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


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 its second ‘WellFest’ - a day dedicated to helping students to keep their minds and bodies well.

Recognising the increase in mental ill health among young people, Wellfest puts the focus on keeping students healthy and happy and will see around 3000 students take part in activities and educational workshops.

The workshops delivered will include positive mental health and personal and cyber-safety, while a theatre performance will put the focus on domestic abuse in teen relationships.

The students will also 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. They will also hear from Rebecca Pain, who lost her son Ollie, in an RTC.

Students will be able to sit on a seatbelt sled, where they will feel the impact of hitting a vehicle at seven miles per hour and try their hand at driving go-karts with distraction goggles, which simulate the effects of driving under the influence of drink and drugs. There will even be mounted police roaming around campus!

Hartpury Principal, Russell Marchant, said: “Wellfest builds on what we already do very well here at Hartpury, helping our students to feel and be safe and stay well. We were very proud that Ofsted recognised our success in this area by giving us an ‘outstanding’ grade for our pastoral care and support for residential students.

“We already run workshops on anti-bullying, drugs and alcohol awareness, radicalisation awareness, sexual and mental health, sexual exploitation and much more, including lots of opportunities to get active and take part in a wide range of recreational sports.

“By inviting in other organisations for Wellfest, 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.”

Exhibitors at the event will include Victim Support, the Gloucestershire Hate Crime Partnership, Hope Support Services, the Hollie Gazzard Trust, the Samaritans, the British Horse Society, Young Carers and Teens in Crisis – Hartpury College’s official charity – along with Hartpury’s own student support services, including Hartpury Active and the counselling service.

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.”

Fiona Quan, Lead for Health and Wellbeing (Education and Learning) Gloucestershire County Council, said: “We’ve been working very closely with Hartpury College since they became the first Further Education College to achieve Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning status in 2015. We’re continuing to support them to enhance their health and wellbeing support for students, including most recently as part of the Mental Health Champions pilot for Gloucestershire.”

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