• Phil Packer

GB Rowing Team Start Programme athlete, Phoebe Hayden, supports the BRIT Ambassador family

We are delighted that Phoebe is part of our BRIT Ambassador family and championing the annual BRIT Challenge to support and improve young adult and student mental health and fitness throughout the UK.

Phoebe is an athlete on the GB Rowing Team Start Programme and was selected to represent Great Britain at the 2019 at the Junior Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta in Italy.

Phoebe and her squad at the Junior Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta in Italy

She is currently in her third year at the University of Bath.

We have asked Phoebe to join our BRIT Ambassador family as we are keen that our BRIT Ambassadors represent young athletes at the start of their career, senior athletes and retired sports personalities. All of our BRIT Ambassadors understand why it is so important to support young adult mental health and are uniting to have a UK-wide impact on improving the mental health and fitness of students and young adults.

“As a student at the University of Bath, I can appreciate that the past two years have been a very tough time for young adults and students, with many feeling isolated and experiencing depression and loneliness. I am very aware how lucky I am to have my health and the support around me; it is deeply concerning how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on students who are vulnerable or live with existing mental health difficulties. The numbers of students and young adults needing vital support and specialist services are increasing dramatically; looking after our health, fitness and wellbeing has never been so important.


The annual BRIT Challenge is an inspiring opportunity for every UK university, college, specialist college and Students’ Union to enter teams and encourage student and staff participation. I’m thrilled that every university and college team taking part in the BRIT Challenge are invited to choose a second charity to raise funds for, alongside BRIT, to support local, regional and national charities.


BRIT’s Vision to support young adult and student mental health resonates with me as a student. They are an innovative and collaborative charity who forge partnerships across the charity sector to raise awareness of, and signpost, specialist services and support including; the MindOut LGBTQ Mental Health Service, PAPYRUS – Prevention of Young Suicide, Nightline Association, Samaritans Student Minds and the Charlie Waller Trust.


At the University of Bath we have a Nightline service; this is a student-run confidential, and non-judgemental peer-to-peer support listening service for students. The service is open from 8pm to 8am every night of term and their trained volunteers are happy to listen to anything students may wish to discuss. This is a lifeline for some students and it is critical that the service continues.


We also have Student Minds Bath; they are a student-led group committed to supporting university students with their mental health and wellbeing. The group aim to support student mental health through their Campaigns Committee running campaigns and events on campus to raise awareness and create positive change around the importance of mental health and wellbeing for students here at Bath. They also support student mental health through their award winning team of Student Minds Facilitators who run a variety of courses for those experiencing an eating disorder or depression, and workshops for those who would like to learn more about how to support someone with an eating disorder or who self-harms.


I urge every student at the University of Bath to take part in the BRIT Challenge and hope that our Students’ Union, Team Bath, many of our sports teams and the university enter teams and raise vital funds for BRIT and the charities who support us. I hope every university and college in the South West unites with us and takes on the BRIT Challenge.”


Phoebe Hayden

GB Rowing Team Start Programme athlete

Phoebe Hayden - BRIT Ambassador

Phoebe got into rowing by going to a START testing day, which she found out about through an Instagram advert! She didn't really know what it was, but ended up being selected for the programme, and started learning to row at the Cambridge Start Centre in Ely.


She absolutely loved the sport. After seven months of rowing, Phoebe won bronze at the National Schools Regatta and a year later, went on to represent Great Britain at the Coupe de la Jeunesse in Italy.

Phoebe is a 3rd year student on the Gold Scholarship Programme at the University of Bath, which provides opportunities to enhance her career development and transition out of University. she is studying for her Bachelor of Science in Health and Exercise Science.


Phoebe is an athlete on the GB Rowing Team Start Programme; this is an Olympic pathway programme to develop young sporting talent.

You can follow Phoebe on Twitter and Instagram.