Student wellbeing is a priority here at Sidney and Sidney's Pastoral Advisor, Lucy Hodgkiss, has been working hard to ensure there is a variety of welfare support available for students. In this feature, we run through the variety of initiatives that Lucy has been working on to provide support to students during the busy Easter term.

Art therapy

Lucy runs a weekly Art Therapy group throughout the year to provide students with a playful and creative space to reflect. Lucy commented, "Art Making in a supportive environment can help you focus on thoughts and feelings that may otherwise be difficult to express".

Chocolate-making workshops

A popular initiative has been the chocolate making workshops, organised and run by Lucy, Stephen Mather, our Head Chef, and facilitated by Phillip Crouch, Deputy Head Chef. Lucy noted, "Learning a new skill is brilliant for our mental wellbeing. The feedback from these sessions was extremely positive, and hopefully it is something we can run again next year."

Alternative study spaces and local Cambridge attractions

Lucy has been recommending alternative study spaces and local Cambridge attractions that she feels are well worth a visit. Lucy said, "Getting out of Sidney and taking a break is so important. For some people, the Sidney library feels like a good place to work but we wanted to encourage students to explore other places. If you get into a rut with your work, you should not underestimate the power of moving location. Often this act of moving can shift your thinking and help you find motivation." A few of the places recommended so far include Indigo Café, Hot Numbers, and The Whale Café.

Lucy notes that when we are busy and overwhelmed with work, we can often forget to look around and appreciate the buildings and nature that we are lucky to have on our doorstep. A few suggestions of places to visit in the city include the Festival of Plants at the Botanical Gardens, the beautiful Grantchester Meadows, and Kettles Yard Gallery.

Sidney's baker of the week!

Over the past few weeks, different members of staff have been baking scrumptious cakes to be enjoyed by our students. The cakes have been offered outside the library during squash and biscuits, and at various welfare events. This lovely idea was initiated by Lucy, and has been a great way of linking up our community, and highlighting the symbol of care that our staff offer.

Wellbeing workshop

A wellbeing workshop was co-delivered by Lucy and Joe Sandall, who is the current student academic welfare rep. The session covered a range of topics including self-care, exam preparation, revision tips, taking breaks, sleep hygiene, and general wellbeing.

Sidney Tutorial on Facebook

Most of these initiatives and events have been promoted to students by email, but another great way to keep track of all these exciting initiatives is to follow the Sidney Tutorial Facebook page (search for 'Sidney Sussex College Tutorial. University of Cambidge').

Future plans

Lucy welcomes any ideas or suggestions that students might have about mental health and wellbeing here at Sidney. If you would like to discuss any ideas with Lucy, please get in touch with her via email,

Alongside these events and initiatives, any member of the pastoral team is always here to offer one-to-one support to students. Students can self-refer to the University Counselling Service but also to Lucy, a qualified Art Psychotherapist, who can provide one-to-one therapy to students should they be interested in longer term therapy.

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