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Successful period poverty campaign sees Students’ Union win national award

Wrexham Glyndŵr Students’ Union has continued an award-winning streak with a national award from the NUS for a campaign which aimed to tackle and raise awareness of period poverty.

At the NUS Awards 2018 last week, the WGSU team picked up the participation award for its period poverty campaign – which brought staff and students together to help provide sanitary products for those in need.

Period poverty occurs when women and girls are unable to afford sanitary products, affecting an individual’s wellbeing, hygiene and health. In many cases those affected by period poverty have been forced to use alternatives such as toilet roll.

Students on the BA (Hons) Business degree course contacted Wrexham Glyndŵr University’s Student’s Union about the issue, after first working on the topic as part of their studies.

They gave a presentation to Student’s Union Vice President Angus Hamill-Stewart, who then invited the students to talk to the Student Council – who gave their backing to the plans. Collection points are now available in the Students’ Union Lounge and in the university library and staff and students have been donating sanitary products to help the campaign.

Speaking after last week’s awards ceremony, WGSU CEO Sarah Ellis said: “I am delighted that our period poverty campaign has been recognised nationally and it’s great to see a campaign which drew so many people together recognised by the NUS.

“This award from the National Union of Students follows on from our award earlier in the year from the Welsh NUS, where we were recognised as the best Higher Education Student Union in Wales.

She added: “Awards like these help demonstrate that they work we are doing to provide a fresh student-centred Union is paying off – it’s all about team work for us and we always come together to work on projects like this. I’m so pleased for all the team at WGSU – it’s a very well deserved award.”

The run of awards for the Union demonstrate its progress since September 2015, when it was a Guild and a department of the University.

Since then, the Guild became an independent students’ union, registered as a charity and become a company in its own right. It now employs seven members of staff and two sabbatical officers.

As well as receiving the Participation award, the success of the Students’ Union in improving sustainability on campus was also marked this week.

The WGSU team’s success in the Green Impact scheme – where the Union moved from a ‘good’ rating right up to an ‘excellent’ one – received a Highest Scoring Nation award; the highest score from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Students’ Union President Angus Hamill-Stewart added: “Improving our work on sustainability and green issues has been very important and we are making great strides.

“It’s brilliant that that work, and our participation work, has been recognised nationally – and we will keep on striving to make sure the student experience here at Glyndŵr gets even better!”

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