Life at Cliff is built around prayer and worship, as well as eating, studying and living together as a community. Whether you come to Cliff for a week or for three years, you'll find people you can share faith and life with here.
Rhythms of community life
Cliff College has a regular rhythm of life, from the daily to the termly to the annual. We gather for prayer and worship, as well as to spend time getting to know each other socially. Students, staff, and the wider Cliff community are invited to come together on weekday mornings for prayers. Wednesday is our community day, starting the day with cleaning club (!) and discipleship activities, with communion at lunch time and an evening meal followed by our Celebration service in the College Chapel. Both morning prayers and our weekly Celebration are available in person or can be streamed via Facebook / YouTube.
We try to get together as a community on site most days, gathering for coffee each weekday and sometimes cake if we’re lucky! Outside of the routines of study, Cliff offers a mixture of student-led and College-organised activities open to all students. These include walks, video game tournaments, board game nights, pub quizzes, film evenings, salsa nights and Murder Mystery events!
"At Cliff you have the opportunity to be part of a community that you can participate and serve in, which in turn, really feeds and teaches you. I’ve benefited so much with having friends and brothers and sisters in Christ right on my doorstep to do life with."
Leah, second-year student
Getting out and about
The local area is full of opportunities for outdoor activities. The Peak District is famous for its amazing walks and challenging climbing locations. We are local to the wonderful outdoor swimming pool at Hathersage and we have a few folk who enjoy wild swimming. The Chatsworth Estate is just up the road and is a beautiful place for a wander and coffee as well as being the seat of so much history. Nearby coffee shops, cafés and pubs are perfect for catching up with visiting friends and family or as a very good reason to get off site!
As well as Chatsworth House, nearby tourist attractions include Haddon Hall and the historic town of Bakewell. Chesterfield (20 minutes away) and Sheffield (30 minutes away) are great spots for shopping, cinema trips and nights out, as well as for activities like indoor climbing and theatre shows.
Staff and students are part of a wide variety of churches, including local churches in Calver, Curbar and Eyam, and larger churches in Sheffield and Chesterfield. There are a range of ways you can connect in with local groups, sometimes as part of your Mission Placement. There will also be ongoing missional opportunities to engage with people in life-changing ways.
As Cliff's student community is relatively small, everyone is encouraged to play an active part in community life, whether you live on campus at the College, or are based in context. Our student president, Evie Savill, lives on campus and is the first point of call for students. Evie's role is to represent the student body. She works alongside our Community Warden and Student Welfare Officer to create a community where people can form meaningful Christian relationships as they live, worship, eat and study together.
Student support - wellbeing and mental health
Our student welfare team seeks to offer support to the student body in whatever way is needed. Ali Mackenzie, the welfare team manager, is around to offer a listening ear and a safe confidential space to talk about whatever is on your mind. Her background as a counsellor, chaplain and spiritual director means she often draws on a range of tools and ways of being alongside students. You can pop by her office during her working hours (Mon, Weds & Thurs), speak to her at coffee break, or book an appointment on firstname.lastname@example.org. Student support is available to all students, whether you choose to live at the College while you study, come to the College only for intensive teaching weeks or if you study online.
Sometimes if you are struggling with something that needs a bit more focus, we will help you access therapeutic support and counselling. We have a great partner relationship with Rainbow Counselling in Sheffield and can refer our students for a block of counselling if that feels appropriate. If we or they cannot offer the specialist support you require, we are committed to work with you to find you what you need.
As a College we provide access to TogetherAll, an online mental health and well-being resource, which is available to all our students and staff. It is available around the clock and offers a space to connect with others who may be struggling with similar issues. There is also a wide range of articles and courses available on all sorts of issues, from managing your sleep to dealing with anger or anxiety. It is a really great resource.
Wellbeing embedded in the curriculum
Student Welfare also runs a termly curriculum on well-being related issues, enabling students to grow in understanding and insight in this area. In the autumn term there will be a series of sessions looking at how to flourish, called the Wellbeing Journey. The Wellbeing Journey is a new series exploring holistic wellness: body, mind and spirit. Together we will journey into a deeper understanding of how we can take good care of ourselves and flourish in the places God has planted us.
In the second term we will follow the ‘Living Life to the Full’ course together. This is a wonderful course that offers a toolkit for improving our confidence and self-esteem as well as helping to manage anxiety, stress and loss. Living Life to the Full teaches a range of life skills that are based on the tried and trusted CBT approach, aiming to improve well-being and resilience as you go through the journey of life.