On Tuesday 18 May, four students from Royal Holloway, University of London, were awarded with Surrey Lord-Lieutenant’s Award of Appreciation for their work in supporting the local community in Egham, Englefield Green and surrounding areas.
The Surrey Award of Appreciation launched this year to recognise and celebrate local people serving their communities in exceptional ways.
The students were presented their awards by the Principal of Royal Holloway, Professor Paul Layzell at a small ceremony outside of the Founder’s Building, on the university’s Egham campus.
The Royal Holloway students who received an Award of Appreciation from the Surrey Lord-Lieutenant, were:
- Vasil Lazarov – 3rd year Politics, International Relations and Philosophy student
- Dan Philips – 1st year Law and Criminology student
- Faye Tolliday – 3rd year Music student
- Alice West – 3rd year Psychology student
Vasil Lazarov is the team leader for Royal Holloway’s Foodbank social action project, supporting the local Runnymede Foodbank. He has been pivotal in co-ordinating fundraising to support local people in food crisis, he raised £700 in January and February this year.
Vasil has also led other volunteer initiatives at Royal Holloway, such as delivering festive gift bags to local elderly residents at Grove Court in Egham at Christmas and delivering weekly fruit baskets to local students who were self-isolating due to Covid-19.
Dan Philips is the team leader for Royal Holloway’s Love your Community project. He also adapted a number of local community campaigns during the pandemic, including the ‘Paint a Poppy’ campaign; where local schools and residents were encouraged to find a stone in their local area and paint a poppy or something in relation to Remembrance Sunday on it. Dan was also involved with the Englefield Green Memorial Trust, Power of Positivity and PenPal scheme that supported other student’s during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dan has recently organised ‘Supporting your NHS’, an initiative that will provide care parcels to frontline workers at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. In addition to all of these local community projects, Dan has raised £1,400 as part of Royal Holloway’s #OurEverest challenge in support of the British Lung Foundation.
Faye Tolliday leads ‘Holloway Notes’, a choir for local people with learning disabilities, providing a relaxed, safe and fun environment for all members of the choir. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Faye moved Holloway Notes online and in May 2020, the group received the Judge’s Choice Award at the National Societies and Volunteering Awards.
Faye has been crucial in ensuring the continuation of the Holloway Notes and has created song videos via Zoom such as ‘Here comes the sun’ and ‘Don’t stop believing’.
Alice West is the team leader for Sing Along-Surrey. The group visit residential care homes to host sing-along sessions with the residents. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Alice adapted the project to become a pen pal scheme, writing to elderly residents and producing videos of students singing to share with the care homes during lockdown.
Speaking about the achievements of all students, Phil Simcock, Volunteering Manager at Royal Holloway, said: “I have been wonderfully inspired and encouraged by how our student volunteers have led their community initiatives with courage, determination and sensitivity during this academic year. It is a real honour to have their efforts recognised by the Surrey Lieutenancy and I know they were truly amazed at this unexpected announcement.”
Professor Paul Layzell, Principal of Royal Holloway, added: “It was with great pride that, as a Deputy Lieutenant, I was able to present our students with the new Surrey Lieutenancy Award of Appreciation. We are incredibly proud of all our students and staff who have contributed in supporting the wider community during this time of immense challenge and uncertainty.
“Volunteering offers the chance to gain valuable skills for future employment, learn new interests and make a genuine difference to our local community. I am pleased that our students are being recognised for their continuous hard work and dedication.”
For more information on Royal Holloway volunteering, click here.