Thousands of students attended the biggest and best WellFest event so far at Hartpury College dedicated to helping them stay safe, happy and healthy.
Specialist charities including Winston’s Wish, the Hollie Gazzard Trust, Kidney Research UK, the Samaritans and Hope Support Services were among more than 60 exhibitors offering advice and information.
WellFest addresses a range of issues, including safety on the roads, wellbeing and mental health, with 78 per cent of UK students indicating in an NUS survey that they had experienced mental health worries.
Highlighting the importance of staying safe on the roads, Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service demonstrated the expertise and effort required to extricate a passenger from a vehicle after a crash.
Students felt the effects of drink and drug driving by getting behind the wheel of a go-kart while wearing goggles that simulated the effects of alcohol and drugs.
Urban Smoothies Bikes allowed visitors to attempt to make a smoothie by pedalling as fast as they could on a static bike, while Amelix Youth Projects used rap songs to warn of the dangers of sexting and the importance of staying safe online.
Lesley Worsfold, Director of HR and Residential Services at Hartpury, said: “Nothing matters more to us at Hartpury than the health and welfare of our students, on and off campus.
“WellFest is a great opportunity to highlight through activities, workshops and exhibitors the range of organisations dedicated to the safety and wellbeing of young people that are available.
“We’re delighted that this year’s event was the biggest and best WellFest we have run to date, meaning we’ve been able to make our students aware of more services than ever before.
“While some of the activities possessed an element of fun, lying behind them all is a serious message about the measures that students can take to stay safe and healthy.
“We work closely with a number of charities and organisations while putting the event together to ensure students know how to access any necessary advice and support.
“We’re acutely aware of the mental health issues that young people are experiencing, so for them to know what is out there in terms of help, internally and externally, is really key.
“WellFest supplements the wide range of services we offer students while they are studying at Hartpury, notably the Student Zone, which is a one-stop shop where students can find all the support they need in one place.”
Picture: Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service demonstrating the methods they use to extricate a passenger after a car crash