The University of Warwick has introduced a cost-of-living support package worth £3.5 million, catering for students, staff and the local community.
The university, which is already an accredited living wage employer, has committed to helping staff in lower income bands with a one-off cost-of-living payment of up to £550, to be paid in January. Approximately 3,911 members of staff are eligible for this payment, which will be made to salaried employees on permanent and fixed-term contracts, employed on or before 31 October.
Staff have also been given the option of applying for an interest-free loan, as well as access to a free online personal finance platform, to help if they are struggling with unexpected costs. The platform provides tips and budgeting tools, as well as expert financial advice.
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The university has also issued an open invite to local residents to make use of its Arts Centre building in order to stay warm during the day and save on energy costs, as well as promising a programme of activities later in the year.
Stuart Croft, vice-chancellor and president of Warwick University, said: “We know that many people are struggling with their finances right now as household budgets are being hit hard by the cost-of-living crisis. That includes members of our own community, and we want to do what we can to help those most in need this winter.”
He added: “We believe offering this package of practical support to those who need it most is the right approach to take and reflects the feedback from our community.
“Today isn’t a full stop in terms of the support on offer. We will continue to work closely with our students and staff to understand what additional help may be needed over the coming months.”