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The Wellbeing and Engagement Group organises events, activities and promotions all year round, based upon specific monthly themes.  These news pages include:

  • 'Hot off the press!' which is up to date news and information on health and wellbeing events/ activities organised by the group;
  • 'Your Well Now' which includes your news, activities, outcomes, social activities/events and fundraising; and
  • Archives for the current years news.

'Your Well Now!' - submit information and news on your events/activities to:


We got the Gold!

We are delighted to announce the University of St Andrews has now achieved a Gold Healthy Working Lives Award which recognises the University has a long-term commitment to improving health, safety and wellbeing within the workplace and in the wider community.

Huge thanks are due to the Wellbeing & Engagement Group members for their work in recent years, as well as all of you who have engaged with us and joined this wellbeing journey.  Here's to the next three years!

Stretch it out with Heal Physiotherapy

In the Well Now! newsletter we'll be sharing practical tips from Heal Physiotherapy.  The following stretches were included for August:

  • Spine & Leg Stretch
  • Gluteal Stretch
  • Hip Flexor Stretch

If there are body parts/areas you would like to see stretches for, let us know by emailing:

10k for Marie Curie

On 23rd June 2018 over 50 members of staff, family, friends, dogs, toddlers and even babies set off on the annual 10K for Marie Curie.  ‌As in previous years the weather was kind and all the walkers had to be more worried about sun stroke than rain! 

The walk raised over £1000 for the charity.  Thank you to all who gave generously and took part in the walk.

Step Count Post-Challenge lunch & awards ceremony

The Step Count Post-Challenge celebration took place on the 12th July, marking the end of the 2018 challenge and celebrating the fantastic efforts of the University's 71 teams. 

‌355 members of staff took part this year making up 10% of the whole (national) challenge in 2018.  Congratulations to 'Chariots of Misfire' who came first nationally with a whopping 8 million steps and our Step Count 2018 Award winners as follows:

  • Community Award - Alain Leger, Watson Bell, Alan Riddell and Lyndsay Mitchell
  • Best Team Name - 'These Butes were made for Walking' (IT Services)
  • Team Captain of the Year - Emily Hearn
  • Best Idea for Steps at Work - 'Worst Pace Scenario'
  • Best Group Photo - 'Mustang Sallies'
  • Best Individual Photo - Rachel Plunkett

For further details please visit the latest Well Now! newsletter.

St Andrews to Dundee Kiltwalk 2018

Each year thousands of walkers come together accross Scotland to have an unforgettable day and support their favourite charity by taking part in The Bank of Scotland Kiltwalk.  Walkers can choose between the 6, 13 or 26 mile walks.

Join your St Andrews colleagues on 19th August to meet new people and support this excellent cause. 

Register at: or email: for more information.

Dementia Support Group

A small friendly group that meets twice a semester (usually Mon or Tue) at 13.05.  The meetings are informal, you can leave when you need to - bring your lunch and eat with colleagues.  If you are affected by dementia in any way (and at any time) you are more than welcome to join the group.

For more information, please contact: - you can also request to be put on the mailing list.

St Andrews Skillshare Community

Learn simple new skills such as dry stone walling, breadmaking, knitting, knife making, pallet furniture/hut making, cheese making, laptop maintenance, languages, pruning/gardening and lots more.  Want to share your skills with others, or have questions, contact:

To view the skills on offer and keep up to date with any news, please visit the St Andrews Skillshare Community on Facebook.

‌‌Restorative Yoga | 11, 18, 19 July 2018

As part of 'Healthy Sleep' month these classes are designed to relax and soothe and includes breathing exercices, gentle movement to release restless energy, gentle inversions and extended lying-down poses for relaxation.  ‌You can expect to come away feeling relaxed and a little sleepy.

There are three dates to choose from:

Congratulations to all our teams!

Date: 12th July 2018

Time: 12.30

The Step Count Challenge has come to an end, and we are holding a Post Challenge Celebration.  This year an impressive 355 members of staff have taken part in the Step Count Challenge and your outstanding efforts to push the boundaries of stepping deserve to be recognised.

Celebrate your achievement in completing the Challenge with your team mates, find out who won this year's awards (a reminder of the categories) and enjoy lunch whilst finally putting your feet up! Book now on PDMS.

‌What's your favourite walk?

Share your favourite walk with the Wellbeing and Engagement Group and any route ideas for simple 1 mile routes around the University.  Help inspire colleagues to go for a short lunchtime walk and de-stress for the afternoon ahead.

Do you volunteer?

We're putting together a wellbeing campaign on volunteering.  If you're currently a volunteer of any sort, or a trustee for a charity, the Wellbeing and Engagement Group would love to hear from you.

CAPOD piggy banksFREE CAPOD Piggy Banks

‌FREE piggy banks to help collect your spare coins over the year and donate them to a charity of your choice.  Just send your name and building you work in to the Wellbeing and Engagement Group.

Go St Andrews Testimonials

Transition University of St Andrews - logoLike walking, cycling, driving an e-car, bus/train, car-share - then Transition University of St Andrews would like to hear from you with any adventures you would to share. 

Share your stories of local sustainable modes of transport to help inspire others to use it.  If you have an adventure to tell and are happy for it to be shared online, email:

I've always enjoyed walking, but because of my job I had a mostly sedentary life. Then 6 years ago, a colleague in Finance mentioned she was doing the Moonwalk in Edinburgh, and I was immediately interested by the opportunity to walk (not run) a marathon, and at night. I signed up with a friend and the adventure started...

Since then, I've done the Moonwalk every year - except one. I made up for it the following year by doing a double Moonwalk. The charity, Walk the Walk, is close to my heart as it supports breast cancer research, treatments and patients. The walk has a very positive feminist atmosphere. A close family member survived breast cancer, and it means a lot to me to carry on showing my support.

When I started the training, I felt the benefits almost straightaway. Walking to work from Cupar on Fridays has always been the core of my training. My fitness levels increased, and I noticed my chronic back pain had gone, only returning during the winter when I would stop training  altogether.

Four years ago I decided to carry on walking to work every Friday throughout the year, whatever the season, whatever the weather. As we live in one of the driest areas of the country, I've only experienced rain twice since August 2017. I get up at 4:15am, leave home at 5am and get to the office before 8am, just in time for my second breakfast!

The Step Count Challenge was a natural and logical event for me to take on, and I'm very lucky to have found a good team. Although we've never won, we always finish in the top 3-5 within the University, which is a tremendous achievement given the number of teams taking part. During the challenge (which coincides with the pre-moonwalk training I need to do), I also walk back home every Friday, as well as park the car away from the office Monday to Thursday.

If you wish to support the charity, please sponsor me: https://moonwalkscotland2018.everyday

10k  Sponsored Walk for Marie Curie

Date: Saturday 23rd June

Join us for the 3rd annual walk in aid of Marie Curie, a great way to raise money and awareness for this fantastic cause. Further information on how to use your participation to raise money for Marie Cure will be provided to participants.

Last year 80 people signed up for a 10k route in and around our lovely town of St Andrews and raised nearly £600 for Marie Curie. The walk will be led by a trained Walk Leader and will start at St Salvator’s Quad, taking in West Sands, the Old Course, the Cathedral, the harbour, East Sands and the Lade Braes path before finishing back at the Quad.  The route will take approximately 3 hours at a comfortable walking speed. Again, family, friends, and even dogs are all very welcome. Just let us know who’s coming with you when you register via the online sign-up form.

 Please ensure that you have read the 10k Walker agreement (PowerPoint, 188 KB). Please register to take part by signing up using the Marie Curie 10k online registration form.

Team Challenge Day: Cambo Heritage Trust (Cancelled)

As part of Volunteering Month (June), the University Wellbeing & Engagement Group has arranged a ‘Team Challenge Day’ in which a team of up to 30 University staff will work together on an environmental project. The team will need to work collaboratively, be adaptable, and communicate effectively during the day.

Applications for the Team Challenge Day are now open via the online application forms below and will remain open until 6th June. Please ensure that you have read the Team Challenge Volunteer Agreement (PDF, 386 KB), and that you have agreed your team’s participation with the responsible Line Manager before submitting a team application.

Date: Monday 18th June

A team of University staff will assist the Cambo Heritage Trust team in woodland conservation tasks. The object is to assist in maintaining and preserving an area of the stunning 70-acre woodland surrounding Cambo House, which is available to the public at large. (Up to 30 staff can take part.)

For more information and to apply go to our Cambo Team Challenge Day online application form.

West Sands Beach Clean-Up with Transition St Andrews (Cancelled)

Date: Saturday 16th June

Join Transition St Andrews for a Beach Clean-Up on West Sands at 10am until 12 noon. The objective is to remove as much man-made contamination as possible so that Fife Coast and Countryside Trust can take it away at the end of our session and we all enjoy a cleaner beach! The Beach Clean-Up is open to family and friends too - just let us know when you register via the online sign-up form. All equipment needed will be provided. Further information will be sent to registered participants nearer the time.

Please ensure that you have read the Beach Clean-Up Volunteer Agreement (PDF, 267 KB). Please register to take part by signing up using the West Sands Beach Clean-Up online registration form.

Stress: Are we coping?

This session aims to develop your understanding of stress and it's causes and triggers, as well as deepening your knowledge of tools and resources to manage and aliviate stress.  You will take away a more developed sense of your own personal 'stress management toolkit'.

Date: Wed 9th May 2018
Time: 12.00 - 14.00
Byre studio
Book your place on PDMS now!

April's theme is cancer awareness

This April we're highlighting the importance of being aware of the most common cancers in the UK.  For men that's prostate cancer and for women that's breast cancer.  Lung and bowel cancer are the second/third biggest cancer risks.  To find out more visit:

Prostate Cancer UK
Breast Cancer UK
(and 'know your lemons')
Lung Cancer
Bowel Cancer UK
Cancer Research UK

The Well Now! newletter April 2018 also has some information on cancer which is worth reading.

Step Count Challenge 2018 - extended deadline

Last year our 78 teams walked more than 300 million steps! 

Be more active, walk more with image of pedometer 503x220This year the Wellbeing and Engagement group is sponsoring 100 staff teams to take part in the 8 week challenge starting 30 April 2018. 

  • Each team must have 5 members (including a team captain) and a unique team name.
  • University teams with a wide range of achievements will be recognised with wellbeing-themed prizes...


Applications for team sponsorship available on our Step Count Challenge website, the closing date for applications has been extended to 18 April 2018.  For further information and details on the Challenge, please visit Step Count Challenge.

Cancer Awareness Talk and Tour of the University Systems Pathology Lab

Date: 20/04/18  (Time: 12.30 to 13.45) - CANCELLED

Since 1 in 2 of us will get some form of cancer during our lifetime, the cancer awareness campaign is a reminder that we can all reduce our risk by making healthy lifestyle choices. Dr Reynolds describes some of the facts and figures about cancer and also describes the process of conducting clinical trials, and how new medicines become available treatments for patients. The talk will be followed by a tour of the University Systems Pathology labs.

Book your place on the Cancer Awareness Talk.

No Smoking Day, 14th March 2018

National No Smoking Day, the annual health awareness day to help smokers who want to quit, is held on Wednesday 14 March and the theme this year is Pick your Way, #TellUsYourWay and Quit your Way.

There are many resources available from NHS Inform to help you kick the habit, as well as professional support and advice from our Occupational Health Adviser Janey Watt (email: 

Have you already stopped?

Help colleagues by sharing what worked for you by emailing us ( with#TellUsYourWay in the subject line.

Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking - FREE copies!

We have 10 free copies of Allen Carr's book to give away - get yours by emailing or calling Ext: 2533.

One Amazon reviewer of the book said 'I've been a smoker for 30 years and have tried to give up a few times before... I always found that when stopping I became agitated and frustrated and sad that I was depriving myself of smoking. This book is amazing, it changes your mind set so you actually become a very content non smoker.'

Additional resources

Dundee Women's Festival, 4 - 17 March 2018

The festival celebrates International Women's Day and has a jam packed programme full of both FREE and paid events.

  • Friday 9th March: Women's Wellbeing
  • Friday 16th March: Reiki Taster Session and Dundee Roller Girls Open Doors Scrim.
  • Saturday 17th March: Addva Open Women's Volleyball event and Closing Ceremony.

For full details please view the Women's Festival Programme 2018.

Mindfulness sessions

‌Many people find becoming mindful helps to reduce stress and emotional upset, deal with life's challenges more effectively and enhance feelings of joy and contentedness.

In this introductory mindfulness session begin to discover hands-on what mindfulness is by trying some experiential practices and short guided meditations.

For the New Year 2018

Fresh Produce Giveaway!

Photo of fresh produce on white backgroundBe one of 50 staff members selected to receive 2KG of fresh fruit & vegetables - FREE!  Register by emailing:

Give yourself a health MOT!!

It's easy to get bogged down in the day to day routine, but don't forget to look after yourself too. There are a few appointments and easy habits you can make to ensure you are keeping yourself in the best possible health. ‌A 20 minute eye appointment could reduce eye strain, or getting that niggly tooth fixed would make meals more enjoyable. And of course, if there is some health issue that has just been making you wonder if you should do something, whether an ache, persistent cough, mole or lump, make that GP appointment. Appointments to think about making:

There may be other appointments that you need to make depending on your circumstances for example any Family History Flags. If you have anything that runs in the family, make sure you are up to date with any checks specific to your own family history.

Practise Self-Care Meditation with our new series

Meditation is an extremely useful tool to help reduce stress, increase self-awareness, promote acceptance and relax more so you enjoy life! Practicing meditation can help to improve coping skills in the face of stress, which increase your resilience and leads to an enhanced quality of life. This 4-week meditation series will consist of 30 minute sessions which will focus on different aspects of self-care including self-trust, self-nurturing, self-esteem and self-compassion. During each session you will explore and practice different relaxation techniques for your mind which are helpful during times of stress. Book now on PDMS:

Walking - WWOW

Walking is a great, low-impact way to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. The benefits of walking include maintaining a healthy weight, WWOW logo in green and orangestrengthening your bones and muscles, preventing conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure, and improving your mood, balance and coordination.

Try out your own routes or join the University’s Wee Walk Once a Week for a guided brisk 30 minute walk:

Edible Campus

Gardening provides an amazing array of social, physical and mental health benefits including strengthening muscles and improving stamina, promoting flexibility, ‌boosting your vitamin D levels and supporting your body's circadian rhythm with exposure to sunlight, stimulating your brain with ‌sensory ‌‌awareness and learning new skills, and encouraging mindfulness by connecting to the present moment.

The Edible Campus team run regular gardening sessions across the university estate. Everyone (student, staff, residents) are welcome at all gardening sessions on a drop-in basis. To see a full list of gardens and up-to-date event information, go to the Transition Edible Campus page:

Edible Campus Gardens Map (PDF, 774 KB)

Wellbeing & Engagement Group

Every month the group organises activities, events and promotions around different health and wellbeing themes.

Sign up to the Well Now! newsletter email:

Related links

    News archives

    To view news on events and activities from previous years, please click on the following links:

    2017 news

    2016 news

    2015 news