College’s mental health and wellbeing initiative makes shortlist in national awards

Truro and Penwith College has been shortlisted for this year’s Mental Health and Wellbeing National Beacon Award from the Association of Colleges.

The awards celebrate the best and most innovative practice among UK further education and sixth form colleges.

Truro and Penwith College has been recognised for its establishment of an over-arching approach to health and wellbeing, one which is embedded across the institution and all stakeholders, and includes integrated support and services to reduce barriers to learner progress.

The nomination recognises the roll-out of a programme of staff development to increase staff knowledge in relevant areas of their practice, including a team of ‘champions’ to disseminate best practice in supporting students, as well as how to signpost them to specialist support. 

Increasing participation in physical and recreation activities as a mechanism to increasing mental health and wellbeing was highlighted. The College’s significant investment in staff to establish delivery of a Mental Health First Aid programme is also recognised. 

The College's Health, Wellbeing and Sport (HWS) programme received praise as innovative in its approach in developing sport activators from across the student and staff body. The HWS programme helps provide over 40 free activities each week, open to students and to staff, to encourage participation in physical activity.

Assessors highlighted the way that mental health and wellbeing is embedded throughout the organisation, from Governors to students, and all stakeholders participate in supporting each other.

Truro College’s Head of Student Services, Emma Seaward-Adams, said she was delighted to hear of the nomination.

“We are very pleased to have been shortlisted as we are really proud of the level of support offered to the whole college community,” she said. “Staff within Student Services, Personnel and Health, Wellbeing and Sport teams have worked hard to establish a comprehensive package for students and staff.  The outstanding commitment from governors and the senior team has been instrumental in creating a whole college ethos of support.”

Carole Stott MBE, Chair of AoC Charitable Trust, said: “The Beacon Awards highlight the very best of college initiatives and activities.  Being shortlisted for a Beacon Award highlights not only the good work of the colleges, but also the impact on students and communities. Great colleges transform lives and communities.  They meet the needs of employers and students by embracing new approaches to teaching, learning and leadership.  The shortlist for this year’s Beacon Awards is testament to this.”

The AoC Beacon Awards winners will be announced on the evening of 14 November in Birmingham.