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How Can We Help? Strath Union on Cost of Living Crisis

Strath student, Theerada Moonsiri, talked to Lewis McDermott, VP Welfare (2022/23), about how the cost of living crisis is taking its toll on students’ day-to-day life and how Strath Union has stepped in to provide support for students

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There’s no denying that the cost of living crisis is affecting us all. Students are now engulfed with money worries, yet often left out of the conversation responding to the emergency. Even before the cost of living crisis began, NUS Scotland reported earlier this February that two-thirds of students ‘have experienced mental ill-health as a result of financial pressures.’ And, it’s, arguably, getting worse.

“It’s really important that the University, Strath Union, and local and national governments do something in the face of the cost of living crisis,” said McDermott.

While Strath Union and the Cost of Living Action Group are working hard towards easing the burden of rising living costs on students at the University, here’s a list of support available now on-campus to help Strathclyders save some pennies.

Free kitchen: Reheat your food in the microwave available on Level 1 and Level 3 of Learning and Teaching Building

Free shower: Stay fresh and clean taking hot showers opposite the lifts on Level 1 of Learning and Teaching Building

Free sanitary products: Period is no joke. Check out where you can get free pads, tampons, and also condoms here.

Free charging: Power your devices anywhere on campus, but remember to be mindful of energy consumption and carbon emissions!

Free sport sessions: StrathActive provides a range of sport and active health activities, e.g. badminton, dodgeball, indoor football, etc., which are free to attend. Learn more here.

Plus, the following are some pro tips for food and drinks!

Donate-what-you-can meal: Strathclyde’s Chaplaincy provides tasty soup donated by the Union, and tea, coffee, and biscuits on weekdays, as well as a vegetarian/halal meal every Wednesday on a donate-what-you-can basis. Just pop in at Level 2 of Graham Hills Building.

Affordable food: From sandwiches, pizza, and street food that won’t break the bank, tasty meals are on offer across campus. Explore where to eat here(Editor note - The Terrace are now offering dhal and naan bread at cost, as well as Common Ground doing a £3.45 meal deal)

Coffee loyalty schemes: Roasters (at Strath Union) offers Buy 5 Get 1 Free, and Flava2Go or Starbucks Pod (at the library) offers Buy 9 Get 1 Free.

Cheap drinks: Living on a budget doesn’t mean you’re entirely banned from a great night out. Enjoy £1.50 drink promo every Thursday at The Terrace at Strath Union.

Good news! Excess food from food outlets across campus, like Roasters, Common Ground, Aura, and Flava, are available at a reduced price on the Too Good To Go app. This initiative allows students to get a whole bunch of food with only a couple of quid, and also helps reduce food waste,” added McDermott.

“There’s a whole load of other stuff that we [Strath Union] are looking to try,” McDermott said. A breakfast club where students can have a wee, free breakfast and talk through their struggle with trained professionals is among upcoming projects in response to the cost of living crisis because “nothing helps more than food in your belly and somebody to talk to,” added McDermott.



Concerning commuter students, even though most students are eligible for Young Persons’ (Under 22s) Free Bus Travel, many other students, senior or international, struggle with the travel costs of trains, buses, etc.

Asked if there’s anything we can do, McDermott stressed that we can support the Fighting for Students campaign by NUS Scotland, as one of the key demands is to fight for “half-price bus and train fares all day” regardless of ages, nationalities, or modes of transport.

Please remember that you’re not alone in this; we’re doing everything we can to support you. Let us know how Strath Union can be of any more help, reach out here.

Read also:

- Cost of Living Action Group

- Strathclyde Students Still Without Secured Housing

- Our Advice Hub Section on Financial Support


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