Meet our Student Wellbeing Champion of the Year!

University of Manchester student, Charlotte Norman, wins Student Wellbeing Award for advocating and encouraging wellbeing practices within pharmacy school.

In April our Marketing and Communications Officer travelled down to Portsmouth to represent the charity at the BPSA’s 81st Annual Conference and Awards night, and to present the Student Wellbeing Champion of the Year Award!

Pharmacist Support has been working with the BPSA for many years with the joint aim to support pharmacy students throughout their studies and introduce our charity to students at the start of their pharmacy journeys. As well as attending the BPSA conference to chat with students and highlight our charitable support, this year we worked with the BPSA to create a new Student Wellbeing Champion of the Year award.

We created this award to showcase students who have done great work to ensure their peers stay on top of their wellbeing whilst studying at university. We had over 3o great nominations but we had to decide on a winner and that was Charlotte Norman, third year pharmacy student at the University of Manchester and President of the Manchester University Pharmacy Society (MUPS). Charlotte won because not only did she pioneer a MUPS wellbeing week, in which therapy dogs were invited into the University for MPharm students to spend time with, they organised a wellbeing ‘walk’ in the well-known Fletcher Moss Gardens of Didsbury in Manchester and took charge with University staff to open a new well-being social space solely for MPharm Students in their home university building in Manchester. On a more personal level, she is also always available to talk to both people in their year and people in the year below to ease their nerves and worries about things they had been through the year prior.

Unfortunately Charlotte wasn’t able to attend the awards night in person, but we invited her to our office where we caught up with her about what this award means to her and her wellbeing journey.

Charlotte with her award and flowers and our Marketing Manager Kate!

University of Manchester student, Charlotte Norman, wins Student Wellbeing Award for advocating and encouraging wellbeing practices within pharmacy school.

  1. How did you feel when you found out you’d been nominated for the award, and then went on to win?

Honestly, it took me completely by surprise – my lovely friend who nominated me kept it very quiet (meaning I didn’t even know I was in the running for the award) so to find out I had won was a wonderful surprise!

  1. What made you decide to become President of MUPS?

I started out with MUPS way back in first year (partly as a way to get more involved with the Pharmacy School) and stuck around as I loved the little community the committee provides. I took on the President role in my 3rd year and found it to be an incredible learning curve – it’s definitely built my confidence!

  1. Can you provide a little detail on why you decided to establish such great wellbeing efforts during your time as President of MUPS?

I think the difficult student experience through Covid really prompted me (and the rest of the committee) to think along the wellbeing lines for our events. It was a tough time for everyone, and I really wanted to provide those social events we all missed out on throughout 2020/21. The added focus on wellbeing stemmed from the increased visibility of the cause, in part promoted by Pharmacist Support, and I was keen to provide a space for people to take time to develop their own wellbeing and maybe consider taking some of those principles forward into the busy exam season.

  1. What are your plans after university?

I’m very pleased to say I have secured a split foundation year between a Hospital and an Integrated Care Board. I had my heart set on a split placement as I’m always keen to experience new things and, by working with an ICB, I will get an insight into all sorts of healthcare initiatives and formulary management alongside my education within the hospital setting.

  1. Are you planning on carrying on your wellbeing efforts once you’ve finished university and headed on to your placement?

Incidentally, my placement in an ICB puts me in a great position to continue to champion wellbeing within Pharmacy. I would love to continue to organise events and raise awareness of the importance on physical and mental wellbeing within our very busy profession!

  1. If you could provide 3 top wellbeing tips to pharmacy students nationwide, what would they be?

I think, often, the obvious answers are the best! My first one would be to get outdoors – being from a coastal town I always love to get out to the beach but in cities without that, such as Manchester, a walk around a park works wonders as well. Next is to find a hobby you enjoy and, crucially, set aside time to do it (anything from painting to parkour so long as you find it diverting!). And finally, I’d suggest spending time with friends. While it may seem like a distraction while you’re stressed, I always find a chat and a laugh with friends really lifts my mood!

If you want to pioneer wellbeing in your university, become a student ambassador for Pharmacist Support!

Apply here