Working Wednesdays: Union Crew Rep for Freshers at Bournemouth University, England

Working Wednesdays: Union Crew Rep for Freshers at Bournemouth University, England

Working Wednesdays: Union Crew Rep for Freshers at Bournemouth University, England

In my ongoing series detailing all the jobs I have done, I’m slowly getting through the back catalogue. I have done quite a few volunteer jobs down the years and haven’t got round to writing about them all. They are a great way to meet people, help others, improve yourself socially and mentally and you normally get some great perks too.

Working Wednesdays: Union Crew Rep for Freshers at Bournemouth University, England

Working Wednesdays: Union Crew Rep for Freshers at Bournemouth University, England

In 2004, I was living in Bournemouth and while life was busy working as an ice cream seller in Spring and Summers, in Winters I stuck to Hotel work and working in a local shop. But there was so much going on in Bournemouth at the time. Through working for some of the Students Union projects, a few opportunities came up in other aspects of Student Life. You might have read that I took part in the Big Brother Spoof, called the Lock In, I also did the Nerve Radio shows on FM, wrote for the Student magazine and headed out to the forest for a weekend in the wilderness in a secret location (a University TV show called “Locked Out”).

Working as part of the Union Crew in 2004

Working as part of the Union Crew in 2004

But for a week in September 2004, I was a volunteer and a member of the”Union Crew” also known as “Welcome Crew”. For some, moving away from their families, parents and home town for the first time can feel daunting and scary. You’re out on your own. Since I have personally never felt like that, I sympathised with those who did, so I signed up as welcome crew to help make the new students feel at home in their new surroundings.

University days in Bournemouth. Yes, I have a broken arm in this photo.

University days in Bournemouth. Yes, I have a broken arm in this photo.

We played games with the new students, walked around bars chatting to them and making them feel happy and comfortable in their new place. As a bonus with each shift, you got free entry into the nightclubs and I think some beer tokens, so everybody was a winner.

bournemouth university

Bournemouth University where I studied.

I recently found my shifts and folder from my time as a Union Crew Rep and I recollected fondly about it. I worked/volunteered for four shifts including handing out keys to new students and making them feel at home in the student accommodation.

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My shifts for Union Crew

Shift 1 – Saturday September 25th 2004: Hurn House 9 am – 12 noon handing out keys, welcoming students.
Shift 2 – Sunday September 26th 2004: In Bar Heat 11 am – 2 pm welcoming students, chatting to them, answering any questions they wanted about student life as well as handing out the remaining sets of keys to them.

Working as Welcome Crew

Working as Welcome Crew

Shift 3 – Thursday September 30th 2004: Outside the Talbot Campus Shop again helping answer questions to new students and handing out keys and tickets to the (Re) Freshers Ball.
Shift 4 – Friday 1st October 2004: In the Sports Hall helping set up the place for the (Re) Freshers Fair.

Union Crew 2004

Union Crew 2004

We got to keep our red t-shirts as well from when we were welcome crew and I still have mine and have worn it on my travels! There was also a big night of partying in the Old Firestation nightclub and while I couldn’t find my personal photos from it, I kept the University Magazine which shows some of my fellow crew members on the nights out we had.

Union Crew 2004

Union Crew 2004

I also met two other Northern Irish people in Bournemouth through it – Aaron Adams and Kylie Bell and we watched a few Northern Ireland matches together. In case you wonder why I only did this job once, well it’s only once a year for a week in Bournemouth University that they have the (Re) Freshers Week.  in 2005 I was a supervisor in the ice cream stands by the beach and I worked right up to October so I had no time for in. In 2006, I was living in London and in 2007 I was out backpacking, so the chance never arose again for me.

Partying in China with my Union Crew t-shirt on

Partying in China with my Union Crew t-shirt on

I enjoyed working/volunteering with the Union Crew and recommend everyone to indulge into activities like this. They are good in so many ways – helping others, making new friends, socialising, perks, confidence building. Good memories. My feature in the Bournemouth University Alumni Site this year and I try to visit my old university now when I return to the seaside town. We had a reunion in September 2015 to celebrate 12 years since we first studied there.

Return to Dylans Bar in Bournemouth University this year

Return to Dylans Bar in Bournemouth University this year

Here are the list of my friends that were fellow Union Crew members with me:

List of Union Crew Members/Volunteers in 2004

List of Union Crew Members/Volunteers in 2004

Join 15,017 Monthly Readers! If you enjoyed this article and LOVE travel and SAVING money, get e-mail updates from Don’t Stop Living – a lifestyle of travel! (It’s Free) 😉 Jonny

2 thoughts on “Working Wednesdays: Union Crew Rep for Freshers at Bournemouth University, England

  • I was involved with the Video Productions team during my University years. I was tasked with video taping and creating a video of our Frosh Week for the Students’ Union. Our Union Crew were called “Frosh Leaders,” so I can totally relate to this article. I have those videos kicking around my closet and need to digitize them or transfer them over to DVD at some point.

    I totally agree with you that if you have the opportunity to volunteer during these “Frosh Weeks/Orientation Weeks,” then do it! It is an experience that you will never forget, and to keep to the theme of travel as per your blog, these opportunities help develop skill sets that will let you thrive in foreign countries where you don’t know the language or culture at all or it allows you to build up a network of friends that you can visit along the way!

    Speaking of which, did you meet any International exchange students as a Union Crew rep? If so, then did you get to meet these “first years” at all during your travels? One of my friends was a mentor in our last year of University to International students, and used her connections to visit and stay at their places when she did a two month tour of Europe following Graduation. I wish I had the foresight to do the same!
    Ray recently posted…Toronto Christmas Market – A Little Taste of German CultureMy Profile

  • Hi Ray, agree with you and great that you did something similar. I met LOTS of international students through this, some of them I later met up with in Botswana, Poland and just missed them in Brazil and Colombia. It’s a great way to make new friends and as you say visit new cultures and stay overnight with friends. I have more old job stories to come in this series, but it’s a busy life! Safe travels. Jonny

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