Small Business Awards 2018

g International Students House CONTACT DETAILS: Company: International Students House Name: Mr Martin Chalker Address: 229 Great Portland Street, City, London, W1W 5PN Website: “Operating in a competitive market, we set ourselves apart from our competitors by working to achieve integration among different cultures from application stage and selecting residents on a rolling basis, rather than the first come, first served occupancy- driven approach of many other student accommodation providers. This allows us to put together a highly diverse population of UK and other nationals studying a variety of disciplines at as many different London institutions as possible. “Bucking the current trend for solitary studio accommodation, our students have free breakfast every day and use large communal kitchens for other meals, which is a great way of bringing them together. Our upfront security deposit is a reasonable £600, so students are not asked to make huge advance payments to secure their place, which is the case with some of the private providers. For those who experience financial difficulties mid-course, we can offer the option of moving to a cheaper room, subject to availability, and they are encouraged to apply to our Mary Trevelyan Hardship Fund for a small grant or loan to help them out.” With regards to the future of ISH, Martin is excited for the organisation’s upcoming plans, which he shares with us in his concluding comments. “Ultimately, ISH aims ‘to provide an affordable home-from- home for international and UK students, supported by a substantial scholarship / bursary programme to give opportunities to more disadvantaged students, and reinforced by a social and cultural programme to encourage international friendships’. To achieve this the charity has ambitious expansion plans. Following the reduction in our capacity caused by the closure of a building in 2018, we are actively seeking new sites so that we can replicate the model in different locations across London and possibly beyond. We are working towards growing the residential population from 300 this year to 2000 in the next 5-7 years and at the same time increasing our scholarship programme to 500 beneficiaries (150 receiving free accommodation and 350 with discounted accommodation). These developments offer us many great opportunities for further growth and expansion.”