Mindful Apprentice Podcast launched for students

By Amanda Wilkins - 31 January 2024

College & Higher Education

The Swindon and Wiltshire Institute of Technology (SAWIOT) have launched a series of podcasts aimed at supporting the mental health and wellbeing of New College students.

The Mindful Apprentice Podcast, in partnership with Nationwide, was adopted by Darran Marks, Managing Director of SAWIOT, after securing funding from Nationwide’s Early Technical Careers team.

It was decided that a series of short, informative, and supportive podcasts would be made accessible to all students.

Darran Marks said: “The staff across the Institute of Technology are already a trusted source of support for our students.  We wanted to ensure that there is that continued support in many forms. 

"A student that may not feel confident enough to speak up can turn to these podcasts as a source of support and guidance”. 

Currently available via Sound Cloud, the full series will be making its debut on Spotify, Audible, and Amazon Music over the coming weeks after its launch at New College Swindon’s Apprenticeship Fair, Appren-t-fest on the 6 February. 

Darran said: “We all see the increasing impact mental health is having on students and we want to demonstrate the support that is on offer whether that be us at SAWIOT, the fantastic support provided by mental health charities such as MIND, or simply the kind, listening ear of a friend or colleague. 

"The Podcast series is designed to support this in an interesting and engaging way”. 

The podcast series will be shared with all partner Institute of Technology’s across the county to encourage awareness of the support available across the network. 

Producer of the 20-episode series, Rosie Runciman from The Sound Doctor, said the idea was developed after the success of  mental health in farming podcast Keeping on Track by Adam Henson. 

The focus is on topics such as Preparing for your Apprenticeship, Managing the Workload, Spotting the Signs of Poor Mental Health.  It also includes a number of case studies focussing on students talking about their own experiences.  

Rosie found it great to work with Darran and the team to create the podcast series. She said: “During the production we met many amazing people, who do amazing things.

"At SAWIOT the team are obviously deeply committed to getting the best possible results for their students, as were the organisations we spoke to for the series.

"The apprentices themselves were inspirational. What a fantastic bunch of people!” 

A variety of guest speakers, including key individuals from New College Swindon and SAWIOT were involved ensuring the episodes were engaging and informative. 

The series was designed with Apprenticeship students in mind but it really is a valuable tool for all students and employers alike.  The theme is the same; supporting each other’s mental health and wellbeing is vital for us all. 

Further information can be found at  www.newcollege.ac.uk/institute-of-technology/the-mindful-apprentice/

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