August Accomplishments and the new Academic year ahead!

Posted on: 26 August 2022

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 month ahead, we reflected on everything we have accomplished in the past year while focusing on the next academic year!

Hub Holiday 2022

This year, the Student Hubs team got to meet in person at the Sustainability Centre in East Meon for a mini break from our regular work schedules to focus on areas such as Staff Survey and Wellbeing, Strategy and Looking Ahead into 2022-2023 Academic Year. We are looking forward to sharing more about our new strategy with everyone in the next few months.

Our staff members have dived deeper into our work culture with a special session on Personal Development and Organisational Priorities, taking our organisation and culture to the next level.

Hub Holiday was a great way to get together and work on how we can improve our culture and organisation. Student Hubs is already a great organisation to work for but seeing how much effort and work they are putting into their culture shows their passion in people.”

Student Hubs staff are outside. They are all in various stages of jumping. They all look happy.

Sustainability Work with the Open University in Wales

Following last month’s piece on sustainability work in Open University Wales, our Engage for Change programme has come to an end. The student projects covered different areas of sustainability policy and the presentations were met with real excitement at the potential for student involvement and leadership in driving the environmental agenda at the university. One student is seeking to complete a mapping activity of collaborative projects between the Open University and rural communities, hoping to build open dialogue and shared expertise in pursuit of a regenerative future for rural and agricultural communities. You can read more about the Engage for Change project in Wales on a blog written by our Sustainability Programmes Manager (Wales), Jay Chard about his experience delivering the programme.

Here are some quotes from student participants;

“During the Engage for Change programme I broadened my knowledge of Climate and Sustainability issues, whilst also developing the skills necessary for project management. I achieved a greater confidence in speaking publicly and engaging with others on a subject that I had little confidence in.”

“I feel more ready to make an impact on the environment and make it a better world because I think some things need to change to make it better for people.”

Our One Community Forum at Leeds Conservatoire

The One Community Forum encouraged many in depth discussions which inspired our next steps in our work with Leeds Conservatoire. After reflecting on the One Community Forum we found three key findings which included; 

  • Accessibility for community organisations and their clients
  • Barriers to student engagement including lack of time and funds
  • Cost of living crisis, homeless and mental health. 

Since the One Community Forum, Iona has been meeting with more people in the community to discuss these topics. Two examples of potential projects which came out of the One Community Forum include Leeds Conservatoire holding a Charity Challenge and providing free concert tickets for community organisations to give out to their clients or volunteers.

Winchester Hub Celebration Event

After the saddening news regarding Winchester Hub’s closure, we are celebrating all the achievements and the contributions of our amazing staff members and volunteers over the last eight years.

We are celebrating eight wonderful years of Winchester Hub in September. We will be kicking off with speeches including one from our CEO and former Winchester Hub Manager, Simran Dhanjal-Field followed by a chance for you to catch up with your fellow volunteers, network with people from the Winchester community and reflect on the impact the hub has had over the past 8 years.

The event is taking place on September 20th, from 7:00 – 9:30pm on the University of Winchester Campus. You can book your ticket on our Eventbrite page.

Square image. Yellow background with a white box in the centre. Grey text reads "Save the Date. Whichester hub Celebration Event. September 20th 2022". Surrounding the white box is orange banners and balloon cannons.

In the Spotlight

This month, I want to put Jay Chard and Iona Gillies in the spotlight. Jay and Iona have joined our team for the summer delivering a version of Engage for Change in Open University Wales and running a One Community Forum in Leeds Conservatoire. As they are wrapping up their work with us, we want to also congratulate them for their incredible achievements and success with their projects. You can read more about our Engage for Change programme and our One Community Forum will be released soon.

What to Look Out For

  • We are launching an Alumni Mentoring Scheme in September! Recruitment for our Alumni Mentoring Scheme, allowing our amazing graduates to mentor and support current volunteers in our local hubs will open soon.
  • Alumni Wrap-Up. Check our Instagram stories for our usual biweekly alumni wrap-up for more news and opportunities.
  • Winchester Hub Celebration Event. Book your ticket to join our Celebration Event on Eventbrite. In the meantime, please keep an eye out for the Winchester Impact Report for all the amazing projects they had, which will be released on 31st August.

Unsal Kaynak

Unsal Kaynak is the Kingston Hub Manager, and he also leads the Alumni work at Student Hubs. If you have questions or want to get in touch you can email him at

Tags: Alumni, Community, Impact, News

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