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Atlas Advocacy and UCL Jazz Society Outreach are two Student-Led Projects and runner-ups in this year’s Project of the Year Awards! Atlas Advocacy was nominated in the Best Newcomer and UCL Jazz Society Outreach competed for Project of the Year.


JAZZ SOCIETY OUTREACH

Jazz Society Outreach organises jazz music performances and works with charitable organisations to support their cause through awareness and entertainment events and fundraising.

How has your Student-Led Project made a demonstrable difference to others in the community?

Over the course of the year, we’ve strived to help diverse members of our community, especially those in need. In the first term, we fundraised for the charity Tomorrow’s Warriors, which provides jazz education to young artists, mainly members of the African diaspora, girls and financially challenged individuals.

In the context of the pandemic, which truly affected the music industry, and the George Floyd protests, we have been keen on helping black musicians, especially given the influence of African American culture on jazz music.

We organised an online jazz challenge where musicians had to record themselves performing a famous short musical phrase (“the lick”) and collected donations for Tomorrow’s Warriors.

In the following term, we partnered with Age UK Camden and provided them with an online jazz concert to help them keep elderly people entertained and less lonely during the pandemic. The concert was broadcasted to care homes and members of the elderly community in Camden (approximately 2000 people).

In what ways has your Student-Led Project developed or improved over the last year?

This year, we have significantly adapted our work in line with the new remote working circumstances. We have created one-off opportunities, providing more space for volunteers and more flexibility and integrated new partner organisations into our activities. Traditionally, we play at the MacMillan Cancer Centre, but it was not possible to do so this year. Instead, we worked with Tomorrow’s Warriors and apart from the online jazz challenge, we organised an event where they presented their goal as a charity. We have two new very dedicated partners with whom we are planning in-person activities and concerts in the future! 

What have the Project Leaders and volunteers learnt from the experience?

Alongside the online fundraiser, we organised a talk with Tomorrow’s Warriors, where they could present their goals as a charity. These events provided an opportunity for our volunteers and project leaders to learn about the inequalities in the music industry and especially the difficulties faced by young black musicians. During the talk with the Founder, Janine Irons, volunteers were able to ask questions and engage in a productive discussion. The event was organised in the context of the Black Lives Matter movement.

In the second term, volunteers have been able to appreciate the importance of sharing music with others and offering support to elder members of the society. Volunteers learnt that small things such as sending music videos to elderly people can make a big difference for them, especially during lockdown.

ATLAS ADVOCACY

Atlas Advocacy works with school children, providing guidance on resilience, leadership and healthy friendship groups. The project provides resources and interactive sessions to create a stimulating environment for students’ personal development.

How has your Student-Led Project made a demonstrable difference to others in the community?

In our first year, we have trained over 30 student leaders ages 7 to 17, who have gone on to lead their own initiatives focuses on mental wellness and environment. This year, we work with Kensington Primary to support students’ transition into secondary school through guidance on how to develop habits and skills to support their academic wellbeing and mental health. This includes workshops on leadership, reading skills and habits, how to build resilience and confidence.

In what ways has your Student-Led Project developed or improved over the last year?

Over the past year, our project improved in several ways. We have strengthened existing partnerships with schools and have been able to create new partner relationships to continue to grow and develop and ensure the sustainability of Atlas. We have increased our outreach and have recruited an expanded and more diversified team. Atlas Advocacy now has students from many more faculties and at different stages of their education.

What have the Project Leaders and volunteers learnt from the experience?

The learning experience of Project Leaders and volunteers is essential to us.

Our Projects team has learned a lot about project management, communication with partners and how to take an idea and execute it. Our Curriculum team have learnt about how to stimulate engagement in online sessions, and how to use the virtual space to our advantage.“    

Overall, they have all learned how to work well in teams, communicate, and delegate work efficiently. The whole team has had the opportunity to develop a project dedicated to making a positive social change through close collaboration with organisations on the local level.


Atlas Advocacy and Jazz Society Outreach have inspired volunteers and beneficiaries alike and we would like to congratulate them for their achievements during this academic year!