Tag: ENU

Meet your DI Student Ambassadors 2022/2023

Say hello to this year’s cohort of Disability Inclusion Student Ambassadors:

Beth Karp

Image of Beth,  a white woman, with shirt brown hair.

My name Beth, having studied for my Masters at Napier, I continued on to undertake my own research in music for my PhD. Alongside this, I am a mother of four, a musician, a songwriter and a producer. I have a variety of long-term health conditions which don’t function in a set manner -sometimes I am tickety-boo and others not so much. I have what is known as ‘invisible disabilities’ and some learning difficulties, or what I would
term learning enhancements. Having engaged with higher education as a hybrid student working remotely in the past and now an in-person student I have an awareness of some of the things both methods can offer – both positive and negative.
I have experience with PTSD, mental health, invisible disabilities, long-term health conditions such as Rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s and other IBD issues along with other obscure really hidden conditions and more. I also have in the past worked with and campaigned for those with Type 1, ME, MS and those suffering the effects of trauma. All of these experiences and insights help me to understand and see what others do not potentially see. With my varied experience, both personally and through friends and family, I am passionate about raising awareness, for inclusive spaces, improving experiences and helping to make the invisible visible! I am looking forward to working as an ambassador for DI at Napier and hope that I can help improve experiences and aid positive change to get the most out of your time at Napier.

Victoria Brown

Graduation picture of Victoria, a white women with blonde hair

Hello! My name is Victoria, I am currently studying for my Postgraduate Diploma in Education for Biology and Sciences. I am a returning student to Edinburgh Napier following graduation from my undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences in 2015. I have a wonderful son with ASD and this has sparked a personal mission for me to raise awareness of disability recognition and inclusion. Within the role of Disability and Inclusion Ambassador, I am excited to help highlight the daily challenges faced by students with disabilities at Edinburgh Napier University and work to create a better learning environment for all thus, allowing all students to reach their fullest potential.  

Siobhan Smith

Graduation picture of Siobhan, a white woman with red hair and glasses.

Hi! My name is Siobhan, and this is my second year of being a Disabled Student Ambassador. I completed my undergraduate degree, in biomedical science, at Napier and am now in my final year of MSc Nursing.

I am passionate about ensuring there are no barriers for anyone wishing to access higher education. I pledge to do everything I can to aid in reducing and eliminating any barriers which prevent disabled people from easily accessing education at Edinburgh Napier University.

It has been a great privilege to work alongside the team and to see their care and commitment to making improvements. I look forward to the coming year, please keep an eye out for what we will be getting up to and do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any concerns or suggestions!

David Richards

Image of David Richards, a white man with a beard, standing outside with a camera around their neck.

Hello, I am David Richards! I am a 3rd year in Digital Media and Interaction Design. This is my 3rd year as a Disabled Inclusion Ambassador. I am good at making people feel included and just enjoy talking to people, especially in a role like this. What I am looking forward to most in this position is working in a team and collaborating on different projects and opportunities that I wouldn’t have had access to otherwise.

Nasima Karim

A full body image of Nasima, a woman with dark blonde hair. Standing in a mountain range

It feels such an honour to be a Student Ambassador for Disability and Inclusion at Edinburgh Napier University. My name is Nasima Karim, and I am here to study MSc in International Human Resource Management. I am really excited to be in Edinburgh and very happy to see enthusiastic people around Edinburgh city and at our university too. Everybody these days knows about Disability and Inclusion but we need to be kind to people around us including Disable people, The conscious act of kindness can really make a difference in making our University an inclusive and acceptable environment for everyone who is part of it, I think that by accepting people with diverse background and abilities we are already a pluralistic university, we can encourage all students to study in a setting where they will ultimately have the chance to grow personally and professionally. I am eager to work with all students, including those with disabilities.

If you are interested in any of the work of the Student Ambassadors or have any questions for them please send them to Heather Armstrong, Disabled Student Engagement Worker, at h.armstrong@napier.ac.uk.

Headshot of Heather, a white woman with highlighted blonde hair and glasses.
Staff Photos March 2022. Sighthill Campus

Heather works within the Disability Inclusion team at Edinburgh Napier, speaking to disabled students about their experiences so we can make the university a more inclusive place.

She leads the Disability Inclusion Student Ambassador team.

Blue Monday: January is the Monday of the months.


Disability Inclusion Student Ambassador Siobhan Smith writes about Blue Monday and provides some tips about how to manage your Mental Health when things get tough. 

“January is the Monday of the months”. Have you heard this before? The societal idea that: A) Monday’s are inherently bad and B) The entirety of January is much the same. Now, of course I am aware that part of this statement is meant in jest however, we cannot deny that we feel an element of the ability to relate to it and each time we do, it holds more truth. I have been asked to write this blog in relation to a specific day (the 3rd Monday in January to be precise) that has been named as ‘Blue Monday’ – with the definition of being the saddest day of the year. This seems to be doing its rounds with much less implementation of relatable humour and instead more of a serious tone. So, before I go on and complete the task I was actually asked to do (sharing ways to self-manage mental wellbeing), first I want to tackle some myths and share some facts.

‘Blue Monday’ was started by a travel company, with the claim that it was evidence-based from a calculation which involved peoples’ low moods due to post-Christmas debt, failed New Year’s resolutions and the weather. The company’s aim was to use this to promote the sales of holidays, selling them as a way to boost the public’s morale. Although many of us can relate to the drop in mood due to these potential triggers, the so-called ‘calculation’ has been disproved.

Why is this important to share? Everyone has mental health, just as we all have physical health. We all experience fluctuations in both, we have good days and bad days. PR stunts such as this one, create a potential trigger in the creation of a bad day that may have otherwise simply have been… a day. No one can tell you what you should feel, or when you should feel it. There is a lot of pressure on us to be happy on our birthdays, to cry at funerals, to be sad on certain anniversaries and be joyful in the face of good news. Sometimes this just isn’t how it is to be, and that is absolutely okay. We, as a society, question ourselves so much. We doubt ourselves and our feelings, we feel invalidated by external inputs and often our emotions are shaped by these pressures.

For some, getting back to ‘normal’ life after the holidays is a boost for their mental health. For others, yes it can be a harder time – for the reasons in the false calculation that birthed the name of the day, and for many others. So, if this is popping up for you and you are feeling fine, good, great, elated, inspired etc… please do not feel any pressure from this named day to question that.

We should be thinking about mental health the whole year through, our own and that of those around us. So whilst days like this, where social media gives us more of a platform to share (and be listened to) about ways to improve our mental well-being, we also have a responsibility to carry on the lessons every day after.

Here are, evidence-based ways, that we can improve our mood… every day of the year!

1. One of the most important things we can do for our mental health is to talk. This can take many forms; talking to a therapist, to a family member, to a friend but it can also be writing in a diary, writing songs, talking into the abyss. Whichever way you find the most comfortable, and the most accessible, for you to talk – go for it!
2. We always hear how exercise can improve our mental health and this can sometimes feel a bit like ‘toxic positivity. Not everyone has the ability to get out and exercise. However, whatever movement you can do, does genuinely have a positive influence (I promise).
3. I would like to finish on this most important note. It is completely normal to have fluctuations in your mood, just as it is normal to have fluctuations in your physical health. However, if you are feeling in a way that is concerning to you (be it low mood, or high mood), then the best thing you can do for yourself is to ask for help.

Here are resources, through which you can find advice and support from those more trained to give it than I:


Edinburgh Napier University also has some great resources to help with Mental Wellbeing, including access to TogetherAll and SilverCloud, information can be found here:


Contact for emergency mental health support in times of crisis:

Samaritans (24/7): 116 123
SHOUT (a number you can text, 24/7): text ‘SHOUT’ to 85258
Edinburgh Crisis Centre: 0808 801 0414