Rag continues to rise
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Loughborough Students' Rag cemented its position as the country's most successful student fundraising organisation, by raising almost £700,000 for local and national charities in 2006-07. Over the past decade Loughborough has raised a staggering £3.6 million.
Volunteering is an integral part of the overall Loughborough experience and around 2,000 of the University's students are involved. In addition to Rag, many students take part in Community Action, which aims to make a positive difference to the lives of people in the local community. It coordinates over 50 projects run by both Loughborough students and local organisations. Opportunities include working with young people, young offenders and elderly residents.
In recognition of its commitment to volunteering, the Students' Union was this year awarded accreditation to the UK quality standard ‘Investing in Volunteers'. The award aims to improve the quality of the volunteering experience for both those participating and for the organisations, and to acknowledge the enormous contribution made by volunteers.
New era for community liaison
A new era for community liaison arrangements involving the University, College and wider Loughborough community began in April with the launch of the Loughborough Campus and Community Liaison Group.
The group is a consultative body which will play a vital role in monitoring issues and developments and agreeing action where required. Organisations represented alongside the University and College are the Students' Union, Charnwood Borough Council, Leicestershire County Council, Leicestershire Constabulary and three local residents groups. Over time it is hoped to recruit a representative of the private rented accommodation sector and there is scope for additional residents groups and new members to join. Liaison meetings have been taking place for a number of years and the new group replaces two previous forums.
Mural brings a splash of colour to local school
A mural by three Fine Art students is now helping to brighten the day of staff and pupils at Ashmount School in Loughborough.
Located at the front of the special education needs school, the 16 feet long mural depicts a selection of the school's activities. The designers - James Baker, Tom Powell and John Pimperton – wanted to develop something that would be a celebration of both the school and of the children's learning and interests. They used the children's posters and pictures pinned around the school as inspiration, and made reference to the town of Loughborough through buildings silhouetted in the background.
The school is delighted with the new artwork. Head teacher Sue Horn said: "It provides a focal interest point, which is both bright and vibrant to reflect the work within the school."
School students take over University
Around 30 students from local schools became Loughborough's decision-makers in November, as part of the national 11 Million Take Over Day initiative.
Coordinated by the organisation led by the Children's Commissioner for England, the event was an opportunity for children and young people to take over the running of some of the country's key organisations and services. It was also a chance for the country to demonstrate its commitment to listening to and recognising the contributions of children and young people.
Split into four groups, the students assessed the University's halls of residence, the campus environment, the library and its social policy research, before feeding back their conclusions to the Vice Chancellor. Environmental improvements were among their recommendations, including a recycling rota or inter-hall competition to provide students with the incentive to recycle more.
Artwork reflects region's recycling strategy
An inventive piece of artwork by Graphic Design student Chris Broughton was chosen by Charnwood Borough Council this year to symbolise its Zero Waste strategy.
The strategy sets out how the Borough will move towards a goal of reusing, recycling or composting half of its waste by 2010. To reflect this Chris's artwork depicts a fox – the Council's visual symbol – using only recycled or reclaimed art materials. The fox starts running covered in rubbish, gradually losing more and more, before finishing with ‘zero waste'.
The Council's Head of Environmental Services, Neil Greenhalgh, said:"Chris's creation makes the Zero Waste Strategy easier to understand. The Strategy is exactly about this kind of thing and this marks the continued efforts to keep it in the public eye."
The artwork has been bought by the Council as part of the borough's art collection and is now located in the authority's offices.