Just prior to lockdown, Grŵp Llandrillo Menai's Students' Union swept the boards at the NUS Wales Awards 2020 in Aberystwyth, winning 4 out of 8 awards!
Grŵp Llandrillo Menai's Students' Union were recognised nationally for the third consecutive year, as the 'Further Education Students' Union of the Year' in Wales. NUS Wales recognised the hard work of the Students' Union in their campaigning activities, engaging with over 3,000 learners in one academic term, over 12 campuses and four counties.
The Students' Union were commended for their environmental impact; raising awareness of local and worldwide environmental concerns. During their Further Education Learner Conference, the Students' Union handed out their own branded water bottles to over a 120 of their class representatives, in the aim to reduce their organisations plastic use and provide education that will enable people to make environmentally conscious decisions that will reduce impact on the planet. They have recently been awarded a bid by the Welsh Government to support their environmental project. NUS Wales recognised the Students' Union hard work in educating students on the General Election and the importance of voting. Students set up registrations stands across their campuses and gave students who registered a Students' Union water bottle as an incentive.
The Students' Union won the 'Campaign Award' (joint winners with Swansea University) for their life-saving campaign 'Deadly Impacts' in collaboration with the Emergency Services for educating students, particularly 16-25 year olds about the dangers of driving and what they can do to keep themselves and their friends safe on the road.
Their 'Campaign Award' was also recognised for their Charity work; collaborating with students and staff across programme areas to raise money and awareness for Mind, and showcasing the students' skills while also giving them more practical experiences on their courses.
Sarah Wynn Griffiths, Student Enrichment Officer was awarded 'Student Union Staff Member of the Year Award' for her work at the heart of student voice, on the ground, supporting students and encouraging active participation, with record numbers. Sarah provides all the administrative support as well as the guidance for the Grŵp's Students' Union and helps to track down key and exciting contacts to support their campaigning activities. Sarah helps the Student Union to ensure activities are interesting and engaging, she has a marketing background and is a performer so the Student Union really value her support in this and they know and appreciate that she works long hours and uses her own time to ensure they are supported. The Students' Union said:
We couldn't do it without her support!
Tamlyn Cassidy, Safeguarding Officer at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai was awarded the 'Special Recognition Award' for her years of dedication of supporting students. Tamlyn was recognised for her energy and enthusiasm that drives activities to support students with emerging issues and general wellbeing. She encourages learners to participate in events such as Freshers' fairs and campaigns throughout the year linked to the Enrichment calendar. Prior to the Christmas break, Tamlyn organised the 'Tis the season to Jolly, not Sorry!' campaign to increase sign up to the Grŵp's C Card programme where students sign up for regular free condoms and learn about keeping themselves and others safe as well as healthy relationships. She has been instrumental over many years at sourcing free sanitary products distributed to all campuses, long before 'period poverty' became big news.
Lisa Johnson, Coleg Llandrillo Learner Services Manager was ecstatic by the Students' Union's achievements, she said:
I am absolutely thrilled with the Students' Union's achievements and it's fantastic that their work has been recognised nationally. To win Further Education Student Union of the Year in Wales for the third year in a row demonstrates their consistent successes. I am also delighted that Learner Services staff, Sarah and Tamlyn have been recognised for all their hard work and dedication in supporting learners. I couldn't be prouder.
Gethin Jones, Coleg Menai Student Union President's said:
It's a great achievement and honour to win these awards, a testament to the work ethic of the entire team.