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 -

The Handy Helpers general student page is

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!

Manchester Student Homes Welcomes LINK Strategic Partners To Our Fair City!

Team MSH were delighted to welcome colleagues representing United States based ‘LINK Strategic Partners’ to our fair City in June.

Based in Washington DC, with networks across North America and Europe, LINK specialise in community engagement, strategic communications and stakeholder relations. LINK, headed up by Michael Aiken, President, work with a variety of U.S based Higher Education Institutions and community partners and as such have a wealth of knowledge about students and off campus relations. The company is very much at the pulse of all things community communications. Their youngest employee is 16 and the eldest is 91, for LINK they are passionate about inclusivity and reflecting the communities in which they work. Powerful stuff, we’re sure you’ll agree.

MSH have a long standing relationship with LINK spanning nearly a decade, and who we have worked with via our involvement on the ITGA (International Town and Gown Association) of which Cooper is a Board member. In the past 4 years we have been fortunate enough to develop our relationship further, via the UKTGA United Kingdom Town and Gown Association which was established by Cooper and myself, and now has nearly 350 members worldwide!

It was a jam packed week for LINK who held a series of meetings with University representatives including Simon Merrywest & Dr Rita Lewin (Manchester Metropolitan University), as well as external partners with whom MSH work closely with such as Councillor Nigel Murphy, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council. A key component of the trip was the opportunity for Michael, and Jevin, LINK Engagement Lead to present at the UK Conference discussing the Student Accommodation Code of Practice’. They discussed the importance of effective student engagement and provided a key insight into the trends in social media, particularly with regard to University campuses and branding. You can view the presentation (it’s hugely insightful!) via twitter @LINKstrategic

Michael spent ten years working in Student Relations at George Washington University and spoke about community engagement issues and trends, which often span global boundaries and we can learn a huge amount from each other. This highlights the importance of these international partnerships and something that Team MSH places a great deal of importance on cultivating.

It’s fair to say that over the years we’ve talked nonstop to our friends at LINK about the work we do here at MSH to support students off campus, and this amazing city of ours. This was a wonderful opportunity to showcase our history, culture and vibrancy of the University, but also welcome our friends to this amazing city of ours. We look forward to welcoming them back home with us, in the very near future.

For more information about Manchester Student Homes visit:

To read more about LINK