The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service has been presented to Royal Holloway, University of London’s Community Action programme by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Chancellor, University of London. The award recognises Community Action’s work in helping build strong communities by inspiring students to volunteer and lead projects to support local organisations.
The award was presented at Royal Holloway on 18 October 2017 as The Princess Royal officially opened the university’s new state-of-the-art library and student services centre, the Emily Wilding Davison Building. The building has been named after the campaigner for women’s suffrage, who was a former student at the university.
The Princess Royal presents the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service to student volunteer representative, Sophie Byrne.
In the last year, Royal Holloway’s Community Action programme has recorded 10,416 hours of volunteering, in support of a network of 250 community partner organisations within Surrey. Partners include schools, day centres, and branches of charities such as Age UK and The National Trust. Community Action was recognised both for its contribution to the Surrey community and the also the leadership skills is develops among it volunteers.
Working together to make a difference
Professor Paul Layzell, Principal of Royal Holloway, said: “Congratulations to all our volunteers and the team that supports them. Volunteering is an important part of the Royal Holloway student experience. Through it, our students gain transferable skills including leadership and resilience, and the lasting relationships created between students and the people they help mean that together we have a positive impact locally and across Surrey.”
Phil Simcock, Community Action Volunteer Manager at Royal Holloway, said: “This award recognises the achievement of our student volunteers. It is a testament to the value Royal Holloway places on supporting and inspiring everyone in our community to work together to make a difference.”
Community Action began 15 years ago when the university launched the programme with HE Active Community Funding. Since then it has grown from strength to strength. In the 2017/18 academic year, in addition to ongoing projects that Royal Holloway students will volunteer for, students have initiated and are leading 18 projects. These include English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Tutoring Young Refugees, Food4Lunch schools scheme, Love Your Community initiative, and our students work with Thames21.