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Burnley College extends Health and Wellbeing support for all students, apprentices, applicants and staff during COVID-19 lockdown

Burnley College has been working proactively to promote the mental and physical wellbeing of all its students, apprentices, applicants and staff – alongside the wider community – who are facing huge changes to their normal routine due to Covid-19.

Since the College switched to remote teaching, training and learning in March, to save lives and protect the NHS, specialist staff have been working hard to provide the support, advice and guidance needed to cope with any stresses caused by lockdown life and to stay strong, mentally and physically.

Health and wellbeing staff, who are available to offer personalised support to all students and apprentices via email or phone, have created a comprehensive online guide, packed with advice and guidance to help during these unprecedented times.

The Health and Wellbeing booklet (available to everyone via www.burnley.ac.uk/covid-19) contains top tips and plenty of links to resources so that all members of the wider Burnley College family can keep in optimum physical and mental health. The guide encourages individuals to stay connected and plan regular chats with their family, friends and classmates, whilst advising them to follow as regular a routine as possible. Nutrition and exercise tips are shared and even tips on how to get a good night’s sleep!

Information is given on how to access the Big White Wall, the College’s online wellbeing portal, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to current students, apprentices and staff. It offers an anonymous, supportive community (monitored by professionals) as well as digital workshops and resources to combat issues such as anxiety, grief, loneliness and depression, among many others.

In addition, students and apprentices are able to access a comprehensive range of engaging, motivational and fun activities online to ensure they don’t miss out on the renown Burnley College Experience, outside the classroom or workshop. A week-long festival of fun, ‘Spring Forward’, kick-started the return to College following the two-week Easter break.  Getting the new term underway with a positive and upbeat attitude, online activities and group sessions run by the enthusiastic Student Services team included quizzes, virtual coffee and a chat, yoga, TikTok challenges, belly dancing and photo competitions.

The College’s award-winning Fitness Evolution staff have also been providing weekly online workout sessions open to students, apprentices and staff, while the College’s social media channels have been packed with fun activities, competitions and top tips on staying safe and well for the whole community.

Staff have also had the opportunity, while working remotely, to facilitate their continuous professional development through bespoke training sessions delivered online. More than 500 members of staff also simultaneously took part in an online Staff Development Day, promoting team working, communication skills and innovation.

Principal of Burnley College Karen Buchanan said:

“I am so proud of the way every member of the Burnley College family has embraced the opportunities that remote teaching, learning and training offers. Our students and apprentices are still making progress to their goals; our applicants are discovering more about College life and our staff are continuing to inspire and motivate through the individualised support that makes Burnley College such a special place.

“While, we’ve been ensuring that academic progress is made, we have also invested significant time and effort in maintaining good mental health and wellbeing in all of our students, apprentices, applicants and staff. These are unprecedented times and life is far from normal: it is important that every member of the Burnley College family knows that we are here for them.

“As a recent finalist in the Employer of the Year category of the Red Rose Awards, our commitment to our staff has already been recognised and we’re determined that they have the resources and support they need at this tough time, too. I am so proud of how our staff have rallied together in a common goal: they’re supporting each other throughout this time, showing the kindness that will be remembered long after Covid-19.”

Karen Buchanan added:

 “I would like to take this opportunity to remind all our students, apprentices and applicants that we are in this together and no-one should feel alone.  We are looking forward to welcoming you to College once Government restrictions are lifted, to achieve your full potential and see your dreams come true. However, in the meantime we are here for you, every step of the way, no matter how big or small the worry: we will always support you. You are at the very heart of everything we do.”

If you want to study at Burnley College Sixth Form Centre and be a part of the supportive, successful Burnley College family, visit our website at www.burnley.ac.uk or, to discover more about our great courses, email [email protected] or call 01282 733373.

The Health and Wellbeing Guide link can be found on https://burnley.ac.uk/covid-19