Abstract / Description of output
The majority of peer support programs in UK Universities focus on academic support (e.g. through peer-assisted learning programs). Following student consultation, a pilot pastoral-based student peer support program was developed and implemented in a UK veterinary school. Thirty-one students were trained in the pilot year, and continued with the program to the end of the academic year (and beyond). The trainees were asked for feedback at the end of training and at the end of the year; the rest of the student body was surveyed as to their perception of the peer support program at the end of the year. Feedback from the training (N=19) was positive, with themes of enhanced self-development, improved communication skills, and bonding with other trainees. The wider student body responded (N=497) with concerns over confidentiality within a small community, and distrust due to the competitive environment. Despite this, however, most students (74%) agreed that having peer support available created a supportive atmosphere, even if they did not personally plan on using the program. The paper concludes with a description of the changes being made to the program as a result of the evaluation.
Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)