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Student welfare - Penryn

Student welfare - Penryn

Medical and health concerns

If you are concerned about possible coronavirus symptoms for you or someone you live with go to:  Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

If you are living on or around campus, and have a physical injury or are experiencing severe symptoms (e.g. pain, vomiting, bleeding, or have taken an overdose, you should go to Accident & Emergency Department at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro (TR1 3LQ). ). It might help to ask someone to come with you.

You can call Glasney Lodge on 01326 253503 (3503 from internal phones at Glasney) or Campus Security on 01326 255875 (24 hours a day) if you need help from campus staff or want them to call you an ambulance.

Call 999 for an ambulance if you’re off campus.

If you are unwell or in crisis but not immediately at risk, call NHS 24 on their 24 hour phone line 111

Mental health emergencies

If you are having suicidal thoughts and intend to act on them imminently, you should call 999 and ask for an ambulance.

If you need an ambulance on campus - call Glasney Lodge emergency line on 01326 254444, to ask them to call an ambulance.

If you are with a community mental health team please call your local mental health crisis service. This will be Mental Health Matters if you are with a team in Cornwall Tel 0800 001 4330.

You can text SHOUT to 85258 to access professional mental health support.

If a health professional has given you a specific phone number to call when you are concerned about your condition, continue to use that number.

If you are currently being supported by a Community Mental Health Team you can call your Care Co or the duty worker. If this is in Cornwall you can call Tel 01872 221000 between 9am – 5pm Mon – Fri. Outside of these hours you can call Mental Health Matters on Tel 0800 001 4330.

If you do not have a care co-ordinator please make an appointment with your G.P. You can also contact Valued Lives who offer mental health care and support, including crisis interventions, on 01209 901438 or visit their website

Additional support


If you are feeling unsafe or are worried about the safety of someone else, Papyrus operate a phone helpline between the following times:

  • Monday - Friday: 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
  • Weekends and Bank holidays: 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Call: 0800 068 4141

Text: 07786 209697


Shout is the UK’s 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help.

Text Shout to 85258


Anyone experiencing emotional distress can contact the Samaritans free at any time on 116 123. You can also email them on

Other useful contacts

  • Devon and Cornwall Police non-emergency phone contact: 101
  • Devon and Cornwall Police emergency phone contact: 999
  • Fire and Rescue Service phone contact: 999
  • Royal Cornwall Hospital (Treliske) phone contact: 01872 250000

Cornwall is a safe county within which to live and study but as with any environment, it’s sensible to be mindful of your safety and personal security at all times, especially at night.

Please read the student safety guide and ten top tips for students studying here in Cornwall, which have been kindly put together by Devon & Cornwall police.

Looking after your emotional health and wellbeing is an important skill both at university and in your everyday life. Building skills which enable you to be more resilient in the face of challenges is an effective way of supporting your wellbeing. We cannot avoid challenges or difficult experiences but we can learn to respond differently to these events.

Students can face a lot of natural challenges during their time at university such as:

  • moving to a new place
  • leaving behind friends/family and familiar surroundings
  • managing finances
  • living independently for the first time
  • meeting new people from a variety of backgrounds
  • adjusting to new routines

Go to My Wellbeing Toolkit for information and techniques to help you think about skills which could support you to stay healthy and resilient at university.

What is the Health, Wellbeing and Support for Study Procedure (HWSS)?

The HWSS procedure is a supportive procedure that is used when there are concerns about a student’s health and wellbeing. The student may be struggling to either meet academic learning outcomes and course competencies or to manage other aspects of university life, and it is felt these difficulties are not likely to be resolved in a single meeting with support staff.

Why does the University have a HWSS procedure?

Health and wellbeing are crucial ingredients to a successful and fulfilling student experience. However, the University recognises that difficulties with health and wellbeing are very common.  A student’s health and wellbeing may impact on their ability to study, reach their potential and make the most of their time at University.  The HWSS sets out a structure where the difficulties a student may have can be discussed and available support options considered. Then a plan can be put in place to help the student get back on track.

 The overall HWSS aims are to ensure that:

  • The best interests of the student are considered in relation to their personal situation, their health, wellbeing and/or any disability they may be experiencing
  • Students are supported to study and manage their health, wellbeing and current circumstances to the best of their ability, and wherever possible to meet the required learning outcomes and complete their course
  • Students who are experiencing difficulties in relation to their health, wellbeing and/or disability are supported to address their difficulties at the earliest appropriate point
  • Students are able to make informed decisions regarding options available
  • Any reasonable adjustments that may be recommended for  the student  are considered and put in place
  • Staff from Colleges/hubs/departments and from central Support Services work together where appropriate so that students experience a consistent and fair process

The University will aim to ensure that the HWSS procedure is used sensitively, ensuring the student is at the centre of the process, and making all possible steps to minimise additional stress and anxiety.

Who is the HWSS procedure for?

The procedure can be used for all students including undergraduate and postgraduate students, whether they are on full-time or part-time courses.

The only exception is when a student is studying a course that is accredited by a professional body such as HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council), GMC (General Medical Council).  In these cases an alternative procedure is likely to be used, such as Fitness to Practice.

The procedure may be used when there are ongoing concerns about a student’s academic progress and/or behaviour or ability to function appropriately at university. These concerns could be the result of mental or physical ill health or disability.

How is the HWSS procedure structured?

There are 3 levels to the HWSS procedure:

  • Level 1 is when there are concerns about a student’s health/disability/wellbeing that may be affecting their ability to progress academically or engage in the University experience, and that may require ongoing action and review.
  • Level 2 is used when there are continued concerns that were not being resolved by Level 1 meetings, or where the concerns about a student’s health and wellbeing are more significant and a higher level of support or response from the University is needed.
  • Level 3 is where there is serious concern about a student’s health, disability, wellbeing, behaviour or safety, and/or their ability to cope at university. In most cases Level 3 would only be used when all options of support have been exhausted and when a student has not engaged with recommendations at Level 2.

How will I be contacted/informed about the HWSS?

HWSS (Level 1 and 2) can be requested by any member of the Welfare team in Penryn. HWSS (Level 1 and 2) can be requested by any member of staff who is involved with the student.  This can be college support staff, academic staff, residence life team leaders, or Wellbeing Services member of staff. The meetings themselves are convened by the Education Support Advisors (Welfare), who decide whether the process is appropriate for the student. Best practice is that students will have been informed about the HWSS procedure before they are invited. Students will be invited to a meeting either by email, telephone or during a face-to-face discussion. An E mail invitation will be sent for Level 2.The email will explain what the meeting is, and inform the student that it is a supportive procedure.  The decision to hold a Level 3 meeting is made by the Head of Student Services, Head of Wellbeing, or Head of Professional Services (Penryn).

Students will be informed by email or letter about the need for a Level 2 or Level 3 meeting  at least 2 working days before the meeting is due to be held.

Students are encouraged to prioritise attendance at these meetings. However, there may be occasions where the student has a prior commitment that cannot be changed ie medical appointment. In these circumstances every effort will be made to offer an alternative date to meet.

Who will attend the meetings?

Level 1 meetings are fairly informal and attendance of staff members is kept to a minimum. The Education Support Advisor (Welfare) will attend, plus other relevant staff members.

Students will be informed who is attending and the reason for their attendance. Occasionally a student may wish to request that a different member of staff attend the meeting. This request will be accommodated if possible.

Attendance at a Level 2 meeting could include staff that have an academic or support role with the student, as well as someone who holds the appropriate level of responsibility and decision-making regarding possible options for the student. Members of staff from Wellbeing Services may attend.

Level 3 meetings will often be attended by the same people at Level 2 (or appropriate qualified staff). It will be chaired by the Head of Wellbeing Services or nominee.  An invited GP/medic may also attend these meetings.  At Level 3 the members of the panel may meet initially prior to the student’s attendance. The role of the initial meeting is to present key information to the Chair and to consider potential options.  Final decisions are made at a subsequent meeting when the student is present.

All meetings will be held in a quiet, private space.

If a student does not attend the pre-arranged and agreed meeting, the meeting may continue in the student’s absence.

What will happen during a meeting?

The meeting is likely to include:

  • An introduction by the person running the meeting, and a summary of why the meeting has been called. 
  • An opportunity for the student to explain their situation and/or give an update on what has been happening to them.  Please note that the student doesn’t have to share in-depth personal information in the meeting.  However, it can be helpful to share information about current health and impact on studies and life so that the student’s individual circumstances can be taken into account. 
  • Consideration of a student’s individual learning plan (ILP) and discussion about any adjustments that might need to be added to the ILP, or that due to learning outcomes are not deemed reasonable.
  • Exploration of support options/networks available to the student.
  • Formulation of a plan about how to move forward.
  • Clarification of next steps (for example setting a review date, clarifying what happens if the student isn’t able to meet the agreed plan).

What will happen after the meeting?

A summary of the meeting and agreed actions will be written up and a copy sent to the student and any other participants no more than 5 working days after the meeting.  A copy of this report will be kept in a confidential space within the College and/or other relevant University team notes system. A future review meeting may be arranged at that point.

Will the HWSS process ever recommend that a student withdraws from the University?

The aim of the HWSS procedure is to support students to remain on their programme of study wherever possible. However, it is acknowledged that there are occasions where all options of support have been exhausted and the student is not well enough to continue.  In such instances the procedure may recommend interruption from studies as the best support outcome for the circumstances.

A student can choose to agree with the recommendation to interrupt or they may decide to continue and risk not passing their academic year. There are the rare occasions when all support options have been considered and it is felt the student is too unwell and the only option is to require the student to interrupt or withdraw. This outcome can only be agreed at Level 3 of the HWSS procedure. 

The University is committed to ensuring that the HWSS procedure is used sensitively, that the student is fully involved and that all possible steps are taken to minimise additional stress and anxiety whilst ensuring the appropriate support is put in place.

The full HWSS procedure can be found at

The University of Exeter is an inclusive community, where everyone has the right to be treated with respect. Harassment, bullying, intimidation and discrimination go against all we stand for and will not be tolerated. If you've experienced or witnessed any of the above we encourage you to report it and to get the support you might need.

Sexual assault/harassment/abuse and consent are often discussed in the media and are issues that affect many people. It is important that you know what these terms mean and that you can easily recognise if you, or someone you know, has been impacted by these issues. There is a lot of support available across the University whether you have recently been affected by these issues or you were affected by these issues in the past.

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse is when a person is forced to engage in sexual acts against their will. This could include touching, looking at sexual images or forcing someone to watch sexual activity and usually refers to an act against a child (or someone under 18) rather than adults.

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is when someone is verbally abused in a sexual nature. It covers behaviours such as sexual coercion, unwanted touching or kissing, persistent pestering for dates/sex or catcalling/verbally harassing someone.

Sexual assault

Sexual assault is an act of physical, psychological or emotional violation in the form of a sexual act. Sexual assault can be committed by any person no matter what their relationship to the victim (i.e. a husband can sexually assault his wife or vice a versa). Consent is key to determining if the actions were sexual assault or not.

Rape is when a man intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth with his penis against their will or without their consent. It is a criminal offence and a form of sexual assault.

Date rape is when a person uses drugs to sedate a person in order to have sex with them.

What is consent?

Consent is when the people engaged in a sexual act have both freely agreed to the act taking place. Sex without consent is rape. Consent can never be assumed. For example, the need for seeking consent still applies:

  • If you are married
  • If you have had sexual relationships with the person before, or are in a relationship with the person
  • If the person previously gave consent but later changed their mind

Having conversations about consent

Talking about consent doesn’t have to be a difficult conversation. If you are having sexual relationships it is important to be able to discuss these issues with your partner.

How can you check you have consent?

Here are some things to think about before you engage in sexual relationships with a partner:

  • Do you know the person definitely wants to engage in sexual activities?
  • Have you asked the person what sexual activity they are happy engaging in?
  • Is the other person capable of giving consent – are they under the influence of drugs/alcohol, do they have a mental health condition or learning disability that could affect their ability to give consent?
  • Has the person actively agreed to engage in sexual activity? Silence does not guarantee that they consent.

Take a look at the video ‘Tea and Consent’ created by Thames Valley Police which further explains consent.

The University of Exeter developed a quiz discussing consent and other issues which you may have taken when registering.


It is both parties' responsibility to get consent before engaging in sexual activities. Once you have asked the person if they are happy to proceed, continue to check they are comfortable in engaging in each new type of sexual activity. Look for facial expressions and body language – do they seem eager and comfortable? If not, ask them if they are ok and if you are in doubt – stop! Make sure you know you have consent rather than assume it. Someone may do nothing to stop intercourse or verbally say no, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are giving consent – they may not feel they are able to say ‘no’. It is better to actively check rather than make assumptions.

Take a look at the campaigns the University is involved in around these issues on the Exeter Speaks Out pages.

Help and Support

If you have experienced any of these issues there are a variety of options for support and advice within the University and externally.

Report an incident:

If you want to report an incident that has occurred on University grounds or is related to the University of Exeter, see the Exeter Speaks Out website.

In an emergency, when you feel at immediate risk, please dial 999.

Alternatively, you can contact the local police on 101 if it is not an emergency.

Wellbeing support:

If you want emotional support for a recent or historic incident but don’t want to report it to the police at this time, you can contact Wellbeing who can help you to find the right support for you. If you need any assistance in linking in with Wellbeing you can also contact the Welfare team in person by coming to the Info point in the Peter Lanyon building and asking for a meeting, by phone on 01326 255284 or by email at

You may also wish to contact one of the following specialised services for support:

  • The Willow Centre Truro, 01872272059 + 0300 3034626
  • National Rape Crisis Line, 080 802 9999
  • The Rape and Sexual Abuse Line. 0808 800 0188
  • First Light Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence Service - 0300 777 4777
  • First Light Independent Sexual Violence Advisory Service (ISVA) - 03458 12 12 12

The Truth Project:

If you have experienced childhood sexual abuse you may wish to participate in the Truth Project which enables survivors to share their experiences in a supportive and confidential setting. For more information visit the website.

The Penryn Welfare team

Our friendly and experienced welfare team is comprised of three team members, who fulfil the following roles:

  • Education Support Manager (Welfare) - Alex Lewis
  • Education Support Adviser (Welfare) - Fiona Williams
  • Education Support Assistant (Welfare) - Tracey Burrell

Our role is to support students with new or on-going health/wellbeing or welfare issues which may impact upon their studies. At a meeting we can talk about the support that is available be it from the University or externally and can look at practical advice and adjustments to try and assist students with their studies. As well as one off meetings we can also, where appropriate, provide on-going support through the University's Health Wellbeing and Support to Study procedures. Additionally, where indicated as required on compliance forms, we will meet with students who are due to go on residential field trips to talk through any support or adjustments that may be needed.

The Penryn Welfare team are available between 09:00 and 17:00 Monday to Friday.  We will be offering a range of meeting types in the 20/21 academic year in order to try and best adapt to meet student needs. We will be offering Video meetings via Teams, Telephone meetings and can arrange in person meetings too where required or beneficial.

In order to arrange a meeting with a member of the team please make contact with us by emailing in the first instance. You can also call on 01326 371847 or 01326 371875,

Drop ins

In the 20/21 academic year we will be launching Virtual drop in sessions between 2 and 4 on Wednesday afternoons during term time. These will commence in Week 2 of each term and will take place via a secure and confidential online chat system. Students will be able to make contact with us to get quick answers re a range of things from support available through to specific issues with studies such as mitigation needs. We can also through the chat if necessary book a longer appointment slot to speak directly to a member of our team.

Student services in Penryn 

There is a wide range of support available to students studying in Cornwall provided by a range of Student services teams. Details of these services such as Living Support, Wellbeing, Accessibility and the Chaplaincy can all be found on the student services pages.