Posted: Mon 2nd Jul 2018

Students’ Union in running for national award with campaign to tackle period poverty

This article is old - Published: Monday, Jul 2nd, 2018

A campaign by Wrexham Glyndŵr University’s Students’ Union to tackle period poverty has been shortlisted for a national award.

The campaign is one of eight which have been put forward for the participation award in the National Union of Students awards which take place on Wednesday July 4th.

Period poverty occurs when women do not have enough money to afford sanitary products – with charities, foodbanks and others working to tackle the problem by providing supplies.

The Student Union campaign which led to the shortlisting for this year’s awards aimed to tackle the issue by collecting sanitary products from students and staff and distributing them at specific points across campus.

It is one the latest in a series of successes for the union this year, after it was named as Wales Higher Education Students’ Union of the Year at the NUS Wales awards in March.

WGSU CEO Sarah Ellis said: “After setting up the campaign, we really did have a lot of donations – and I think it’s great how staff, as well as students got on board with the campaign and donated to it- we’ve had staff coming to us with donations from right across the University.

“Lots of people have participated, which is one of the reasons I think the NUS have recognised the campaign.”

Students’ Union President Angus Hamill-Stewart added: “It has also resonated really well with the local community – there was a real take up of items during Comic Con when that was held here, for example.

“We’ve also had students coming in quite recently whose courses mean they are working out in the community and we have been talking with them about what’s involved and how we can spread the message even further.”

As well as being shortlisted for the Participation award, WGSU are also set to have their success on the national Green Impact programme, which measures sustainability work recognised on the night. Officers at the union worked to improve sustainability and environmental issues, with their efforts paying off so well the Union moved from a ‘good’ rating to an ‘excellent’ one.

Angus added: “It’s great that our work to make a greener Students’ Union is being marked – it’s something we have worked really hard on and an area where we have come so far.

“For me, whatever happens this week, that is the real story of the last few years – how far we have developed as a Student’s Union, whether that’s in sustainability, community participation – or simply in standing up for our students.”

The work WGSU are carrying out in listening to students is also set to be in the spotlight next week. At the NUS Students’ Unions 2018 conference, which runs at the same time as the awards, Sarah is set to present some ground-breaking research she conducted as part of an MBA at Glyndŵr.

The research – entitled “Won’t Somebody Please Think of the Students?” looks into the challenges of aligning long-term strategy in Students’ Unions with the views and opinions of sabbatical officers – who are elected each year.

Sarah said: “Making the long-term strategy for Unions work with an annually changing group of sabbatical officers has long been a challenge for Students Unions. I spoke to Unions up and down the country as part of my research and I’m glad to be presenting it in a national forum.

“I’m also applying my findings to our work here at Glyndŵr, as we develop the work we’ve been doing to improve our Student Union.”

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