Exeter Boosts BHF Donations

A recent Impact Report from the British Heart Foundation has confirmed that University of Exeter Students have contributed significantly to charitable donations for the 2019 period.

Not only did students contribute to a record surge in charity shop donations, but the total value of bags donated in the 2019 period was £54,600, compared to £4788 the previous year.

BHF have calculated that these donations are equivalent to 31.2 Tons of items being diverted from the waste stream – this equates to 317,522 kgs of CO2 greenhouse gas emissions

This significant increase is very encouraging and demonstrates a growing environmental awareness from students seeking to re-purpose re-usable items.

“A lot of additional work was carried out by the University’s Community Liaison Team to ensure that Students departing the city in the Summer had access to donation bags and drop-off points. Work has already begun on planning for this year’s scheme and we hope to see a further increase in donations”

Rory Cunningham, Community Liaison Manager


For more information regarding the British heart Foundations campaigns, visit their website: https://www.bhf.org.uk/ 

Queen's and City Council Launch Belfast Climate Commission

Queen’s University Belfast and Belfast City Council have launched the Belfast Climate Commission, to drive action on the climate crisis.

The Commission will play a key role in place-based climate action necessary to achieve the UK Government’s target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050.

Co-chaired by Queen’s University and Belfast City Council, the Commission is one of three city-based climate commissions across the UK (Belfast, Edinburgh and Leeds), funded by the Economic and Social Research Council for the Place-Based Climate Action Network (PCAN). Working alongside existing city structures and programmes, the Commission has been established to translate climate policy into action ‘on the ground’ to bring about transformative change.

The Place-based Climate Action Network (PCAN) was introduced at an event recently held at Parliament Buildings, Stormont. The network will establish Commissions in Belfast and Edinburgh, and will extend the Leeds Climate Commission, which was the first to be established in 2017. The Commissions will help the local delivery of the UK’s climate change objectives by supporting action in cities through a partnership made up of the private, public and civic sectors.

For a more in-depth analysis of the Climate Commission, please refer to Belfast City Council website or Queen's University website.

For more information on the PCAN network, please visit: https://www.cccep.ac.uk/place-based-climate-action-network-p-can/

For further information about the Belfast Energy Transition and Climate Resilience Commission, please contact Professor John Barry at j.barry@qub.ac.uk and follow @PCANcities on Twitter.


The Secret Life of Students

Poppy with CampusLife crew

 Many of us who work in Higher Education have interactions with students on a day-to-day basis. But how much do we really know about the complete student experience, especially living in an off-campus community?

Being able to fully understand these experiences is vital when it comes to offering Universities' off-campus services, making sure that these services are fulfilling the needs of our students. It is imperative that the institutions with a high proportion of students living off-campus can continue to promote community cohesion with the diverse communities in which our students reside.

'The Secret Life of Students' is a series of short YouTube films designed to educate students about what to expect about life off-campus. The series focuses on specific policy areas which includes student safety, housing, noise and anti-social behaviour, waste and recycling and community engagement.

The series will form part of our 'Halls 2 Home' campaign, which is delivered by Manchester Student Homes, which provides support to students before, during, and after the transition from halls of residence into their own home.

And so; with the help of CampusLife, our very own UKTGA North West representative, Poppy Humphrey, packed her bags and embarked on a week long trip down memory lane, and went back to settle in with her new student housemates!

Take a look at the trailer below!


Reclaim the Night - Unite, join the fight, and reclaim the night!

On Monday 25 November 2019 over fifty students, staff and community members from St Andrews took part in the Students’ Association’s Reclaim the Night event. Reclaim the Night is a global movement to end sexual violence and gender-based violence.

Over the past forty years, thousands have marched to protest this violence, to support survivors, and to fight for everyone's right to safety.

This year's march was the 5th annual event held in St Andrews. Hosted by the gender equality societies of St Andrews, the event was open to all and was part of this year’s Community Relations Week activities. The night started with poster making at the Student Union followed by a march through the town. The crowds were joined by Professor Sally Mapstone, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of St Andrews who spoke about her own experiences of Reclaim the Night marches from her university days.

In addition, a safe space was available for the duration of the event. The event was organised by the Feminist Society, SRC Member for Gender Equality, For Her, Got Consent, Her Choice, HeForShe St Andrews, Saints LGBT+, and Sexpression. The event was supported by Community Relations and the University.

Follow The Winds of Change: Action on Climate Change

On Friday 20 September 2019, students and staff of the University of St Andrews and the wider community drew a line in the sand for climate change.

Recognising that enough is enough on Friday 29 November 2019 students, school children and citizens from Fife gathered in St Andrews at St Salvator’s Quad and then proceeded down together to West Sands beach for speeches from the political candidates and the planting of six windmills in the sand to highlight the importance of renewable energy resources.


The event called for participants to plant the seeds for a better future and follow the winds of change. What does climate action mean in St Andrews? These global climate strikes have changed the narrative of climate politics. Activism works. Solutions are needed and action is needed, and our participants stood together to call for renewable energy solutions that consider citizen voices and community concerns.




St Andrews' Christmas Coffee and Cake

The wardennial team of one of the University of St Andrews halls of residence opened their doors to their neighbours for festive coffee and cake on Sunday 8 December 2020.

The first event of its kind in recent years, the session at University Hall saw some fifteen local residents meet over thirty residential students and their hall’s Warden and Assistant Warden.

An afternoon of warm drinks, delicious cakes, and free-flowing conversation proved a big hit and the team are already planning more sessions to bring residents and their student neighbours together.

Other halls across the University are looking to run similar sessions in 2020, with planning underway for Burns Night celebrations as well as Cheese and Wine evenings.

The Big Hoolie!

Big Hoolie stall

Celebrations took place throughout St Andrews on the weekend of the 30 November 2019 as the town marked the day of its namesake.


The ‘Big Hoolie’, organised by BID St Andrews in association with the Student Association began with a market at Madras College, with stalls, music and more. Several University Societies hosted activity tables, including Christmas card decoration and Christmas biscuit decoration.


In the evening, thousands of people put on their dancing shoes to take part in the huge outdoor ceilidh. Following that, a torch-lit procession led a crowd down to West Sands, where fireworks lit up the famous beach.

Community Relations Week at St. Andrews

St Andrews students at the charity Christmas dinner

St Andrews Community Relations Week is organised by the Community Relations Subcommittee at the University of St Andrews Students' Association.

2019 is the second year that this week of events has been organised for everyone in St Andrews. Lots of different societies got involved; there was a Sex Education for all workshop ran by Sexpression, an evening of art with Art Soc, a Charity Christmas dinner organised by a group of 6 societies, a wine and cheese night with the local community councillors, an alumni coffee morning with a local charity, and then the week culminated with the Big Hoolie for St Andrews Day. The week is about bringing the community together and showing how we can work together in the future to make our town great!

Handy Helpers at Queen's Student Union

Handy Helpers is a unique volunteering initiative which responds to the current needs of the local community through a diverse range of one-off volunteering activities, such as community gardening, litter-picks, supporting local residents’ community projects and assisting local charities with one-off projects. The initiative is a great way for students, who do not have the time to make a regular commitment to volunteering, to develop skills, establish new friendships, increase confidence and improve their well-being whilst actively supporting their local community.

The programme aims to encourage civic participation, improve social cohesion and enable students and communities to create positive change within the local area and beyond. Handy Helpers efforts create a nicer place to live by improving the immediate environment of those living, studying and working in Belfast. The activities facilitate positive interactions between students, long-term residents and community organisations, helping to create a more cohesive local community and a culture of mutual respect and understanding. The initiative energises local student and non-student residents to take ownership and pride in the area and fosters a true sense of belonging.

For more information please click on the links below:

The Handy Helpers Impact Report is now available on this link - http://go.qub.ac.uk/HHImpactReport18-19

The Handy Helpers general student page is http://go.qub.ac.uk/HandyHelpers

Queen's University Belfast is planting one million trees as part of a new Conservation initiative!

Have you heard of the One Million Trees for Belfast Project? 🌳😊

The One Million Trees for Belfast Project is a joint initiative between residents from Sans Souci Park and students from Queen’s University Belfast.

Over the past month, Queen's University Belfast students 👩‍🎓 and staff 👩‍🏫, The Conservation Volunteers Northern Ireland and volunteers from Sans Souci Residents' Association collected acorns and seeds🌾🌿, raised garden beds 🌷 and made paths in Lennoxvale Tree Nursery, just off the Malone road. The tree nursery will provide local wildlife 🐝🐜 with a home and will produce 1,000 trees 🌱🌳 over the next 2 years that will be donated towards the One Million Trees for Belfast Project! 😎
We look forward to many more opportunities for closer working with our neighbours.
Today we are officially launching the tree nursery so watch this space for updates on the progress! 📈

Check out this video to get a little insight into what this project is all about!