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University launches cash boost for community relations

Press release issued: 20 September 2012

A new funding initiative has been launched to improve relations between students and their neighbours as Bristol prepares for the start of a new academic year.

The cash boost comes in the form of a new Community Fund, set-up by the University of Bristol, which will offer grants of up to £250 for local residents’ projects to promote community harmony.

This could be anything from a local residents’ association wanting to organise a curry night, a street party or even gathering together a group of people to clear-up a derelict piece of land.

As part of its ongoing efforts to foster good relationships between students and the local community, Bristol University has run similar initiatives in the past and has formally established the Community Fund to build on this success.

Pru Lawrence-Archer, Head of Accommodation Services, said: “Experience has shown that this sort of grass roots activity is the most successful way to promote community harmony.  I am delighted that the University has been able to introduce this fund and I look forward to working with local residents and students on many interesting projects.

“These could be focussing on the environment, community events, or simply improving communications. Ongoing projects can also apply and we’re especially keen to see collaboration between students and local residents.”

The most successful project to-date was organised by the St John's Road Residents’ Association (SJRA), who initiated a welcome meal for 40 students that lived within the area.

The joined together with 13 long term residents, representatives from the Avon and Somerset Police, Bristol City Council and the two universities.

Adrienne Howe, Secretary to the SJRA, said: “All students in our area were sent a newsletter with a welcome letter, local information, discounts from local businesses and an invitation to the event. Our aim was to make the student population feel part of our community rather than on the periphery. Everyone thought that the event was a huge success and a fabulous way to meet your neighbours.”

For more details about the fund and how to apply, please visit the University's accommodation website


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