Students and care home residents join together to create friendships and combat loneliness
Today the ‘Together’ initiative has been launched in partnership with Student.com, Sheffcare and Student Roost to provide an opportunity for local students and care home residents to create long-lasting friendships. ‘Together’ encourages healthy wellbeing by helping residents build a network outside of their accommodation.
The initiative has been launched as a direct response to research statistics showing that both students and the older generation in local communities are at risk of the negative impact of loneliness on mental health and wellbeing. Research conducted by Student.com showed that 70% of students have felt lonely whilst studying at university, and a quarter of those often feel that way. In adjusting to the student lifestyle, many students struggle to maintain healthy day-to-day routines and experience academic, social and financial pressures. In addition, roughly a third of students report psychological distress during these formative years. In comparison, according to Age UK, more than 1.7 million older people say they go for over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member.
To kick-start the initiative ahead of being paired with students, a collection of residents across Sheffcare locations were invited to share some of their favourite memories from their life so far and advice for students on relationships, jobs and living. You can view the video showcase here: www.student.com/together.
Connecting the two age groups that are living in purpose built accommodation environments to help combat loneliness, ‘Together’ will pair 12 students living in the five Student Roost purpose built student accommodation properties in Sheffield with a care home resident in one of the 10 Sheffcare locations. During the first semester of 2019/20, the students will conduct intergenerational volunteering to spend time with their ‘Together’ buddy with a view to building friendships – sharing memories and advice.
The ‘Together’ initiative complements activities already undertaken by both Sheffcare and Student Roost to engage residents and promote healthy wellbeing activities. Based on engagement levels with the initiative, the aim is to implement the model across other university cities in the UK.
Dan Baker, General Manager, EMEA at Student.com comments: “Student experience and wellbeing is paramount for us at Student.com. The ‘Together’ initiative is a fantastic opportunity to take this focus and bring it further into the spotlight as we head into the next academic year. We feel privileged to play a part – alongside our partners – in enriching the university experience for students through this initiative.”
Kathryn Rawling, Volunteer Coordinator at Sheffcare, adds: “Sheffcare are delighted to be involved in this initiative and welcome the opportunity to attract additional volunteers to our volunteer team. Sheffcare have a well-established volunteering scheme and we greatly value our volunteers. Volunteers help to connect our residents to the community, and they bring fresh conversations and interests to the residents’ day. Friendships and connections are often made which is always so lovely to see. We are keen for our volunteering to be very inclusive and we see a great benefit in intergenerational visits from volunteers. The benefits to the volunteers themselves is also very apparent as residents share interesting stories about their lives, sometimes moving sometimes humorous. This bridges generational gaps for both volunteers and residents.”
Danielle Pearson, Sheffield City Area Manager for Student Roost, concludes: “The ‘Together’ initiative is a fantastic opportunity for our residents to connect with the local community and we’re delighted to be working in partnership with Student.com and Sheffcare. Our residents will have a great opportunity to support the wellbeing of older people in the community and their own, whilst also helping to reduce social isolation. We will be actively encouraging our residents who arrive in September to become Sheffcare volunteers as we believe this initiative is an opportunity for students to make incredibly special friendships which will enrich their time in Sheffield and beyond.”
Additional information and the application form for students wanting to take part in the ‘Together’ initiative can be found via this link: www.student.com/together. Any students that apply for the initiative after the initial cohort of 12 students have been selected will be still be given the opportunity to volunteer at one of the Sheffcare locations in Sheffield.
Media Contact Information:
Interviews, images and video footage available upon request. For all media requests please contact the team:
Student.com UK LTD
Holly.Forrest@Student.com / Mobile Number +44 (0)7880 232 293 / or you can contact the wider UK comms team via firstname.lastname@example.org
John Highfield / Mobile Number 07776 180911 / email@example.com
Emma Arthurs / Telephone Number 020 3440 8930 / StudentRoost@rooster.co.uk
Student.com is the largest marketplace for student accommodation globally, listing more than 1.25 million beds in over 400 cities worldwide. The company seeks to simplify booking accommodation for students through a free global service that puts security and ease-of-use first. To date, the company has raised $80 million from investors including VY Capital, Li Ka-Shing’s Horizons Ventures, Expa, Spotify founders Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon, Facebook VR’s Hugo Barra, and Breyer Capital’s Jim Breyer.
Sheffcare is a registered charity operating across the Sheffield area. The company began operating on a not for profit basis in 1993 when a number of care homes were transferred out of local authority ownership into the ownership of Sheffcare. We are committed to making a positive difference to the lives of the people we care for – providing comfort, companionship and compassion to more than 500 older people, including those affected by dementia As a charity, every penny is invested back into our homes and the training of the people that work within them. We’re proud to be able to say that we are consistently praised by the Care Quality Commission for the services we deliver.
About Student Roost
Student Roost is home to over 18,500 students; one of the UK’s leading providers of purpose-build student accommodation.
Student Roost pioneers a customer-centric approach for private student accommodation; offering flexible tenancy lengths, tailored payment plan options and all-inclusive bills.
All Student Roost homes offer an environment for students to study, live and socialise in; encouraging a community among tenants and the highest quality of living while at University.
Founded in 2017, Student Roost is headquartered in Birmingham and operates 49 properties across 19 cities. The company is set to open two new sites in September 2019.