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More than just a room

Your Wellbeing

2020 saw the outbreak of a global pandemic we now know as COVID-19, this changed our world in more ways than anyone could imagine. At Abodus we worked through the pandemic to support our students and keep them safe. Your safety, health and wellbeing are our top priority, and we have produced this dedicated page in response, pointing you to all of the precautionary measures we have implemented to ensure your safety.

We are here to help and support you on your journey to success. The Abodus team are trained to help and support you with any concerns or issues. We offer a range of self-help resources in our blogs and guides which are free to access.  

We hope these webpages encourage you to take responsibility for your own health and wellbeing, empower you to seek help when you need it, and support you to develop skills that will equip you not only for university, but for life more generally.

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Covid-19 FAQs 

 

LATEST UPDATE – 28/09/2020 (Affecting our sites Portland Green Student Village (Newcastle), Glassworks (Liverpool) & The Foundry (Leeds))

Statements have been made by the Health Secretary 17th, 18th  & 25th September imposed some additional restrictions to help control the number of Coronavirus cases.  

What do these changes mean for our students, we have put together some FAQ’s for you.

 

What areas will it affect?

The new restrictions are for

  • North East: Newcastle, Sunderland, Gateshead, Durham, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, and Northumberland.
  • Merseyside: Knowsley, St Helens, Sefton, Wirral and the city of Liverpool
  • City of Leeds

When do the additional restrictions come into force?

The new restrictions for the North East region announced on the 17th September came into force midnight on the 17th September 2020.

The new restrictions for Merseyside announced on the 18th September came into force midnight on the 18th September 2020.

The new restrictions for the City of Leeds announced on the 25th September came into force midnight on the 25th September 2020.

What does it affect?

Pubs and bars will be restricted to table service and required to close at 10pm

Restaurants can only offer takeaway after 10pm

Residence should not socialise with anyone outside their own household.

Will I need to Shield again?

No, the guidance on shielding has not changed in the 17th, 18th or 25th September announcements.

Can I still check in?

Absolutely, your room has been professionally cleaned and sanitised ready for your arrival.  We are looking forward to welcoming you to your new home.  We have a virtual welcome week planned with lots of activities you can do while keeping safe.

Will the shops be open?

Yes, you will be required to wear a face covering and observe social distancing guidance.

Your safety is our main priority, we will continue with our enhanced cleaning programme, all our sites have information and floor markings to assist you with social distancing requirements.  If you have any concerns, contact your onsite teams who will be able to help.

Can I have people stay over in my flat?

­­­­­­­­­­­No, people should not socialise with others outside their household.

 

Refusing to self-isolate when told to is now illegal in England from Monday, with fines of up to £10,000.

Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19, or has been told they have been in contact with someone who has, now has a legal duty to quarantine.

 

Residents across the country


Shielding or Unwell

If you or a member of your current household is unwell, we ask that you do not travel to check-in, contact your Abodus team for guidance on check-in when you are well enough to travel.

 

Forming a new household

Abodus are ready to welcome you to your new home, the world is a little different now, once you have checked in you will be able to meet your new housemates. 

It is an exciting time meeting new people and facing the new challenge of University. It is critical everyone follows the up to date government guidance:

  • HANDS – wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds
  • FACE – Wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult and where you will come in to contact with people you do not normally meet
  • SPACE – Stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 meter when using face coverings or increasing ventilation.

 

Seeing Friends & Family

Government guidance changes on 14th September meaning you cannot meet up with people you do not live with in a group larger than 6.  When you are seeing friends & Family who you do not live with you should:

  •    Follow the updated social distancing rules
  •    Limit how many different people you see socially over a short period of time
  •    Meet people outdoors where practical.

 

Are Social Areas Open?

Our social areas will be open in October, however new government rules will be in place from 14th September so you will be unable to meet in groups of more than 6 people who you do not live with.  You will also need to maintain social distancing rules in any social / study spaces on site.

 

Will the fitness centre be open?

Yes, our fitness centres will be open for use from October (unless local restrictions apply) we have provided sanitising wipes and hand sanitiser for your to use, the number of people using the facilities has been reduced and we ask you maintain social distancing at all times.

 

Will students be allowed visitors?

Under new government guidance from the 14th September, you should not have visitors or overnight guests in your flat, outside of your household group.  For the benefit of your safety during this time, any gatherings breaching the guidance will be reported.

 

Can I stay in someone else’s home?

Under new government guidance from the 14th September, you should not have visitors or overnight guest in your flat. The social areas are available for your use, you should ensure you maintain social distancing with anyone you do not live with. Take particular care to maintain excellent hygiene – washing hands and surfaces – especially when using shared facilities like kitchens wherever possible.

 

Can I see my partner/boyfriend/girlfriend if I do not live with them? Do we have to socially distance?

Yes, people in an established relationship do not need to socially distance.  If in the early stages of a relationship, you should take particular care to follow the guidelines on social distancing.  If you intend to have close contact with someone, you should discuss how you can help to prevent risks of transmission as a couple, for example, by ensuring you are both avoiding close contact with people you do not live with and not exceeding gathering in a group larger than 6 people.

 

What do I do if I have to Quarantine/Self-isolation on arrival to the UK?

As of the 8th June 2020, people travelling from countries that are not on the travel corridor list must quarantine for 14 days from the date of arrival into the UK.  They are required to compete a passenger locator form (PLF) before travelling to the UK, listing the address of the nominated place of self-isolation.

If they need to use public transport to transfer to the nominated accommodation, they must wear a face covering and socially distance from others.  Anyone requiring to self-isolate should not leave their identified accommodation for any reason until after the 14 days is complete.  Self-isolation is a is a personal responsibility – failure to comply is an offence that can be punished with a fine, payable by the student.

If you require to self-isolate or quarantine on arrival, we ask that you make contact with your on-site team so that we able to support you during this period with additional protection measures and services.

 

Getting Tested

On days 1 to 4 of your symptoms, you can get tested at a site, or at home. If you are ordering a home test kit on day 4, do it by 3pm.

On day 5, you need to go to a test site. It is too late to order a home test kit. https://self-referral.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk/antigen/name

If you are not able to get a test in the first 5 days of having symptoms, you, and anyone you live with must stay at home (self-isolate), a negative result means the test did not find coronavirus.

You do not need to self-isolate if your test is negative, if:

  •    Everyone you live with who has symptoms tests negative
  •    You were not told to self-isolate for 14 days by NHS Test and Trace
  •    If you feel unwell, stay at home until you’re feeling better You have not travelled from a restricted country

Covid-19 


Unable to travel due to COVID restrictions?

Don’t worry we are here to help, contact your site team with your details and why you cannot travel at least 14 days before your tenancy start date.

My University start date has moved, what can I do?

You can request to defer your tenancy start date by up to four weeks, click below for the deferral request form and your site team will get back to you. Please ensure you request a deferral before 20th August 2020.

September Check-in

We are looking forward to welcoming you to your new home, to enable social distancing, we have added additional check-in dates where possible.  All site teams have been trained in the new way of working, so don’t worry we are here to help you keep safe. 

Booking slots will be released in August, you can book online, don’t worry if you need to change later, just let us know and we can help with that.  We ask that you keep to your booked slot wherever possible, if you are unable to on the day, don’t worry, contact the onsite teams and we will still be able to welcome you safely. Additional information will be sent to you prior to your check-in date.

I need to quarantine when I arrive in the UK.

We understand this can be a worrying time for all especially when you first arrive in the UK.  We are here to assist you during your quarantine.  Contact the onsite teams and let them know you are in 14 quarantine; they will provide you with the information on the additional support available for you. You may be eligible for our free 14-day quarantine offer, click below to apply. Please do not make any travel arrangements until you have received confirmation from the site teams.

General advice to minimise risk associated with Covid-19:

  • If you are displaying symptoms, you must self-isolate, let your onsite team know and we can offer additional support.
  • Wash hands regularly with soap and water for a minimum of 20
  • Coughs and sneezes should be covered with a tissue and disposed of immediately (into your elbow if no tissue) followed by the washing of
  • You must maintain social distancing when greeting others, this includes avoiding of shaking
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (cough and/or high temperature) you and your household should isolate at home: wearing a face covering does not change this.

Face Coverings

As restrictions are lifted the UK Government is advising that people should, where possible, wear a face covering in enclosed spaces where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come in to contact with people you do not normally meet.  This is most relevant for short periods in crowded areas, for example on public transport or in some shops.

Face-coverings are not intended to help the wearer, but to protect against inadvertent transmission of the disease to others if you have it asymptomatically.

Physical distancing, hand washing and respiratory hygiene, are the most important and effective measures we can all adopt to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Therefore, the wearing of facial coverings must not be used as an alternative to any of these other precautions.

The UK Government has published guidance on how to make your own face coverings 

Abodus recommend face coverings made of multiple layers of fabric, see How to make a face covering below.

Further Guidance

How to make a face covering

Hand Washing

Using Hand Sanitiser

COVID Handbook

COVID Video - How we're keeping you safe

Feeling Unwell?

  1. Call the NHS for advice to qualify your symptoms and obtain a Covid 19 test kit if required
  2. Follow all advice from the NHS and self-isolate if advised to do so
  3. Follow all social distancing guidelines when using all shared spaces. Ensure the spaces are well ventilated and remember to use a face covering
  4. If advised to self-isolate by the NHS, please call or email your on-site team at reception who will provide you with more support information from your support pack.
  5. Follow all hygiene protocols at all times, outlined in your support information, Covid 19 handbook and on-site signage
  6. After you have submitted your Covid 19 test for results, please call 119 for an update and inform your site team of the outcome to testing. If your test results are negative, you do not need to self-isolate!  

Wellbeing

Mental Health Support

We have a Mental Health Support Team who are here to support students with any mental health difficulties, provide information on specialist services available in your university or area.

Welfare

The onsite teams can help to support with more practical issues which may be impacting your studies.  This may be with other students, your accommodation, support to link you to the local health services and much more.   We are here for you, even if you just want a chat.

Stay Safe

We want you to feel safe in your new home and support you in being the best version of yourself.  Sometimes you may feel vulnerable and have concerns about how you have been treated verbally and physically by others.  We all have a responsibility to report inappropriate behaviour and we are committed to helping you stay safe.

NHS Services 

You may need to register or find NHS services while you are at University you can do this by following the links below:

Non-Emergency information

Non-emergency medical information  https://111.nhs.uk/  or call 111

Non-Emergency Police information https://www.police.uk/forces/ or call 101

Student Minds - Mental Health Support

 

Health & Safety 


Abodus is committed to providing and maintaining a healthy and safe working environment for all its employees, students and any other people who may be affected by its activities.

Abodus Health & Safety Teams role is to assist the onsite teams implement the Health and Safety Policy and to provide expert advice.  Our Health & Safety Team have scientific and technical expertise provided by professionally qualified advisers.  

The team works closely with our University partners, for Occupational Health, and with external agencies to ensure the support is available for all our students.

 

Fire Safety

Your time as a student should be among the happiest of your life, don't let a fire change that.

Every year, 17-24-year olds are involved in accidental house fires.  It is common for fires to start in the kitchen. Almost half of accidental house fires are caused by cooking.

Smoke alarms save lives!  Smoke alarms are fitted throughout the building and within your flat.  The onsite teams test them weekly to ensure we maintain a high standard of fire safety.   Do not tamper or cover any equipment that has been provided for your safety.

Student fire safety tips

  • Never leave cooking unattended. And keep the cooker clean - most fires in student properties are linked to cooking.
  • Tins and foil cause fires in microwaves - so leave them out.
  • Do not cook if you have been drinking alcohol - get a take-away instead.
  • Take extra care when frying with oil as this is an extremely common cause of fire. If one does occur NEVER put water on it as it will turn into a fireball. View more cooking safety tips: https://youtu.be/Xjc3oum0deA
  • Practice an escape route with your housemates, so that you know how to get out of the property if there is a fire. And make sure escape routes are kept clear.
  • Do not smoke in your room or flat, every site has a designated smoking area outside of the building.
  • Do not overload plug sockets, and switch off electrical appliances, like mobile chargers and hair straighteners, when not in use.

 

REMEMBER: If a fire starts get out, stay out and dial 999

Information for parents 

 

It is important to remember that a person aged 18 or over, is an adult in the eyes of the law. As such, their privacy is protected by data protection legislation. Our students provide us with information about themselves as part of becoming a new resident in the Abodus property portfolio.

Some of the details provided are fairly routine, whereas, depending on the reason for the provision of personal data, we may take more sensitive information. We are heavily constrained in all our discussions that we have with you in regards to your son / daughter and all staff are carefully briefed about their data protection responsibilities in law. For this reason, we may require you to complete data checks to qualify speaking with you on all matters related to your son or daughter as it makes no difference in the eyes of the law related to data protection that you are their parent.

There may be occasions when you feel that you would like to discuss matters relating to your son / daughter with accommodation providers. To be clear, we have no responsibility or obligation to disclose to you any personal information relating to your son / daughter or any other relatives, even if you are the one paying the rental obligation.

To ensure we are operating within the law, your son / daughter must provide written consent for them to speak to you about their personal affairs. The letter must be sent and signed by your son / daughter and must state clearly which information they are requesting the third party to disclose to you and why.

 

No contact from your son / daughter?

If you have been unable to contact your son / daughter for a period of time and you are concerned, we are happy to contact them on your behalf and ask them to contact you. We cannot call you back to share information but will focus on asking your son / daughter to get in touch with you directly. If your son / daughter has not contacted you within 5 days, it is permissible for you to contact us again to advise us that you have had no contact from your son / daughter. We will be able to confirm that the message has been passed on, your son / daughter has been seen, and he/she is aware you are waiting to hear from them.

You may be concerned about your son / daughter’s health or well-being, or even concerned about their behaviour or the behaviour of other people around them. Remember, we will not be able to discuss any details relating to your son / daughter without your son / daughter’s written permission beforehand. If you are deeply concerned, there may be other agencies more suitable such as the Police.

Sometimes, young adults are deliberately fleeing a difficult situation, so please understand why we cannot inform you of their personal data or sensitive details (such as their address, contact numbers or lifestyle choices). It is however more often the case that they are having such a good time with friends that they have completely forgotten about worried parents at home.

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