The Annual Volunteering Awards Ceremony is coming up in June. It's the perfect chance to reflect on another incredible year of volunteering, and to say a great big thank you to the individuals who have dedicated time and effort to making a difference in a time when the world has needed it most!
What are the Volunteering Awards?
It’s back! The Annual Volunteer Awards season is upon us! You didn’t think a little thing like this ‘new normal’ could stop us, did you? Because it certainly hasn’t stopped any of our incredible volunteers going above and beyond to do some wonderful things this year. In fact, we’re blown away with just how many of you have strived to keep volunteering in new and innovative ways. You’ve helped keep our volunteering community stronger than ever in a time when we’ve needed it most! So now, it’s time to recognise our efforts and celebrate our achievements; the big things, the small things, the ways in which we’re changing the world for good, in a world that’s changing like never before.
That’s exactly what our Volunteer Awards Ceremony is here for; to reflect on a year of volunteering at UCL, to showcase our proudest moments and to say a great big thank you to the individuals who have dedicated time and effort to making a difference. Even though the ceremony won’t be held in person again this year, we’re already down to planning our online event so that it will be one to remember. So, if you’ve not already, start thinking about some super-star volunteers that we ought to know about, and get planning your next “all-dressed-up-with-nowhere-to-go” outfit… because if you needed an excuse to dress up and celebrate, this is it!
As always, we love to celebrate everybody, and we’re not afraid of a little self-love. That’s why not only can you nominate any volunteer you know who’s made an impact, but you can also nominate yourself. In fact, if you want to give your achievements a big shout-out with a self-nomination, then we do too! Whoever you’re nominating, this is a great way to inspire others to volunteer, to let them know that their efforts haven’t gone unnoticed, and to add a little extra sparkle to the overall volunteering experience. If that wasn’t enough, the winners will receive a £50 Amazon voucher. So there really is no excuse not to nominate somebody!
You can nominate for our Volunteer of the Year Award if you know someone (including yourself) who has achieved amazing things this year through volunteering. Alternatively, you can nominate for the Organisation of the Year Award to say thank you to the organisation you've been volunteering with and to show them some much-needed appreciation. For our Project Leaders, you can nominate your student-led volunteering project for our Project of the Year Award. For any projects that started this year or last, you could be in with a chance to win our Best Newcomer Project - you can just fill out the same webform.
Nominating an organisation, a project, or a volunteer takes no time at all; simply tell us who and why and that’s it! We’d love to hear your stories!
A throwback to last year's winners!
To get us excited for the upcoming ceremony, we’ll give you a little throwback to last year’s Awards Ceremony and offer another well-earned round-of-applause to our proud winners.
Eliska Vinkelrova won the Most Committed Volunteer Award for being a “true ambassador” for the Grand Junction project with St. Mary Magdalene’s. Her exceptional commitment and ongoing enthusiasm didn’t go unnoticed by her nominator.
We also had a second winner for this category. Described as “the glue ensuring that Spectrum stayed together” by a fellow volunteer, Yiorgos was Chairperson of Spectrum RUMS, a befriending charity with which he had been working for 5 years. Now that is no mean feat alongside being a Medical student! Congratulations again Yoirgos!
Aemilia Baker won Best Volunteer Moment Award for her personal growth after giving an impactful workshop to students for PPL PWR.
Gabriel Ng Shen Han won the award for Biggest Impact after co-founding and leading the #Data for Good project. His vision, intellectual expertise and leadership abilities earned him the respect of his fellow team mates, and has taken the project from strength-to-strength.
The Wildcard went to postgrad Law student, Conor Courtney for his inspiring role as a volunteer with Brightside, helping future cohorts of legal students. He continues to support them even now.
#Data for Good won Student-Led Project of the Year Award, after they engaged two charities and spearheaded three volunteering projects to improve the way the charities operate. Incredible work! You can find out how you can follow in the footsteps of #Data for Good and set up your own Student-Led Project here.
The Best Newcomer was Kickstart, which delivers Taekwondo sessions to underprivileged children, teaching the art of the sport as more than merely a violent activity, but with so much more to offer them.
Our Organisation of the Year was Spectrum RUMS, a befriending service offered to children with disabilities in Camden. Volunteers describe working with the charity as an “extremely rewarding experience”, and it has succeeded in creating a tight-knit community among Medical Students.
Finally, our Oliver Hare Altruism Award, recognising initiative, empathy and altruism to bring about positive change, went to Aliza Ayaz. She delivered close to 5000 meals to hospital units, and to many others in need during this pandemic, a story of a truly selfless commitment to look after others in our community. You can read more about her story here or check out the award's founding charity, Olly's Future, in loving memory of former UCL student, Oliver Hare.
Are you feeling inspired yet? We sure are, and they were just the highlights! There was some simply incredible work last year, and we have no doubt that this year we will be just as blown away by your volunteering stories. So, now’s your chance. You decide who wins – and it could be you.
And it's not just our special Awards we offer - all our volunteers can request a volunteering certificate as official proof of your volunteering, which you can request here - you'll receive a PDF copy from us in June.
If you’ve got an amazing story to tell, we want to know! Drop us an email telling us about your volunteering experience, and you could be featured as a Volunteer Champion in the promo campaign for the ceremony. Award season or not, we’re also always looking to hear your volunteering stories for our Student Stories page, where you can find out more about what other volunteers have been up to.
Keep in the loop with all things ceremony-related by following us on socials, as well as subscribing to the Volunteering Service Newsletter. We’ll be releasing lots of sneak peaks and more details in the coming months as June approaches! In the meantime, you can find out how to get started with volunteering here. It's really never too late to start creating positive change!
If the Volunteering Awards have left you feeling inspired to become a volunteer yourself, you can check out all of our current opportunities in the Volunteering Directory. There's plenty to choose from, whatever your interests and skills may be. With lots of online opportunities, you really can make a difference to our partner charities and our Student-Led Projects from wherever you are in the world.