Sarah Edmunds joins Birmingham Guild of Students as Director of Support and Development.

The Guild of Students is a democratic membership organisation and aims to be the authoritative voice on issues that matter the most to the University of Birmingham’s 36,000 students. Its work has been recognised as sector-leading, and it recently gained an ‘Excellent’ National Union of Students Quality Students’ Union mark, placing it within the top three unions across the country.

The Director of Support and Development will lead the advancement and growth of membership services that serve a diverse student body. This includes a Student Community Welfare and Mentoring scheme, a Jobs, Skills and Volunteering department, a Lettings service and Student Advice service.

Society conducted a UK-wide search across Not-For-Profit and Education sectors, focussing particularly on those in students’ unions, universities, and other organisations with support services. We were looking for an ambitious candidate who could demonstrate their strategic experience overseeing successful membership or community services, and a commitment to leading diverse teams.

Sarah joins from the National Union of Students (NUS), an organisation she has worked with for three and a half years. She has built a career within the student movement, beginning with her time as a highly engaged student, through to working for the Students’ Union at Durham, then working with unions at Endsleigh Insurance Services, and lastly with NUS. Over the past two years in her role as Membership Engagement Manager, Sarah has been instrumental in growing Membership Engagement at NUS, working with members to help them utilise their membership. As a result, Sarah’s understanding of the sector is well developed and she has proven leadership capabilities with her own team, students, officers, and staff members across other students’ unions.

Sarah said of her appointment:

“I have always admired Birmingham Guild of Students as a high functioning organisation; representing the views of their students and working to create the best environment for them. They have also been recognised as an Excellent union through NUS’ Quality Students’ Union award. Having come from NUS, I am interested to see what the next step is for an Excellent union, and how we can go further for our students”.

On her experience of working with Society, Sarah added:

“Society were extremely helpful through this process, providing information on the Guild, and keeping in regular communication. Upon receiving the offer I felt that Society and I were able to celebrate together, which was a wonderful feeling”.