This Scottish Results Day, we wanted to congratulate everyone on their Highers results and welcome you to university life! STAR groups across Scotland and the rest of the UK work tirelessly to play their part in welcoming refugees, and we wanted to introduce you to one of the leaders. Meet Ellie Carter, the President of STAR Edinburgh, where students are campaigning, volunteering, educating and fundraising in order to make a difference.
STAR Edinburgh is a large student run-society focused on fundraising and raising awareness for refugee groups within Edinburgh and beyond. We are made up of students of all years and normally have an active presence at fresher’s week events where many first-year students choose to join us. The fact that we are not a hierarchical or formal society means that no matter how long you have been at university you can become really involved in our society early on!
For example, last year a group of first-year students came together to make a mural of Idlib for the storefront of a local Syrian sweet shop, which was completely off their own backs.
STAR is a great society to join when arriving at university because it has a large number of regular members and attendees therefore making it easy to make friends, as well as allowing you to have some autonomy over how you participate in fundraising or event planning.
Last year, STAR Edinburgh hosted a large number of successful events and fundraisers, for example we raised over £1000 through our vintage clothes sale, we also hosted a sold out ABBA club night which raised almost £800. Our most exciting new initiative this year was our collaboration with a local group, Syrian Futures with whom we hosted a highly successful ‘Syrian Culture Night’ featuring Syrian food and Dabka dancing and speeches from their teenage members.
We have just launched our campaign for next year with the International Syrian institution for education with whom we are aiming to raise £6000 by December to sponsor 30 Syrian Students to take the English language exam, allowing them to attend University in the UK in the following year. If one was to join STAR Edinburgh in September this is a campaign they could help with in real time and we always appreciate any new ideas or inspirations, check out our fundraiser page here to see the ideas members of the Committee have come up with so far to help raise money.
Congratulations on your results and good luck with all the excitement which is to come for you in the coming years!
There are over 50 STAR groups at universities across the UK that are waiting to welcome you, you can also start your own STAR group if there isn’t one at your university.