Lorraine Millard, Dr Elisabeth Curling and Louise Frith
Student Support and Wellbeing, School of Biosciences, Student Learning Advisory Service
University learning support award
The project team, led by Lorraine Millard with the support of the wellbeing team, devised the brand new idea of Mindfulness@Kent. This was based initially in Biosciences, where Dr Elisabeth Curling was the first member of academic staff to initiate and then trial the mindfulness droplet course, in October 2016. Since then, the five-week mindfulness template has been rolled out and adopted across many areas of the University.
The team wrote and delivered bespoke mindfulness ‘droplets’ courses in four additional areas; the Careers Service, where Coaching for Careers was introduced, the School of Arts, the School of Physical Sciences and at the Medway campus for students from Kent, Christchurch and Greenwich Universities.
The team also offer a weekly mindfulness drop-in workshop for students and staff. The impact of these initiatives has been significant, including a thriving Mindfulness Society which provides mindfulness meditations and information to other societies as well as appearing at several internal festival and wellbeing events.
The team have developed a sustainable approach to the project by instigating a “train the trainers” course and online materials to train staff within academic schools and professional services to deliver five-week Mindfulness courses to students, bespoke to the needs of their own departments and Schools.
In addition, the team have shown how departments and schools are now successfully running their own mindfulness courses using trained practitioners and the students who have taken the courses are now passing on mindfulness techniques to their peers.
The initiative is sustainable and embedded in many different locations throughout the university and it is playing a vital role in supporting students and demonstrating Kent’s commitment to student wellbeing.