Monday, September 25, 2023

Working together for 'Welcome Week'

  • Students set to return to Edge Hill University this week.
  • Partnership working key to happy and safe students and residents.
  • Students to receive guidance on crime prevention, personal safety, fire safety, waste, recycling and responsible behaviour.

West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership is welcoming new and returning Edge Hill University students to West Lancashire during this year's 'Welcome Week'.

The partnership, which makes arrangements for students each year, is a collaboration between West Lancashire Borough Council, Lancashire Police, Lancashire Fire and Rescue, local councillors, Edge Hill University and Edge Hill Students' Union.

All partnership agencies, including the University, recognise the joint and collective responsibilities to welcome and support the transition and integration of students into the community.

Paul Charlson, Chair of West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership, said: "I'm delighted to welcome new and returning students to Edge Hill University and to West Lancashire.

"During this next academic year, we will maintain our collaborative efforts with our partners to ensure that both students' and residents' experiences are as safe and positive as they can be."

The Community Safety Partnership is collaborating closely with the University to reinforce key messages to ensure Edge Hill students are well informed about their responsibilities as citizens of the Borough, helping them integrate into the community responsibly, and so minimising potential issues for residents and students. This guidance will be reinforced by a 'letter drop' sent to all students living in off campus accommodation.

The Council will be sending information to student letting agents, and student accommodation with useful information on things like refuse collection arrangements and preventing noise nuisance issues, while making students and landlords fully aware of their responsibilities.

Councillor Gareth Dowling, Deputy Leader of the Council and portfolio holder for Planning and Community Safety, said, "I'd like to personally welcome the new members of our student community to the Borough. Their safety is hugely important to us, as well as making sure they join our local communities respectfully and positively.

"I want to also reassure our residents that we, alongside our partners, will be working hard to minimise any potential concerns while extending the warmest of welcomes to all students who have chosen to pursue further education at our local award-winning Edge Hill University. We wish them the very best on their academic journey and look forward to their contribution to our community, supporting our local economy, volunteering with local uniformed and blue light services, and undertaking unpaid work placements in our schools and hospitals as part of their studies”.

Adrian McGillion, Director of Facilities Management at Edge Hill University, said: “At Edge Hill we strive to foster an environment where together staff, students and local communities can learn, study, research and interact."

“We’re delighted to welcome our newest cohort to Edge Hill and look forward to helping them feel part of the wider community in West Lancashire. We’re particularly proud of the fantastic work our students have done in collaboration with Police and the Council’s Community Safety Team to raise awareness of drink spiking, and how to keep themselves and others safe during a night out."

"Our Campus Support team is dedicated to the safety and wellbeing of all students, and we also work closely with partners in the West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership to help students settle in as responsible citizens of the borough.”

One of the key initiatives which will be promoted again this year and incorporated into the Welcome Week Plan is the West Lancs Spike Aware Campaign, which was developed in 2022 in partnership with the University, Police and the Council's Community Safety Team. The campaign won the Investigator category of the Lancashire Pop Awards in 2022 and was specifically created to ensure the students' voice was at the centre of the campaign. As well as providing reassurance to students and visitors to the night-time economy, it also demonstrates our commitment to deliver against local and national community safety priorities.

The Council will also be working with local businesses to advise on requirements of their licensing agreements and conditions during Welcome Week and throughout the academic year.