Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

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Chief Operating Officer's Annual Report of Loughborough University in the community 2014 - 2015

25 September 2015

Progress and Achievements during the year:

Student activity

Once again the year has seen a fantastic commitment by students to make improvements to the local community through their Action volunteering programme and fund-raising through Rag.

  • Action spent 26,000 hours volunteering to help support charities and community groups.  Activities included annual events such as the summer litter pick to clean up the community, Kids Camp where volunteers take a group of young carers away on a trip and the Tea dance involving sandwiches, cups of tea and dancing to Tuxedo swing. Action also helped out with specific projects including the repaint of local charity cafe Glebe House. Volunteers also lent a helping hand at Ronald West Court, a housing and Care 21 retirement scheme where they prepared dinners for residents. They also helped out with the summer sing-along and gardening project at the home.  Many students also chose to volunteer on a weekly basis at local youth centres, schools and charities.
  • Loughborough Students’ Union Rag once more raised £1.39m to help support local and national charities. It is the sixth year running that Rag has broken the £1m barrier. Highlights included the Poppy Appeal which raised more than £72,000, a charity cycle from London to Paris which both staff and students signed up to participate in, a charity trek to China and a raffle which raised over £15,000. As well as supporting national charities such as Dementia UK, Make a Wish and Meningitis Research Foundation, the money raised also benefits local charities, including Peter Le Marchant Trust, Second Chance Youth Shelter and Minnie’s Friends.

In May the University was pleased to present the TS Shipman and Hannah Community Prizes to 8 students to recognise and reward them for taking part in community activities.  The students were honoured for their local volunteering and for being ‘good neighbours’.

For the fourth year running a student from the University’s School of the Arts was chosen to provide art in Queen’s Park in an exciting project with Charnwood Borough Council.  The project celebrated the 100th anniversary of Ladybird Books.

A range of students also undertook projects with local employers as part of placements.  Many of the University’s courses now include the option of a placement year.

University activity

The University offered more than 50 events during the year that were open to the public.  These included concerts, lectures and activities aimed at children such as the British Science Week Community Day. In addition to this a range of activities were offered through the Radar arts programme; language courses and arts classes. Sporting fixtures open to the public included the National Badminton League fixtures, Loughborough Lightning matches and the international Lacrosse game against MIT from the USA.

The Community Donations Fund programme was on offer for the 7th consecutive year.  More than £200,000 has now been awarded to local groups and organisations through this programme.

An Employer Supported Volunteering Policy was launched during the year, allowing staff to volunteer for up to one day per year. 

The University continued to offer a programme of employment placements that targets local people with complex barriers to long term employment, specifically the homeless and young people with special educational needs.  The scheme is being rolled out following an initial trial and to date 29 individuals have benefitted.  A number of people taking part in this programme have gone on to find permanent work with the University.

Campaigns and initiatives

Loughborough Students Union carried about a number of campaigns during the year.  Two – The Better Decision Campaign and Know the Line Don’t Cross were particular relevant in relation to student behaviour issues affecting the community.

In June it was announced that the Student Union and University had been awarded the Alcohol Impact mark of accreditation from The National Union of Students (NUS).The Alcohol Impact scheme, funded by the Home Office during its pilot year, aims to create a positive culture of responsible drinking and helps students’ unions and universities to promote responsible behaviour on campuses and in communities and improve the health and wellbeing of students. To attain the accreditation, students’ unions work in partnership with institutions to challenge negative drinking cultures on campus by working through a list of criteria. They are then audited and if successful, are awarded the accreditation mark to signal their commitment to encouraging a healthier, more inclusive campus experience.

The Loughborough Alcohol Partnership continued its work during the year.  Since its formation the partnership has developed a University wide alcohol-related policy, reviewed and evaluated the scope of drink related activity and risks at the University and developed an action plan to address key issues, including peer pressure drinking, alcohol related poor behaviour and pre-drinking. Impact measures were allocated to each theme/action.  

With the benefit of a full academic year having passed since the plan was developed, progress has recently been reviewed.    The results have been encouraging and highlights include:

  • a reduction in welfare interventions by security
  • a reduction in the number of violations of the Alcohol Free Zone
  • a reduction in the number of security incidents in LSU building
  • a reduction in the number of refusals of entry to the LSU building
  • high awareness of students of alcohol free alternatives (NUS alcohol impact survey results)
  • reduction in complaints during campaign periods (Better Decisions)

 The process of providing feedback to individual complainants continued during the year.  The response to this has been overwhelmingly positive.

The data sharing agreement with CBC and Police continued over the year and excellent working practices have been developed.

The agencies worked together to provide more frequent reports on complaints and disciplines.

The University funded the trial of the Loughborough Students Street Support Scheme during the year.  An extended trial is taking place in the new academic year, funded by the Charnwood Community Safety Partnership and the University.

The University’s internal student behaviour group continued to meeting to review data on student behaviour and crime issues and under take action planning.

The Alcohol Free Zone continued to operate on campus.  The consensus is that this continues to have a positive benefit and it will continue to operate in the coming year.

A time limited operation of the gates at Ashleigh Drive and Falkner Eggington continued and this has significantly reduced the complaints coming from this area. No changes are currently planned to this arrangement.

 Complaints and discipline statistics – 2014/15 (between 1 August 2014 and 31 July 2015)

The University and its partners continue to be pro-active in highlighting the complaints procedure process to local residents.  There are now well established procedures in place for following up on complaints and an incremental approach is followed which involved all the agencies.  We have a 100% follow up rate for the investigation of house noise complaints.  Transient noise remains a challenging issue for all the agencies.  The data on complaints and disciplines for the year is as follows.

 Total complaints

Total complaints

 

2014/15

+/- previous year

 

887

+313

 Notes: 225 of the complaints came from one location

 Complaints by type

Type of Complaint

Number

Percentage

Noise - Hall of Residence

71

8%

Noise - House

282

32%

Noise - Street

376

42%

Traffic - Off Campus Parking

33

4%

Other Complaints

125

14%

 

 

 

Total number of complaints

887

 

  • 82% of complaints are about noise/ASB

   Follow up on house noise complaints

 Total number of student properties

 Number of properties complaints received

 Percentage of overall student properties

 1894

 148

 8%

  

 Resolution of complaints

 First intervention

 With follow up/additional intervention

 

 110 (74%)

 38 (26%)

 Which represents 2% of overall number of  student properties

 Complaint by key location:

  • Ashby Road
  • Radmoor Road
  • York Road
  • Forest Road
  • Westfield Drive

 Disciplines

 Total Disciplines  2014/15

 

 +/- year on year

 Section 3 offences 

 +/- year on year

 Section 2 offences

 +/-  year on year

  

 Community  disciplines

 +/1 year on year

 314

 +94

 19

 +5

 295

 +89

 51

 +32

 Community Offences – breakdown by offence

 Offence

 

 Section 3

 Section 2

 Anti-social behaviour

 0

 18

 Noise and Nuisance

 0

 19

 Bringing University into disrepute

 0

 1

 Noise and Nuisance/bringing  university into disrepute

 0

 13

 Community offences – breakdown by outcome/discipline

 Outcome/discipline

 

 Number of cases

 Fines

 22

 Suspended fines

 22

 Formal reprimand

 7

 

 

 

Richard Taylor

Chief Operating Officer