From 2015-2016, I was the Environment & Ethics representative for NUSU. The role gave me an opportunity to easily navigate the pathways of how a student's bright idea might come to fruition - through meeting members of the student and staff community who had either the money, the authority or knowledge to take it forward. This culminated in running receiving a £300 grant for a 'Green Week' attended by over 2,000 students, a grant of £1,000 to spend on purchasing and distributing ethical cleaning supplies and the delivery of a hugely successful Leave Newcastle Happy campaign.
None of these would have taken place without the agency and support the Union can provide. Having left Newcastle, the role has continued to have a hugely beneficial impact on my short career in social justice and sustainability - helping me to get a job as an Environmental Coordinator at the University of Liverpool, a leading role in a charity taking the UK government to court, and a place on a competitive Masters program. Aside from having the benefits of the role and the achievements it allowed on my CV, the role was also my first experience of a formal role within the newly found passion of sustainability and campaigning. The experience, and the people I met during through the role still stick out as principal role models to me, and, more importantly, are good friends.