Part of my role as a wellbeing champion at the University of Worcester involves coming up with original campaigns that promote or aid wellbeing. As we have established, I absolutely adore Christmas, so one of favourite times to come up with ideas during the festive season. Whilst to me this time of year is magical, Christmas can be a really difficult time for some – it is easy to feel lonely, isolated or anxious. As a result I always endeavour to come up with a Christmas campaign that raises awareness of these issues.
Last year I came up with the idea of Peace of Mind at Christmas. This campaign was centred around raising awareness of mental health at Christmas time. The name came from the idea from our idea to decorate a Christmas tree with origami doves that had hidden messages to those struggling written on them. Peace for doves etc – I thought it was clever anyway! We also decorated the tree with various bells that stood for being heard and coming forward about mental illness. This theme was then adopted by the University for the annual carol concert which is still one of my proudest moments. Loco even got to perform a piece I put together based on ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ in the service.
We made the decorations at ‘Fancy a Cuppa’ which is something my department runs twice a week. Students (and staff) are welcome to come along and have a free hot drink, some biscuits and a chat with support staff or simply just sit and take a break from their days. The tree was then displayed as part of the ‘festival of Christmas trees’ which is hosted at Worcester cathedral and includes unique trees from hundreds of local organisations. I was so proud of my idea and the work that myself and my team had achieved!
This year we decided to go with a campaign based around overcoming struggle at Christmas time which is aptly named the ‘Shine a Light’ campaign (yes it is also an Eurovision song but we’ll ignore that). The name represents moving out of the darkness, worry or isolation towards the light, positivity and better times. My team decided that we would make various stars to decorate a tree with. Unfortunately, this year’s tree will not be part of the Christmas tree festival, but we are displaying it for all our students to see on campus. Shine a Light is also this year’s carol concert theme too!
We have even made some extra stars to sell and raise money at a local craft fair! These campaigns are two achievements that I will always be so proud of and I am so sad I won’t be able to help come up the Christmas campaign for next year. Thank you for reading and check out my Blogmas post all about actually decorating the university Christmas tree with the stars if you want to see the finished product!