12 Mar 2017

1 VIP with Carol and Me

Carol and Frank

Carol and I enjoyed our visit to the University of Reading on 1 March in advance of University Mental Health Day. The highlight was meeting Frank Bruno MBE who did some light sparring with Carol (don’t worry, Frank’s fine) before talking to a packed lecture theatre about his struggle with poor mental health. Carol also features in the video highlights of Franks’s visit (at about 83 seconds …)


While we were there, and on University Mental Health Day, there was a “bucket collection” for Cameron’s Trust, and for Sport in Mind, a Berkshire charity that promotes mental well-being through sport. The great news is that we received £240.02 from this collection; many thanks to all who donated.

We were also given a very generous write-up in the Student Wellbeing blog – “3 VIPs, one very important message!” – and we were delighted to meet members of the Student Wellbeing team who have made such good use of Cameron’s Coasters.


During 2016-17, at the University of Reading:

  • 5,000 Coasters were placed in all the student rooms (placed in individual bedrooms) just prior to the start of the new academic year – these were distributed ready for Welcome Week;
  • Coasters were also handed out during Welcome Week to all ‘Freshers’ attending events (and to 2nd and 3rd years in week 1) at which Counselling and Wellbeing were represented;
  • Arrangements were made to distribute coasters in the welcome packs to external student houses which are managed by the University – 900 were distributed;
  • Coasters are made available for students to pick up at events run by Counselling & Wellbeing, for instance, they were recently placed on stands set up for University Mental Health Week (March 2017);
  • Coasters are placed in all counselling rooms and are available to take away from the Counselling Reception area.

In the above ways, the University of Reading are using Cameron’s Coasters to ensure that students remain aware of sources of support both local and national, so that they can get support when they need it. And here’s Frank with one of the Coasters:

Many thanks to all for making us so welcome, and for putting Cameron’s Coasters to such good use!

Three guests


PS: here is a link to Frank’s full interview: Biggest fight of my life – Q&A with Frank Bruno MBE