Have you ever lost something? I bet you have. We all have. I once dropped my wallet in a car park, then my phone rang as I was driving home to tell me that if I could make it back in ten minutes they’d still be open for me to pick it up. It even still had the tenner I’d left in there.

But not all lost things have such an easy journey. Have you ever wondered what happens to a lost phone, or wallet, or memory stick here on campus? So have we. So we found out.

Somewhere in the depths of the Security Office in the Venn Building is the place where all the lost things go. We like to think that it’s a bit like Gringotts in Harry Potter, complete with goblin guards, mine cart railways and, in all likelihood, its own dragon. We can’t be sure, but we’re pretty sure that’s what happens when the security person goes away to look for whatever it is that’s been lost.

Anyway, the important bit is that if you have lost, or indeed found something then the Security Office in Venn is where you need to go. Unless it’s your student ID card, in which case it’ll go to Student Admin Services.

If you’ve found something, all you need to do is pop in and hand it over – they might ask where you found it, but otherwise once you hand it in your role is done. Just keep an ear out for the dragon.

If you’ve lost something, then you just need to stop in and ask if it’s been handed in. You’ll need some photo ID – your student card is perfect, or a driving license is fine too (unless of course that’s what you’ve lost, in which case something with a matching address might be good). You’ll also need to describe whatever it is you’ve lost, as well as where and when (roughly – obviously if you knew exactly where it was it wouldn’t be lost) you misplaced it.

So rather than saying ‘I’ve lost my phone’, it would be much more helpful to say something like ‘I lost my iPhone 8 Plus somewhere around Canham Turner yesterday afternoon. It’s black and it’s in a Hello Kitty case with googly eyes and a crack in the corner where I dropped it putting the bins out’. If it is a phone then they’ll probably ask you to unlock it just to make doubly sure it’s yours.And if you’re trying to blag it well, remember that dragon.

If you’re worried about losing stuff (and you probably should be, because it can happen to anybody) then there are a few handy tips you can use to reduce the likelihood of you losing things, and also to make it easier to get them back!

  1. Put your student ID on personal stuff – notebooks, laptops and especially memory sticks. It’s like an unwritten law that once you plug one into a computer you HAVE to forget to take it out.
  2. You could even hang your USB stick off your ID lanyard, if you have one. Seriously, those things are getting lost all the time.
  3. Don’t leave things lying around. It’s really tempting to have all your kit (notebooks, textbooks, pens, tablet, phone, cuddly toy) all spread out in front of you for easy access, but it also makes it really easy to miss something when you leave.
  4. Double check you have everything before you leave anywhere – lectures, lunch, library, whatever. Make up a little rhyme or mnemonic if it helps – Phone, Hat, Earphones, Wallet – PHEW, I’ve got everything!

And remember that the security goblins (they’re not really goblins, they’re lovely helpful human people) can only hang on to lost property for 28 days before it’s disposed of or donated to charity. So if for some reason you’re not able to get there in person, it’s definitely worth giving them a call on 01482 466868 (6868 from an internal phone) to see if anything has been handed in.