Roll up for Wellfest! Helping Hartpury students stay healthy and happy


It’s never easy growing up, but Hartpury students will be given all the tools and support they need to stay safe and well at a fun and fact-filled festival this month.

The College, with the support of the Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership and Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning is hosting ‘WellFest’ - a day dedicated to helping students to keep their minds and bodies healthy and happy.

The focus of last year’s ‘Drive for Life, Safe and Social Driving’ day was about staying safe on our roads and encouraging respect for all road users. That will again be a key feature in 2015, but the event is even bigger and better this year as around 3000 students take part in activities and educational workshops.

The workshops delivered will focus on anti-bullying, PREVENT (training and awareness as part of the Government’s anti-radicalisation strategy), mental health first aid, cyber-bullying and prevention of drink and drugs driving.

Nick Gazzard from the Hollie Gazzard Trust will be opening the event and will talk to young people about his daughter’s experience of domestic violence, how they can deal with abuse and where they can go for help. Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Services will also be in attendance supporting the Trust.

The students will witness a hard-hitting road traffic collision (RTC) scene and investigation and see first-hand the actions of the emergency services and the impact on them, as well as the people involved in the collision.

Students will also be able to sit on a seatbelt sled, where they will feel the impact of hitting a vehicle at seven miles per hour, together with trying their hand at driving go-karts with distraction goggles which simulates the effects of driving under the influence of drink and drugs

Hartpury Principal, Russell Marchant, said: “The ‘Drive for Life, Safe and Social Driving’ event has been so successful for the past two years and it is fantastic seeing other areas and institutions now using our event as a blueprint for their own.

“Many of our students are either new drivers or will be starting to learn to drive soon, so we felt it was really important to again have a focus on staying safe on the county’s roads and driving responsibly and we saw an opportunity to make the event bigger and better this year.

“WellFest builds on what we already do here at Hartpury, where the health and happiness of our students is top priority. We already run workshops on anti-bullying, drugs and alcohol awareness, sexual and mental health, sexual exploitation and much more.

“By inviting in other organisations, our students can access all the information and advice they need in one place on an action-packed day and they will know where they can turn to for help in the future.”

Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Martin Surl,said: “Encouraging young people to drive more safely and responsibly is something I care deeply about - that’s why I made it one of the priorities of my police and crime plan.

“I’m delighted that this message is being delivered so effectively and powerfully to the students at Hartpury. The lessons the Hartpury students will learn at WellFest will help keep them and their friends safe and well.”

Jan Courtney, the Lead for Health and Wellbeing (Education and Learning) Gloucestershire County Council said: “We’ve been working very closely with Hartpury College through Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning to help them to continue to enhance their health and wellbeing support for students, including the delivery of the Safeguarding Pink Curriculum (People in the know).

“Hartpury was the first Further Education college in Gloucestershire to achieve the Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning Award . They did this by focusing on encouraging positive relationships and anti-bullying with 3500 students and ensuring that more of their students know how to access help and support when they need it. We’re delighted to be supporting WellFest at Hartpury.”

Exhibitors at the event will include the Samaritans, Gloucester City Safe, the Bullying Intervention Group, Sun Safety, the British Horse Society, Young Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire Young Carers, Young Farmers, Hope Support Services, the NHS Information Bus, Rethink (Gloucestershire Self-Harm), Independence Trust and Winston’s Wish.

The Road Safety Partnership will be on hand to talk to students about staying safe on the road and Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service will demonstrate extracting casualties from a crashed car.

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