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Emotional Wellbeing Centre - Angel's story

Canterbury College’s Emotional Wellbeing Centre (EWC) has been nominated for a TES (Times Educational Supplement) Award. Following this, Art & Design alumna Angel took some time to explain how the EWC has helped her to develop both during her studies and since leaving Canterbury College.

When did you start using the EWC?

I found out about the Emotional Wellbeing Centre as I had already met Vicki Smith (coordinator at the EWC), who I had previously set up my counselling with. As soon as I found out about the Centre, I started using it immediately. It was a great place for me to come to focus and complete my work.

How did the EWC help you?

I have ADHD, so the Emotional Wellbeing Centre provided me with a place where I could mingle with others in a similar position. Spending time at the Centre enabled me to start volunteering with Supported Learning students, where I used my art skills to make Christmas decorations. Volunteering here even led me to realise that I wanted to take a counselling course. My new volunteering experience gave me a sense of purpose; I wanted to help others and I felt I had gained a lot of useful life experience, especially having had counselling for three years myself.

Attending the EWC helped me to feel valued. Vicki and the team will be your biggest fans and they always root for you. They have used my artwork to decorate the Centre and they even got me to help paint the walls to brighten up the place. The volunteering that they set up for me helped me to gain some perspective on my own problems.



What issues were you facing?

I had recently moved out of my parents' house after disagreements, which meant that I was living alone, and after starting my art course late, I had found it difficult to make friends. I was struggling to find somewhere that felt like home. The EWC provided a safe haven for me. It was a place where I could be myself and sit down with a cup of tea and some company.

Having ADHD also means that I find it really hard to focus on my work if I am not in a quiet environment. The EWC provided a calm place for studying. I still attend the Centre even now as I am still able to carry on volunteering even though I have ended my course at Canterbury College.

The Emotional Wellbeing Centre helped me to find a way to express my feelings, which improved my artwork and the clarity of my thoughts. I had a quiet place to work there, so it was easier to cope. It can be scary at college for people who are a bit different, but at the EWC I found it easier to make friends and to feel understood.

Who would you recommend the EWC to?

I would recommend the Emotional Wellbeing Centre to anyone. It is a very accepting environment and it doesn’t matter if your problems are big or small, the EWC can help. It is weird to think what the College would be like without a place like this. It makes such a big impact.

What are your tips for keeping well following your time at the EWC?

The EWC has helped a lot with my condition and I now know that it’s okay to feel how I feel. I have learned to ride out the bad times, to let things go and to look back to see how far I have come. The counselling sessions that I have had have been so helpful and I feel like I am better prepared for the real world, which is all thanks to the EWC.