Shaunagh Smith - Volunteer Coordinator

What is your name?
Shaunagh Smith

What institution are you a student or staff member at?
University of Chester (UoC)

What is your role at the institution?
Volunteer Coordinator

What drives you to champion sustainability?
For a long time, I think environmental impact has been the main focus in terms of sustainability, however, my role enables me to show students that volunteering has an amazing effect on social sustainability, by having a positive impact on both the students and the communities they serve.

What does an average day look like? 
I am responsible for promoting and implementing the volunteering programme at UoC. What I love about my job is that no two days are the same… one day I could be out coppicing willow with our Welly Wednesday group, or being interviewed for local radio as part of the Chester Student Dog Walking project, and others, writing reports or organising events.

What do you think are the most important things everyone in the UK can do to help contribute towards a more sustainable society?
Speak out and educate one other on the impacts our actions have on our people and planet. Don’t be afraid to tell your friends/family to change their ways!

What are your sustainability pet peeves?
Quite specific, but wet-wipes/face-wipes! What’s wrong with good old soap and water!?

What role do you think Universities and Colleges have in contributing towards sustainability?
Lead by example, be a driving force in your city!  

What is one thing you wish you knew about sustainability when you were younger?
It’s not just up to the huge global or government corporations to make a change, as individuals we can make a real difference.

Tell us something unusual about sustainability at your institution or organisation that other people might not know.
The University of Chester signed up to a pledge with Chester Zoo, and became the first official Sustainable Palm Oil University!

What opportunities and challenges have you experienced in your role in sustainability?
Funding and Bureaucracy.

What do you hope sustainability in the UK looks like in 10 years’ time?
A UK where individuals, communities, businesses and governments come together to create the sustainable future we want to see in 50 years!
Delivered by EAUC