Did you know Bristol has around 50,000 students* attending the University of Bristol (UoB) and University of the West of England (UWE)? Naturally to accommodate this number there has been an increase in students living locally, especially in Kingsdown, Cotham, Redland and Clifton.
These streets now have the highest density of student houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) in the city and this often creates issues – poor rubbish management, excessive noise and extra pressures on limited parking. (This last point is currently being addressed city wide through the RPS proposals.)
The Universities work hard to ensure their students are given guidance as to how to live in the broader community, however, a small minority will always be of concern to their neighbours.
Whether it is a street full or a single household of excitable, inexperienced temporary residents the outcome can be the same… disturbed sleep and a bin and rubbish strewn pavement.
Being fully aware of this annual influx of new young neighbours, a rising number of residents in these areas, make a real welcoming effort to introduce themselves and have found this helps with neighbourly relationships.
Therefore, a resident initiated project, backed by Redland & Cotham Amenities Society (RCAS), has created Resident Support and Student ‘Welcome’ sheets for others to use within the BCR Neighbourhood Partnership area that draws on this experience.
The Resident Support sheet includes positive guidance as to how, why and when to introduce yourself, plus a useful list of contacts. The Student ‘Welcome’ sheet that covers some aspects of community living which may not have been considered by younger people before, such as their homes being attractive to opportunist thieves and how their lifestyle can impact on their neighbours. This gives permanent residents a genuine reason to knock on a student house door to introduce themselves and give them the ‘Welcome’ sheet.
Printed versions of these sheets will be available at the upcoming BCR Neighbourhood Partnership Forums or may be downloaded and printed here
Student Welcome sheet
Resident Support 2 sheets: useful info and contacts and guidance
See RCAS website page for further information here
This project has been made possible thanks to Community grants provided by UoB and UWE
* according to UoB / UWE’s own figures for 2011 / 2012.