University of Winchester volunteers celebrated for outstanding contributions at awards ceremony

1 Apr 2021

Passionate students and staff from the University of Winchester, who volunteer with organisations and people across the city, have been honoured at a special virtual awards ceremony.

The University of Winchester Volunteering and Community Champion Awards 2021 celebrated the impact made by student and staff volunteers in the local community through their volunteering activities. This has been especially important over the last year during the pandemic, with many more local people needing support and help.

Ten Champions were recognised for their volunteering work in the community. Bethany Joseph, a third-year BA (Hons) Education student, scooped the overall Volunteering and Community Champion Award for her work as head of the RAG (Raising and Giving) Society. Despite the pandemic, Bethany has been in touch with other student societies to help with their fundraising, as well as being a Covid vaccinator herself, volunteering at her local church, befriending the elderly at Age UK and dedicating her time at home to raising awareness on issues she feels passionate about.

Other winners included:

  • Ceilidh Monaghan was named Hidden Gems Champion for her work around mental health awareness. She works for an eating disorder charity, and in the past year has travelled to London to develop an early intervention programme for children with eating disorders. These are training courses now delivered across the country to primary aged teachers and NHS staff across the UK.
  • Jess Corkish was named Awareness Raising Champion. During her time on the Schools Plus team at Winchester Hub, Jess has used her placements in schools to identify changing needs and different challenges schools are facing that increase educational inequality. Based on these observations, Jess wrote a proposal for a new sub-programme, Literacy Links, which highlights and engages volunteers in the significant need for guided reading sessions for young children.

Liz Alcock, Manager of the Winchester Hub, said: “This year University of Winchester students and staff have stepped up to help meet the challenges of the pandemic through their volunteering in the community. All our nominees and winners have been outstanding and worked hard to make a real difference locally. I hope the Awards will encourage other people to sign up to volunteer. Our fantastic nominees' individual stories show how volunteering is mutually beneficial for everyone involved."

Nina Lazarski, University Volunteering Co-ordinator, said: “It has been especially important this year to be able to celebrate through these Awards the commitment, achievements and impact of those students and staff who volunteer. They have shown such dedication to supporting their communities, making a difference locally and in some cases nationally. Their enthusiasm and commitment are inspiring, and we are so proud of them all.”
Social justice is one of the University's core values and students and staff are actively encouraged to volunteer in the local community in which they live and work. Opportunities are available via the University's Employer Supported Volunteering scheme, Winchester Hub and the Careers Volunteering Service.

The University of Winchester Community Volunteering and Community Champion Awards received funding support from a variety of organisations, including Hampshire County Council and Winchester Rotary.

The full list of Volunteering and Community Champions 2021 is:

Volunteering and Community Champion
Bethany Joseph BA (Hons) Education

Awareness Raising Champion
Jess Corkish BA (Hons) Primary Education

Covid-19 Volunteer Champion
Jenny Harris BA (Hons) Event Management

Creative Volunteering Champion
Kate Mardon BA (Hons) Media and Communications

Environmental Volunteering Champion
Charlotte Rogers BA (Hons) Sociology

Hidden Gems Champion
Ceilidh Monaghan BA (Hons) Sociology

Staff Change Agent Champion
Nigel Pook, Groundsperson, and Natasha Redfern, Groundsperson

Staff Community Volunteering Champion
Dawn Keenan, IT Skills Development Officer

Student Change Agent Champion
Rosanna Foster BA (Hons) Creative Writing

Student Community Volunteering Champion
Sanah Bukhari BSc (Hons) Psychology

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