Higher Education Funding Council for England

Putting sustainability at the heart of a brand new students' union

Tuesday 17-12-2013 - 19:57
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Students’ Green Fund projects are transformational at every students’ union, but there's perhaps no better example than Wigan and Leigh College.

The college has used Students' Green Fund to completely rekindle a dormant students’ union, embedding principles of sustainability at its core.

This project is truly revolutionising the student experience at Wigan and Leigh College - creating a new vehicle for student representation, and electing a full student executive of in the first few months of its existence. Eight officers are now in post, representing students in areas ranging from student activites, to equality and diversity.

“Our students’ union is uniquely building itself through having officers in place which will help the union promote and develop its ideas and attitudes towards sustainability for years to come” say president Tim Raines and SGS lead Hanna Osberg. “We now have a students’ union that is effective, and people have now been made aware of this”

One of the first actions of the students' union was the organisation of an incredibly successful food waste awareness event. Working with hospitality and catering students, the union provided free meals and smoothies to students and staff on campus, made from healthy food which would otherwise have been thrown away.

The meal raised awareness of the amount of perfectly edible food which is senselessly wasted across the country, while 4 million people are affected by food poverty.

At the same time, the event also raised awareness of the new students’ union, and the team of officers who have been elected to represent students’ interests across all the college’s campuses.

“We would hope that after the project, other students’ unions would look at what we have accomplished and follow our lead in promoting sustainability”, concluded Hanna, affirming the success of modelling students’ unions around the core principles of sustainability.

Going from a non-existent students’ union to having elected eight officers and staging successful events in only the first few months of funding, Wigan and Leigh College is a remarkable example of Students’ Green Fund being truly transformational for students’ unions.



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