Project aims to build harmony with students
A NEW initiative has been launched aimed at improving relations between students and their neighbours.
A new Community Fund, set up by Bristol University, will offer grants of up to £250 for residents' projects to promote community harmony.
The grants can be spent on anything from a curry night organised by a residents' association, a street party or even a gathering together of a group of people to clear up a derelict piece of land.
As part of its ongoing efforts to foster good relationships between students and the local community, the university has run similar initiatives in the past and has formally established the Community Fund to build on this success.
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Pru Lawrence-Archer, head of the university's accommodation services, said: "Experience has shown that this sort of grass roots activity is the most successful way to promote community harmony.
"I am delighted that the university has been able to introduce this fund and I look forward to working with local residents and students on many interesting projects.
"These could be focussing on the environment, community events, or simply improving communications. Ongoing projects can also apply and we're especially keen to see collaboration between students and local residents."
The most successful project to date was organised by the St John's Road Residents' Association, which initiated a welcome meal for 40 students living in the area.
Adrienne Howe, secretary of the residents' association, said: "All students in our area were sent a newsletter with a welcome letter, local information, discounts from local businesses and an invitation to the event.
"Our aim was to make the student population feel part of our community rather than on the periphery.
"Everyone thought that the event was a huge success and a fabulous way to meet your neighbours."