Select an image to learn more about what students and staff have to say about Peer Support and its varying benefits.
Amoe Mkwena - Peer Support Networks Officer
"I’ve really enjoyed meeting new people... getting to know everyone’s different roles and trying to be helpful. I’ve also enjoyed being organised and building new skills through being a Peer Support rep, for which I was presented with the Outstanding Contribution to Peer Support Award."
Ellie March - fourth year FCH Medieval Studies and Archaeology student
"Being a Peer Leader is quite a lot of responsibility, but it’s a fantastic opportunity where you get to meet a number of other engaged students who want to make a difference in their university careers... You also get the opportunity to work within the wider University with lecturers and members of staff, which is really good."
Alina Ivan (Peer Organiser) and Srimoyee Chaterjie (Peer Leader), Psychology
Peer Support in three words:
Alina - "Inspiring, motivating and supporting"
Srimoyee - "Perseverance, teamwork and challenging"
Dr Juan Garcia-Precedo - Lecturer in Hispanic Studies
“Being a Peer Learning Co-ordinator in Modern Languages is such a rewarding experience! Not only do you get the chance to see students gaining essential employability skills they will need to enter the world of work, you also get to witness their journey to maturity firsthand. Peer leaders and participants engage in a voluntary but priceless mutual effort to succeed in their academic, professional and personal lives."
Charles Murray and Jane Siryk, Psychology Peer Leaders
Peer Support in three words:
Charles Murray - "Exciting, challenging, fun"
Jane Siryk - "Co-operation and patience"
Liam Garrett - third year FCH English and Politics student
“Being a Peer Mentor can be quite hard work, particularly getting students to work around each other’s timetables... Ultimately it’s a really rewarding experience, which allows you to contribute to the University more widely and see the experience of other students while improving your depth of understanding of your subject.”
Jason Chang and Issy Hoole - Sociology Peer Leaders
Jason Chang - "Peer Support is about learning new stuff from our mentees because they bring a whole new perspective to many things, which can challenge your own ideas. It’s enriching, refreshing and very stimulating."
Issy Hoole - "Our department has been growing, so since I started Peer Support it has got a lot bigger, so it’s been really exciting to be at the beginning of that and help that develop. It’s exciting, and has been quite emotional as well!"
Ben Street - VP Education, Guild Staff (13-14)
"Peer Support is absolutely essential for all students at the University... Often the best way of learning is, rather than just being within the classroom, is learning from the people around you and learning from fellow students, as they’re often very aware of the kind of challenges and problems you might be facing... The benefits are massive; you’ve got the academic benefits of learning from fellow students, and you get a huge benefit from being a tutor as they best way to learn is to teach, but also there’s the social benefits of working with friends and creating those friendship networks within your course, so it’s definitely a good thing to get involved with."
Ben Dale - Fourth year Modern Languages student
"I’ve really enjoyed the fact that throughout each year of university you pick up different skills to do with your subject, especially with languages... I really enjoyed being able to assist my tutees in the classroom; we had a really good time, and it was great to see how they became more confident with the language as the weeks went by. At the end of the term they felt much more equipped with their skills and competencies in French. It’s been fulfilling, rewarding and challenging."
Lizzi Tobin and Craig Barnes - Medical Imaging Peer Leaders
Lizzi Tobin - "Everything they’re asking is what we were thinking three years ago, so it creates a safer environment for them to ask those questions."
Craig Barnes - "I think the most enjoyable part was feeling like you’d really helped them… I felt that they were learning from it, rather than being told answers... because you’re working face-to-face with them, and there are no lecturers around; they get to ask the questions they really want to ask."
Sarah McCoy and Chloe Bates - Mathematics Peer Leaders
Sarah McCoy - "The main thing I enjoyed about Peer Support was actually having a chance to talk to first year students one-on-one. It was quite interesting to see the fact that things I had struggled with were actually still things other people were struggling with, so it was quite nice to then think that, while I’d battled through it in my first year, I could help other first years."
Chloe Bates - "When I was in first year, I enjoyed PAL; I found it a very helpful thing to be able to talk to someone... of a similar age and ability to you to help you out."
Dr Gihan Marasingha - Lecturer in Mathematics
"The PAL scheme in Mathematics has been beneficial for all involved: academics, first year students, and PAL leaders. Students are free to explore Mathematics in a more open and non-judgemental environment and to find a sense of community with their peers and peer leaders. Peer leaders develop communication and leadership skills and get a sense of accomplishment and of ‘giving back’. As an academic, having peer debriefs with my leaders give me an insight into student issues that that I might not discover through traditional lectures or tutorials."
Jessica Rose and Sam Dowsett - Modern Languages Peer Leaders
Jessica Rose - "I’ve really enjoyed seeing my mentee develop throughout the term, and I definitely have seen an improvement myself... I know that her confidence has grown as well, which I think is the best thing, as in first year especially it can all be quite scary, so she’s much happier now."
Sam Dowsett - "I’ve enjoyed working with the first years; when they first start they have no idea what’s going on in terms of the department. German is such a small subject... it’s been nice to break down those barriers and help them grow in confidence."
Guy Booth - Physics Peer Leader
"It’s fun talking to the first year students, and you get to come to nice events at the end of the year, but most importantly you help people. You get to make a difference in people’s lives – not just academically – but by providing them with the knowledge that there are people there to support them... I really enjoy the community aspect of Peer Support; it’s really good."