Posted on 29/05/2012
Royal Holloway, University of London celebrated the hard work and dedication of its student volunteers at a special award ceremony last night (28 May)
The annual Community Action Volunteering Awards recognises the hours the students spend making a difference to the lives of others and to highlight the positive impact they have on the local community.
Volunteering accreditation certificates were awarded to those who had given more than 30 hours to volunteering during the past year as well as awards presented for individual categories. As the students collected their awards, they spoke of their joy at helping the community, from tutoring and mentoring, working with the elderly and disadvantaged to helping to spruce up the local area.
Dr Terry Ryall, founding Chief Executive of V, the National Young Volunteers Service, was guest speaker for the night. She said she felt privileged to be at the awards and congratulated the volunteers on their contributions.
V was set up in 2006 and is a leading youth engagement charity which provides 14-25 year olds with volunteering and social action opportunities to improve their life skills and employability. Dr Ryall spoke about the charity’s ethos and how V has mobilised a new generation of young volunteers to act on the things they care about and change the world for the better.
Since its inception V has delivered more than one million volunteering opportunities, created a national network of more than 500 voluntary organisations and developed an awards scheme to recognise and celebrate young people’s volunteering - which from this year Royal Holloway has become an approved V award provider.
In the last academic year 700 new students at the College have signed up to become volunteers as well as 15 new community partners who have expressed an interest in benefitting from the students’ help in a range of projects and schemes.
The Mayor of Runnymede, Councillor Linda Gillham, presented student Sophie Crockett-Chaves with the Mayor’s Cup for Student Volunteer of the Year.
After receiving the award Sophie said: “It was very unexpected but a fantastic honour. But it’s not just about me, we have a really enthusiastic student volunteering team and a great Community Action team which has provided me with the opportunity to get involved in so many rewarding projects. The volunteering has been so enjoyable and as well as making loads of new friends you get to engage with the local community and make a difference.”
Community Action volunteer manager Phil Simcock added: “Tonight is all about celebrating and rewarding our student volunteers and the contribution they make to our wider community. Each one of them brings something fresh and innovative and we applaud them for the time they dedicate to helping those around them.”