Leeds for Life student volunteers honoured

Some of the extraordinary achievements of Leeds student volunteers were celebrated at the 2011 LeedsforLife Citizenship Awards ceremony on 4 May.

Introducing the awards to the audience of staff, students, alumni, and public and private sector representatives, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Student Education, Professor Vivien Jones, said that the volunteers recognised by the awards represented just the tip of the iceberg.  Every year, over 2,000 students get involved in projects supported by the University, LUU societies, the Volunteering and Community Office, Action and RAG fundraising.  Professor Jones said: "Our aim is to support the development of outstanding graduates who have gained valuable experiences and an ability to confidently articulate their own skills development through a range of activities.  Volunteering forms part of this key offer to our students.  We want our students to go forward into the world and continue to make a positive impact."

Commenting on the nominations, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Arthur, said: "I personally feel humbled by these amazing young people who, despite significant academic and social commitments, still find the time and dedication to support others.  As we enter challenging times for the sector as a whole, the University has a firm commitment to LeedsforLife and the student experience.  We know the value of our students' contribution to society and we firmly believe in sustaining our support for students to take part in a wide range of activities that will bring their skills, passions, interests and creativity to bear on wider society."

The winners and shortlisted nominees in each category were:

Project of the Year Award

Looked After Children Mentoring Scheme
(Winner) Supporting 110 student mentors in recent years to work with young people in care, helping to raise their confidence, support their studies, and provide role models

Everest Base Camp
Celine Wo, Katie Louden, Victoria Strawson

Marks in Time Project

Outstanding Contribution

Harry Coleman
(Joint winner) Work for Homed, recruiting and co-ordinating student volunteers supporting the homeless in Leeds, and for Action's Easter and Summer Holiday projects taking local children away for a break away from the city

Jane Mitchell
(Joint winner) Hospital work in Bihar, India, a voluntary sector centre supporting over 5 million people

Ben Fisher
(Joint winner) As outgoing President of Action, work including creating new volunteering opportunities through LUU societies, training students in child protection work, and working with LUU societies to establish new projects

Adam Whybro
(Joint winner) Contribution to the Looked After Children Mentoring scheme, supporting trips and setting up a network of undergraduate mentors

Community Award

Law's Community Work
Travis Finlayson, David McCluskey, Jayne Murphy, Dashini Ramrous and Amarjit Rayat (Winners) - a range of community legal projects, including a free legal advice service and activities to raise awareness of the law amongst disadvantaged young people

Outdoor Mix
Jemima Heap and Natalie Tui

Social Responsibility in Action
Jennifer Shaw

Education Award

Student Action for Refugees
Elizabeth Lowenstein (Winner) - leadership of a local action group aimed at raising awareness of and campaigning on issues affecting refugees and asylum seekers.

Student mentors
Harriet Endley and Nick Verrill

The School Reps Project
Laura Elson and Lisa Burton

LeedsforLife Foundation Award

Drug Rehabilitation Research
Emma Schroder (Winner) - a challenging trip to Nepal to research drug rehabilitiation services in the country

Perceptions of Leprosy
Jessica Gutjar

Playground Project
Katie Walsh

Sport and Wellbeing Award

Action Windsurfing
Rahim Kheraj, Harry Roberts and Ben Fisher (Winners) - a project to teach young people from inner city schools and at risk of being "not in education, training or employment" to windsurf

Green Streets
Emma Trevakiss

RAG Bike to Berlin
Laura Evans, Jo Sawkins, Peter Renvoize and Craig McColl

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