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!

NU Festival of Culture

March 4th - March 15th saw the largest NU Festival of Culture to date. 

What an incredible two weeks. With support from Culture Campus at Newcastle University, I organised and put on a massive two week festival of culture. To open the event Tom Caulker, honourary graduate of Newcastle University came to the Boiler House to discuss his experiences in the city. Events through the two weeks included Japanese Calligraphy, hosted by the Anglo-Japanese Society, Cheese and Wine Night, hosted by the Cheese and Wine Society, Language classes and workshops by the Modern Languages Society, Language Resource Centre and some other lovely teachers in the Language Department, which included, Dutch, Catalan, Spanish, French, Mandarin, Chinese to name a few. We had guided tours of the Great North Museum, we had several film showings, including one down at Tyneside Cinema hosted by Film Society. NUTS and Moaning Toad Productions put on a fantastic performance at Northern Stage, and Gaming Society hosted a Games and Pizza night down in Luther's. We got active on the Saturday with our Pole Society giving us a taste of what they do. Our first Friday night was an incredible Jazz Jam which proved hugely popular, with our amazing Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra, with our closing night being a salsa, Latin and Ballroom night, with respective societies helping out and ou two great teachers Alysia Davies (alumni) and Václav (Masters Student) teaching us how to move. Throughout all of this, NU Catering provided excellent food, drink and service at pretty much every event. Marketing too were fantastic making sure everyone new what was happening during the two weeks. 

The Festival would not have been possible without everyone mentioned above, and everyone who took part!



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