Peer Support Newsletter



Post-Celebration Evening Edition

Focus On: 20th Annual Peer Support Celebration Evening

This month, we held our 20th Annual Celebration Evening on the 2nd May 2018 at the Renaissance Hotel. The event was a true celebration of all our student and staff members who work in Peer Support to provide all first-year undergraduate students, and a number of higher year students, with either PASS or Peer Mentoring.

We had several guest speakers for the event, Prof. Clive Agnew, Vice President for Teaching, Learning and Students,  gave a welcome speech to 300+ guests and Dr. Simon Merrywest, Director for the Student Experience, closed the event, thanking everyone for their hard work throughout the year. We were delighted to have Lemm Sissay, Chancellor of the University of Manchester, present our Outstanding Contribution Awards and who gave an incredibly rousing reading of his poem “Making a Difference”.

Of nearly 2000 volunteers within the Peer Support programme, 31 individual staff and students received the Outstanding Contribution Award for their leadership, innovation and creativity within their scheme. We also announced the winners for our ‘Scheme of the Year’ Awards. For PASS, Aerospace Engineering were our winners, and for Peer Mentoring, it was German.

This year also was the launch of our new award; The ‘Scheme to Look out For’. This award was for a scheme that had demonstrated resilience and genuine innovation throughout the year. Our first PASS winner was Linguistics and English Language and for Peer Mentoring it was English Language, American Studies and Creative Writing.

Finally, we also announced the winner of our annual Video Competition, which went to Mechanical Engineering PASS which you can see here, and we presented Mathematics PASS, the winning University Challenge team, with their award as well.

The winning team from Mathematics PASS for University Challenge 2018

A final congratulations, to not only our winners but everyone involved in Peer Support. We were overwhelmed by the energy in the room, and want to thank all who came and supported the event. We are now looking forward to Peer Support Celebration Evening 2019! 


Meet the Scheme of the Year and Scheme to Look Out For Winners 

This year, as well as our annual Scheme of the Year award, we introduced a new award titled Scheme to Look Out For which recognises schemes who have overcome challenges and gone the extra mile to ensure their schemes run smoothly. We received some fantastic nominations for both awards, and the panel had some very hard decisions to make but we are pleased to introduce you to our winners below:


Aerospace Engineering PASS – Scheme of the Year Winner 2018 


Aerospace Engineering PASS were nominated for being an all-round engaged and enthusiastic community. This year they have continued to raise the bar for providing excellent PASS sessions, and have continued to boost engagement and creativity, events and debriefs throughout the year.

The Student Coordinators have been actively developing their PASS Leaders’ abilities and experiences, making their Flight Simulation and Drone Flying sessions more PASS-focused. Equally, they have been rewarding their PASS Leaders throughout the year with a new leader board (named the Tanouti Trails after their Student Coordinator Iliass Tanouti) and regular social events. They have collaborated with other schemes by opening their famous flight simulator to all Student Coordinators to try out.

Outstanding Contribution Winners from Aerospace Engineering PASS included PASS Leaders Mujtaba Jafferali, Aaron Sharma, Paul Arrondeau, Ignacio Salsas León, Thomas Moissinac, and Student Coordinator Iliass Tanouti.


German Studies Peer Mentoring – Scheme of the Year Winner 2018



German Peer Mentoring were nominated for their “strong sense of friendship” within the team of Peer Mentors, who in turn created an open and “close-knit community” for the Mentees of the scheme. They were consistent in the events held, with the regular Kaffeeklatsch meetings where students can meet up over coffee to practice their spoken German, and a regular programme of events throughout the entire academic year including an Oktoberfest social, the European Food Night and more.

They are equally consistent in their communication between the Coordination Team and Peer Support, so we were always up-to-date with whatever they were getting up to! The scheme was excellently ran by Ryan the Student Coordinator, and Eva the Staff Coordinator. Each Peer Mentor also brought something unique to the scheme and helped run events, take photos and participate in competitions, meaning that the scheme was run equally by both Coordinators and Peer Mentors!

Ryan Jones, Student Coordinator for German Peer Mentoring, also received an Outstanding Contribution Award.

Linguistics and English Language PASS – Scheme to Look Out For 2018


Linguistics and English Language PASS were nominated for their resilience and perseverance through their second year as a PASS scheme. They have made leaps and bounds to become one of the best-run schemes to date, boasting multiple sessions throughout the week as well as weekly drop-in sessions. These run for all years with both academic and non-academic focuses. They have created posters for our competitions and constantly encouraged their PASS Leaders to never give up and always keep trying. They are one of few schemes who have seen an increase in attendance over Semester Two and stayed positive even when attendance was down!

The three Student Coordinators, Bokyung Kim, Yuxin Luo and Yujue Yan, plus Administration Coordinator Charlotte Bolwell, all received Outstanding Contribution Awards.


English Literature, American Studies and Creative Writing Peer Mentoring– Scheme to Look Out For 2018

English Literature, American studies and Creative Writing Peer Mentoring were nominated for being creative and consistent with their events, and for their constant efforts to engage first-year students in new ways.

This year they ran 10 events over both semesters including events planned by Peer Mentors. The events included a charity pub quiz, workshops, a tea party and library tours. Their Student Coordinators worked hard to boost morale and encourage their Peer Mentors, reminding them it’s about the little wins and not just how many people get in touch with them daily.


Campus Cam: Reward and Recognition

In addition to our annual Celebration Evening, many PASS and Peer Mentoring schemes have held their own events, handed out extra certificates, and used other methods of reward and recognition to recognise the hard work their PASS Leaders and Peer Mentors have put in and given them something back as it comes to the end of the year. Here is just a selection of some of the reward and recognition taking place across campus:


School of Biological Sciences PASS

School of Biological Sciences PASS created their own certificates for their PASS Leaders who received praise during their evaluations. “We've put together some e-certificates for some of our leaders who were commended by attendees, other leaders and coordinators in our scheme evaluation (we won't be printing them as we are a green, sustainable scheme!)”

These are a great way to highlight your engaged PASS Leaders/Peer Mentors and provide a little extra thank you to them as well.


History Peer Mentoring

On the 9th May, the History Peer Mentoring scheme held their own awards ceremony for those Peer Mentors who have gone the extra mile throughout the year and really shone through in the eyes of the Coordination Team. The awards were handed out in the lovely foyer of the Samuel Alexander Building, and a final chance for the Peer Mentors to get together before the exam season begins and celebrate their hard work over the past academic year. They were joined by a special guest, Katy Ashton, the director of the People’s History Museum in Manchester who presented these awards to the students! Here are just some of the students who won – from left to right there is Tom Verheyden, Zeni Bellwood, Vendy Hoppe, and Ayla Huseyinoglu.


Wider Showcase

We have also had a number of smaller celebrations happening across campus, and here are some of them highlighted below:

Linguistics and English Language PASS Student Coordinators wrote each Pass Leader a postcard and gave them a small gift thanking them for their contribution to the scheme. These were handed out at the last debrief which was held in the museum cafe; they also plan to meet us during graduation one last time

Mathematics PASS took their Leaders for a Meal at Tops Buffet and subsidised half of the money as a reward.

BA Economics Peer Mentoring took their Peer Mentors on a trip to Windermere.

Aerospace Engineering PASS took their Leaders to Laser tag as a final fun social, and have announced the winners of their Leader Board (the Tanouti Trials)

Russian PASS held a Bosch night (soup night)

Medicine Peer Mentoring handed out some extra scheme awards at our Celebration Evening to recognised their Student Coordinators and Peer Mentors who have gone above and beyond.

Chemistry PASS have a Leader Board and deserving PASS Leaders won tickets to the Chemistry Ball!


In Other News

We would just like to thank all of the Student Coordinators, PASS Leaders, Peer Mentors and Staff Coordinators who have been involved in Peer Support this year. We have seen a fantastic array of activity coming from across the campus throughout the year, and it has been so wonderful to work with all of you throughout the academic year. We wish you all the best of luck with your exams, and hope you have a restful summer. We’ll see some of you in September for another amazing year of Peer Support, but for those graduating this summer, keep in touch and good luck with whatever the future brings!