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Specsavers donates £2000 for student kitchen at University of Highlands and Islands


By Hector MacKenzie

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Optometry students Leo Huisman, Crista Arthur and Suad Badshah with breakfast supplies in the student kitchen at UHI House. Picture: Paul Campbell.
Optometry students Leo Huisman, Crista Arthur and Suad Badshah with breakfast supplies in the student kitchen at UHI House. Picture: Paul Campbell.

Vital food supplies have been provided for students in Inverness thanks to a £2000 donation from an optical company.

Specsavers Optical Group donated the funding to the University of the Highlands and Islands for the student kitchen at UHI House.

The student kitchen project provides free food items during the cost of living crisis.

Alison MacPherson, head of optometry, worked with Specsavers to set up the initiative.

"We are incredibly grateful to Specsavers for supporting this initiative, which has been very welcomed by our optometry students," she said.

"The cupboards are readily stocked for students to help themselves seven days a week whenever needed and ensures they are able to access free breakfast and lunches with no stigma."

Last autumn, the provision of 'free' breakfasts and lunches for all students at UHI Inverness to reduce the number quitting their studies due to financial pressures won the UHI Student Support Initiative Awards 2023.

The winning entry 'supporting student retention and wellbeing during the cost-of-living-crisis' provided a commitment to addressing financial hardship through a variety of means, including the provision of a 'free' breakfast and lunch for every student.

Funding was provided through a donation to the UHI development and alumni engagement office and from the Inverness Common Good Fund.

A total of 44,948 portions of food were served between August 2022 and April 2023. On average, around 650 'free' breakfasts and 930 'free' lunches were served each week.

UHI also has a range of funding and financial support for students. Information can be found at uhi.ac.uk/en/students/support.


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