A puppy and bunny room helped University of Westminster students get their minds off the pressures of the exam and deadline period on Wednesday 27 April as part of the Students' Union campaign, Destress week.

Twelve puppies and eight bunnies were available for students to pet and play with at the University’s Marylebone Campus in central London. Slots to pet the animals were made available for students to book via the Students' Union Social Media and sold out in minutes due to high demand.

The University’s Students' Union Vice President and organiser of the event Lauren Waugh said: “I decided to set up the event to give students an exciting event to look forward to prior to the exam period.”

Dr Trudi Edginton, Senior Lecturer in Psychology in the University of Westminster’s Faculty of Science and Technology, said: “Students often worry about how well they are going to perform in their exams and this pressure can make it difficult to concentrate, relax or sleep. Unfortunately stress and anxiety can also impair memory and attention, which can disrupt revision and exam performance.

“However, the good news is that there are some simple techniques that can reduce these effects. The instant joy that we feel when we see baby animals is incredibly soothing and ideal for reducing anxiety due to the immediate release of oxytocin. Therefore, meeting our puppies and bunnies at Westminster is a perfect way to reduce exam stress.”

All puppies and bunnies came from registered breeders and were allowed breaks and walks outside the room. They were provided by mobile zoo Animal Magic and the event was organised by the University of Westminster Students' Union (UWSU).

Top image: Salaffina Richards-Dore

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