Today has been ruff! Students enlist guide dogs to reduce stress levels.

During the stress of dissertation deadlines and exams, students’ mental health can deteriorate.

But one society at the University of Lincoln has sought a solution.

Students at the University of Lincoln attended the Cuddle a Fluffy event, where guide dogs are brought in to help raise money for the Guide Dogs UK charity and reduce stress levels of students.

At the event, there were special glasses so students could experience what it’s like to be blind or visually impaired.

Statistics show that 50% of mental health issues are established by 14, and 75% by age 24, according to the Mental Heath Foundation, so the guide dogs are brought in at the end of term during deadline weeks.

Students receive hugs from a guide dog

Niamh Tame, project leader of the University of Lincoln’s Guide Dog Fundraising Group, said it’s a great way for students to take a break while fundraising for the guide dog charity.

She said: “It helps them de-stress a lot and helps them relax.

“We have a lot of students come up to us and say they miss their dogs and exams and deadlines getting on top of them, so it’s a good way of letting them relax.”

Niamh believes that educational centres need therapy dogs. She said: “It will definitely be beneficial. It’s good for the dogs to get attention from the students, so it relaxes both dogs and students.”

Student Lauren, 19, said: “They’re just happy all the time, and it makes people happy, so it definitely helps reduce my stress levels during this busy time.”

Other universities across the country do similar events. The University of Swansea brings in greyhounds from a rescue centre to help students’ stress levels.