While working and studying from home has become the norm for many over the last few months, we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel as we map out our route back to campus. During this blog series, we will interview different groups of the ACM community to help inspire confidence and solidarity during this turbulent time. This week we had the pleasure of catching up with ACM Designated Safeguarding Lead, Chris East, who explained his role, how he has been preparing to go back to Campus, alongside key advice to students during this period of transition.
1) Tell us a little about yourself and your role within Student Services?
My name is Chris, I have been with ACM now for 2 years and work within various areas regarding Safeguarding, Student Support and Student Experience. I support the running of the ACM Societies and Council as well as develop the Pastoral Development Education programme for our FE students.
2) How is ACM Student Services working towards returning to campus?
Over the lockdown, through digital delivery, the student support team has worked tirelessly to make sure our students receive the support they need when they need it. We have developed online resources from videos, weblinks to canvas pages. We have developed regular social media campaigns raising awareness of various topics that affect our students, this also includes the writing of articles / blogs that carry the theme of mental health and looking after yourself.
3) Do you have any advice for students over the coming months?
Try not to rush back into what you perceive as normality. Isolation can cause the mind to create certain anxieties that we are not aware of, this being the case, should you jump straight back into a packed room, be it a bar or classroom, you’ll find it very difficult to adjust. This is perfectly normal and nothing to be too concerned about, however, my best advice for this is to arrange time for yourself and if things get too much reach out to student support.
4) Who can students contact if they are worried or concerned about returning to campus?
If you have concerns regarding your return to campus for reasons of wellbeing, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have serious concerns for yourself or that of someone else, please contact the safeguarding team email@example.com.
5) Are there any other services students can utilise for mental health support?
There are a number of online platforms, one of which is fully paid for by ACM. The platform is called TogetherAll; all you have to do is sign up using your email address and you can recieve 24hr support from trained professionals.
6) Where are you and your Student Support Team based across our three campuses?
You can always find a member of student support situated at or close to the receptions of each ACM campus.
If you are a student and looking for support, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, alternatively, you can find out more information on our Student Services Canvas page.
If you have a concern for your wellbeing or that of someone else associated with ACM, please contact the safeguarding team:
Email – email@example.com
Call – 01483 910197