A team of volunteers named Ted’s Friends, consisting of students from the University of Bristol, are now trained to help support mental health at the university, in partnership with the Ted Senior Foundation.
This mental health charity was set up by family and friends of Ted Senior, a medical student and University of Bristol graduate who passed away in 2018.
Ted’s younger brother, Max, says that “Ted loved the community spirit Bristol had and it felt right to launch the scheme where he spent three very happy years.
“I believe that through sport and a peer-based approach, the internal barriers that students face when seeking help can be overcome.”
The Ted’s Friends scheme will focus on the sporting clubs within the University of Bristol and eradicating the stigmas around mental health, to ensure students’ wellbeing is better understood.
Additionally, the Foundation hopes that using sport as a tool to support students’ mental health will extend to more universities across the UK.
A Co-Chair of the Ted Senior Foundation, Cameron Watson, states that “for many, the university is the first time they have moved away from home, and although technology can help, nothing can replace the social networks we all rely on to stay mentally healthy.
“Although physical sporting activity may look a little different this year, we believe a peer-based approach to mental health will foster a safer and ultimately more enjoyable environment within university sports clubs.”
Rob Sidwell, the other Co-Chair added: “We are over the moon with just how fantastic all Ted’s Friends are. They possess those same qualities that Ted had; kindness, openness and a sense that you can trust them with anything.”
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