Leeds Trinity introduces new support package to help students during cost of living crisis

Leeds Trinity University is investing more than £500,000 to help students through its ‘Helping you with the cost’ support package.

The package has been developed after a working group was established over the summer, consisting of staff from across the University, Chaplaincy and Students’ Union, to explore ideas that could mitigate the impact of the cost of living crisis on students.

This plan has now been launched and is designed to help as many students as possible throughout the academic year.

‘Helping you with the cost’ incorporates a range of student support measures including: the removal of library fines on late returns; increased access to digital loan devices; increased placement allowance to cover travel costs; support with the cost of graduation gowns for upcoming ceremonies in December 2022 and July 2023; and a free laundry service for resident students, which will start from 1 November.

A new ‘Grub Hub’ will also be launched on site, co-owned by the Students’ Union and the University, as a place for students to access basic food and hygiene essentials on campus. £2 hot meals subsidised by the University will also be available each day from 1 November in the canteen, which will be open to all students and staff.

In addition, the University is increasing its Hardship Fund and enhancing promotion of this to ensure students are aware of the financial support available to them, alongside a new Study Support Fund to provide food vouchers and help students with travel and other bill costs.

Professor Charles Egbu, Vice-Chancellor at Leeds Trinity University, said: “With prices rising, we know that covering the costs of studying at university isn’t always easy. That’s why we’ve worked closely with the Students’ Union to look at how we support our students. To that end, the University is investing more than half a million pounds to help as many students as we can through a range of support packages.

“Nothing is more important to us than the success and wellbeing of our students, and we are committed to listening hard and continuing to work with the Students’ Union to understand the impact the cost of living crisis is having on our community.”

Jamie Hanley, Chair of the University’s Board of Governors, said: “The Board was delighted to hear from the Vice-Chancellor and Dr Ruth Wilson at our recent meeting, and to confirm support for the extensive financial package that has been put together to support our students at this incredibly difficult time. I am particularly pleased that we have found a way to ensure that students in need will be able to access basic food and hygiene essentials as well as providing support for everyday necessities including travel and laundry costs. Of course, it is a tragedy that support like this is needed at all, but I am delighted that our University is living true to our values and ensuring our staff and students are supported at this difficult time.”

Dr Ruth Wilson, Director of Student Support and Engagement, who chaired the University’s cost of living working group, added: “The work to develop the ‘Helping you with the cost’ support package for our students at Leeds Trinity University has been significant, and has involved rapid decision making and collaboration, so I would like to thank all members of the group who have fed into and supported this crucial support package.

“As part of this, we have also reminded students about our wider Student Support & Engagement teams, who can provide targeted support and signpost to further wellbeing, pastoral, money advice, disability services and academic skills support as needed. I would encourage all students to make the most of what’s on offer and to reach out if they ever need support, as we are here to help.”

Kelsey Howard-Matthews, President of the Leeds Trinity Students’ Union, commented: “The cost of living crisis is a very real concern for many students and we want to do everything we can to help. That’s why we have worked closely with the University to explore ideas and shape the ‘Helping you with the cost’ package that’s now been launched at Leeds Trinity, and it’s positive to see the investment the University is making. At LTSU, we are here for you, run by you, which is why this package was influenced by students; we want to support all students to reach their potential, and we will be encouraging everyone to access the support they need to make the most of their time at university.”

Engagement with the support package will be monitored during the academic year to understand the use of the services and wider needs that may be surfaced.

Hours of Student Support have also been extended at Leeds Trinity recently, to cover 10.00pm – 5.00am, seven days a week.

More information about the Leeds Trinity University ‘Helping you with the cost’ support package can be found on the website.