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This booklet has been put together by your Community Reps to help you make the transition from living in halls to living out in the community. We’ve put together some top tips to help you settle in. Your Community Reps are here to represent you and make sure you have the best possible experience as a student living out in the community. If there are any issues you’d like to raise or if you’d like to join our team of Community Reps e-mail us: su.welfarereps@northumbria.ac.uk Getting on with your new neighbours Possibly the biggest change living in a house rather than halls is the move to a residential area. The people living around you won’t all be students; they may be elderly, they may be parents with young children, they may have to start work early in the morning. That’s why it’s important just to take some points into consideration: Introduce yourselves to them. Neighbours can have loads of pre-conceptions about what students can be like, the best way to remove these preconceptions is to say hi and let them put a name to a friendly face. Noise! You don’t have to be silent, but you don’t need to play your speakers on full blast either. If someone asks you to turn it down then be polite and do it. Don’t slam doors and don’t run down the stairs, some walls especially in flats can be paper thin. Remember it is possible for your neighbours to get police involved and this can lead to you losing your speakers, or computer, or instrument. The easiest way to avoid this is just by being considerate.


If you’re planning on having a few mates round and you reckon you’ll be noisy then let your neighbours know a couple of days before. Try not to leave loads of rubbish out the front or the back; remember your bin days! It doesn’t take long for the rubbish to build up and annoy your neighbours, not to mention attracting rats!

Useful community services Northumbria Police: Anyone needing to speak to police for any non-emergency issues such as minor traffic collisions, criminal damage or about an issue affecting their community can now call 101. Walk-in centres: Anyone with minor injuries or illness can access the walk-in clinics from 8am-8pm, 7 days a week including bank holidays. Westgate walk-in centre (Westgate Road, West End) 0191 282 3000 Molineux Street walk-in centre (Shields Road, Byker) 0191 275 5862 Sexual health Walk-in clinics and appointments for contraception, sexually transmitted infection testing and any sexual health issues are available at the New Croft Centre (Market Street East, City Centre) 0191 229 2999


Many first year students live in halls with all-inclusive packages of bills and rent. With the majority of private rented accommodation, bills are often left to the discretion of the tenants to sort out. We advocate the setting-up and use of a shared account within the house, whereby somebody opens an account in their name and the bills are paid through that account. Each tenant can then set up a standing order to be paid into the account so that there is enough money available when bills are to be paid. It is advisable to create a plan at the start of semester detailing expenditures and incomes throughout the semester, to avoid being stuck in the last couple of weeks of term! In the first couple of weeks of living in your new flat or house, you may want to sit down with the other people living with you and discuss how the bills are going to be paid, how much you are contributing etc. Be realistic with how much money you leave for bills, especially in the winter months, and try to search for good deals on electricity, gas and internet as in most tenancies you don’t have to stick with the current provider (check with your Landlord). Properties only occupied by full-time students will be exempt from Council Tax. All students living in the property need to provide a student certificate (available on request from the university) to the Council via a Customer Service Centre before exemption can be granted. You can apply online via the council website: www.newcastle.gov.uk


Safety and security Last academic year, there were 230 burglaries to student properties across the City. In the majority of cases this has happened because students have left their doors and windows open, not just unlocked, but wide open – this is just an invitation to offenders! As students you are targeted - If you think like an offender, gaining access to a student property with normally 5 to 8 students living there, takes just one risk for multiple gains as all are likely to have a laptop, phone, iPod etc. each! Top Tips: - Keep your doors and windows locked when you go out. - Keep valuables away from the window. - Check the window locks, especially on downstairs and basement windows and your doors - make sure they’re strong, secure and with proper locks! - If you have expensive items, don’t leave the empty boxes outside your house, rip them up and file them under a bin. Think about it - leaving the boxes outside lets the thieves know exactly what goodies you have inside your property! - Make sure your wheelie bin is in your yard, and that your gate is shut and bolted. Burglars jump on to wheelie bins left out in the back lane to get over your back wall and into your yard. - Make sure your bike is locked with a D-Lock. The University will gift you a D-Lock for free if you go and ask at the Security Office. - Get insured – it’s better to be safe than sorry! Keep lists of the make, model and serial numbers of your electronic items to help police track them down if they are stolen. See www.immobilise.com for further details.


Jesmond & Sandyford Jesmond has a number of facilities and services to support the local student popultion.The main ones are Jesmond Library and Jesmond Swimming Pool. There are also numerous gyms for the fitness conscious amongst you! North Jesmond is also home to Waitrose and Tesco, as well as the popular Osborne Road, which is beaming with bars and restaurants. Sandyford has numerous local takeaways e.g. Chinese and Fish & Chip shop on the main street, Starbeck Avenue. Loco (Warwick Street), Starbeck Beer & Wine (Starbeck Avenue) and Nisa (Sandyford Road) are the closest convenience stores. There is a big Morrisons supermarket in Byker. There is the Jesmond Metro link on Osborne Road and a metro link in West Jesmond, both take approximately 5 minutes for students to get to Haymarket the closest station to City Campus at Northumbria University. There are also buses that stop at numerous different points on Osborne Road and Sandyford Road. It may be worth your while to invest in a bus pass or a metro pass, especially if you have a job in Newcastle City Centre. The city centre is in easy walking distance. Heaton There are three main supermarkets in the area: Sainsburys (Heaton Road), Tesco (Chillingham Road) and a huge Morrisons (top of Byker Bridge). There are also loads of corners shops dotted around the streets. Heaton Park is a great place for exercise or just relaxing on a warm day. Heaton also has lots of cafes such as Heaton Perk, Teasy Does it, Sky Apple and Jack Sprats. Some have events in the evenings, e.g. the Butterfly Cabinet has free live music on Mondays and Thursdays. There is a metro station at the top of Chilingham Road, which takes about 5 minutes to get into the centre of Newcastle. Alternatively there are bus stops on Chillingham road, Heaton Road and Heaton Park Road. The buses are regular and it’ll take you around 10 minutes to get into town.


Ouseburn The Ouseburn valley has a fine collection of pubs only 5 minutes’ walk away from Heaton and is close to all local amenities in Byker e.g. Post Office, Morrisons supermarket. The Cumberland Arms is a traditional ale pub with live music sessions going on most nights of the week; the Cluny is a music venue which hosts loads of new bands; the Star and Show is a volunteer run cinema and music venue which has events on most nights of the week. The Quaylink bus service serves Ouseburn and there’s a metro stop close by in Byker. Ouseburn is also within walking distance of the quayside and city centre. West End The West End boasts a fantastic selection of international food stores. There is also an ASDA supermarket just off Westgate Road and a huge selection of take aways and cafes. You are within walking distance of the city centre and in easy reach of some great green spaces including the Town Moor and Exhibition Park. The Centre for Sport on the West Road offers a wide range of leisure and sporting activities. Westgate Road is the gateway to the West End of Newcastle and served by many bus routes. Parking In many residential areas within Newcastle, a permit is required for on-street parking. This can be obtained from the council website (http://www.newcastle.gov.uk) at a relatively low cost. The streets are regularly patrolled by civil enforcement officers who will give out fines if permits are not displayed! Most private rented accommodation i.e. a house or maisonette will come with a parking space outside, but it is worth asking the letting agency or landlord about this when viewing properties. Some houses have a parking spot in the back yard, so if you have a car at university you may wish to get a house that has this free parking space, as it may work out cheaper for you!


Get involved at NSU! This booklet was created for you by your Community Reps. Their role is to provide a voice for and protect the rights of students living in the community in Newcastle. If you have the passion and drive to make positive changes in your area, why not give it a go? We are recruiting next year’s team now! We have so many opportunities where you can make a difference in your local area. This may be projects such as drama summer schools for children, to beach cleaning and IT classes! You will meet new people and gain new skills to enhance your CV. Check out the NSU website (http://www.mynsu.co.uk) or e-mail su.welfarereps@northumbria. ac.uk for more information about all of these opportunities!

Thanks to our team for Community Reps 2012/13 for putting this booklet together.

Halls To Houses - A Definitive Guide  

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