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The app hoping to connect isolating students to help on the outside

UniSalad’s new feature allows students to ask for favours while in isolation

UniSalad, an app most used by students to buy and sell club night tickets, has introduced a new feature called “CV-19 Chat”. Its purpose is to allow students to ask for “everyday help” from other students while in isolation.

The creator says the new section was added to help students with problems such as high anxiety and stress over being unable to get adequate food or readings they need to complete their coursework.

The interface of the new feature.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, students are finding themselves confronted with high anxiety and stress as they are unable to access a host of essential services, such as getting food delivered, doing laundry and borrowing books from the library.

Now, whenever a student needs specific food, a textbook from Hallward, help with laundry, or advice on coping strategies, the new feature allows them to do that.

The creator behind the app, Rebecca De Beukelaer, says Unisalad has “kept the feature really simple so students can ask anything.”

She added: “This new academic year has been really tough on students, especially those in isolation. I spoke to a lot of students in the last couple of weeks and noticed everyone was struggling with similar problems.

“Everyone I spoke to thought they weren’t getting any help/not enough help from the university, and there was nowhere else to turn to except direct friends in their household.

“As everyone is in the same boat, it might be time for students to rise up (without sounding dramatic) and help each other out during this difficult time. UniSalad already has 11,000+ UoN students on it, so it makes sense to change it into a helpful platform during lockdown.”

Students who need help will be able to post for help on the CV-19 chat of the app; those who are able to help can simply go onto the app and see if there’s anyone posting for help nearby.

“If you’re going into Hallward, you could pick up a spare book for someone. Going to Sainsburys? Grab a pack of pasta for someone on the way home. Passing by the laundrette? Maybe someone has a small pile of clothes they need cleaning. Whether they pay you with money or long-time UoN love, a good deed is good karma,” Rebecca said, speaking on the topic of helping students.

UniSalad hopes the app will provide a place where students feel comfortable asking for help, and for others will help them through this time.