With lockdown looming, it’s a difficult time to be away from home for people at university. With accommodation costs being a big part of student living, some students have taken the decision to spend a bit extra in order to feel safer during their studies.
After a year of construction, True Student finally opened its doors on the 25th of September, offering students either a shared student apartment or private accommodation as well as facilities including a Festival Zone, a gym with free PT sessions, a café, cinema room, sky lounge and kitchen, study zones and more.
“For now and especially now, when everyone’s having to stay in, it was something that, as COVID was getting bigger, I made my decision on it then because of how much we’d have to be inside anyway so I want to be somewhere that’s really nice” said Ellie Double, second year journalism student.
True is one of the more expensive student halls in the area, with an average cost of £206 per week, meanwhile the average student rent cost in Salford, according to ‘Save the Student’ is £92 per week.
However, the price includes much more than just accommodation, with facilities including a Festival Zone, gym with free PT sessions, Oaka Café, Cinema Room, Sky Lounge and Kitchen, Study Zones with Free unlimited printing and much more.
“At true we offer our guests much more than just a great bedroom – student wellbeing is at the heart of what we do and we’ve created a range of spaces to study, exercise, relax and socialise. As standard, we offer all-inclusive bills and super-fast WIFI, plus there’s no need for a deposit. Whether our guests are looking for a shared student apartment or private student accommodation, we have options to suit every personality at true.” Says Holly Rodgers, an employee at True.
“We have also developed a true Life events program which allows our guests to be are surrounded with amazing opportunities and experiences that boost wellbeing, personal network and life-skills so our guests feel energised, connected and inspired. These include fitness classes, foodie experiences, movie nights and more!
“We think university life is about exploring the endless possibilities that await. We believe by providing our guests with these extra utilities it helps our guests achieve physical and emotional well-being”.
These extra facilities seem to be influencing other providers in the area: “One thing I’ve noticed since I started working on the True site in Salford is there is a lot of different accommodations popping up and it seems there’s constantly new buildings and I think everyone is starting to do similar things so we’re seeing a lot of people that are now doing events and helping students with their mental health and wellbeing and really promoting that which I think is fantastic. I think everyone is starting to offer a lot more than just accommodation and they’re really trying to help introduce students to other opportunities” says Holly.
For parents, it’s already difficult when it comes to their children moving to University, even more so during the pandemic with many students away from home for the first time.
But do these extra facilities and support services help?
“Now she’s there, I do feel comfortable. I think she’s as safe as she would be if she was at home with us. I genuinely do” says Lisa Gallucci, speaking on her daughter, Alex, who is in her second year at university.
“This year has been a challenge to ensure our guests settle in and are able to continue to socialise safely given the current coronavirus restrictions. We have been able to keep our social areas open and limit the amount of guests/households in one area at a time. We have been able to throw small socially distanced true Life events including yoga, pizza making quiz nights and more – where guests have been able to get to know other residents. We also have a strong online community and encourage all guests to join our closed Facebook group where they can meet like-minded residents living here” added Holly.
While the residents here appreciate that piece of mind, it’s clear that it comes at a financial cost.