[We begin with Alice in front of Peak Court]
Alice: Hi I'm Alice and I'm here at a University of Derby Hall of residence. I'm visiting today to find out what life is like in halls for our students. Let's head inside now, we're going to meet Kirk who's the manager of these halls and he's going to show me around. Hi Kirk!
Kirk: Hi Alice, how you doing, are you ok?
Alice: Nice to meet you yes, good to see you.
Kirk: Nice to meet you too.
Alice: So Kirk, we're here - we're outside - beautiful courtyard - we're surrounded by trees -how many rooms have you got in this hall of residence?
Kirk: So in this hall of residence we've got 245 rooms it's a completely ensuite on these halls but we across the portfolio we have halls that are standard where they have a shared bathroom and you have other halls which have a ensuite like this one here.
Alice: So we're in a lovely outdoor space here, there's plenty of car parking here Kirk, can students bring their own car to University?
Alice: They can if they apply for a car parking permit, but we sort of encourage students not to bring a car unless they absolutely have to because the University itself has got a free bus service so you just flash your student card and then you'll be able to get all the way to the University campus at Kedleston Road. You'll also be able to get to the other campuses as well
and the bus stop will either be right outside your Halls or a very very short walk just down the road and we also have bike sheds as well which are free.
Alice: And all the campuses and Halls of residence, they're all quite close together aren't they?
Kirk: Absolutely close - you can walk between each Hall of residence you walk to all the campuses I mean if it's a nice sunny day then I always encourage students to walk up to the Kedleston Road, I would do myself so yeah.
Alice: Brilliant, shall we go inside and have a look around?
Kirk: Yeah absolutely
Alice: Great, thanks.
[They enter the reception corridor]
Kirk: So this is the site office: each Halls of residence has a site office and there'll be a hall manager in there or as we've got right now - Issy - one of our Residential Assistants, and students can come here and raise any concerns they might have, ask any questions.
Alice: I noticed on the way in it's very secure, I couldn't get in without you coming to let me in how do you keep students safe within the building?
Kirk: You can't get into the building without a fob to get into the main Block; You've then got a key which will get you into your flat door; and then another key which will get you
into your room, so it's very secure we've also got 24 hour staffing here on site.
[Alice and Kirk move into the common room]
Alice: So, Kirk - what happens in here?
Kirk: Right well this is one of our common rooms. All of the halls of residents have a common room, most of them are will have a pool table some of the slightly larger ones will have a table tennis table, but it's just a place for students to come and relax maybe have a few friends around, they might come in here if they want to make slightly more noise than they do in their actual flats and they can do that in a common room. We also have Halls events here and we have music nights all sorts going on and it's all provided for this students for free.
Alice: So tell me what sort of facilities do we have in the in the flats?
Kirk: You've got in the kitchen you have a microwave we provide a toaster we provide a kettle
Alice: And with five or six people living in a flat together and you know I've done it myself it's you know, who made that mess, who's responsible for this', how do how do things stay clean and tidy and organized in flats?
Kirk: So there's there's a couple of ways one of the first is that we provide cleaning for the kitchen in our Halls of residence, once a week a cleaner will come and clean the kitchen for them (*Halls Cleaning is not currently offered at Darley Bank) the other side of it is is more sort of communal living so students will learn to live with each other, learn to clean up after themselves.
Alice: All important life skills that they need to learn and this seems like a nice safe and supportive place to do that?
Kirk: Yeah it completely is and like I say, we treat the students like they are they're adults and we like to encourage them to resolve any problems they have amongst themselves but also we understand that living with four or five new people can be challenging sometimes and that's why we're there to support the students through that experience.
[Alice and Kirk cross the green courtyard into one of the flat blocks and head into a student kitchen]
Kirk: Hi guys how you going? Uh yeah I've just got Alice's she just wants to ask you a few questions about what it's like living in Halls, would you like to give her a bit of your time?
[Three students sat at the kitchen table nod their agreement]
Kirk: Amazing, cheers guys.
Alice: Thank you ever so much for letting me into your flat like this, What's it like living in Halls?
George: Honestly...really good, can't lie. Mates for Life, Close to campus, close to the city center.
Alice: So for any students who might be living potentially close enough just to commute in, and not try and live in Derby, what would you say to them?
Nathan: Yeah I had that option and I'm really glad I went with Halls because you just get put with people straight away and you get to meet friends straight away and you're really part of the action.
Alice: And what would you say is the best thing about living in halls all of you?
George: Friendly staff - Kirks' always smiley,always happy.
Liam: He's always that like person that you can go to if anything's wrong.
Alice: Now you know I've seen your kitchen, I've seen your communal spaces would any of you mind giving me a little look around your bedroom so we can see what the bedroom spaces look like?
George: Yeah sure, do you want to follow me?
[George and Alice head to look at George's room in the flat]
George: So this is a standard ensuite room at Peak. You've got a small double bed it's more than more than enough for a student. A desk big enough for your work, games, books, anything you need. Got a more than big enough wardrobe behind you and a ensuite with a shower and toilet.
Alice: Brilliant, it's really lovely.
[Alice is back outside the flat block]
Alice: So that's our Halls of residence: a safe, supportive and well located place to live for students. Visit our website to find out more about all our different Halls.
[University of Derby logo]