Claire Gilbert

Do sabbs actually do anything? – VP Engagement

A question I am sure many of you have asked. But as we reach our 6 month point in office it’s important that you know what we have been up to in the depths of the SUSU building.100_1316

To remind you all what my job covers – I am in charge of RAG (student fundraising), enterprise (social and traditional) communications and all external community work.

In 6 months I have been lucky to be a part of some brilliant projects and these are just a few of them!

One of my proudest achievements is having the RAG totaliser in the Concourse area of building 42. A chance to visually celebrate all the great fundraising by students studying at the University of Southampton!

A great achievement of RAG was also smashing their £20,000 target for Christmas, meaning they have donated £8,000 more to charity at this point in the year than they ever have before.

This year we are also looking to hold a session on Feb 1st 12-4pm on the topic of “What is RAG?” where we will be asking students to feed back what support they should get when fundraising and how RAG works! It is open to everyone so come along if you have an opinion, even if just for half an hour.

I have also had the chance to be a member of NaSFA (National Student Fundraising Association) and learn about student fundraising on a national scale – supporting our RAG by learning the best practice from other unions.

I made some big promises for Enterprise in my manifesto and have been on a steep learning curve since then.  One of the best things about being a Sabbatical officer is the chance to explore new ideas and discover whole worlds of activity you never knew existed.

In Semester one I help the Enterprise Officer set up the first every Enterprise Committee, have met with the University to establish their support system and begun planning the Enterprise Conference on March 8th.

A large of piece of research into the nature of student businesses will be started in a few weeks to explore the nature of what student enterprises you engage with.  From this we will hopefully be able to tailor the support we give you when selling a product, setting up a business or even just testing an idea.

CA Font

With Community Action as well as a bit of fancy font we have managed to fund a beach clean (1.5km cleared by 48 volunteers on a drizzly Saturday) joint with the Marine Conservation Society, set up Student Volunteering Week (24th Feb – 2nd March) joint with Southampton Hubs and set up our own Sport Relief Mile in Southampton!

I have met with numerous Residents Associations in order to work better with the local community and have helped to create one of our first newsletters that will be sent to local areas.SVW-Blue-text

I have also been working on a Welcome Brochure to help students move into private rented accommodation for the first time which will include things like what to do with your bins, important numbers to call and a suggestion of how to meet your neighbours. To get a feel for what we are aiming for – this is York’s version!

On the communications aspect of my job I have taken a focus on getting the University to talk to its students (as currently it isn’t a high priority) and so have taken time to discover different University practices and work with the University to create a set of recommendations.

Other fun things I have been a part of:6 month blog

Welcome Talks

Testing the Wetness of water


RAG Conference

Inspiring Women

RAG Calendar

Don’t Rush Campaign

Tackling Sexual harassment

Open Days (Highfield and Winchester)

RAG Training

Course Rep Training

Your Skills

Trustee Board

Alumni Events

Improving Participation in elections

Making sure you get to know your sabbatical team

And just in case you ever wondered what we got up to in the office….

Genuinely. If you have ever considered running for a  Sabbatical position. Please just do it. It is the most exciting year working with dynamic people, having the chance to work on the areas you are passionate about and champion the causes that you believe people should know about it.

You could be the person sat here in 6 months time starting out on your best year ever. So why not do it?


VP Engagement.


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2 Comments on "Do sabbs actually do anything? – VP Engagement"


  1. […] and the rest of the Sabb team (you can read their mid-year blogs here – Beckie, Dave Martin, Claire,…

  2. […] Sabb: Claire Gilbert, VP Engagement […]

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