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A Day in the Life of… a Regional Student Support Officer

16 May 2024

All of our front line teams have a role to play in supporting our residents – but when they need help with more complex cases, they can turn to our regional Student Support teams. 

We spoke to Martin McKendley, Regional Student Support Officer for London, about what a typical day looks like in his role, how he works with our teams and university partners to support students, and his favourite thing about working at Unite Students. 



Tell us what a typical day in your role as a Regional Student Support Officer involves.  

No two days are the same; every day is very varied. However, one thing that I do every day is triage AVA reports that we receive from our front line city teams – AVA is the system that we use to report any incidents that happen with our residents. I look after resident wellbeing, but the system is also used for health and safety and fire incidents. 

The other thing that I do daily is speak to our front line teams if they have any queries as an incident is happening, for any past incidents or any questions in general.  

I’ll also liaise with higher education partners for any questions they might have in relation to ongoing cases. Working with our higher education partners makes sure that we have a collaborative approach to student support, whether this is with Resident Ambassadors that we have around the buildings, or just ensuring that we’re following the same structures that the university has in place. 


How does your role support students to have a better living experience?  

As a Regional Student Support Officer, I work with the Support to Stay framework. It’s a structure that we use within the business to ensure that our residents are getting the best out of their experience living with us, keeping in mind their safety, their wellbeing and a holistic approach to their living experience. 

I also deliver training to the London region teams. This training is really important because it gives staff the confidence and skills they need to support our residents. If an incident arises, this training ensures that the student feels seen, valued and heard while they live with us.  

Unite Students does a lot of research, so we look at our reports like Living Black at University and Meeting the needs of neurodivergent students so that we can implement the findings into our training and ways of working. This makes sure that residents have a better living experience with us.  


What’s your favourite thing about working at Unite Students?  

The staff’s willingness to go above and beyond to help all our residents, whether that’s front line teams working in the cities or central support teams. Everyone keeps the students’ wellbeing at heart and that’s what makes Unite Students a great place to live – but also a great place to work, because it’s genuine and the staff really care. I love seeing staff confidence grow from attending training online and undertaking e-learning too.  


You can meet our Regional Student Support Managers here, or find more of our Day in the Life interviews here. 

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