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The Warwick Innovation Fund

Thanks to donations, staff have been able to make many incredible projects a reality.

Here are just some examples:

Offering a lifeline to students suffering mental health crises...Food
At least one in four students experience mental health issues during their time at university, and it’s on
the rise.

Last year donations funded an awareness campaign run by Warwick SU called 'Are You OK?'.
It’s all about being more open about mental health and wellbeing, promoting dialogue between friends and acknowledging when things are tough so people can be helped. Every month students were encouraged to spread
the 'Are You OK?' message and ask their friends how they’re doing.

A whole programme of events was offered, covering Housing, Stress and Time Management, Drugs, Alcohol,
Exam Stress, and more. This is especially helpful for students coming from backgrounds or cultures which
stigmatise mental health. By debunking myths and educating students on spotting and supporting mental
illnesses, this campaign aims to keep people healthier and happier throughout their studies and beyond.

A new aspect of 'Are You OK?' was the creation of ‘Food for Thought’. This was specifically targeted at new students
living on campus, particularly undergraduates who were living away from home for the first time and may have never cooked independently before. The format of the recipe cards included the prices of ingredients, serving suggestions, and the number of servings each recipe could yield.
Helping our experts to work on ways to diagnose and treat Alzheimer's...

Right now, nearly one in six people in the UK are over 65, and one in three will develop dementia.dementia-patient-stock-photo.jpg

Dr. Joanna Collingwood (Associate Professor at the University of Warwick’s School of Engineering) and her
research team used the funding to investigate the role of iron in the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease.

They found that in brains affected by Alzheimer’s, several chemically-reduced iron species including a proliferation
of a magnetic iron oxide called magnetite - which is not commonly found in the human brain – occur in the
amyloid protein plaques. The team had previously shown that these minerals can form when iron and the
amyloid protein interact with each other.

Understanding the significance of these metals to the progression of Alzheimer’s could lead to more effective future therapies which combat the disease at its root. Delaying the onset of dementia by five years would halve the number
of deaths from the condition, saving 30,000 lives a year.

Encouraging students to take part in volunteering

'Give-it-a-go' activities deliver volunteering opportunities for students.

They include a variety of activities such as green/environmental projects, activities for school
children, painting and decorating community centres, walking dogs awaiting rehoming, and
gardening activities which befriend people with learning disabilities.

As of June 2018, 555 students have volunteered their time to one-off projects within the
local community. Students said it increased their confidence and communication skills,
improved their wellbeing, and gave them a chance to socialise with people from other cultures.

The majority of those who volunteer once will volunteer again, demonstrating the success of the project. The wealth of positive feedback, both written and verbally from community partners and students, show that the 'Give-it-a-go' programme is not only popular, but important.