University of Winchester finalist in Social Enterprise Mark CIC Making a Mark competition 2021

28 May 2021

The University of Winchester is one of five finalists in the Social Enterprise Mark CIC 2021 Making a Mark Competition, which celebrates the impact that social enterprises created during the Covid-19 outbreak. 

The competition recognises social enterprises' responses to the Covid-19 outbreak and how they have demonstrated resilience and adaptability to continue providing much needed support to their local communities and wider society during the pandemic.

Accredited social enterprises holding the Social Enterprise Mark were invited to submit their 'Story of 2020' illustrating how the organisation responded to the demands and challenges created by Covid-19.

In its entry, the University of Winchester highlighted how at the start of the first national lockdown in March 2020, more than 8,000 students and almost 1,000 members of staff were required to stay at home. For an institution which works, lives and socialises together on campus, this was a huge change and the provision of teaching and specialist support for students had to adapt overnight.

Support for students included a package of no detriment measures, designed to help students by ensuring teaching assessment and progression processes are as fair as possible against the complex context of the pandemic. A £3.4m fund was launched to support students no longer living in University accommodation because of the pandemic. We also launched a rent relief fund for students in private rented accommodation and worked with Winchester Student Union and national bodies to call on private providers help support students with private accommodation contracts. The Student Support Fund, which helps students who find themselves in unexpected financial hardship, was extended to include those impacted by the pandemic, with funding from the Office for Students.

The University has also supported the local community during the pandemic, with a highlight being the provision of over 90 rooms in vacated campus accommodation situated close to the Royal Hampshire County Hospital (RHCH) to NHS frontline staff who were unable to stay in their own homes, as well as car parking spaces. The University also donated acetate sheets to RHCH which were used to make single-use face guards for Hampshire Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust staff and loaned tablets to residents in local authority care homes to enable them to keep in touch with loved ones while in-person visits were impossible.

The winner will be announced in June, with a special competition showcase feature in the Pioneers Post online magazine.

The other finalists are: Beyond Recovery; Forward Carers; Hope Enterprises, and Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise.

Read the University of Winchester's shortlisted entry on the Social Enterprise Mark CIC website.

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