Launch of BU Proud in the community

BU is very proud of the close relationship it has with the local community. Our staff, students and graduates play an integral part in both the local economy and local society.

This involves many close relationships built up with local organisations and our BU Proud in the community campaign will celebrate these links.

A launch event is being held at AFC Bournemouth on 5 March.

The new branding of our BU buses will be unveiled, celebrating BU graduates working with local organisations, and there will be a BU branded double-decker bus on site featuring Rob Mitchell, Commercial Director of AFC Bournemouth. Rob is also president of the Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) and has a degree in Leisure Marketing from BU. Other BU graduates from across the region who feature in the new campaign will also be attending.

Look out for the buses and posters around the region, featuring our graduates working in LV=; Lush; RNLI; Bournemouth Echo and Dorset LEP.

BU works closely, with businesses, voluntary groups, and the local community and the BU Proud in the community campaign will be an opportunity to communicate more about this work, engage new audiences and raise the profile of both BU and our successful alumni.

Read more about the graduates involved here:

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SUBU Annual Review celebrates success

The 2014 Annual Review celebrated SUBU’s 20th birthday by showcasing another year of achievements.

The event, on Wednesday 4 June, was presented by the elected Full Time Officers, who highlighted all the great activities the Students’ Union at BU (SUBU) have been supporting, funding and making happen in 2013/14. Among the guests were Chancellor Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, Vice Chancellor Professor John Vinney, Conor Burns MP, members of the University board, SUBU Board of trustees and previous SUBU Full Time Officers.

The Students’ Union at BU has been in operation for two decades and has grown with each passing year; supporting, developing and entertaining every new cohort passing through BU’s doors. This year was no exception and SUBU have plenty of successes to shout about.

One of the key achievements for 2013/14 was SUBU’s RAG (Raising and Giving) charity activities which raised over a quarter of a million pounds. The funds were split between local charities and worthy causes around the UK including, Dorset Blind Association, Autism Wessex, Alzheimer’s Society and Children with Cancer UK.

Volunteering increased by 40% this year with 734 students giving a helping hand to both local and national projects. The Big Feed was one of the more successful projects, managing to collect and deliver four tonnes of food to local families and food banks. Student engagement in extra-curricular activities, like volunteering, is a major player in affecting employability for BU students and it is high on SUBU’s yearly agenda.

The ‘Lock it or Lose it’ burglary prevention campaign helped to cement community relations this year as SUBU joined forces with Arts University Bournemouth, BU staff, local police and councillors. Combined with the newly created SUBU Community Warden team, this resulted in a 19.6% reduction in crime around Winton and 41% reduction in bin-related complaints from residents. The four new wardens managed to clock up over 50 miles of patrolling around the local area, helping to improve integration and relations between students and locals.

As if that weren’t enough, SUBU’s strides towards becoming a more ethical and environmentally friendly organisation were recognised with a Gold status NUS Green Impact Award.  Next year will see SUBU getting even more green on campus.

Encouraging student engagement in democratic decision-making and student representation also took a major step forward this year. Earlier in the year representatives from six other Students’ Unions were invited to Bournemouth so that SUBU could share their practices and expertise in student engagement. SUBU President Murray Simpson said,

“We’ve been highlighted as a feature of good practice for our evidence based feedback by the QAA, and believe a partnership approach with BU has enabled this to happen. We’ve come on leaps and bounds with welfare and democracy this year, and the Annual Review is a fantastic chance to look back and celebrate these successes.”

As a final visual treat, the audience experienced a nostalgic romp through the history of SUBU in a slide show of the last 20 years. The future of SUBU was also discussed, with a focus on the Union’s new home in the Student Centre and welcoming the new SUBU staff for 2014/15.

Student volunteers collect 2.2 tonnes of food for local foodbanks


Bournemouth University students collected a giant 2.2 tonnes of food for local foodbanks in a one-day volunteering challenge.

The Big Feed saw 26 volunteers, including a team of builders from Wilmott Dixon, compete in teams at six local supermarkets to accumulate the most food donations for Bournemouth, Poole & Kinson Foodbanks.

The event, organised by the Students’ Union at Bournemouth University (SUBU), encouraged students to contribute back to their local community, and provide extra resources for the area’s local foodbanks, which are experiencing a worrying rise in emergency demand.

With more donations still coming in, the total collection more than doubled the previous record of 1.5 tonnes, which was set at SUBU’s first Big Feed event in September 2013.

Kim Appleton, SUBU Volunteering Coordinator, said it was a testament to people’s generosity in the community.

“People’s donations have been incredible. We would have been happy matching our record, but to beat it so substantially is really a tribute to the tireless work of our volunteers and the generosity of the public.

“It’s going to be incredibly beneficial to the foodbanks, who are in constant need of supplies. None of us deserve to go hungry, but 1 in 5 mums regularly skip meals to feed their children, simply down to needing to pay bills or other expenses.

“This food will go a long way in supporting those in need of emergency supplies.”

The event concluded with a celebratory ceremony for all the volunteers in the evening with awards and prizes, including food hampers and event tickets for outstanding contributions.

BU generates more than £1million a day spending in local economy


Bournemouth University, its staff and students bring more than £1 million a day to the South West region, a new study has revealed.

The BU Economic Impact Study 2013 looked at student, staff and university-wide spending and found that BU is worth £378 million to the South West region, and £252 million to the local conurbation.

It also revealed that BU supports over 3,145 full-time jobs in the South West – one job for every seven students at the university.

The study was produced by BU’s Professor John Fletcher and Dr Yeganeh Morakabati through staff and student surveys, interviews with major suppliers to BU and the university accounts.

Professor Fletcher said that BU was part of the “fabric of Dorset”.

“Although I am going to talk about numbers, these are lives, these are jobs, these are the people who shop in the shops and drive down the roads,” he said.

“It brings people in who you meet in the street, who enjoy the entertainment, who go to the shops and the beach and spend money, and it creates a vibrant and a young society.”

He added that students and their visiting friends and relatives spent more than £128 million in the area – often at times of year when there is less tourist trade – and that the total combined spending of the university was equivalent to 11,476 households in Dorset.

Speaking at the launch of the study, Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns added that BU’s benefit to the community also came in numerous, intangible ways.

He said: “When I’m asked about the university’s impact on Bournemouth and the region, I have an easy answer. I always say it’s priceless. I now have a number of statistics to hand to give a more informed answer in future.

“But there’s so much more to the students in Bournemouth and academic staff and for what the university does than these numbers – however great they are.”

He added: “Bournemouth would not just be economically and socially diminished without Bournemouth University, it would be decimated without Bournemouth University.”

Jonathan Clark, executive chairman of local digital agency Bright Blue Day, also spoke about the value of BU and its graduates.

The study found that the 5,879 graduates from BU this year will create an extra £1.3 billion in additional earning potential, but Jonathan added that they are also great advocates for the university and the area.

“People who leave and are in the early or later parts of their career are fantastic supporters of BU,” said Jonathan, whose agency has employed a number of BU graduates.

“They recommend BU at every turn, promote the area, come down here for weekends and bring friends to the area. It has an economic impact on us all.”

A similar Economic Impact Study in 2007 found that the total amount spent by BU contributed £241 million to the South West’s regional economic output – a figure that has now grown considerably.

BU Vice-Chancellor Professor John Vinney said: “BU has changed in that time, and our reputation has continued to grow.

“We also contribute in many less tangible ways, bringing a hugely skilled workforce to the area, support for local businesses and simply the introduction of a huge number of young people to help the region be lively, thriving and a good place to be.”

Read the Economic Impact Study 2013 in full

Student wardens scheme gains widespread regional media coverage

The introduction of BU student community wardens to work with residents in Winton gained widespread regional media coverage across TV, radio and print.

BBC South Today came to Winton to film the wardens in action, knocking on doors and speaking with residents and students about potential issues.

An interview with student warden Coralie Wood and Winton Community Forum chairman Pat Oakley was broadcast on the lunchtime bulletin, and a longer report – which featured additional interviews with Winton residents and SUBU VP Comms Annie Hall – was shown in the evening bulletin.

The story was also picked up by the Bournemouth Echo newspaper and in news bulletins on local radio stations BBC Radio Solent and Fire FM.

Student wardens to bridge gap with community in Winton


A new scheme will aim to bridge the gap between residents and the large student population in Winton.

The student community warden scheme has been set up by Bournemouth University and Bournemouth Borough Council to improve relations in the local community and ensure newcomers know essential information about living in the area.

Teams of student wardens will regularly visit roads with a large student population, knocking on doors to chat with both permanent residents and students.

They will give advice and guidance on everything from when to put bins out to dealing with noisy neighbours, and support students with moving into private housing for the first time.

David Stock, advice manager for the Students’ Union at Bournemouth University (SUBU), is overseeing the scheme.

He said: “The aim is to try and bridge the gap between the students and the permanent residents and try to make each of the groups aware of the benefits that the others bring.

“It’s about signposting services in a lot of instances, making sure people have the right information and contact details.”

There are currently two pairs of student wardens – with one team covering Cardigan Road and the surrounding area, and the other focusing on the streets around Frederica Road.

James Wilde, a fourth year Business and Marketing student, is one of the wardens.

He said he wanted to get involved to help improve the image of students in the area.

“A lot of residents have a negative perception as soon as they hear students are going to be moving in, so I wanted to help change that,” he said.

“We’ve had a really positive response so far, a lot of residents have said they are really happy we are doing it.”

Two student wardens from the Arts University Bournemouth are also being recruited for the year-long pilot scheme.

Pat Oakley, chairman of Winton Community Forum, said the forum had helped work on a number of initiatives in the area, including the student community warden scheme.

“There can be a clash between lifestyles of students and those living here permanently – being at university is meant to be fun, but students can have fun and at the same time be considerate to their neighbours,” he said.

“Something like leaving the bin on the pavements is not a big deal in itself, but if you are a young mum pushing a double buggy along, it can cause issues.

“We’ve recognised that there is a problem, but we are all working in collaboration to help solve it.”

Councillor David Smith, cabinet member for planning and environment for Bournemouth Borough Council, said the wardens were there to help and listen to the concerns of all local residents.

He added: “The introduction of student wardens in roads with high concentrations of student houses is very encouraging.

“It presents the council and the universities with the chance to deliver the right messages to young people who have just moved into a residential area for the first time and help with the transition.

“Relationships with neighbours will be helped and any problems with management of the rented houses can also be reported through these enthusiastic individuals.”

The student community warden team can also be contacted through emailing and students and residents can report any concerns through the Winton Community Line on 01202 451491.

The Rock ‘rocks’ with media appearances

The community edition of The Rock, a newspaper created, edited and written by Bournemouth University students, has been a big hit with local and national media.

The student run newspaper, labelled by the BBC website as an edition printed ‘to improve relations with local residents’, has been widely praised in the media as it has been spoken about on Fire Radio, BBC Radio Solent and on the BBC’s main news pages.

Speaking to the BBC, Julia Denni, editor–in–chief and founder of the paper in her first year at University, said, “We really hope the newspaper will shed a new light that we are a part of the community, that it’s not all negative, and that we do a lot of great things. We want to work hand–in–hand with residents because we belong to the community too.”

Julia continued, “Gone are the days when student newspapers were full of gossip and adolescent humour.

“This is a proper newspaper with responsible journalism. It’s vital for students to be a part of the community and engage in the town where they live for up to three years.”

The newspaper continues to be written by BU students and distributed on Bournemouth University’s campuses.

To read the BBC news story in full you can visit the BBC website.