CCO Welfare and former Furness Equal Opportunities Officer Ellen Hedley aims to help students become more aware of the “welfare facilities that we actually already have in university”.
Hedley wants to ensure support for students by creating a “central document”, containing information of all the welfare facilities which should be included in the Freshers’ pack to raise the awareness of the existing welfare systems on campus, such as Nightline and the LUSU educational support team who can “help students with a wide range of issues”.
In terms of supporting international students, Hedley proposed to engage them on a society level, where she believes “there is quite a lot of involvement from international students”. She suggested that it was the best way to understand how international students wish to engage.
Hedley claimed the most pressing concern for students at the moment is “the rise in cost of living”, specifically the rise of rent on campus. She told SCAN that she believed the solution was “getting the message out there about the support available financially to people” and providing more “access to information” of financial sources such as student loans.
She also spoke of various mental health campaigns, such as the national ‘Time to Talk’ day which took place on campus, and welfare systems available. She believes that more people are becoming concerned about and aware of mental health issues. However, she believed that “more campaigns” should be launched in order to “get [it] out there that people aren’t alone and they can talk to someone”.
She also told SCAN that a campaign in which “colleges work together to promote them (the awareness of mental health issues)” would be effective. “Because there may be people who need help with something but they haven’t seen the campaigns because it’s limited to one college”. When asked about the ethical investment policy, she claimed there should be a finalised one to “make sure that the university is investing money in the right places”.
As a member of a women’s rights group “with the main aim of getting more women to run in elections” and part of a working group looking at the implementation of CCO Liberations positions, she believes it is important to have an FTO that can provide support for students in liberations groups.