This is my first attempt at writing a blog and I’m not really sure how to open it without sounding cheesy so I guess I’ll just start by introducing myself (or re-introducing myself for those of you who know me)....
I’m Jack Fossey – you might have seen all the “Foss4Us” banners and posts during elections time – and I’m the current Welfare Officer here at the NUS Wales Students’ Union of the Year 2015/2016 (I’d like to point out that we had this title many months before the university became the “number one university in Wales,” we just never got around to making so many posters). This means that on a daily basis I’ll be dealing with issues such as housing, sexual health and mental health (to name a few). It’s been a whirlwind 6 months and I can’t believe I’m already halfway through my post, there have been ups and downs and a heck of a lot of challenges, but I work with an incredible team and the work we do as a students’ union here is so immensely rewarding I couldn’t have asked for a better job.
I’m going to break my blogs down into a few sections, as it was way too lengthy all in one and they are: stuff I’ve achieved/been involved with; plans for the future and finally my involvement with the NUS.
Achievements/wins so far:
1. I’ve managed to set up a university-wide “welfare committee” which involves all key stakeholders including representation from our Advice Centre, the University’s Student Services, ResNet, the Liberation PTOs and other student members as well. In this we can discuss the issues facing students’ welfare across the board and work together for campaigns to be more successful and effective. It also works as a useful platform for communication between the different departments.
2. I was part of the team that was involved in organising the first “Pride” event since the official Swansea Pride went into administration. Branded as “Carnival” the events department worked incredibly hard to put on an amazing day and night event, featuring acts such as Youngr and Sink the Pink with over 2,500 people attending. By playing a role in this I was able to see the award-winning events team in their element, and being on the other side of the of the barrier was an awesome experience.
3. We went to some extremely useful conferences over the summer, meeting the other officers from different students’ unions. One of the best ones was Y Talwrn, which was just for NUS Wales students’ unions and I set up a platform for all the welfare sabbs across Wales to be able to share ideas and plans for the year which has been very successful so far.
4. We launched the DrinkAware Club Crew Scheme which involves employing 12 student-staff who attend the Wednesday and Friday nights we put on across 4 venues, aiding vulnerable students on a night out and it’s been a massive success so far and received very positively. I spent nights on Wind St during freshers’ fortnight assisting them alongside the Christian Union (CU) – shout-out to the CU for the work they do in handing out water and caring for people during the night-time! It’s been heartening to see so many students who genuinely care about the welfare of their peers and with the ever-increasing number alcohol related incidents, these schemes are crucial in ensuring the safety of our students on nights out.
5. There are now lockers and a microwave being put onto Bay Campus and we are looking for an area to do the same on Singleton!
Keep an eye out for what I’ve got planned for the future and how I’m involved with the NUS, in other blogs coming out over the next few weeks!