The end.

It’s over! Never again will I be overloading everyone’s timeline with Elections posts, or desperately seeking likes, shares, and votes! I’d like to thank absolutely everyone for putting up with all of this, and I’d especially like to thank everyone who helped me. You have no idea just how much of a difference even the smallest social media gestures have made to my moods and willpower over this past week. Thank you so much for liking, thank you so much for sharing, and thank you so so much to those of you who voted.

At 5pm today, campaign week officially ended. Instead of counting down with everyone else I just found myself crying from exhaustion and relief. This week has been probably one of the strangest and certainly one of the most intense weeks of my life. Unless you’ve also run in an SU election, you have no idea how tiring and difficult it can be to be up and about and cheerful and trying to talk to just about every stranger you come across from 9 in the morning until 9 at night. It’s so hard, but it’s also so incredibly rewarding and worthwhile.

So many positive things have come out of this past week. I’ve met so many lovely people in amongst all the other candidates. I’ve grown closer still to friends also running in this election. I’ve had the opportunity to go out and talk to all these different students from different courses and different backgrounds who I would never have otherwise had the pleasure of speaking to. I went from shaking and almost crying at Candidate Question Time to realising that quickly encouraging a lecture theatre full of students to vote is somehow far easier than approaching someone in a cafe to talk about elections.

I honestly have no idea how this election is going to turn out. There are so many amazing candidates for all positions, so it’s impossible to predict tomorrow’s outcome. I’m incredibly nervous, but I’ve done all I can so there’s not a huge amount of point thinking about it now.

By this time tomorrow, I’ll be celebrating the end of the most stressful week of my life so far. I like to think I’ll be celebrating this whether I’ve been successful or not.

Thanks again for all of the support. I appreciate it enormously.

Much love xxxx



There are now only eight and a half hours left to vote in the CUSU 2018 Spring Elections. Please do vote because your vote really can make the world of difference, I know everyone’s been saying that but it doesn’t make it any less true. Over the past few years, your elected officers have managed to achieve things that we may now almost take for granted, such as the ASSL’s 24 hour opening and card payment all across campus.

Please do vote, please do get involved, and please read on for the rest of my final blog post on why you should vote for me to be your next VP Welfare & Campaigns.


The person I was in First Year would never have dreamed of one day running for a VP position. In fact, the person I was in Second Year wouldn’t have either. I would never have felt good enough to even consider myself for such an important role, and I never would have had the confidence to try and go for said role in the incredibly public way that Campaign Week is and has to be. But somehow, here we are. I made it. As much as I really want to win this election, as much as I would give just about anything to be your next VP Welfare & Campaigns, I feel like the very fact that I even felt I could try is an incredible gift and a prize in itself.

I am running in this election because I love the Students’ Union so much. It has truly made me the person I am today, it has given me so much confidence, so much experience, and I have made so many amazingly strong and beautiful friendships all because of it. All because I decided to apply to volunteer during Freshers’ Week when I was about to go into my Second Year. Through Student Advice, I have learnt such a huge amount about the SU and about all of the amazing work we can and do put in to help make sure that as many students as possible feel safe and supported during their time at university. I have also got an incredibly well rounded and varied understanding of the exact problems that are faced by Cardiff students on a regular basis. And I know how many of these problems can be solved simply by finding the correct service and speaking to someone. Cardiff is an incredibly warm and supportive university and union, and I think it’s such a shame that many students are still unaware of just how much we can do for them.

I could honestly write thousands of words on why I love the SU. I could talk to you for days about how and why Student Advice and the SU have changed me, and the various skills I have gained over the past two years I’ve been heavily involved. I won’t, though. Instead I just want to say that through my roles with Student Advice, I’ve found ways of channelling my deepest sensitivities into better developing myself as someone who can help other people. I’ve realised just how much I care about things, and it’s taken a little time to realise that caring too much is a strength, not a weakness. 

If you’ve read my manifesto, if you’ve spoken to me, and if you’ve read anything else I’ve written in this blog, you can see just how many ideas I have. Hopefully, you can also see just how passionate I am about this. I know that’s what everyone says, and I should really at the very least be looking up a synonym for ‘passion’… it’s true though. I am so incredibly passionate about improving student welfare. Being a student is hard. There is so much uncertainty, so much going on, and it can be so overwhelming. On top of all of that, other welfare issues can have such an impact too: poor student housing situations can cause so much widespread discomfort and unhappiness, for example.

Please consider voting for me if you haven’t already. I think I could do a really great job. I will listen to any and all welfare concerns that students have, and I will do my absolute best to work on ways in which we can make things even better than they already are. I know not everything is perfect, but I think there is still so much good. I just want to do more. Please give me this opportunity.

You can vote on the Students’ Union Website.

You can also read manifestos here. 

Please vote for me so that Hobbs the Builder can help fix your Welfare problems and work together with Campaign Officers to get the job done!

The week so far…

I’m writing this in bed at 01:40am on Thursday morning. I just wanted to reflect on the week so far and talk about all of the ways in which I’ve been campaigning since voting officially opened at 9am on Monday.


MONDAY was intense. I knew it was going to be, but honestly nothing can really prepare you for exactly what it’s like to be a candidate during campaign week. Just before 9am we picked up the posters and promotional materials that the SU were kind enough to supply for all candidates, and then we headed down to SU Reception to await the countdown to the start of elections and the inevitable rush for the best banner placement locations.

It was a bit anticlimactic then, in all honesty. I found a nice spot for my favourite banner (which very sadly somehow disappeared after being up for less than a day… ) and put it up on the SU steps. I then put up my second banner on the steps before we headed down to Coffi Co for breakfast .

Most of Monday was about posters and banners and getting used to the idea of campaigning, of talking to people and asking for votes. I spoke to several groups before lectures, went to the volunteering fair and met some lovely people and some beautiful dogs, chatted with many students in cafes across the schools, spoke to Gair Rhydd about myself and my manifesto, and visited a couple of societies.


On TUESDAY, I visited the Heath Park campus for the first time. It was interesting and in some ways unnerving to see just how different the overall atmosphere of Heath was compared to my experience so far of Cathays campus. I spoke to quite a few people in the cafes and communal areas, but was really quite aware throughout of just how limited the time of these students can be so did not want to hold anyone up to much!

I also spoke to several groups in lecture theatres throughout the day. I visited the Queens buildings and Engineering for the first time in the three years I’ve been at Cardiff. It was lovely seeing some of my posters already up there when I arrived, thanks to my amazing housemates! Later on, it was time to vsit Jazz Choir; despite feeling very out of place on account of my complete lack of musical ability, they were very welcoming and friendly.

Tuesday evening was very busy too. I went to Taly with two other lovely candidates, and we spoke to many of the teams training there either at the very start or the very end of their sessions. As someone who has not really done much sport or had much to do with sport since PE in Year 11, there was something quite wonderful about seeing this new perspective and positivity! After Taly, we went back to the SU for a singalong session with the Disney & Musical Theatre Appreciation Society.


WEDNESDAY did not begin on a high, I would in fact go as far as to say that it began on a literal low. I fell down the stairs. As I hurried around my house getting ready for the day ahead, I slipped on the stairs and badly bruised my legs. Once I’d got over the shock of it all (and cried for a minute), I dusted myself off and went to the first candidate breakfast.

Wednesday morning was another one filled with visiting parts of the university that I’ve not seen much of in the past. We spoke to some Pharmacy students in a lecture in Redwood, and then ventured into the cafe to chat to groups of students. After Redwood, we hit Bute for a bit and again chatted to students sitting in the cafe there. At around lunchtime, we visited CARBS and then took a short break before heading back up to Taly to catch some of the fixtures there.

In the evening, lots of Societies were meeting in various rooms. Excuse me if I incorrectly recall society names, but I spoke to people from A Capella, Act One, Bollywood, K-Pop, and Book Club. Book Club was especially enjoyable as the committee had set aside time to really have an open conversation with all candidates about our manifestos and plans.

Wednesday night was spent in the Taf with other candidates, and then in Y Plas for YOLO trying to engage students to vote. At around half past 11 I called it a night and went home. I probably should have gone to bed then as I have another early start tomorrow, but it’s now nearly half past two on Thursday morning. Oops.

Two more days to go. I am enjoying myself, but I look forward to returning to relative normality next week. 


Vote by clicking here: VOTE

Student Housing



Student housing is a problem. Whether it’s issues with housemates in First Year Halls, damp bedroom walls in Cathays, trouble getting deposits back, or generally unresponsive landlords, pretty much every student will have their own story.

A lot of students end up being tricked by landlords and agencies into signing contracts with hidden costs. Often, there is a certain level of pressure to quickly sign or pay deposits for fear of the property no longer being available. Many students may also be unaware of what’s exactly they’re signing for.

Two years with Student Advice and two years of Housing Week door-knocking has meant that phrases like: “There are more houses in Cathays than there are people to live in them!” and “You’re signing for more than just a room in a house… you’re legally bound to the people you’re living with too!” come all too naturally to me.

I have personally lived in houses that are below standard and which have had minor-to-major issues, and my own experiences have only increased my understanding of the problem with student housing, but they’ve also made me all the more passionate to do what I can to help other people and prevent them from going through similar situations!



With there being talk about ending agency fees in Wales, and with the work current VP Welfare Nick Fox has put in to create a ‘Rate Your Letting Agent’ system, there are already many positive changes taking place in the world of Student Housing issues. Additionally, Housing Week has consistently been successful as now many first year students know they can go and have their contracts checked in Student Advice before they sign anything.

I want to take things further still.

In November 2017, myself and several other members of the Student Advice Exec decided to properly set up a Housing Action group as a Student-Led Service. The aim is really just to educate and inform students on the relevant housing issues throughout the year- including more than just our usual “don’t rush!” advice. We want students to know exactly what they should do if they move in and things aren’t what they were promised. We want students to know what to say and what to look out for on a viewing. We want to help students understand just how legally binding a housing contract is. Essentially, we want to empower students with all of the knowledge, skills, and experience that they need in order to a) choose the best possible housing situation for the year and to b) act quickly if there are problems and c) know their rights and responsibilities as tenants.

Housing Action has not yet been fully established, but we are hoping to have everything finalised and ready to go by the end of March. We will be on the lookout for as many passionate individuals as possible to get involved, so please do not hesitate to let me know if this is a Student-Led Service you would like to be a part of.

If elected, I would work closely with Housing Action on spreading student housing awareness throughout the year, and not just during designated housing weeks/fortnights. I would also look to build on work already done on ratings for letting agents. I really think that arming all students with the information that they need in order to make the absolute best decisions for themselves is the way to go.

Student Housing can be the cause of so many welfare-related issues, and that if why I want to do everything that I can to prevent said issues before they begin.

Hobbs the Builder would love to improve all Student Housing situations.

Please vote for me!

Spreading Awareness of Support on Offer



In this post, I outline a key welfare issue. I will then propose part of a solution that I think will help combat this issue.


One thing I love about our Students’ Union is the tremendous level of help and support available to all students. Until I got involved with Student Advice when I was in Second Year, I had no idea just how much support is on offer, just how many services exist to aid student welfare and wellbeing.

Through the Students’ Union, you can access all kinds of help that you might need at any time for any particular issue. Some services are more about your general health and wellbeing, some help you if you experience housing difficulties, others support your sexual health, some help develop you as an individual in all kinds of ways, some offer independent financial advice, some offer all kinds of advice on all kinds of issues…



Student Advice.

Disability & Dyslexia.



Student Advice.

Student-Led Service (TBC)


Mental Health:

Counselling & Wellbeing.


Student Minds

Skills Development Service.



Advice & Money




Careers & Employability


Skills Development Service

Cardiff Volunteering


Sexual Health:




Student Advice

Health & Wellbeing



All of these services exist and can help enormously throughout your time at Cardiff University, yet so many of them aren’t being used by a significant number of students who are in need of them.



If elected, I would look into finding all sorts of ways to promote awareness of these services. For the past two years I’ve volunteered with Student Advice and helped out during Freshers’ campaigns. You might remember me from hanging around while you were moving into halls and trying to chat to you about the SU and all of the available services then! Because of this, I know how effective face-to-face communication can be when getting the word out about things.

Taking the time and effort to physically go to students and have proper conversations with them instead of waiting for them to come to us in the Union is a key campaign principle I would use when promoting awareness of the student help and support services that are available to all. Nobody should feel like they are alone, and I think knowing about support before you need it is key.

One of the ways in which we could spread the reach of SHAG, for example, would be to take C-Card both to the Heath Park Campus and to First Year Halls in Talybont.

By having events during (and possibly even before) Freshers’ Week, we could maximise awareness of the existing services. Online training modules for students to complete before coming to Cardiff could ensure that all students are aware of all of their support options ahead of time. Academic schools could also provide information about SU services during induction processes.

As you can see, I am full of ideas on how we can spread the word and the message of support to students from the very beginning of their time in Cardiff. I also have lots of ideas on how we can keep this awareness momentum going on throughout the year!

Please vote for me to see more visibility of the ways in which your union can help you!

You can vote for me here!

Increasing Support for First Year Students

In this post, I outline a key welfare issue. I will then propose part of a solution that I think will help combat this issue…


Engaging with and better supporting First Year students is one of the key ways in which I would hope to increase the overall welfare of the student population.

If students feel supported in their first year, they will be far better placed throughout their time at university to seek the services that they may require, and to feel empowered to do so.

A lot of students come straight from Sixth Forms/Colleges where there is a huge amount of support available. Students may go from regularly spending time with tutors and teachers and feeling supported in all aspects of their learning and their wellbeing to coming to uni where there’s not really any of that at all. Or at least, where there is a large amount of help and support that students are not aware of, for example Student Advice, Counselling & Wellbeing, Disabilities & Dyslexia, Skills Development Courses… I will elaborate on some of these services and more in my post about generally increasing awareness of services available.

We may at times underestimate just how hard it can be for some people to go from living at home with families, with friends they may have had all their lives, from schools which place a huge amount of emphasis on student welfare, to come to a university which for some may be hours away from most of what they’ve always known. Some students thrive, others don’t. Adapting not only to a new style of learning and being taught, but also having to navigate new social worlds, having to learn to fully look after themselves, manage finances… It’s a lot to take in all at once. A lot of students don’t feel at all ready or prepared.

Dropping out of university before completing First Year is common. I was one of these people when I first went away to university in 2014, and the many things I experienced then have resulted in me becoming so passionate about student welfare now.



Personal Tutor systems vary throughout Academic Schools, and even within them. One of the things I would like to lobby for, if elected, would be to standardise Personal Tutor training and practice. I think introducing Tutor Groups with a few compulsory sessions per-term might help to bridge the gap of support which I know exists. A lot of students never even meet their Personal Tutor. I think this is unacceptable. Personal Tutors also need to be fully trained in pastoral care. They should be able to signpost students to university and union services that can help them, and maintain a certain level of support.

Personal Tutors should make an effort to know their tutees. Group sessions could be incorporated within Campaign Weeks: a half hour session could involve talking about Speak Week and the ways in which the students think the University/Union could be run better, another could involve Mind Your Head Week, with students learning about the university’s current support systems, talking about how we could improve those, and discussing various self-care techniques.

If students grow used to occasionally having these off-topic, less academic-based discussions with their Personal Tutor, it may be easier in the future for them to go and see them with problems that might have an impact on their academic work. Introducing a level of familiarity would also help redress the issue that so many students really are just made to feel like numbers to the university. All students should feel valued and supported, and I think this may be one of the ways in which we can achieve this.

These sessions would be far less intense than seminar-style discussions, and could have added benefits like students getting to know each other and making friends on their course. It can be especially hard for First Year students who don’t live in halls to get to know their peers and make friends; this might be a way to help.

I think these kinds of Group Sessions would be especially beneficial to First Year students, but would also benefit other year groups too. In fact, it may be that a mixture of different year groups mean that you get peer-support or mentoring happening easily, casually, and almost by default. This would be helped further by ensuring that course-based societies are as accessible as possible, and also that all students are encouraged to get involved.


If you like any of my ideas, please consider voting for me to be your next VP Welfare & Campaigns. I really care so much and I really think I could make such a positive difference to the overall student experience.

You can vote for me simply by clicking here and putting a nice number 1 in the box next to my name (or a 2… or a 3…. or a 4… or a… even if I’m not your fave, transferrable voting is cool friends!)

Campaign Video


If you would like to view myself and some friends embarrassing ourselves in the Students’ Union, look no further!


You can vote here or you can vote at one of many polling areas around campus.

It really would mean so much to me to be your VP Welfare & Campaigns, and I really think I have the appropriate skills, insights, and passion to make a difference.

If you’d told me barely a year ago that I’d one day put myself forward for something like this, I never would have believed you. This just goes to show how transformative my time with the Students’ Union has been. I want to find ways to make sure that every student has similarly positive experiences of University and Union life. One of the ways of achieving this is to improve overall wellbeing and welfare. I care so deeply and if elected I will do everything I can to make student life as good as it can be for as many people as possible.