Former student starts new tutoring initiative after fighting depression

James Copping, 21, started Study Bud, a tutoring programme which hopes to help struggling GCSE stude

James Copping, 21, started Study Bud, a tutoring programme which hopes to help struggling GCSE students, after combating depression. Photo: James Copping - Credit: Archant

A former student who was forced to leave university after battling depression has channelled his energy into an innovative tutoring scheme.

James Copping, from Eye, has set up Study Bud to encourage sixth form students to help the younger pupils through their GCSEs as they are best placed to empathise with the struggles and stresses they face.

He said: 'The idea is that sixth formers have just been through those exams and know first hand about the struggles faced by students.

'They tutor them and also become a point of contact, building a relationship to help them handle the day to day of studying for GCSEs.

'The sixth form students are in the best position to empathise and understand what is going on more so than someone who is older.'

James dropped out of university a month ago, half way through his third year of studying chemistry at Durham, after realising it was affecting his mental health.

The 21-year-old said: 'My heart just wasn't in it. I knew after the first few months but I stuck it out because it was a degree but I felt quite lost.

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'Now I'm back home it's like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

'I am already feeling much better.'

James has already taken Study Bud into the classroom and is currently working with his former high school, Hartismere in Eye.

As a former tutor himself, helping students through their maths GCSE exams, he fully understands the demands of the role and considers that time as some of the most enjoyable years he spent at school.

He said: 'I really enjoyed my A levels because there was a solid support system in place for me.

'With Study Bud we have this person who can help students and show them the light at the end of the tunnel if they are struggling.

'Depression can stop people seeing things as they are and this is something I know first hand, so I hope to help others with this idea.'

Those interested in volunteering with Study Bud or who would like it to come to their school should contact James at