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Putting the UNITY back in commUNITY Welcome to UNITY news - your opportunity to find out how the universities and student unions of Cardiff engage with the community.

who were moving out of their accommodation at the end of term. 21 Green Zones were set up across Student Unions and

My name is Emma Robson, Cardiff Council’s Student Liaison Officer, working in partnership with Cardiff University, Cardiff Metropolitan University and the University of South Wales.

Kitchen items were stored, cleaned and organised over the summer by Cardiff YMCA and their volunteers, and sold at heavily discounted prices at the resales at Cardiff University Students’ Union and Talybont Social Centre in September.

This Issue of Unity News reflects the fantastic work that has been undertaken in the local community since the start of term.


were donated to the campaign, including clothes, food, books, media, kitchen and electrical items. All items were given to local charities including the YMCA and Cardiff Foodbank.

Electrical items were PAT tested and also sold at the sales. A total of £3,142.37 was raised that is split between the Lord Mayors chosen charity for 2015-2016, Velindre Cancer Centre, and the YMCA who led the campaign operationally.

The award winning ‘Get it Out for Cardiff’ campaign enjoyed another successful year this year, with over 14 tonnes of reusable items being donated by students

halls of residences across the city, where students could donate reusable items they no longer wanted. 17 YMCA banks are also in place all year round to collect reusable items. A variety of items


► Meet the new Student Union Sabbatical Officers

Facebook pages which can be found here: twitter.com/@cardiffdigs

► Private Renting and Equality – Advice from Tai Pawb

Keep in touch with UNITY news and Cardiff DIGS. Keep up to date with all the news across the city related to students and the community at our Twitter, and

This newsletter is available in Welsh

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► Student Volunteering Cardiff open their opportunities to members of the community

A massive well done to everyone involved in the campaign!


GIVE A LITTLE, GAIN A LOT! Student Volunteering Cardiff (SVC) is an independent charity that runs a variety of volunteering projects in and around Cardiff. Three of their projects have now been opened to members of the community wishing to volunteer. ‘Supported Living’ is a great new project providing support to individuals with learning disabilities, mental health issues and physical impairments. The beneficiaries on this project all live within supported accommodation; the concept of supported living assumes that every individual, regardless of their level or type of disability, is able to make choices

such as going out for food, going for a walk or doing arts and crafts in the house.

about how they live their lives. SVC are looking for volunteers to support the residents to enhance their lives by providing support in day-to-day tasks and activities,

The ‘Green Days’ project is run by SVC’s sister charity, Innovate Trust. It is a community project which enables people with disabilities to gain skills and experience by contributing to their own communities through conservation and green volunteering. Activities take place in Cardiff, the Vale of Glamorgan and Rhondda Cynon Taf, and can range from litter picking, to clearing invasive species such as Himalayan Balsam and Japanese Knotweed, and keeping footpaths in good condition. Volunteers are recruited to offer support during

these activities. The ‘Environmental Champions’ project is designed for those with a special interest in fairtrade, environmental issues, waste, recycling and energy. Volunteers on the project work on sustainability issues in Cardiff and take part in lots of fun activities throughout the year to make Cardiff a cleaner, greener and safer city, including beach and river clean-ups, litter picks and educational walkabouts in the community. Volunteering is a great way to make a difference in the local community and to meet new people - it’s also a lot of fun! Student Volunteering Cardiff (SVC) also offers free training for volunteers so don’t miss out on this opportunity! “GIVE A LITTLE, GAIN A LOT” For more information about any of these volunteering opportunities please contact SVC at generalenquiries@svcardiff. org or visit their website at www. svcardiff.org

www.cardiffdigs.co.uk @cardiffdigs This newsletter is available in Welsh

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Travelling by Taxi? Get home safely! TAXI ADVICE Cardiff Council wants everyone travelling by taxi or private hire vehicle to have a safe journey. The Council ensures that licensed vehicles are safe and comfortable and checks that all drivers have a good knowledge of the area, are medically fit and are free from serious convictions. There are two types of licensed taxi vehicles in Cardiff and it is important that you know the difference between the two. In Cardiff licensed vehicles are:


- which are either black with a white bonnet or London taxi type vehicles, and will display a roof sign which is lit when it’s for hire. Hackney carriages display a white licence plate on the rear of the vehicle. They can be hailed in the street or picked up on taxi ranks and must use the meter to calculate the fare if the fare begins and ends in the Cardiff boundary. If you are travelling outside the Cardiff boundary, a meter doesn’t have to be used and the passenger has to negotiate a price with the driver and this forms a contract between the two parties. In these instances a payment in advance can be requested by the driver. Cardiff Council recommends that if you want to get a taxi on a Friday

or Saturday night that you go to the official taxi ranks on St Mary Street and Greyfriars Road.


inside the vehicle. The licensed driver’s photo ID is also displayed on the left hand side of the windscreen and is worn by the driver.


- do not have a roof sign but are identifiable by a yellow licence plate on the rear of the vehicle. They cannot be hailed on the street and must be pre-booked through a licensed operator. Private hire journeys do not have to use a meter, and the fare is agreed with the passenger. A passenger is not allowed to flag down a private hire vehicle from the street, and if you do flag one down in this way and the driver takes you – you are not insured.

- unmarked vehicles without a licence plate should be avoided as they are unlicensed. You not only risk your personal safety by using these vehicles but you will not be insured if you were involved in accident.

All licensed vehicles

It is an offence for the driver of a hackney carriage vehicle to refuse a fare that starts and ends in Cardiff without reasonable excuse e.g. the customer is drunk or abusive. The fare must also be on the meter.

- must display a licence plate on the rear of the vehicle. This number is also displayed on the front left of the windscreen and

If you are refused a fare please make a note of one or more of the following identification methods: • The vehicle registration number • The rear licence plate number • The driver’s identification number and report it to: licensing@cardiff.gov.uk or 029 20871651

www.cardiffdigs.co.uk @cardiffdigs This newsletter is available in Welsh

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Private Renting and Equality – Advice from Tai Pawb If you’re reading this (and even if you’re not), you have a right not to be discriminated against. Whether you’re buying something from a shop, hiring a taxi or receiving anything from anyone else that can be classed as ‘goods or services’, no-one is allowed to treat you worse or harass you because of who you are. An important area discrimination law applies to is the provision of housing. So if you’re a tenant, your landlord or letting agent can’t discriminate against you. And if you’re a landlord or letting agent, then don’t discriminate, ok? The Equality Act 2010 is the most relevant piece of legislation to be aware of when considering equality and diversity. It details who is protected from discrimination and the types of discrimination which are banned. This means you can’t be discriminated against or harassed because of: Normally, you can’t be discriminated against because of your age, but this


isn’t always the case with housing or renting.

and able to take on tenants of different backgrounds.

The Equality Act means landlords or letting agents aren’t able to treat anyone less favourably (such as putting up rent or insisting or a higher deposit) because of any of these characteristics.

We also want those tenants to know they will be treated fairly and understand what they can do if they aren’t. This is why we’re working with the Residential Landlords Association to bid for a new project to help provide information for landlords and tenants. We’ve also produced two guides for landlords, one on the types of discrimination and one on providing reasonable adjustments. Both of these are available on our website at www.taipawb.org/resources

The Act also means that no-one can make comments which make you feel degraded or humiliated, or create a hostile environment for you because of who you are. This means jokes or comments that might be of a racist, sexist or homophobic nature for example aren’t allowed. It’s important landlords are aware of this to protect themselves from legal action as well. Actions which a landlord takes which unintentionally discriminate or harass could put them in breach of the law, and no landlords want to provide a service which is discriminatory. Landlords also need to know that the cost of awards from legal action under Equality Act can run into tens of thousands of pounds. Being aware of the law prevents legal action from happening. Tai Pawb wants to do more to help both tenants and landlords to be aware of their rights and responsibilities around equality and diversity. We want to make it easier for landlords to get assistance and support to help them house diverse tenants and feel comfortable

Should tenants experience discrimination, you should contact an organisation who can provide you with advice and assistance, such as Race Equality First (www.refweb.org.uk) or Shelter Cymru (www.sheltercymru.org.uk) to ensure you know your legal rights. We want to see a world where no-one suffers any form of discrimination in housing, but we can only achieve this if both tenants and landlords know the rights and responsibilities well enough to apply them. This is what we want to achieve.

www.cardiffdigs.co.uk @cardiffdigs This newsletter is available in Welsh

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Housing Advice


As students start looking for e.g. lounge or dining area, car parking, accommodation in the private rented double glazing, security, furniture. Make sector for the next academic year, sure you see all the rooms, including SabbaticalDigs officerslaunches are responsible addressing the handing issues that Cardiff the for locked ones, before over any #AvoidThePitfalls campaign to ensure money. affect students at their University, and for representing students’ students informed decisions views onmake an institutional, local and national level. Unity News would promises of future Be aware of verbal when renting properties. We’ve put Officers at the Student Unions of like to introduce you to Sabbatical maintenance work to be ready for your together few tips below to give you Cardiff aUniversity, Cardiff Metropolitan andin the of South move date.University Make sure these are written an overview but you can download the into the contract before sign. Wales. I work closely with them to ensure campaigns and you messages full advice sheet on we work on reach our students throughout city.hip - Contracts are usually Joinedthe at the www.cardiffdigs.co.uk joint, meaning that all tenants who sign it Get involved with the conversation, search are legally bound by it. There is no notice for #AvoidThePitfalls on Twitter. period. You are stuck with that house and Don’t Rush! Don’t be pushed into signing those people until the end of the contract. an agreement. Houses become available You will be responsible for each other’s all year around. There is no panic so look rent and any charges occurred. So before you sign, get advice from your around and don’t feel threatened into an Accommodation Office and don’t rush. agreement. Please be aware of agents who insist that all good houses go early – Seek advice before you look this is not true! You do not need to sign for Cardiff Metropolitan University: a property before the Christmas holidays. University Accommodation Office Get an accommodation list from your accomm@cardiffmet.ac.uk, Student University – all universities in Cardiff Union advisor Alison Larner provide a list of available accredited alarner@cardiffmet.ac.uk accommodation from private landlords. Universityusing of South Cardiff get yours on Student Portal or CardiffMetUniversity Students’ people it. Wales: The scheme University Accommodation Office email accomm@cardiffmet.ac.uk. Union, Claire Blakeway, has also been extended so that accom@southwales.ac.uk University of South Wales email Student Union President and it now operates 24 hours a day, accom@southwales.ac.uk. Cardiff Cardiffday. University: Kate Delaney, Vice President every Here is a photo of us University email Student Advice centre at the Welfare promoting the scheme toStudents’ students residences@cardiff.ac.uk Union advice@cardiff.ac.uk entering the Students’ Union night Set aside a time to view houses together South Wales Fire and Rescue Service The Safe Taxi Scheme was club. and be prepared to look at a number of have, in the last two years, seen an launched as a partnership different houses. Organise a time when increase in the number of accidental fires between Cardiff Mind Your Head Week is Cardiff everyone is able to makeUniversity all viewings, within the student population in Wales. Students’ andalone Dragon Taxis University Students’ Union’s never lookUnion at houses Officers would like to take this opportunity (based in Cardiff) in 2012. The annual Mental Health campaign, to raise awareness around electrical What are you looking for – Set a scheme allows Cardiff University aimed at raising of, and safety and urge allawareness students to download standard and stick to this – think about students and staff be safely tackling thesafety stigma surrounding the electrical first app. location, distance fromtouniversity, room picked up necessity by Dragon Taxis size needed, of communal area mental health issues. This year,


anywhere in Cardiff and taken home even if they don’t have cash at the time, provided that students and staff show their university ID card. Students who use the scheme can then reimburse the taxi fare through the Students’ Union finance department in the following days. In the past few months the scheme has been incredibly successful and has to led an increased number of

lls #AvoidTherPeinttfina g in private

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Contracts Flatmates Budgeting Deposits & Bonds Damp & Mould Responsibilities Know Your Rights For advice, contact your University Accomodation Office or Student Union.

Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @cardiffdigs for handy tips and advice, or visit www.cardiffdigs.co.uk for more information

download our FREE checklist & help sheets for student living

we focused on the importance of talking openly about mental health when it comes to tackling stigma and supporting friends or family. Throughout the week we had the lots of events happening in the Students’ Union. Including Lego Therapy, Dance Therapy, Meditation evening and an inner child day that encouraged students to release their inner child.

www.cardiffdigs.co.uk @cardiffdigs

www.cardiffdigs.co.uk This newsletter is available in Welsh

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Cardiff Metropolitan Students’ Union, Stef Kelly, President and Brad Woolridge, Vice President. There has been a hive of activity over the past 3 months here at Cardiff Met Students’ Union! After welcoming nearly 3,000 new students to Cardiff Met in mid-September we have been busy helping them settle into life here in Cardiff through a variety of speeches, talks and social events such as quiz nights, Open Mic/Live music nights and even a treasure hunts on campus and within Cardiff. In late September we were pleased to launch the Safe Taxi Scheme in partnership with Dragon Taxis. The aims of the scheme are to provide all Cardiff Met University students a safe passage home if they find themselves in a vulnerable situation at night. We felt that this scheme was a necessity for our students after the three sexual assaults which took place at the beginning of term. October saw a group of our students travel down to Ogmore-by-Sea to do a beach clean in partnership with the charity ‘Keep Wales Tidy’.

South Wales Police also joined in with the litter pick. Along with clearing the beach of litter students also discovered several Mermaid’s pouches (egg cases) were found on the beach which were sent to the Shark Trust to be verified and logged as part of the Great Eggcase Hunt! Also in the month of October we ran out mental health awareness campaign called ‘Walking Out of Darkness’. The aim of the campaign this year was to raise awareness of issues surrounding mental health. Our students really got behind and supported this campaign putting on fantastic events to raise awareness such as an art Exhibition called ‘Emotive Art’ put on by our School of Art students and a dance performance choreographed and performed by our Dance Society. As I write this piece we are running our Movember campaign which is aimed at raising awareness around men’s health. We have some great fundraisers lined up for the month topping it off with a charity football match in which the Students’ Union will be taking on the University’s staff football team. These are just some of the many events and campaigns that we have been taking part in this term and we have plenty more that I wish I could inform you about. Although if you wish to keep up to date or want to know any more about some of our activities please check out our website which is www.cardiffmetsu.co.uk.

END OF TERM WASTE If you use red striped waste bags for your waste that can’t be recycled, make sure you don’t use your allowance up at the end of term! Do not use them to transport items back home, or to clear your house out. These bags are only delivered every 6 months. Your next delivery won’t be until March. If you use them up, you will need to make your own arrangements to dispose of waste until then. The Council can provide you with advice about your options. There is a normal household general waste collection on 9th December for Cathays and 2nd December for Roath. Don’t forget, you only have enough bags to place out up to 3 per fortnightly collection. If you have a bin, only waste inside it will be collected.

Waste education and enforcement officers will be regularly patrolling the area at the End of Term period. Don’t forget, you can fined up to £100 for incorrect presentation of waste. If you need to clear your house, for any waste that can’t be recycled use black bags and take these to your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre at Wedal Road, Cathays. Recycle as much as you can using your green bags and food waste caddy for a weekly collection. If you don’t have access to transport, Cardiff Council can arrange an ad-hoc clearance for you at a charge. Contact commercial services on c.services@cardiff.gov. uk or (029) 2071 75 01.

www.cardiffdigs.co.uk @cardiffdigs This newsletter is available in Welsh

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Useful contacts Housing Enforcement 02920 871 762 For help with housing standards such as damp and mould, fire safety and security.

Housing Options 02920 570750 For issues related to bonds/deposits, tenancy agreements and landlord disputes.

Connect 2 Cardiff (C2C) 02920 872087 For Council services and general Council queries.

Noise Pollution 02920 871650 For issues with household noise, car alarms, dogs barking etc.

Pest control 02920 872934 For issues with rats, mice, bedbugs, etc

Police Student Liaison Officer 02920 633420 For community safety and security issues

Welsh Water 0800 052 0145 Cardiff University Security 02920 874444 For issues connected to security on campus and to investigate noise/ disturbances in private student accommodation.

Cardiff Metropolitan University Security 02920 416155 University of South Wales 01443 482055

Subscribe to UNITY news To subscribe to UNITY news send your e-mail with the word ‘subscribe’ in the title/subject to cardiffdigs@cardiff.gov.uk. Unity news is published twice a year at the end of academic terms in December and June. E-mail addresses will not be sent to third parties.

Read all about it Have you got a story you would like to submit? Send it to cardiffdigs@cardiff.gov.uk for consideration (300 words maximum, feel free to include images). If you would like this newsletter in Welsh, please contact Emma.Robson@cardiff.gov.uk

For more useful contacts visit www.cardiffdigs.co.uk

www.cardiffdigs.co.uk @cardiffdigs This newsletter is available in Welsh

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Profile for Emma Robson

Unity news issue 14  

Your opportunity to find out how the Universities and Student Unions in Cardiff engage with the local community

Unity news issue 14  

Your opportunity to find out how the Universities and Student Unions in Cardiff engage with the local community