Students Going the Extra Mile

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Students from the University of Gloucestershire are joining forces with Gloucestershire Constabulary to keep their peers safe on the streets.

The Superstarsxtra initiative has been developed by the University of Gloucestershire’s Students’ Union, and has seen 12 students trained to Security Industry Authority level. The Superstarsxtra also achieved first aid certification and received briefings from the Police. The students will work in pairs and are linked into the ‘Nightsafe’ radio network.

They will be out on patrol every Monday night in term time and the scheme is already proving successful, with half the number of student-related incidents on September 17 than the equivalent night last year in Cheltenham town centre.

John Abell, Chief Executive of the University of Gloucestershire’s Students’ Union, said: “We have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with Gloucestershire Constabulary for many years and are delighted to be piloting this new scheme together. The students have been fully trained and are assisting where appropriate. We take the wellbeing of all our students very seriously and this is a further way in which we can help them enjoy themselves while staying safe. We are grateful to Gloucestershire Constabulary and to Cheltenham Borough Council for their support.”

The Superstars initiative has been helping students at the University of Gloucestershire for more than 15 years, welcoming freshers and giving them advice and support while they settle in. The new initiative is taking this support one step further and off campus.

Sergeant Tim Hutchinson said: “This is a great scheme which complements the work that officers do. As well as engaging with their student peers and discouraging anti-social behaviour, these volunteers can help with the more minor issues, such as locating a taxi or getting someone a drink of water. This means we are free to deal with the more serious policing issues.”

Cheltenham Borough Council provided £1500 funding towards the project. Trevor Gladding, community protection manager, said: “One of our main priorities is public safety and this scheme is working towards that by encouraging students to help each other on nights out. It is a great example of partnership working between all three parties and will help keep Cheltenham a safe place.”

The University of Gloucestershire gained official university status in 2001 but has existed as an educational establishment for nearly 200 years. Our heritage lies in the Mechanics Institutes of the 1830s, with our Francis Close Hall campus founded in 1847 as the Cheltenham Training College.

Today, we have three thriving campuses, Francis Close Hall and The Park in Cheltenham, and Oxstalls in Gloucester, which are occupied by approximately 10,000 students. In 2010, the University invested £5 million in teaching facilities including a new, state-of-the-art media and art and design studios.

The University of Gloucestershire delivers approximately 100 undergraduate course choices including accounting, law, business and management, fine art, TV production, humanities, leisure and tourism, social work and education plus and a diverse range of postgraduate and research degrees, and professional courses.

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Source: University of Gloucestershire

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