A big congratulations to N.E.S.T who won the Educate North Award for Community Engagement in the Univerisity Sector earlier this month!
We sat down with N.E.S.T Project Assistant, Rahima, to find out more about the awards ceremony, what it was like to win, and how you can get involved with N.E.S.T at university.
Tell us a bit about N.E.S.T
North East Solidarity and Teaching (N.E.S.T) is very fortunate to be a multi-award winning and internationally-recognised student-led project at Newcastle University Students' Union (NUSU) that is managed by Go Volunteer. N.E.S.T seeks to empower the refugee and asylum-seeking community in the region by providing support with language acquisition through a number of different formats such as; one-to-one English teaching, group English classes, sports, creative arts and trips into the local area, along with other outreach projects and support groups. Through N.E.S.T, learners (refugees and asylum seekers) gain confidence in their language skills, find new friends and family, and become better integrated into the community. N.E.S.T runs every day, providing up to 20 sessions each week for people of all ages.
How did it feel to be nominated for the award?
To see N.E.S.T nominated in this category was really quite impressive. We are always happy to see N.E.S.T reach new milestones.
What was the awards ceremony like?
The awards ceremony was a really fun evening celebrating much of the success and talent present in the North! There was live entertainment and a really nice dinner. It was a great opportunity to network with other organisations and institutions who also attended. We also got to listen to four undergraduate students pitch their business idea and then, cast a vote for the candidate to be awarded the University Entrepreneurs Grant.
What does winning the award mean to N.E.S.T?
For N.E.S.T to not only be shortlisted, but selected for the Educate North: Community Engagement Award- University Sector, is an amazing achievement. N.E.S.T is always striving to find innovative ways to educate, empower and engage with the refugee and asylum seeker community, therefore to be recognised in this category for the work that we do here, is a truly great accomplishment! We are all so grateful to be a part of N.E.S.T, an extraordinary cause that has impacted such a diverse group of people!
How can students get involved with N.E.S.T?
We would certainly love to see more students get involved with N.E.S.T, the best way to stay up to date with volunteering opportunities is by filling out our volunteer registration form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeE8o40CbyQK-STMP8jdmSF4KwweV0j3qBfoJshmKg54cVCKw/viewform
Once you register your interest, you will be able to access our weekly sign-up sheet, which you can browse through and sign up for a session that is of interest to you.
It is also worth noting that a few of our sessions, such as our weekend nursery, teens sports & homework club will include working alongside children, for which you must have an enhanced DBS clearance. If you would like any further information regarding N.E.S.T or volunteering, you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org