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'Be Active, Reduce Stress' - What is it and how can it help new and returning students?


'Be Active, Reduce Stress' (BARS) is a wellbeing project that is going into its third year having had two successful years supporting students.


Students who have low-level mental health such as stress and anxiety can access the project through any of the University or Students’ Union services where advisors will refer you to the project if they think it is suitable.

You will then be paired with a buddy who is also a student who is there to support you and go with you to low-level activity sessions for free for 8 weeks. The group also meets up regularly to do a range of activities guided by the groups' interests.


^ Tourettes Yoga


After 8 weeks students found they were more confident, had met new people, knew the University campus and local area better and felt a part of a community. 

“I enjoyed seeing my buddy grow in confidence and get involved with the activities offered including yoga and it was lovely to just meet for a drink and chat too. The project runs activities that suit individual preferences and help you to explore the area. It is a safe environment where everyone can simply be themselves and forget their worries. I feel honoured to have taken part and am pleased this project will continue to support students."

Natalie Thomas, BARS Buddy

Back in April this year we were delighted to discover that the 'Be Active, Reduce Stress' (BARS) project had been shortlisted for The Wellbeing Award at the National Societies and Volunteering Awards. Read more about the award here



^ Successful BARS activities, including escape rooms, pottery painting and stand up paddleboarding.

Want to find out more about the BARS project? Click here