This is the final blog in our series from the winners and runners up at the National Societies and Volunteering Awards 2023. This series is giving a platform for the students themselves to share more about what they have achieved in 2023, their motivations, and the lessons they learned. Today’s blog is from the runner up for the Extra Mile Award, Rose Taylor, about their work with the Wellbeing Award runners up: the Survivors’ Support Network at Nottingham Trent Students’ Union.
We at Nottingham Trent Students’ Union’s Survivors Support Network (SSN) are immensely grateful to have received one of the runner-up awards for the NSVA’s Wellbeing Award. I am also grateful for one of the runner-up positions for the Extra Mile Award for my work as president of SSN.
As the committee for SSN, we are responsible for ensuring that students at Nottingham Trent who had experienced sexual violence or violence of any kind felt safe and supported and had somewhere to go for this support. We partnered with the University of Nottingham societies as well to provide bigger events such as our Safe Night Out that provided Uber’s home and sober committee members. As president, I oversaw our events, such as movie nights, book club, art and crafts, and a survivor’s self- care workshop alongside the University of Nottingham.
I took on the role as president of SSN back in 2021, a few weeks after I had gone through my own experience of sexual violence, something that really shook me. The role seemed like fate when I got the email and applied. In many ways, I think it was, as it helped me move past what happened and transform my anger and fear into something that helped others.
For the past two years, we’ve grown our social media and helped students to feel understood in their experiences. We’ve taken part in university-wide events such as Sexual Health Awareness and Guidance Week, where we provided anti-spiking covers (which go in bottles to prevent spiking) and personal alarms, held a stall during Sexual Abuse and Violence Awareness week, raised money to use for Safe Nights Out and other events this academic year and the next, and worked towards making SSN a bigger and better community to do the best we can for survivors. SSN has been a privilege to be a part of for all of us on the committee.