Cavendish says that even though the agenda of wellbeing and health is no longer seen as witchcraft, it can be viewed as “pink and fluffy”. In 2022, student services embarked on a wellbeing strategy for the University which aims to set out how it will effectively deliver services and engage students. It will hold a number of training sessions for staff, so they are better equipped to signpost students to support services, and work to help staff when a student discloses a safeguarding issue.
“We’re recognising that when students come in with complex health issues, all staff should be enabled to support them,” she says. “Until recently, the staff might have said they’re not skilled to do this, but we’re rolling out training, helping them to understand complex health issues.”
Cavendish adds that all the work going on today is thanks in part to Swainson, who championed student wellbeing before it was widely understood. “We’re still trying to get some of her messages across today,” she says. “I’m living a version of her legacy now. For our centenary, those historical messages are important.”