Wellbeing Champions Network


Find out more about our University Wellbeing Champions Network.


Our Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2018-22 simply won't be delivered without our network of champions and peer supporters.

The Wellbeing Network consists of staff who share a common interest in mental health and in promoting positive wellbeing across the three campuses. Within the Network, we have staff who are wellbeing champions and those who have been trained as peer supporters.

Wellbeing champions play a vital role in communicating and supporting positive attitudes and actions towards wellbeing.  By role-modelling wellbeing - and signposting people to university services - everyone can have a better workday and experience at the university.

Being a champion also means helping to shape and deliver our university wellbeing campaigns and events which support our strategy, so everyone can benefit.

What does it take to be a wellbeing champion?

You just need enthusiasm and a commitment to promote and support the many routes to wellbeing.

You'll make a huge contribution to our university by encouraging staff and students to be informed about and find wellbeing activities that work for them.

Wellbeing champions pledge  

  • To advocate the University Health and Wellbeing Strategy with individuals, partners, your team and your wider directorate/faculty.
  • To help deliver activities that support the Health and Wellbeing Strategy (key university events and campaigns), encouraging staff and student participation in these.
  • To initiate directorate and faculty opportunities, using the wellbeing champions network to promote these.
  • To set examples to colleagues on how to pro-actively look after their own wellbeing, and that of others in their team.
  • To share ideas and initiatives with each other, in order to encourage a culture of supporting staff wellbeing on a daily basis.
  • Some of our champions have been trained to support staff that may experience issues with their mental health. These champions are identified on our list below.

Peer Supporter role

A peer supporter is an employee with some personal experience of poor mental health or a mental health problem. The Peer Supporter is someone who has been trained by the mental health charity Mind to help provide peer support to their colleagues. This can be accessed by any member of staff. Peer support can be 1:1 or in a group format. It can also be based around activities which have a social focus or be more centred around discussing personal experiences of mental health as a way of supporting staff along their journey. We are currently setting up several forms of peer support across the university. If you are or have previously experienced poor mental health or wellbeing, you may wish to avail of this support network.

Could peer support help me?

Lots of people find peer support improves their wellbeing and helps them cope with mental health problems. For example, it could:

  • help you to open up about what you are feeling and experiencing
  • introduce you to ideas and approaches that others have found helpful
  • reassure you that you're not alone in how you are feeling
  • help you to connect with others and give you a sense of belonging
  • encourage you to value your strengths
  • build your self-esteem and confidence
  • help you to feel more hopeful about the future.

Is peer support right for me?

Before trying peer support, it might help to ask yourself these questions:

  • Can I try opening up? It can sometimes be difficult sharing your experiences and feelings. It's common to feel nervous or worried about what people will say, and it's likely that your peers will understand. They might feel the same way too and it's up to you how much you share.
  • Is it the right time? You might decide that peer support isn't what you need at the moment. Many people use peer support more at certain times and less at others, depending on what feels helpful at the time.
  • Do I want to focus on talking or doing activities? You might want to take part in indoor or outdoor activities, or you might prefer talking and discussion. If you're not sure what feels right for you, it might help to explore different options before deciding.
  • How do I want to access support? You might want to try online peer support or wait to access face-to-face peer support. You might find it helpful to use more than one type of support, or to try different things before deciding what you prefer.
  • Might it be difficult hearing about others' experiences? Listening to other people is a big part of peer support. This can help you feel less alone or introduce you to new ways of coping, but there might also be times when other people's experiences feel unhelpful or triggering for you.

The kind of support that works for you is completely personal. If you aren't finding something helpful, you can try something else.

Meet our champion and peer supporters

If you are interested in supporting your local wellbeing champion, please contact them directly.