Award winners honoured for incredible efforts

Making an exceptional difference to the experiences of others at Leeds has been recognised through a prestigious awards scheme.

Dr Suzanne Young, Sarah Harvey Richardson, Surajan Singh and Niamh Byrne (pictured clockwise, from top right) celebrated success in this year’s Leeds Partnership Awards

Leeds Partnership Awards profile features. June 2021

The latest in our feature series – profiling winners in all 14 categories of this year’s Leeds Partnership Awards – highlights the outstanding accomplishments of recipients of the Innovation and Positive Impact accolades.

The coveted awards celebrate those people who truly put into practice the Leeds Partnership – an agreement setting out our shared commitment to work together to support all aspects of our University community.

And with nearly 2,200 nominations, there has been plenty to celebrate.

Innovation Award

The Innovation Award celebrates a person or group using innovative methods and approaches to engage and excite others. This may be through embracing new technology, developing new and innovative ways to enhance the student experience, or presenting challenging ideas in a way that sparks discussion and further understanding.

As an institution, innovation ensures we can respond receptively and proactively to change, maximising our resources for the creation and sharing of new knowledge.

This year, there were joint staff winners of the award – Niamh Byrne and Sarah Harvey Richardson.

Positive force for good

Niamh Byrne is Community Engagement Activities Co-ordinator in the School of Law.

Former Interim Head of School, Professor Joan Loughrey, was among those to nominate Niamh for the award. She said: “Niamh has organised a set of community activities within the School of Law this year.

“She is an incredibly positive force for good and works really hard. In addition to these community-building activities, which came at particularly dark times in the past 24 months and brought people together and got them fit, she also organises – along with Lydia Bleasdale – the Law School’s co-curricular community engagement activities, and does a fantastic job of that.”

Niamh said: “I’m incredibly honoured to be one of the staff winners for the Leeds Innovation Partnership Award.

“It means so much to be recognised by colleagues and students for an area I’m so passionate about. I’m very lucky to be surrounded by a wonderfully supportive team, which acknowledges the value and importance of continuous improvement. Having the space to think innovatively and then act on these ideas is not always easy to find, and I’m so thankful to those who allow me this space and encourage such thinking, particularly during the past year having all faced many new challenges and learning curves.”

Leeds Partnership Awards profile features. June 2021

Niamh Byrne, joint staff winner of the Innovation Award

Going above and beyond expectations

The other staff winner of the Innovation Award is Sarah Harvey Richardson, Outreach and Saturday Club Project Officer in the Arts and Humanities Outreach Team, Educational Engagement.

Abigail Harrison Moore, Professor of Art History and Museum Studies, was among those to nominate Sarah for the award. She said: “Sarah has continued to make such an incredible difference in our ability to reach out creatively to teachers and young people through the most difficult of times.

“She provides leadership, strategy, support and delivery for a suite of programmes that ensure we can deliver creative education to a wide diversity of pupils in the UK. Sarah does this by managing two key programmes, as well as her other work. Both had to be rapidly re-thought in order to continue to deliver them through covid-19, and Sarah has not only done this majestically, she has also added in new programmes to support teachers through the most difficult of years.

“Sarah enables us to make a difference, and to ensure that teachers and pupils across the UK feel supported by the University. She’s incredibly thoughtful, strategic and compassionate and always goes above and beyond my expectations!”

Sarah said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have won the Partnership Award for Innovation.

“It’s a real privilege to work with the Arts and Humanities Outreach Team and the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, to continue to creatively engage young people and teachers during these difficult times. I’m very proud to be part of such inspiring national partnership projects … working to widen participation in art, art history and higher education.”

Leeds Partnership Awards profile features. June 2021

Sarah Harvey Richardson, joint staff winner of the Innovation Award

Positive Impact Award

The Positive Impact Award recognises the person who has made an exceptional difference to others’ experiences through an outstanding contribution to their school, faculty, department or service, or who has worked hard to make individuals’ experiences better.

The range and scope of nominations tell a story of excellence across the board, with many examples of support for others that embody partnership working. At the heart are individuals and teams, demonstrating that it’s the people who really make Leeds what it is.

Again, judges selected two winners – Dr Suzanne Young for staff and Surajan Singh for students.

Delighted and surprised

Dr Suzanne Young is Associate Professor in Criminal Justice and Criminology (Teaching and Scholarship).

She said: “I’m delighted to have won the Positive Impact Award for staff – it was a real surprise when I heard the news.

“I’m very fortunate to be part of the wonderful School of Law community, which has shown kindness and support during the past year. I would like to thank my colleagues and students who took the time to nominate me – it means a lot. And thank you to LUU for awarding it to me.”

Leeds Partnership Awards profile features. June 2021

Dr Suzanne Young, staff winner of the Positive Impact Award

Showcasing student talent

Surajan Singh is a fourth year Product Design student.

Sophie Jenkin, a second year Business Management with Marketing student, was among those to nominate Surajan for the award. She said: “Surajan is managing partner of Leeds Community Consulting – a pro bono initiative aimed at helping local businesses, start-ups and charities improving their services whilst uplifting and showcasing university student talent.

“Surajan has curated a vast team of 70 students, giving them all the attention and opportunities they deserve. He hosts one-to-ones, checking in on all our progress, goals and future ambitions. He’s very kind natured – welcoming a diverse group without expecting anything in return.”

Surajan said: “I’m humbled and honoured to have been awarded the Positive Impact Award this year.

“I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved at Leeds Community Consulting and the impact we’ve been able to make. This would not have been possible without the incredible leadership team at LCC, who’ve all worked extremely hard creating opportunities for students and providing support in the local community.

“Congratulations, too, to all my fellow nominees. In what has been a very challenging past year, your dedication and positivity has helped us all push through it in many ways.”

Leeds Partnership Awards profile features. June 2021

Surajan Singh, student winner of the Positive Impact Award

Further information

More in-depth profiles of each of the winners will appear on the For Staff website during the coming weeks. These will also be promoted via the weekly All Staff enewsletters and the Staff Twitter account.

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