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On 8 June, UCL Students’ Union hosted the annual Volunteering Awards live from Bloomsbury Theatre!

We would like to present the Student-led project winners:  #DataforGood which won the Best Newcomer Award and UCL Next Top Doctor - this year’s Project of the Year! 

NEXT TOP DOCTOR - Project of the Year

‘We are all very privileged to have won. I have really enjoyed working with everyone, our volunteers have been fantastic and partner schools have been great to work with.’ 
Charlotte Casteleyn 
Project Leader of Next Top Doctor 

UCL Next Top Doctor is an outreach project, working with non-selective state schools in central London. The project educates Year 10 and Year 12 pupils about careers in healthcare and equips them with the motivation and knowledge to pursue them. This academic year, Next Top Doctor has continued to nurture interest, knowledge, and a wide range of skills within both pupils and volunteers! 

UCL Next Top Doctor’s community impact 

UCL Next Top Doctor has improved pupils’ understanding of what healthcare careers exist, and involve, what life as a medical student is like, what life as a doctor is like, and what the medical school application process involves. Volunteers delivered almost 30 hours of interactive teaching to six classes of pupils despite this year’s challenges. After their school sessions, students’ understanding of healthcare careers, for example, improved from 25% to 72%! 

UCL Next Top Doctor has also significantly impacted our volunteers, 100% of whom felt that volunteering in the project helped improve their teaching skills, confidence when teaching, and teamwork abilities, with 93% also saying that it helped improve their presentation skills.

UCL Next Top Doctor’s improvement over the last year

The team revamped all teaching materials to make sessions more accurate, engaging, and accessible, made pupil handbooks to supplement the sessions, and volunteer handbooks with advice for teaching and troubleshooting information. In previous years, Next Top Doctor has run as four sessions, but this year they introduced a new fifth session with a paediatric neurosurgeon, who gave students a real insight into a medical career through her ‘Day in the Life’ talk. 

UCL Next Top Doctor also authored a summary report compiling all the feedback data from this year to showcase the project’s impacts and serves as a benchmark for future Project Leaders to enable long-term evaluation of the scheme.

#DATAFORGOOD - Best Newcomer

‘I am very proud to be able to receive this award on behalf of #DataforGood. Honestly, none of it would be possible without the hard work and dedication of our Project Leaders and volunteers.’ 
Project Leader of #DataforGood

Due to Covid-19, the third sector is facing numerous challenges on the financial spectrum.  #DataforGood aims to leverage data analytics to scale impact in the social sector, and this year, the project supported charities with upcoming projects and grants through timely and data-driven advice. 

#DataforGood’s community impact 

This year, #DataforGood partnered with beneficiaries from new sectors, such as Agriculture, and worked with Childhood Trust, Holborn Association, AWARD, and ProducersDirect. The project provided UCL students with a passion for data analytics the opportunity to work on live projects, enhance their technical skills, and develop meaningful relationships with like-minded peers. The team has also partnered with the UCL Data Science Society and UCL School of Management Societies to hold Tableau Workshops with industry professionals for the wider UCL community.

#DataforGood as a learning experience 

Project Leaders gained significant leadership experience through close coordination with their assigned beneficiaries and passed down their technical skills to volunteers. Likewise, volunteers had a close mentor to lead them through a realistic technical project, allowing them to not only improve their skills but also have a real social impact

Inspired to start your own Student-led volunteering project? Find out more and share your ideas with us here!