Staving off winter's chill focus of event

From free curtains to clothing repairs, an inaugural event in July should help university students deal with biting winter weather, organisers say.

The Otago University Students' Association has announced a "Winter Wellness'' event featuring a "stitch-kitchen'' where students can take their warm clothes to be repaired, food trucks, free nutritious soup, tips for creating a cosy home and a "curtain bank'' providing free or low-cost curtains to keep the heat in.

There will also be advice provided about staving off the chill on a budget, and community group SuperGrans would also be sharing life advice with students.

OUSA student support manager Sage Burke said the event, on July 9, was about bringing the different aspects of wellbeing together in one place.

"It's a good time to do a stocktake ,'' he said.

"It's looking at all-over wellbeing, and keeping warm in winter.''

The curtains were being supplied by the Dunedin Curtain Bank.

Curtain bank manager Sara Crow said more than 1000 pairs of curtains were donated every year , and between 450 and 650 were given away to residents of Dunedin and Central Otago.

They went for $5 each, which was a nominal cost for the work the charity did, including lining curtains for the bedrooms of children and unwell adults, as well as lining curtains for rooms with a major heat source.

He was unable to estimate the cost of the day to OUSA yet, but said the association would be relying on help from a lot of volunteers.

The free soup would be prepared with assistance from the university's Department of Human Nutrition.

Student gym Unipol would also have a presence, encouraging students to ensure they got enough exercise during the winter period, and student-led mental health group Silverline would also be present on the campus.

While the event was being held for only one day this time, it was hoped next year it would expand.

Re-Orientation at the university takes place from July 8 to July 20.


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