The Development Trust Student Fund’s support of Aberdeen University Students’ Association (AUSA) has provided a hugely varied group of clubs and societies with opportunities they would not have been able to take advantage of, if not for our worldwide family of alumni donors.
Activities have been severely curtailed over the past year but resourceful groups have been able to adapt appropriately and provide fun and meaningful experiences for their members.
AIESEC Society members were able to attend online conferences which were specific to their field of interest. AIESEC is a global platform for young people to develop their leadership potential through international internships and volunteer opportunities entirely run by youth for youth. They were able to gain the necessary knowledge, skills, resources and management operations to help them “master our area and be prepared to achieve” while connecting with other AIESEC members from branches around the world.
The Centre Stage Theatre Company was unable to undertake its regular core activities however, in a perfect example of adapting appropriately, they purchased camera equipment which meant they could still rehearse, perform, film and then broadcast three high quality productions to audiences online via YouTube, thus enabling them to explore a new category of drama. They attracted large audiences for the live-streams, and excellent viewing numbers, therefore reaching an even wider audience than pre-Covid. Members will now be able to use the equipment for a wider range of projects, such as short films, sketches and monologues allowing them to showcase their work.
The Neuroscience Society was able to purchase tickets for 13 members to virtually attend the British Neuroscience Association’s Festival of Neuroscience which is an academic conference that encourages networking and helps foster interest in the field. They were therefore able to fulfil one of the core aims of our society by fostering their members’ academic interest in the field. It provided members with the opportunity to engage with the professional community outside the University and helped them grow a network of contacts. All attendees stated that they thoroughly enjoyed the conference and the experience and learned a lot throughout.
The Volleyball Club has been unable to train indoors for most of the past year so funding enabled them to purchase beach volleyball equipment, so that outdoor training sessions could take place when restrictions allowed. These sessions not only allowed players to continue to improve their performance and skills but also allowed players to stay healthy and take care of their wellbeing. During these outdoor sessions different levels of players would get together which also allowed development players to learn from the performance players. The funding allowed the members to continue to excel in the sport they love under restrictions but in a safe environment.
Every club and society that benefited from this Fund sent their thanks to all the donors who give on a regular basis and allow activities that greatly enhance the overall university experience.