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SRUC Students' Association

Dùthchail na h-Alba Comann Oileanach


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. 

A group of 6 students smiling with their Winter Warmer goodies - they all have woolly hats on or are holding hats. Two of the students are holding SRUCSA branded paper bags. Some are wearing face coverings.

Happy hat-wearing students at one of the campuses!

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: 

  1. Providing students with warm winter clothing. 
  2. Providing students with access to boiling water to make hot drinks. 
  3. 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. 
  4. Social media posts on how to keep warm on-campus.

How did it actually go? 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.  

A screenshot from the software mural (virtual page with stickynotes). It is titled "Winter Warmer Evaluation" and the pages is split into 3 sections - "what went well?", "what went not so well?" and "what should we change?". What went well? - We secured a donation of 600 hats ; liaised with staff to reach more students ; purchased hats and scarves; posted items out; liaised with Baxter Storey to provide 300 hot drinks; liaised with local cafes for Ayr and Glasgow; adapted to problems; spoke to students and increased our visibility; project solved a problem; reactive project; gave us a warm fuzzy feeling - feel good project; nice to make parcels; made nice vouchers; team working went well; got onto campus and had frequent planning meetings.  What did not go so well? - didn't get round to social media campaign; didn't get permanent hot water facilities everywhere; opening hours of Glasgow cafe were not optimal; didn't engage with Edinburgh botanics but tried to; didn't get many student photos at the central campuses; didn't promote discretionary as we intended; ran out of hats at some campuses but had leftovers in central.  What should we change? - get student ambassadors to promote projects; named roles for projects; make room for unknown projects; fixed end-dats, clear responsibilitied for each team member; establish checkpoints; decide what to do with unusued resources at start  Still to do  - ask cafe/Baxter Storey how many vouchers were used; contact charity for donation of remaining scarves; write blog.

There was lots to reflect on!


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.