An unswerving commitment to using its knowledge and resources to benefit the public good has earned the De Montfort University (DMU) Square Mile project a Guardian University Award for outstanding positive contribution to the local community.
The awards recognise and reward projects in universities that have the potential to inspire others and demonstrate genuine innovation in higher education as well as meaningful impact inside their institutions.
DMU Square Mile utilises a network of student volunteers and academic experts to run projects that have a positive effect on the lives of people in Leicester.
At a glittering award ceremony in London on Wednesday evening (26 February) the judges presented the “Community Contribution” award to DMU Square Mile for its record-breaking work with The Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign to encourage people to sign up to the UK stem cell register.
The stem cell project, which was backed by stars from the world of pop music and sport, has twice broken the record for the single largest recruitment drive held by a university in the UK and in total has brought in more than 1,745 potential donors and chances to save lives.
Underlining the exceptional nature of its work, DMU Square Mile had also been shortlisted in the same category for its Homework Club, which mobilises 200 DMU students in 17 schools in Leicester to provide one-to-one mentoring and learning support for pupils.
Following the announcement of the winner, Square Mile Manager Mark Charlton said: “The Stem Cell project is a fantastic collaboration with the Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign, and has twice broken the record for the single largest recruitment drive held by a university in the UK.
“I can’t put into words how delighted we are to receive this award, so instead we intend to show our pride through action and continue to make an impact wherever we are able.”
DMU Square Mile is the brainchild of the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dominic Shellard, who said: “Students and staff at DMU come to DMU to make a difference. DMU Square Mile exemplifies this. I couldn’t be more proud of our selfless volunteers who have worked so hard with Rik Basra to recruit so many more stem cell donors.
“This award – and our other shortlisted entry - is testament to DMU’s dedication to ensuring higher education is fundamental to bringing about positive change for the public good.”
Posted on Thursday 27th February 2014