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The Silver Fund – Escape Project

Student looking for clues

Student looking for clues. 

Dave Taylor and Gail Jamieson

Dave Taylor and Gail Jamieson from the Wellbeing Team.

An application to the Silver Fund led the Wellbeing Team at the University of Sunderland to develop a pilot project to support students to develop resilience skills and to take a proactive approach to overcoming difficulties.   

This creative innovative project was based on the ‘escape room concept’ and the Wellbeing Team adapted it to address common emotional and mental health issues which impact upon our students and their learning.

The Wellbeing Team submitted an application for £2,500 in order to purchase resources to create a set of games and challenges for students to complete to escape from challenging situations.

Gail Jamieson, Senior Wellbeing Advisor, said: “We feel that it is a particularly novel and useful way to engage students in self-care, working not only as an individual but also as a team which will have the added value of normalising the most common mental health difficulties and most importantly, enabling students to realise that there are proactive things they can do to create lasting change.”

Students have to work as a small team to complete the tasks within a set time, observed by a trained member of the Wellbeing Team. At the end of each ‘escape’ each student is provided with a tailored pack of tools and resources to take away from the opportunity to follow up and work through a different challenge in the future either individually or as part of the established team.

She added: “We wanted to build on and develop our existing work to support students in developing skills for life which will also enhance and strengthen their current student experience.”

The resources bought to set up this project can be used over a number of years with future cohorts. Moving forward the project will be used by Residential Advisers too and a room will be allocated so the project can be set up on a permanent basis in Clanny House.

Gail concluded: "Thank you to the Silver Fund and its donors for allowing us to set up this innovative project that we plan to keep carrying out and share with other teams within the University."

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