COVENTRY University students are extending the olive branch to city residents with a new volunteer scheme.
The university’s Students’ Union has extended its community Student Wardens programme to help prevent potential tensions and encourage young people get more out of the city where they live and study.
The scheme, which was launched as a pilot in January in busy student areas including Hillfields and Gosford, will now roll out permanently across the city in the coming weeks.
Volunteers will patrol and talk to residents about concerns over bin collections, litter and anti-social behaviour, and push campaigns such as clothing collections for homeless charity, Cyrenians.
Nicholas Widdowson, Student Warden, said: “We do a lot, from talking about rubbish and graffiti to running campaigns to educate students.
“It’s a pioneering scheme but it is growing and wherever we can help we do.
“The most common complaints we hear are over bins or rubbish collections.
“Often it is very small things that bother people the most and our aim is to stop these small problems getting out of control.”
“A lot of people think all young people are students and all students are bad, and that isn’t the case.
“Hopefully what we do will have a big impact to change that perception.”
Coventry University Student’s Union (CUSU) vice president for welfare and community, Cheryl Kwan Yee Chan said the idea was for not only to reduce ‘needless anti-social behaviour’ but to also encourage students and residents to work together to make the city a better place to live.
The Student Wardens will also work with the council and police, and recruit new Hall Wardens to take the same role into university accommodation and surrounding streets.
City resident Josie Llewelyn added: “The Student Wardens scheme shows that the university is serious in trying to change perceptions by coming out into the community and listening more to what people are saying in order to address any concerns and potential difficulties.
“It is a positive step for areas of the city with a big student population but we must realise this is a two way process and we all have to work together.”
Contact Aiden Ramsey on firstname.lastname@example.org or 02477 655224 to get involved in the scheme.