Bangor’s Peer Guides thanked by University

A record breaking 486 students volunteered to help first year students settle into life as Bangor University students this year.

Peer guide, Richard PattonPeer guide, Richard PattonThe ‘Peer Guides’, as they’re called, were thanked and awarded certificates at a Peer Guide ceremony at the University recently, where their skills and contribution to the University were recognised.

Bangor has one of the largest schemes of this type in the UK and is often used as an example of best practice for other UK universities. The Scheme was shortlisted for a UK Award for Outstanding Student Care by the Times Higher Education during the year.

The most common comment from the students who volunteer as Peer Guides is that they wanted to give something back to the University; they want to actively contribute to the community.

JPeer Guide, Judith MorrisPeer Guide, Judith Morrisudith Morris a 22 year old Psychology student from the Wirral said “I chose to become a Peer Guide as my Peer Guide was such a good example. I wanted to pass on all the worldly knowledge he gave to me!”

Bethan Mair Lenny from Aberystwyth who is studying a MA in Welsh said that she’d learnt so much from her Peer Guide when she was a new student at Bangor, where to find things, making contacts with people. She initially helped students move in and then was making sure that students in the School of Welsh get to know each other and other students from the same area, as well as making sure that they have all the essential information. She found the experience gave her opportunity to practice leadership and organisational skills.

Richard Patton from Donegal, who is studying Zoology, learnt a lot about different people and how people react in different situations through his actions as a Peer Guide. He said “Moving away from home was difficult for me. I learnt how other people deal with it and that helped me a lot.”

Peer Guide, Bethan Mair Lenney Peer Guide, Bethan Mair Lenney Prof Colin Baker, Pro Vice Chancellor responsible for Teaching & Learning said: "Bangor has a long tradition as a caring University and has received accolades for its personal tutor support system from institutional inspections and audits. We really value the commitment and contribution made to University life by our excellent Peer Guides. We’re so pleased that so many students want to contribute to supporting their fellow students. In turn, our Peer Guides develop skills in communication, team work and leadership that enhance their employability.”

Kim Davies, Peer Guide Coordinator at the Careers and Employability Service explains: "The Peer Guides are fully trained for the role that they carry out. They organise and run events through Welcome Week, and are on hand to assist new students in adjusting to University life.  They offer advice and support and know when and where to refer students on to University staff for further guidance. They offer this for as long as needed which can make a difference between a student deciding to stay or leave during the first few weeks away from home," she added.

Publication date: 17 May 2011