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

Photo of Dee Appleford

Dee Appleford

Campus: Cambridge
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.

Photo of Sarah Armstrong

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.

Photo of Nicole Chihuri

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

Photo of Robyn Hawkins

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 very year, the biggest step is reaching out for help.

Photo of Suresh Kumar

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.

Photo of Chisom Meludu

Chisom Meludu

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

As a Peer Wellbeing Mentor I hope to give back to the ARU research community. As a research student I have come to appreciate the significance of peer support. As a mentor I am looking forward to 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.

Photo of Morgan Pererano

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.

Photo of Yasmin-Mei Pola

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.

Picture of Abhijith Ramesh

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!

Photo of Priyanka Tandel

Priyanka Tandel

Campus: Chelmsford
Course: BSc Biomedical Science
Nationality: Indian

Being a peer wellbeing mentor allows me to collaborate and build supportive relationships with my fellow students. Through this process, I can utilize highly effective approaches or activities to promote student wellbeing, as well as support students to reduce distress, such as anxiety and depression, and provide signposting to other resources when needed.

It is important for students to become aware of peer mentors and activities to gain support and institutional knowledge, as well as acquire new skills. This also aids students in expanding their networks, navigating new experiences, boosting confidence, and potentially opening new career opportunities, which will be very beneficial to their future career prospects.

Tips: You can attend live events and workshops led by peer Wellbeing Mentors at ARU to work on your wellbeing activities. Reach out to people for support because many resources are available to support you, make new connections and find a hobby or interest that relieves your stress or anxiety.

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.

Photo of Fatima Bibi

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.

Photo of Tina Curwen

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.

Photo of Rebecca Holland

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.

Photo of James Fowler

James Fowler

Campus: Chelmsford
Course: Dual Nursing – Adult and Mental Health
Nationality: British

I am passionate about advocating mental health and being a Peer Wellbeing Mentor allows me to do this. I want to promote the fact that not being ok, is actually ok! There are lots of support networks out there for anyone who may be struggling. The Peer Wellbeing Mentor Role allows me to offer support to fellow students, bringing people together and destigmatise mental health across the campus.

Once we’ve met I can tell you about some of the different things we have on offer to positively benefit you and your mental health.

Tips: I am a number one advocate of getting outdoors, the outdoors works wonders for your mental health, whether that’s a walk, run or fitness event. I also firmly believe being around nature is positive for you, try to find a local park! Mindfulness is also a way of managing mental health, headspace has a student offer and is great for all aspects of mental health, my favourite part is the sleep program, and it’ll have you out in 10 minutes! Talking about your mental health is important, whether that be to one of the mentors or a friend or family member, never bottle things up! Find a new activity or hobby that interests you, this will allow you to focus yourself on something new! I also believe setting small goals is important and reflecting and journaling on your progress!

Photo of Gabriella Otakponmwenhi

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

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.

Photo of Ayushi Soni

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.

 

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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