Barclays offers free ‘puppy sessions’ to soothe stressed-out students

The bank has launched a cute new initiative to relieve Freshers’ financial woes

‘Broke’ and ‘student’ are two words that seem pretty interchangeable. In fact, almost every student can remember living off a budget so tight that they have at some stage adopted some pretty bleak survival measures, including living off pesto pasta or habitually stealing loo roll from club toilets.

Despite being a rite of passage for many, being broke at university can be extremely stressful – especially for the 48% of  students who can’t rely on mum or dad to bail them out.

In a recent study, it was found that as many as 61% of students have suffered heightened anxiety due to financial worries, with 83% panicking they would completely run out of money during their first term.

The good news? Barclays have come up with a very cuddly solution (or at least, a nice distraction). This November, the bank will be offering students free ‘puppy sessions’ in branch to help reduce stress levels.

As well as being able to cuddle a whole litter of super-cute puppies during the sessions, students will also be given the opportunity to sit down with a member of the Barclay Money Mentors team to receive practical guidance on how to budget effectively.

How do students get their mitts on some puppy love? For now, the service is being trialled in the Barclays branch at St Ann’s Square in Manchester, with sessions available between 12pm and 3pm on Thursday 21st November – just head in (sessions are handed out on a first-come, first-served basis). Don’t fret if you can’t make it though, as the session will also be live-streamed on Barclays Youtube channel (not quite as joyous as an IRL puppy encounter but better than staring at textbooks all afternoon, right?).

Speaking of the new initiative, Pip Landers-Letts, Head of Youth, Student & Graduate Propositions at Barclays said: ‘Moving away from home to attend university is a hugely exciting time but too many young people are having their experience affected by money worries.’

‘We want to make sure that when they need help, there’s a clear place to turn – and that is why we’ve introduced both our Money Mentors service and our new trial of the puppy sessions. We hope the service will help reduce students’ stress levels and encourage them to open up to us about any money concerns they might have, within a safe – and fluffy – space.’

Anyone know how to fake an NUS card? Asking for a friend…

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