Highlighting mental health awareness & creating a supportive culture

Leanne Herbet Last week I became a Youth Mental Health First Aider, writes Leanne Herbert (NNCO Disability Officer).

The 2 day youth course, for people that teach, work, live with or care for young people aged 8 – 18 years and which is available to everyone, was developed in Australia in 2007 following the introduction of Mental Health First Aid in 2001.

The course gave me and other delegates insight into:

  • Depression and anxiety,
  • Suicide and psychosis,
  • Self-harm and eating disorders

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New to DMU!

New to DMU 2Transition into HE can be difficult for anyone writes NNCO Disability Officer, Leanne Herbet,  but for students on the Autistic Spectrum including those with Asperger’s the challenges can be much greater, especially if an individual has decided to move away from home at the same time.

The way AS impacts on an individual’s life varies, but anxiety about change, the confidence about living independently and focus on studies as well as a fear of social isolation are a few potential challenges.

To ease this difficult transition, DMU’s Disability Team recently held a three day residential course at DMU for students expected to commence their HE studies at the end of September 2015, going some way to alleviating fears that students and their parents and carers might have about coming to University. Continue reading

Meet the latest Square Mile Team member, Leanne Herbert – Our new NNCO Disability Officer

Leanne Herbet For students, disclosing a disability can be daunting for many reasons.  Perceived stereotypes or personal experiences may prevent individuals, or those advising disabled individuals to inform a university that they are applying to.  Of course for some people like me (I use a wheelchair), it is obvious that I have a disability and that there may be some support or access arrangements to be considered, but what if you have a hidden disability for example, Dyslexia or a Mental Health Condition?  Do you have to disclose a disability? Does hiding it make it easier?  Do individuals experience difficulties having not disclosed? Continue reading

School children learn programming with DMU’s walking, talking, dancing robot, Nao!

Nao robotA team of De Montfort University students visited two local schools to encourage STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mechanics) learning and teach children how to program using a Nao robot. Dovelands Primary School and Montrose Primary School were the first two schools to enjoy a visit from the team and Nao. So far years 4-6 (8-11 year olds) have had an opportunity at programming the robot and we’re looking to expand in the next academic year.  Nao is a small humanoid robot, made by French company Aldebaran that is capable of walking, talking, listening and dancing.

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Here are 47 good reasons to become a reading mentor in 2015/16

datapicEarlier this week, the DMU Square Mile office received raw data showing the impact of the work of De Montfort University’s paired-reading mentors at New College, Leicester, writes DMU Square Mile Manager Mark Charlton. It’s a spreadsheet of numbers showing reading ages in August 2014 and reading ages in June 2015 for around sixty 11-12 year-olds (year 7/8). Each child has attempted to improve his or her reading by working with a DMU undergraduate or community volunteer by meeting on a weekly basis and reading together. 

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Tackling hearing problems with community screenings

WP_20150224_002DavidMy first blog in quite some time (a reflection of how busy we have been!!), writes DMU Square Mile Operations manager David Hollis but I wanted to use my next post as an opportunity to give in insight into one of Square Mile’s projects that has been making a real difference in people’s lives over the past few years, the Free Hearing Screening project. The project began back in 2011, with De Montfort Academics in the department of Audiology initially heading out into community centres across Leicester to provide free screenings to the public, in the process identifying anyone suffering from potential loss of hearing and then referring them onto their local NHS.  Continue reading

IT4Free: You meet engaging people and you may also learn a thing or two yourself!

Over the last few weeks, through the IT4Free programme, I have taught many different people how to complete tasks using technology writes DMU student Georgia Ingham. B74heFZCEAAi_RdThere’s always a variety of people who attend; ages, gender and technical ability vary and it’s always nice to see a mix of friendly and new faces each time I attend. To name a few different activities that I have shown people how to accomplish would include: how to email, use Facebook by sending messages, uploading pictures, changing their profile and security settings and I have also helped teach people how to use different devices like ipads and smart phones. The people who come benefit not only from learning but also have a great time as we laugh and joke too. The other volunteers are really easy to get along with and always happy to help if I have trouble with anything. It’s mutually beneficial when someone comes into the session with an idea of what they want to accomplish. Continue reading

New asthma research that really ‘takes your breath away’

Helen OwtonI am working on a project with a team of researchers on the lived experiences of asthma in sportspeople and serious exercisers and the implications for self-care and healthcare practice, writes  Dr Helen Owton (Phd, CPsychol). The research aims to undertake an exploratory investigation into sportspeople and serous exercisers’ lived experience of asthma and asthma self-care. Whilst this particular project received funding from the University of Lincoln, our participants were recruited via the DMU Square Mile initiative. This research builds upon my PhD thesis which was entitled: A Breath of fresh air. In my PhD, I wanted to ‘breathe life’ into the experiences of my participants so vignettes (short storied narratives) were employed as a way of representing the data which was aimed at ‘showing’ a specific scenario (see publication, Owton & Allen-Collinson, 2014). Continue reading

POD use away day to learn about DMU’s work with the community

image_00013De Montfort University’s People and Organisational Development department chose to spend an “away day” with DMU Square Mile. As well as undertaking activities to build their superb team work ethic, the 60-strong staff took time to learn about the work of DMU Square Mile and its activity the local community. This work was undertaken in the Newfoundpool Neighbourhood Centre – a central focus of DMU Square Mile activity. Following a range of staff exercises and a video and presentation from DMU Square Mile manager Mark Charlton, the POD staff broke off in to groups to undertake a treasure hunt across some of the square mile local landmarks in Fosse, Tudor Road and Newfoundpool. Click on the image (top right) for a gallery of the treasure hunt.

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