At the end of January an inspection by the fire service resulted in the private, non-University affiliated residence Eldon Court being closed at short notice. This left students from several universities including 170 University of Leeds students suddenly displayed from their accommodation. Thanks to the hard work and tireless efforts from staff across Residential Services, the University was able to respond quickly and efficiently to help support these students in their time of need.
On 24 January staff were notified that Eldon Court was closing with immediate effect. They got to work straight away to find solutions. Team members in the Accommodation Office and site staff co-ordinated to confirm which rooms were ready for students to move into. Other colleagues and Security Services attended Eldon Court to provide reassurance to distressed students. They then redirected them to the Refectory whilst their emergency accommodation was arranged.
Our response to help students
The team handled calls, emails and in person meetings with displaced residents to provide emergency accommodation within hours of them having to leave Eldon Court. At the same time they continued to provide a high-quality service for our existing residents in halls. Before the offer of free emergency accommodation came to an end, many of these students chose to stay in our halls for the rest of the academic year.
The dedication, hard work and perseverance of the Residential Services team provided 173 students with emergency accommodation. The Accommodation Office subsequently offered 159 residents permanent accommodation. Of these, 76 students from Eldon Court are still living with us in halls.
The Eldon Court incident perfectly demonstrated the amazing things that Residential Services can do when we are all working together, towards the same goal.
Colleagues within the Accommodation Office worked tirelessly to provide invaluable and time sensitive support to help students displaced during an incredibly stressful and disruptive event. I am extremely proud of how they worked to support residents and each other, in the delivery of this service. The success of their teamwork can be seen in the number of residents that we were able to support and the level of service that we continued to provide as standard.
It’s really important to highlight that we wouldn’t have been able to deliver the service that we did without the tremendous effort of colleagues, including site staff at University residences and those that we are partnered with, as well as Security Services.
The level of responsiveness and communication that we received from these colleagues was integral to the service that we were able to provide, and I’d like to thank them for being the face of Residential Services throughout this period.
Chantelle Aleksander, Accommodation Office Manager