Northumbria Students’ Union Debating Society has been named Society of the Year in the latest National Union of Students awards.
The Society, which was established just three years ago, has expanded opportunities for both Northumbria students and school-age children to develop their confidence and skills in public speaking – an issue which impressed judges.
Since 2011 the Society has seen a steady increase in membership and initiated and delivered an outreach programme for schools with no tradition of debating. It has won national debating competitions, including the European Law Students Association competition.
Earlier this year the Society was able to secure Alan Milburn as speaker at an event the Society organised, giving hundreds of students the opportunity to hear him speak. As Chair of the Commission of Social Mobility, Mr Milburn waived his fee in recognition of the significant community benefit provided by the Society’s school programme.
Since last August the committee has recorded more than 660 hours of volunteering time and created posts charged with training all members and supporting international students.
The Society has positively contributed to the student experience through offering students of all backgrounds opportunities they would otherwise not have to build expertise in the vital skill of public speaking and opening debates to the wider student body.
Debating President Kirsty Adamson said: “Debating is not a society of committee and members, it is a society that has worked together to continually improve to achieve significant things this year.”
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