Accommodation teams support student life in lockdown
More than 5000 students in 45 locations have been supported by the University’s Accommodation, Catering and Events support team during the lockdown period.
Residence Life are well used to looking after the welfare and student experience of the University’s student community, but the Covid-19 pandemic has emphasised their vital contribution to student welfare.
Stamatis Kandris, Residence Life Coordinator, said: “Our job is to create an inclusive residential community that welcomes and supports all students living in University accommodation and delivers real opportunities for students to meet with others and form friendship groups.”
“We have always worked in ways that keep us close to our residents, from seeing them at events to offering them a cup of tea when they feel down. The positive input that we have been able to make into students’ lives in the last few weeks has been even more powerful than before and keeps us motivated to do what we do.”
Each University halls-of-residence have an on-site Residence Life team. This team consists of Resident Assistants (current students), Wardens, and Residence Life Coordinators.
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic the Residence Life team have been continuing to offer support to all students, modifying such support by providing more online provision.
Stamatis said: “As well as moving most of our support services online, we have also recognised that we needed to keep our student communities active and engaged with one another. We’ve therefore been organising a range of events and activities over the past few weeks.
These have included book clubs, movie nights, cooking lessons, virtual tours of museums and national parks, virtual yoga, theatre events, and volunteering and supporting opportunities with the NHS.
Stamatis continued: “Our amazing Community Support Team have been delivering food outside the door of anyone self-isolating or shielding, along with basic cleaning supplies. They have also been calling these students daily to check in and monitoring their recovery, while encouraging physical distancing in the accommodations.”
Mental health awareness
The team have introduced an online drop-in portal for any resident who needs to have a chat.
Resident Assistants have also been supporting residents through social media, online meetings, and reaching out with physically distanced meetings.
Residence Life’s Mental Health Coordinator Hayley Thomson has also been contacting any residents who have had previous health concerns and ensuring that everyone has uninterrupted access to support.
Fourth-year chemistry student Sophie Zweifel is one of many students who have praised the work of the Residence Life team. She said: “It’s truly commendable everything that Residence Life have been doing for the residents during these difficult times. And of course, how quickly they have adapted to these quickly changing circumstances and done their very best to continue delivering such an amazing service.”