Evaluation of the partnership between Samaritans and Anglia Ruskin University

Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) have formed a partnership with Samaritans to pilot campus hubs in Cambridge and Chelmsford. Samaritans are also offering a virtual placement to students on certain courses. This evaluation is a mixed-methods, multi-stakeholder, evaluation of the partnership.

A student holding up a Samaritans poster

This study was conducted in two phases, using online surveys and semi-structured interviews.

Stakeholder groups who were approached to participate included:

  • ARU students who had completed a one-week virtual placement
  • ARU lecturers and management staff
  • Samaritans staff
  • ARU students and staff who completed the seven-week Samaritans volunteer training course.

The objectives of the study were as follows:

  1. To identify the views of students from Mental Health Nursing, Paramedic Science, Health and Social Care, and Children’s Nursing in relation to the value of a one-week virtual placement with Samaritans, and how this could be improved.
  2. To identify the views of ARU lecturing and management staff around the value of Samaritans one-week virtual placement as a clinical placement.
  3. To examine the impact of undertaking volunteer training on individuals.
  4. To examine the extent to which the volunteer training and placements help to raise awareness of Samaritans' service.
  5. To identify the views of Samaritans staff in relation to their partnership with ARU.

20 June 2023

We will be presenting findings from the evaluation at the International Mental Health Nursing Research Conference in September 2023 at St Catherine's College, Oxford, and online.

Project team