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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 172

Date:- 23 October 2004

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AS official figures show the unprecedented rise in student debt, Edge Hill College of Higher Education is continuing to help students manage their finances by using an interactive budget sheet called Red Alert.

The publishing of official figures by the Student Loans Company reveals outstanding student debt in the UK rising 18.7% in the current academic year to over £14.6bn. 

Furthermore, a poll of 129 students from 16 universities carried out by recent UK graduates Tom Weaver, Ash Kumar and Paul Hawkins, found that many students underestimate the how long it will take to pay off their debts.

In order to avoid such mounting debt Edge Hill offers a wide range of finance support alongside their Red Alert package, as a way of ensuring that they have access to help with managing finances. 

Shahida Ahmed, Finance and Welfare Rights Advisor at Edge Hill is pleased that students are taking advantage of the tool:- "Red Alert is a user-friendly budget sheet, available on the internet that alerts students in advance as to when they may be likely to overspend and head into the red. The survival tool then allows students to plan and manage their money, so that they can see how to make their cash stretch to cover their time in higher education."

The importance of providing access to financial management support is significant in light of the recent findings that revealed that 58% of students received no personal finance education at school, and while some had received some instruction from their parents, 12% had received non at all.

Edge Hill is keen to stress the important of sensible budgeting, particularly as the issue of student finance continues to rage. From 2006 students will pay fees of up to £3,000, with graduates paying back this sum after they earn in excess of £15,000.


AS many of Pleasure Beach, Blackpool's rides and attractions prepare to hibernate for the winter, one cool venue is very much alive throughout the frosty season. The Arena will open with a whole host of activities for all ages designed to help beat those winter blues.

Learn to Skate:- For budding skate stars, Learn to Skate tuition courses run every Saturday and Sunday from 9.00am. Courses begin on November 20 and January 8. Each course costs £30 and a certificate is awarded on completion of each skill level.

Parent & Toddler skating class:- Skating is great for balance and coordination so is the ideal exercise for toddlers. Classes run Monday from 10.30am-11.30am. Mum's and Dad's are welcome to bring along their under 5's and brave the ice together. Each session costs £3.50 plus £1.50 skate hire.

Arena coffee morning:- A session designed especially for the more mature skater. This adults-only class offers skating tuition followed an unwinding session in the recently refurbished arena foyer with a warm cup of coffee. Classes are every Wednesday from 9.30-11.30am and cost £3.50 plus £1.50 skate hire.

Winter Skating:- Slide and glide at your leisure during a public skate period. The Arena is open daily from 9.30-11.30am and 3.30-5.30pm. Admission is £3.50 plus £1.50 skate hire.

Beat Nights:- Get funky on ice at a banging Arena Beat Night. Teens can meet up and show off their skills to the sounds of the latest tunes. Beat nights run every Friday and Sunday night from 7.30pm-9.30pm. Entrance is £4.50 plus £1.50 skate hire.

Christmas Party Night:- The icing on the cake this Christmas is a party at the Arena. Enjoy a festive buffet then work off those extra Christmas calories with a skating session on Friday 10th December from 7.30pm. Tickets cost £10 including skate hire. Booking necessary for this event - call 0870 444 5566.

New Years Eve Family Party:- Celebrate the New Year at the coolest party in town. Enjoy a drink on arrival then work up an appetite as you skate before indulging in a tasty buffet. Grown ups who make it to midnight will receive a free glass of bubbly to see in the New Year with style. Tickets for this event cost £15 for adults and £10 for children under 10. Family tickets for 2 adults and 2 children are available at £40. Doors open at 7.30pm.

For further information about any of these classes and events, please call the Pleasure Beach Arena hotline on 01253 341707.

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