Icons Celebration

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Icons is a programme designed to recognise all our Societies who go above and beyond to provide an excellent level of service, opportunity and experience for their members. Over the course of the year Societies are encouraged to obtain either a Bronze, Silver or Gold award and have to work continually throughout the year to achieve the award. These awards will then demonstrate to UPSU, Plymouth University and the student community that the Societies are actively making a difference to develop and engage the members of their Society and improve the student experience in the Society.

This year nine societies have worked hard to achieve their Icons, and are working to offer their members the best experiences while studying at Plymouth University.

 

A Big thank you to Ben Curwen from the Phototgraphy society for the wonderful photos of the presenation. 

 

Societies that achieved Bronze Icons:

Friends of MSF.

Russian Speaking Society.

University of Plymouth Amateur Dramatics.

Knit Fast, Die Warm.

Marine Biology Society.

Women’s Engineering Society.

 

Societies that achieved Gold Icons:

Marrow

SCUBA

MedSoc

 

 

 

Here is a little bit of information about why each Society was awarded their Icons.

 

Friends of MSF.

This is the first year friends of MSF have applied for Icons and they worked hard to achieve Bronze. The committee came together and have successfully held a number of awareness events including a language exchange where students could share their languages and also a missing map marathon, where volunteers gave up their time to map areas of the world inaccessible to healthcare. The Society also teamed up with the Debate Society for an exciting evening discussing crucial issues that MSF faces globally, while also raising £256.80 for national MSF through a charity bucket shake.

 

 

Russian Speaking Society.

Russian Speaking Society received Bronze Icons last year and wanted to ensure they maintained the same level this year. Over the summer the Society entered a competition and won £450 in sponsorship for its members. Throughout the year they have held a great number of themed socials from ice-skating, and BBQs to 80s nights, aiming to reach out to all their members. They have redesigned their logo and the committee invested in Society T-shirts. They have supported the union by attending the “World Fair” organised by VP International and Outreach, where they shared their culture with other students as well as showcasing their Society at university open days.

 

 

 

University of Plymouth Amateur Dramatics.

University of Plymouth Amateur Dramatics have been awarded Bronze Icons this year. This year the Society have been busy producing two showcases, one in winter ,“Theatre Through the Ages”, and one at Easter, “When All Else Fables”. All the plays are writer-directed and parts performed by members of the Society. The Society continues to support their members with these opportunities to be creative and to show case and develop their talents. The Society have also increased members’ volunteering opportunities by participating  in the yearly immersive theatre event at Dartmoor Zoo, “Boo at the Zoo”. This year they have also started volunteering with a local youth theatre company, The Leonard School of Dramatic Art where the Society’s members helped run acting workshops and costume design workshops. They have also raised over £500 this year for Macmillan Cancer Support.

 

Knit Fast, Die Warm.

This Society have been awarded bronze Icons. They knitted over 200 poppies and sold them to raise money for the Royal British Legion, raising over £160. They received a wonderful thank you letter detailing the impact their donation made. They have also held a Give it a Go session and sharing crafts sessions to encourage new members. This year the Society started a new project working with Society members to knit baby clothes which will be sent out to Africa in care packets. These baby clothes are simple but take up to 3 hours to make. So far the Society have knitted over 15 baby outfits and they plan to keep knitting and send these care packages in the summer.  

 

Marine Biology Society.

The Marine Biology Society have been awarded Bronze Icons having raised £112 for the Marine Conservation Society through a variety of events. They have held regular screenings of Blue Planet 2, bringing their members together to watch, including showing the first episode as a live open air screening on the SU roof with a great attendance of both members and non-members. The Society supported Green Week here at UPSU with a joint beach clean with many other societies  and also held a plastic arts workshop with a local plastic artist from Fathoms Free. They created a fantastic mural from the plastic collected during the beach cleans and it was showcased in the Students’ Union, really helping to raise awareness of the issues around single use plastics and pollution in our seas.

 

Women’s Engineering Society.

This is the first year Women’s Engineering Society have applied for an Icon awards and they’ve done really well to achieve Bronze. At the start of the year WES decided they wanted to encourage and inspire future generations of female engineers and the Society have worked hard this year to hold events such as networking sessions and external speaker workshops with female graduates in the engineering world. They have also tried to give their members the chance to get to know each other and meet other students with meet and greets at the start of the year and joint socials throughout. They have also hosted an SU quiz and raised over £100 for their two chosen charities.

 

 

Marrow.

Marrow have been awarded Gold. They have had a wonderful year and worked really hard to achieve Gold Icons, at the last count having raised over £3,500 for the Antony Nolan trust, with the total increasing. This year Plymouth Marrow was named Marrow of the month for December by Marrow UK, meaning that out of the 40 different Marrow groups around the world, they were the ones who were deemed most impressive that month. They have increased the number of swab clinics both on and off campus, leading to recruiting the truly amazing 321 new signups to the bone marrow register. They have also supported the UPSU main elections with over 60% of their members voting, as well as running their own campaign ‘March of the Men’ – a campaign designed to tackle the fact that whilst men are the most successful donors, they make up less than 50% of the stem cell register.

 

 

 

SCUBA

SCUBA have been awarded Gold. They have had a great year, holding multiple beach cleans and dive cleans with over 25% of their membership donating nearly 200 hours of volunteering to help clean the marine environment of rubbish. They held a calendar competition, where members of the Society could submit their photos to feature in a calendar that was then sold to raise money for Diving Diseases Research Centre, raising over £300. Their SU quiz raised a massive £185 for Deeptherapy and their “give it a go scuba” session gave over 50 students the chance to try scuba diving completely for free. But they haven’t stopped there. To celebrate International Women’s Day and to help raise awareness of the barriers faced by women within scuba diving, the Society created a  blog to champion women divers and held a showing of the film “Mission Blue,” a film about a female scuba diving “icon” and pioneer.

 

 

MedSoc 

Medsoc have been awarded Gold. This year Medsoc have raised the bar, introducing new events and activities. This year was the first “MedSoc conference” with Nationally recognised speakers attending to speak to medics and non-medics alike. Medsoc have worked hard to advertise their events to non medic students to help increase students’ awareness of the medical world and also gain sponsorship from a number of external organisations for the event. They have also worked to look after their members’ health and wellbeing this year, introducing Medsoc rock climbing and regular yoga sessions. They have also continued their regular volunteering at the Shekinah Mission here in Plymouth with 35 volunteers giving up 105 hours of their time to help run the soup kitchen.  The committee have also introduced new volunteering opportunities including 8 volunteers giving their time at “Mill Ford” a local school for children and young adults with severe and profound learning difficulties  and complex medical needs. They have also continued to support their members’ academic experiences with weekly study sessions, while also raising £1004.25 for a variety of charities .