Tag Archives: students

SAUWS wins awards for sustainability!

The Student’s Association of the University of the West of Scotland (SAUWS) has won two awards at the National Union of Students (NUS) ceremony which was held in Bolton on 8th July 2015.

SAUWS won the prestigious NUS Green Impact Gold Award in recognition of the staff and students’ dedication to positive environmental action and the environmental performance in the university over the last year.  This betters the achievement of a bronze Green Impact award from the previous year.

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The main focus of this project is to increase awareness of sustainability practises within the work place amongst staff working in the Union. In addition, Projects that helped to achieve this gold award included the UWS Community Gardens situated in Paisley, Hamilton and Ayr, that encourage biodiversity and aim to get staff and students involved in sustainable food production; and the SAUWS Free Shop which takes on good quality used items and then gives them away to UWS students, staff and the wider community. Starter packs are also set up for students and the wider community for the more vulnerable groups such as those living in refuge or social housing.

Jack Douglas, President of the Students’ Association, said “I’m incredibly proud that the Students’ Association has been able to rise all the way to the NUS Green Impact Gold Award in such a short space of time. This wouldn’t have been possible without our staff in the sustainability team and for the many students who took up the opportunity to get involved in our activities.”

The second award that was presented to SAUWS congratulated the Association for coming first place in the NUS “Snap it Off!” campaign, winning £500. Snap it Off! Involved getting students to take pictures of areas around their universities where energy was being used unnecessarily, and then sending them into the Snap it Off! website. NUS would then contact staff at the university so that the energy waste could be resolved. The student who sent in the most photos from UWS, final year Civil Engineering student Chukwumela Okoroma, won a Samsung Galaxy tablet.

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Jack Douglas, President of SAUWS commented “This wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication of our staff in the sustainability team and the many students that took up the opportunity to get involved in carbon saving activities. UWS students have a strong belief that we should be working towards a sustainable future and we are seeing an amount of students that want to get involved and make a difference. At SAUWS, we look forward to build on this year’s work as we start to prepare for the next academic year.”

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Why Volunteer? 5 Reasons to start volunteering

Have you ever asked yourself why people volunteer?

Whatever background you come from or whatever skill set you possess,there is without doubt a list of benefits for volunteering.

How many times have you found a job advert read “must have work experience” in the description and think, how can I have experience when I have only just finished my degree? Similarly, how many times have you thought you would like to develop skills and gain experience in a different area?

Volunteering benefits range well beyond enhancing each individual’s CV, for volunteering can boast a greater impact on the individual’s health and well being as well as that of the community around them. If you have contemplated getting involved, maybe this blog post and these reasons will be that inspiration you need. You never know, it could change your life forever.

work experience

  1. Work Experience and skills development

In the current job market it is becoming more and more important to have work experience on your CV. Leaving University with an Honours Degree alone does not cut it anymore. It is up to you, the individual, to gain experience, and volunteering is an excellent way to do so. Ask yourself, can you find time around your studies to do a few hours a week? Doing something related to the area you want to work in can be beneficial. That does not mean to say doing something different in order to develop other skills is out the question. Knowledge is power, experience is vital!

personal-development

  1. Personal Development

While work experience is vital in employment, personal skills are equally important. We have all heard the phrases countless times,”I’m too shy to …….” or “I don’t have the confidence to …….” Many of us have thought it ourselves. Like most other things in life, the best way of learning is doing. Volunteering often offers a great chance to get out there and develop communication and team working skills. Before you know it, you can be out of your comfort zone, flourishing in a new found confidence.

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  1. Creating Positive Change

Not all volunteering needs to be work related. Is there anything you are passionate about? Volunteering offers you that opportunity to go out and make that positive change. This can be as simple as gathering signatures on a petition for a local charity or raising awareness of recycling in your community. Being a part of something that you truly believe in will, without doubt, generate a sense of satisfaction and benefit your mental well-being.

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  1. Mental Health and Well-being

Over the last two sections we have touched on making positive change and developing personal skills. These both contribute to better mental health and have been shown to help with depression. In today’s culture, many of us live stressful lives. It can be easy for work or studies to get on top of us. Taking that time bit of time out from stress can be exactly what the brain needs to recharge.

happy

  1. Being a happier person!

A survey carried out by the National Volunteering Network showed that 98% of people taking part in a survey said that volunteering made them a happier person. Many factors contribute to this. For the vast majority of human beings, helping other people makes them happy. Throw that in with personal development, new achievements, positive changes, enhanced mental well-being and a great CV. What is there not to be happy about?

From this point it is up to you. Decide what you want to take from volunteering. Is it to bolster your CV? Make a difference in the local community? Or just to get out and mix with new people? There are many organisations out there that will welcome your time and help. Volunteer Scotland’s website offers more information on volunteering.

SAUWS Environment offer volunteering placements for students of the University of the West of Scotland.  Get involved! All opportunities are advertised on the UWS jobs page and the SAUWS website. Alternatively, if you are keen to volunteer and think you have a skill to bring to the table, contact us at sustainability@sauws.org.uk.

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