Did you know the first animal-free cookery book, Kitchen Philosophy for Vegetarians, was published in England in 1849 by William Horsell of London and the first cookery book to use the new word ‘vegan’ in its title was Fay K. Henderson’s Vegan Recipes pub?



For many people the start of the new year means setting resolutions and goals for the next 12 months, whether that is to read more books, drink more water or take up a new hobby. Since 2014, however, many have been taking on a different challenge, Veganuary.

Veganuary is a month-long challenge during which participants give up animal products for 31 days. No milk, no cheese, no eggs, no meat, no chocolate. Sounds like no fun, right? Wrong. Since it was launched eight years ago Veganuary has only grown in popularity; 400,000 people took the pledge in 2020, this increased to a whopping 582,000 in 2021.

In 2019, the Vegan Society estimated that 600,000 adults, or just over 1% of the population, were vegan and market research group Kantar said last year that 1.9% of households include at least one vegan.

So, what is the difference between vegan and plant-based?

 The term plant-based is often included in the same conversations as veganism, but the two aren’t to be conflated. Both terms mean different things to different people, but the consensus is that being plant-based is solely about diet whereas veganism is about ethics.

For a plant-based individual the percentage of plant-based meals you eat can vary, you can be 100% plant based or mostly plant-based. Whereas with veganism you are either in or you’re out, you can’t be 20% vegan. There are also some issues that vegans can have differing opinions on such as pet ownership, zoos/aquaria, eating figs, honey, wearing wool/leather/silk (even if second-hand), medical treatments etc. Confusingly many vegans actually chose to use to refer to themselves as plant-based to separate themselves from controversial or preachy vegan figures.



Is it hard to be vegan?

 Veganism, like any new habit, can take a while to get used to and slip-ups can happen. But the important thing is not to put any unnecessary pressure on yourself and put your health at the forefront. If the vegan/plant-based diet doesn’t agree with your body or it starts to encourage dangerous restrictive eating patterns, it is okay to stop.

With that being said, vegan food is so readily available in the UK and in Bristol in particular, that you don’t need to miss out on your favourite meals, snacks or recipes.

Did you know that the University of Bristol has been ranked #2 by Veganuary as one of the most vegan-friendly universities?

Where do you get your protein?

This question is perhaps the most likely to elicit an eye-roll from anyone who does not eat meat, it is up there with “would you eat an animal if you were stranded on a desert island?”.

Nobody has denied that products such as eggs, beef, chicken, offal have high levels of protein, it just seems that people have not been taught that beans and vegetables also have high levels of protein. Some of the largest and strongest animals on earth are herbivores, just look at rhinos, gorillas, and elephants.

Each meat-eating individual eats over 10,000 animals (including fish) over the course of their lifetimes.

So, is veganism worth it?

Some say yes, some say no. It totally depends on the individual.

But if you are interested in taking part in Veganuary this year or in subsequent years, or just want to try new foods, our Source Cafes have a wide range of food offerings to cater to all tastes from salads and sandwiches to smoothies and pizza.

Happy 2022 & Welcome back!

Welcome back! We hope you had a refreshing and enjoyable break over the winter holidays. We’d also like to wish a very warm welcome to the new international students joining us this term – we’re delighted to welcome you to our University and amazing city, and hope you will enjoy your time here.

Keeping yourself safe

With increasing cases of Omicron COVID-19, we need to do all we can to keep ourselves and others safe. We encourage you to make sure your vaccinations are up to date as it’s the best way to keep yourself protected. Please also make sure you take a lateral flow test before returning to campus, and then continue to test twice a week, every week. You can access lateral flow tests via the NHS website and from Estates Assistant Lodges in University buildings. Don’t forget to record your results on the NHS website too.

You may have already heard that the UK Government has recently changed the rules around testing for COVID-19. Under the new rules, which take effect from next Tuesday 11 January, people without symptoms can start their isolation from the day of their positive lateral flow test and will not need a follow-up PCR to confirm.

The aim is to prevent prolonging isolation for people who may have been waiting for a confirmatory PCR result. You can read more about the isolation guidance on the government website.

Please remember to wear face coverings when inside all University buildings, including in teaching spaces, when walking around corridors, and if you have any in-person exams. Be aware that staff may remove their face covering when delivering teaching.

Assessment arrangements

For our returning students coming back to assessments, we wish you the very best of luck.  Please take a few minutes to read through our assessment support page and familiarise yourselves with relevant details about the exams and remember we have a range of study resources to help you. The SU has put some top tips together about looking after your wellbeing during assessments and you can also make use of our online wellbeing resources.

If you need medical support

We know that our hospitals are currently under a lot of pressure.
If you feel unwell and are not sure where you should go you could:

  • phone 111 for advice
  • visit your local pharmacy
  • make an appointment with your GP (local doctor).

If you have an injury and think you may need medical attention, but it doesn’t seem urgent, you might find going to a local Minor Injury Unit more helpful than going to the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department at the local hospital.

You should only phone 999 or attend the local A&E department in an emergency when you need urgent medical care that can’t wait.

For new international students, please visit our Students Health Service web pages for advice about registering with a GP (local doctor) and lots of useful information about looking after your health and where to go for help when you need it.

Things to do

If you are new to Bristol, there’s lots going on to help you settle in including Bristol Student Union’s  Refreshers events programme. Make sure you also visit the Welcome Lounge run by our friendly Global Lounge Team where you can meet other students as well as get advice and support to help you get started.  We also produce a regular newsletter for international students, so watch out for it in your University email account. You’ll find useful information to help you get used to the uni at our Student Services website.

If you’re planning a night out, it’s important to look out for one another as unfortunately, further incidences of spiking were reported before Christmas. Remember to follow the Bristol Rules to have fun and keep safe. Read the SU’s blog post about safety at night and find out what your elected officers are doing to support safer nights out.

We’d also like to remind you that you can now access your teaching timetable and loads of other useful information through the University of Bristol app. You can download it from the app stores, or update to the latest version if you have downloaded it previously.

Things to look forward to this term include:

  • Source cafés across campus offering tasty plant-based meals and snacks for ‘Veganuary’
  • Refreshers events programme  — 21 to 30 January
  • Time to Talk Day – 3 February. We’ll be planning some activity on starting conversations about positive mental health.
  • SU elections – nominations open between 1 to 23 February. Your chance to elect union officers, course and faculty representatives, network chairs and more.
  • 5K run at Coombe Dingle — 20 March
  • Climate Action Day — 29 April. Keep an eye on the SU website for further details.

We hope you have a happy and healthy spring term.

Wellbeing Dates for the Winter Break – Tis the Season to take care of YOU.

By Student Champion: Victoria Cornelio

The coming of the winter break is sadly not the end of term, and with assignments still left to do, it can be hard to forget to enjoy yourself during this time. However, Tis the Season to take your mind off university for a little bit, and I have the perfect “Wellbeing Dates for the Winter Break” to help you. All of these dates are great fun with friends, or for spending quality time with yourself!

Picnic in a Park  

Okay, I know it is freezing out there and the last thing you want is to leave your cozy blankets. However, a sunny day in wet-Bristol during the winter is such a beautiful thing, it would be great if you enjoyed it. This idea works both as a solo-date or with company. Just grab some snacks, drinks, a nice blanket to lie on the grass and a thick blanket to keep you warm and enjoy the sunset or stargazing. My personal favourite places are:

  • Brandon Hill: The slopes make it a perfect place to get a full view of the city below and a nice sunset at the horizon.
  • The Downs: although not great for sunsets always, benefit from the little light pollution in this side of town and enjoy a clear night sky and a vast space to set up a picnic and some nice music.
  • Clifton Suspension Bridge: My ultimate favorite because it has an amazing view of both the sunset and the night sky. The contrast of the stars with the bridge lit up is quite an experience!

Disclaimer: Make sure to dress accordingly to the cold and stay alert and safe as these places tend to be a bit more isolated.


Bristol’s transport links give you endless possibilities to spend a day away. Go to Bath and find some inspo of what to do here, from ice skating to going to various unique museums or catching a comedy or theatre show, there is sure to be something for you to enjoy. Another idea is taking a trip to Cardiff for the day, and exploring the many options the city holds. Look here to book some day trip options, or make your itinerary with activities of your choosing.

Fancy something else? Stay closer to the city and visit Thornbury instead. This little market town, better-known for its castle and parks, is a great getaway from the city and into a little magic town. You can also go to Weston SuperMare on a sunny day and enjoy a nice walk around the city and meal by the beach. Visit some of Weston’s unique museums and get in touch with the history of this coastal city.

Facemasks night (not those ones!)

As with all of these options, feel free to do them with friends or by yourself. I find there is a great feeling on doing your skincare routine with some wine, snacks and then cozy up to binge watch a show or movie. On the other hand, having a social night with friends, and doing your skincare together paired with some old school karaoke – that was my 20th birthday party in a nutshell actually – is also a very fun experience. So whichever idea you vibe most with, head over to Boots, Superdrug, the Body Shop, Lush or get your products online, get snacks and drinks and take the night for some selfcare.

*Disclaimer: make sure to drink responsibly, have a meal before, or switch out wine for your drink of preference (Facemasks and Tea also has a good ring to it) Also, beware that skin types vary and some procedures/products may be harmful to some. *

Personally, this is how my Facemask nights go if it’s of any help:

  1. Start with pouring something nice to drink and using a makeup remover / micellar water to prep your skin.
  2. Then, wash your face with a scrub soap to get all the dirt out of your pores, and rinse with warm water.
  3. Pat-dry your face and apply the first facemask – I like a cleansing mask at this point, to take advantage of your stimulated pores and get all remaining impurities out of the way.
  4. After the time of the mask has passed, most of the time 10 to 15 minutes, wash of the mask with warm water and move on to a nose strip.
  5. Make sure you’ve topped your glass off here and remove your nose strip carefully as to avoid any hurting yourself.
  6. Next, wash your face with soap (any is fine, but if you have one for your face specifically that’s great) or apply toner to liberate your skin from any residual products.
  7. Lastly, put on your night cream or moisturizer (pro-tip water based if you have oily skin), and put on some lip balm or lip moisturizer, and you’re all set to carry on with binge watching or karaoke.

Explore Bristol!

The most obvious in this little guide, but something I recommend strongly, get out of your comfort zone (literally), and explore Bristol. There are many things happening around the city that you might be unaware will be your new favourite pass time.

  1. Walk around Gloucester Road: We all know what it is, but how many of us have actually gone and explored the extents of this street. Best of Bristol have compiled a list of 129 things to do on Gloucester Road, so even if you have been already, you are sure to find something new to try in this compilation.
  2. Have you been to Bedminster? The BS3 postcode is better known for its busy North Street and Windmill Hill City Farm which has Free entrance for everyone. Find other things to do here.
  3. Take the walk to Ashton: Right Now, until the 24th, run over to Ashton Estate and enjoy the beautiful Light Up Bristol Make It a whole day thing, and go play Golf, FootGolf or DiscGolf at Ashton Court for a nice day out around Ashton. Also, make sure to check the activities calendar at Ashton Stadium and maybe catch a game or show.
  4. Enjoy by the Harbourside: Although a great place for drinks and parties, the harbour harbors (I had to make the pun, sorry), some of the best attractions in Bristol. Check out the We the Curious Museum, the M Shed, Bristol Aquarium, and of course, 2018 worst rated spoons in Bristol, the V-Shed.
  5. Step into the past at Avon Valley Railway: This little area feels like an original local country station, perfect for instagrammable pics and enjoying a day out in a restored Victorian old town.

And yeah, I hope you do take my word for it and enjoy some time out and about, making the most of your break. I know with assessments and assignments coming in January, it’s hard to fully let your guard down, but remember to take time off because Tis the Season to take care of you!

Enjoy your Winter Break with these Wellbeing Dates, or any way that helps you disconnect and relax. It is important to stay on top of your mental health and wellbeing first and foremost.

Wellbeing resources

There are lots of resources available to you if you need help over the holidays. Our Winter wellness page has lots of useful information or you can check out the support in the holidays page if you are looking for more advice and University opening times during the break.

‘Tis the Season… To look after your wellbeing

It’s important to remember that whilst the holidays can be exciting – with the gifts, delicious food and rushing around to see people – it can also be super stressful!

Also, not everyone celebrates in the same way and what you enjoy doing could be completely different to someone else.

So, as we wrap up this year’s festive campaign, we’re focusing on some things you can do to help manage your mental and physical wellbeing over the next few weeks. Later in the week, we will also share some posts from our Student Champions with some more helpful tips and advice.

Know where to go for help

There are lots of resources available to you if you need help over the holidays. Our Winter wellness page has lots of useful information or you can check out the support in the holidays page if you are looking for more advice and University opening times during the break.

Getting ready for January

If you want to get ahead on some studying whilst you have some free time, some library services are available over the break.

Thinking about what’s next?

The Bristol PLUS Award gives you a great structure to reflect on the new experiences you have alongside your studies.

‘The Bristol Plus Award has pushed me to engage in so many activities within the university and outside that I wouldn’t have even thought about’ – Kemi Talabi, Maths and Philosophy, 2020-21 PLUS Achiever. 

‘When I look ten months back I see a lot of difference in myself as compared to then. I have learned so many new skills, gained knowledge and experience which will definitely help me in my career and life’ – Dr Maryam Sultana, Public Health, 2021-21 PLUS Achiever

Keeping Active with Sport, Exercise and Health

The opening hours for all University Sport facilities will change over the winter holiday. Details of opening hours for each of our facilities can be found on our website. They also have a winter offer running, the Winter Warmer sports pass will give you unlimited, anytime access to the gym, swimming pool and fitness classes. A two-week pass costs £20 and is available to purchase from 11 December.

They have also written a blog on 5 ways to stay motivated during the colder months.

And, for those so inclined,  registration is now open for the University of Bristol Run Series 2022. Beat the crowds and sign up (for free) ahead of the new year so you can kick-start your training over the festive period with friends, family or flatmates.

Keeping Busy

Getting involved with activities outside of your course can be a great way to expand your networks, try something new, and boost your wellbeing. Check out myopportunities for loads of ideas of events you can get involved with.

The Students Union also has a list of some events going on in Bristol over the holidays.

And our friends the Global Louge have written a blog on some of the tastiest places to eat global in Bristol

Finally, a personal favourite of ours. Grab a book or podcast, find yourself a comfortable chair, (preferably away from the craziness) a glass of something nice and a mince pie or two (if you have room) and spend an hour by yourself, to chill out and recharge.

Happy Holidays!

Dan, Olivia, Roz, Tye and Laura

Current Students Team


‘Tis the Season to… Give back to your community

December in the UK is traditionally a time for extravagance – shopping for presents, spending money on outfits, eating and drinking out more than usual.  While this sort of indulgence is fun if you can afford it, the last eighteen months have taught us that there are big differences in people’s spending power, across the country, and even across our city, whether that’s the spaces we live in, what we can afford to eat, or the resources we have available to us.

Lockdown taught us how we can get by without all the little luxuries we like to treat ourselves to.  Yes, we do want to see toilet roll available on the supermarket shelves, but if we can’t get hold of our favourite ice cream, is that really the end of the world?

It also gave us the chance to reflect on how precious the contact we have with our friends and family is.  Taking time to engage with people can make you feel good, whether that’s just saying hello to the person at the checkout, smiling at a stranger, or remembering to send a text to a friend who is having a hard time.  There is even a study by researchers at Ohio State University which suggests that giving can be beneficial to your health!

So, if you would like to reach out to others, and feel good about making a difference to someone in need, here are three easy ways you can do something positive this December:

1. Donate to the food collection box in Senate House cafe

From now until Monday 20 December you can make a donation to the food box in Senate House café which will be collected by the Trussell Trust and distributed to those in need.  They would particularly like donations of soap, shampoo, shower gel, biscuits, chocolates, crisps, noodles, jam, sauces and fruit cordial.


2. Take part in community outreach sessions

The Careers Service runs community outreach sessions which not only provide opportunities to connect with members of your community, but also to learn new skills, discover your strengths, and have fun!  The sessions can also count towards the Bristol PLUS Award.

3. Fill a shoebox with goodies and help Bristol’s homeless

RAG have partnered with Help Bristol’s Homeless to collect shoeboxes filled with useful items which will be given to a homeless person.  Ideally you will make your box even more of a treat to open by wrapping it in giftwrap, and the preferred contents would include:

  • Warm hats, scarves, gloves
  • Toiletries, sanitary products
  • Supermarket or Greggs vouchers
  • Sweets, chocolates, snacks
  • Handwarmers and lighters

Boxes can be dropped off to RAG until 15 December – collection point will be posted on the RAG webpage.

Hopefully you will enjoy participating in any of these initiatives, but don’t forget there are opportunities to get involved with projects that make a positive impact in Bristol all year round through the Volunteering & Fundraising Network.

Give it a go and enjoy the benefits to your wellbeing and self-confidence!

A quick guide to student health services

Many of our international students may not be familiar with how the UK health system works and so here is a very simple guide to help.  A list of some local services for Bristol and Bath is included at the end of this post. 

A lot of our health services are provided by the National Health Service (NHS). 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many services have been disrupted, so in non-life-threatening situations, you will not be seen immediately, and services may be limited. 

Details of services available to Bristol and Bath students can be found at the end of this post.  

Accidents and Emergencies – available 24 hours a day. Call 999 

If you have a serious accident or need urgent medical care for a life-threatening condition, you should call 999 from your phone and ask for an ambulance. Or it is safe to do so, you can go to your nearest hospital Accident and Emergency room (often referred to as A&E). You will be seen by a receptionist when you arrive and then you will be assessed by medical staff before you are seen for further treatment/investigation. 

You should expect to wait to be seen – average times vary but can be up to 4 hours, depending on the seriousness of your situation.  

Not sure if you should visit A&E or would like some advice? Call 111 or visit 

The NHS 111 service is available 24 hours a day. When you call, you will be asked several questions about yourself and your condition and you will be told what to do next, which could be to see a doctor, go to A&E or they may make you an appointment at an urgent treatment centre/minor injury unit. They may also advise you to see a pharmacist to get some medication. 

Urgent treatment centre/minor injury unit 

These are separate from A&E and you can go to an urgent treatment centre if you need urgent medical attention, but it’s not a life-threatening situation. These services are open at least 12 hours a day, every day – details below.  

Doctors – by appointment only 

In the UK, medical doctors working in the community are referred to as General Practitioners or GPs. They are often the first point of contact when we feel unwell and work out of GP Surgeries or GP Practices. 

You cannot go to a GP surgery/practice without first registering and then making an appointment. 

How you make an appointment will depend on the surgery. Some will offer an online system, others will need you to call them directly – you may be kept on hold, while you wait to speak to someone.  

When it’s your turn, you will speak with the receptionist first and you should be prepared to explain why you need to see a doctor – this helps them decide which service you require. Sometimes you may be offered a telephone appointment, where the doctor will call you or you may be offered an in-person appointment at the surgery with a doctor or nurse.  

Depending on how serious your condition is, you may have to wait to see a doctor, it could be up to two weeks. 

Student Health Service 

If you live in the practice area you will be able to register with the Student Health Service, which offers a full GP surgery to university students and their families.  

If your condition changes or gets worse, whilst you are waiting to see the doctor, you can call 111 for advice or 999 if life-threatening. 

If you no longer need to see the doctor, please cancel your appointment. 


If your doctor decides you need medication, you’ll need to collect it at a pharmacy. Your doctor will write a prescription which they can give to you or can send directly to your nominated pharmacy (you may have nominated one when you first registered at the surgery)  

If you are feeling unwell or have a simple problem – a cough, common cold, flu-like symptoms, mild eye or ear infection. –  you can go directly to the pharmacy and ask for their advice as they can offer a variety of medicines without a prescription.  

In the UK most people have to pay for their medicine/prescriptions, however, you can check to see if you are entitled to free prescriptions here.  

If you think you have a more serious condition, you can call 111, arrange to see your doctor, or if severe, go to A&E. You should not put off seeking help if you are unwell. 

For further information on health services for international students, please visit: 

For further info on general student health services, please visit: – 



Student Health Service 

Hampton House, St Michael’s Hill, Bristol BS6 6AU. 

Accident and Emergency 

  • Bristol Royal Infirmary – Marlborough Street, Bristol BS2 8HW 
  • Southmead Hospital – Southmead Road, Westbury-on-Trym , Bristol, Avon, BS10 5NB 

Urgent medical care centres 

  • Bristol Urgent Treatment Centre, Hengrove Promenade BS14 0DE 
  • Yate Minor Injury Unit, 21 West Walk Yate BS374AX 
  • Clevedon Minor Injury Unit, Old Street Clevedon BS21 6BS 


Accident and Emergency  

Royal United Hospitals, Bath, Combe Park, Bath, Avon, BA1 3NG 

The minor injury unit is also next to the A&E Department.  

To find a GP – if you cannot register with the Student Health Service 

To find a dentist 

Comfort Food – Competition Three

Thank you, once again, to everyone who shared their stories with us this week.  You sent us some  delicious-looking recipes, and even though we haven’t had time to try them all out yet, we have been really inspired by the mouthwatering pictures and descriptions.

Some of you will have seen our polls about Comfort Food on Instagram and Facebook and you probably won’t be surprised to hear that “Food from home” was a clear favourite. It tells us that we don’t need to be master chefs to create a meal that makes us feel warm inside. It’s more about being in a nice environment and sharing something familiar with people we care about, and we really hope everyone finds the opportunity to do that sometimes. We are very lucky in Bristol to have access to ingredients from around the world, whether in international supermarkets, the street food stalls in St Nick’s market, or one of the many restaurants found across the city. So, if you want to recreate flavours from home, or get adventurous with new ones, we are sure you will be able to find what you are looking for.

What did surprise us was that twice as many of you voted for savoury food as for sweet.  And what’s even more crazy is that we have chosen a sweet recipe as this week’s winner.  Why would we do such a thing?  It’s not even an actual meal!  Well, we loved the descriptions, the fact that absolutely anyone can try this out for themselves, and the clear passion behind the preparation of this hug in a mug.   Congratulations to Dana for this entry:

Hot Cocoa!

What better to warm a heart and some cold feet than hot chocolate on a winter day?? One of the main ingredients of chocolate as we all know is something that makes one’s mood brighter and happier aka, serotonin. It’s basically a fact that this is the best thing to have during winter.

I used to always buy this delicious hot chocolate powder from the supermarket until they unfortunately stopped selling it here. That was when I decided to take matters into my own hands and make my own hot chocolate at home.

It’s a simple recipe; The first step is to get your choice of milk chocolate! Mine is The Swiss classic Lindt or Ritter Sport milk chocolate. Then, get a mug and fill it up mostly with milk and a little bit of cream (a quarter of the mug should be cream). Heat the mixture and when it is warm enough, put pieces of your chocolate in the milk and stir, after that add a pinch of salt to enhance the flavour and a splash of vanilla extract.

At the end, don’t forget to top off your warm drink with whipped cream and sprinkles or mini marshmallows! Enjoy a delicious homemade hot cocoa


Another contender for the title was Zuri’s Tortilla de patata.  This one will take a little more time to make, but it will provide you with “ultimate comfort” (and you do get to flip your tortilla like a pancake).  Please give it a try, and let us know how you get on!

My name is Zuriñe and my favourite comfort food is tortilla de patata! Though a simple Spanish recepie this recipe is a reminder of my family, my culture and overall my safe space. Yet, it is one of those carb filled, warm indulgent treats you can’t resist. Making it the ultimate comfort.

 The recipe is as follows:

  • 1) Peel and dice an onion.
  • 2) Heat a pan and add some olive oil and add the onions and some salt.
  • 3) while the onions sweat peel the potatoes, cut into quarter lengthwise, preferably into little pyramids!! And place them in the pan.
  • 5) Add in your cooking oil under all the potatoes are covered (it will take a lot but trust the process)
  • 6) turn the heat down, cover and let cook. This will take 25/30min for the potatoes to soften, but check regularly!
  • 7) Once the potatoes are cooked, measure out approximately 4 to 4 1/2 cups into a large bowl.

 Making the Tortilla!!

  • 1) Whisk the eggs and pour over the potatoes, fold together.
  • 2) Heat a non-stick fry pan over medium heat and add the oil. Once the pan is hot, add the potato and eggs.
  • 3) once the sides of the tortilla start to cook, give the pan a shake to prevent sticking!
  • 4) For the fun part! As soon as the edges of the tortilla start to brown, flip the tortilla over using a large, flat plate (Be very careful!!)
  • 5) Place the frying pan back onto the stove and drizzle with a bit more oil. Slide the tortilla, uncooked side down, back into the pan and tuck the sides underneath.
  • 6) Cook on medium heat for another 3 to 5 minutes. Use a large plate to flip the tortilla out of the pan. Allow the tortilla to sit for at least 15 minutes before serving

 Que aproveche!!💃🏼

Finally, another reminder of home, Yasmin’s vegetarian sausage casserole.  Easy and delicious – what more do you need?!

My favourite winter recipe is vegetarian sausage casserole, as it reminds me of a similar dish my mum used to make back at home. It’s good in the colder months as it warms you up, and it’s also very healthy, easy to make, and delicious.

This recipe makes about 3 or 4 portions (you can freeze some or share with flatmates)

Prepare: 1 chopped onion1 sliced courgette1 sliced pepper, and 6 chopped vegetarian sausages, (any veg that needs using up can also be added).

Fry them all in a big pan with oil until they are all cooked through.  Then add a tin of chopped tomatoes and stir in and let it simmer for a while.

Serve with a piece of bread and enjoy!


Competition Four – Staying Active

Next week will be our fourth and final competition for 2021.

At this time of year it can be harder to stay motivated and we are really interested to hear what’s keeping you going.  Maybe you’ve met new friends and tried new activities through B:Active?  Or perhaps you got involved with a Student Group?

Let us know what you are getting up to, and once again there will be the chance to win a £25 voucher.

Email your story, with images if possible please, to

The deadline is 11am on Friday 19 November.

Celebrate your Pet – Competition Two

We have a winner!

Thank you so much to everyone who shared pictures and stories of their fabulous pets. We genuinely fell in love with all of them… however there is one particular animal who really needs to be recognised, not just by us, but by the whole of Bristol.

Actually, forget that, by the whole country.

In fact, she should be a global celebrity!

I am talking about Twix the cat.

Now, you may be thinking, I don’t see it.  What makes Twix so special?  At first, we had the impression that this feline is more interested in what is going into her stomach than what is going on around her.  (Sounds like me working from home…)  But please read her story to find out what it was that eventually impressed us so much.

“My cat saved my life. Perhaps that sounds a bit extreme, but it is technically true. A few years ago, in a county far far away, my family were resting after a long day. Our slightly over fed cat, Twix, came bounding into the living room from the kitchen far more animated than she usually is, meowing at a pitch previously reserved only for dinner time. She seemed insistent that we needed to come with her at once, or something terrible would happen. Normally we interpret this ‘terrible event’ as a lack of dreamies, but after she returned to the kitchen and came back a few times, only increasing in volume after each trip, we decided to indulge her and give her a bit of food. My mum and I followed her into the kitchen, but instantly smelled something. Somehow, our washing machine had caught fire and was filling the house with smoke. Twix continued to meow as we called the fire brigade, who managed to prevent the fire from spreading past the kitchen, but it was a close one, too much longer without Twix telling us and we may have been trapped!” 

Oli.N., School of Mathematics

Another of our favourites is Bella, who shows just how sensitive and super intelligent animals can be – even though she is a lager drinker!

“This is Bella. Bella is a springer spaniel, and she came into my life when she was 6, she’s now 8. I have an anxiety disorder and get panic attacks quite often, when I do, she knows and lies on my chest to calm me down, she really helps me regulate my emotions. It’s hard not to have her here with me, but we facetime every day. She loves the beach, especially chasing seagulls, and she’s the only dog I know that begs for lager or has no concept of “fetch”.”

Jess G., School of Veterinary Sciences


And we just have to give a shout out to Skittle, Pye, Cleo, Twiglet, Sparkey and Ali. Yes, you read that right.  Six cats in this household!

“These are my beautiful cats! I want to celebrate them because pictures of them help get me through tough days (or a video call!). They bring me such joy and I hope these pictures will for others too! They’ve all got their own personalities and can be such menaces but that means no day is ever boring! One of them will only cuddle me on the toilet (weirdo I know) but I’ve actually trained him to give ‘paw’ like a dog (Skittle). The two cats in hats are always in places they shouldn’t be creating mischief (Pye and Cleo), the little screaming one is always terrorising his big brother (Twiglet), and the the sleepy one Sparkey) and big eyed one (Ali) are my cuddly babies (I live for kitty cuddles). So if you’re missing your pets like me I’d advise either video calls, joining the cat or dog society at Bristol or there’s cat cafés around to get your floof fix!”

Fiona R., Global Wildlife Health and Conservation

Finally, here is a picture of all the pets that are giving you the feel good factor! 😊

Remember, if you are missing cuddles with a pet (or even a human), or just want someone to talk to, you can contact Wellbeing Services and you will be connected to the right support or service.  And if you missed our Transition to university competition blog then check it out for lots of events and resources on keeping well with the change of season.

Competition three – Comfort food recipes

Next week we are asking you to share your favourite comfort food recipes.  For many people this time of year means they are looking for something warming and filling.  But it could be a meal that reminds you of a special person, or brings back memories of a happy place.

Send your pics and stories to and you could win a £25 voucher!

The deadline is 11 am on Friday 12 November.

Daylight saving time – competition one

What will you be doing with your extra hour?

For our first blog competition, we asked you what you will be doing with your extra time in the morning when the clocks go back. Many of you responded by saying that you will be using your extra hour to do an early morning workout and others said they will be catching up on reading… but by far the most popular answer was SLEEPING!

Pressing snooze on an alarm clock
Pressing snooze on an alarm clock

Good sleeping habits are essential for your physical health and mental wellbeing. If you’re experiencing difficulties with your sleep, why not try out the Insight Timer app, which can help you with your sleep, anxiety and stress.

This week’s winning answer

Our winning answer this week comes from one of our undergraduate students:

“The plan for day light saving time is to continue studying the unclear point ! I’ve been thinking that there is not enough time for me to get all the topics done. I sometimes think that if I was fluent in English then some topics could be easier to understand, at the same time I definitely need to put effort into studying in my major and English too ! Even though I am hectic with study, I sometimes need spare time to do my favorite thing which is to go for walk and gym! Therefore, I will end up obtaining good knowledge from University and healthy lifestyle.”

Their answer highlights some of the challenges that University life can bring. Establishing a balance between studying, socialising, exercising and relaxing can be tricky – particularly during the winter months when there are fewer daylight hours. If you’re struggling to find the right balance, we have pulled together a list of different events and resources to help you, including tips to manage homesickness and details of how to request wellbeing support.

If you’re looking to practice your language skills in a fun and friendly environment, make sure you check out our Global Lounge Language Café. Whether you’re a complete beginner or an advanced learner – everyone is welcome. Join in every Wednesday, either in person or virtually – see the event listings page for more information.

Skyline viewed from the top of Senate House in autumn: Wills Memorial Building.

Competition two – your pet stories

For our next competition, we are asking you for your pet stories! Celebrate your pet, or even just an animal you know that deserves to be recognised! Send us an image of your pet and 100 words about them – for your chance to win a £25 voucher.

Email us your answer by 11am on Friday 5 November, and we will post the top three stories on our blog later that day. The overall winner will receive a £25 voucher.

Send your answers to