An innovative project, by Wiltshire College & University Centre, to support people feeling anxious and isolated during the pandemic has been so successful that it is hoped to be rolled out across the wider College.

The College worked in partnership with Dr Tamara Russell, clinical psychologist and director of the Mindfulness Centre of Excellence, and Mary Louise Morris, a mindfulness teacher, to deliver emotional resilience training.

Known as The Champions Toolbox, the sessions were delivered to full-time English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students earlier this year.

“We call this ‘The Champions Toolbox’ because we all have a champion inside of us," said Mary.

“During the sessions, students get to know their own champion qualities and use a journal as a personal record of what they discover. They are also invited to make a box with items, such as photographs or meaningful objects, which remind them of their champion qualities.

“We explore the themes of Courage, Curiosity and Connection and help students to appreciate which of these qualities they already have, and which they might need to develop.”

The College has around 150 students aged between 16 and 18 for whom English is not their first language.

Tom Evans, Deputy Head of Department for ESOL, said: “At the start of the pandemic we noticed that some of our full-time learners were struggling, so we were delighted to be able to support them by working with experts in mental health.

We are now looking at how we can take this project forward in the next academic year in new and innovative ways.”

To find out more about Wiltshire College & University Centre’s ESOL courses, visit