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. thanks to the generosity of the Community Social Fund, which helped to fund this project.
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 Submission Form' per leaf tier.
(To request a form to fill in offline, please email firstname.lastname@example.org)
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.
The Inclusivity Leaf is awarded to groups who have taken positive steps to increase the diversity of their 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.
- Write about your group’s Welfare & Inclusivity Rep on your mini-site on www.sussexstudent.com. This could include a short role description about what they do, a picture of them and their contact details.
- Promote the Buddy Scheme to your members by advertising the scheme in meetings and/or on your group's social media platforms, encouraging people to join the scheme and be matched with a Buddy or to become Buddy Volunteers.
- Hold at least two alcohol free socials in an alcohol free space.
- On your mini-site make it clear how external members (e.g. non-students aka associate members) can get involved in your group.
- Organise an event which promotes physical well-being to other students, e.g. by going to an Active US session as a group. Promote your activity using the Active US hashtag #LoveActiveUS and tag @activeussussex in your social media posts.
- Organise an event which promotes mental health and well-being to other students. Check out the Time To Change website for free resources and inspiration.
- Take steps to specifically include international students in your group’s activities. For example; collaborate with a cultural society, target an event at international students, write some social media posts in another language, volunteer at the Language Café.
- Set up a new members mentor scheme whereby new members can arrange to meet with a current member before attending an event/social/meeting/training session.
- Have a member of your group become a Wellbeing Volunteer and/or organise a society/club event with a Wellbeing Volunteer/the Health & Wellbeing team.
The Student Voice leaf is awarded to groups who engage their members in Sussex Students’ Union campaigns, democracy and elections and influence the way the Students’ Union is run.
Groups who achieve this award are run democratically, seeking input from their members to shape their group and the wider Students’ Union. They also get involved with campaigns at a Students’ Union, local or national level.
- As a group get involved with a Students' Union campaign 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, World AIDS Day, Transgender Day of Remembrance, BUCS Take a Stand, This Girl Can.
- 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 USSU elections or referendum, encourage your members to register to vote.
- Promote the Students’ Union elections to your members and encourage them to vote.
- Have a meeting with an elected Officer with your group and discuss issues that affect your members. E.g. Welfare Officer about how your group could be more welcoming & inclusive, Undergraduate Education Officer about your Academic society about issues that matter to your members, Activities Officer to meet with your Sports Club to discuss development. Find the full-time & part-time Officer’s contact details here: https://www.sussexstudent.com/about-us/contact-us/
- Hold an event to link up your members with candidates for the Officer elections in Spring, e.g. invite all the candidates to your meeting/training session to talk to your members.
- Hold an election with your members to elect a new committee for your group. Elections can be held a meeting or on www.sussexstudent.com.
- Get involved with the I Heart Consent campaign e.g. have committee members complete an I Heart Consent facilitator training workshop, organise an I Heart Consent workshop for your members, organise an #iheartconsent photo campaign with your members for social media, deliver a joint event with the campaign team to promote sexual consent or have members sign up as volunteers to help run existing I Heart Consent campaign events.
- Submit feedback about your experience as a committee member to The Loop and/or submit your story to the Get Involved monthly stories prize draw.
- Meet with a Society Rep, Sports Rep or Media Rep to discuss any issues, funding, events or development plans for your group.
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.
A ‘social’ is an event or activity outside of your group’s regular activity (meeting/rehearsal/training session etc) for the purpose of members to socialise, meet new people and have fun.
- Host a welcome social to attract new members and introduce them to existing members around Freshers' Week and/or Refreshers' Week.
- Hold at least two alcohol-free socials (in an alcohol-space, not in a bar/pub) e.g. coffee morning, walk, cinema trip, Active US session.
- Organise at least 5 socials throughout the year, e.g. trip to the cinema or local museum/landmark, crafternoon, a fancy dress or themed event, bowling, lazer zone, mini-golf, beach volleyball etc.
- Organise at least 10 socials throughout the year.
- Collaborate with another group to put on an event, social or fundraiser. This could be with another group at Sussex, a Brighton Uni club, society or campaign team, a local charity or a community group.
- Organise at least 3 socials in Autumn Term.
- Organise at least 3 socials in Spring Term.
- Hold a social on campus/in a Students’ Union venue (Falmer Bar, East Slope Bar, Room 76, Falmer Sports Bar).
- Hold a social off campus. Clubs & societies can hire Students’ Union venue, The Globe, for free. (East Street Tap, The Blue Man, VOLKS can usually be booked for free, the North Laine pub is large and has big tables, perfect to reserve for a social in town. Please note that these venues are not affiliated with the Students’ Union.)
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 helped to promote that Sussex students are valued members of the community. Contact the Students’ Union Community Engagement Coordinator Monique on email@example.com for support with community projects.
- Arrange a volunteering session for your group with a co-op society; SCOOP, Roots, RE:CYCLE or Freewheelers.
- Volunteer as a group with a local organisation involved in environmental work, e.g beach clean, river clean, park clean, planting trees, community gardening.
- Work with a community group in Brighton & Hove to put on a community event, bringing people together outside of the Sussex campus community e.g a street party, dance showcase in a local community centre, art exhibition, crafternoon.
- Organise a joint event with a local charity/community organisation(s) with the aim of raising awareness of the work the organisations does, raise the profile of the work they do in the community and to drive recruitment of new student volunteers.
- Promote a local charity/community organisation on your group’s social media.
- Organise a group volunteer day at a local charity/community organisation.
- Get involved in a Brighton and Hove/Sussex campaign
- Use Go Green Week as a platform to engage with the community, whether that be the student community or the wider community.
- Meet with the Community Engagement team to discuss working in collaboration with a community organisation. Email Lisa on firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a meeting.
The Team Sussex leaf is awarded to groups who have made efforts to encourage collaboration and mutual support between Students’ Union groups. Groups who achieve this award have worked in collaboration with other clubs and societies to support a welcoming, inclusive and friendly team environment within clubs & societies at Sussex.
- If you are a society, collaborate with a club, if you're a club, collaborate with a society to put on a joint activity, social or event.
- Arrange a society/sports club swap session, 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.
- Take your group to an Active US session or hold an event with Active US. Use the Active US hashtag #LoveActiveUS and tag @activeussussex in your social media posts.
- Run an event as a group for the local community e.g. spend time at a youth centre or care home or run an event open to community members.
- Create a student to student mentor scheme within the club or society to support each academically and/or to improve a skill related to your group’s activity and/or for better welfare.
- Organise a fundraiser for another club/society that is not your own.
- Support another group; as a society or club go to support a sports club match/society event that is not your own e.g. a BUCS or sports match, Got To Dance, SUDS or SMuTS show.
- Take part in another group’s event e.g. a film screening, sports tournament, sports club open session, share photo of your group at the event using #TeamSussex and tag the Students’ Union on social media.
- Host a networking event for committee members or clubs & societies to encourage collaboration e.g. open forum event, coffee morning, pizza night, afternoon tea.
The Development leaf is awarded to groups who have taken active steps to develop themselves, offer development opportunities to their members, build on the successes and failures of previous years and/or worked to maintain the high standards of previous years.
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.
- Increase membership numbers by actively making sure every member signs up using the Students’ Union membership system by joining the group on www.sussexstudent.com, even if your group does not have a joining fee.
- Work with the Careers and Employability Centre and/or a University department to arrange an employability or careers event, training or talk e.g CV writing workshop, visiting speaker from the industry.
- Create a financial plan for the year and send it to the Societies Coordinator/Sports Development Manager to review. Include details of fundraisers you have planned, income you hope to receive via funding applications to the Students’ Union or from gaining sponsorship, and any potential expenditures, e.g. for new resources or equipment.
- Provide training and/or coaching opportunities for your members or collaborate with the Students’ Union/University to organise/promote training opportunities, e.g. Societies Conference, Get Involved - Skills Training, Look After Your Mate training.
- Have two committee members complete a Zero Tolerance training workshop
- Hold a committee meeting at least once a month during term time and write up minutes to distribute to members e.g. make them accessible to all members
- Write a comprehensive handover pack to give to the new committee the following year e.g. detailed description of roles, summary of what the group has achieved over the past year, ideas for development, what resources the society/sports club uses, key contacts etc
- Provide opportunities for non committee members to feed into the running of the group throughout the year e.g. feedback forms, voting on decisions, Facebook polls
- Organise a committee development session to develop and strengthen your team e.g. take part in a team building exercise, find out your personality types or character strengths, write your own role descriptions and publish them on your minisite etc.
The Fundraising Leaf is awarded to groups who dedicate their time to organising a variety of different fundraisers. Groups who have achieved this leaf will have raised money for their own group or another group at Sussex to help fund themselves to expand and develop, as well as for local, national & international.
- Collaborate with RAG (Raising And Giving) society / BSMS RAG e.g. join a challenge as a group, fundraise for one of the charities they support, become a RAG Rep.
- Consult your members to choose a charity to fundraise for e.g. run a Facebook poll.
- Raise money for your own club/society or a different club/society at Sussex.
- Volunteer with and/or fundraise for a charity or project in the local community.
- Fundraise in a least 3 different ways e.g. sell tickets to an event, quiz, raffle, silent disco, sponsored activity, fashion show, open mic night, baking competition, etc.
- Run at least 3 fundraisers throughout the year.
- Fundraise at least £50 throughout the year.
- Fundraise at least £200 throughout the year.
- Fundraise at least £500 throughout the year. Money earned from the Leaf Scheme or SU funding does not count!
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/or the Students’ Union and the University. They have also gotten involved in cultural and community events.
- Hold an event in at least two Students' Union venues: The Globe, East Slope Bar, Falmer Bar, Mandela Hall - contact the Events Assistant, on email@example.com to book a venue
- Write a risk assessment for an event. This needs to be done for all events so keep doing them after the first one!
- Complete 5 or more actions on the sustainability checklist and use the accessibility checklist when planning an event. You can evidence this by including accessibility information when advertising your event, and sending in the list of actions you have completed from the sustainability checklist.
- Get involved in a Students' Union/another group’s cultural event, e.g. contributing to the event by holding talks or film screenings. Cultural events include Black History Month, LGBT History Month, International Women’s Day and cultural festivals and celebrations
- Meet with the Students’ Union Events team to discuss, plan and hold your event and produce a budget - contact Steph & Alice on firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a meeting.
- Use the Students' Union website as a platform to sell tickets to your event. Contact the Activities Finance Assistant, Aarun, to arrange this on email@example.com (The SU website is free whereas companies such as Eventbrite charge a fee).
- Work with the Buddy Scheme to organise a joint event (firstname.lastname@example.org) e.g. Walking society led a walk to Lewes & Seven Sisters for Buddies, Christian Union and International Student Society co-hosted an international food party, SUDS & SMuTS offer discounted tickets to their shows for Buddies.
- Host an event for One World Sussex and/or host an event during One World Week and use the #oneworldsussex. One World Week is a collaborative project between the University & the Students’ Union that happens at Sussex in March each year and aims to celebrate the diversity of our campus community, raise awareness of global issues, and encourage cultural understanding.
- Add the Students’ Union Events Assistant on Facebook and tag them in at least 3 of your group’s events and/or tag @USSU_events in your Twitter posts.