Students help holidaymakers in Magaluf

De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) students have been helping holidaymakers stay safe during nights out in Magaluf.

Health and Wellbeing in Society students and their tutors worked with Street Angels, volunteer teams who patrol the resort’s nightlife district, to provide basic first aid and other assistance to partygoers.

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Student volunteers help a man with a sprained ankle in Magaluf

An unconscious young man was among those assisted by the DMU group, who provided comfort, called for an ambulance and tried to track down his hotel and friends based on his room key.

Volunteering was the highlight of a ‘memorable’ trip to the Spanish island of Majorca for student Sue Litchfield.

She said: “I had heard of Magaluf’s reputation, but hearing and seeing are two different things.

“I was shocked by the behaviour but also filled with compassion to help. I will definitely be going back again to help.”

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Students join Street Angels in Magaluf’s nightlife district

This was just one of the activities that enabled students to apply their learning in a real-life context and analyse factors conducive to risky health behaviours.

Trip lead Zaqia Rehman said: “The inspiration was seeing news reports about young British tourists in Spain who were falling from balconies because of reckless and alcohol-related behaviours.

“We teach social, psychological and political indicators to health behaviours, for example in workshops students look at why some people smoke or don’t wear seatbelts.

“We decided to do this on an international scale and compare Leicester with Magaluf.”

She said the volunteer shift between 3am and 7am – which saw students provide basic first aid to a woman who had cut her foot on glass on the beach and bandage a man’s sprained ankle – was a ‘fantastic experience’ that challenged students’ cultural expectations.

“We also wanted students to gain more rounded views and challenge stereotypes of tourists. Any time we were attending a partygoer, it was young white British women who came forward to help,” said Zaqia.

“All students reported a positive response from members of the public – one of our students was even recognised by a passenger at East Midlands airport.”

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Students share their thoughts on the #DMUglobal trip activities

Seeing how people behave in a different country has boosted Sue’s understanding of her subject.

“People dress differently, talk differently and act differently,” she said.

“Safety was a big thing and people just didn’t seem to take the precautions that they would probably take at home and seemed to rely on everyone around them to do everything for them.”

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DMU students at the international conference

Other activities during the five-day trip, offered through the university’s #DMUglobal international experience programme, included an observational day at a family-friendly beach in the capital, Palma, and attending the 40th International Conference of the Stress and Anxiety Research Society. Students attended presentations and workshops and saw Zaqia and colleague Dr Chris Elsey present their research.

Sue added: “It was easy to see that each country brought a different perspective on stress and resilience alone never mind the various other health issues we deal with every day.

“Different cultures and backgrounds give us different ways of looking at things, so we can find solutions together to help everyone.

“I learned much on the trip, especially from the diverse range of students who participated and the incredibly knowledgeable staff who went with us from DMU.”