Student Support Team Profile

Meet Melissa, Student Support Team Leader

We talked to Melissa about her role in the student support team, what she enjoys doing and how she keeps mentally fit and healthy.

Tell us about your job role and how you became part of the Student Support Team?

My role involves coordinating everything that comes into our Student Support Team. I am often the first point of contact for staff and students needing support and I make sure students get to see the right person quickly, so everyone gets the help they need.

I have over 20 years’ experience in higher education, which started in marketing working on a 9-month project at De Montfort University that turned into ten years. I then moved to Leicester University in an admin role which included supporting students that needed mitigation for a further 10 years. This support part of my job grew to providing advice and signposting for students with enduring mental health issues.

In January 2022 I packed up my car, just my dog and me, and moved from Leicester to Cornwall and started this job. It was a big change leaving everything behind (especially close friends), but I really enjoy what I do here and have always wanted to live in Cornwall. It’s my happy place!

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I love being outdoors, especially walking my rescue dog Danny. I particularly like walking sections of the South West Coast Path. I also enjoy yoga and Pilates which helps keep me mobile after all the walking, driving and sitting at work.

How do you keep mentally fit and healthy?

Along with being outdoors and exercise, being around people is vital for me. Having a routine with basic self-care like eating well, sleeping enough, and staying hydrated helps too. I think learning what your body and mind respond well to and making time for those things is key.

Do you have any self-care tips?

Learn what helps you feel well and make time for yourself, you don’t always need to please others. Spend time offline and avoid comparing yourself to unrealistic images on social media. Spend time with real people and friends and get outside and walk if you’re feeling down. Nature is very restorative!

What would you like to say to any student thinking about seeking support or who may be worried about asking for help?

It’s okay to feel anxious about asking for help. Be kind to yourself and give yourself permission to ask for and accept help. Be open and honest so we can help you in every way we can. Talking often halves your problem straight away.

What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is seeing students succeed and graduate, especially those who have overcome major difficulties. One of the highlights of the year is Graduation Day, when you see happy students embarking on new adventures. It’s incredibly fulfilling to know I’ve played even a small part in their growth and accomplishments through the support services we provide.

How to contact the student support team?

You can request a drop-in appointment at the Compass Helpdesk. Email the team at, complete the drop-in form, use the compass web chat or call us on 01326 370 460.

For further information including wellbeing resources visit our wellbeing pages.