On Sunday 9th January, the newly selected team of pupil Wellbeing Ambassadors (WBAs) started their training and thereby their work in improving the wellbeing and mental health of Marlborough pupils. This was a very auspicious beginning to 2022, but it was also the end of a long and thorough recruitment process, ably led by a group of Prefects, which took place during the second half of the Michaelmas Term.
Last October, when the WBA initiative was first announced by last term’s Senior Prefects, Isabel R and Atticus A, the response from Marlborough pupils was impressive. The high number of applicants for the role indicated two things very clearly: Marlborough pupils really do care about one another, and the College is absolutely ready for this kind of pupil leadership. Having scrutinised all the candidates’ detailed and – in many cases – passionate application letters, which were full of excellent ideas to support wellbeing at the College, the Prefects (supported by staff) interviewed all who applied and then considered the composition of the final team carefully.
Drawn predominantly from the Lower Sixth, but with representatives from other year groups, the team’s initial training involved a series of workshops led by trainers from Oppidan Education. These workshops covered a series of crucial skills for individuals and the team as a whole, such as self-care, reporting concerns, active listening, resilience and communication. In addition, the training led the new team through a range of challenging case studies, to prepare them for what is likely to be demanding – but nonetheless rewarding – work. The Ambassadors know that they must look after themselves properly before they can offer their best help to others.
And now the most exciting phase has begun. The team has been introduced formally to all the year groups; their programme of meetings has been established; their reporting structures have been clarified – and their work can start. Expectations are rightly high: this group of motivated, sensitive, conscientious and talented pupils is ready to turn its ideas into reality. It feels like the sky is the limit.
Deputy Head, Pastoral