At SERC we insist on an environment where every student feels valued and where your welfare is prioritised. Our Pastoral Care is centred on promoting your personal development and wellbeing as you complete your qualifications. In doing so we work to foster positive attitudes within the College by promoting tolerance, resilience, fairness and equal opportunities for all so that every student can achieve to their full potential.
As part of this, SERC operates a wide range of initiatives and programmes to help students develop personally, socially and academically.
How can Pastoral Care support me?
While attending SERC, issues such as health concerns, caring responsibilities, relationship issues, financial worries, family problems or housing issues might arise that could affect your ability to study. To help you through situations like these the College has established a range of support services and activities. Many of these are provided by specialist staff within SERC while others are provided by SERCs external partners. These include:
- You will have a Personal Tutor who you can talk to for advice and support in relation to any concerns or worries and who will signpost you to other support services as appropriate. Personal Tutors will engage with parents and carers if necessary.
- Case Conferences take place bi-monthly to monitor student progress and identify anyone who may be falling behind and who might need some additional help or support. If necessary, a plan is then put in place to assist them to get caught up.
- If you experience a disability, learning difficulty or long-term medical condition the Learning Support Team will ensure that appropriate additional support arrangements including examination access arrangements are in place to help you.
- In conjunction with the SERC Student Union the College has developed an annual programme of events which are detailed in the Wellbeing and Resilience Framework. These include social and health related events, talks and workshops led by specialist external organisations as well as some social activities to allow you meet people from other courses.
- Our Cause for Concern system means that any member of staff can quickly raise a concern regarding the wellbeing of a student at any time. Such concerns may relate to a wide range of issues including health and mental health issues, financial worries, homelessness, caring responsibilities or family issues. When such a concern is raised one of the Pastoral Care Managers will review the situation and arrange appropriate actions in a supportive and empathetic manner.
- Student Finance We have Advisors on hand to offer individual help and guidance on the sources of financial support available to assist students during their studies.
- In partnership with the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust there is a qualified nurse available to support students with health-related issues including general health, mental health, diet, exercise, smoking and sexual health issues. This confidential, non-judgemental service is known as the Youth Health Advice Service and you can get in touch by email YHAS@setrust.hscni.net or by phoning 07753 310352.
- The College works in partnership with Inspire Students who provide a 24/7 helpline (0800 389 5362) for all students as well as a face-to-face Counselling Service.
SERC has in place robust safeguarding procedures with two Lead Safeguarding Officers/Adult Safeguarding Champions and a designated safeguarding team in place on each campus. Issues of a safeguarding nature can be immediately raised by any member of staff to the Lead Safeguarding Officers through the College Cause for Concern App.
Youth Health and Advice Service
During their time at the College many young people have many health-related worries and concerns around for example, sexual health, unplanned pregnancy, alcohol, drug use, smoking or emotional health concerns such as anxiety and depression.
To help students to deal with these issues the Youth Health Advice Service has been established in partnership with the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust. All students (and young people within the area) can talk to qualified Youth Health Nurse from the South Eastern Trust who can advise and guide them appropriately.
You can visit the website for more information Youth Health Advice Service
How do I contact the Youth Health Advice Service?
You can contact the team by email at YHAS@setrust.hscni.net or by phone on 07753 310352. Alternatively, you can visit the website Youth Health Advice Service and complete a Youth Health Advice Request Form. When you have submitted your form, a Youth Health Advice Nurse will contact you.
SERC has selected Inspire Students as an independent source of support and Counselling for all Students/Trainees. Inspire Students can be contacted for free, confidential and immediate support by self-referral using 0800 389 5362.
This number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we recommend you save it onto your mobile phone.
The Inspire Support Hub provides access to a range of online information, guidance, screening, and intervention tools that are tailored to help care for your individual wellbeing. It includes:
- Guided wellbeing self-assessment via ‘iHelpr chatbot’
- self-help courses and digital intervention
- an interactive ‘5 ways to wellbeing’ database, wellbeing information and bibliotherapy
- a mood/sleep tracker.
Click here to visit the Inspire Support Hub