University of York Students' Union (YUSU)


The Community and Well-Being Officer! Wait, who?

Posted by Scott Dawson, 12/11/2015

Afternoon all!

It's actually been quite some time since I sat down to do a blog. And they did warn me that trying to stick to a blog every two weeks might be tough...bah..

Well, alongside the regular work that I have been carrying on with (a full de-brief of which will be available nearer the end of term) I have, as of last week, had a title change. 

I am no longer the "Welfare and Community Officer" (*a brief pause for the passing of this name please*) but instead, I am the "Community and Well-Being Officer". 

For those of you who were not aware of the change I wanted to provide some clarity on what this change brings with it:


In short, whilst the name has put a greater emphasis on the community aspect of the role and altered the 'welfare' approach to 'well-being' there is no change to what the role entails. 
The role focuses mainly on:

- Working with and empowering our Liberation Networks. 

- Being the 'in-between' liason for residents in the York Community and Students. 

- Working with Colleges, with extra focus on their well-being networks and Freshers Week plans. 

- Helping to improve campus life, be that through large scale campaigns (consent, dealing with homophobia, working with Unity Health etc..) or small scale (putting in hot water taps, increasing accessible locations, etc..). 

- Representing the student to the University through campaigns and comittees. 

2. As a Sabb Officer the role can't provide 'welfare' but we can work on 'well-being' 

- This, above all else, was the reason for the name change. The role is not trained in 'Welfare' meaning that I cannot provide advice in a capacity that say, would be used in The Open Door Team, Unity Health, or large scale national support groups/charities. 

- My focus is on well-being, ensuring our students are properly both mentally and physically supported.

Due to this I am well trained in: 

1. Signposting - Ensuring the role does know where to direct students in crisis. Be that College Tutors, Open Door, Academic staff etc.. 
2. Active Listening - Whilst I cannot provide advice the role has the capacity to listen to concerns in a professional manner, so that students are directed to the best possible support that they need. 
3. Campaigns - From fruit hand outs to larger campus wide action policies. The role can both create and help other students form, campaigns on various fronts. 
4. Representation - The role represents the entire student body and helps them in expressing their views or concerns to the City of York, and the University itself. 

I hope these points help explain what the role entails, and what to expect from it over the coming years. 

Speak to you all soon!