The National Societies & Volunteering Awards recognise the contributions of student volunteers and student-led societies from UK higher and further education institutions. This year Student Hubs is honoured to be hosting the awards in partnership with Organised Fun.
Since Student Volunteering Week in February we have been watching the nominations come flying in. We received over 340 nominations from 52 different institutions. It’s been a joy to read all the incredible things students have been doing over the past year across the country. Our judging panels start this week, and over the next three weeks, student leaders and sector specialists will be reviewing the top 12 nominations in each category – the longlist – and identifying the shortlist (top 6 nominations), winners and runners up.
Today we are excited to announce the longlist for each category. We received so many wonderful nominations, it was really hard to pick the longlist to go forward to the judging panels. We want to recognise everyone this year, and hope that even if you didn’t make it through this round, you’ll still join us on 23rd May in Reading for the in-person awards evening.
Take a look below to see if you made it! We would have loved to include everyone’s entire nomination but to make it more accessible, key details about each nomination has been lifted from their application.
The Extra Mile Award
This is the only award that is only awarded to an individual – Recognising someone that has overcome significant challenges to volunteering or society involvement. We know that thousands of students volunteer despite personal difficulties, and we want to showcase some of these students. The winning student doesn’t need to have done hundreds of hours of volunteering but they need to have had an impact on those around them.
Anton Korchagin – President of Ukrainian Society at UCL.
Anton has led the society and the wider Ukrainian community at UCL through an unimaginably difficult year since the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. Over the past year, he has re-founded the society which has provided wellbeing advice, donations and support links, and information on the war. Anton has been nominated due to his determination and pride in seeking to educate and inform all about the invasion and support Ukrainians both in and outside of the country.
Dimitris Menelaou – Project Leader for Lingo Project at University of Essex.
Dimitris is the Project Leader for Lingo Project, a volunteering project that runs after school clubs teaching language lessons to primary school children. During his year as project leader, he has substantially increased participation both in volunteers and children who attend the sessions. He goes above and beyond to raise awareness about the project, such as promoting it within the Linguistics department, and the volunteering team. Alongside this, Dimitris has also been a session leader for Teaching Assistants volunteering project, a volunteer for a clothing exchange project, and has also founded a new society this year focusing on neurodiversity. He has done this all whilst managing significant personal challenges.
Taylor Allsop – Multiple Roles at Cardiff University
Taylor has been nominated for the exceptional lengths they go to advocate for LGBTQIA+, BAME, and neurodivergent students, ensuring inclusivity in all they are participating in. Their introduction of ‘sensory reduction sessions’ at the end of rehearsals has been met with a lot of praise and positive responses from members as a whole, not just those with any form of neurodivergency, and has created a better atmosphere in terms of mental health too, especially if there’s been a lot of work going on in rehearsals or if anyone’s had a particularly bad day mentally.
Alfie Benson – President of Maths Society and Project Leader of VTeam Numbers Project at University of Essex.
Alfie has been nominated due to their commitment to supporting volunteering at Essex and going above and beyond in their dedication over the past two years, whilst also navigating other challenging responsibilities. Alfie has drastically improved the quality of the Numbers Project and the impact of this has been seen far beyond the university bubble in local schools.
Emilia McRobie – Team Leader of Uni Boob Edge Hill at Edge Hill University.
Despite facing an incredibly challenging year personally, Emilia has doubled down on their commitment to Uni Boob and their Team, and has created an environment where all members of the team thrive. Emilia has been nominated for their hard work over the past three years and to acknowledge that without them the Team quite probably wouldn’t exist!
Bethany Spain – Founder of Strathclyde Book Club, Journalism Society, and StrathZine at University of Strathclyde.
Bethany has been nominated due to their commitment of launching and running a variety of societies at Strathclyde whilst at university, and in doing so developing these societies to achieve more.
Danny Humby – Chair of the Student Radio Association at Southampton Solent University.
Danny is the Chair of the Student Radio Association, a voluntary organisation which supports student radio stations across the UK. Danny has been nominated due to the leadership they have demonstrated whilst navigating difficulties left behind by previous executive teams. Going above the typical volunteer expectations, Danny has bought the organisation back into a favourable position whilst prioritising accessibility, inclusivity, and mental health support for all.
Emma Reavey – Multiple Roles at University of Strathclyde.
Emma has been nominated for this award as she is an inspiration to all those who engage with her. Sitting on the committee for a wide range of societies, she is also a UN Delegate, and has focused on raising awareness of inclusivity on campus. She has created a safe environment which also challenges everyone to do more and be better.
Rose Taylor – Community Leader of Survivors’ Support Network at Nottingham Trent University.
Rose is the Community Leader of the Survivors’ Support Network and the face of the community. Working with such a vulnerable group, Rose has had a tremendous impact on those around her, both through advocating for support but also by directly supporting those who need help.
Penny Tate – President of Eco Society at Bath Spa University.
Penny has been nominated due to the significant impact they have had as the only committee member of EcoSociety this year. Even though Penny has led the society alone, they have achieved lots including getting the Careers Team to create a brand new ethical careers policy and stop advertising fossil fuel careers.
Viviana-Georgiana Tif – Multiple Roles at University of Essex.
Viviana-Georigiana has been nominated for the breadth of activities she is committed to and leads at the University of Essex. The variety of roles they have taken on has allowed her to leave an incredible mark on campus and the local community.
Joshua Airstrop – Multiple Roles at University of Sheffield.
Joshua has been nominated to recognise the sheer impact he has had on the face of the University of Sheffield. As Chair of Societies Committee, Joshua has supported all student-led activities, whilst also being a member of a range of faculty committees representing his department and faculty. Joshua has been noted as a friendly, well known member of the Sheffield Student Body, and has managed to do all this whilst navigating personal challenges both in his journey to higher education and whilst at university.
You can get your tickets to the in-person awards ceremony on Tuesday 23rd May at 3Sixty Reading, at Reading University Students’ Union here. Early Bird ticket prices are available till 21st April!