Colleges Come Together to Support Students

Volunteers serving at a food counter

Philanthropic funding from our alumni community enabled our Colleges to come together and support our students who stayed on campus over the summer period, ensuring that these students were looked after during a time that can be quite isolating once most other students head home.

Each year over the summer period, at least one of the Colleges remains open for student accommodation, commonly referred to as Vacation Residence (VacRes). Students who stay in VacRes accommodation tend to be estranged from their families, international students who cannot afford to travel home, care experienced students, those returning to take exam resits or to study summer schools.

When these students move into the VacRes accommodation they are placed in groups with new students from across the Colleges, many of whom they do not know, which is a big move for them, and like starting again as they live with new people in an unfamiliar environment.

College staff have recognised that this is often a lonely and isolating time for students, therefore the nine Colleges united to provide a range of events and activities to support the students on campus over the summer period. These events enable students to come together and build a community, helping to reduce isolation and loneliness, and can help them to form friendship groups and support networks which they otherwise would not have.

Staff in the Colleges have developed an impressive programme of summer events. Whilst supported by the University, the cost-of-living crisis and an increasing number of students who need this support meant that extra funding was needed to allow the events to take place. Thanks to donor support, the Colleges were able to run this extensive programme of events to support the VacRes community.

These events included a quiz night, movie afternoon, crafting events such as a Bob Ross paint-along and a ‘paint your own pot’ session, afternoon tea and a student commuter event, giving students who commute to campus the opportunity to meet people in similar situations and tour campus, engaging a demographic of students who have previously felt isolated.

Support from the Colleges is set to continue into the new term, with initiatives supporting hardship including free food cupboards in College spaces, putting on large scale free food events, and supporting students in need with free supermarket vouchers. These initiatives were run last year with students attending in high numbers, and thanks to the generosity of our alumni community, we are able offer these again this year.

Speaking on behalf of the Colleges, our Pendle College manager said: “The Colleges would like to thank our University alumni for their generosity in providing the funds to enable us to run a series of engagement events throughout the summer vacation period. Without this support, we would not have been able to engage our students in as many community building activities during what is often an isolating time”.

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