Eco NSU, the environmental volunteering strand of the Students’ Union, received national recognition for their student-led environmental volunteering programme on Saturday 19th October. Members travelled to London for the awards ran by the National Council of Youth Volunteering Services (NCYVS) and received a Young Partners Award in the Environmental category, having competed against national organisations such as People and Planet.
The NCVYS Young Partners Award celebrates voluntary and community organisations that show an outstanding commitment to youth participation and involving young people in all aspects of their decision-making processes. In September, some Eco NSU members were interviewed by NCYVS judges and said they were, “amazed at the range of projects on offer and how student led the programme is.”
Eco NSU started over a year ago, with only three committee members and it has grown rapidly to signing up more than 500 people during welcome week. Eco NSU offers a different type of volunteering, as projects start by people who have a genuine interest in the project and are keen to make it a success! The volunteer student-run Eco NSU leadership committee provide support, funding and training in partnership with a dedicated member of staff.
Eco NSU can be as environmental as you want to make it, projects include ‘fashion fix’ which customise and recycle clothes and hold vintage fashion shows, to food co-op which want to set up a co-op to sell affordable, but sustainable and organic food, to Northumbria students and local surrounding area.
Eco NSU works very closely with local communities and areas, such as ‘Living Off the Land’ project which promotes local produce and supports eco organisations in the North East such as Rising Sun Farm in Wallsend. Beach Clean is another on-going project which sees students go out in all weathers to clean our regions beaches and protect marine life.
The Eco NSU committee said: “The Young Partners Award has been such an achievement and reward for all the volunteers’ hard work and dedication that they have put in.”
Sarah Mayne, The Eco NSU Lead Mentor said, “Winning the award, has made me so proud of the work that I have put in and it has been great to get recognition for the voluntary work especially on a national level. It was such a surprise to win the award and means the projects will be able to grow, improve and can projects can celebrate their successes.”
If you want to get involved in Eco NSU, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more, or sign up to specific projects on the Volunteer database!