Activities Officer

Sophie McDermott

Activities Officer


Hi, I’m Sophie McDermott and I am your Activities Officer for 2018-2019.

I look after all things societies at the Students’ Union. If you’re looking for ways to meet new people, enhance your CV or just have fun, societies and volunteering are great ways to start. We have a range of opportunities on offer, such music, theatre and dance societies, political, religious and cultural societies and many charity and fundraising societies. I think it’s almost impossible to not find a society that suits you at Newcastle, but if you can’t, set up your own- it’s that easy!

We also have a variety of volunteering opportunities available through Go Volunteer. These range from bee keeping to running after school clubs, from helping the homeless to working with refugees in Newcastle. We have connections with many charities so you volunteer that way or join one of our many projects. Again, if there’s something you feel is missing- apply for a grant to start up a new project!

Or, if commitment isn’t really your thing, attend a one-off club or society session through Give It A Go! There are hundreds of events on throughout the year with massively subsidised prices. We don’t just offer society taster sessions but opportunities for making bath bombs at Lush, cocktail making at Revolution or learning a new language! Make sure you check out the big trips at Christmas and after summer exams!

Everything I do in activities links to employability. Through your extracurricular activities you could be eligible for the ncl+ Award, ncl+ Advances Award, and Career Development Module, all of which are either accredited or contribute towards your degree. Not only does it develop you as a more rounded person, but employers love to see you having interests outside of your degree.

Being involved in societies was the highlight of my time at Newcastle. I was mostly involved in charity societies, being Secretary of Coast 2 Coast and Treasurer of Women for Women International. I really felt like I made a difference in peoples lives though the activities we did her on campus, both for those who we were raising money for and the students. I was involved in organising a 48 hours spinathon, cheese and wine night, pub quiz, 200km bike ride and much more, and that’s just the year I was on committee. As a member I got the opportunity to do loads.

Without societies, I would not be where I am now and I wouldn’t have had half as much fun along the way. I also met my friends for life. I would recommend joining a society or volunteer project to anyone. Of course your degree is important but we all need something to do other than studying.  Joining a society is the best way to make the most of your time at University so get involved!

If you ever have questions about societies don’t hesitate to contact me.  I’m always happy to help!

End of Term Report March 2019

What have I done this term?

NU Festival of Culture

  • Two weeks of events from March 4th – 15th.

Grad Ball Planning and Ticket Sales

  • Tickets to go on sale 1st march, aiming to sell 500.

Handover Training

  • Held several sessions on how to do a handover for societies which will hopefully mean a smooth transition for next years AO.
  • Held each Tuesday of Feb for 30 minutes.

Welfare Officer Training

  • Led by a member of University Staff with myself and WO, this took place on 28th Feb.

Visit to NUMed Campus

  • While I was home in Singapore I popped across to NU Med and also went to the campuses in Singapore.
  • Met Maisarah and gave feedback to George Watkins her line manager.

Refreshers Fair

  • Held on 5th Feb. Planned and executed by myself.
  • 765 attendees. In future I think this event is not worth the cost for the benefit of clubs/societies.

Society Executive Committee Meeting x2

  • A number of grants were allocated and society issues addressed. Areas for improvement next year discussed.

Volunteering Executive Committee Meeting

  • A number of areas for improvement in Volunteering discussed.

Started a report on Duke of Edinburgh Award

  • I think the Union should offer the Duke of Edinburgh award so I am putting together a report for this.

Worked on Initiations Protocol

  • Something that came out of last term. I have been in Working Group 3 which is about writing the protocol for disciplinary.

Working on Pride Awards

Volunteering Fair and Employability Extravaganza

  • Attended and helped out and volunteering fair and Employability Extraveganza events.

Fresher’s Week Interviews

Sat on panel undertaking FWO interviews.


What has been your biggest achievement?

Selling out Graduation Ball

NU Festival of Culture


What could you have improved on?


NU Festival fo Culture could have ran smoother.

I would have put on more training sessions.


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