March into spring

01 Mar 2018
10:00 Thursday 01 March 2018 to 17:00 Saturday 31 March 2018

1 March marks University Mental Health Day and Chevening will be supporting this by running a whole programme of events during the month to focus on your wellbeing.

The winter can be a challenging time of year, particularly with a busy study programme, so we have organised a programme of spring events to help you improve your mental, physical, and social wellbeing.

Our March events are designed to link with the NHS’s five different areas of wellbeing: connecting with othersbeing active, learning, giving to others, and being mindful. Below you will find details of all the events we will be running as well as how they relate to your wellbeing.

All tickets are 'first-come, first-served', so get booking now!

Please remember that if you do ever feel overwhelmed, by anything from study to home sickness then do contact your university’s student support services. They’re there to help and will point you in the right direction for the help you need. You can also contact your PO or the Chevening welfare team (


Events and tips by theme

Connect with others

Strengthening your relationships with your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours can improve your sense of belonging and self-worth. Here are some simple ideas for making time to develop these relationships:

  • Have a break from studying and arrange to meet a friend you haven’t seen in a while
  • Make phone and video calls to your friends and family; it’s very easy to get into the habit of texting or emailing people
  • Speak to someone new today
  • Have lunch with a course mate


> Spectacular classics: British proms concert

What: Take time to relax whilst connecting with music, and experience the sound of a full concert orchestra in the inspiring setting of Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall. This is a unique opportunity to hear a selection of popular British classical music, performed by the leading Manchester Concert Orchestra and accompanied by a spectacular array of lights and effects.

Where: The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
When: Sunday, 18 March
Password: see March into spring newsletter

Eventbrite booking button



Be active

Being active is not just great for your physical health and fitness, it’s also been shown to be great for your mental wellbeing. This doesn’t mean you need to spend hours in the gym; find fun physical activities you can do with friends and will enjoy more!

Here are some ideas:

  • Take a walk and invite friends – explore a new part of town or join a group walk (for example the Ramblers)
  • Try a health and fitness challenge, for example Couch to 5k
  • Do some active volunteering such as Green Gym or Good Gym and make a difference whilst getting active
  • Stretch, strengthen and relax by going to a yoga or pilates class, or try YouTube for a free, convenient alternative


> Kew Gardens: A day among the flowers 

What: Stretch your legs in the big city and visit the world renowned Kew Gardens. Take a walk through the over 30,000 plant species housed here as well as strolling through their Orchid festival!

Where: Richmond, London
When: Friday, 9 March
Password: see March into spring newsletter

Eventbrite - Kew Gardens: A day among the flowers

> Cotswolds walking tour

What: Take a step outside and immerse yourself in the beautiful Cotswolds this spring. This invigorating walk will help you get active whilst enjoying the British countryside. 

Where: Cotswolds
When: Monday, 12 March
Password: see March into spring newsletter

Book your ticket on Eventbrite

> OARsome outdoors: canoeing adventure

What: Take up a new sport and try your hand at canoeing! This guided canoe tour will allow you to get active whilst nature spotting on the River Great Ouse.

Where: Bedford
When: Tuesday, 20 March
Password: see March into spring newsletter

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Keep learning

You’re already studying hard but why not try adding some fun, new skills to boost your confidence and self-esteem? Here are some of our suggestions:

  • Learn to cook a healthy new dish that you’ve never made before. Search for some recipes online and share your new dish with friends
  • Sign up for a short course on something that you’re interested in but have never done before. You can find lots of free online courses, for example:
  • Visit a gallery, museum, or place and learn more about a period in history or a person who is of interest to you
  • Make time for your hobbies. From sports to knitting, make sure you take time out to do these


> From old to new: upcycling class

What: Learn new skills by trying your hand at ‘upcycling’ – remaking an old object into something new and beautiful. The class will take place in the surroundings of the Holton Lee estate, a centre dedicated to wellbeing and discovery, with tea and homemade cake. Objects to upcycle will also be provided.

Where: Livability Holton Lee, Poole, Dorset
When: Friday, 23 March
Password: see March into spring newsletter

Book your ticket on Eventbrite

> Foraging in the great outdoors

What: Take notice of what you eat through this unique foraging course. Learn about healthy eating, wild foods, and sustainable living whilst exploring the great outdoors.

Where: Hereford, Herefordshire
When: Saturday, 17 March
Password: see March into spring newsletter

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> Museum of Happiness: practical strategies to improve wellbeing and happiness

What: Chevening, in association with the Museum of Happiness, brings you a one-day workshop where you'll learn stress management and relaxation strategies. This workshop will help you explore how you can be happier day to day.

Where: Arlington House, London
When: 10:00 to 16:00 on 27 March
Password: see March into spring newsletter

Book your ticket on Eventbrite



Give to others

What we do and the impact we have can have a big impact on mental wellbeing. Giving to others and working towards shared goals can make you feel happier and more satisfied with life. As well as volunteering, here are some small things you can do to help make a big difference:

  • Phone a friend or family member who could use some support or cheering up
  • Ask a course or housemate how they are and really listen to the answer
  • Help a stranger who you can see is struggling, for example someone struggling with a pushchair
  • Say thank you to someone, for something they have helped you with


> Dr Neil's garden

What: Volunteer in one of Scotland’s most remarkable gardens. Get active and work with a team of Chevening volunteers to support this garden.

Where: Edinburgh, Scotland
When: Wednesday, 14 March
Password: see March into spring newsletter

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Be mindful

Mindfulness is about paying more attention to the present moment. This includes your own thoughts, feelings, and mood as well as the world around you. Being mindful of ourselves can help us notice the way we are behaving and the patterns of our thoughts.

For more tips on being mindful see this NHS website.


> Making mindful leaders: mindfulness workshop

What: Take a day to focus on your mental health with an introduction to mindfulness – the ability to be fully present, aware of where you are and what you’re doing. Learn some useful mindfulness techniques and discover how being mindful can help you in your studies and in your future as global leaders.

Where: University of Birmingham, Birmingham
When: Thursday, 1 March
Password: see March into spring newsletter

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> Getting started with mindfulness: workshop

What: Take a half-day to find out about mindfulness, learn some of the theory behind it, and practice some useful techniques in the beautiful surroundings of the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. Our workshop is led by Gillian Duncan from The Moment is Now.

Where: Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh
When: Monday, 19 March at 13:00
Password: see March into spring newsletter

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> Castle Howard: daffodils and Downton

What: What better signifies the start of spring than rows and rows of bright daffodils? Take notice of the changing nature around you and explore one of Britain’s finest stately homes and gardens (which Downtown Abbey fans will be sure to recognise).

Where: Castle Howard, Yorkshire
When: Wednesday, 28 March
Password: see March into spring newsletter

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> Racing at the Olympic Park

What: Be inspired to get active whilst watching thrilling bike racing in the world famous Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Velodrome.

Where: Stratford, London
When: Friday, 30 March
Password: see March into spring newsletter

Book your ticket on Eventbrite