Bridgend College students
Academics in the Sport, Health and Exercise Science Research Group brought their expertise to an innovative project to develop resilience and wellbeing in FE learners and staff.
Professor Brendan Cropley and Professor David Shearer won a commercial contract to provide a holistic evaluation of the Building Resilient Communities in Further Education project and its interventions.
Phase 1 of the The Building Resilient Communities in Further Education project, hosted by a consortium of colleges across south Wales and led by Bridgend College, ran from September 2020 to June 2021.
The project sought to develop personal strategies to improve resilience and self-regulation, focusing on approaches to growth mind-set, coaching and behaviours in FE learners and staff; and develop self-belief, personal responsibility and resilience by helping learners to understand and believe in themselves and their strengths and to make a positive contribution to their community. To achieve this, the project contained two sets of intervention programmes - Resilience and Performance; and Mindfulness and Well-Being - delivered by external providers.
Professor Cropley, who led the research team (comprising Professor David Shearer; Chris Emsley and Alan McKay) reported on the findings by saying: “In general, we found that the interventions had a positive effect on quantitative and qualitative measures of programme efficacy, indicating that learners and staff had developed their resilience, well-being, and psychological attributes associated with human flourishing. We are now likely to receive additional funding to conduct ongoing evaluations of future interventions conducted in colleges across Wales.”
Joe Baldwin, Assistant Principal Learner Journey at Bridgend College, said: "A number of colleges within the partnership had previously worked with USW on research and evaluation projects and we knew that the University had a strong track record of undertaking research and developmental work to improve and enhance mental wellbeing.
"We knew that the breadth of pilot initiatives within the collaborative project would provide a number of excellent opportunities to better understand approaches to supporting improved mental health and wellbeing of young people and provide us with invaluable insight into how we can better support students and reduce barriers to learning," added Joe.