Universities UK is running an initiative called 'Proud to Help' as part of its #WeAreTogether campaign. This aims to shine a spotlight on the individual students and staff who have gone the extra mile to help others while the country is facing immense challenges.
SAE Student Experience Manager Adam Lowe said: “At SAE there are lots of students and staff members who have channelled their creative talents into helping others over the course of lockdown, while others have given up their time to help others and/or donated to various causes. There will be lots of amazing acts of kindness not mentioned here, but here are just some of the ways that SAE is proud to help.”
SAE Liverpool student Saul Murphy has been busy volunteering to deliver hot food to the vulnerable in his community donated by the Vale House Cafe in New Brighton, and for the first 12 weeks of lockdown he was doing 10-hour shifts selling plastic containers used for hand sanitizer and cleaning products and supplying companies such as the NHS and Police. Saul said: “My theatre company Storytime with Santa donated £1000 to our local NHS from last year's profits, we put a short video out on social media and had nearly 3000 interactions.”
SAE Liverpool student David Knopov is in a band called BAKED A LA SKA, who recorded and made a video in lockdown which people made donations to watch. David said: “The charity we choose was MIND and we raised £2,000 in a few days.”
SAE Glasgow Student Recruitment Officer Amy Gilmour has raised over £1,000 so far this year (more than £5000 since 2018) for a Cystic Fibrosis charity, and plans to keep the donations page open until the end of August. She said: “I chose a Cystic Fibrosis charity as they are still needing donations for those suffering in hospital. I lost my best friend to Cystic Fibrosis in 2018 so it is a very important cause to me.”
Marketing Manager Daryn Castle donated to a charity that supports children and low-income families who are struggling to feed themselves both in this crisis and all year round. Daryn said: “Working families relying on food banks and charities is an ongoing issue in the UK and with students not being in school and getting access to their free meals, this left parents in a horrible and heartbreaking situation where they couldn't afford to feed their children or even themselves."
SAE London Campus Director Nathan Loughran is in a band called The Reverse, who donated all profits from albums, EPs and merchandise purchased through Bandcamp to the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust who do work standing up to racism, discrimination, under-representation and work to improve the life chances of disadvantaged young people. Nathan said:“We felt that this was a great charity to donate to that would make a real difference in the furthering of the Black Lives Matter agenda, in a very tangible way as they work to support and provide better educational and career prospects for many young BAME people from disadvantaged backgrounds. During lockdown, Bandcamp waived their fees on three separate occasions to support artists and this gave us an opportunity to donate more of the profits.”
Marketing and Communications Officer Beth Kirkbride launched a print edition of her entertainment and culture website ‘The Indiependent’, with £1 from each sale donated to The British Lung Foundation. Beth said: “There are other people at SAE who have raised much larger sums for charity than we have, but I’m proud of producing a print magazine in lockdown conditions and selling 200 copies without any physical distribution! It was a fun project to be involved with and it was great being in a position to give lots of talented journalists their first print experience. I definitely hope to produce more issues in the future.”
SAE London student Thomas Brooks has been volunteering in his local area, running errands, helping people who had to isolate, giving company to lonely people, lending money, distributing flyers and doing some DIY tasks.
Going the extra mile
SAE Liverpool Student Experience Officer Alex Hannah nominated his coworker, Kelsey Dee-Floyd who is also a Student Experience Officer. He said: “I would like to nominate Kelsey Dee-Floyd as she's an incredible team-player and is exactly who you want in your corner in any aspect of life. She's done tremendously well in support drop-ins with students and has gone above and beyond by emailing students job opportunities so those who may have lost their part time work can still earn money during lockdown.”
Eddie Nwolie, Lead Student Experience Officer at SAE London said: “I think we can all celebrate coming together and being so reactive to a pandemic and a moment in history that will remain indelible. The ability of all staff on all campuses to step up without any hesitation, despite the pressure of family relationships and other responsibilities should not go unrecognised.”
Find out more about the Proud to Help initiative here.