More than 150 attended aparto's 'Feel Good Fashion Event' and charity on 15 February at Beckett House in Dublin, Ireland.

aparto is Building PBSA Community and Student Engagement in Dublin

February 21, 2024

SHURE Initiative

University life, student accommodation, and community building came together in Dublin, Ireland, on 15 February at aparto's Beckett House. aparto, a division of Hines, is one of the leading real estate investment, development, and management firms for student accommodation in Europe, with operations in the U.K. Ireland, Spain, and Italy. A unique circular fashion show, cocktails, and thrifting for a good cause were all held at aparto's Beckett House on 15 February. The SHURE Initiative was fortunate to have a front-row seat to the festivities.

Proceeds were given to the Irish Cancer Society and Oxfam Ireland. More than 150 people attended. The student fashion event brought many residents together in this engaging and fun interaction. aparto took the extra effort to unite students in the common areas of its Beckett House in Dublin, which hosts 393 beds and is close to full occupancy.

aparto's very cool roof deck at Beckett House in Dublin, Ireland.

The SHURE Initiative interviewed Tara O'Brien, the head of marketing for aparto Europe, about the importance of engaging students, bringing them together in a community environment, and the overarching role of the property investor manager in facilitating this type of exchange and community involvement.

SHURE: It looks like aparto goes above and beyond to create community and connections for its students. Tell us why you think community is so important?

TOB: aparto is Hines' award-winning student accommodation platform, which comprises 105 staff and 18 residences across the UK, Dublin, Milan, and Barcelona. Its vision is to be Europe's leading student living operator, focusing on excellent service and genuine community creation.

The best-in-class student accommodation's Feel Good Fashion Event was back for another year this week, and SHURE was delighted to attend at Beckett House. The audience met sustainable lovers, students, and special VIPs in an evening of fun, fashion, and cocktails.

aparto Feel Good Fashion Event showcase celebrates circular fashion and aparto's culture of sustainability and community creation.

aparto has always been committed to being as sustainable as possible and is conscious of being a part of a greener way of living.

As a student housing brand, aparto wants its students to feel proud of living in an environmentally friendly space and encourage their residents to practice sustainability in their lives.

aparto Feel Good Fashion Event on Thursday 15 February 2024, at Beckett House in Dublin.

SHURE: aparto has designed and developed unique common areas, such as the lobby and roof deck, encouraging social networking. Tell us about the strategy behind designing your common areas and any inspiration behind the original concept.

TOB: It's not just comfy bedrooms on offer at aparto. You also get to use all of the incredible facilities and amenities on offer, too. From modern on-site gyms, spacious study areas, rooftop terraces, cinema rooms, or chill with the house pets, aparto is much more than just a living space; it's a place to socialize, connect, relax, and call your home-away- from-home.

aparto has a great event and well-being programme planned for students who can get involved in as much or as little as they like.

Student and parent testimonials demonstrate the popularity of aparto's offer among residents. Students attest to the scale and quality of the organized experience programme and the ongoing support and hospitality they receive and continue to do so in each of the 18 locations. As aparto scales with every new aparto we build, we meet with resident focus groups to understand how we can enhance the social spaces for the next building and make the students feel inspired and a part of the aparto family.

SHURE: How many students participated in the event?

TOB: The circular fashion show was hosted by stylist Irene O'Brien and saw 26 students rock the runway in some gorgeous pre-loved clothes, all of which were donated by the aparto team, Hines Ireland team, and aparto residents, and items were available to thrift at the end of the show.

Student models on the night were from across aparto Beckett House, Binary Hub, Dorset Point, Montrose, and The Loom – whilst all studying at Trinity College, UCD, TU Dublin, and RCSI!

Guests were treated to cocktails from Teeling Whiskey, music from DJ Steven Cooper, and a gorgeous goodie bag at the end of the event. There was even a surprise aparto resident flashmob student dance and prize for the best sustainable style on the night. All the proceeds from the thrifting went to the Irish Cancer Society and Oxfam Ireland – incredible causes.

I want to quote Claire Bowman, Corporate Partnerships Manager at the Irish Cancer Society, who said: "The Irish Cancer Society is thrilled to be partnering with aparto for the second year for their Feel Good Fashion Event in Beckett House. This event is special as it supports a circular economy while also raising vital funds for cancer patients. The Irish Cancer Society typically receives only 5% of its funding from the Government; therefore, we rely on the generosity of the public and events like this to fund vital cancer support services and develop ground-breaking cancer research."

In addition, Trevor Anderson, Director of Trading for Oxfam Ireland, said: "Aparto and Oxfam Ireland have partnered on circularity for over three years, and Oxfam is delighted to support the aparto Feel Good Fashion Event for its second year. With the Take Back scheme in all of aparto's residences across Dublin, the Feel Good Fashion Event inspires students to donate unwanted clothing, extending the life of these textiles by diverting from landfills. aparto students are not only doing their bit for people and the planet, but the revenues raised from the sale of these textiles supports Oxfam Ireland's program work to fight poverty and injustice and the impact of climate change on the communities where they work. We thank all the students and the team at Aparto for this support."

SHURE: How often do you have social events at aparto? Weekly, monthly, or bi-monthly?

TOB: aparto's mission is to create a home that supports its residents during a critical learning period in their lives. The broad range of carefully designed shared spaces at each building creates the perfect setting for meeting and socializing with fellow residents and friends. There are social spaces for everyone, blending the public residents' spaces with private ones to create a sense of comfort and security. During the day, the spaces are used for studying and collaborative work, and in the evening, the social side of aparto comes to life with social events, networking, and a wide range of activities planned to enrich the residents living and university experience. With every new aparto we build, we meet with resident focus groups to understand how we can enhance the social spaces for the next building and make the students feel inspired and a part of the aparto family.

At aparto, our people and the experiences we create in our spaces for residents are at the core of what we offer across our platform. Our Experience & Wellbeing Programme has thrived, hosting over 800 events since September 2023 across the UK, Ireland, Italy, and Spain. aparto also prioritizes mental health and wellbeing by partnering with Kooth, Unobravo, and Siquia(Spain).

The entire aparto student life experience is based on three core values:
* Service: namely cutting-edge facilities and a sector-leading experience program, with expert friendly staff to provide residents with the best student experience in their new home-away-from-home
* Belonging: to a community of like-minded individuals in great surroundings that promote health and wellness
* Community: providing direct links with the public and local facilities to share ideas, create memories, and host joint projects.


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