Sport and Health Sciences at Brighton

students at the happy cafe

Happy Café focuses on wellbeing

University of Brighton physiotherapy students and staff are getting together to focus on wellbeing in a new ‘Happy Café’ initiative.

The first event took place in February and was attended by physiotherapy students on our undergraduate and postgraduate physiotherapy degrees and was led by Nicky Walker, lecturer in physiotherapy.

Over the two hours students engaged in informal conversation over coffee and cake to focus on their wellbeing, sharing each other’s experiences and discussing ways of coping with University life. They also reflected on the ten keys of happiness and how they contributed/assimilated them in their day to day lives.

graphic of the 10 keys to happiness

Veena Raigangar, course lead for the BSc in Physiotherapy at the University, said: “As educators, we’ve seen students more and more stressed, and their wellbeing is impacted. We thought that something was missing, an informal environment where students can address their own wellbeing and talk to others.

“When students go out, it is usually at clubs or pubs in the evenings, and this doesn’t necessarily suit those students that don’t like that type of socialising. The Happy Café fills the gap and provides a safe space to interact and relax over coffee and cake. A space where students can share some positivity – it shows them they are not alone, there are people like them that have been there, done that and they have got through it: it gives them motivation.

“It has proved so popular that staff have requested to have their own Happy Café on campus!”

One of the Physiotherapy BSc(Hons) student who attended the Happy Café said: “It was very nice to engage with fellow undergraduates and discuss our shared experiences. I felt the year 2 students gained some reassurance discussing their current and future modules as I shared my own experiences of getting through to the other end of the 2nd year and beyond. I felt it was nice and very beneficial for the first years to see a blossoming peer support network.

“Events like this go a long way to reassure those students that do feel out on a limb, or out of step with mainstream student culture, that there are options to socialise with like-minded students that actively want to do well on their course and to engage in extra-curricular activities, and to network with their peers. This is achievable with events such as the Happy Café.”

The next physiotherapy Happy Café takes place on 26 May. Both events are part of our Belong at Brighton programme which supports students to get the most out of their studies and student life.

Find out how you can become an Allied Health Professional with the University of Brighton.

Kerry Burnett • 03/04/2024

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