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Sussex Leaves Reward Scheme

What is the scheme?

The Leaves Reward Scheme encourages continual development within societies & sports clubs at Sussex.

Groups can work towards nine leaves:

These awards reflect contributions of the society or sports club towards its members, the University of Sussex Students’ Union, the University of Sussex, the local community and the public.

Leaves can be attained at bronze, silver or gold levels by meeting 3, 6 or 9 criteria.

Leaves apply for an academic year as a symbol of what the present committee have achieved but will be archived.

What do groups gain?

For each leaf achieved the group will receive:

Funding to further expand and develop - £20 for bronze, £40 for silver and £60 for gold in increments of £20. 

Permission to use their leaf status on publicity and marketing materials to show students they are taking proactive steps to include members, act sustainably, contribute to the community and/or develop as a society or sports club.

The increased likelihood of being nominated for an award at the Student Awards as Leaves will be one of the criteria used to decide the awards.

A greater chance of being granted funding from the Societies Fund or Sports Reps Fund.

How to apply

Step 1: Decide on a leaf

Decide which leaf you want to try and achieve. If you have the evidence there is no limit to the number of leaves you can apply for.

There are 9 different leaves to choose from to reflect the many different types of societies and sports clubs here at Sussex.

Step 2: Fulfil criteria

A society or sports club will have to achieve a minimum of 3 points to achieve Bronze level, 6 points to achieve Silver and all 9 points to achieve Gold Level.

Groups need to fill out one Leaves Reward Scheme evidence form per leaf.

Download evidence form »

Step 3: Accreditation

Once the application has been submitted, it will be reviewed by the Societies Administrator or Sports Assistant.

The Leaf can either be granted, rejected and/or the group asked to provide further evidence.

The group will be notified of the outcome.


Academic leaf

The Academic leaf is awarded to groups who represent an academic department/school and have made the effort to promote extra- curricular academic activity to their members and encouraged members from all years of study to get involved.

This can be through organising regular social events, hosting a sports event for an academic society or school, organising trips of academic relevance and/or by holding extra seminars and discussions organised in conjunction with academic staff.

Societies/sports clubs who achieve this award have worked in collaboration with their University department and/or the Careers and Employability Centre.

  1. Promote an extra-curricular academic activity (relevant to your members' academic course) to your members
  2. Volunteer with an education based charity/group or at a school e.g with The Role Models Project (Find out more about the project here: https://www.sussexstudent.com/volunteer/role-models/). As many society members as possible should be involved in this activity
  3. Work with the Careers and Employability Centre and/or your department to arrange an employability or careers event/training/ talk
  4. Invite an academic (or several) from your school or course to a society/sports event, or organise a joint event with some academics
  5. Set up a mentor scheme for people in the society/sports club and on your course, e.g. workshops for first years on how to write essays/lab reports
  6. Write an article for the Badger related to your academic subject and mention your society/sports club
  7. Organise a trip of academic relevance for your group
  8. Have a development meeting with your Societies Committee Academic & Departmental Rep
  9. Collaborate with an academic society to hold a social or event, or go on a trip

Community leaf

The Community leaf is awarded to groups taking practical action in the service of others to create positive change. This can be through involvement with activities and events on campus, but they will also have made an impact on the wider community by engaging with activities, campaigns and events at a local, national or international level.

They may have engaged with community groups and have helped to promote that Sussex students are valued members of the community.

The Students' Union has a new Communinty Engagement Coordinator, Monique, so look out for more criteria later in Autumn Term!

  1. Raise money for a local charity of your choice

  2. Arrange a volunteering day for your group with a local community project e.g. Stanmer Organics

  3. Run an event or activity in collaboration with a local group (e.g. the Role Models Project, a Brighton Students’ Union society or Brighton based group)

  4. Get involved with Know My Neighbour project to reduce isolation and strengthen communities in Brighton. Find out more about the project at http://knowmyneighbour.org/

  5. On your webpage make it clear how external members (e.g. non-students aka associate members) can get involved in your society

  6. Write an article for the Badger or the Students’ Union website about the community focused activities your society has been involved in

Social leaf

The Social leaf is awarded to groups who have taken active steps to include as many members as possible and regularly engage in various social activities, including those organised by - and with - other societies/sports clubs. These groups have also been actively involved in fundraising and community activities.

  1. Publicly showcase your group on campus outside of Freshers'/Refreshers' Fair, e.g. hold a Taster Session at Room 76 (contact grace.c@sussexstudent.com for more information), organise a flash mob, have a stall on Library Square publicising your group
  2. Organise a joint social with another group and/or with the Buddy Scheme
  3. Take part in the Active US scheme as a society/sports club
  4. Organise at least five socials throughout the year
  5. Fundraise for your group in a way that gets as many members involved as possible
  6. Publicise your society/sports club in student media, e.g. the Badger, URF radio, UniTV, Students’ Union website
  7. Hold at least two alcohol free socials (in an alcohol free space)
  8. Take your group on a trip somewhere different (i.e. not just to the pub)
  9. Arrange a society/sports club swap day, where your group takes part in another group’s activities one day, and they come and join in with your activities at a later date

Inclusivity leaf

The Inclusivity Leaf is awarded to groups who have taken positive steps to increase membership and include as many members as possible. They have made specific efforts to include students that don’t traditionally engage, without ignoring or neglecting their current membership or other student groups.

In regards to groups who target a specific demographic, they have worked on expanding their membership and raising awareness of the issues that affect them to the wider student body.

  1. Appoint a welfare or inclusivity officer on your committee and write a role description for this position
  2. Hold at least two alcohol free socials (in an alcohol free space)
  3. Produce some promotion for your society/sports club targeted at a demographic not currently engaged with your group, e.g. less able-bodied students, mature students, postgraduates, international students, exchange students, a mix of genders, student parents, LGBTQ students, etc. it really depends on who your current members are
  4. Arranged a Buddy Scheme link-up with your group - buddyscheme@sussexstudent.com
  5. Declare the safe space policy at meetings and publicise this on your website
  6. Take positive steps to increase your membership
  7. Collaborate with another group on an event, social or fundraiser
  8. Take steps to specifically include international students in your society/sports club. For example; produce publicity in another language, collaborate with a cultural society, target an event at international students, volunteer at the Language Cafe - languagecafe@sussexstudent.com
  9. Set up a new members mentor scheme whereby new members can arrange to meet with a current member before attending an event/social/meeting

Events leaf

The Events leaf is awarded to groups who have demonstrated an exceptional ability to organise and hold events on a regular basis.

Such groups have also made the effort to hold joint events with other societies/sports clubs and have raised money not only for themselves, but also for charity.

These groups have also worked with the Students’ Union to organise their events.

  1. Hold an event in at least two Students' Union venues: The Globe, East Slope Bar, Falmer Bar, Mandela Hall - contact the Events Assistant, Daisy, on daisy.h@sussexstudent.com to book a venue
  2. Write up one of your events for the Badger newspaper and the Students' Union website
  3. Fill out an event pack and write a risk assessment for an event. This needs to be done for all events so keep doing them after the first one!
  4. Hold an event to raise money for charity
  5. Jointly organise an event with another group
  6. Use the sustainability checklist and/or accessibility checklist when planning an event
  7. Get involved in a Students' Union cultural event, e.g. contributing to the event by holding talks or film screenings. Speak to the Events team to arrange this. Cultural events include Black History Month, LGBTQ History Month, International Women’s Day and cultural festivals and celebrations
  8. Meet with the Events team to discuss, plan and hold your own event and produce your own budget - contact Daisy on daisy.h@sussexstudent.com to arrange a meeting
  9. Use the Students' Union website as a platform to sell your tickets. Contact the Activities Finance Assistant, Aarun, to arrange this on aarun.p@sussexstudent.com

Wellbeing leaf

The Well-being and Environmental Leaf is awarded to groups who have demonstrated commitment to the well-being of their members and the wider environment.

Such groups have highlighted the importance of physical and mental well-being and have encouraged their members to adopt healthy physical and mental lifestyle choices.

With regard to the wider environment, such groups have actively tried to operate in a sustainable manner with regard to resources and activities and in doing so (or through separate campaigns) have increased environmental awareness to their members and the wider student population.

  1. Get your group to take part in a Green Week challenge, e.g. cycling to University every day, going vegetarian/vegan, reducing waste, eating communal meals etc.
  2. Complete 5 or more actions on the sustainability checklist and use the accessibility checklist when planning an event
  3. Volunteer with and/or fundraise for an environmental or mental health charity or project in the local community
  4. Organise an event which promotes mental health and well-being to other students in conjunction with the Time to Change campaign team.
  5. Get your group involved with a society who are focused on sustainability or the environment and help them out on at least one occasion, e.g. hold an event in collaboration with/go to an event organised by Sussex In Transition, volunteer with Roots at the allotment, help SCOOP with their weekly stall, learn some basic bike mechanic skills with Freewheelers or learn some vegan cookery skills with VegSoc. If your group already focuses on sustainability and the environment, carry out your own environmental/ecological conversation project and get other groups involved
  6. Volunteer as a group in the local community. Previous projects include litter picks, beachcleans, National Trust fire & fell day, school workshops
  7. Help with a Students' Union campaign week or day or take a date we don't currently mark and make something happen on campus. This can include campaigns like International Women’s Day, World Mental Health Day, Green Week, Sussex Switch Off, World AIDS Day, Transgender Day of Remembrance etc.
  8. Appoint a welfare or inclusivity officer on your society/sports club committee and write a role description for this position
  9. Get members of your group to take part in Mental Health Awareness and/or I Heart Consent workshop training

Development leaf

The Development leaf is awarded to groups who have taken active steps to develop themselves, build on the successes and failures of previous years and/or worked to maintain the high standards of previous years in differing circumstances.

They may have dramatically increased membership, developed new ideas or different events/activities or made necessary changes to the operational side of the society/sports club.

Such groups are organised, operate smoothly and work collaboratively other groups and with the Students’ Union.

  1. Increase membership numbers and make sure every member signs up using the Students’ Union membership system, even if your group does not have a joining fee
  2. Create a financial plan for the year and send to the Societies Co-ordinator/Sports Development Manager to review
  3. The group provides training and/or coaching opportunities for its members or collaborates with the Students’ Union to organise training opportunities
  4. The committee members have organised a one-to-one meeting with either the Societies Co-ordinator or the Sports Development Manager to discuss development
  5. Opportunities for non committee members to feed into the running of the society/sports club throughout the year e.g. feedback forms, voting on decisions, polls
  6. Organise at least two socials a term
  7. Hold at least two fundraisers for your group and/or raise money for a charity of your choice
  8. Hold a committee meeting at least once a month and write up minutes to distribute to members i.e. make them accessible to all members
  9. Write a comprehensive handover pack to give to the new committee the following year e.g. detailed description of roles, summary of what the society/sports club has done over the past year, ideas for development, what resources the society/sports club uses, key contacts etc
The Active US leaf is awarded to societies/sports clubs who have engaged with the Active US project and helped to get students in their club more active and aware of the project.
By doing this you will help lead Sussex to becoming a more active campus and help spread the message of wellbeing, relaxing and having fun through sport.
These clubs have also been key in making students more aware of social activities on campus through Active US. Visit www.activeus.co.uk to find out more.
  1. Take your society or club to an Active US session
  2. Collaborate or hold an event with Active US
  3. Blog or Vlog your experiences with Active US and send to activeus@sussex.ac.uk (include a link to your blog/vlog in your application)
  4. Use the Active US hashtag #LoveActiveUS
  5. Tag @activeussussex in your social media posts
  6. Attend a session during one of the Active US campaign weeks (This BUCS Girl Can, Trial it Week, etc)
  7. Get a photo in the Active US 'Instaframe' at the Active US key events
  8. Get a photo with an Active US member of staff and share it on social media
  9. Take part in an Active US competition



The Democracy leaf is awarded to those societies/sports clubs who engage their members in taking part in Union democracy and influence the Students’ Union, the country and the world.

  1. Have at least 50% of your members vote in a Students' Union election or referendum
  2. Hold an event to link up your members with candidates for the Officer elections in Spring
  3. As a group, contact your MP about an issue relevant to your members or invite an MP or local councillor to come and meet your members
  4. Invite an elected Officer to meet with your group and discuss issues that affect your members, e.g invite the Welfare Officer to meet with your committee to talk about how to ake your society more welcoming & inclusive, Undergraduate Education Officer to meet with your Academic society, or the Activities Officert to meet with your Sports Club
  5. Organise an event that promotes democratic engagement at a Union, local or national level, e.g Hold an event to encourage students to vote in elections or referendum, encourage your members to register to vote
  6. As a society or sports club, take part and support the aims and objectives of the Your Voice Your Choice campaign
  7. As a society/sports club, submit a question relevant to your group to Union Council for discussion. This can be done by contacting your Sports Rep/Society Rep who sits on the Sports Reps/Societies Committee 
  8. Hold an election with your members to elect a new committee for your society or sports club. This could be in person at a meeting or on sussexstudent.com
  9. Increase the turnout of your own society or sports club committee elections by 10%

The I Heart Consent Leaf is awarded to groups who have gone above and beyond to educate their members about sexual consent and to tackle myths, misunderstandings and problematic perspectives about sexual harassment and violence.

These groups have also been actively involved in community activities, educational campaigns, and social media advocacy to create a positive consent culture on campus.

  1. Meet with the Consent campaign facilitators to discuss ways in which your club or society could collaborate with the campaign. Contact consent@sussexstudent.com to arrange a meeting.
  2. Have two committee members complete an I Heart Consent facilitator training workshop
  3. Organise an I Heart Consent workshop for your members
  4. Appoint a welfare officer on your committee and write a role description for this position
  5. Have two committee members complete a Zero Tolerance training workshop
  6. Volunteer with and/or fundraise for a survivor charity or project in the local community (RISE, Survivors' Network, etc.)
  7. Write an article for the Badger, the Students' Union website, or go on the University radio station (URF) to talk about the activities your society has been involved in as part of the I Heart Consent campaign
  8. Organise a #iheartconsent photo campaign with your members for social media
  9. Collaborate with another other societies, clubs or campaigns (such as Role Models) to deliver a joint event to promote sexual consent or have members sign up as volunteers to help run existing I Heart Consent campaign events