We are aware that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its associated measures will have a range of impacts on our students. While a large number of students may have left Aberystwyth, we are aware of a number who, for one reason or another, will remain in University or private accommodation during this period.
In partnership with the University, we have put together a range of information to support you during this difficult time.
It's really important that we check in with those who may be still in Aberystwyth, or more at risk during this time, and offer to help if needed and appropropriate.
We are encouraging all students to check-in remotely with those they know who are still in Aberystwyth. If you are in need of support, don’t be afraid to reach out in our AberSU Covid-19 Peer Support | Cefnogaeth Cymheiriaid Facebook group
or seek support from any of the main services available.
We’re very aware that the current situation will for many be a sudden and abrupt period of change at a time which would otherwise have seen a lot of activity through organised events or informal friendship groups. The risk of loneliness and isolation in this period for everyone reminds us all of the importance of staying connected.
Staying connected is regarded by many as one of the five main ways to maintain good wellbeing. We’ve created AberSU Covid-19 Peer Support | Cefnogaeth Cymheiriaid Facebook group
to support this and we’re keen to support connections between students where we are able to do so.
We’re also working with Sports Clubs and Societies to consider ways they can continue to engage with each other, albeit remotely. Further below we have some early ideas for ways in which students can stay connected but also activities that can be undertaken.
Tools for staying connected
There are a range of useful tools available for connecting with others beyond the usual Facebook, Twitter, Messenger and WhatsApp many of us are already used to using.
Whilst it’s true that we can catch up in voice calls try using video chat platforms more. Seeing a person’s body language and facial expressions makes a real difference, and different surroundings will give you a sense of change and variety.
Video/virtual meetings, events or catch ups:
If you usually meet a group of friends for lunch or a drink somewhere, then why not use a group video platform such as Zoom to all get together online? The SU staff have been catching up having lunch together and it’s helped to keep a sense of normality and connection when they might otherwise be alone eating or have a drink. There are a number of platforms that you could use:
- Zoom - This video conferencing platform is free to use allowing users to host meetings of up to 100 participants. While a user can hold an unlimited number of meetings, meetings with more than one other person are limited to 40 minutes.
- Microsoft Teams - Many of you may have already used this as part of your course, but for those yet to do so it allows you to create public or private teams (groups) to which you can add members, chat, upload and share files as well as connect to a variety of apps.
- Google Hangouts - This communications service allows users to initiate and participate in text, voice and video chats, either one-to-one or in a group.
- Slack - This communication service acts as a single place for messaging, tools and files. Offering instant messaging with add-ins of other tools including Gmail, Outlook, Google Drive, Microsoft One Drive as well as many others.
We’re keen to hear your ideas on how we can connect students more online; if you’ve come across something exciting and have a suggestion let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Ideas for activities
There are a range of activities that groups of students can organise and participate in utilising many of the tools referenced above.
Below is a list of suggested activities that groups can organise as supplied by staff and officers from AberSU and others across the country...
- Live Stream - teach or learn a new skill
- Online Quiz/Bingo
- Social Media Repost Challenge
- Netflix Watch Party
- Fitness Class
- Online Bake Off
- Online Video Gaming
- Creative Activities e.g. Drawing, Knitting etc
- TV, Film or Book Club
We recommend all students regularly check and keep up to date with the University's Coronavirus Information webpage
. The page includes some useful FAQs and guidance which will continue to be updated.
The University has established a new helpline to answer and address any additional questions or concerns you may have that aren't answered in the FAQs. You can get in touch by emailing email@example.com
or calling 01970622483.
Student Support Services continue to operate and provide support. You can get in touch for general enquiries by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
or calling 01970 621761.
The AberSU Advice Service is operating as usual, albeit by remote means. You can get in touch by emailing email@example.com
or by calling 01970 621712.
The service will operate video calling drop-ins and appointments as required during the usual drop-in times of 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm, Monday to Thursday. We will continue to post service updates via official AberSU social media channels.
Remember, as well as the services above there are a range of useful support links should you need them.
- AberSU Article - Looking after your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak
- Big White Wall
- Student Minds
- BBC Article - Coronavirus: How to protect your mental health
While many students are likely to already be well aware of the locations of stores in Aberystwyth, we’re aware there may be concerns around accessing food and supplies as a result of current circumstances.
It’s important to avoid panic buying and only buy what you need. The majority of small businesses and supermarkets locally remain open unless told otherwise and are proactively continuing to support and serve the wider community.
We encourage students where possible to continue to support local businesses, with many continuing to receive supplies and more than willing to go above and beyond, with some offering delivery services where needed.
A number of supermarkets have put in place measures to ensure people have access to everyday essentials; as such you may find restrictions on the number of any such item you purchase (usually limited to 2 or 3 of the same item).
In addition some stores are implementing set hours for specific groups including those considered to be at high risk by the government including the elderly or vulnerable, as well as NHS and emergency workers.
It is also noticeable that online delivery slots are in high demand and therefore we recommend considering booking slots in advance; you can always do this initially and either cancel the booking or add/remove items to your online basket before the order deadline.
Please remain mindful however with online orders where you are feeling well and can go to the store; by doing so you will be freeing up a space for someone who is unwell or might be in a high risk category.
As the situation is fast moving we recommend students visit the websites of chained supermarkets for the latest information.
As a helpful reminder we’ve put a list below of supermarkets and local business, while not an exhaustive list of all that is available the aim is to give students alternatives to what they may be used to should they need them.
CK’s Foodstores - Waun Fawr, SY23 3QH
Tesco Superstore - Park Avenue, SY23 1PB
Tesco Express - North Parade, SY23 2JN
Morrisons - Parc y Llyn Retail Park, SY23 3TL
B&M Store - Parc y Llyn Retail Park, SY23 3TL
Charlies Stores - Parc y Llyn Retail Park, SY23 3TL
Lidl - Rheidol Retail Park, SY23 1LL
Iceland - Rheidol Retail Park, SY23 1LL
Home Bargains - Ystwyth Retail Park, SY23 1PB
Poundland - Great Darkgate Street, SY23 1DE
Spar (24 Hours) - Terrace Road, SY23 2AE
Spar (Great Darkgate Street) - Great Darkgate Street, SY23 1DE
Spar (Northgate) - Northgate Street, SY23 2JS
Co-op (Penparcau) - Penparcau Road, SY23 1RU
Local Business/Community Organisations
Rob Rattray Butchers - Chalybeate Street, SY23 1HS
Penparcau Butchers - Penparcau Road, SY23 1RN
Jonah’s Fish Market - Cambrian Place, SY23 1NT
Treehouse - Baker Street, SY23 2BJ
Maeth y Meysydd Wholefoods - Chalybeate Street, SY23 1HX
Aber Food Surplus - Chalybeate Street, SY23 1HS
Medina - Market Street, SY23 1DL
Ultracomida - Pier Street, SY23 2LN