Wellbeing Dogs Provide Stress Relief | Bridgwater & Taunton College

Bridgwater & Taunton College (BTC) established several measures to help support students through a busy exam season.

Acknowledging what can be a difficult time for students, BTC worked with local providers to offer different forms of practical support to ensure wellbeing is a top priority.

Including wellbeing dogs, free meals, support from our wellbeing officers, and revision sessions, there has been plenty to aid those sitting a range of subjects at various levels of study.

Academic stress has been highlighted in recent years by Young Minds UK as prevalent throughout age groups and can cause feelings of anxiety and depression.

In order to help mitigate this form of stress and anxiety, students have been invited to the cafeteria prior to their exam for a free hearty breakfast bap, fruit juice, water, and fruit, served by the BTC catering team.

This provision was not just for those students entitled to bursary funding, but for every single student sitting an exam, with options available for any dietary requirement.

BTC has also introduced students in waiting to a total of 14 wellbeing dogs that have provided much solace and comfort across campuses.

Complementing this, Calm Centres were formed for the most anxious students, which hosted wellbeing dogs, wellbeing officers, and teachers / tutors to help students de-stress, chat, and to offer some welcome company for the walk to their exam hall.

The support has not been restricted to the day of the exams, either. Throughout the College curriculum, extensive revision sessions have taken place, ensuring students felt prepared to tackle these crucial exams.

For English and Maths, revision channels were established at the start of the summer term, populated with extensive study materials, as well as both online revision sessions and extra face-to-face sessions in half-term.

Mark Nettle, Assistant Principal, Student Experience, said,

As an educational institution, it is important to both understand the many facets of mental health, offer material solutions, and ensure a support structure is in place. BTC’s offerings during this exam period are an example of this, and we will continue to celebrate and support our students going forward.

For information about studying at BTC and how we support our staff and students, please visit www.btc.ac.uk, call Information and Advice on 01278 441234, or come to one of our events.

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