Solent Health’s happy cafe kick starts volunteering week

SOUTHAMPTON Solent University’s Volunteering Week was launched on Monday, with a full schedule of activities for each day.

The activities this year include a ‘Happy Café’ focused on mental wellbeing, an arts and crafts workshop, an information session from Dementia Friends, and a Volunteering Fair to round off the week.

The Happy Café event was successfully launched last month, and gave students the opportunity to enjoy a free cup of tea or coffee while participating in activities to promote happiness and wellbeing.

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Attendees of the Happy Café participated in relaxing activities such as colouring, mood boards and massages were also available.

Students have praised these activities highly.

Ashleigh Harris, a psychology student said: “I’ve already tried the mindfulness activity as a student previously this year so that has helped me no end.”

Yasmin Zaman, Solent’s Health Promotion officer said that the Happy Café is “for students and staff to come and discover ways to unwind, destress and find their own happiness.

“I think students are under a lot of pressure with studies and part time or full time jobs so the activities teach different ways of coping, you just have to find one that works for you.”

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Yasmin Zaman organised the Happy Café as a way to give students a place to relax.

The rest of Volunteering Week’s activities include an arts & crafts workshop, aided by the Arts and Crafts society, where banners and decorations will be made for the Volunteering Fair at the end of the week.

There will also be two sessions run by volunteer ‘Dementia Friends Champions’, supported by the Alzheimer’s Society, which gives the opportunity for students to learn more about dementia.

The week will wrap up with a Volunteering Fayre in the Southampton Solent University Spark building, which will host many local organisations to show students all the volunteering opportunities available to them.

The Southampton Solent Student Unions will also be taking donations of clothes, toiletries, food and stationary throughout the week for the Society of St. James which is a local homelessness charity.

by Rebecca Savory (@beccasavoryx), Alissa Kirkwood (@alissakirkwood) and Nancy Ashcroft (@NancyAMMJ)