Awards ceremony celebrates our amazing students

Inspiring students who have helped transform lives and communities were recognised at this year’s De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) Square Mile Awards.

The event, held at Leicester’s New Walk Museum, celebrated all the hard work and dedication of volunteers who are part of DMU’s award-winning Square Mile programme. Students can sign up to scores of different projects run in Leicester through #DMUlocal or overseas as part of DMU Square Mile India.

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In the past year, DMU Square Mile volunteers have:

•    Taught coding to more than 1,500 primary school children in Leicester
•    Worked at HMP Leicester to transform the prisoners’ visiting room to improve it for families
•    Supported charity Stonewall to help children develop campaigns
•    Served up Christmas dinner to more than 100 elderly and vulnerable people
•    Been trained by Diabetes UK to help people identify their risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes

Compere Josh Hargreaves said: “Choosing these award winners was a long and difficult task, having hundreds of students stand out. Volunteering is a great way to gain valuable experience, learn new skills and make new friends but it makes a crucial difference to communities. We are incredible proud of all our volunteers, they do an amazing job.”

Winner of the Best Volunteer for Health and Life Sciences was Fariya Ahmed, for her work with Diabetes UK community champions. She said: “I signed up for Square Mile during Freshers’ Week and I’ve run diabetes days as a team leader since then. I didn’t expect to see my name as a finalist, let alone win, it’s brilliant.”

Abdulsamad Siddique won Technology volunteer of the year for championing coding classes in primary schools. Abdulsamad, who studies Computing, said: “it’s been a really good experience. I want to go into teaching so I enjoy working with the kids, and putting together classes for them.”

International student volunteer winner was Nabeelah Omarjee, who has supported dozens of different projects including refugee support, Diabetes Community Champions and The C-Word.

She said: “I’ve really enjoyed volunteering and helping with so many different projects. As an international student it helps you feel part of the city.”

Amy Katiti a Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science student, won the Going the Extra Mile Award given to student who has shown incredible dedication in creating a positive impact. She volunteers with charity After 18, which supports young unaccompanied asylum seekers and helps them to adjust to schoolwork. She said: “After 18 is such a worthwhile charity and it’s one that people often don’t know about. You can see the difference in the confidence of the students and it makes you more aware of how lucky we are when you hear what they have been through.”

DMU Indian Society won society of the year for organising an incredible Holi celebration on campus and raising more than £1,000 for good causes to boot.

The Vice-Chancellor’s Award went to Stephanie Maddox, who has volunteered on lifesaving stem cell recruitment drives, being a mentor in schools and joined a DMU Square Mile India trip.

Stephanie, who studies Criminology, got involved when her course leader organised an event at Leicester Prison. She said: “Since then I’ve been on a trip to India, run art workshops and been a behaviour mentor. It’s made my time at university feel more valuable and it feels good to help other people.”

Hayley Fieldsend, who has helped primary school children develop their reading skills, was named best volunteer from the Faculty of Arts, Design and Humanities. Rex Sunting and Jonathan Venpin, from the Faculty of Business and Law, won best faculty volunteers for their work with Shaftesbury Junior School in Leicester, helping them win this year’s PlayDough competition, which teaches young people about stocks and shares.
Posted on Monday 8th May 2017

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