InsideBU - Issue 16

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Inside Autumn/Winter 2018 Issue 16

Healthcare Heroes

Celebrating the NHS

Be happy & healthy

Building wellbeing

BU’s impact in healthcare

Five steps to wellbeing

How BU is developing its estate

Giving back

Alumni volunteering 2017/18 In 2017-18, 160 alumni volunteers gave over 600 volunteering hours. This included:


graduate profiles


sharing career stories to help and inspire others

guest lecturers

offering insights to enhance student employability


alumni mentors

alumni panel members shaping the future of BU programmes



supporting students as they prepare for employment

open day speakers

inspiring applicants as they visit BU for the first time

“I would like to thank all of our alumni who have contributed to the BU community. The support and expertise volunteered will help us to achieve our vision; to be recognised worldwide as a leading university for inspiring learning, advancing knowledge and enriching society through the fusion of education, research and practice. � Jim Andrews, Chief Operating Officer, Bournemouth University

For more information, please visit


Autumn 2018 | Issue 16 4

News from around BU


SUBU President’s column


Five steps to wellbeing


ResLifeBU and The Wave Project


Healthcare Heroes


Supporting staff through family-friendly polices


Additional Learning Services


BU’s Gateway buildings

14 SportBU 15

Big White Wall


Peer Assisted Learning


By day, by night with Jeanette Hancock


We meet with Alison McConnell & Malika Felton


Dr Susan Way awarded National Teaching Fellowship


#BUProud photo gallery


Dates for your diary

Cover image - Becky Weston - a Midwifery student at BU’s Portsmouth Campus. Find out more about our healthcare heroes on pages 8 and 9. Credit: Jonathan Beal

How to submit If you would like to submit a story for the next issue of InsideBU, please email We reserve the right to edit your copy and the editor’s decision is final.

InsideBU -Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Silver award winner for Best Publication 2016. Printed on FSC certified paper from sustainable forests.

Alternative formats are available on request:


from John Vinney

Welcome to the latest edition of InsideBU – the magazine that shares some of the enriching and inspirational stories from the BU community. A new academic year is always an exciting time, but this one is particularly special as we begin to embed our BU2025 vision and strategic plan. One of the themes within BU2025 is health and wellbeing, as part of our education, research and practice as well as in our BU community. We want to ensure our environment is diverse and inclusive, engages our students and staff and enables learning. Part of this is about continuing to develop capacity and capability and providing focused and personalised support for students and staff. On pages 12 and 13 you’ll find out how the new Gateway buildings are incorporating ideas about wellbeing to provide innovative work and study environments. Plus, on page 10, you can read about how the work towards our Athena SWAN submission is helping us to focus on inclusivity and engage with our diverse community of staff and students and support their wellbeing. The NHS turned 70 this year and we took this as an opportunity to celebrate a much loved institution and to recognise BU’s long and active contribution to healthcare. Over 14,000 qualified professionals have graduated from our healthcare courses and you can find out more about some of them on pages 8 and 9. Our students make an important contribution to our learning community at BU, co-creating learning, contributing to research and participating in practice. We have a new SUBU team in place and you can find out what their President Ade Balogun has in mind to promote wellbeing for students on page 4. This is an exciting time as we shape BU’s future journey to 2025. Please do continue sharing your stories and successes at

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News from around BU BU staff reduce carbon emissions by 400 tonnes As a result of BU’s Green Rewards scheme – an interactive programme which rewards staff for their sustainability and wellbeing actions – staff have helped to reduce the university’s carbon emissions by more than 400 tonnes over an eight month period.

Meet Ade

President of the Students’ Union Bournemouth University (SUBU) SUBU has always worked hard to ensure the BU student experience is a positive one. The wellbeing of all students is of utmost importance to everyone at SUBU and BU and, in my year as SUBU President, I aim to achieve equitable treatment for all students on matters of student wellbeing. This year, we will be working with BU to raise awareness of the wellbeing and support services available to our students. This will include running campaigns to reduce stigmas, help with early intervention and improve student resilience - such as our ‘let it out’ campaign launching this semester prompting individuals to talk about their emotions with someone they feel comfortable with, rather than bottling up feelings which can lead to problems escalating. If you’re looking to make friends, SUBU has lots of options to help, including over 120 clubs and societies. I know from personal experience that belonging to a club or society provides friendship – it also improved my communication skills and leadership ability. Last year the SUBU liberation campaigns played a major role in ensuring the wellbeing of the students who self-identify within these groups. The campaigns will continue to allow like-minded students to meet and discuss issues in a safe and non-judgemental environment. Another way SUBU supports students is through SUBU Advice. Our team provides free, independent, non-judgemental, confidential advice and information to all BU students. Find out more at: 4 | Autumn 2018 | InsideBU

In addition to this, the 40% of staff who have signed up to Green Rewards have also avoided more than 500kg of disposable coffee cup waste. Since January 2018, participants have completed nearly 10,000 hours of exercise and have travelled 130,000 miles

sustainably to and from BU on their commutes. Dr Neil Smith, sustainability manager, said, “Right from the start, the Green Rewards programme has allowed us to achieve fantastic levels of engagement from staff and has been excellent in supporting our sustainability and wellbeing initiatives. “A survey of participants found that over two thirds [of staff] felt they had improved their sustainable behaviours at work, showing that the programme has made a real, long-lasting impact.”

180 Mental Health First Aiders at BU With one in four people suffering from mental health issues and services stretched to capacity, it’s more important than ever that there is support available to those who need it. One of the ways organisations are taking responsibility is to offer a training course to gain a qualification in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA). To date, 180 BU staff and students have participated in the course and now have an in depth understanding of mental health and the factors that can affect wellbeing, practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of mental health issues, and the confidence to reassure a person in distress. The MHFA programme highlights BU’s commitment to a range of health initiatives that offers staff and students the opportunity to make informed choices about their own wellbeing. BU’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing Team will be running a range of sessions around mental health in early 2019, including awareness events and the full two day MHFA qualification. If you’re interested in finding out more, please email

Graduate designs pioneering healthcare product BU graduate Ellie Van Leeuwen has invented a cup which is saving the lives of elderly people in care and in hospital. Ellie – who has a degree in Product Design– came up with the idea after her grandmother suffered a fall due to severe dehydration. After carrying out research visits to hospitals and care homes, she developed Droplet, which combines a mug or drinking tumbler with an electronic base providing flashing light and sound reminders to remind the user to take regular drinks. The sound feature can be used to incorporate personalised messages, enabling family members to get involved in their loved one’s recovery. After working on product development with the input of around 100 healthcare professionals, Ellie and the team carried out a trial on the wards at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton. This showed that patients drank 40% more when using Droplet and feedback from patients and staff has been extremely positive. The product was launched nationally earlier this year and is targeted at NHS hospital trusts, care and nursing home providers. It is also available to buy for home use via Amazon.

Image, L-R: Lea Ediale, Abidemi Abiodun, Ade Balogun, Bradley Powell, Lenrick Greaves

The 201819 Fusion Inaugural Lecture Series BU’s Fusion Inaugural Lecture Series comprises public lectures held at different venues across Bournemouth and Poole, showcasing the university’s wide range of research and its impact both regionally and worldwide. The new 2018-19 series will begin on Tuesday 23 October with Professor Samuel Porter’s lecture ‘The fine art of healthcare: using art to think about people and practice’. The Fusion Inaugural Lecture Series gives our recently appointed professors the opportunity to share an insight into their specialist research and how this enriches the world. Open to staff, students and the wider public, the lectures are evening events that are free to attend. Find out about the full programme of lectures at public-lecture-series.

SUBU Officers for 2018/19 This year over 2,600 BU students voted in the Students’ Union Full-Time Officer Elections 2018. The team started work in June to represent BU’s students and will work in close partnership with the university to improve the student experience.

The new officers for the next academic year are:

Find out more about SUBU at

Vice President Education: Lenrick Greaves

SUBU President: Ade Balogun Vice President Activities: Lea Ediale Vice President Community: Abidemi Abiodun Vice President Welfare & Equal Opportunities: Bradley Powell InsideBU | Autumn 2018 | 5

Be happy and healthy: The five steps to wellbeing Having a healthy and balanced lifestyle is the key to success, so making the most of social and extracurricular activities, taking time to relax, and eating and sleeping well are just as important as your studies or work. Using the NHS’s five steps to mental wellbeing, here are some of the ways we support you to get that balance at BU. Connect

Give to others

There are lots of opportunities for students and staff to meet new people at BU – from dedicated staff and student sport activities and skills workshops like Languages@BU, to SUBU campaigns and faculty projects. Speak to your Academic Adviser, Student Rep and line manager if you’re looking for new ways to meet people.

This could be anything from a random act of kindness or volunteering your time to a local charity. SUBU’s Volunteering team can put you in touch with organisations looking for help. Head to to find out more.

Be active Keeping fit in body and mind helps you stay healthy. Going for walks, planning meals and establishing a good sleeping routine will help you stay calm and in control. SportBU has great campus sport and fitness programmes, while University Music and our Hand-Made Craft Workshops offer everyone an alternative way to relax. Find out what activities are coming up by visiting

Keep learning Whatever you came to BU to do, there are lots of ways you can challenge yourself, from IT skills workshops to leadership programmes for both students and staff. Check out the study skills areas of Brightspace, and look on the staff development pages of the Staff Intranet.

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Be mindful Student Wellbeing mindfulness workshops run throughout the year and can help boost your resilience and wellbeing. There are also apps, such as Headspace, which anyone can download to help you practice mindfulness.

Support at BU Student Wellbeing service Provided in partnership with our local NHS Foundation Trust, the team offers free support including drop-in sessions, individual guidance and counselling. You can find them in Talbot House on Talbot Campus and can make an appointment by visiting or by calling 01202 965020. Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) BU staff can access free and confidential legal, financial and wellbeing advice, including telephone or face-to-face counselling. The service can help staff deal with a range of personal or professional problems, and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. More information can be found on the Staff Intranet or by calling 0800 1116 387.

Surf’s Up

ResLifeBU – whose role is to make sure every student living in BU accommodation feels welcome, safe and has fun – teamed up with local surf therapy charity The Wave Project this summer to give students an idea of how to make the most of their time living in Bournemouth.

Starting university and living away from home can be a hugely daunting experience. The ResLifeBU team works with first years living in Halls of Residence to make their time at BU the best it can possibly be. The team is always thinking of different ideas to encourage students to try new things and make friends and, as a surfer himself, ResLifeBU Supervisor Sam Glynn-Jones felt living next to the beach was the perfect opportunity for students looking to take on a new challenge. “There are lots of situations in life where you just need to throw yourself into something new and I’ve always believed that surfing is one of the ‘cool’ things that people will at least try”, says Sam. Armed with research that highlights the positive effects of surf therapy, Sam contacted The Wave Project – a national charity that provides surf courses to help participants increase their confidence, gain new skills and make new friends – to organise a pilot scheme for a group of first years willing to give surfing a go on Boscombe beach.

The results were hugely positive, with one student commenting; “It’s one of the best things I’ve signed up to in a long, long time. The course gave me something to look forward to and commit to. Looking after your wellbeing includes becoming more physically active and with something like this, everyone’s learning together.” Curt Marlow, Lead Co-ordinator from the Dorset division of the charity, was pleased with the outcome: “It’s great to see new friendships develop over the surf courses, especially when you see how nervous people are on the first session. It was awesome to see the students standing up on the boards, showing how far they’d all come by the last session.” ResLifeBU offers support to first years within halls, as well as wide variety of activities. To find out more and to get involved, follow BUResLife on Facebook and reslife_bournemouth on Instagram. If you’d like to find out more about becoming a volunteer for The Wave Project in Boscombe, call Curt on 01637 820835.

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Healthcare Heroes InsideBU takes a look at the Healthcare Heroes campaign which ran earlier this year to celebrate BU’s ongoing impact in healthcare and 70 years of the National Health Service (NHS).

The NHS turned 70 on 5 July 2018 and BU took this as the perfect opportunity to celebrate one of the nation’s most loved institutions and to recognise and thank the extraordinary people working in healthcare. BU has long had an active role in the healthcare industry: providing training, graduates, research and expertise in professions as wide-ranging as nursing, midwifery, social care and orthopaedics. Since becoming a university in 1992, BU has produced more than 14,000 qualified healthcare professionals. Alongside this, we have many notable healthcare Honorary Doctorates including Sheena Byrom OBE – one of the UK’s most experienced midwives – and Sue Sutherland, who was awarded an OBE for services to organ transplantation. Sue is also one of BU’s Pro-Chancellors and was formerly Chair of the BU Board. The Healthcare Heroes campaign celebrated the work of BU academics in health and social science professions, as well as the 8 | Autumn 2018 | InsideBU

achievements of students and alumni now working in this field. Highlighting the impact BU has in healthcare, individuals were identified and their stories told. The campaign included a hub page on our website and internal coverage including digital screens across campus. A feature also ran in The Guardian’s ‘NHS is 70’ supplement and adverts across Dorset and Hampshire, including in major regional shopping centres like Southampton’s Westquay. The work of BU academics featured in the campaign, including Dr Osman Ahmed, Lecturer in Physiotherapy, and Professor Keith Brown, Director of the National Centre for Post-Qualifying Social Work. Professor Brown’s work includes research into financial scamming of vulnerable people. Another member of staff involved in the campaign was Associate Professor Tom Wainwright, Deputy Head of the Orthopaedic Research Institute (ORI) at BU. ORI’s work includes researching the use of robotics in hip surgeries and their new CHAiN project, which

“Most of the mentors I worked with have trained at BU – you’re always bumping into former BU students.” Becky Weston, Midwifery student

uses cycling techniques to aid hip movement and prevent hip problems like arthritis. Healthcare Heroes also highlighted stories from BU graduates who now work within the NHS alongside features from current students across the Bournemouth, Portsmouth and Yeovil campuses. One of the students featured was Becky Weston, a Midwifery student at BU’s Portsmouth Campus in St Mary’s Hospital. Becky believes a degree of autonomy is important for students in healthcare, with mentors offering indirect supervision to allow students to fully experience the role, while being on-hand to offer advice and guidance when needed. “Most of the mentors I worked with have trained at BU – you’re always bumping into former BU students.” BU’s work in training the midwives of tomorrow runs concurrent to our training of other disciplines across the NHS – something that

Becky finds useful to her learning. “When we go to Bournemouth for some units, it’s really interesting to see all of the other sections of healthcare at BU. Our work is very different from the paramedics, for example, but there are things that we’re able to learn from them, and they often have a different take.” BU is focused on continuing to expand our ongoing impact in healthcare across the region and beyond and our new Bournemouth Gateway Building, currently under construction, will be the new home for our health and social science faculty. BU has also included medical sciences as a strategic investment area in BU2025, the university’s new vision for the next seven years. The Healthcare Heroes campaign was shortlisted for a Chartered Institute of Public Relations PRide Award 2018 for its success in showcasing the impact BU has on the NHS in this important year.

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Supporting staff through family friendly policies BU2025 – the university’s strategic plan – places a focus on providing a healthy environment that attracts and engages with a diversity of staff and students. Ensuring that our policies and processes underpin this commitment is essential and, as part of our work towards our new Athena SWAN submission, we have been examining many of these practices. Athena SWAN is a charter established and managed by the British Equality Challenge Unit to recognise and encourage good practice towards the advancement of gender equality. It covers all staff and students across all disciplines and job roles, and all genders including trans people. BU was awarded the Athena SWAN Bronze Award for the first time in 2015 and is valid for three years. The work towards our new submission is directed by a steering group and self-assessment team (SAT) and the key areas of focus are: • Review and enhance BU maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave policies, procedures and practices • Increase the visibility and awareness of opportunities for and benefits of flexible working at BU • Increase the transparency in academic promotion procedures, support and decisions.

This summer, we relaunched our maternity, paternity and adoption leave policies, substantially enhancing maternity and adoption leave on full pay to up to 26 weeks and extending paternity leave from three days to two weeks, also on full pay. A Guardian report in January 2018 noted there were only seven universities in the UK that offered this level of maternity pay, so this change means BU now offers substantially better paid leave to new mums than most other institutions. Julie Northam, Chair of the Athena SWAN SAT, commented: “A study from Warwick University concluded that the universities with the best maternity leave policies were better able to retain qualified women, who went on to receive higher pay. The changes we have made will have a big impact on both academic and Julie Northam professional staff.”

If you would like to find out more about BU’s work to support gender equality, please contact the Equality and Diversity team by emailing

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“It’s been life-changing” InsideBU finds out more about the Additional Learning Support team (ALS), who offer a broad range of support to students with difficulties or disabilities throughout their time at BU. BU is determined that every student is able to reach their full potential, which is why it offers a variety of different support services, including the ALS team. The team – who are based at both Talbot and Lansdowne campuses– currently work with around 2,000 students.

The ALS team is aware that everyone works differently, which is why they support students according to their own individual goals and targets. They also support students off campus and use Skype in addition to one-to-one support, to increase the students’ ease of access to the team.

The team supports students who have:

It’s important to the team that students are able to develop into self-motivated, independent learners and it’s clear from some of the students we spoke to that the support they’re given throughout their time is invaluable. One student commented: “I’d like to thank [the team] again for all your help! It may not seem much to you, but for me it’s been life-changing – your advice and gentle words have helped me through some difficult times and it has been comforting to know there was someone that could help.”

• Sensory/physical disabilities e.g. hearing/visually impaired, wheelchair users • Specific learning differences e.g. dyslexia, dyspraxia, attention deficit (ADHD), Asperger’s • Medical conditions e.g, cancer, cerebral palsy, epilepsy • Mental health difficulties e.g. Schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive (OCD), bipolar • Temporary injuries.

The support offered by ALS includes: • Information, advice and guidance for disability-related concerns and signposting to specific support agencies • Arranging screenings and educational psychology assessments for dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD • Teaching students to learn specific skills and strategies that will enrich academic study • Enabling students to develop employability skills • Assisting with applications for Disabled Students’ Allowances • Providing one-to-one lecture/seminar support to enable independent learning • Providing exam support • Advising the faculties on reasonable adjustments that will support students to demonstrate their potential for success • Providing workshops and seminars to staff and students on disability impacts, assistive technology, specific literacy and numeracy upskilling for employment, study skills for dissertations and exams and much more.

Some of the ALS team, L-R: Ana Pinto, Carolyn Atherton with Jack the dog, Paula Callaghan, Sue Churchill and Steevie Watson.

If you feel as though you could benefit from some extra support you can always visit the team in DLG17, The Sir Michael Cobham Library, or B316, Bournemouth House. Alternatively, please call 01202 965663 or email InsideBU | Autumn 2018 | 11

InsideBU spoke to Stuart Laird, Director of Estates, to find out what measures have been taken to ensure the wellbeing of our students and staff in the Bournemouth (BGB) and Poole Gateway Buildings (PGB).

Building wellbeing

Today’s architects and designers are well aware that a building influences the health, wellbeing and productivity of its users. It’s crucial that certain aspects such as light, temperature and the way we interact with one another in any building are incorporated in the design to promote a healthy and productive work and study space. “The idea of wellbeing is something we’re acutely aware of when it comes to the design of a new building and the architects brought in some specialists in this area when looking at the Gateway buildings” says Stuart. Before design work took place, students and staff were asked to give feedback to discover what was important to them. Their top priorities were interaction and connection, light, temperature and air quality.

Interaction and connection “It’s about building a community feel and we’ve been really impressed with the architects and how they’ve designed the floors so they interact with one another,” Stuart explains. “I think staff and students will find the buildings light and airy, with proper social learning and collaboration spaces.” He continues: “The main differences between the two buildings are that there are going to be offices in the BGB and we’re moving an entire faculty (the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences), which we’ve never done before. “In many of the buildings on Lansdowne Campus, people work in silos because the layouts just don’t work. Lots of spaces are tucked away and closed off and that doesn’t lend itself to good collaborative working.” To remedy these challenges, architects have provided a variety of flexible spaces for different learning activities and group work in the new buildings. Open plan and informal break-out spaces will be provided for both staff and students on different floors throughout the buildings. A number of open plan offices have also been created, each with private meeting spaces and adjacent to informal work areas, allowing staff to choose the working environment that best suits their activity.

Light A growing body of evidence emphasises how light can impact our moods. Architects have taken this into consideration and both buildings will be flooded with natural daylight partly due to the glass atriums in each construction. 12 | Autumn 2018 | InsideBU

Artist impression of the Bournemouth Gateway Building Having access to and views of nature has proved to have positive effects on health and wellbeing, with some studies showing improvements in levels of concentration and lower stress levels where close proximity to nature is available. “The PGB will overlook Talbot Heath and we’ve spent a lot of time working with the local council, considering all the landscaping and replanting elements,” Stuart comments. “With the BGB, outdoor space was high on our priority list and the design has ensured there’s ground floor access with planting, external green space and seating areas. There are also several roof terraces which provide outside space for users throughout the day.”

Stuart Laird Director of Estates

Artist impression of the Poole Gateway Building

Air quality and temperature Air quality and temperature are important to occupants and the new buildings have reflected this. BGB has incorporated thermostats and windows that can be opened by users and chilled beams will ensure direct down-drafts don’t occur and that air distribution is even. Due to the nature of the PGB and the fact it will house numerous computer rooms and studios, the rooms will be vented and cooled by mechanical means. The buildings are designed to be environmentally friendly with a variety of carbon-reduction measures. Landscaping has also proved to be important for the sustainability agenda, particularly

on Talbot Campus where academics and the Estates department have teamed up to construct a ‘living laboratory’ to create a haven for wildlife and ultimately encourage pollination. It’s hoped these developments will help to support BU’s updated Travel Plan, which aims to enable all campus users to travel as sustainably as possible and minimise the environmental impact of BU’s operations. The details of the new plan will be shared shortly. Reflecting on the hard work that’s already gone into these developments, Stuart says: “I’m hugely proud of what we’re achieving. Both buildings are on schedule to be completed and in use by 2020 and we’re just really looking forward to getting the faculties in there and using them.” InsideBU | Autumn 2018 | 13

Health and wellness with SportBU SportBU offers a range of services to help staff and students with health, fitness and wider wellbeing.

As well as gym memberships and fitness classes, SportBU offers lots of other services for staff, students and their families. The focus is on having fun and getting people engaged in physical activity for health benefits.

Performance Whatever your goals, from fat loss or muscle gain to improving sport performance, SportBU can help. If you’re bored of doing the same things in the gym or not seeing results, the team can design personalised exercise programmes to help you. You can also have sessions with a personal trainer, by yourself or with a friend, to enhance your gym experience. Equally important in achieving fitness goals is how we fuel our bodies. SportBU can support staff and students with a bespoke nutrition plan. A nutritional adviser analyses your current diet and provides a program that is sustainable and easy to follow. BU student Danny said: “The nutrition plan has been really good! I had someone constantly available if I had a question which was helpful. Consideration was taken of my lifestyle as a student – meals were low cost and lunches were quick.”

Recovery SportBU offers sports massages which are great for improving movement and recovery and can benefit everyone, not just athletes. 14 | Autumn 2018 | InsideBU

Alongside this, there is also a physiotherapy clinic to help with injuries and movement issues. The Anglo European College of Chiropractic (AECC) runs a satellite clinic at SportBU, so students and staff benefit from assessment and treatment at a reduced cost. The clinic is run by student interns in their final year with a Senior Clinical Tutor supervising treatment. Elaine, a BU staff member who uses the clinic, said: “I’ve been really impressed with the quality of treatment I’ve received from the AECC and the commitment to providing a personalised treatment plan.”

Kids SportBU is open to your family too. SportBU runs Kids Sport Camps through the Christmas, Easter and summer breaks with something available for all children. There are also term-time Super Saturday drop-in activity sessions for children including trampoline classes, street dance and lots more! Parents can benefit from a free parent gym pass while children get active.

To find out more about what SportBU has to offer, speak to one of the reception team on Talbot Campus, or visit

Big White Wall:

help at your fingertips, 24/7

If you’ve read the news recently, you’ll be aware of the increased focus on services which support people’s mental health. One of those services is Big White Wall – an online mental health and wellbeing service offering support to both students and staff. Universities Minister Sam Gyimah

According to NHS England, one in four adults experiences mental illness at some point during their lifetime and universities are taking a more proactive role than ever before to support their students and staff.

In June, Universities Minister, Sam Gyimah, announced a package of measures, including a new working group to look at the transition which students face when moving to university and a new charter to create standards to promote student and staff mental health and wellbeing. Here at BU, one of our Fusion outcomes – which links to the university’s seven year plan called BU2025 – states that ‘we have a diverse and inclusive environment that enables achievement for all’ and we are committed to developing BU as a healthy environment for our staff and students.

Alongside the numerous on-campus services available, there is free access to online support through the Big White Wall for all BU students and staff. This interactive website provides a 24-hour facility for connecting with others who are experiencing feelings of anxiety, stress, depression, homesickness or any concern which is affecting someone’s mental health. Big White Wall allows you to share your feelings anonymously and is monitored by trained Wall Guides, who can also offer support. There is also a range of self-help programmes and other guidance and advice. Kerry Rolls, Student Wellbeing Co-ordinator at BU, explains: “Providing access to the Big White Wall is part of our commitment to help any student or staff member struggling with a wide range of issues such as low mood or anxiety, homesickness and lifestyle concerns. All staff and students can sign up to Big White Wall using their BU email address and access is completely free. So, if you’re looking for a bit of extra support or some help in between counselling appointments, then Big White Wall may be a good place to start.”

Simply visit and sign up

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You’ve got


While there are many support services available to students at BU, what makes the Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme stand out is that it’s run by students, for students. InsideBU finds out more.

Sometimes speaking out in a lecture or seminar can be intimidating. Group PAL sessions – which are available to the majority of first year students and are run by second year students – are all about creating an informal and safe environment to ask questions and start discussions with fellow students to help them gain more of an understanding about their subject matter.

While leaders facilitate the sessions to help students develop independent learning techniques and study skills, they’re also available to give advice on how to prepare for interviews and placements, in addition to offering general support about student life and adjusting to university.

Whereas academics teach specific course content, PAL leaders generate activities that will help students find the answers out for themselves. Before each session, they use email and social media to find out what the students would like to achieve at the next meeting and will construct the session around their responses.

Many students have had such a positive experience through the scheme that they’ve become leaders themselves. One second year student told us: “PAL was invaluable during my first year. The oneto-one contact with an experienced student meant I was able to freely ask all questions and gain real help from the viewpoint of a peer.

Sessions are only an hour long and confidential. They aim to accommodate different learning styles and look to include everyone, improve relationships and encourage discussions.

“I quickly became great friends with my leader and felt inspired to join the programme myself, hoping to have the same effect with future students.”

Peer Learning Officer Aimée Fish, based within Library & Learning Support, reflects on what makes the PAL scheme so positive: “The main benefit of PAL is that it helps with that tough time of transitioning to university. It’s when many students are stepping out of their comfort zone, so to have a PAL Leader who’s on their wavelength and has shared experiences is invaluable.”

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Peer Assisted Learning is available for the majority of BU first year students. If you have any enquiries or would like to find out about becoming a leader, please email

By day, by night

Jeanette Hancock works in Student Services as Project Officer for the Student Information Desk (SID). She’s also a singer and supports various charities, including mental health services.

By day

By night

I oversee the implementation of BU’s new enquiry management system, SID, currently used by Frontline Services such as AskBU. SID uses a function that turns student emails into easy-to-process enquiries. These are then passed on to relevant departments as needed. By the end of 2018, we’re aiming to also have Programme Support Teams using the system, which will be great!

I’ve been singing since I was a toddler and, growing up in Wales, there was music in my life every day. I joined Poole & Parkstone Productions 20 years ago and have been performing in their choir and musical theatre productions ever since.

SID contains a reporting function which helps identify trends, peaks and troughs in student enquiries, and a Frequently Asked Questions tool, that’s regularly updated for students to access 24/7. I’m currently developing the case management component, which will replace paper student files. Future developments include a diary element which will be integrated with BU’s Unified Calendar Project, that will provide access to multiple calendar feeds in addition to personal academic timetables. My job is really all about liaising between IT Services and staff using SID, so we can develop and configure the system to work for all. I spend a lot of time writing user guides and delivering training, and I love seeing colleagues go on to feel confident about using the system.

Singing has always been a means of preserving my wellbeing and it never fails to lift me when I’m feeling under pressure – seeing people smile when I sing is a huge reward. It’s been an honour to support local charity fundraising by singing in events for Routes to Roots, House of Grace and the Teenage Cancer Trust. I also feel it’s important to raise awareness of the wellbeing services offered by the NHS. I was incredibly proud to sing at a garden party at St. Ann’s Hospital in Poole as part of the NHS 70th birthday celebrations, where residents, staff and their families enjoyed a traditional summer fete.

University Music offers a wide range of musical opportunities to students and staff and run concerts throughout the year. To find out more visit music.

InsideBU | Autumn 2018 | 17

We meet... Professor Alison McConnell worked with colleagues from the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences to create an app called Brythm which guides the user’s breathing to a lower, personalised optimal frequency with the aim of lowering blood pressure. PhD student Malika Felton is working to test the app.

Professor Alison McConnell Sport/Health Science “I joined BU in 2015 having spent 15 years at Brunel University, where I worked as an exercise physiologist in the Department of Sport Sciences. I’ve always had a keen interest in using my knowledge of how the body’s systems work together to solve clinical problems and, in 2006, a product that I invented and launched was approved for NHS prescriptions ( “Moving to the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences has given me an opportunity to collaborate with healthcare colleagues and focus my research on creating novel, non-pharmacological solutions to clinical problems. “One of these problems is high blood pressure (hypertension), which currently affects around 30% of the UK population. About six years ago I became very intrigued by emerging evidence that the daily practice of slow breathing could lower people’s blood pressure. This prompted a line of research, which began

by understanding the immediate influence of breathing upon the cardiovascular system, and culminated in the creation of the Brythm app ( This is an extremely powerful tool, which guides users’ breathing and enables us to capture the body’s responses to every Brythm training session. “We’re currently researching the effects of the Brythm app with different groups of people, including women with pregnancyinduced hypertension and people with newly diagnosed high blood pressure. If Brythm training is found to be effective, it could provide a game-changing addition to the fight against high blood pressure and have a positive impact on many people’s lives.”

Malika Felton PhD student “Professor McConnell secured funding for a PhD student to work with expectant mothers who have pregnancy-induced hypertension and I joined the Brythm team in September 2017 to lead this project.

to examine ways to improve people’s health through non-pharmacological methods. When the studentship at BU became available it was too good an opportunity to miss and I was lucky enough to be selected.

“My background is in sport and exercise physiology and before starting my PhD at BU I had already become more interested in healthrelated research areas. As project manager, I was involved in the preparation and development of an exercise and education clinic for stroke survivors in Winchester. I began to understand the importance of research having a reallife impact and I wanted my future research

“It’s been really rewarding working in an interdisciplinary team as part of the Brythm research project. Since starting my PhD, I’ve been able to learn from colleagues with different research and clinical backgrounds. The research I’m leading is really exciting and hopefully it will provide early evidence of an alternative to drug-based treatments for women who develop hypertension during pregnancy.”

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Celebrating teaching success

Dr Susan Way – Associate Professor in Midwifery – has had an incredible year, receiving Fellowships that reflect her outstanding dedication to teaching. Susan was most recently presented with a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship (NTF).

that the impact and influence of her work is being recognised nationally and internationally.

The NTF scheme celebrates and recognises individuals who have made an outstanding impact on student outcomes and the teaching profession in higher education.

The award has been running since 2000 and there are now more than 815 National Teaching Fellows, with up to 55 individuals receiving the award each year. On gaining the award, fellows play an ongoing role in enhancing teaching and learning within their institution, the HE sector and further afield.

“I was really excited and honoured to hear I’d been granted the Fellowship”, Susan said. “It’s such a competitive process with people from all over the UK applying, that I hadn’t expected it.” “Looking ahead, the Fellowship will help me continue to influence midwifery education for the benefit of women and their babies through the high quality education students receive. “Professor Debbie Holley was my mentor when I applied for a Fellowship and she was fantastic. In the future, I certainly want to share my experience and help mentor others to achieve this award ensuring BU continues to be recognised for the high quality of teaching it delivers.” Debbie Holley, Professor of Learning Innovation and the Head of the Centre of Excellence for Learning at BU, was delighted to hear about Susan’s achievement: “Not only does this this celebrate her fantastic contribution to supporting students and their learning within our own institution, but it also highlights

The National Teaching Fellowship tops off a whirlwind of a year for Susan, who was also awarded a Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Fellowship over the summer. This was one of only eight Fellowships awarded, in recognition of her significant and sustained contribution to the profession through the education of students and continuing professional development of qualified staff. Susan joins two other BU academics who have been awarded National Teaching Fellowships in the past – Professor Debbie Holley and Professor Stephen Tee, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences. The award will be presented to all the new National Teaching Fellows at a ceremony in Edinburgh in November. Visit to find out more. InsideBU | Autumn 2018 | 19


Sarah Hopkins, Employability Assistant, completed the 100-mile RideLondon event in support of the Brain Tumour Research charity, which raises funds for continuous and sustainable scientific research into brain tumours. She completed the event in tribute to her father and four of her friends who have been killed by brain tumours.

@bournemouthuni Today is #999UK day and we have so much respect for the work our emergency services so. We’re also #BUproud to be training students like Jasmine Heart in Paramedic Science so they can be part of the #999 force #belongatbu #bournemouthuniversity #paramedic #paramedicstudent #emergencyservices

Hundreds of visitors attended BU’s archaeological field school open day. The site was alive with experimental reconstructions, including roman ceramic production and medieval salt making, trench tours and even a BBQ.

@bournemouthuni We’re #BUproud to say that BU graduates have worked on all five of the films nominated in the visual effects category at this year’s Academy Awards!

@bournemouthuni If you’ve just joined us at BU, or if you’re a returning student, then make some time to explore the local area. This is the stunning Lulworth Cove - part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site and only a short distance from Bournemouth. 20 | Autumn 2018 | InsideBU

Minister Lord Henley from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy visited BU’s Orthapaedic Research Institute to try out their cutting-edge facilities.

Experts from BU helped with a national BioBlitz campaign championed by TV’s Chris Packham, to catalogue the UK’s natural habitat.

#BUProud Gallery

Two of BU’s technicians, Peter Vivian and Paul Smart, built a Dalek from off-cuts to demonstrate hand skills, techniques and materials on the Product Design course. No 3D printing, laser cutting or CNC machining was used in the process.

Brian Heppenstall – Senior Ranger at Hengistbury Head – won the very first BU Alumni of the Year Award. Brian graduated in 2003 with a degree in Environmental Protection and received four separate nominations.

Biological anthropologist, broadcaster, author and BU honorary doctorate, Professor Alice Roberts opened the Festival of Learning 2018, sharing insights into the species that shaped our world in two talks based on her book Tamed.

Sustainable water bottles were gifted to new postgraduate students from last year’s postgraduates during Arrivals Week.

BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz delivered the keynote speech at this year’s BFX Festival in a very unique way; via hologram!

BU was named winner of the European Association for International Education award for innovation in internationalisation, including our global Festival of Learning and Global Talent Programme. The award was collected at the ceremony, held in Vienna.

BU graduate Josh Barry – who studied BA (Hons) Scriptwriting for Film and Television and MA Writing – is challenging perceptions of living with a disability in his published autobiography, Adapted.

InsideBU | Autumn 2018 | 21

Dates for your diary October | November | December | January | February | March Undergraduate Open Days

Speak Week

Winter break

Open days for prospective students

26 November - 1 December

• Saturday 27 October

Speak Week is a full week dedicated to collecting feedback about the student experience at BU.

Over the winter break we close down much of the campus to reduce our environmental impact and ensure our buildings are secure at a time when many people leave for the holidays. For those areas we’re closing, we will shut down at 4pm on Sunday 23 December and re-open on Wednesday 2 January 2019. Find out full details at holiday-closure-information

• Saturday 17 November

Graduation 2018 The biggest event in BU’s calendar sees students and staff celebrate their hard work on the following dates in the Bournemouth International Centre: • Faculty of Management: Monday 5 and Tuesday 6 November • Faculty of Media & Communication: Wednesday 7 November • Faculty of Science & Technology: Thursday 8 November • Faculty of Health & Social Sciences: Friday 9 November. graduation-ceremonies

University Music Scholars’ Autumn Recital

Postgraduate Open Days Wednesday 28 November and Wednesday 13 March Events for those interested in studying for a Master’s degree at BU.

University Music Christmas Concert Sunday 2 December, 7pm, Royal Bath Hotel Join the University Orchestra, Big Band and Musical Theatre Choir for a festive musical celebration. christmas-concert

Friday 9 November, Talbot Campus

PGR exhibition 2018

An eclectic mix of solo and ensemble performances.

Wednesday 5 December, Talbot Campus

An exhibition displaying the breadth and quality of research undertaken by BU postgraduate researchers.

Vice-Chancellor Staff Awards doctoral-college

Thursday 22 November An award ceremony that recognises the achievements of our staff.

Service Excellence Conference Wednesday 19 December A one-day conference for staff on Service Excellence.

For more information about events at BU, please visit: or email

22 | Autumn 2018 | InsideBU

Staff Recognition Awards Qualifications celebration event – Thursday 31 January. Promotion to Professor celebration event – Wednesday 13 March.

University Mental Health Day Thursday 7 March 2019 A national campaign to promote the mental health of people who live, work and study in Higher Education settings.

Café Scientifique First Tuesday of every month Explore the latest ideas in science and technology in Café Boscanova, 650 Christchurch Road, Boscombe.

Well-made craft workshops (students only) Drop in between 2pm and 4pm Tuesdays in BoHo Lounge, Bournemouth House Thursdays on ground floor of the Student Centre.

University Music Events programme Autumn 2018

What’s on, when, where and how to get involved

Bournemouth University Fusion Inaugural Lecture Series 2018-19 BU’s Fusion Inaugural Lecture Series provides an opportunity for professors from across all faculties at the university to share an insight into their specialist research and how this enriches the world.

For more information or to book free tickets, visit:

Healthcare Heroes

BU’s Heathcare Heroes campaign ran in The Guardian’s ‘NHS is 70’ supplement and adverts across Dorset and Hampshire.




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