Welfare Officer

RUSU Welfare Officer 2019/20 Gemma King

Welfare Officer
Gemma King

Hi I’m Gemma and I’ve just finished my three year undergraduate course studying Psychology. Throughout my time at University I have enjoyed being part of volunteering societies such as Sport in Mind as well as being a part of sport society Korfball. I am really excited to be your welfare officer for this year and I am determined to ensure students get their voice heard on topics involving mental health, safety and wellbeing.

Check out my manifesto

Welfare Officer Progress Tracker

In progress

The aim of my campaign is that students will have (and know how to use) positive coping mechanisms which will have a positive impact on mental health. On my manifesto I stated that I would compile an easy-to-use directory of wellbeing support services that students can use to find internal and external support that suits them.

Updates
9/19 Met with the Community Alcohol Partnership Officer for the council who is running alcohol awareness training sessions, to give feedback of the presentation.
8/19 Created a campaign brief with the campaigns co-ordinator at RUSU, see campaign page at www.rusu.co.uk/1in4.
7/19 Met with President of Open Mind Society to discuss putting on a mental health awareness union night and mental health awareness fayre.
In progress

Working in partnership with the University to improve alcohol and drug awareness, interventions and signposting to support.

Updates
9/19 Met with the Community Alcohol Partnership Officer for the council who is running alcohol awareness training sessions, to give feedback of the presentation.
8/19 Met with the Communication team from the University to work on marketing materials for the campaign.
7/19 Met with the University to discuss campaign surrounding drugs and alcohol awareness.
In progress

In my manifesto I stated that I would like to make people safer by providing transport (safety bus and taxi services) and give students a safe space after union with water and a wider range of food options to sober up. We also need better opportunities to find friends to walk home with and increase awareness of the security services we have on campus.

Updates
9/19 Met with Unifried Nosh to hear about their plans for the year and how they want to be part of improving safety after union nights.
8/19
  • Plans to have a ‘walking bus’ after union nights
  • Worked with the marketing team at RUSU and security to produce poster advertising the security services
7/19
  • Attending Drugs and Alcohol Partnership meeting with various stakeholders around the University to talk about safe spaces after Union night and ‘In the Moment Support’
  • Security gave us a tour of their offices
In progress

We have had the Florey sexual health clinic at RUSU for a few years now doing drop-in sessions but I would like to create more awareness of this and have the drop-in in a more private location – saves queuing at the clinic!

Updates
9/19 Created posters advertising the Florey @ RUSU which runs every second Tuesday of the month
8/19
  • Met up with Dan, sexual health nurse from the Florey to discuss moving his location of testing Tuesdays from the RUSU corridor to the relaxation room and to learn more about the service he provides
  • Sent out survey to find out whether students know about the ‘testing Tuesdays’ service that runs on campus and how it could be improved
In progress

It was on my manifesto that Landlords and estate agents exploiting students has become an ever-increasing problem in Reading with high prices and low-quality accommodation. I want to work pro-actively with the University and local councils to tackle these issues and hold them accountable by creating a housing rating scheme, where students can share their housing experiences.

Updates
9/19 Deciding to run a campaign on housing issues
8/19
  • Phone call with housing rating scheme creator
  • Met with the Council to discuss their ‘rent with confidence scheme’ and how students could use it

Continued 18/19 projects

RUSU Welfare Officer 2018 hello neighbour policy
In progress

RUSU aims to work with the UoR and local community to improve relations and the overall reputation of students. Through this campaign it will promote better cohesion between the local community and students resulting in a friendlier and safer neighbourhood. Working in conjunction with Daisy O'Connor (Activities Officer).

Updates
09/19 Met with Sarah Gardener to discuss how we will continue the campaign this year, she showed us marketing materials
09/18
  • Name confirmed to be ‘Hello, Neighbour!’. The campaign will focus on encouraging good relations with students and the local community.
  • Plans for Freshers’ Week and Autumn Term have been discussed and planned.
  • Artwork has been designed ready of the new academic year.
08/18
  • Currently brainstorming ideas and names for the campaign, in addition to when in the year a campaign could be launched.
  • Looking into possible events to support this campaign.
07/18 Initial meeting with Sarah Gardner, (UoR Community Relations Officer) to discuss potential plans for the year.
RUSU Welfare Officer 2018 #NeverOK campaign policy
In progress

An anonymous reporting system is already in place at UoR to report discrimination or harassment in any form. However, this academic year, I will be working with the RUSU Diversity Officer (Zeid Sharif) as well as the university on creating a ‘Never OK’ campaign that draws attention to reporting systems in place for students as well as where to go or who to speak to when you need help, support or advice.

Updates
09/19 Meeting with the University to discuss new marketing materials and activities we would like to do to promote the campaign this year.
06/19 Dan (18/19 Welfare Officer) and Nozomi (18/19 Diversity Officer) introduced #NeverOk to Gemma and Zeid.
10/18 Campaign to launch in November 2018.
09/18 Attended meetings regarding the #NeverOK campaign artwork. After several revisions, it is now in the final stages of being designed and printed.
08/18
  • Attended meetings about what should lie under ‘Never OK’ and the branding of the campaign.
  • Discussed campaign and #NeverOK launch.
07/18 Attended meetings regarding the campaigns.
RUSU Welfare Officer 2018 dropin policy
Complete

I am planning to have weekly drop – in sessions so that students can come and talk to me about campaigns or changes they would like to see on campus. My drop-in hours are: Thursdays 16:00-17:00 and Fridays 09:00-11:00