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Welfare Support

The connection between physical and mental health is well documented, however mental distress can produce a large barrier to participation in activity for those who would benefit from it most. We hope that by encouraging an inclusive atmosphere in our sports clubs and educating those in leadership roles, more people will feel able to join us, make friends and keep active during their time at Exeter.

At Exeter our welfare support aims to help raise awareness of mental health within members of sports clubs, Gym members and IMS teams, remove barriers for students participating in sport, and to provide a platform for sports clubs at the University of Exeter to improve welfare support for all their members. People from all backgrounds and in all walks of life experience mental health difficulties, including students at the University of Exeter, within any club. Our welfare support fostered in our sports committees is invaluable during these times.

Pitch up and Play

Social Sport offers a great way to get involved with non-competitive sports sessions with no weekly commitment. Each session has a student activator to welcome you, answer any questions and help you get involved. A great way to try something different and meet new people whilst getting active!
We are glad you asked! You can participate in any Social Sport activity or event if you are a student. Social Sport is normally a turn up and play programme but due to the pandemic numbers are currently restricted and you must therefore pre-book a place at each session. The booking process can be found here.

To book a place click here


Maps and Trails

The Grounds and Gardens website has a series of maps and trails you can use to find peaceful spaces.

Wellbeing Trim Trail

Wellbeing Map

Sculpture Walk

Jubilee Water Walk 

Biodiversity trail on Streatham Campus

Well-Being Tool Kit

Looking after your emotional health and wellbeing is an important skill both at university and in your everyday life. Building skills which enable you to be more resilient in the face of challenges is an effective way of supporting your wellbeing. We cannot avoid challenges or difficult experiences but we can learn to respond differently to these events.

Students can face a lot of natural challenges during their time at university such as:

  • moving to a new place
  • leaving behind friends/family and familiar surroundings
  • managing finances
  • living independently for the first time
  • meeting new people from a variety of backgrounds
  • adjusting to new routines

Go to ‘My Wellbeing Toolkit’ for information and techniques to help you think about skills which could support you to stay healthy and resilient at university.


Understanding Sexual Assault, Harassment and Consent

The University of Exeter is an inclusive community, where everyone has the right to be treated with respect. Harassment, bullying, intimidation and discrimination go against all we stand for and will not be tolerated. If you've experienced or witnessed any of the above we encourage you to report it and to get the support you might need.

Sexual assault/harassment/abuse and consent are often discussed in the media and are issues that affect many people. It is important that you know what these terms mean and that you can easily recognise if you, or someone you know, has been impacted by these issues. There is a lot of support available across the University whether you have recently been affected by these issues or you were affected by these issues in the past.

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse is when a person is forced to engage in sexual acts against their will. This could include touching, looking at sexual images or forcing someone to watch sexual activity and usually refers to an act against a child (or someone under 18) rather than adults.

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is when someone is verbally abused in a sexual nature. It covers behaviours such as sexual coercion, unwanted touching or kissing, persistent pestering for dates/sex or catcalling/verbally harassing someone.

Sexual assault

Sexual assault is an act of physical, psychological or emotional violation in the form of a sexual act. Sexual assault can be committed by any person no matter what their relationship to the victim (i.e. a husband can sexually assault his wife or vice a versa). Consent is key to determining if the actions were sexual assault or not.

Rape is when a man intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth with his penis against their will or without their consent. It is a criminal offence and a form of sexual assault.

Date rape is when a person uses drugs to sedate a person in order to have sex with them.

What is consent?

Consent is when the people engaged in a sexual act have both freely agreed to the act taking place. Sex without consent is rape. Consent can never be assumed. For example, the need for seeking consent still applies:

  • If you are married
  • If you have had sexual relationships with the person before, or are in a relationship with the person
  • If the person previously gave consent but later changed their mind

Having conversations about consent

Talking about consent doesn’t have to be a difficult conversation. If you are having sexual relationships it is important to be able to discuss these issues with your partner.

How can you check you have consent?

Here are some things to think about before you engage in sexual relationships with a partner:

  • Do you know the person definitely wants to engage in sexual activities?
  • Have you asked the person what sexual activity they are happy engaging in?
  • Is the other person capable of giving consent – are they under the influence of drugs/alcohol, do they have a mental health condition or learning disability that could affect their ability to give consent?
  • Has the person actively agreed to engage in sexual activity? Silence does not guarantee that they consent.

Take a look at the video ‘Tea and Consent’ created by Thames Valley Police which further explains consent.

The University of Exeter developed a quiz discussing consent and other issues which you may have taken when registering.


It is both parties’ responsibility to get consent before engaging in sexual activities. Once you have asked the person if they are happy to proceed, continue to check they are comfortable in engaging in each new type of sexual activity. Look for facial expressions and body language – do they seem eager and comfortable? If not, ask them if they are ok and if you are in doubt – stop! Make sure you know you have consent rather than assume it. Someone may do nothing to stop intercourse or verbally say no, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are giving consent – they may not feel they are able to say ‘no’. It is better to actively check rather than make assumptions.

Take a look at the campaigns the University is involved in around these issues on the Exeter Speaks Out pages.

Help and Support

If you have experienced any of these issues there are a variety of options for support and advice within the University and externally.

Report an incident:

If you want to report an incident that has occurred on University grounds or is related to the University of Exeter, see the Exeter Speaks Out website.

In an emergency, when you feel at immediate risk, please dial 999.

Alternatively, you can contact the local police on 101 if it is not an emergency.

Wellbeing support:

If you want emotional support for a recent or historic incident but don’t want to report it to the police at this time, you can contact the Wellbeing Service who can help you to find the right support for you. You can contact them by email at 

Personal Safety and Security

Exeter is a safe city with a low crime rate, but as with any city environment, it’s sensible to be mindful of your safety and personal security at all times, especially at night.

Going Out

  • Avoid isolated places, especially at night.
  • Stick to well-lit and overlooked routes, wherever possible.
  • Try to travel in groups of two or more people. Perhaps ask your friends to join you.
  • If you are going out alone, tell someone where you're going and what time you expect to be back.
  • Enjoy alcohol responsibly and keep track of what you’re drinking. Don’t leave your drink unattended, and never accept drinks from strangers. Alternate alcoholic drinks with water and make sure you have something to eat before going out.
  • Never get into a taxi on the street. Only use a private-hire cab that you have booked by phone.
  • Don’t accept lifts from strangers.


  • If you are cycling, always wear a helmet and reflective clothing and ensure your bike is fitted with lights and a bell.
  • Always lock your bike using a hardened ‘D’-type lock. The cheaper, cable-type locks can be removed relatively easily.
  • Attach the lock through the frame and to a strong structure that is fixed to the ground or a building, whenever possible.
  • If you can, lock the bike in a well-lit location and somewhere with people walking by.
  • Mark your property with your postcode and register it on

Student Safety Scheme

Exeter University runs the Student Safety Scheme: If it’s late, the buses have stopped running, and you’re stranded with no money, you can pay for your Apple Taxi at a later date.

  • Book your Apple Taxi to ‘Estate Patrol’ at Northcote House on campus.
  • One of our Taxis will take you to the Estate Patrol office
  • You sign a docket along with Estate patrol to confirm your journey details & cost
  • Driver waits while you do this & then takes you on to your Halls
  • The University charges you the fare plus £2 to take you back to your Halls

Apple Central Taxis provide this service in conjunction with the University of Exeter, and reminds you that this service is only available during the hours of darkness, and only if you find yourself genuinely stranded with no money.

Students should never walk home alone after a night out. We always put your safety first!

If you find yourself stranded – Give us a call on 01392 666 666


Night Bus service in Exeter

We’ve worked with Stagecoach to introduce a Night Bus service in Exeter this academic year 2021/22. It runs on Wednesday-Saturday, from late evening until 4am. The service will incorporate the Streatham campus and is designed to support students returning from the city centre. You can view the Night Bus Timetable 2022. You can use all Stagecoach network tickets on this service along with the discounted Unirider tickets. Meanwhile, the single fare is only £2 as the University has subsidised the service to ensure affordability for students.



February - This Girl Can

Throughout the month of February, the Athletic Union are launching our own university This Girl Can campaign, supported by Sport England. The purpose of thiscampaign is to challenge the conventional idea of what exercise looks like and reach out to women of all backgrounds and ethnicities who feel left behind by the stereotypical pathways to getting active. My aims this month are to offer a wider range of oppertunities and support to provide women with the confidence needed to enjoy sport. 

As well as working with our 51 AU clubs to make them more accessible and inclusive, this month we will be offering a number of new exercise classes that cater to more students. We are hosting free self-defence classes with both male and female instructors, PHAT (Plus-sized Health & Attitude Training) fitness classes and Basics to Barbells programmes. By launching this campaign, my intention is to demonstrate that exercise can be enjoyed in a variety of environments and to encourage students to explore new ways to get involved. I hope that our free sessions throughout February will encourage women to try something different and integrate physical activity into their student lifestyle beyond this campaign. 

Thanks to the generosity of the Athletic Union and the individuals leading the classes, all of these sessions are either free of charge or highly subsidised to ensure money is not a barrier to participation. Please see below for further session details and booking links: 

Weekend Female-Only Self Defence Classes with Lewis Sloan from the Exeter Self-Defence Academy 

Free self-defence classes for beginners will take place at St Luke’s from 3-4pm on Saturdays throughout February. Following this month, Lewis will continue running more progressive self-defence classes as part of a 6-week programme. This will continue to take place on campus at the St Luke’s sports centre. 

Book Here: 

Saturday 5th Feb -  

Saturday 12th Feb –  

Saturday 19th Feb –  

Saturday 26th Feb -  

PHAT Plus-size Health and Attitude Training led by PHAT 

We are offering free of charge plus size exercise classes (PHAT Strength and Cardio) starting on Wednesday 2nd February at 5pm at the Sports Park. This is a 4-week pilot running throughout the whole of February. The classes will be run by PHAT (Plus Size Health & Attitude Training) which is a body positive inclusive health training organisation that promotes physical activity for people who self-identify as plus size. Anna Janota will be the fitness instructor for these classes. 

Book Here: 

Wednesday 2nd - 

Wednesday 9th - 

Wednesday 16th - 

Wednesday 23rd - 

Weekday Female-Only Self Defence Classes with Alice Tyndall

Alumni, Alice Tyndall is returning to offer some free self-defence training sessions after setting up her own self-defence business. She is returning for the second week in February to offer some bespoke student sessions, so make sure you sign up and reserve your spot!

Book Here:

Monday 7th - 10.30-12.30 -

Monday 7th   -1.30-3.30 -

Tuesday 8th - 11.30-1.30 -

Thursday 10th - 10.30-12.30 -

Thursday 10th - 1.30-3.30 -

Friday 11th - 2-4 -

Basics to Barbells Programme - £15 for 6 weeks 

This unique, women-only course is designed to teach you how to add free-weights into your workouts and perform these exercises with confidence. From mastering the perfect technique in the squat, deadlift, pull up and hip thrust, to learning all about barbells and dumbbells, this course will help any beginner get the most out of their gym workouts in a small, non-judgemental environment. 

Some other key dates are as follows:

7th – 13th = Sexual violence and awareness week

28th Feb – 6th March = Eating difficulties and body image