You can come and talk to us in complete confidence and we will help find the right solution for you.
Below is a list of links to information about personal issues that you may find helpful. If you cannot find the information that you need or you would like to discuss something in confidence, then get in touch with us in the Advice Centre.
- Big White Wall: struggling to cope? Feeling down? Big White Wall is free to all students at any time of the day or night. Get support anonymously, take control and feel better
- doctors and dentists: find your nearest NHS doctor (GP) or dentist from the NHS site
- exam welfare: information from the Advice Centre leaflet
- forced marriage: contact the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) if you’re trying to stop a forced marriage or you need help leaving a marriage you’ve been forced into
- Healthy Minds: is the NHS service in Buckinghamshire for people experiencing low mood, anxiety or stress. Healthy Minds offers evidence-based talking therapies, practical support, and access to a variety of self-help and online resources. Students can self-refer to Healthy Minds by telephoning: 01865 901 600
- NHS health benefits
- sexual health
- stand alone: find information about support, financing your studies and accommodation options as an estranged student
- the University's Counselling Service: accredited by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy offering individual one-to-one counselling or group sessions through appointment.
- the University's Disability Service: register with them for support for dyslexia, medical conditions, mental health difficulties and other disabilities.
- LGBT+: the Advice Centre can offer advice, support or signposting on any issues you may be facing relating to coming out, homophobia, sexual health, specific support services outside the University, hate crime or any other issues in relation to identifying as a minority sexuality. You can also visit Stonewall for information and guidance.
Safety at home
The chances of being a victim of crime are low, but it is worth being aware of how you can make yourself and your home less likely to being subject to crime.
Protect your valuables: if it is valuable to you then it is worth protecting. You can take some simple measures to protect your stuff such as not leaving items in view of windows and doors, closing the curtains when you go out at night, and insuring the items that you consider expensive to replace ie televisions, laptops, tablets, and other high-value items. When leaving the house or halls make sure that you have closed and locked any doors or windows. Remember, that when you live in halls a greater number of people may have access to your block or part of the building, some of those you will know and there are some that you might not, so shut that door and lock it when you leave. If you are going away for long periods of time remember to take your valuables with you and don’t leave them behind.
The Office for National Statistics has reported that students have a higher victimisation rate when it comes to bicycle crime than other occupations. With an ever-growing number of cyclists commuting to university and to work, as well as for leisure, it is worth being aware of how to protect your bike. Thames Valley police recommends to:
- fit a good bike lock, such as one with a sold secure rating, and attach your bike to something secure
- always lock your bicycle, even if you are only leaving it for a couple of minutes
- have your bike's frame security-marked or etched
- keep your bike in a secure garage or shed when at home
- if you have quick-release wheels, lock them up as well or take them with you
- remove lights from the bike and take them with you
- register your bike with the national cycle database.
Social meida safety
Staying safe whilst you are online is becoming increasingly more important and is something that we all need to be aware of and the problems that can arise from revealing more than we want to. Revealing your location on a public access social media site can alert people to your whereabouts and how long you are likely to be away from your home. Social media chats can also leave you exposed to revealing more information than you would like. The BBC reported that in 2015 148,000 people had been a victim of identity theft. It is believed that sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn had become hunting grounds for identity thieves.
There are just some of the ways that you can protect yourself:
- don’t reveal phone numbers, pictures of your home, your address, or birthday
- be aware of people asking for more information that you are comfortable giving and remember you are under no obligation to give details that you feel uncomfortable revealing
- be password safe - don’t pick passwords that contain your name or names closely associated to you. Dates of birth are also worth avoiding
- make sure that your computers firewall is regularly updated. Up to 80% of cyber threats can be avoided by doing this
- check your social media privacy settings on who can see your information and what information is online. Remember some of this information may be public and open to the world to view.
For more information on online safety including shopping, banking, & making payments – visit getsafeonline.org.
Safety on the streets
If you have been a victim of crime you are advised in the first instance to report it to the police. If you would like to discuss your issue further you can contact the Students’ Union Advice Centre to speak with an adviser in a confidential setting.
You can call 01494 603 016 or visit the Advice Centre at the High Wycombe Campus, ground floor of North Wing, or at the Uxbridge Campus, first floor (beside Pulse). Both Advice Centres are open Monday to Thursday, 9am-5pm, and Friday's, 9am-4.30pm. You can also email the service on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The chances of you being a victim of crime are, thankfully, statistically very low. However it is important that you know how to act, what to do, and who to get help from should you need it whist you are out. This guide is not meant to scare you, instead it is offering you common sense advice, most of which you may already be aware of.
Plan ahead: If you are walking at night or you are visiting a new area and you are aware, plan your trips ahead by knowing the routes you can take to get to where you want to be. If you're a student living in High Wycombe, check out our 'Right Routes'
Be prepared: If you are concerned for your safety whilst you are out, or if you just want to alert someone that you are out, carry a charged mobile phone and tell someone where you are going and even which way you are going.
Walk with confidence: When you leave the house walk with confidence. If you are worried about your safety on the streets, walking with confidence will give the impression that you are in control and that you know where you are going.
Be aware of your surroundings: If you see something, or hear something that you feel maybe a threat to you think about how you could avoid the situation. You have a better chance of being more aware of danger around you if you are concentrating on your surroundings and are not using a mobile phone, covering your ears with headphones, or wearing a hood.
Put it away: Mobile phones, jewellery and other electronic devices are attractive to thieves as they are easy to grab. Try not to walk with your items on show. This may deter opportune thieves from bothering you.
Trust your instincts: If it feels unsafe, looks unsafe, sounds unsafe, then it is probably unsafe. Try and avoid areas that you instinctively feel are not safe. This could include parks, side streets, and areas with poor street lighting. If you can, stick to areas with good lighting, busy places, and CCTV.
Safety in numbers: If you can walk home with friends, do. Stick to the walking and public transport routes that you know and avoid short cuts.
Technology: If your phone has GPS that allows you to share your position with a person you trust, and you feel unsafe or uneasy about a journey you are taking, share your location with someone else. You may have apps on your phone that can help you with this. An alternative to call or text someone to let them know that you are leaving and when you have arrived.
Further information and advice
If you are concerned about your safety or you want to look for further advice about lone working, stalking, taxis, public transport, personal safety, or personal alarms you can visit these sites for further help:
met.police (stay safe London)
thamesvalley.police.uk (personal safety)
Sex without consent is rape. It's as simple as tea!
You can also speak with the Students’ Union Advice Centre about any issues you are experiencing that you need help and advice with. You can call 01494 603 016 or visit the Advice Centre at the High Wycombe Campus, ground floor of the North Wing, or at the Uxbridge Campus, first floor (beside Pulse). Both Advice Centres are open Monday to Thursday, 9am- 5pm, and on Fridays, 9am-4.30pm. You can also email the service on email@example.com.