Student safety and wellbeing top of the agenda at WellFest 2022


Over 2000 students attended WellFest 2022 at Hartpury University and Hartpury College on Thursday 22 September. The event highlighted the range of health, safety and wellbeing support services on offer for young people.

53 specialist organisations and exhibitors including the Samaritans, GayGlos, Gloucestershire Young Carers, Pets as Therapy, Teens in Crisis, Farming Friends, the local NHS and the Hollie Gazzard Trust were in attendance. The Gloucestershire Constabulary had a large presence on the day and headlined a busy schedule of talks covering topics including drink and drug driving, road safety, firearms and knife crime.

Other talks included topics such as sexual health, mental health resilience, positive body image, gender identity and gambling risks. Alter Ego’s drama production explored sexual consent and acceptable behaviour, Satveer Nijjar discussed mental health awareness and Hollie Gazzard Trust explained their Hollie Guard app and the active bystander movement.

WellFest is now a UK-wide event having evolved from its original theme of road safety to now helping young people to be happy, healthy and safe.

Lesley Worsfold, Vice-Principal (Resources) of Hartpury University and Hartpury College, said: “WellFest is a superb event and a great way to remind our young people of the importance of physical and mental health, personal safety and overall wellbeing.

“Having the event take place so early in the academic year helps our new crop of students to be aware of the extensive help and support available to them around the clock. We regularly use the event to promote our StudentZone, a place where our students can access the support they need in one place.

“Once again, we’re immensely grateful to the many exhibitors who attended this year, many of whom Hartpury has forged long lasting relationships. We’re already looking ahead to WellFest 2023, the ten-year anniversary of the event at Hartpury.”

If students are having difficulties support is available from the Wellbeing Centre who offer a daily term-time drop-in at 11:30am and 3:30pm (Mon to Fri) and can refer students to the onsite Student Counselling Service or Student Assistance Programme.

The Wellbeing and Counselling Service teams offer a secure, caring and confidential environment where students feel valued and respected. They provide wellbeing support and free short-term counselling, as well as signposting and connecting students with other services where appropriate.

The Wellbeing Chaplain will help with spiritual and faith issues and offer a listening ear when students need someone to talk to.