Charlotte's Guild President Blog 1

Last week I went to Leeds for a conference with NUS, called Lead and Change, along with a 100 more Sabbs (Sabbatical Officers) from across the UK.

Lead and Change has helped me in many different ways, from gaining confidence for not only myself but for the Guild, to guiding me in the right direction of where we need to be in the future, along with making a numerous amount of friendships with other Sabbs from across the UK.


Day 1)

On day 1 I arrived at the Rose bowl in Leeds Beckett University around 9:30am, I was given my lanyard and I went on a mission (as I was on my own) to find other Sabbs to talk to before the seminar and group activities. Once the seminar was done, and the whole group were introduced to the new NUS 17/18 team, we then went to go find our group.

Once we found our groups we did a few ice breakers and looked into what an SU is made of and the key aims to leading a Student’s Union.

“The purpose of a SU is to create values and share visions for our students.”

Day 2)

Day 2 consisted of Understand and Learning, Campaigns and Influences, Networking, Regular Communication, Coaching, G.R.O.W and last but not least I went to a ‘tough love and bravery’ workshop to finish my day off.

*Understanding and Learning consisted of learning 5 key points.

  • Inform
  • Consult
  • Involve
  • Collaborate
  • Empower

These key points were to identify the barriers of groups that face disadvantages within education. This part of the day was really important, as this educated me on all the problems some students face when going into education.

*Campaigning and Influences showed us how to ensure all of our upcoming campaigns work for everyone. The five steps of a good campaign are:

  • Identify the issue
  • Set the aim and impact
  • Planning
  • Campaign delivery
  • Evaluation

The impact chain (which helps tremendously) has to be worked out backwards in order to get a beneficial outcome.



If you have any campaigns you would like to start, please drop into the Guild Office to put your thoughts forward.


So here’s a list on good networking (these were actually conducted throughout my three days with NUS, Sabbs from other unions and my group)

-Why our networks work so well

  • Commonalities with the team
  • Shared vision
  • Shared values
  • Interest in other parties
  • Treat others the way you’d want to be treated
  • Regular updates/communication
  • Opportunities of involvement
  • Following up with people

Networking with people is SO important and valuable, not only for SU’s but also for students! You never know who you’ll meet or who can offer you support (even if it is just friendly advice) take advantage of meeting/networking with anyone and everyone! That’s what I did and now I have an amazing team away from home who can offer me support as well.

*Regular Communication

Regular communication is a major part of life - not only SU’s. Regular communication consists of Social Media, e-mails, reminders, newsletters, blogs (hence the new blog appearing), meet ups and coffee catch ups.

Communication is so important within our Guild and we want to engage with as many students as possible this year! We are still creating new ways to reach us on Social Media, I have recently set up a personal Instagram to keep you all updated on what the Guild team and myself are doing over the next year. Make sure you follow ALL of our Guild Social Media to keep updated on everything, you will not want to miss out! ;)

Guild website:

Guild Facebook page:

Guild Fresher’s group:

Guild Instagram: @ucbguild_of_students

Guild Twitter: @ucbguild

President Facebook: Charlotte Gates

President Facebook page: @UCBPresidentCharlotte

President Instagram: @ucbguildpresident

President email:

Vice President Welfare and Communities Facebook page: @UCBwelfare

Vice President Welfare and Communities email:

Vice President Activities and Development: @UCBActivities

Vice President Activities and Development email:

Vice President Education and Representation: @SianVPofEducation

Vice President Education and Representation email:

Feel free to ask us any questions or give us a follow/like to keep updated.


In this section we did role play of a Coach, coachee and an observer (when I was coaching it turned into a debate, which was fun but off topic) BUT here are the 4 key points about coaching.

  • Guide
  • Mentor
  • Sponsor
  • Role model

We then went on to learn the SMART technique during this section which defined as

S – specific (is it a thing?)

M – measurable (how will I know if it’s been achieved?)

A – attainable (when it has been achieved)

R – realistic

T – time bound

This section taught me on how to be the right type of coach and be able to work through all obstacles moving forward.

*Ask open questions

REALLY important! Always ask open questions (I didn’t realise how important this was until last week!) As most of you know, open questions will always start with 5 W’s and 1 H.

  • What
  • When
  • Who
  • Where
  • Why
  • How


So, G.R.O.W stands for

Goal – what do you want to work on?

Reality – what obstacles are you holding back?

Options – what could you do differently?

Way forward – what steps can you take?

So this section is more for me and how I can help you help our Guild to become a better version of itself. My goals of the year can be found on my manifesto which is available on

These are the steps I will be taking before any action will take place, in order for me achieve each one.

*Tough love and bravery workshop

The tough love and bravery workshop was the last part of day 2, it was filled with scenarios of other Unions and how we’d deal with each situation. This workshop was only an hour long, but was very informative.

Day 3)

Before I knew it, we were on day 3 and learning our last bits and bobs before heading back to our amazing Universities and Unions. On day 3 we learnt about courageous conversations, PIFF modal and played a game where we have a budget and need to spend wisely (it was a lot more fun than it sounds!!)

*Courageous conversations

So being a President involves me having a number of ‘courageous conversations’ throughout the year, and of course needed training to ensure I do the best I can for you!

Here is what a courageous conversations means (you can use this for any courageous conversation you might have – formal or informal)

  • Preparation (always prepare what you’re going to say!)
  • Consider personality (please keep this in mind)
  • Deal with fear (a massive one for me, but once you get over your fear you’re in control)
  • Be authentic
  • Know the purpose of the conversation
  • Keep the message clear

*PIFF Modal

P – practice

I – impact

F – feeling

F – future

This ties in well with the courageous conversation section as this needs to be worked out before having a courageous conversation as well.

AND THEN…… it was time for our debrief, where our group leader Al presented us thank you cards along with a little speech.

Then, we all gathered back to the large conference room to hear the NUS President say we were one of the best teams as everyone got along so well and mingled. Overall, an AMAZING experience! I have made such a variety of friends with people from all across the UK (Scotland and Wales) who are amazing, friendly and so very supportive of each other!

So there you have it, my busy week of being at Lead and Change to gain the knowledge of how to become a great president and make our Guild the best it can be! Oh, and also my first blog!

Thank you for reading!

Charlotte Gates

Posted on 25th July 2017