Building belonging

  • 09 February 2018
  • 09:30 - 17:00
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bristol City Centre
  • 21

Submit a separate booking form for each delegate. Places are limited, so don't wait to raise a purchase order number before booking. Secure your place, then send us your purchase order number afterwards. Your booking isn't confirmed until you receive a confirmation email. If you haven't received this within one working day, please email AMOSSHE will email an invoice for payment to you or the finance contact you specify.
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AMOSSHE winter conferenceBuilding belonging: the role and impact of residences on student success

The AMOSSHE winter conference 2018 explores how Student Services and colleagues can develop engaging, supportive residential environments, which encourage a sense of belonging and contribute to student success. Build your expertise through three key perspectives, focusing on students who live in university accommodation:

  • Induction and transition – building engagement and a sense of belonging at key transitions in residences.
  • Creating safe, supportive living environments that enhance the residential experience and foster student success.
  • Crisis management – dealing with challenges and crises in residences to ensure that the whole community is supported.

AMOSSHE members can find the event resources here:

Members only

Location, time and price

This one day event takes place at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bristol City Centre. If you're planning to stay at the hotel, you can find the best rates by booking online with the hotel directly.

Registration opens at 09:30, and the first session starts at 10:00.

Here are the delegate prices (which include lunch):

  • AMOSSHE named member - £195 (log in to access this rate)
  • Member colleague (non-member, but an employee of an AMOSSHE member organisation) - £205
  • Non-member (individuals, not-for-profit organisations and higher education providers not associated with AMOSSHE) - £245
  • Corporate non-member - £275

You don’t need to pay VAT for AMOSSHE events. Before booking, please read our booking terms and conditions.


Time Session Room
09:30 Registration and refreshments. Foyer
10:00 Welcome
Nicole Redman, Vice Chair (Operations), AMOSSHE and Interim Registrar and Director of Student Services, University of East London, and Jill Stevenson, Executive Member, AMOSSHE and Head of Student Support Service at University of Stirling
10:05 Keynote: Liz Thomas
Professor Liz Thomas (Director, Liz Thomas Associates Ltd) researches and writes about widening participation, student retention and success and learning and teaching, and is an expert member of the Teaching Excellence Framework panel. Liz is the author and editor of over ten books, and many journal articles, reports, briefings and practice guides. Current research projects include: Understanding a whole institution approach to widening participation, commissioned by the Office for Fair Access in 2017, and Creating an evaluation framework for student engagement, commissioned by the National Union of Students in 2016.
10:45 Village life: creating ownership and community amongst accommodation teams to deliver an engaging and supportive Resident Life experience
Rebecca O’Hare, Resident Life Manager UK, Campus Living Villages
A sense of belonging or feeling of community can begin before the arrival of your students to halls of residence. The feeling that a warm welcome awaits is created by implanting a seed amongst hall teams that they can enhance or contribute to improving their residents’ experience throughout their entire stay, and not just during the arrival or intake period. Rebecca shares how Campus Living Villages’ ‘Village Life’ programme has resulted in increased resident engagement, improved student feedback and retention figures, and has contributed to building a more solid and noticeable ‘community’ foundation in student accommodation. Rebecca shares challenges, insights, moments of success and where and how the programme will continue to evolve.
11:30 Refreshments, networking and exhibition of posters Foyer
12:30 From residence life to real life
Donny McCormick, Senior Accommodation Officer (Student Experience and Wellbeing), Edinburgh Napier University
This workshop explores how to nurture student success in a shared living environment, through a focus on establishing "community", supporting student-resident transitions from home to the private sector, and providing a safe and nurturing learning environment. Explore initiatives for student arrivals, establishing and maintaining engagement, skills development and professional advice services, and how your strategy can support student transitions, resilience and success.
Park Lane
Pro-active, responsive, coherent approaches for creating safe, supportive living environments
Manuel Alonso, Director of Student Services, Loughborough University
Ensuring students are supported and safe in their living environment is a crucial component of the student experience. This presentation explores how students can best be supported in their accommodation in a way that is pro-active, responsive and coherent. The session focuses on examples of practice used at Loughborough University, as well as highlighting some of the key challenges facing institutions in this area.
Temple and Cabot Suite
Critical incident and behaviour management
Christopher Tucker, Head of Campus and Residential Support, University of Sussex, and Siân Jones-Davies, Senior Associate, Eversheds Sutherland
This practical, scenario-based workshop explores the challenges faced by students and staff when confronted by students in mental distress and/or engaging in anti-social behaviour whilst living in university-managed accommodation. Discover a systemic, evidence-based approach to planning for critical incidents, managing the incident or behaviour as it occurs and debriefing all of those affected in the aftermath. Also, consider legal and moral duties, and gain an insight into the legal issues related to duty of care, NTQs and “fit to sit” policies or processes.
Park Avenue
13:30 Lunch Kiln Restaurant
14:30 Skills for sorting it out: stepping up to address bullying, harassment and conflict in residences
Denise Meyer, Head of Wellbeing, University of Portsmouth, and Joanne Gale-Chambers, Advice Coordinator, University of Portsmouth Students' Union
This workshop explores a government-funded project to tackle gender-based violence and hate crime by promoting a culture of dignity, respect, and inclusive citizenship. Discuss initiatives in residences such as consent campaigns, training for managing disclosures of sexual violence, and collaboration with Students’ Unions and third parties. Develop ways to use housemate agreements to introduce students to conflict resolution skills, share your own experiences of tackling conflict, bullying and harassment, and discuss ways to facilitate an environment that supports every resident’s right to security, safety and a sense of belonging.
Park Lane
Transition, retention and the truth of student life in accommodation
Caroline Gill, Head of Content, and Mike Ritchie, Head of Development, Campuslife
This presentation focuses on understanding how students live, think and feel on campus, and what relationship their residential experience has to their overall time at university, and the impact on Teaching Excellence Framework metrics including retention. Bringing together research with over 1,000 students and what Campuslife’s intrepid reporter Tom White learned when he went back to live in student halls, the session discusses what life is really like for students. Explore key points of transition, and initiatives that can support a positive student experience in halls of residence.
Temple and Cabot Suite
Your home away from home: building community and supporting students’ mental health
Cheryl Hutton, Senior Residence Life Coordinator, The University of Edinburgh
This presentation discusses how an award-winning residence life programme is creating an inclusive community that welcomes and supports all students, helping them settle in, form friendships, and make the most of their university experience. Explore the roles of staff wardens, and student Resident Assistants whose priority is to welcome and support residents throughout the year with events and advice. Also, learn about community building and mental health support initiatives that develop a sense of belonging.
Park Avenue
15:30 Break Foyer
16:00 Building a community from a diverse residential portfolio
Robin Walsh, Residential Services Manager, Bournemouth University
This presentation discusses how to develop a collaborative platform to build student communities and deliver services across a diverse residential portfolio. Explore the challenges and opportunities of working with multiple private accommodation partners and internal stakeholders, and learn about specific social, wellbeing and skills development initiatives that a truly collaborative platform makes possible.
Park Lane
Collaboration and shared ownership for student welfare and averting crises in residences
Jill Stevenson, Head of Student Support Services, and Sandy Gillone, Head of Operations / Deputy Head of Accommodation Services, University of Stirling
This presentation explores how Student Support and Accommodation Services can work closely to enhance the support model for students facing difficulties in residences. Discover an approach to maximising the student experience and averting crises as quickly as possible, through a shared understanding of the importance of collaboration, information sharing, regular dialogue, rapid incident response frameworks, joint training and skills development, and creating an open, transparent relationship between teams.
Temple and Cabot Suite
Artificial intelligence and data-driven Student Services
Tim Daplyn, Managing Director, Red Brick Research
This lively and informative session showcases real-world examples of using student data and artificial intelligence to enhance induction into university accommodation and build communities. Learn how you can put some of these tools and ideas to work in your organisation immediately, and leave the conference with at least three big new ideas to develop your own data-driven approaches.
Park Avenue
17:00 Close

Winter conference sponsors

Uniti (opens in a new window) NSHS (opens in a new window)
Goss Consultancy (opens in a new window)
Unite Students (opens in a new window)

Call for posters

We're trying something new at the 2018 winter conference. We're creating a space for you to showcase your good practice, innovative ideas, and success stories by presenting a poster that summarises your work and achievements. Find out more here: Winter conference 2018: call for posters.


AMOSSHE, The Student Services Organisation is a UK non-profit professional association. Company registration number 4778650.
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