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Student volunteers praised


12:05pm 8th May 2011

The contribution of thousands of student volunteers to their communities will be celebrated at a special awards ceremony at York’s National Centre for Early Music.

The Higher York Awards for Student Volunteering on Monday, 9 May will see students from across the city recognised for their hard work in support of local good causes. Every year, more than 1,500 students from the four higher education institutions give up their time to raise funds, offer their skills or simply provide a much-needed extra pair of hands for local groups.

This awards ceremony is an excellent way of recognising the positive and valuable contribution students make to the community of York

Jessica Grant, Director of Higher York, said:

 “This awards ceremony is an excellent way of recognising the positive and valuable contribution students make to the community of York.”

This year sees an amazing range of innovative projects being nominated from across all four of the Higher York partner organisations, from an online audio magazine for people with visual impairments to a music outreach project for school children.

Third-year Psychology student Maxine Campion is the University of York’s award winner. She has worked for over two years to develop a mentoring scheme for children and young people, and now works with CAVU, City of York Council’s Pathway Team and Children’s Services to support vulnerable young people across the city. Maxine has recruited a team of student volunteers who are now working to forge links with existing mentoring schemes in York.

Dr Kate Harper, Volunteering Project Officer at the University of York, said:

“Maxine has worked tirelessly at a really challenging and complex project. Working from an initial idea, she has motivated and retained a team of volunteers, won the respect and buy-in of partners at the Council and piloted activity for young people. This project has the potential to make a powerful difference for young people.”

York St John award winner, Rebecca Blain, has been working with The Children’s Society PACT Project, supporting disabled children in their homes and taking them out to leisure activities, as well as supporting them to become volunteers in their local communities themselves.

Kelyn Passmore, Project Worker at PACT, said:

“Becks has been incredible in her commitment and capabilities. She has a fantastic positive approach and builds solid, positive relationships with young people, their families and other volunteers and members of staff. She has made such a difference to several children and young people in a short amount of time and it is brilliant to have her achievements and enthusiasm recognised through this award.”

Craig Deakin is studying Sustainable Land Management at Askham Bryan College and has been involved in numerous volunteering projects most notably raising awareness and the founding of the first Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Trans Society on campus. He is this year’s award winner for Askham Bryan College.

Award winner Jane Morris, who is studying Access to Guidance and Social Work at York College, is using the skills she has gained to benefit vulnerable people in the community. She volunteers as a listener and mentor at York Samaritans and provides support to people who suffer from eating disorders at the SEED project.

Jane was nominated by her personal tutor, Pat Robinson, who said:

“Jane is actively involved in making the lives of vulnerable people better. She is working hard to balance a demanding college course but finds time to support individuals who are facing real difficulties.”

The event, on Monday, 9 May, will be attended by a range of colleagues from across the Higher York partnership as well as over 30 student volunteers, and the Lord Mayor and Sherriff of York. The Higher York Awards for Student Volunteering will be presented by Kersten England, Chief Executive of the City of York Council.

To find out more about Volunteering in York and how you can get involved, visit the York Council for Voluntary Services website Click here


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