Ross Awarded Peer Guide of the Year

Ross Davies, Peer Guide of the YearRoss Davies, Peer Guide of the YearRoss Davies, from Bridgend, South Wales, has been voted Peer Guide of the Year at Bangor University.

Ross was one of a record breaking 486 students who all undertook training to volunteer as Peer Guides - students who support and guide first year students at Bangor University.

First year students nominate Peer Guides who have gone ‘above and beyond’ what is expected of them, and Ross’s nominations show how he went out of his way to get to know the students he was Peer Guiding, even before they arrived at the University, making those first few days settling in far less daunting for them. The Peer Guides are not there for the first few weeks though, they’re there for as long as their students need their advice, and many make firm friendships as well.

Ross was awarded a Trophy, certificate and a £50 gift voucher.

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 Times Higher Award for Outstanding Student Care during the year.

The Peer Guides themselves gain skills and experiences which enhance their employability. They need to be organised to manage their Peer Guiding commitments with their own study. They need to be good communicators, to work in teams and show leadership, all skills that employers seek in their recruits.

Ross said “Bangor University is a brilliant University and I wanted to give something back. I knew how scary it was when I came to Uni. I had a Peer Guide and I thought I wanted to be like them. I know how to talk to people and could make new students feel welcomed and valued.

“I told my freshers, when they arrive they don’t have to come to me, I’ll come to meet them. I introduced them to people and took them on short tours as well as on social events. It’s good to have as much fun as possible while meeting new people.

“The thing to stress is that everyone’s in the same boat as you, you’ve got nothing to be scared of, it’s just nerves; everybody has them.”

Ross encouraged his students to get involved in as many activities as possible and make the most of their opportunities at University.

He said that: “being a Peer Guide has given me a lot of confidence- as well as an excuse to get to know new people. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone.

“I’m happy to have won and to get such feedback is amazing and very rewarding.”

Ross came to Bangor as it has a good educational record and he loved it when he came here for an interview.

"We like to think of ourselves as a caring University. We really value the commitment and contribution made to Bangor University life by our Peer Guides and are so pleased that so many students want to contribute to supporting their fellow students," says Kim Davies, Peer Guide Coordinator based in Student Support Services. "The Peer Guides not only organise and run events through Welcome Week, they are on hand to assist new students in adjusting to University life. They 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