How we can help
At BU and SUBU, we are committed to supporting you during the current cost of living crisis. We are acutely aware of how the cost of living is affecting our students – during SUBU’s Speak Week survey in November 2022, we were deeply concerned to see that over 97% of you are worried about how rising costs may affect you.
SUBU and BU have been working closely to review what we already do, and what more we could do to support you during the current climate.
Below you can find information on all the resources, financial support, and tips that we’ve put into place.
Get in touch
If you have any concerns about the cost of living, accommodation, or financial worries, SUBU Advice provides free, impartial and confidential advice to all BU students. To make an appointment, visit www.subu.org.uk/advice.
You can also contact the free Student Assistance Programme 24/7, which can offer support with money worries, housing, benefits and other queries.
Alternately, you can share your thoughts on how SUBU and the university could be supporting students during the cost-of-living crisis through our online feedback tool, SimOn.
This page was last updated on 1 September 2023.
Food and drink
Microwaves and hot water taps on campus
There are microwaves available on both campuses so that you can reheat your food on the day rather than having to purchase something hot. Please check the building opening times:
- Talbot Campus – The Student Centre: Ground floor (near Ground Up Café), first floor (next to SUBU Reception desk) and second floor (in the Community Kitchen)
- Lansdowne Campus – Bournemouth Gateway Building: SUBU kitchen area located BG301.
Hot water taps are also available – you can use these to make instant noodles or soups.
- Talbot Campus – The Student Centre: Second, fourth and fifth floors – all hot taps are located in the kitchen areas of each floor
- Lansdowne Campus – Bournemouth Gateway Building: SUBU kitchen area located in BG301.
Drinking water fountains
There is no need to buy bottled water on campus, as there are drinking water points in all our buildings, where you can refill your own bottle. These can usually be located in the vicinity of the toilets.
- You can find the locations of the fountains on the Talbot Campus map
- At Lansdowne Campus, the fountains are in both the Bournemouth Gateway Building and the Executive Business Centre.
At Talbot Campus, we have installed a washing-up point, so if you are bringing food with you to campus, you can clean your containers afterwards.
- Talbot Campus - Fusion Building: Ground floor
SUBU Community Kitchen
Located on the second floor of the Student Centre at Talbot Campus, the Community Kitchen is open to all BU staff and students to use throughout the year. Its main purpose is to help those who are facing difficulties during the cost-of-living crisis and are unable to afford daily essentials such as food or sanitary products. It’s also a great place to go and meet people, heat up food, look through recipe books and eat as a group.
The open cupboard and fridge are stocked with surplus food donations, so you can pop by and take what you need.
We also have meal packs, canned and tinned food and other household items available. If you’d like access to this, please speak to the SUBU Advice Team. They're located just round the vorner from the kitchen and are open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm. You can also give them a call them 01202 965779 or email the team.
The Community Kitchen is launching a series of events to help combat the cost-of-living crisis and support BU students and staff this year:
Free Breakfast Club
- Talbot Campus - Community Kitchen, 2nd floor Student Centre, Tuesdays 8:30am - 10am
- Lansdowne Campus - Bournemouth Gateway Building 301c, Thursdays 8:30am - 10am
Monthly Supper Club
- Talbot Campus - Community Kitchen, 2nd floor Student Centre, the third Wednesday of every month from 20 September, food served 5:30pm to 6:30pm.
Our Faith & Reflection team offers free vegan soup accompanied by some soul care every Monday, 12 noon – 3pm, at the Faith & Reflection Centre, Talbot House, Talbot Campus.
Meeting every Wednesday, 5pm – 6:30pm, the Global Café is a fantastic space for international students to meet others and enjoy games and quizzes – with a hot drink and snacks. They meet at the Faith & Reflection Centre, Talbot House, Talbot Campus.
Free recipe cards for students and staff
The SUBU Advice Team has been working with nutrition students to compile recipe cards for students who are looking to cook on a budget.
Free recipe cards are available in our Community Kitchen (located on the second floor of the Student Centre), or you can download them via our website.
Free cooking demos
You can book cookery lessons through the Bournemouth Uni Food Social Kitchen. Simply download the Bournemouth Uni Food app (through the app store on your phone) and find a date which suits you.
You can get some cooking ideas which don't break the budget in SUBU's Cook Once, Eat Twice video.
Keep an eye on SUBU’s What’s On page to find out when and where the events will be held.
Cooking demonstrations will be streamed on 'Community Kitchen Instagram'. You can find out more information about these on the SUBU website.
Discounted food items
The Student Saver Meal, which includes a sandwich, snack and drink of choice, is available to purchase in the Union Shop – the cheapest meal deal on Talbot Campus.
Dylan’s Bar also offers a Student Saver menu for those who are looking to eat out on a budget. They provide a range of hot and cold food including pizzas, burgers and sandwiches, along with vegetarian and vegan options.
You can also pick up discounted food from BU and SUBU food outlets via the Too Good To Go app – this allows you to purchase food at the end of the day that would otherwise go to waste at a great price!
Download the Bournemouth Uni Food app (through the app store on your phone) for discounts and loyalty points, including 25% off your first order.
You can also grab a range of food from Fusion each day for less than £4.
With an eye towards both sustainability and cost-saving measures, anybody who brings a reusable coffee cup to the following outlets will enjoy a 30p discount:
- Ground Up Café in the Student Centre, Talbot Campus
- The Atrium Café in Poole House, Talbot Campus
- The Fusion Building café, Talbot Campus
- Aroma Coffee by Nero, next to the Sir Michael Cobham Library, Talbot Campus
- Naked Coffee, Poole Gatewat Building, Talbot Campus
- Costa, Bournemouth Gateway Building, Lansdowne Campus
If you don’t have one already, you can purchase a reusable coffee cup from these outlets on campus.
In the community
There is also community support available if you are struggling to pay for food, including the BCP Access to Food map, food banks, community fridges, social pantries and supermarkets.
Free sanitary products available
SUBU provides free sanitary products for those who may need them to help tackle period poverty. This initiative was set up by SUBU’s previous VP Welfare and Community, Toluwa Atilade. Please check the building opening times:
- Talbot Campus – The Student Centre: You can find sanitary products outside the toilets on the first floor, and in SUBU’s Community Kitchen located on the second floor
- Lansdowne Campus – Bournemouth Gateway Building: Free sanitary products are available outside the toilets on the third floor.
Warm spaces on campus
There are several spaces on campus that can offer you warm and comfortable places to relax and study.
- The Student Centre is open every weekday from 8am until 10pm and provides full heating throughout. It is the perfect place to study and catch up with others
- The Student Centre also sells Starbucks coffee at Ground Up Café, located on the Ground Floor
- Showers are located behind Ground Up Café in the Student Centre and on the ground floor of Poole House (PG10). They are free to use for any students and staff who may need access to a hot shower
- Dylan’s Bar is open 10am – 11pm every weekday during term time, offering tables, chairs, and a variety of hot and cold food
- The Sir Michael Cobham Library ground floor is open 24/7. You can find the full opening hours on the library webpages.
- The Bournemouth Gateway Building is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – you just need your student ID card for access. The building is fully heated with a range of facilities, including a 24-hour library service
- The Executive Business Centre is open 8am to 7.30pm Monday to Friday.
You can find the opening times for all our campus buildings on the website.
In the community
Other warm spaces are available within the local area.
Help with energy costs
The Government has information about help available for energy costs. Whether you are eligible will depend on your personal circumstances and how you pay for your gas and/or electricity. You can find out more on the gov.uk website.
Please contact SUBU Advice if you would like advice and support on housing.
The quickest, cheapest and easiest way to pay for bus travel is to download the Unibus App. This will enable you to purchase discounted tickets straight to your mobile phone.
As a BU student, you can save money on morebus fares across the local area. You can find all the details on our website.
From 11 October, there will be a new U5 service which will run between Lansdowne Campus, Talbot Campus and Chapel Gate on a Wednesday. The route will be included in the annual Unibus pass or you can buy 10 trip tickets via the Unibus app.
Single bus fares reduced to just £2 until 31 October 2023
To help with the cost-of-living pressures, the Government is subsidising most single bus fares to just £2. This is for a fixed period only until 31 October 2023. You can find out more information, including any routes excluded from the offer, on the morebus website.
If you want to cycle to campus or around the local area, then BU has a range of support for you, including:
- Free bike servicing by the Bike Doctor
- Short or long-term bike loans at low prices
- Free one-off Beryl Bike minutes by signing up with your BU email address and quoting the code BUBERYL100
You can find out more about cycling at BU on our website.
Small Emergency Grant
SUBU offers a small emergency grant for students who are looking for short-term financial assistance.
The Small Emergency Grant is offered to students who have no, or very little funding, and are unable to afford essential items such as food. The grant normally comes in the form of supermarket vouchers, so that students can purchase their essentials in store.
Criteria includes, but is not limited to:
- having less than £10 in your bank, having utilised or at least applied for an overdraft
- having no other sources of income
- in certain cases, having submitted an application to the BU Financial Support Fund.
If you would like to apply for the Small Emergency Grant, please contact the SUBU Advice Team.
Please be prepared during this application we will ask for evidence of your current bank balance and financial background to understand the best award for your circumstances.
BU financial support
BU offers a number of financial support for students, including the small emergency grant and funding for placements and to support specific needs, such as a laptop. You can find the details of all the financial packages on our website.
Funding for SUBU Clubs and Societies
The SUBU Clubs and Societies Hardship Fund, which was previously set up by SUBU’s VP Student Opportunities Ugo George Andy-Eke, allows students to apply for funding that can be used to:
- Join a club or society
- Remain as an active member of a club or society.
This fund has been generated to ensure that clubs and societies remain accessible for all students, regardless of their financial situation. SUBU believes that joining a club or society is an integral part of your overall university experience; it offers a unique opportunity to meet new people, create connections with industry professionals, and learn new skills.
To find out more and to see if you’re eligible for this funding, visit www.subu.org.uk/hardshipfund
Former VP Student Opportunities, Fiifi Asafu-Adjaye, partnered up with SportBU to provide support for students who wish to join a campus sport activity, but are unable to access the funds to do so.
The Sports Bursary provides £125 towards affiliation fees for students who want to participate in British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) activities throughout the academic year and represent BU. Applications will go live periodically around SportBU trials.
SUBU Advice is a team of friendly advisers who can help with advice and support about housing, money, academic, consumer, employment or personal issues. The service is free to all BU students and provides independent, non-judgemental and confidential advice.
Contact the SUBU Advice Team:
Contact BU support:
- AskBU - email, phone or visit us on campus
Other offers and support
UNiDAYS provides free discounts for students, from food and drink to fashion, lifestyle and fitness-related offers.
The Totum card from the National Union of Students also gives you access to hundreds of student deals and discounts.
Final year undergraduate student, Hannah, has shared her 10 favourite student discounts in her blog.
The charity MyBNK has some resources on its website around managing your money at university.
SUBU has got together with local businesses to offer a range of discounts for BU students as well.
Nursery, childcare and school costs
Nursery and childcare
Prices for childcare vary between providers, but you should expect to pay approximately £138 for 25 hours in a week. The NCT website has helpful information about the average costs of childcare.
In England, all children of age three and four are entitled to 570 hours of free childcare or early education each year, which must be taken over at least 38 weeks, for example, 15 hours per week for 38 weeks of the year. This can be provided to children even if the family has no recourse to public funds.
Talbot Woods Nursery is located on Talbot Campus. You can find a list of other local childcare providers on the Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Council website.
SportBU offers kids camps to help with childcare during the school holidays.
All children in Reception and Year 1 get a free school meal at lunchtime. For children in Year 2 and above, you may be eligible to apply for free school meals if you are a student visa holder and your household income is less than £22,700 for families outside of London with one child or £26,300 for families outside of London with two or more children. You can find more information about this on the BCP Council website. Please use the application form specifically for families with ‘no recourse to public funds’.
If you are not able to get a place at your preferred school and the school place that your child is given is not close to your accommodation, you may be entitled to help with transport costs. This will not be offered to you automatically - you have to apply for it.