Sports & Societies Handbook

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Find a sport club / society

We support over 300 student-led societies. There are plenty to choose from and they are simple to join, and if you can't find the one you're looking for it is simple to start your own.

Start a new sport club/society

All you need to get started is three people to be your committee and an idea. Your application is more likely to be accepted if it is something new. The ‘Discover sport, societies and media’ page has the most up to date list of sports clubs, student media groups and societies currently affiliated with the Students' Union so you can check whether the thing you'd like to do is already on offer or not. Please note that submitting an application does not mean you have been approved. You will need to wait to hear the Societies Committee decision which can take around 2 weeks from submission.

Last updated at 27/02/2020

Do you have a clear objective?

Having a clear objective will help the Societies Committee to make an informed decision. The Society Reps will assess the application on the following criteria:

  • Does this new group offer something new to the Sussex community?
  • Is there a demand for this type of group at Sussex?
  • Could this group work with an existing group?

If your idea is similar to an existing group, you will likely be asked to get in contact with them to work collaboratively instead of creating an entirely new group. Consider asking the existing group if you could help put on some events or if there’s an opportunity to join their committee to help work on filling the market you think is currently being missed.

Do you have at least three current students to form a committee?

Committee members are responsible for the day to day running of the group.

Please note that for any applications received in the Spring Term, final year students will not be eligible to be committee members. This is to ensure the continuation of the group into the following academic year.

Here is a guide to committee roles.

Fill out the affiliation form

Fill out the form here. To complete the form, you will need the following information:

  • A name for your group.
  • Details of what your overall aims and objectives are
  • Details of any other specific activities will you be organising or taking part in
  • The name, Sussex/BSMS email address, student number and mobile numbers of at least three current students
  • To decide which two students will become your Finance Reps
  • To decide who will be your Welfare and Inclusivity Rep
  • A risk assessment for your group's main activity (your group may already be covered by the generic society risk assessment for meetings & socials. Click here to read the generic risk assessment.)

Your application is reviewed

Your application is reviewed by the Societies Committee .

New group applications are usually approved if the group will be doing something different to the clubs and societies already affiliated with the Students' Union. The Society Reps may not approve the application if the group’s aims and objectives are similar to an established group, and instead suggest working collaboratively with an established group.

We will let you know the decision

After a decision is made on your application, you will be contacted by a member of the Societies and Student Media Team via email.

If rejected, you will be informed why the decision was made. Read our guidance for unaffiliated groups here .

We will set your group up online

Within the 7 days of receiving your group approval email, the Societies and Student Media Team will work on setting up your new group. The process can take up to 2/3 weeks depending on the volume of new groups approved. In the meantime, you are able to start functioning as a group right away.

The set up will include:

  • A minisite on the Students' Union website
  • An official Students' Union email address and Google Drive account
  • A group bank account
  • Priority bookings and group log in to the Falmer House room bookings & resources

Your new group is affiliated!

Congratulations, your group setup is complete and you are now fully affiliated with the Students' Union! Read through the Societies and Student Media guides , plan your first event, set up a mailing list and promote your new group!

Groups are affiliated to the Students' Union until the end of the academic year. Each group is required to re-affiliate by the end of the Spring Term using the affiliation form to let us know who will be running your group the following September. Any groups that don't re-affiliate or hand over will be disbanded.

Last updated at 14/09/2018

If you have applied to start a new group, or if your application was rejected, your group is called ‘unaffiliated’. Activities and events run by unaffiliated groups are not covered by the Students’ Union insurance, so while you can still carry out meetings and activities, we advise you to read our generic society risk assessment. If you set up a Facebook page/group while unaffiliated, it must be clear that your group is not official, so that people aren’t misinformed.

As an unaffiliated group, you will not be able to apply to the Societies Fund or submit applications to the Reward and Recognition Scheme, but we encourage you to begin working towards the criteria in the R&R scheme as it will help you to establish your group.

You are able to book Students' Union rooms & resources at Falmer house Reception in person or by emailing Reception on [email protected]

Work with Another Society

One of the main reasons a new society application isn’t approved is because there’s already an established group doing something very similar. We don’t allow groups with very similar aims to start up because it would split the potential membership and the students’ Union unfortunately does not have the resources or funding to support an unlimited amount of groups.

We encourage groups with similar aims and objectives to work together; that way you can meet people who are already interested in, and working on, similar projects. They’ll also potentially have an established membership base. Find the contact details for other groups here . Most groups also have a Facebook page or group you can contact them on. We can help facilitate a discussion between your group and the existing group. Please get in touch if you’d like to do that.

If you wanted to start a group that’s similar to an existing society because you have experienced difficulties with that group or feel excluded, we’d like to know about it. Please get in touch. We are working to improve inclusion and welfare of student-led groups at Sussex, including having a mandatory Welfare & Inclusivity Rep in every group, and providing online training for the Reps.

Health & Safety

As an unofficial group you won’t be covered by the Students’ Union insurance. If you’re doing anything risky then you should let your members know this and give them the opportunity to purchase their own insurance.


You don’t need to be affiliated with the Students’ Union to continue to do what you want to do. You can still have people take up roles to organise your group.


Unaffiliated groups do not get a minisite on . There are lots of free website providers such as There are lots of other ways to promote your group. You could book a table from Reception and have a stall on Library Square, hold fundraisers, make posters and leaflets to advertise your group, and utilise social media.


Unaffiliated groups are not eligible to apply to the Societies Fund. There are other funding opportunities available at the Students’ Union and the University for unaffiliated groups

There are plenty of other funding opportunities from outside the University to explore, such as community funding pots and external grants. More information can be found here:


Last updated at 08/11/2018

Data protection

Committee members must follow these guidelines for data protection while in their role to ensure legal compliance and avoid the potential of the SU being sued.

All data collected by committee members, except purchasing through official memberships at, must be obtained with consent/legitimate interest. Click here to read our privacy policy which has more about these terms.

The easiest thing to do is to ask members to join your group online through rather than writing down their email address. If you do take sign ups then we recommend using a laptop/tablet/phone, as that means you won’t need to spend hours working out people’s handwriting!

You need to ensure people who sign up are explicitly giving their consent to receive emails from your group. We recommend using Mailchimp as a mailing list service as you can sign up for free and it also has really useful GDPR advice here


Committee members have a duty of care towards their peers and members of their group.

‘Safeguarding’ refers to the measures put in place to protect the health, well-being and human rights of individuals, which allow people — especially children, young people and vulnerable adults — to live free from abuse, harm and neglect.

Our safeguarding policy explains the duty of care that committee members have to raise any safeguarding concerns with an appropriate contact. This applies in all instances where you have any concern, suspicion or allegation that either a child, young person or vulnerable adult has been, is being or is likely to be subjected to harm, abuse or neglect, or is at risk of harming themselves or others.

Click here to read the Students’ Union Safeguarding policy.

Click here to see who to contact if you have a safeguarding concern.

Click here to view our guidance on activities requirements and restrictions.

Group email and minisite

Last updated at 22/08/19

What is your minisite?

Every society has a mini website created for them within the USSU website.

It is yours to utilise as you wish; all committee members have the ability to edit the page.

How to Add & Edit Content on Your Minisite

How to update your minisite:

  1. Log in to the website with your university email and password
  2. Go to your dashboard and click ‘manage’
  3. On the left of the screen click ‘Website Settings’
  4. Here you can put new information, update your logo, and input links to your social media
  5. Please be aware that a logo change can take some time so give it up to an hour to change on the front end of the website. Make sure your logo is scaled correctly by checking your minisite once it’s uploaded
  6. If you do not have these options then you may not have admin access. Please email [email protected] to check.

Once you have finished editing the content of this page, make sure you click ‘Save’ at the bottom.

There is further guidance available here .

What to put on your minisite?

It’s a good idea to include a description of what your society is and what you do, to inform potential new members. Furthermore, the minisite is a great place to introduce your committee and their roles to existing and prospective members - including a photo and email address for each member is really helpful.

Featuring information about what your society has achieved and what events you have done, including photographs, is a great way of generating interest. Here is a good example of a society minisite.

What can your minisite be used for?

You can create events directly within the site and consequently display a detailed schedule for your society’s activities.

Tickets and merchandise can be sold online, with all payments going directly into your society account. To set up ticket sales, create an event and then go to the product application section of the dashboard to add a ticket. If there are any issues with this please contact our finance department: [email protected]
Info coming soon on how to set-up an election through your minisite.

You can host elections via your minisite for Committee Positions. See the Committee Elections guide for more info .

How to Create an Event on your minisite

  1. Log into with your university email and password
  2. Go to your dashboard and 'Events and Trips’ on the left side of the page
  3. Click ‘New Application’ and fill in the following form with details of your event
  4. Once this is completed, save the event application
  5. Your event application has now been submitted! It can take up to 5 days for it to be approved and go up on the website and an additional 5 days if your event requires an external speaker or University H&S

You can’t edit your event once submitted and would need to get in contact with our events team: [email protected]

How to Add Tickets to an Event

We are able to sell tickets for any event you wish to hold via your minisite. Ticket purchasers can pay online and the money then goes straight into your society bank account. Tickets can be for anything from a £1 weekly session, to a one off society ball. We are working on getting tickets to include selections, such as dinner choices or table reservations.

To sell tickets via your minisite, there must be an event created on your minisite, as described above. Once this has been done, simply create a product application in the ‘Products’ section on the left side of your dashboard. It will take 2-3 days for approval but can take longer if the ticket is linked to an event that has an external speaker or University H&S issues.

Please note that many ticket sales will be liable for VAT. Therefore, be conscious of this when setting ticket prices for your event, otherwise you may end up with 20% less than budgeted if VAT has not been considered. VAT may be applicable regardless of whether tickets are sold online or not. Email [email protected] for more info on VAT or with any questions regarding the above.

Last updated at 24/09/18

All affiliated groups are provided with an official USSU email account in the following format: [email protected] The email address is a Gmail account, and you can log in at To reset your password please email [email protected]

Communication from the Societies and Student Media team will go to this email account so it is vital that you check this account regularly. You must also add this email address to your minisite and share it with students for them to contact your group.

Last updated at 08/11/18

Mailing Lists

What can you use to contact members?
Often, sending out a mass emails is the best way to get information across, this can be effectively done by creating mail lists. Therefore it is important to record student emails where possible. For example, during Fresher’s Week student emails can be recorded on spreadsheets on a laptop or tablet.

Mailing lists can be created through the following platforms:


Using your society email address ([email protected]) is probably the best way to contact your members. To learn how to create a mailing list via Gmail please click here .


Mailchimp is a user friendly and free website to send out newsletters and email. The website contains a lot of features meaning your newsletter or email does not have to look the same. Also, you are able to schedule emails therefore allowing you to prepare in advance and schedule emails for particular days/times.

Remember to sign up for an account with your [email protected]

Your society's minisite

We will be soon providing provisions to give the mailing list of your society via the minisite system, please return to this page for more information regarding this soon.

Keeping Members

How can you keep members?

Getting students to remain a member is what will ensure a sustainable society. Here are few top tips on keeping your societies members.

Send out Newsletters

Newsletters are a great way to provide up-to-date information about what is going on with your society. They can sent daily, weekly or monthly.

Remember, clear and concise content will grab the attention of your reader and will also help to retain them.

Be active on social media

Almost all students use social media. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc are an easy and great way of promoting your society and updating students on upcoming events.

Collaborate with another society an existing and established society

Collaborations is a great way to promote a new society. Especially, if your society is approved after Freshers and Refresher’s Fair.

Organise regular events

Reward & Recognition Scheme gives great ideas of various events to organise. Remember to organise a diverse and inclusive event e.g. alcoholic and nonalcoholic events.

Attracting Members

How can you attract members?

Getting students to join your society is what keeps it running. Your biggest recruitment opportunity will be during the USSU’s annual Fresher's Fair week. The Wednesday of the fair is a dedicated to Societies and Clubs to showcase their groups in order to gain members. USSU also host a Refresher's Fair annually in February. This is another opportunity to gain some extra members.

Other ways to gain members include:

Make your minisite page attractive.

At present, the USSU’s society and club minisite is the most visited pages on the website. Click here to view some examples.

Putting on a big event during the academic year e.g. a comedy show, quiz night.

Reward & Recognition Scheme give great ideas of various events to organise. Remember to organise a diverse and inclusive event e.g. alcoholic and nonalcoholic events.

Be active on social media

Almost all students use social media. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc is an easy way of promoting your society and updating students on upcoming events. In addition, it is a great way to direct new students to your society’s minisite.

Collaborate with an existing and established society.

Collaborations is a great way to promote a new society. Especially, if your society is approved after Freshers and Refresher’s Fair.

Emailing Members

How to Email All or Some of Your Members
  1. log into the union website with your student account and on your minisite click the drop down arrow besides your name at the top of the page, then click ‘Page’, then ‘Society admin tools’.
  2. This should load the ‘Admin Tools’ page. Now click ‘Messages’ and this will take you to the ‘Messaging’ page. Underneath the ‘Messaging’ heading, click ‘Send Email’ and you will be taken to the ‘Send Email’ page.
  3. To add recipients click ‘To’ and a list of society memberships should appear. You can select ‘All members’, or select specific committee positions, or select specific members. When you have selected the desired recipients of your email, click ‘Add recipients’ at the bottom.
  4. You will be returned to the ‘Send Email’ page. Now you can fill in a subject line, add attachments and enter the message text of your email. Once this is all complete, click ‘Send’ at the bottom of the page.
  5. You will now be returned to the ‘Messaging’ page, where you can track the status of sent/draft emails and send additional emails.

Society Joining Fee

You do not have to charge membership fees, however it can be a great way to raise money for your society that you can later use for events or equipment. If you do decide to charge a fee you will need to be aware that there are various strands of membership:

Standard membership

Available to anyone who is a Student at the University; whether Full-time, Part time, Undergraduate or Postgraduate.

Associate membership

This is for anyone who is NOT a student at the University (this can include members of University and USSU staff). Associate members have no speaking or voting rights at committee meetings. They may NOT stand for election on your committee.

Associate membership can be charged more than standard.

The fee can paid via the USSU website or by cash in the Union Hub, 1st Floor Falmer House.

Why charge a joining fee?

The fee can be used to help sustain the running of your society i.e refreshment for meetings, equipment, contributions to major societies events and travel cost.

Please be aware that VAT will be taken off of the fee

Last updated at 21/03/19

There are a variety of meeting rooms and resources available in Falmer House that affiliated groups can book for free.

All affiliated clubs and societies have a log in to the Falmer House room booking system.

The rooms and resources are managed by the Students' Union Info Point. Find them on the ground floor entrance to Falmer House, or email them on [email protected] for more information.

Rooms and resources may also be booked by unaffiliated groups, as long as there is availability.

Make a booking

Forgotten your log in details?

  1. Use the Forgot your login? link to reset your password.
  2. Enter your Username and group email address. Click here to check what your group's username and email address is.
  3. Log into your '[email protected]' email account via Gmail to check for an email from '[email protected]'.
  4. Check the spam folders if it isn't in your inbox.

Falmer House rooms and resources are available during term-time from 7am to 12am on weekdays and 11am to 12am on weekends, and from 9am to 5pm on weekdays outside of term time. For bookings outside of these times please contact the Events team. [email protected] .

What rooms are available?

Mandela Hall - First floor of Falmer House. Wooden floor. Capacity - 600

Mandela Balcony - Second floor of Falmer House. Wooden Floor. Please be aware Mandela Hall bookings have priority so if your event needs silence or is noisy then book out Mandela Hall as well.

Debating Chamber - First floor of Falmer House. Wooden floor.

Common Room - First floor of Falmer House. Bookings have to be confirmed as suitable before confirmed. Space cannot be given exclusively and access is require at all times.

Meeting Room 1 - First floor of Falmer House. Wooden floor. Chairs available. Capacity - 60

Meeting Room 2 - Top floor Falmer House. Carpeted. Tables & chairs. Capacity - 30

Meeting Room 3 - Top floor Falmer House. Wooden floor. Tables & chairs. Capacity - 12

Meeting Room 4 - Top floor Falmer House. Wooden floor. Tables & chairs. Capacity - 24

Meeting Room 5 - Top floor Falmer House. Wooden floor. Tables & chairs. Capacity - 10

What resources are available?

Union Info Point resources - collect them from the Union Info Point.

  • 2 Bluetooth Speakers
  • Boom Box
  • 2 Extension Reels (20m)
  • 2 Extension Reels (30m)
  • 2 Extension Reels (45m)
  • 20 litre hot water urn - for use with hot water only. Makes about 80 cups of hot water - supply your own tea bags/hot chocolate powder, coffee granules etc.
  • 2 Keyboards
  • Mini PA System
  • 12 Music Stands
  • Projector
  • Projector screen & case
  • 10 green tables
  • 6 white tables
  • Gazebo - Union branded gazebo with roof.
  • Cake Sale Stalls (Library Square) - This entitles you to a space in library square for a cake sale.
  • Cake Sale Stall (Outside Falmer House) - This entitles you to a space for a cake sale outside Falmer House. Tuesdays are not available due to the Market.

Reception Resources - collect them from Reception.

  • 6 A3 whiteboards (including pens)
  • 12 A4 whiteboards (including pens)
  • 1 A3 A-Frame Chalkboard
  • 2 blackboard bunting strings
  • 4 table top chalkboard
  • (chalkboard pens and cleaners available at Reception)
  • 1 plastic jug & 12 plastic cups in a plastic tub. Please wash up the jug and cups before returning.

How are rooms allocated?

Bookings are allocated through consultation with student groups.

  • Regular training sessions for Sports Clubs are made by the Sports Assistant after Club handover meetings.
  • A room booking request form is sent out to all societies to for them to request regular bookings for their weekly activities before the start of each term. The regular bookings are then made by the Societies & Student Media Administrator based on availability and suitability.
  • Once the regular bookings have been made, the booking system is opened to all clubs and societies to make further ad-hoc bookings throughout the term.

If a room or resource is booked at a time that you would like it, you can contact the group/society directly to see if they could move to another space or time. However, please note that no one is obligated to move their booking.

The Falmer House room booking system is managed in this way to allow the fairest opportunity for all affiliated groups to get access to our limited rooms and resources for their activities.

Risk Assessments

You need to complete a risk assessment for any particularly ‘risky’ activity, such as those involving alcohol, physical activity, electrical equipment, food or large groups of people. This is compulsory for any Students’ Union society or student group - as an event leader, you are liable for any incidents that may occur, and a risk assessment is a great way of demonstrating how you will control any potential hazards. This isn’t meant to sound scary; it should help your event go smoothly and is protection for you in case something goes wrong, you can prove that you have thought through things and planned your activity properly.

You do not have to fill in a risk assessment for events that are covered within our generic risk assessment, take a look at the risk assessment first to see if you are already covered.

Remember that the Students’ Union events team are on hand to help every step of the way! For any advice or support, find us in the Union Hub, get in touch at [email protected] or give us a call at 01273 873874

We need Risk Assessments at least 2 weeks before an event.

University Lecture and Seminar Rooms

The Students' Union are not able to book University rooms on behalf of student groups. Using University rooms is free but you may be charged for extra porter cover when necessary or for things like cleaning or security.

Request a room bookings for your group online here: .

View University room booking schedule »

The Meeting House

The Meeting House has the Quiet Room available for Students' Union groups on weekdays from 5pm to 9pm during term time. It seats up to 85 people. Social events are allowed in the Quiet Room but they have to be fairly sedate. They do not allow noisy events or parties where people will be consuming large amounts of alcohol although drinking in moderation is ok.

There is no charge for Students' Union groups using the Quiet Room on weekdays. There is a charge to book the room on Saturdays.

The Chapel is a sacred space which they try to keep available for people in need of a spiritual/quiet space.

There is a projector and screens available plus an elderly TV and video.

The Meeting House's kitchen is available for making hot drinks and students may use the microwave to reheat cooked food. It is not available for catering for events on campus or preparing meals from scratch.

Bookings must be made with the Meeting House Administrator, Janine Thorogood - [email protected] or 01273 678217.

Sports Centre and Falmer Sports Complex

You can book Sports Halls 1 and 2 and the Dance Studio/Dojo in the Sports Centre. Find out more at .

Bookings made by affiliated groups must be paid for directly by the group concerned. If you would like to use money from your group's account, you can arrange this with the Activities Finance Assistant, Aarun. [email protected]

Society Equipment

Last updated at 14/09/18

The Equipment Audit happens every year, and is the process by which the Student’s Union keeps track of all of the resources owned by Societies. It is a required part of the handover process, as it is necessary for insurance purposes. The form can be found here .

What is the Equipment Audit?

The equipment audit consists of an inventory of all of the equipment and resources that your society owns. This could be large pieces of equipment, such as computers, poster boards, or furniture, but also smaller resources such as stationery. Each society submits their inventory, which are then compiled by the Student’s Union for two purposes: so we know what resources are owned by societies, and to provide to our insurers.

How do you do the Equipment Audit?

In order to complete your equipment audit, you must download and fill out this form and send it to our Societies team. In the form, you must list each resource that your society owns. If there are any identifying details that you can provide, please do, as it helps us keep track of what belongs to whom. Then you need to estimate the current value of an item. The best way to do this is to google its RRP - if it is older than 3 years old, it will not be worth this much, so you’ll need to reduce that value (you can google how that item ages, or you can simply reduce it by around 20%). Next, you must inform us of how many of these items you have - so if you own 15 screwdrivers, they don’t each need a separate line, you simply fill out the info once and put QTY: 15. If known, it is also really helpful to tell us when you purchased the item. And finally, provide any other information that may be useful, such as the location of the resource, and any information about its condition and life expectancy. This ensures that we are up to date with not only what you own, but what may need to be bought in the future.

Any other top tips.

Before you complete your equipment audit, it may be useful to speak to the previous committee. They will not only have completed one themselves, but also may have specific information about your Society’s resources that you’ll need to know. It would also be handy to store your equipment audits in your Society Google Drive. This means that future committees can simply add to and amend your list of resources, and ensures that they have all of the necessary information.

Last updated at 08/11/18

There are a number of lockers available for societies to utilise through the academic year. Lockers are cleared out and re-allocated if not in use at the end of Spring Term, if you require one please email [email protected]

In addition, the Union also has an all societies cupboard available. The key for the cupboard can be collected from the Union Hub (1st Floor, Falmer House).

Money should not be kept in the lockers or the cupboard and all items stored in the lockers and cupboard are stored at your own risk. USSU does not take responsibility for any stolen or broken items.

Last updated at 08/11/18

Running a sustainable event - top tips

Did you know The Big Lemon Coach Hire runs on waste cooking oil from local restaurants? Take a look through our Sustainable Events checklist for more top tips for putting on a low impact event. There are sections on food & drink, transport, energy reduction, purchasing, waste & marketing.

Steer clear of disposable plastics - use reusable cups and serve food in jars or on trays. Don’t use plastic bags - use tote bags instead. Try not to over print leaflets or flyers - make use of social media, or order them from a company who uses recycled materials (such as Lollipop).

Try a different kind of fundraiser; go for an unplugged gig, clothes swap, or food waste cafe; see our previous Go Green Week timetable for ideas.

Bonus; completing 5 or more actions from the checklist earns you a point towards the Reward & Recognition Scheme /a> & earns funding for your group!

Ethical purchasing

Firstly; before you buy anything, consider whether you really need to buy it. Is there something you can reuse or upcycle? Otherwise, try to buy second-hand or local products.

You can hire equipment such as bluetooth speakers, a boom box, crash mats, poster boards, projectors and more through the Students’ Union here.
The Resource Centre also has a variety of equipment available for hire, from projectors and exhibition boards to disco lights and giant kerplunk. You can also request a Sussex account on Warp-It , where you can put up or claim unwanted items.

Ethical consumer is a website which has a variety of products and brands across a number of ethical criteria, such as the environment or human rights. You can adjust the weighting of each criteria to reflect what is most important to you. You can log in with the username “sussexsu” and password “greenimpact”. From the most ethical mobile phone to high street clothing shops, it’s pretty extensive...or check out the students’ union procurement & purchasing guidelines, where we’ve put together the highest ranking brands of a number of products for you.

When ordering your branded clothing for your society or sports team, consider buying Fairtrade; we’ve even made a Fairtrade clothing suppliers list for you.

Try to buy plastic free and local - Scoop are a student-led co-op who sell packaging-free goods like pasta, chickpeas, nuts and more at the Tuesday market; don’t forget to bring your own container!

Go plastic free at shops such as Hisbe or Infinity Foods, where you can you take in your own container to fill up with dry foods and household goods (e.g. pasta, nuts, washing up liquid and shampoo), or buy plastic-free alternatives to disposable items like a bamboo toothbrush. Lush also sell “naked” products - packaging-free shampoo bars, solid shower “gels” and now even makeup products like their solid foundation in a peelable wax base.

Food Waste

Food waste which is emptied into compostable bags can be disposed of in the food waste bin by the Union shop - please don’t put anything other than food in it though! This then goes to an anaerobic digester.

You can get compostable bags if you go to the Union Hub and ask a staff member for a couple (kept in the staff room kitchen).

See here for information about where you can find community-led composting schemes in town.

Put on a foodie event and have leftover ingredients? If you have waste food which is okay to eat, you can donate instead to The Real Junk Food Project, who take food destined for landfill and turn it into pay as you feel meals - they also have a pay as you feel hub in Bevendean where you can pick up a variety of fruit, veg, breads, cakes, jars of coffee and more, all saved from landfill. You can also donate food to charities such as The Hungry Homeless , who feed the homeless at The Clocktower Sanctuary every Thursday from 7-11pm.

Or, why not try working with The Real Junk Food Project and put on your own food waste cafe for a different kind of fundraiser/society event? Email [email protected] or [email protected] for more information.


Please note that the only plastic that can currently be recycled by Brighton & Hove city council is plastic bottles with the lids removed. Please don’t include any other kinds of plastics (food packaging or plastic wrap); it will contaminate the recycling.

Standard coffee cups are not recyclable.

On campus;

Cans & tins, cardboard, paper, and plastic bottles with the lids removed - dry mixed recycling bins

See The University map of where you can find recycling bins on campus.

Coffee cups - not recyclable! Put them in general waste or one of the special cup recycling bins provided by Simply Cups (found in Eat Central, Jubilee Cafe and Arts Piazza).

Batteries - at the Info Point in Falmer House or the recycling bin in Bramber House, outside the Co-Op.

In town;

Some items are only recyclable at larger recycling points through the city - you can find your nearest one & what it recycles with this map.

Cans & tins, cardboard, paper, and plastic bottles with the lids removed - your kerbside collection recycling box, or dry mixed recycling bins in town.

Tetra pak food or drink cartons - special recycling points in town.

Bras, toys, textiles - special recycling points in town. Consider donating textiles in good condition to charity shops, or posting your unwanted bras to a charity such as Smalls for All.

Glass bottles and jars - washed with the lids removed, your kerbside collection box but kept separate from your other recycling, or designated glass recycling bins.

Batteries - kept in a clear plastic bag next to or on top of your kerbside collection box, or deposited at one of the battery return points in shops through the city.

Small electrical items (e.g. hair dryers, mobile phones) - one of the electrical recycling points in town

If you would like to recycle kinds of recyclable plastic which is not taken by the council, you can pay for a service such as Magpie’s Green Box - they will collect a wide range of recycling weekly, such as most kinds of plastics, textiles, tetra pak cartons and foil for about £1.53 a week (£20 every 3 months).

Organising events/actions

Organising events or actions can be a great way to raise awareness of your campaign and of the change you are aiming to achieve, engage with other students or gain support.

Events can range from hosting workshops, speakers, a film/documentary, fundraising events.

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When planning events you should think about the following steps:

  • Decide what you want the event to achieve, what format it should take and who it will be aimed at. How is it helping you achieve your campaign's aims and objectives?
  • Don't do everything alone, involve your campaign's members and arrange roles according to people's skills and availability.
  • Speak to your members – they may have valuable advice to offer and experience you can use
  • Where and when do you want the event to take place and how will you pay for it?
  • Do you need any specialised equipment or professional expertise to run the event?
  • How are you going to advertise and promote the event?
  • Have a follow-up meeting after the event to assess what went well and what you could do differently next time

Look at our ‘How to Organise an Event Guide’ for all the advice you would need to create successful student-led events.

Remember we are to support you. For help or advice, get in touch with Roxane ([email protected]), our events team ([email protected]) or come and see us in Falmer House.

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Safety is a crucial part of any event you do and needs to be thought about carefully. This is particularly important when it includes events with food, alcohol, trips or anything involving an external person to the university. Please see the Health and Safety page for information, guides and risk assessment templates.

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Setting a budget is vital if your event is going to cost anything.

Think hard about what you want to spend money on – for events, venue and publicity are quite often two big costs, but you might also be paying bands or speakers, covering transport costs, hiring equipment or providing catering.

Shop around and ask for quotes from companies – remember we have a number of free venues on campus, sound and staging equipment, and experienced staff members you can call on for advice.

For trips your biggest expenditure will probably be transport and accommodation but again, think about extras like toll road charges, food, petrol, entry prices to attractions and so on.

Look at the cheapest method of transport, it may be easier to drive but you might get a better deal buying group train tickets or using coaches.

Once you know how much money you need you can look at your income. If you’re putting on a ticketed event then you should think about how many tickets you will need to sell to break even – you should not set your break even ticket sales at maximum capacity.

When planning your event/trip it is important to publicise and market your event well in advance to make sure that you make those all important ticket sales. Selling your tickets with us is a great way to make the whole experience of selling tickets completely hassle free for you and allows students to buy tickets at any time online. Use this simple budgeting form to help you plan ticketing and income.

Your group may need to hold a fundraiser or two to pay for things or you could apply for funding, both from the Union and other sources.

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Falmer House

There are a number of spaces within Falmer House that can be booked within the Students’ Union, with capacities ranging from 20-500. These can be booked using your login information on the Students’ Union room booking system.

USSU Outlets

The Students’ Union also operates multiple outlets on campus that can make great venues for an event. This includes three bars (Falmer Bar, Northfield and The Clubhouse) and a café space (Room 76).

For more information on USSU venues look at our outlets page. The cost of hire for student events is generally free, though this does vary for non-students so we advise you refer to our hiring prices for spaces and various equipment to help your event.

USSU venues booking and catering requests can be made here.

Other campus locations

There are a number of spaces within the University that may be used as event venues, including lecture theaters and teaching rooms (though again, consider the size and scale of your event). These are subject to risk assessment and other health and safety considerations. To check availability and book University rooms use your ITS login on the university room booking system.

For larger scale events, the Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts (ACCA) offers a world-class venue and contemporary arts space on campus with numerous multi-purpose rooms and the capacity for professional tech support and facilities. There are costs associated with booking the ACCA, speak to the Events team for more information on [email protected]

External venues

You might like to consider using a completely external venue for an event, either in Brighton or further afield. Depending on the nature of the event, costs will vary immensely if using an external venue, so we recommend asking for advice before booking anything of substantial cost or offering up significant deposits. The Events team are able to offer advice on venues that have been used previously or may be suitable, contact [email protected] for more information.

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You need to complete a risk assessment for any particularly ‘risky’ activity, such as those involving alcohol, physical activity, electrical equipment, food or large groups of people. This is compulsory for any Students’ Union society or student group - as an event leader, you are liable for any incidents that may occur, and a risk assessment is a great way of demonstrating how you will control any potential hazards. This isn’t meant to sound scary; it should help your event go smoothly and is protection for you in case something goes wrong, you can prove that you have thought through things and planned your activity properly.

You do not have to fill in a risk assessment for events that are covered within our generic risk assessment, take a look at the risk assessment first to see if you are already covered.

Remember that the Students’ Union events team are on hand to help every step of the way! For any advice or support, find us in the Union Hub, get in touch at [email protected] or give us a call at 01273 873874

We need Risk Assessments at least 2 weeks before an event.

Filling out the Risk Assessment

In the risk assessment template that we ask you to use, there are 5 tabs that you need to consider;

  • Every risk assessment needs Tab 1 (Front Cover) and Tab 2 (Risk Assessment Details) filled out.
  • Tab 3 (External speaker details) is for external speaker forms (see the external speakers procedure for further details) and needs to be completed if you are inviting anyone from outside the University to speak to students.
  • Tab 4 (Generic food risk assessment) is to be read through if your event is having food.
  • Tab 5 (Food allergy information) is to be completed with all food and allergen information- this is a legal requirement.

What to Write:

Please fill out your risk assessment with as much detail as you can.

Have a look at these example risk assessments to get an idea of what you need to do.


Hazards are the risks that you must be aware of when planning an event. Examples of common hazards are; slips trips and falls, fatigue, food poisoning, heavy equipment, uneven playing surface and disorderly behaviour.

Please write as many hazards as you can think of that are appropriate to the event.


Controls are the factors which mitigate the risks (and hopefully make the event less risky!).

Examples of common controls may be; using safety equipment, following food hygiene procedures, keeping the walkways clear, having an emergency contact number.

If you are struggling to think of hazards or controls, take a look at these guides. If you are still unsure, come and speak to the events team.


  • Any bake sales must comply with the Students’ Union food hygiene regulations, and a full list of allergen information must be on display during your event.
  • You cannot prepare any other food for consumption, distribution, or selling, due to health and safety regulations.
  • If you are using external caterers for your event, they will need to provide a copy of their public liability insurance, as well as evidence of their food hygiene certification.


  • Events should not be run with the focus on excessive drinking.
  • Events should be run in accordance with the Students’ Union alcohol policy.


  • Accidents and/or near misses should be reported to [email protected] within 24 hours of your event.
  • You should carry the contact numbers for campus security during your event, both non-emergency (01273 678234) and emergency (01273 873333)

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We encourage societies and student groups to come up with ways to raise money or awareness - however when it comes to food handling such as bake sales there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Below are our guidelines on handling food.

Food at Events

Food safety regulations in the UK require any food at an event to be prepared in a safe environment, which can demonstrate appropriate food hygiene certificates, public liability insurance, and other relevant documents. This means that student groups are not allowed to cook, sell or distribute food as part of their event or activity. The easiest (and safest) way of offering food is to use professional caterers, which will incur a cost, but means that your event can run safely.

If you’re planning your event within the Students’ Union in Falmer House, we’re contractually obliged to use our in-house caterers, Blend. They are based in Falmer Bar, and can offer a wide range of hot and cold food options for all your needs. They’re also happy to offer bespoke dishes if you have something specific in mind.

If it is essential to the event that you use an external caterer that isn’t Blend, you will need to gain permission from them. To do this, speak to the events team.

For events taking place on campus outside of Falmer House, the university have an exclusive contract with Sussex Food. The same applies with these buildings; any external catering will have to be approved. Once again, speak to the events team about this.

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Bake sales are an exception to this rule; you’re welcome to prepare and sell baked goods as part of a fundraiser, or simply as part of a larger event. When you host a bake sale, you’ll need to provide a full list of allergen information for each of the items. This is a legal requirement, and ensures that anyone with allergies is aware of the full ingredients in each food item.

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If you are organising an event with food (including bake sales) you must submit a risk assessment to [email protected] A template can be found here. If you have any doubt about what you need to do, just pop into the Events Team (Union Hub, Falmer House) and we can help you.

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Designing posters/flyers

Website such as Canva provide to create publicity material for your campaign or events. Our communications team can furthermore help Union-recognised campaigns with designs, logos and branding. Get in touch with Roxane ([email protected]) if you would like to discuss any design ideas and project. Make sure to get in touch at least 10 working days before your design is needed to ensure we can create our desired project on time.

Getting Posters & Flyers Approved

Posters and flyers must be approved and stamped in the Union Hub, otherwise they will be removed. A maximum of 10 posters can be stamped.

Where can Posters be Displayed?

  • Falmer House: Common Room, Bottom of the Falmer House Stairs (outside Sussex Student Lettings), Falmer Bar, Room 76, Northfield Bar
  • Doctor’s Orders Café in the Brighton and Sussex Medical School building.
  • Outside the John Maynard Smith Lecture Theatre.
  • Lancaster House reception
  • York House (in the corridor by the computer room)

Posters placed elsewhere on campus must seek approval from the reception of each building. You cannot place posters on brickwork, walls, floors, windows, doors or trees anywhere on campus

Please don't use bluetac on brickwork.