STUDENTS have been relieving their exam stress thanks to pygmy goats and alpacas after Peter Symonds College held a health and wellbeing fair.

A wide range of organisations exhibited inside the Mercers’ Sports Hall, offering information and advice on a variety of topics. As well as access to healthy freebies and awareness stands, students could sign up to be a bone marrow donor, indulge in some beauty treatments, stroke a therapy dog, play ping pong and do a bit of rowing.

Outside a visiting farm allowed students to de-stress through petting pygmy goats and alpacas, grooming ponies and handling tortoises, guinea pigs and rabbits. A basketball bungee run and bouncy castle provided more active options for burning off any nervous energy.

Ruth Kirkby, representing Tesco’s Race for Life scheme, said: “This event has been a real pleasure. Students have been so upbeat and engaging and it’s been great to see that people getting together to do something positive has rung a bell.”

Exhibitors throughout the venue commented on an impressive level of attendance and a high level of student engagement with the issues being discussed. Winchester Marrow, the Winchester University group signing up students to the Anthony Nolan bone marrow donation register had their best ever recruitment, signing up a massive 92 students to the bone marrow register (compared with 50 the last time they visited college).”

Liz Crouch, head of student services, said: “The event went really well and the spectrum of services and information on offer ensured there was something of interest or use for everyone. This can be a stressful period for students coming up and we wanted to equip them with the tools and information to take care of themselves.

“At Peter Symonds we believe that supporting students in their personal lives is crucial to enabling them to achieve academically, and events like this are a great way to provide that support.”