University isn’t always full of irresponsible drinking and napping in lectures. For some students, life is difficult and feel like no-one can help them. The most common problem students face is money. How to budget, what do to if Student Finance is late, how to get by on pennies?
For many students who come from poor backgrounds, the poverty will follow them to University as their parents cannot support them financially or sometimes students are estranged and do not have any family support.
Staffordshire University are attempting to tackle these issues head on by introducing the Money Doctors who reside in Student Guidance, within the student union building. Despite the goofy name, these advisors are trained to support students who have financial difficulties. They can provide advice on budgeting, help apply for a Hardship Fund or chase up the troublesome Student Finance. The most crucial addition to the team is the long running Food Hub. The volunteer run charity supplies food for students who cannot afford their own.
Monday night was Food Hub’s second Night of Music with returning artists Rivers & Kid and Dave and Jake, the event aimed to raise money and awareness for Food Hub. The atmosphere was light and happy, the music was loud and indie. Jack and Dave provided sultry vocals, bittersweet guitar and the smooth hypnotic beat of drums. Rivers & Kid brought steam-punk to the evening with their charm and unique blend of acoustic, punk and gothic music.
“The main point of this isn’t to raise money, it’s to raise awareness” mused Lisa-Marie, previous Team Leader and the event’s organiser. That said £41.56 was raised over the course of the evening and a bag of shopping was donated. Since mid-September there have been 56 referrals which is higher than average so donations are crucial.
Kate Rowe, Money Doctor Assistant, and new Team Leader, plan to meet with staff members to raise awareness of the charity and said the next event is being planned. While staffs and students are generous with donations this usually happens when asked with most people responding that they did not know the charity existed. People can donate via boxes in the campus shops, via the Student Union or by donating money online. Food Hub have also started accepting sanitary items such as tampons and toothbrushes.
Anyone wishing to access Food Hub can get a referral via either the Enabling Centre, Student Guidance or Student Advisors. The collection point is the Student Union desk which is open Monday to Friday 9am till 8pm.