Posts Tagged With: SGO Events

Student Wellbeing Fayre

On April 21st, the Student’s Union will be holding the Student Wellbeing Fayre. There will be puppies, stalls by charities and us at Sustainability.

The purpose of the student wellbeing fayre is to ensure the students at Canterbury Christ Church University are happy and healthy, and it works as part of the #StressLess campaign. During these busy times of exams and final assignments, it’s so important that we keep ourselves well, and not too overrun. It is okay to take a break, it is okay to feel stressed. There are thousands of students who are going through the same thing as you, and you are never alone.

The Student Green Office’s presence at the fayre will include photo competitions, opportunities to become better informed, games revolved around wellbeing, as well as information about the upcoming treasure trail, and much much more.

We saw it fitting to ensure our presence at the Student Wellbeing Fayre, as students ourselves, we understand the importance of keeping on top of things and the entire notion of #StressLess.

The fayre will be an excellent opportunity to get away for a couple of hours, be wowed by some gorgeous puppies, meet some new people, and generally just take your mind off your studies for a little while.

The fayre is taking place in the library (Augustine House) from 10:30 till 18:00 on 21st April 2017. We hope to see you there!

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A chat with Erik from Divine Chocolate

As you may already know, on 1st March 2017, we are holding our second evening of Fairtrade chocolate tasting with Divine Chocolate – a London based organisation that creates an incredible selection of chocolate in a variety of flavours with fairtrade ingredients only.

I had a chat with Erik, master choclatier at Divine Chocolate ahead of his second visit to Canterbury about his career, ideas on sustainability and chocolate of course.

Most companies are beginning to adapt fairtrade guidelines, do you believe this has taken too long?

Getting the public to change shopping habits is a matter of educating people about the options available.  As well, showing the larger players that there is a market for Fairtrade is something Divine has been doing for many years.

What is the best thing about working for a company that prides itself upon fairtrade?

Working for Divine is a pleasure.  Not too long ago, I became a father and it made me rethink the concept of family.  Of course, many of the cocoa farmers have families themselves and they want the best for their children – ensuring that they can earn a good wage for their work, is incredibly important to me.

So true! How did you get into this field?

I have a background in education, teaching music and drama, but have always been interested in food and drink.  Divine were looking for people to share the Divine Chocolate story, so I produced a video of myself presenting a recipe in the kitchen, got the interview, and won over the panel!  That was three years ago, and now I speak at schools, run chocolate making workshops and give after dinner talks.

Besides from Divine Chocolate, what is your favourite brand of chocolate?

There are three main types of cocoa being grown, and one of them is called Criollo and is used in less than 3% of the worlds’ chocolate production.  If you can find it, it is certainly an interesting taste experience.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

Clearly eating lots of chocolate!

I should hope so! What can we expect from the chocolate tasting evening?

Participants can expect to learn how to use all five senses to better understand chocolate. We learn about the history of chocolate, chocolate production from bean to bar, and of course we hear about Fairtrade cocoa farming.

And lastly, what does sustainability mean to you?

For me, sustainability means that I’m ensuring future generations will be able to share my love of chocolate.


There you have it! Join us on 1st March 2017 at Barista and Baker for this fun-filled, informative evening!




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Goodbye 2016, hello 2017!

There is nothing like the excitement of a new year. A joyous occasion that brings us all together, gives us a new lease of life and in some ways, allows us to start again. After an amazing 2016 at the SGO – we’re ready to make 2017 even better.

2016 was disliked by a lot of people. We lost a lot of great talents, world politics became what can only be described as a bit of a, mess and the general mood was just not good. Our planet has suffered. Record temperatures were taken – with each of the first six months of 2016 recorded as the warmest in a modern temperature record which dates back to 1880, according to NASA. Later assessing of the climate concluded that 2016 was the hottest year on record.

Some positives did come from 2016. There was an 8% decrease in carbon emissions compared to 2014/2015, a 4% water consumption decrease and overall reuse has doubled from 2% to 4%. A small start, but progress is progress.

However, a new year breathes new life. We have a chance to make this year different, and start making a change to being more sustainable. With many people changing their diets in the new year (and hopefully sticking to it) and billions of new years resolutions – we’re already halfway there.

At the SGO, we have so much planned for this year in terms of events to get students and staff university-wide more involved and more importantly, more sustainable, starting with climate change week from the 23rd to 27th January.

More details will be shared as time goes on. We’re in for a very exciting year!

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A Chat with Calum Sinclair

As you may already know, on 2nd November local singer/songwriter Calum Sinclar will perform for us in the yurt, in the next edition of the Tiny Yurt Concerts. Performing a selection of original songs and covers, Calum is sure to bring some tranquility and talent to the yurt on that chilly November afternoon.

In preparation for the gig, in this post I am going to introduce you all to Calum. I asked him some questions about his influences, his life and what music means to him.


Tell us a bit about you, what brought you to Canterbury? What do you study?

I live down here anyway in a village called Worth, so it wasn’t too far to go. I actually study in Medway as my course is run at very few places nationally compared to other degrees. I study paramedic science which will hopefully lead to a career in the ambulance service and beyond.

What/who inspired you to become a singer/songwriter?

I remember finding some albums in my dad’s cupboard of old folk bands and listening to them and loving the stories they told. My dad also used to teach me the old traditional songs on long car journeys and I wanted to find out more and tell them again.

What genre of music do you find is your best fit?

Celtic folk is my best fit, I love tales of old stores which keep the past alive. It’s a genre of music that’s very natural and bare which can be interpreted in so many ways making everyone individual.

What is your best achievement with your music to date?

I wouldn’t say there’s one achievement, as long as people like listening then I think I’ve achieved all I want out of music.

What do you hope to do with your talent in the future?

Just keep playing and keep the stories alive, it’s a hobby not a career option.

When writing a song, do you feel the music or the lyrics is the most important thing?

Lyrics definitely, but without a good melody it’ll be a flop. A balance is definitely needed.

Do you find smaller shows like the yurt concert less scary and more personal – or vice versa?

I find them all equally scary, it’s hard to know how people will take such an unusual genre of music down south.

As you know, the concert is put on by the Student Green Office – what does being sustainable mean to you?

I think we need to live within our means by keeping the environment and resources available for future generations.

Why do you think it’s good for students to get involved with sustainability and the SGO?

It helps people become aware of issues surrounding our future and awareness will enable people to make a difference in the world. Small steps are needed to change.

Lastly and most importantly, are you excited for the yurt concert?!



There you have it! Do join us for the concert in the yurt, by the pond in the quad on 2nd November at 3pm. This guy is one to watch!

Interviewed and written by Amanda Elliott, Communications Officer


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SGO: Fairtrade chocolate ‘Taste-Off’ event!

While Fairtrade products offer a wide range of benefits, one of the greatest things about choosing Fairtrade chocolate is ensuring a fair wage to the cocoa farmers and their employees, as well as giving them the chance to develop in a sustainable way.

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SGO: A student review of our Fairtrade ‘Divine’ Chocolate Tasting Evening

What would have been a potentially dull Monday evening turned out to be an exciting evening at the Student Green Office’s Divine Fairtrade Chocolate Tasting Evening on the 5th October 2015. The audience were entertained with fascinating historical facts about the Aztec origins of hot chocolate, delectable chocolate samples and a delightful chocolate expert.

As one of the many student volunteers at the Chocolate Tasting, I was delighted to see how fast the seats in the Barista & Baker café filled up, all by students eagerly waiting in anticipation for the evening ahead. Finally – with a full house – the event began!

Erik, the resident Divine Chocolatier, a bubbly chocolate expert, who knew everything about chocolate, from the origins of hot chocolate in Mexico to the cool historical facts about the first modern wrapped chocolate bars (its origins were in Bristol, by the way) charmed the audience with his passion and excitement for chocolate. It was truly a fascinating evening that was not to be missed.

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