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The Advice Centre is here to help you with any queries or problems you may encounter while you are at University. We deal with everything from “where can I get a SHU card from?” right through to representing students at County Court… and if we cannot help you – we will know someone who can!
What happens at drop in?
Drop in sessions happen every week day-except Thursdays - from 1pm-3pm.
At a drop in session you join a queue to speak to one of our advisers.
The first person you will see is our Information and Advice Officer. He will make sure that you are in the most appropriate place and will deal with your query if that is most suitable. If your query is complex it may be that we have to make you an appointment.
Otherwise, you will then see an adviser in an interview room. The adviser will explore options with you, expect similar things as described in ‘what to expect from an appointment.’ It may be that the adviser needs to do something on your behalf, in which case they may decide to make you an appointment. We expect drop in sessions to last around twenty minutes.
What happens if I visit the Advice Centre outside of drop in time without an appointment?
We are open from 10am-4pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and 12pm-4pm on Thursday.
Our Information and Advice Officer will deal with your query. If your query is complicated then they will ask you to come back at drop in or make you an appointment. You can also use our self help resources.
What Can I Expect from an Appointment?
Preparing for your appointment
Make sure you have all the relevant facts and information necessary to enable you to discuss your situation with an adviser.
We will need to see any relevant documents relating to the matter you are asking about.
At your appointment
Try to arrive five minutes before your appointment time. Our reception staff will ask you to fill in a form for our statistical records but this should only take a few minutes to complete.
If you are late the Adviser may decide to meet with you for a short appointment or they may decide that it would be best for you book another appointment.
In our experience, it can be unhelpful to begin an appointment when there isn’t enough time to advise you properly, and this is why the Adviser might decide it is best for you to book another appointment.
During your appointment
Your appointment will always be in private, in one of our interview rooms. If you have any concerns about privacy or confidentiality, please ask us at any time during your appointment.
We will ask you to explain your enquiry or problem, and explore possible options with you. We might also ask you about other aspects of your situation to ensure we understand the whole picture so that we can advise you about other options for improving your situation. Often, we are able to inform students about options and solutions that they didn’t know were available.
We will usually offer you advice and information about your rights and entitlements so that you can pursue options or achieve solutions yourself. However, sometimes you will need our help to achieve a solution. With your permission, we can advocate on your behalf when you need help to challenge a decision. This usually happens when your rights and entitlements are based on a point of law or formal rules, for example, funding bodies or government departments dealing with welfare benefits or council tax. We can also speak to staff at SHU if you give us permission to.
There may not be a solution to your problem. If this happens, we will advise you about the implications of your situation and options that you may need to consider.
Our advice to you will be based on your individual needs and priorities. Our role is to explain your rights and any options and solutions available to you. You can then choose how to proceed.
We will take brief notes during your appointment so that we can write up accurate case notes afterwards. This is helpful if we have to do some follow-up work for you, or if you come back for another appointment. Your notes will be stored in compliance with the Data Protection Act.
After your appointment
We may not be able to give you all the information you need immediately. We might need you to show us further documents or provide more information about your circumstances. We might also need to check a point of law or find out more detailed information before we can advise you on every aspect of your query.
If we agree to do some follow-up work on your behalf after your appointment, we will agree with you how we will tell you the outcome (by email, by phone, or by writing to you).
At the end of the appointment, we might decide with you that there is further work that needs to be done, and will offer you another appointment.
We may agree to do something before seeing you or contacting you again and our follow-up work will be carried out as soon as reasonably possible. However, we may have also agreed with you that you need to do something, or provide more information, before we can take further action, and we will normally agree a deadline with you by which you need to complete the task. It is your responsibility to contact us as agreed, as we may not be able to continue the action until we receive the information. We might agree to prepare a letter or document for you to collect at reception.
These leaflets are written by the advisors and we hope they will help answer to your questions. If you need further help, do not hesitate to come and see us. We have a drop in every weekday (except Thurs) between 1pm and 3pm at the HUBS