots of avenues of support available if you need it.

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Rebecca Holland

Campus: Chelmsford
Course: Mental Health Nursing
Nationality: British

As a Peer Wellbeing Mentor I hope to bring a friendly face for others, someone they can go to for help. Peer Wellbeing Mentors are a listening ears when you need it and guide you to the service you may need at that time.

Tips: Your learning journey can, if you allow it, consume your life. Make sure to take time out for yourself to do the things that make you happy, for example, any hobbies you have, going out for dinner, seeing friends and family, or having a cosy night in away from studying.

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Gabriella Otakponmwenhi

Campus: Chelmsford
Course: Medicine
Nationality: British

To be a Peer Wellbeing Mentor means that I can be a friendly shoulder my fellow students can lean on. University and life in general can be extremely stressful. It's important to know who you can go to and resources you can access to ensure that you are fully supported. As the saying goes, "a problem shared is a problem halved".

Tips: Try to make a to do list. It can really help you to prioritise your tasks and give you more time to do the things you love.

Avanthika Premkumar

Avanthika Premkumar

Campus: Chelmsford
Course: Masters in Construction and Civil Engineering Management
Nationality: Indian

It doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you don’t stop”, said Confucius. Extending this quote, I would say, “we are all there to ensure you neither slow nor stop.” To me, being a peer wellbeing mentor means mustering all the support for my peers. I see this as a privileged opportunity to stay connected to the student community and to experience shared happiness. Today, we have come to realize that mental health is as equal to or even above physical health and I see the role of a peer wellbeing mentor as imperative in building and shaping supportive relationships within the student community. To be able to be part of a role like this is not just always to provide solutions but to lend my ears and extend my hands in making my peer's life better.

Tips: Never be afraid to speak because you will let go of your fears the moment you share. I’m all ears to listen to you.

Kealan Rowley

Grey and white outline of a person's head

Campus: Chelmsford
Course: Civil Engineering

I am a massive advocate for mental health awareness, and I would like to do my best to help give people a better understanding of their own mental health. As from my own personal experience, I’m aware how crucial this can be to your wellbeing as a whole.

The peer mentors give students a non-judgemental support channel, which can be beneficial for students who might struggle to open up regarding difficult personal matters.

Tips: Never be afraid to be open/honest about how you’re feeling.

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Ayushi Soni

Campus: Chelmsford
Course: MBA Healthcare Management
Nationality: Indian

If students engage with us as Peer Wellbeing Mentors they can come and talk about their feelings and relate to one another, helping in them feeling like a part of something. Also, through the group activities, students can get to know each other a lot better.

Tips: Whenever you feel you want to talk to someone or need help, talk to your most trusted friends. When you feel any difficulty relating to your university life, talk to the people like icentre helpdesk, your tutors. They are there to help you out.

Peterborough

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Dee Appleford

Campus: Peterborough
Course: BSc Adult Nursing
Nationality: British

Being able to support students at the recently opened ARU Peterborough university is an amazing opportunity to be part of something brand new. ARU has made me feel part of a family and I want other students to feel part of the family too.

Tips: Always make time for yourself doing something that makes you happy. Grab a diary and plan your time so things do not get on top of you. In your diary plan something each day that gives you the time to yourself even if it is only 30 minutes.

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Eliana Oriana

Campus: Peterborough
Course: BSc Adult Nursing
Nationality: British

As a Peer Wellbeing Mentor I’m able to socialise and do friendly activities with my peers while also supporting students who are more anxious about university and let them know they’re not the only ones. It gives me satisfaction to be able to help others. I enjoy talking and working with people and also learn from different individuals. And it is also important to make their university experience fun and memorable.

Tips: Do talk to other students (they’ll be someone feeling the same way). Join and participate in university activities (getting to know new people is always a bonus). Plan your days! Plan your revision/coursework time, but also plan your free time. It is important for students to be able to have social time and plenty of rest. It’s ok for you to focus on yourself and your studies. Don't feel guilty or bad.

 
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Abbie Walster

Campus: Peterborough
Course: BSc Adult Nursing
Nationality: British

As a Peer Wellbeing Mentor it means a lot to be someone who can try to make the struggles of university and general life easier to someone. There are so many difficult tasks that are thrown at us daily, by taking a bit of time out for yourself and doing something that you really love to do your mood will rise. I’m truly honoured to be a confidant and a friend to my fellow university students as they are already doing such a great job by accessing this level of higher education. Life can be so busy and hectic, most students balance so many things outside of university alone. It can be very easy to neglect your own wellbeing when you are being stretched in a lot of different areas. Whilst us as peer mentors can’t wave a magic wand and make everything perfect, we can be someone to talk to and someone to listen. We really want to make the activities that we offer as accessible as possible to all of the students. University life can be quite lonely to some, especially if you’re new to the area or don’t feel like you have enough time to socialise outside of study hours. As a peer mentor, we would like to show the students the fun and exciting parts to university and how to have a good break from the studying part.

Tips: The most important thing to remember is, what works to promote my wellbeing may not work the same for you. The most important thing to do is to take some time finding things that make you genuinely happy. It might not be huge things, something like baking or meditation may work for some. One of the main things that has helped me is filling my social media feed with positive and happy stories instead of the more toxic sides of the media. Always remember there are people who care and want to help, from family and friends to organisations such as Mind and the Good Samaritans, you are never alone.

Grey and white outline of a person's head

Katie Kerrison

Campus:  Peterborough
Course: BSc Environmental Management
Nationality: British

It is important to help and support each other throughout this time in our lives. Managing university and life can be hard and I want to be able to help my peers during this time. I am excited to start my position as peer wellbeing mentor in the new Peterborough campus.

Tips: Try to schedule yourself a bit of free “me time” every day of the week. Even if it’s not long, dedicate some time doing something that makes you happy. Anything that allows your brain a break from the stress of the day e.g., keeping up with hobbies and activities.

 

More ways to look after yourself

Positive mental training

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Positive mental training

6 Ways to Wellbeing

Follow the 6 Ways to Wellbeing and spend some positive time focusing on yourself.

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Wellbeing workshops

Don’t wait until you’re experiencing hard times to come to our workshops. Come along now and understand how to manage your thoughts and feeling and succeed in your studies.

Find a wellbeing workshop for you

SilverCloud

Silvercloud is an online program to help you understand your experiences and improve your wellbeing.

See how Silvercloud can help you

Want to talk to someone?

The Counselling and Wellbeing Service is available to all students at ARU and offers a free and confidential service to promote mental health and wellbeing.

Cambridge: 01223 698276
Chelmsford: 01245 684271
Monday to Thursday: 9am–5pm
Friday: 9am–4.30pm

Need emergency help?

If you need emergency help, please take action straight away. If you’re worried about your safety, call 999 or take yourself to A&E.

Emergency help and crisis support