03/04/2020 - Update
During this difficult time, it’s more important than ever to focus on mental wellbeing. That’s why the team at Vita Student have partnered with university focused, mental wellbeing charity, UNIHEADS, to bring all of our students an online platform to educate, support and empower them during this tough period of self-isolation. UNIHEADS aim to educate students on all mental health essentials, raise awareness of signs to look for in people who may be struggling and to improve wellbeing overall.
UNIHEADS will be sharing some guest blogs exclusively for Vita Students over the coming weeks, to share tips and insights into how to manage what is a difficult time for us all. Read their first blog HERE and our UNIHEADS online support course will be launching very soon.
Our residence teams are here for all students, whatever they may need. Whether they require anything at all or even if they just want a chat, a designated hotline for each building has been shared via email communications and via their Vita Student App.
We have shared the below helplines with all of our students if they did want to speak to a professional about how they are feeling. Our residence teams are also on-site 24 hours a day to support where needed.
Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)
Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)
For any other support:
The NHS have a list of useful contact information HERE
As communicated previously, at Vita Student, we have had to adapt our usual event catalogue to bring our students a virtual alternative. Our teams are currently looking at even more activities in the coming weeks to get our students together safely and as a community and we will communicate our ideas very soon. Activities throughout April include:
From workouts to workshops and yoga to Instagram activities, we have something each day to keep our student’s engaged. We are looking how we can create a more interactive environment within the residences too which will roll out in the next few weeks.
At Vita Student we’ve never asked our student’s for anything but now we have requested one small favour. We want all of those who are still living with us to look out for those around them or anyone they know who may be struggling. Whether they drop fellow students a message, video call or play interactive games via apps like Kahoot, we’ve encouraged all of our students to keep in touch with everyone they know who is still their neighbour. These small gestures make all the difference and by just by having a quick catch up and check-in each day, it can massively improve someone’s mood and mental wellbeing.
On that note we just want to reiterate that the entire Vita Student Team are here for ALL students. If anyone wants a chat, has any questions or even if they have any community ideas of their own that they want to share, we have an open line of communication with everyone and will also be checking in door-to-door whenever we can to make sure everyone has what they need.
We are here for all of our students and we are ALL in this TOGETHER.
27/03/2020 - Update
Within the past 7 days, the Government have announced several measures designed to limit public interactions and promote social distancing. Understanding that we have an important role in supporting our residents during this extremely difficult time, our team have worked tirelessly in this short time period to completely adapt life at Vita Student to better serve our valued customers. We wanted to outline these adaptations and explain how we will continue to support our students throughout this challenging period.
Virtual Vita Student
Events are something we pride ourselves on at Vita Student which is why we’ve put a huge amount of creative thinking into how we maintain our events schedule by bringing it online.
Vita Student is going virtual and starting on Monday 30th March, we will have activities available Monday to Friday for our students to participate in from the comfort of their apartments. These will range from work-outs to workshops and interactive activities across our official social media channels.
Times and dates will be specified on a weekly basis however below are the main activity themes:
There is plenty of variety to keep our students occupied and to make sure their wellbeing is looked after during this difficult time. All of this content has been filmed and created exclusively for Vita Student and our teams and third parties have worked tirelessly to turn these around as quickly as possible.
Our current residents will receive updates via their email and Vita Student app and external parties will be able to view our events and activities via weekly blog posts if they wanted to participate from their homes too.
Vita Student in isolation
Unlike many other student developments our buildings are still very full and we appreciate that we need to continue to serve every student still residing within our buildings to help you get on with day-to-day life. We have adapted our usual services to allow for as little social contact points as possible to ensure people are able to distance as advised by the government. Below is a list of how our residences will work differently over the next few weeks and what we need you to do to play your part.
We will continue to work hard to go above and beyond for all of our students during this difficult time. We also want to take this opportunity to thank all of our brilliant residence staff who are literally working around the clock to keep buildings open, safe and to support students should they need it.
21/03/2020 - Update
As part of social distancing measures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in the UK, the Government has ordered the immediate closure of all food and drink venues, bars, pubs, cafes, restaurants, cinemas, theatres and gyms. This rule applies to the social spaces in Vita Student residences, and so we must unfortunately inform you that from today, we have been forced to close the following communal areas until further notice:
Where possible, access to these areas will be blocked, however we must ask you not to use the public spaces at this time and observe the Government guidance on social distancing that will be displayed on notices around the buildings. Essential communal spaces including the laundry, bin store and reception will remain open, but we respectfully ask residents not to congregate in these spaces.
In addition, all scheduled Vita Student events will be postponed. Breakfast will still be available Monday to Friday, however we will be providing ‘breakfast bags’ for residents to takeaway and consume within their apartments, rather than in the social spaces. Unfortunately, the coffee machine will need to be turned off.
From all the team at Vita Student, we are extremely sorry that your experience with us has been impacted due to this unprecedented global situation and we appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we follow this latest instruction from the Government. Your welfare remains our top priority and these new measures, together with our rigorous health and safety policies and your observation of self-hygiene advice, will ensure Vita Student residences continue to be safe and secure environments during these challenging circumstances.
Your understanding is greatly appreciated.
13/03/2020 - Update
As confirmed in the prime minister’s press conference on Coronavirus (COVID-19) yesterday, the UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the UK from moderate to high.
The guidance from the government has been updated to advise anyone with Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, however mild, including a new persistent cough or high temperature to stay at home (self-isolate) for 7 days, irrespective of where they have recently travelled or whether they have come into contact with someone else with symptoms.
We wanted to share with you the latest government advice, along with important information on ways in which we can support you should you need to self-isolate.
What to do if you have symptoms
According to the latest government advice, you should stay in your apartment for 7 days if you have either:
This will help to protect others in your community while you are infectious.
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
You do not need to contact NHS 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.
Guidance for self-isolating
Public Health England have published guidance for people with confirmed or possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection and the main messages for Vita Student residents are:
How we can support you if you have to self-isolate
If you need to self-isolate, please stay in your apartment and call your residence team on their dedicated phone number for advice and support, including information on how we can deliver breakfast, parcels and other items to you room. Your residence's dedicated phone number is: 02382 127 031.
The welfare of our residents remains our absolute priority and we are committed to supporting you wherever we can. If you have any concerns please reach out to us by speaking to your residence team.
03/03/2020 - Update
As you know, we have been keeping you regularly updated with the latest Government advice on Coronavirus.
We wanted to remind you that there is live travel advice on the Government website which can be accessed by clicking here. The list of countries is frequently changing, so we advise you stay updated, especially if you’ve been travelling or plan to travel.
If you have visited these countries and feel even mild symptoms (which are explained here – Coronavirus Symptoms) the advice is to self-isolate, which means to stay in your rooms and away from others for a period of 14 days. If you are self-isolating, its important you let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can 1) support you and 2) ensure housekeepers or other staff don’t enter your room. You should also contact the NHS directly by calling 111, but we can support with this too if you are unable to.
Finally, advice on what you can do to prevent yourself from catching Coronavirus can be seen around the residence, however if you have missed this information, more details can be found by clicking here.
25/02/2020 - Update
As part of our commitment to the health and well-being of our students, we wanted to share the latest advice with you from Public Health England surrounding Coronavirus:
The UK Chief Medical Officers are advising anyone who has travelled to the UK from China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Singapore or Malaysia in the last 14 days and is experiencing cough or fever or shortness of breath, to stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild.
We are carrying out enhanced monitoring of direct flights from these areas. Passengers will be told how to report any symptoms they develop during the flight, at the time of arrival, or after leaving the airport.
These areas have been identified because of the volume of air travel from affected areas, understanding of other travel routes and number of reported cases. This list will be kept under review.
If you have returned from these specific areas since February 19, you should call NHS 111 and stay indoors and avoid contact with other people even if you do not have symptoms:
If you have returned from these areas since February 19th and develop symptoms, however mild, you should stay indoors at home and avoid contact with other people immediately and call NHS 111.
You do not need to follow this advice if you have no symptoms.
MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND HERE - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public
If you have any further questions, please speak to your residence team.
11/02/2020 - Leeds Update
We wanted to inform you that media have been on site at our Leeds residence today speaking to students regarding a resident who was picked up from the building by ambulance yesterday. There have also been a few images of the ambulance shared on social media. To provide some reassurance we wanted to update you on what happened.
The student in question followed the official government advice which we have been sharing with you to call the NHS if they are worried about their health. This precaution is a responsible move and at this stage we have no reason to believe that they have contracted the Coronavirus. It is worth bearing in mind that over 1,000 people have now been tested in the UK in this way, and only 8 have been tested positive for the virus.
We remain in close contact with the health authorities and as we have recently been advised, no additional precautions are required across any of our sites. Should this advice change, we will of course let our residents know immediately.
07/02/2020 - Update
We would like to share the updated advice from the Government following the announcement of the UK's third confirmed case of Coronavirus which was diagnosed in Brighton.
Based on the advice of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), the UK's Chief Medical Officers are advising anyone who has travelled to the UK from the following places in the last 14 days, and is experiencing cough or fever or shortness of breath, to stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild.
We would like to reiterate to our residents the Government's advice that anyone who has been to Wuhan or Hubei Province in the last 14 days should immediately:
The welfare of our residents is our absolute priority and we are committed to helping members of the Vita Student community where we can. We would like to reassure you that we have been advised by Public Health England that there is no additional risk to any students living or staff working in our residences. If you have any concerns or you fall into any of the categories outlined above, please feel free to reach out to us by speaking to your residence teams.
Please also take note of the posters and information screens around the building that explain what you can do to reduce your personal risk. These measures include regularly washing hands, covering your mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue when sneezing or coughing and maintaining personal distance between people who are sneezing, coughing or have a fever.
05/02/2020 - Update
Due to the ongoing situation in the UK regarding the Coronavirus outbreak, we are proactively working with Public Health England (PHE) in relation to the precautions we need to take in all of our properties across the UK.
PHE has confirmed that there is no additional risk to residents in any of our residences, and that no precautions need to be put in place beyond the Government's advice that we have previously shared:
You will notice that this information will be displayed prominently across all residences and we ask you to follow this advice. The safety and wellbeing of our residents and staff is our utmost priority at Vita Student. We will continue to follow guidance from the relevant authorities and will share any changes to their advice with you immediately.
04/02/2020 - York Update
You will undoubtedly be aware of the Coronavirus outbreak emanating from Wuhan, China.
Unfortunately, we have had confirmation from Public Health England (PHE) that one of our student residents in York has contracted this virus, and as such has been moved by Public Health England (PHE) for treatment in their dedicated facility in Newcastle.
PHE, which is leading the investigation into this case, has confirmed that the student has not had contact with any other residents. PHE have also confirmed that the student was not in Vita accommodation when they came into contact with the virus. As a result PHE have confirmed to us that the risk to our residents is negligible, and no additional precautionary measures are required.
Regarding the student, we are pleased to say that they are in safe hands and we will provide any necessary support to them, their family and the PHE. You may see a PHE specialist team on site in the coming days, however they have confirmed that the site and all communal spaces can be used as normal.
You may also have had an email from The University of York and York St John’s in relation to this. We understand that you may have concerns or questions and we are working closely with both institutions to provide you with all the necessary support. This includes the pastoral care team from both Universities who will be on site from 5-7pm today and again tomorrow. The Vita Student residence team, who will also be on site to support, can direct you.
Outside of these hours, the dedicated call centre at the University of York remains open for staff and students at York, St John's, and the wider York community, should they have any further concerns or questions. The number is 01904 809 571.
At this time, we would like to re-iterate the Government’s advice that we have previously shared:
30/01/2020 - Update
As the outbreak of the Coronavirus continues in China the UK Foreign Office has warned people not to travel to China, unless their journey is essential.
If you have recently travelled to China we ask that you maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene. If you experience any coughs, fever or respiratory problems then please seek medical advice as soon as possible.
This advice is just precautionary. To date there are no confirmed cases of this infection in the UK.
If you have any further questions, please speak to your residence team.
23/01/2020 - Coronavirus
You will no doubt have seen recent news coverage of a reported outbreak of Coronavirus in Wuhan City, China. There are no confirmed cases of this new infection in the UK and the risk has been classified as low.
As part of our commitment to the health and well-being of our students, we wanted to share the advice with you from Public Health England as a precautionary measure:
“If you are travelling to Wuhan, you should maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene and should avoid visiting animal and bird markets or people who are ill with respiratory symptoms. Individuals should seek medical attention if they develop respiratory symptoms within 14 days of visiting Wuhan, either in China or on their return to the UK. They should phone ahead before attending any health services and mention their recent travel to the city.”
If you have recently travelled to China and experience any coughs, fever or respiratory problems then please seek medical advice as soon as possible.
Whilst only essential travel to Wuhan is advised, experts say there is no need for people to change their travel plans to other cities in China at this stage, but basic hygiene measures such as washing hands are sensible.
If you have any further questions, please speak to your residence team.