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Wellbeing news archives (2015)

October 2015

Road safety drop-in sessions

Drop-in road safety sessions happened at the Gateway and University Library during October.  Drive safe, stay alive logoThese sessions were supported by Fife Council and the Institute for Advanced Motorists and included a driving simulator, road-safety information, as well as the fife Council Cycling Development officer who was on hand. 

Safe Drive-Stay Alive
‌On 28 October at the Byre Theatre, was the Safe Drive Stay Alive show which was a 90 minute event.  It included short talks and video presentations from members of the emergency services, as well as road accident victims, survivors and family members. This powerful event carried some hard-hitting road safety messages and was a must for drivers.  The event was FREE.

September 2015

Get your bike sorted and ride!

To provide your bike with some TLC, a FREE bike maintenance session was offered on 3 September at the University Library.  The session was offered as part of the St Andrews Bike Pool project run by Transition UStA, who aim to increase cycling rates for health and environmental benefit. Sessions were free and if your bike required spares then you could buy them, at low cost, from the event.

August 2015

Well Now! newsletter launch

Sign up to our wellbeing newsletter and win a free gift!  In September we launched our new wellbeing newsletter 'Well Now'. To receive the newsletter you will need to opt in. To be included on the mailing list just email with 'Well Now' in the subject heading. Everyone who opted in (up to15 August 2015) was entered into a prize draw to receive a free gift of a very desirable NEOM Organics sleep care kit.

Guardbridge Nature Walk

There is a lot more to Guardbridge than the Paper Mill (fantastic though it is..). Kingfisher sitting on mossy branchJoin us at the Eden Centre Car Park at 4.30pm on 26 August and take part in a one hour guided walk around the Eden Estuary nature reserve and Kincaple woods. There is lovely countryside and fantastic wildlife-spotting opportunities, including kingfishers, otters, godwits, lapwings and plovers.   The walk will be lead by Fife Countryside Ranger, Ranald Strachan.  Nature walk poster (PDF, 2,810 KB)

Bike to Work Breakfast

Got a bike? Like breakfast?  Bicycle with breakfast plates for wheels on blue backgroundThen cycle to work on 27 August 2015 and you can pick up a FREE breakfast (sit down or takeaway) from 8.00-9.30am at John Burnet Hall, courtesy of the Estates Environment Team.   There will be bike racks so you can safely secure your bike. There will also be a bike maintenance expert on hand to offer help and advice on keeping your bike in tip-top condition as well as quick repairs.   Download poster/flyer: Bike to work breakfast poster (PDF, 1,167 KB)

Get your bike working and ride!

All staff and any students were invited to attend FREE bike maintenance sessions which took place adjacent to the bike sheds between the Bute and Bute Annex and the Gateway.  The sessions were offered as part of the St Andrews Bike Pool project ran by Transition UStA which aims to increase cycling rates for health and environmental benefit. Sessions were free. If your bike requires spares then you can buy them from us at low cost if we have them. 

Working out at work? 

Why not try something new and work out with your workmates?  Got ideas you want to share? Looking for people to join in?  Send information and photos to if you would like them covered in the next Well Now newsletter.

June 2015

mens healthMens health - useful links include: NHS Live Well and information on Mens Health Week.

May 2015

The University Wellbeing and Engagement Group organised a wide variety of activities during the Mental Health Awareness Week.

mental health awareness monthSpecial mentions and Mental Awareness month

Well done to Wendy Clark and colleagues in the School of Physics and Astronomy. On 1 May they held a bake sale in aid of the Nepal Earthquake Appeal and raised a magnificent £840. In Wendy's own words:

"I was watching the news and just felt so sad for all those who’d lost their lives in the earthquake and as we’d held a couple of very successful  bake sales before, ‌I wanted to do something to help those who were lucky enough to survive and thought it was a great way to raise some money. The Physics and Astronomy staff have a very sweet tooth!  The bakers included myself, Linda Cousins, Lesley Aitken, Sharon Scott, Sarah Webster, Michael Mazilu’s children, Scott Johnston, Guy Whitworth, Kate Rowlands, Carolin Villforth, Alistair Hodson, Annelies Mortier and Jake Cohen. Apologies if I’ve missed anyone out.

‌Scott and I sold the cakes at morning and afternoon coffee and also lunchtime in the staff common room and the “cake trolley” went round some offices and the foyer.  I was overwhelmed at the generosity when I did the final count.  The total raised came to £840 and would like to thank all those who donated, the member of staff who gave a charity cheque, Scott for rattling the tin under peoples noses and Barbara for helping in the common room."

April 2015

April's wellbeing was Cancer Awareness and Prevention with the theme on Bowel Cancer which was highlighted and broadened to encompass information about cancer prevention more generally.  Information and resources on bowel cancer are available on the NHS Scotland/ Healthier Scotland bowel cancer website:

Cancer awareness talk and lab tour

We were fortunate enough to have made arrangements with Dr Paul Reynolds in the School of Medicine for him to deliver a talk on cancer research at the University followed by a lab tour.  ‌Those in attendance found the talk and tour fascinating and informative - we hope we can persuade Dr Reynolds to repeat the talk next year.

Since 1 in 2 of us will get some form of cancer during our lifetimes, the cancer awareness campaign is a reminder that we can all reduce our risk by making healthy lifestyle choices. Dr Reynolds described some of the facts and figures about cancer and that >40% of cancer in the UK are linked to lifestyle and environmental risk factors.
Dr Reynolds also described the process of conducting clinical trials – how new medicines become available treatments for patients -  and then covered information on some of the cancer/ pathology projects in the Systems Pathology labs, School of Medicine. The talk was followed by a tour of the Systems Pathology labs.

World Book Nighto in April- World Book Night

On the 23rd of April was World Book Night. We had 18 copies of the award-winning novel 'The Martian' by Andy Weir to give away. These were handed out by Elaine Miller for the Library Service at several locations around the University.

March 2015

‌‌No smoking/ tobacco month. 

no smoking signDuring the month we sent out posters and 'Quit smoking' information and put fact sheets and links to resources on our webpage.   Also during the month - and not directly connected to the March theme - we announced new dates for the Monday and Thursday Yoga classes - 'Yoga for your mind'. These continued right through to May.

The 2015 ‌Step Count Challenge!

There were NINE University staff teams taking part in the 2015 Step Count Challenge.  Four teams were sponsored by the Wellbeing and Engagement Group. The others were sponsored by their own Units or paid their own registration fees.  Each team had a unique name and a designated team captain.

step count new imageThe challenge started on Monday 16 March and after the first 5 days the teams had achieved a staggering total of more than 1.3 MILLION steps - equivalent to walking 677 miles, or from St Andrews to the middle of France.

By the end of week 7, the teams had walked 23,768,608 steps, equivalent to walking 11,884 miles – or halfway around the world.  By week 8 of the challenge, the top 3 teams were:

  • In third place with 3,072,914 steps, the Special Collections Ambulatory Team
  • In second place with 3,088,052 steps, FASt….not last (Finance)
  • And still in first place with 4,101,18 steps ……… Go you far gone beauties (Student Services).

February 2015

"love yourself" month

Tai Chi taster sessions

We offered free tai chi taster session run by Alistair Sutherland of the East Winds School of T'ai chi Ch'uan. Fantastic feedback and a lot of interest in organising a regular class in St Andrews. 

Wear It, Beat It 2015

How Red Can you go?  On Friday 6th February we supported the British Heart Foundation ‘Wear it. Beat it.’ campaign.

Staff from all around the University demonstrated their support for the 'Wear it. Beat it.' campaign by wearing red to work and by organising fundraising activities. Photographs are still coming in but we already have pictures from staff in Student Servcices, Human Resources, the School of Geography and Geosciences, the School of Medicine, the School of Modern Languages, the Library, and CAPOD. A small donation will be made for everyone pictured, and they will each receive a BHF heart pin badge.

‌‌Staff from the School of Physics and Astronomy wearing red to support the British Heart Foundation 'Wear it. Beat it.' campaignSpecial mentions go to Mary Wilson in the School of Medicine for raising £40 from home baking and home-made jam, and to the many staff from the School of Physics and Astronomy (pictured above) for their stellar contribution, raising a magnificent £260.50!

Well done everyone and thanks for your support.

Wellbeing & Engagement Group

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

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