The SEED Fund was established to provide assistance for projects that promote sustainability. This opportunity is open to everyone at the university, as sustainable solutions require collective action from everyone.. You can either develop a project independently or as a group with your friends or peers. The aim is help make our campus more environmentally sustainable so a requirement is to complete the project on campus so students can see the first hand effects. Each project will get a funding grant of up to £500 to fund the project if selected.
The drastic change in climate seems to be affecting everyone on the planet in one way or another; sea levels are rising, and weather patterns are changing. The extent and global reach of the effects of climate change are unprecedented. Attempts to reverse these effects will be more difficult and expensive if significant action is not taken today. The project will need to relate to the UN Sustainable Development Goals which serve as a road map for tackling these problems and achieving a more sustainable future. Through small projects, The SEED Fund hopes to contribute to these goals.
One successful project from last year saw the creation of Innova. A robot that collects rubbish from Victoria Park and the university campus by utilising an arm brush system to drag the rubbish onto a conveyor belt and deposit it in an onboard chamber that is routinely emptied. One of the co-founders of Innova Mohammed Siddiqui spoke to us about the aims his team had with this project: “the aim of the project has been to not only clean our campus but also to create awareness about our environment and sustainability”. Mohammed hopes to have Innova on campus soon: “we have currently successfully designed the prototype and have sourced the parts required with the help of the SEED fund and are moving into the manufacturing stage”.
Sustainability is something that, as young people living in a climate crisis, we feel very invested in and the SEED Project allows students to take charge in making change on campus.
Jack McDonald, SU Activities Officer, spoke of the importance of having the SEED Project on campus:
“With the SEED fund, students have the budget to run smaller, yet impactful projects with the support from the Social Impact Team and the Students’ Union that they might have otherwise been unable to deliver.”
He commented that: “A crucial part about anyone’s university journey is how you can gain transferable skills. Everyone does it passively through their courses but sometimes students can take opportunities to proactively work on their own skills portfolio.
It allows them to gain incredibly useful skills which will help them to deliver much wider and more impactful changes later on in their lives through their experience in project management via the SEED funding”
There are also other ways that students can get involved to help improve sustainability on campus, SU President Rhiannon Jenkins is launching a “Passport Engagement Scheme (which you will hear more about soon), the Green Bubble student sustainability group and the new Sustainability Part Time Officer role, which was confirmed to have been approved… by vote in the Student Council. We want to further expose students to how they can make more of an impact through sustainability.”
To get involved with the Seed Fund, click here to sign up and get more details. Participants will be required to prepare a succinct “Elevator Pitch” to the Green Bubble as part of their application. The prepared budget will determine how much funding will be required for your project. The more thoroughly you have considered the project the more likely you are to be given the full funding amount. Details of how the project will operate and the steps needed to perform these should be included. There will be many opportunities to speak with the right individuals to progress to the next point.
Rabbia Tariq is a third year Accounting and Finance student. She enjoys literature and reading.