Stepping into the New Academic Year

Posted on: 27 August 2021

August at Student Hubs means the start of a new year. We have spent the month getting everything in place for a successful start of term welcoming new students into our network! With a busy September ahead of us, it feels good to look back and reflect on everything that’s happened so far this academic year.

Hub Holiday

It is an annual tradition for the Student Hubs staff team to get together in August at Hub Holiday. This year we spent a week reflecting on 2020-21 and looking ahead to 2021-22, making lots of exciting plans for fundraising, impact and strategy.

On the Friday we got to meet in person at a community centre in Basingstoke. It was fantastic seeing everyone’s faces (and heights!) after a year of working together virtually. We finished the day off with our staff awards ceremony. Everybody received a handmade award crafted by one of their colleagues, highlighting the things we appreciate about them!

One member of the Student Hubs staff team passes a certificate to another member of the team. You can see three other individuals clapping.

Green Impact Awards

The University of Cambridge celebrated its ninth year of Green Impact by presenting 49 awards to teams and individuals at the University. Two of our Engage for Change students were recognised for their work making sustainable change on campus.

Luisa Deragon won the Special Award in Student Leadership and Anuska Chandrawat was highly commended. Luisa’s initiative, Re.USE, seeks to reduce the amount of plastic consumption when students are using takeaway food systems in Cambridge Colleges. The project was incubated through Engage for Change.

Congratulations to both Luisa and Anuska – we can’t wait to see what you do next.

Branch Up Activity Week

Alongside our delivery partner, Youth Options, the Southampton Hub team delivered a whole week of Branch Up activities.

The week happened at Itchen Valley, a local country park. Each day was based on the four themes of outdoor survival: food, fire, shelter and water. The young people made shelters, chilled in hammocks, went pond dipping and purified water. On the last day the team ran a Come Dine With Me competition – splitting up into three groups to make a starter of nachos, a fry-up for their main course and apple pie as dessert.

In the Spotlight

This month we wanted to put our 2020-21 Alumni Ambassador team in the spotlight. Unsal, Regina, Nancy, Elle, Alex and Aaron have spent the year organising our Crafty Chatters socials (see below), fundraising for Student Hubs and supporting our social media network.

We are currently looking for Ambassadors who are keen to support the alumni network with communications, events, fundraising and local Hub support. If you are interested in developing skills and continuing to volunteer at Student Hubs, please read more and apply.

Four people are shown in a video call holding up crafts.

What to Look Out For

Sophie Payne

Sophie Payne is the Network Operations Manager, she also oversees Student Hubs alumni network. If you have questions or want to get in touch you can email her at

Tags: Alumni, News

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