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Student Wellbeing


It is often said that doing good is one of the best ways to feel good. People who care more about others are in general happier than those who care less about others.  When people do good, their brain becomes active in the same reward centre as where they experience other rewards. (S. Lyubomirsky, The How of Happiness, 2007.)

Being a part of a community can provide a real boost to your mental health, and numerous studies have shown that people who take an active interest in helping others are much more likely to feel happier themselves.

You obviously have a ready-made community in your College and, in a broader sense, the University and there will be ways you can make a real difference to these environments. However, you might also consider helping out at a local charity or community group by undertaking some voluntary work.  Volunteering helps not only the body and soul but may also allow you to develop skills and gain valuable experience to advance your career prospects.


Cambridge Student Community Action has been working with students around Cambridge for more than 40 years.  They can offer volunteering opportunities with their own projects or provide links to other opportunities.  They are based in Pembroke Street in the centre of Cambridge and you can email or phone them or pop in to the office during opening hours.  You can find out more about them at

The University of Cambridge Museums also offers volunteering opportunities for one-off events such as the summer at the Museums programme, or for longer periods and you can see these at 

Cambridge Council also runs a yearly volunteering week in June and a volunteering fair in October 

Other sites worth visiting:  


Small acts of kindness

If you have a full schedule then understandably finding time to devote to regular voluntary work may be difficult. However, you can make a big difference to other people on a much smaller scale. Studies have shown that even committing a single selfless act of kindness a week can help to significantly increase personal wellbeing.

Small acts of kindness might include:

  • Giving up your seat on the bus
  • Holding a door open for someone
  • Giving a (sincere) compliment
  • Making someone laugh
  • Giving someone a hug
  • Taking time to really listen to someone
  • Giving directions to someone who's lost
  • Having a conversation with a stranger
  • Picking up litter as you walk
  • Passing on a book you've enjoyed
  • Giving blood
  • Getting back in contact with someone you've lost touch with