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Naomi Box's story – Bath Spa University

Naomi develops cultural partnerships and engages with Bath Spa alumni, providing support for our community.

Naomi joined Bath Spa's Development and Alumni Relations office in 2012 and is now our Advancement and Civic Engagement Manager. In her current role she looks after everything to do with fundraising, alumni relations and Bath Spa’s civic role within the community.

Supporting our community

Our cultural partners

Our connections with cultural partners are vast and lead to strong links with the local community. These partnerships were first formed to raise awareness of the University as a reputable arts and cultural institution. Our partners benefit from access to the University's vast range of staff and students. 

Young people in Bath and North East Somerset (BANES)

One of our partners, Youth Connect South West (YCSW) works with disengaged young people and individuals who may be excluded from the education system or who just need a bit of extra support and guidance. YCSW offers dynamic alternative education programmes for young people who can't access mainstream education, as well as employability training.

This partnership aims to benefit both Bath Spa students and the communities that Youth Connect support. A key part of this is a funded Community Events Coordinator placement at YCSW for a Bath Spa student.

Showcasing Bath's history and culture

Our partner, Fairfield House, is an important piece of Bath’s history and a building of significant importance to Ethiopians and Rastafari. It’s home to the charity, Bath Ethnic Minority Senior Citizen Association (BEMSCA), and is a place of vibrant cultural activity, recreation and worship.

Our partnership with Fairfield House offers lots of great projects for our students to get involved with.

"Our partnerships have benefits for both Bath Spa and the community".

Benefits for the Bath Spa community

Our partners have access to the University's vast range of staff and students. Meanwhile, our students can receive beneficial work or volunteer experience while also learning from professionals.

Over 600 students have benefited directly from involvement with these organisations through visits, placements or other opportunities. These partnerships also provide Bath Spa students with the opportunity to meet people from diverse backgrounds who they wouldn’t normally meet.

For our staff, they get to work on research with external partners which is beneficial for both parties. It allows us to have conversations with people who we wouldn’t normally have access to and provides the opportunity for us to collaborate and connect with such a wide and diverse group.

Keeping in touch with alums

Bath Spa has a vast alumi network ranging decades. One of the key elements is our alum database, in which alumni are sent monthly news and updates about the University. Relationship building and engagement is hugely important for our students and alumni. We offer exclusive alumni benefits and services. Regardless of whether alums graduated last year or a few decades ago, they’re still a part of our diverse international community.

Mentoring is an invaluable experience that our alumni contribute to. It enables our current students to benefit from the experience of those who studied here before them.

“It’s important for us to stay in contact with alums because they make our community. I also love to hear their latest stories and news.”

Honorary Degree Project

Last year, I began a project to offer Honorary Degrees to alums who currently hold a Certificate in Education from one of our predecessor institutions: Bath Academy of Art, Bath College of Domestic Science, and Newton Park Teacher Training College.

We wanted to celebrate the academic rigour demanded by the Certificate of Education and for subsequent services to education. The University sent out thousands of emails about honorary degrees and numerous people responded.

We've approved hundreds of applications already from people of all ages - some in their 90s and who is nearly 100 years old. It’s been wonderful to hear stories from our alums and the work that they’ve accomplished. I can’t wait to celebrate with them at our celebration event later in the year.

"Our alums are the people who trod the path that we’re on now and their history, knowledge, expertise, and experience have made Bath Spa what it is today. Without them, we wouldn't be where we are now."

About Naomi

I practise yoga every morning, a routine I’ve kept for the past couple of years. I’m also often outside walking my one-year-old Border Collie. I live in Cornwall, where I surf often and volunteer for a charity called the Wave Project which focuses on supporting young people with mental or physical difficulties by getting them into the water and teaching them how to surf. 

The people who work at Bath Spa are what make it so special. I love being able to talk to anyone in an environment where everyone is open and honest as well as friendly and approachable. I enjoy my job because of the people who make up our community.

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