University of Leicester (UK) Public get cost of living crisis help from University of Leicester as well as students and staff
The University of Leicester is going above and beyond to help not just students and staff affected by the cost of living crisis, but the community too.
The institution has put in place a raft of measures to help as higher fuel, transport and food bills continue to bite.
University Registrar and Secretary, Geoff Green, said: “The University of Leicester has had the community at its heart, since its foundation in 1921, when it was funded by local people.
“Today, the city’s many communities, which also include our students and staff, face the harsh realities of the rising cost of living.
“In response to this, the University and Students’ Union have pulled together to offer practical support where it is needed most. We see the University as an integral part of the community, and it is in times like these, that we can really show our credentials as true Citizens of Change.”
The Student Cost of Living Insights Study, published in November, found half of students nationally had financial difficulties, while one-in-four had taken on new debt in response to rising cost of living. While 77% were concerned rising costs of living may affect how well they do in their studies, more than a third reported they are now less likely to do further study after their course has completed.
The University and Leicester Students’ Union are providing a wide-range of support for their students, including hardship funds, free breakfasts, free transport to campus, wellbeing support and services, and a range of other subsidises to reduce the costs of living. University managed accommodation also includes all bills in the monthly rent.
Students’ Union President, Rhiannon Jenkins, said: “We are really grateful to the University for working collaboratively on this and being so holistic in its approach to providing support. We know within the first 24 hours of the Cost of Living Award going live, there were at least 250 applicants, proving the need for it is widespread. We’re listening to students as much as we can and trying to address as many of the immediate needs as possible in the hopes of easing the burden just a little bit.”
University staff help
University staff, meanwhile, benefit from free breakfasts, free transport on the University shuttle buses and discounted car parking charges.
Help for the public
But the support doesn’t end there, with the public also benefiting from various initiatives. Attenborough Arts Centre has signed up to offer warm spaces for the public two days a week, which will be advertised as part of the Warm Welcome Network shortly. The library, which has a community membership scheme, is also planning to open its doors and join the network in the coming weeks.
Attenborough Arts Centre also offers a range of free and low cost Pay What You Can programmes.
Free programmes include:
• Free exhibitions open 7 days per week
• Free Soundbites Lunchtime Concerts, Tuesdays at 12.15pm
• Free Wildcard Wednesday creative drop in sessions for students, Wednesdays during term time from 6pm to 8pm
• Free Family Gallery Workshops, Saturdays from 1pm to 3pm
Low cost Pay What You Can programmes, with tickets from £2, include:
• Attenborough Film Club, selected Sundays at 10.30am including Miracle on 34th Street on Sunday 18 December 2022
• Roti Moon, an interactive show for children from Monday 19 to Thursday 22 December 2022.
The University’s Law School Legal Advice Clinic offers free legal advice services to communities in need. The clinic has established partnerships with New Dawn New Day, Highfields Centre and Shama Women’s Centre to provide targeted support during the cost of living crisis.
As part of Project Light, Medical School students continue to offer health support and advice to homeless people in the city, while the Sanctuary Seekers’ Unit provides support for refugees and asylum seekers through scholarships, support programmes and language classes. The Leicester University Community First Responders, meanwhile, provide medical support to 999 emergency patients in partnership with East Midlands Ambulance Service.
The University also runs staff and student volunteering programmes – requests for volunteer support can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charitable donation programmes are also supported by the University, including Toys on the Table, The Y Advice & Support Centre donations for homeless people and collections for Leicester South Foodbank.
During the cost of living crisis, the Innovation Hub is offering free use of space to businesses and charities with social and economic impact central to their missions. Enquires via LIHfacilities@le.ac.uk. The University also offers a range of support to SMEs and local businesses.