Student Volunteer of the Year — the longlist
Posted on 18 Dec 2015
Nearly 100 nominations were submitted from all over the country for our annual Student Volunteer of the Year Award. Students were nominated by colleges, universities, independent volunteering projects, and national charities, and each nomination brought something different to the table.
We’re happy to share the stories of the 10 students longlisted for our Student Volunteer of the Year Award…
- Jo Devall from the University of Plymouth is a Volunteer Lifeboat Crewman for the RNLI in Plymouth, and former President of UPSU SAINTS Kickboxing Club. In these two volunteering experiences, Jo has developed skills in first aid, has raised money for charity, and lead a community clean-up initiative in a local woodland.
- Liam Rodgers from Sheffield Hallam University is the Project Leader (and founder) of ‘Upscribe’; a creative writing project for homeless people to express themselves through creative writing. Liam led on the creation and publication of a book created through people who participated in the project, and many of them are now published writers!
- Sophie Payne from the University of Bristol is on the Bristol Hub committee, supports Balloon Bikes, and organised a ‘Careers Beyond Profit’ Fair for her fellow students. The Fair was attended by over 200 students with over 20 organisations presenting.
- Simron Kandola from the University of Stirling is the President of the Volunteering Society, Treasurer of the Barnardos Society, and is a mentor and course rep within the students’ union. Simron also volunteers for Oxfam and is involved with TedX events at the university. Through these projects Simron has fundraised for a local food bank, and contributed to the development of the Volunteering Society.
- Jess Vagg from the University of Plymouth is the RAG President and ‘Unicycle’ project leader. Jess has logged more volunteering hours than any other Plymouth student, and is also on track to fundraise around £500,000 through RAG, with the help of the RAG committee and volunteers. As well as this, Jess is involved with Unicycle, a city-wide clothes recycling project.
- Kathleen Crymble from South Lanarkshire College established the Back to School Bank in East Kilbride in summer 2015. The Bank operates in a similar way to a foodbank, but instead provides new school clothes for children living in poverty. Kathleen has used her skills in confectionary to make chocolate bars to raise funds for the project, and has written funding bids to national organisations to bring in money to support the project.
- Samuel Wong from Royal Holloway is a Cabinet Office Volunteer Advisor, Project Leader for numerous volunteering projects, and is involved with the local Police Independent Advisory Group and Young Community Leaders Network.
- Jess Tinkler from the University of Southampton is the Schools Plus Co-ordinator, and a Marine Education Volunteer, and has been involved in a number of other projects through Southampton Hub. Jess has grown the Schools Plus project, recruiting more volunteers and reaching out to more community partners. During her leadership, the project has benefitted over 150 school children.
- Matt Hopgood from the University of Cambridge is the President of the Cambridge Development Initiative, a project that trains volunteers in the UK and Tanzania to run community development projects. Matt successfully managed the UK-Tanzania relationship, trained students to get involved, and organised student trips to Tanzania.
- Zoe Webber from Goldsmiths University is the President of RE:mind mental health society, and is dedicated to volunteering to help students to improve their mental health. Zoe co-founded the Dedicated Listeners project, which is a peer-support listening service.
We hope you enjoyed reading about these inspiring students. Could you could be Student Volunteer of the Year in 2017?
If you’d like to get involved with volunteering, get in touch with your local Hub, volunteering centre, or students’ union who will be happy to help you find a volunteering project!