The Student Support Service will hold priority drop in sessions for students affected by the disappearance of a missing student.

Sophie Smith has been missing since 26 December and is believed to have entered the sea near Great Yarmouth.

The 21-year-old left her house in Gorleston in the early hours of Boxing Day, and was last seen on CCTV running towards the beach.

Volunteers in the seaside town continue to search for her, but there have been no sightings since Boxing Day.

Norfolk Police said Sophie, who studies biomedicine at UEA, left a note outlining her intentions before leaving home.

Sophie has severe anxiety and depression, which she received treatment for.

Norfolk Police’s active searches for Sophie will end after this weekend.

Students affected can access support from the Student Support Service through priority drop-in sessions, available from Monday 8 January.

These will be held between 2 and 4pm in the Student Support Centre, opposite Waterstones, for any student affected by events relating to Sophie Smith.

Students can attend individually or in small groups.

There will also be two support groups held on Thursday 18 January and Thursday 1 February from 5-6pm in the Student Support Service Annex. Students can book a place on one of these groups by emailing

Outside of these group and drop-in sessions, students can see a wellbeing advisor in a same day appointment.

These individual appointments can be booked in the Student Support Centre or via phone on 01603 592761.

Prof Tamas Dalmay, Head of the School of Biological Sciences at UEA, spoke of Sophie’s positive impact since coming to the university.

He said she is “a bright, much-valued and well-liked student who’s been fully committed to her Biomedicine studies.

“She’s made a positive impact on our School and on the wider University during her time at UEA.”

SU Welfare Community and Diversity Officer India Edwards said: “Sophie is involved in various aspects of University and SU life at UEA and I know that many students will be shocked by the news of her disappearance.

“Whilst we all have everything crossed for Sophie’s safe return we’d encourage students affected by the news to access the help on offer from SSS.”

Anyone with any information regarding the whereabouts of Sophie Smith should contact Norfolk Police on 101 immediately.

The Samaritans can be contacted any time on the free helpline 116 123.