A support team at Wrexham Glyndŵr University (WGU) ensures students on the NHS frontline are given help to continue their studies.
The team who work in WGU’s award-winning Inclusion Services department, have continued to provide a wide range of remote support to students. These services have seen steady demand from students which the Inclusion Team usually offer during face-to-face or one-to-one appointments.
These appointments enable the team to offer a wide range of learning needs. These include specialist support for students with learning difficulties, such as dyslexia. As part of their work, advisors help students develop strategies to suit their learning needs.
Last month, the team noticed an increase in requests for online appointments and additional demands on healthcare workers. This change in circumstance meant that students who had roles in healthcare could have faced difficulties in accessing student support services to help their studies.
Two members of the support staff – Carol Thomas and Fiona Falkingham, decided to offer a dedicated slot during the Easter Bank Holiday weekend. This is for students who combine their studies with a job in healthcare which enables them to receive the help they need.
Carol said: “As tutors in Inclusion Services, we provide specialist academic study support to students who have specific learning difficulties. Such as; dyslexia and mental-health conditions which affect their working memory or their ability to access learning.
“Students are allocated one or two hours of support per week. We know that specialist tutor availability is limited and the Easter period is particularly busy each year. Students have to book these slots one or two weeks in advance. This was proving difficult for some of our NHS students who were working additional hours or had longer shift patterns.
“We have set up a dedicated day for students and were pleased to hear how helpful they found the sessions. It had helped them to complete essential pieces of study over Easter.”
Useful Support Sessions
Students from across North and Mid-Wales who use Glyndŵr’s support services have thanked the team for their work.
Deborah Evans, a Parkinson’s Disease Nurse in Newtown, Powys, said: “I would just like to say how useful it was to have a support session on Good Friday as an NHS worker. I feel it is good to have consistency of support at a very busy time. This puts an extra burden on the dissertation process for me. Carol remains key in my journey, for which I am ever so grateful.”
Aimee Roberts, who is in her final year of an Occupational Therapy degree, said: “I would like to thank the team. Even in this current situation and at this busy time, they understood the importance of our trained positions. They ensured that their consistency of support continued over the Bank Holiday.
“Occupational Therapists are facing a growing workload and greater demands on our time right now. The team’s support has proved invaluable for me and my fellow students as we balance work and study.”
“An Absolute Credit”
Student nurse Natasha Chesworth added: “I just wanted to say how grateful I am to Carol for giving up her Good Friday to help student nurses and other healthcare professionals with their academic work. I am under a lot of stress at the moment to finish my last academic assignment and begin working as part of the front-line workforce. I am now able to continue studying over the weekend as my deadline is next Friday.
“Carol is an absolute credit to the team. I can’t thank her enough for the support throughout my degree.”
Inclusion Manager Sarah Roberts said: “Providing student support is at the heart of what my team do here at Glyndŵr. It is one of the reasons our university is one of the most inclusive in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide for two years running.
“Knowing that you have staff who will give up their Easter break to ensure students working in key roles can get the help they need to complete their studies is humbling. I’d like to thank Carol and Fiona for the dedication they have shown to our students, as well as; the other specialist tutors, needs assessors, our specialist mentor, assistive technology trainer, inclusion student advisor and learning support assistants. They were all working one-to-one with students remotely to support them with their studies.
“I’d also like to thank our students for helping to provide healthcare at this critical time.”
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