Virtual Health Fair: Feel Safe & Supported

Your University and Beds SU work closely with many organisations in our local communities. We may not always be equipped to offer all the support you need, but we are here to listen and ensure you always feel safe and supported.

Browse our Virtual Health Fair below and find out about the different organisations that are part of our wider community. 


Sexual Health Services

Terrance Higgins Trust

Sexual Health Services offer a range of tests, information and advice about relationships, pregnancy, contraception and STIs. Under current circumstances, the official line from the Government is that your best sexual partner is… you! So why not invest some time in finding out how to improve your sexual health.

Luton Sexual Health

Luton Sexual Health offers some useful information and advice about sex and relationships.

NHS Sexual Health Service

If you need specific advice, it’s best to contact your local service online or by phone in the first instance.


Do you understand consent?

Fast forward to when Covid-19 is under control and you can get back to searching for ‘the one’. Don’t get into trouble for assuming someone has the same feelings as you. If you’re struggling with the concept of consent just imagine instead of initiating sex you’re making them a cup of tea.


Fika Mental Health Masterclasses

As a University of Bedfordshire student, you can download and use the Fika app free of charge for your first semester. Join in the monthly virtual masterclasses starting with ‘Connection’ on 13th October.

Once you have registered as a student you will need to sign in with your University email address for free access.


Bedfordshire Wellbeing Service

If you are feeling anxious about Coronavirus and rates of infection in our local area, our partners at Bedfordshire Wellbeing Service are here to help you.


Samaritans

Starting University can be a big change in your life, it’s normal to feel some anxiety and nervousness as you adapt to new experiences. Small actions can make a big difference to help you cope.


Luton All Women’s Centre

LAWC offers a wide-range of advisory, information, practical and holistic support services, our aim is to challenge gender inequality and empower women and girls to enjoy lives that are safer, healthier and fairer.


What is an eating disorder?

An eating disorder is an unhealthy relationship with food that severely impacts on your day to day life. Knowledge and awareness about eating disorders could help you or someone you care about. Did you know, 1.6 million people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder?

Caraline

Caraline, an eating disorder support charity has a handy guide to work out if you might need support.

Beating Eating Disorders

Why not visit the Beat Eating Disorders website for a wealth of information, advice and support.


Luton Healthwatch

Local Healthwatch is all about local voices being able to influence the delivery and design of local services. Not just people who use them, but anyone who might need to in future. If you are looking to enter a healthcare profession and live, study or work in Luton, why not join as a member or volunteer?

Don’t Miss Out: Additional Support for Your Studies

Did you receive additional support at school or college? Did you disclose a disability on your application form? You may be eligible for additional support at University.


Disclosed a disability?

The Health & Wellbeing Team (Disability) will have emailed you and asked you to register with the team so we can put your support in place before your course starts.

If you haven’t responded, DO IT NOW!


Didn’t disclose a disability but think you may be eligible?

Email disability@beds.ac.uk and request a registration form.


Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA)

These awards provide equipment, software, specialist 1:1 support and contributions towards travel costs depending on assessed need. These awards are not means-tested.

The application process is very simple – just follow the link from your student loan account. You will need to provide evidence.

More information can be found on the UK Government website.

If you haven’t already applied, DO IT NOW!

You may not receive your award before the beginning of your course. The process can take up to 14 weeks but do not delay any longer. 

Email the team at disability@beds.ac.uk if you’re unsure and have any queries.

Find out more

More information about how the Health & Wellbeing Team supports students can be found on the University’s website.

Feed Your Soul – Community and Faith at Beds

Feed your soul in our multi-faith and belief spaces. Enjoy making new friends over a cup of tea or coffee, pray, get personal support and express your spiritual side in a warm and friendly environment.

All students are welcome whether you have a particular faith or not. 

Discover more

Find out more about our team and activities.

Keeping Yourself Safe: Drugs and Alcohol Advice

For many, starting University is the dawn of a new beginning. For most of us, it means all sorts of new experiences. It is important however to understand the risks and know where to go to for help and advice – especially regarding Drugs and Alcohol.

In this post, we have listed helpful resources to help you better understand the risks, not just criminally but also to your health regarding drugs and advice around managing your alcohol use.


Bedfordshire Police

If something happens, or you have concerns and you want to make a report, there are many ways you can do this.


Talk to Frank

Talk to Frank has a quick search function to inform you about the risks of all drugs. It also has a free 24/7 helpline for anyone who requires advice from a professional.


Drugs and Me

Drugs and Me provides accessible, objective and comprehensive educational material to help reduce the short and long term harm of drugs.


Know the Score

Know the score is a website and 7 day a week helpline to inform people about the latest news and advice around drugs.


NHS

This NHS website advises very specifically on the amount of alcohol use to keep risks to a low level and other useful tips and advice to help manage alcohol use.


Drink Aware

Drink Aware is a site with a range of tools to assess and help reduce and manage your alcohol use.


Alcohol Change

Test your knowledge on alcohol with this quick quiz from Alcohol Change.

Health & Healthcare: Essential Information for All Students

Register with a local GP

If you have moved to a new town to study, you should register with a local GP as soon as possible, so you can access healthcare when you need it. Do not leave it until you feel unwell! 

You can find details of the nearest surgeries to campus on our website.

For those who live away from the above sites or if you prefer to register elsewhere, you can find a list of GP surgeries near to where you live on the NHS website.

You can now register online as a new patient with many GP surgeries. Look out for the ‘new patient’ or ‘reception and enquiries’ section on their website to get started.


Keeping yourself well

Freshers’ flu is real!

When you start University there are lots of factors that can add physical and psychological strain and impact your immune system. Although mingling with large groups of new people may not be such an issue this year, you may find that your diet changes, you might be lacking in sleep or feeling stressed which can all lead to freshers’ flu.

Although this isn’t an actual flu, you can end up feeling quite poorly.

Symptoms of freshers’ flu can include:

  • Feeling cold and shivering or hot with a fever
  • Dry cough
  • Having low energy

Our best tips on keeping healthy and avoiding freshers’ flu:

  • Eat healthily – there’s no time like the present to learn how to cook quick meals with fresh ingredients. Make sure to get loads of vitamins in to your diet to boost your immune system.
  • Drink plenty of water and fluids to keep hydrated – especially important if you are drinking alcohol!
  • Rest and refresh – make sure to have some down time from socialising and from your technology.
  • Look after your mental health – starting university and adapting to new surroundings and situations can be stressful. If you are finding things difficult, talk to someone or find a coping strategy that works for you.

Covid-19

It’s important to be aware of the Covid-19 symptoms and follow the latest NHS advice on isolating and testing if you think you may have it. The NHS 111 service can assist with any queries or concerns you may have.

You should follow the University’s advice and UK Government guidance to minimise spread of the disease and this will also help you to avoid catching a cold or flu during the winter months.

Make sure to tell your teaching staff if you are ill and cannot participate in activities. You can also get support from the Student Engagement Team if illness is affecting your ability to complete work on time.


Vaccinations: Are you University ready?

We would encourage you to check that all vaccinations and immunisations are up-to-date, specifically the Meningitis vaccination. Meningococcal disease is a rare but life threatening disease that occurs mainly in young children and young adults.

Because of Covid-19, it’s more important than ever to safeguard your health. Get vaccinated before you come to University.

Stay safe. Get Protected.

  • MMR (Measles, mumps and rubella)
  • MenACWY (Meningitis)
  • Flu jab (vulnerable groups and extended eligibility, check if you are entitled to a free jab!)

Your GP will have a record of your vaccinations. Check if you’re not sure what you’ve had.

More information about these vaccinations can be found on the NHS website.


Students coming from overseas

If you are joining the University from another country, you might want to find out more about the NHS (National Health Service) and how to access different types of health care.

UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs) has some helpful advice.

Welcome to Sport at the University of Bedfordshire

Welcome to Sport at the University of Bedfordshire.  

Over the coming months, we are keen to offer our new and returning students a variety of non-academic sporting opportunities in a safe environment.

The University is aiming to be able to offer online and on campus based activities. These offers include:

  • the University’s own Aspire gyms on the Bedford and Luton campuses, 
  • our social sport programme called Get Active and;
  • for those wishing to take sport at the University a little more seriously we have competitive sport

New activities and a wide variety of opportunities will be introduced throughout the academic year, so please visit our website for more details and our regular updates.

Discover more

Visit the University of Bedfordshire Sport website to find out more.

Looking After Your Mental Wellbeing

Many of us have been struggling with our mental health during the current crisis. 

Sometimes it can be difficult to talk about your feelings. Even knowing exactly how you’re feeling can be hard. You might also be in a position where you may be looking for ways to support a friend who is struggling.

In this post, we have listed some helpful resources to help you or others to maintain good mental health.


Student Minds

Student Minds has produced some helpful resources to support university communities during these challenging times, including tips from students, where to find help and how to support others.


MIND

MIND has local services all over the country, so support is never far away. No matter which campus you are attending, you can find contact information on the MIND website.


Action for Happiness

Feeling anxious about coming to University? Staying positive can help you build your personal resilience.

Action for Happiness has some great resources that promote happiness, help you build your confidence and achieve your goals.


Samaritans

The Samaritans have some helpful advice if you are feeling down:

  • Track your moods, record how you’re feeling and look for patterns
  • Think ahead – what strategies could you use to cope with a crisis?
  • Practice techniques that will help you deal with challenging situations
  • Remind yourself of things that make you happy or feel good and always look for things to add to that list!

Samaritans Self-Help

The Samaritans’ Self-Help feature provides support that you can use without having to discuss your feelings with someone else. It will  help you learn safe, memorable techniques for coping with things that are troubling you, through a range of interactive features.

It can also help you make a plan to stay safe in a crisis, and keep track of things you can do to help yourself cope and feel better.


Talk to somebody

If you’d prefer to talk to someone, you can call the Samaritans and talk to somebody for free, day or night, 365 days a year.

Call the Samaritans on 116 123.

If you’d prefer to write to someone, you can email jo@samaritans.org (response time is 24 hours).

You can also write a letter. The address is:

Chris
Freepost RSRB-KKBY-CYJK
PO Box 9090
STIRLING
FK8 2SA

‘I Think I May Have Dyslexia’ – Talk To Us!

Sky completed an MA Education (Special Educational Needs) at the University of Bedfordshire. She spoke to Prospects.ac.uk about how she discovered she had Dyslexia.


“My postgraduate degree taught me that I am dyslexic. During my undergraduate degree I was always slower than my friends at completing assignments and I just shrugged it off.

“Although I gained a 2:1 for my undergraduate degree, I was unhappy knowing that I should have looked in to why I always missed out on the high grades for essays.

“When I began my postgraduate degree I visited the Student Support Desk and explained my feelings and they offered me a dyslexia test. The test showed that I have some characteristics of dyslexia and they arranged for me to have a formal diagnostic assessment with a qualified psychologist.

“Following my diagnosis, I received a tutor who was able to support me with work. I went on to achieve a Masters with distinction. If you feel like you’re struggling or have any concerns, please talk to your Student Support Team.”

Find out more: Read the full interview with Sky on Prospects.ac.uk


You may have experienced difficulties with your studies and think you have dyslexia. Or your school or college may have suggested that you might have dyslexia but they were unable to offer you a diagnostic assessment.

You could be missing out on extra support that can help you achieve your goals.

The University offers Dyslexia screening for students who have been struggling with their learning and want to understand why.

The team also supports students with other additional study support needs that may arise from a disability, a long term medical condition (including mental health), specific learning difficulties such as ADHD and social communication conditions like autism.

Don’t miss out!

Contact the Health & Wellbeing Team (Disability) to find out how we can enable you to reach your full potential.

Top Tips on How to Prepare for University this year

Whether you have been planning your university adventure for a number of years or the current global pandemic has inspired you to study, this exciting new chapter is now only a matter of weeks away

We know the start of university life is likely to be a little different to the one you may have envisaged before a world with Covid-19, but don’t let that stop you getting excited

This is our 2020 guide to starting university.


Before you arrive

On accepting your offer to the University of Bedfordshire you will receive a number of emails and a welcome pack brimming with all the information you need to know. Take time to read through these materials.

In addition, you may find it useful to:

  • Do some background reading on your course
  • Start planning your timetable
  • Order your study materials
  • Check out what is available from the library
  • Get to know your campus virtually by looking at site maps. This will be useful for when you can return to campus and for getting to know your local area
  • Brush up on your IT skills and download useful software like Microsoft Office, which is available for free to all students
  • Register with a GP in new your new local area

The Student Room website also has some brilliant additional tips.


Make connections with people online
Make connections with people online

Don’t let social distancing stop you from making friends

Although it could be some time before everyone is able to meet in person, there are lots of ways to start making friends both on and away from your studies including: 

  • Join our Facebook Student Community group. This is the place to find out who might be on your course, who is living close by or who might share your interests and hobbies
  • Sign-up for events and activities that we will be running throughout Welcome Month
  • Explore our wealth of societies to see if there is one or more that offer you an opportunity to meet people away from your studies
  • Explore the faith centres available to you
  • Start following both Beds SU’s and the University’s social media accounts:

Follow Beds SU

Follow University of Bedfordshire

As you start to explore our social media accounts you might come across other pages that are not officially linked to us. If you are looking for the latest information on what’s going on at both the University and the SU please refer to the above accounts. All official university events tickets and membership will only ever be sold to students via www.bedssu.co.uk or www.beds.ac.uk websites.

When you arrive

If you are moving into student accommodation settle into your space, make your room a home from home, enjoy getting to know your flatmates and get to know your local area. 

The Complete University Guide has a great article with more details on this. 

If you are balancing study with family life or commuting to campus, make use of the Facebook Student Community group or join one the many virtual sessions we will be running throughout September. Some of the events we’re planning are ‘Breakfast with the Execs‘ and ‘Introductions to Societies‘. These events will go some way to helping you meet others.


Practicing Yoga can help maintain both your physical and mental wellbeing
Practicing Yoga can help maintain both your physical and mental wellbeing

Look after your wellbeing

Studying, whether it be full-time, part-time, from home or in a new country or town can be challenging. You have to balance study with other commitments such as work, family, learning to cook and living with others.

This year you also have Covid-19 to add to the mix. One or a number of these factors could leave you feeling overwhelmed or anxious about how to find balance.

Fear not, as there is always help on hand:

  • Find out more about Beds SU’s Be Supported team. They offer free, impartial and confidential advice on a number of matters from money, accommodation, student safety and appeals
  • Find out who your Reps are from Academic, Student Voice and Campus Liaison
  • Stay up to date with University’s plan for the start of term and all you need to know in advance here
  • Check out the University’s Mental Health blog covering topics from home study to planning for university
  • Visit the UK Government website for the latest information for prospective students 
  • There are a number of charities, podcasts and online services offering support and advice on how to manage various matters both during this current time and beyond. Find out more on the Beds SU website
Jeanette Skipsey from Mind share her top tips for looking after your wellbeing

Enjoy the build-up and make the most of Welcome Month. We’ve packed the calendar with lots of events, activities and sessions all designed to welcome you to the start of your student experience here at the University of Bedfordshire. 

Advice & Support: There’s always someone on hand to help

Student life is an exciting new chapter, a place where you get to learn, meet friends and experience new opportunities. However, it can at times be challenging and daunting when you’re not sure how to navigate an obstacle or issue you may encounter.

Here at Beds SU, we have a friendly, dedicated team who offer students free, impartial and confidential advice and support on a variety of aspects of student life to help you through any issue you may face during your time at university.

Our ambition is to educate and empower students. We want you to fully understand your rights around all aspects of your student experience and have the confidence to challenge issues. 


We can offer advice and support on a wide range of issues
We can offer advice and support on a wide range of issues

How can we help you?

We’re here for you on matters including:

  • Academic appeals
  • Academic misconduct
  • Fitness to Practice/Disciplinary hearings
  • University complaints
  • Housing 
  • Wellbeing
  • Safety
  • Finance

How to reach our Be Supported team

The team have been working tirelessly over the past few months to ensure that despite not being able to offer face-to-face sessions at present, there are still a number of ways you can speak with them that suit your needs:

The team are available Monday- Friday from 11am – 4pm in term time.


Beds SU is easily reachable by phone
Beds SU is easily reachable by phone

Where else to go for support

We also have a dedicated Be Supported section on our Beds SU website, covering academic appeals, student conduct and complaints to wellbeing and finance.

New for 2020/21, there will also be an opportunity to access a growing library of advice related videos on the Beds SU YouTube channel. Keep an eye on the website and our social media pages for more details.

The team also have close links with a variety of external organisations to ensure you have access to all the relevant advice and support you require. 

Find out more

For more information visit the Be Supported section of the Beds SU website.