Welcome to our Impact Report where we look back on the previous 2021/22 academic year and see what we got up to at Christ Church Students' Union.
In this report we have divided up the facts and figures into the five Strategic Themes and five Strategic Enablers of Your Union Plan 2019-22.
Representing you is our number one priority. It is why we exist. We will enhance our reach, depth, and impact in this by listening to, and really hearing, your academic and non-academic wants, needs, and concerns. Then, with you, doing something about them by driving change at Christ Church, locally, and nationally.
Support and Wellbeing
We will strive to ensure you are healthy, happy, and safe, but also informed and empowered to make your own choices. As a Union we will be there for you and work with others to provide support, as well as creating student-led peer support networks to do the same.
- The popular Choosday Chill event continued, offering students a route to access formal support in a more informal setting.
- Due to several instances of drink spiking and assault on women in late 2021 we lent our support to the Reclaim These Streets march and campaign as well as offering advice, support, and resources alongside our partners Canterbury City Council, Kent Police, the Community Safety Partnership, the University, Distinctive Bars and other local stakeholders. Our primary message was that drink spiking is never the fault of the victim and ensured that all our messaging reflected that.
- In May 2022 we released a statement amid accusations of antisemitism within the National Union of Students (NUS) cementing to fact to all that Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion sit within our core values, and we condemn all racism and antisemitism.
- With news of energy prices going up we worked to ensure that students were aware of how to access their energy rebates along especially as most did not have direct debits set up with the council so would need to proactively apply.
Opportunities and Employability
University is so much more than a degree. We will enable you to fulfil your potential and enrich your experiences in a way that is fun, memorable, and student-led, all the while enabling you to develop new skills and enhance your employability.
- Our clubs and societies were able to fully resume in-person activities, but there was a reduction in numbers when compared to pre-covid memberships showing there is still an ongoing effect.
- Working with Christ Church Sport & Active Health we implemented the new support and financial model for club sport with the aim to enhance sustainability, drive improvements in experience and club development, and enable wider participation
- The Sports Federation and Student Activities Awards were held in person for the first time since 2019.
Belonging and Inclusion
We are here to help you discover who you are and find your friendship groups. We commit to breaking down barriers, creating and supporting safe spaces, tackling isolation, and to actively celebrate the diversity of Christ Church and the communities we are a part of.
- We held the Freshers’ Fayre in the new locations of Abbey Square (Verena Holmes) and the Sports Centre with very positive feedback from students keen to get involved in university life resulting in 2,662 expressions of interest to join our various societies and sports teams.
- We continued to build upon the successful development of the Union’s presence and service at the Medway Campus and this included ‘Medway Monday’ in September which was attended by all union staff which was a first for any event.
- The International Food and Culture Fayre was held in the Lounge and our students did a truly wonderful job, sharing not just food but stories and knowledge from their own cultures.
- The 13th Annual Golden Apple Award event took place in July 2022 as a streamed pre-recorded ceremony. There were 319 nominations, with 14 University staff members being recognised along with seven unique awards. We aim to bring back an in-person ceremony in 2023.
Communication and transparency
As a membership organisation we need to be effective at two-way communication with you to ensure we are relevant to your student life. This means ensuring you know what we do, why we do it, and to communicate this boldly in your spaces to your preference.
- We implemented a new design on our ccsu.co.uk website to simplify the user journey and make our content more accessible. This included incorporating new brand colours that follow on through our other digital and print comms ensuring continuity and brand awareness of our messaging.
- The student segmentation project we commissioned in Spring 2021 was completed in Spring 2022 and this has identified specific subsets within our student body so we can better understand their motivations for engagement and more precisely meet their service and communication needs.
- We started our own TikTok account as the platform gained popularity within the student body and gave us another channel to be more creative with video content.
- The Union recorded 459,679 page views across 155,700 visits on www.ccsu.co.uk.
We need to be sustainable, both in terms of finance and the environment.
People and Culture
Develop our people and extend our positive, innovative culture.
- After a number of years of Union grant reduction and staffing contraction we were able to secure an addition to our block grant which will deliver essential improvements to student representation and co-curricular activity.
Know our members by having comprehensive insight.
- 1,397 students filled in our Student Life Pulse survey and gave feedback on all aspects of Students' Union provision. Overall satisfaction with the Union increased to 40%, a significant rise from the 32% of 2021, with the national average being 44%. 51% of students agreed that the Students' Union represents the views of students effectively, up from 47% in 2021.
Utilise new and existing technology to engage with and represent our members.
- With the post-COVID trend of cashless payments, we invested in contactless card readers which allowed our student groups to continue to fundraise for good causes.
Develop effective partnerships with others to further our Mission and Vision.
- This year signalled the second cohort intake of Kent and Medway Medical School students and we continued our support for them along with Kent Union. MedSoc, the academic society for KMMS, grew in strength as their numbers doubled and direct funding from the School ensured all KMMS students could join free of charge.
- We developed our partnership with Kent Union and Greenwich Students’ Union to create The Hub at Medway for closer collaboration benefitting the students studying there.