Basic Needs

Having our basic needs met is critical in order for us to function optimally. Collected below is a range of tips, resources and information about services that can help.


A well-balanced diet – one that includes plenty of fruit and vegetables, and limits things like saturated fats and excessive sugar intake – is a key part of ensuring healthy wellbeing.

Looking for tips on healthy eating? Check out these great resources online

Here at UC we have our own Nutrition and Mental Health Research Group. Check out their website for more information.

Studylink can provide assistance for urgent or unexpected costs. You can apply for financial assistance here at UC for urgent or unexpected costs.

We also have our very own Community Gardens, and did you know that you can find apricot, blueberries, pears, feijoa and Chilean guava growing around the place? UC is an edible campus - here's an interactive map of where you can find all the different things to eat. 

Foodbank services can help if need assistance with food. Aside from the foodbank options made available through the UCSA, you can find a list of foodbanks in Christchurch via


There are some great organisations out there that provide clothing either for free or at a discounted price. Op shops are a great way to find a bargain on clothing, and there a variety to choose from in Christchurch:

If you’re interested in joining a student club focused around op-shopping, good deals and fun times, check out OpSoc.


Having a home that is warm in winter and cool in summer makes a significant contribution to keeping healthy and well all year round. There are some great organisations and resources out in the community to help you find the right house for you.

  • Community Energy Action – Provides support and advice around insulation, ventilation, heating and assessments on how to save energy.
  • Curtain Bank – Provides free curtains as well as installation.
  • The Salvation Army and Red Cross can provide free curtains and blankets.
  • Tenancy Services – Provide support if you are experiencing difficulties with a tenant or landlord.
  • Studylink can provide assistance for urgent or unexpected costs or if you need support with housing.

In Person Support on Campus:

The Advocacy and Welfare Team at the UCSA are available to support students through their services, such as the Foodbank, Food Support Service, and grants (criteria apply). The Student Care Team can also advise on any of the above matters.