SRUCSA’s Winter Warmer 2021-2022
The Winter Warmer Campaign is what we would call a “reactive” project. Most projects you see SRUCSA carrying out are the result of officer’s manifestos – the “terms” on which they were elected. This project was different as it was a direct result of student needs and experience at the time.
What was the problem?
The Winter Warmer Campaign aimed to provide students with warmth on-campus. This was in response to the requirements for extra ventilation as a covid-19 protection measure. Students were finding the campuses cold and uncomfortable to study/learn in.
What did SRUCSA plan to do?
The project had 4 outcomes we wanted to meet:
- Providing students with warm winter clothing.
- Providing students with access to boiling water to make hot drinks.
- Highlighting discretionary and covid funds – these may be used any time during the year during financial hardship, but in this context, could be used to buy warm clothing or help with heating bills at home.
- Social media posts on how to keep warm on-campus.
How did it actually go?
- Warm winter clothing
SRUCSA successfully secured a donation of 600 hand-knitted hats from UK Hand Knitting. SRUCSA also purchased 150 branded hats and 300 scarves. We distributed these to students on each of the campuses and posted some out to students who couldn’t be on campus to collect them or were distance learners. We also worked with the support teams at some of the campuses who also helped to distribute the items. We had a small number of items remaining (predominantly at the Edinburgh campus) which will be donated to charity.
We also created a feedback form for students to tell us where problems were on campus (I.e. where it was cold). We were able to summarise this to explain the problem to SRUC and the Campus and Estates team.
- Boiling water access
a) We got in touch with the Academic Liaison Manager for each campus to ask where hot water could be accessed at each of the main campuses. This is the information we were able to find out:
Edinburgh – hot and cold-water machine at end of arcade
Oatridge – residences
Barony – hyrdoboil
Aberdeen – kitchen areas with sinks, cold and boiled hot water at 2 locations in Ferguson building (access anytime). Sunnybrae, Tulloch and the ACU.
Elmwood – kettles in SRUCSA office, horticulture department, student support, residences.
b) We arranged for 50 free hot drinks to be given to students on every main SRUC campus. We liaised with 2 businesses local to the Glasgow Queen’s Park and Ayr campuses (where there aren’t Baxter Storey cafes on site), Millbrae Hill Café and TheyBake, to provide students with hot drinks. Both used a voucher scheme. Baxter Storey vouchers were charged to the SRUCSA cost centre and independent café vouchers were pre-paid ahead of students using them.
- Highlighting funding
We highlighted funding when we spoke to students about the campaign and in the emails to students/staff about the campaign. We did not get to highlight the funding as explicitly as we wanted, but did get enquiries from students about how to access the funding available.
- Social media posts
We unfortunately did not get round to doing this aspect of the project as we prioritised other areas.
Evaluation of the project
Below is a mural that the team completed to evaluate the project. We will use this to help shape our future projects.
In summary we thought that the project was a good example of SRUCSA officers working together and making use of their individual skill strengths. It was a ‘warm fuzzy’ project where we got to meet with students and staff.
Some things didn’t go as we planned, we didn’t promote discretionary as we intended to, and we didn’t secure hot water on all campuses as we would have liked.
We would like to make sure this event happens again. We thought that having planned check in where we check on the project, such as the level of stock, or who has upcoming projects would be helpful in future. This project is a good example of how we should leave room for unexpected ideas when planning the year.