UWE shows some TLC at The Living Centre launch

Issue date: 02 March 2010

University of the West of England The University of the West England is set to improve the wellbeing of students and staff with the launch of its pioneering new venture, The Living Centre (TLC) at 13:00 at Frenchay Campus on Wednesday 3 March 2010.

Based at the Octagon, The Living Centre offers opportunities for students and staff to explore faith, spirituality, health and wellbeing and provides quiet spaces for prayer, reflection, and a range of wellbeing practices and therapies.

The opening follows a review last year of the current pastoral provision for students at the University. With the aim of providing an inclusive service that recognises the individual needs of each student, the review identified eight core strands: physical, emotional, wellbeing, spiritual, vocational, recreational, social and environmental which will form the Centre's new identity and aims.

A new name was needed to reflect this change and following a competition in December for staff and students, BA Business Studies Student, Josh Delaney provided the winning entry of The Living Centre to which the judging committee added the phrase 'exploring the essence of being human'. Josh was doubly delighted to have found out he'd won on his 21st birthday and will receive his £100 prize at the launch.

Head of Student Services, Theresa McGoldrick, said “Congratulations to Josh on his winning entry. 'The Living Centre' or TLC @ the Octagon sums up exactly what we are trying to achieve. We want to provide a space that reflects the diversity and interests of our students and staff. We work in partnership with local practitioners and faith groups in Bristol to deliver a comprehensive service. Whether it's a quiet space to pray, meditate or to even enjoy some live music in your lunchtime, there's something for everyone at The Living Centre and we'd encourage students and staff to come along to the Open Afternoon between 14:00 and 16:00 to explore for themselves.”

Revd Dr Peter Johnson, Head of The Living Centre, adds “The concept of The Living Centre has been widely acclaimed within higher education. We recently had a visit from the National Adviser for Higher Education for the Church of England who described The Living Centre as a pioneering project because it has a holistic theme that helps students and staff actively explore all aspects of their identity and purpose including the traditional areas of faith and chaplaincy. This will also involve colleagues from different faculties and services at UWE in helping to provide the services on offer and contributing to the University's knowledge exchange agenda.

“We're always identifying new ways which will improve the student experience at 'The Living Centre' and, in partnership with colleagues from Estates, one new initiative we have introduced is a separate sisters' prayer room for the Islamic faith in E Block. We're also networking and exchanging ideas with other University chaplaincies who have been inspired by our model.“

Another positive move toward widening participation is that The Living Centre @ the Octagon can also be used by organisations outside UWE for agendas matching TLC purposes including meetings, retreats, worship and weddings. For further information on The Living Centre please ring: 0117 32 82334

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