Earlier this week, myself and Lucy (VP Welfare & Diversity) led a session at RH100 to gage some feedback and a steer on the Wellbeing Strategy that we are co-developing with the College.
It was a fantastic opportunity to test the themes that have been developed and the priorities for the strategy with students!
The Royal Holloway 100 panel is a large focus group of 100 students that is reflective of the student population at Royal Holloway – it is an opportunity to help shape various projects across the Royal Holloway community.
The Students’ Union works closely in the work of RH100. Typically this has been with a Sabbatical Officer being an ‘SU sponsor’ of each topic. This year, we collectively decided with the College that some of the manifesto aims and priorities of the Officers would fit well as topics for RH100 and an extra opportunity for student consultation alongside Students’ Union’s democratic structures.
As discussed in the session, the purpose of the Wellbeing Strategy is to bring together pieces of work across the College and set a clear vision for how the whole of the College can positively work towards improving the wellbeing of students.
At the beginning of the academic year and throughout the summer, we did some research into strategies akin to this in the sector. We have also looked at various other documents that suggest ways in which such strategies can be implemented in universities. All of this work formulated the current plans and direction of this piece of work.
RH100 worked in small groups to come up with topics and actions under each of the themes that we have developed (learning, community, living & support). The groups not only considered the topics under each of these themes, but also came up with specific suggestions of what the focus should be for each of these themes.
The groups then swapped with one another in order to provide another voice in their work, and then went about prioritising and ranking each of the suggested actions. This kind of activity really helps in establishing what the key focuses of the strategy should be.
We have now been able to carry out consultation with both the WCD Executive and RH100. Before the Christmas break, we will be bringing all of this together and considering how it can impact on the research and development of the strategy. In the New Year, we will be looking to develop a first draft of the strategy so that we can go out to mass consultation in Easter time.
The work of the RH100 panellists has been incredibly helpful in checking whether we are going in the right direction, and also offering more suggestions for how we can move this project forwards.
The next RH100 panel will be looking into careers and employability on campus and tying into the work we have undertaken with our policy inquiry. I am looking forward to more deliberation and discussion!
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