Inspirational students praised at DMU Square Mile Awards

Inspirational students who have helped make a difference in schools, communities and businesses across Leicester have picked up awards for their efforts.


DMU Square Mile Awards recognised and celebrated the fantastic volunteer work done by hundreds of students across the university under the #DMUlocal banner. The Square Mile works to share the skills of staff and students to help tackle challenges in education and health as well as local and national charities.

Its education work includes helping refugees settle in Leicester, supporting and mentor pupils, teaching coding, and working with primary schools on maths and science projects.

Square Mile’s student volunteers also give their time to help health programmes, offering free hearing tests, diabetes risk assessments and teaching First Aid in schools. DMU Square Mile has also worked in partnership with the Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign to run a series of record-breaking stem cell drives.

In the community, students help solve business challenges through BusinessWorks, volunteer at Citizens’ Advice Bureau and carry out regular clean-ups of areas across Leicester.

David Hollis, DMU Square Mile manager, said: “Every year at these awards we are genuinely amazed at the inspirational work which our students are doing, off their own bat and in their own time, to help projects which have a tangible benefit to people’s lives.

“We are proud of every single one of our DMU Square Mile volunteers and it’s great that we have the chance to celebrate the incredible work that they do.”

One of the big winners on the night was Alice Rose Davis, who took home the Vice-Chancellor’s Award which names the student whose work has made the single largest contribution to the communities she supports.

alice winner inset
Alice has worked with charity After 18, which is set up to support unaccompanied young refugees and asylum seekers, travelled to India to build washrooms in schools and advised people at the Citizens’ Advice Bureau.

She said: “I’m so pleased. It was a complete surprise, I didn’t even know I had been nominated until the day of the awards! It’s incredible.”

jordan reed winner INSET
Jordan Reed won the Community Impact Award for his work at New College, supporting pupils through paired reading and being a mentor. Thanks to his work, he’s been given a job at Rushey Mead School when he graduates.

“I can’t recommend the Square Mile enough,” he said. “I love it. Being able to see the difference you can make to the children in terms of their confidence and their reading, it’s great.”

amy outstanding INSET
Amy Katiti won Outstanding Engagement Award for working with After 18, which helps young unaccompanied refugees by giving them extra learning support and help applying for university.

She said: “We get so much out of giving our time in terms of making new friends, and knowing that we are making a difference.”

On the night, Matthew Mehra from Diabetes UK awarded DMU Square Mile a national honour for its work training students to carry out risk assessments in the community.

Rik Basra, of the Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign was there to present an award along with John Coster of the Leicester Centre for Integrated Living. Steve Vince, of Hewlett Packard, praised the student volunteers in a speech.

The winners were:

Outstanding Engagement Award
Winner: Amy Katiti  for work with After18  

Highly commended: Amelie Flanquart, who supports French language learning at New College and Dominic Thompson, for his work on the coding project

Community Impact Award
Winner: Jordan Reed, New College, who has spent two years working on paired reading and mentoring
Highly commended: Shannon Coote, volunteer with Moving 2Together dance project and Ilayda Tuter, who has helped sign people up to the UK stem cell register with the Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign.

Leadership Award
Winner: Haylie Radburn, who has helped find jobs for people as part of Talent Match job search
Highly Commended: Saiyuf Zulfecar, for support of work to increase the numbers on the UK stem cell register and Mayuri Shah, of the IT4Free project teaching computer skills in the community

Outstanding Commitment Award
Winner: Kulsum Iqbal in recognition of her work on school activities such as coding and mentoring
Highly Commended: Sabiha Akhanji, a listening mentor at New College and Joseph Friel for his commitment to students at New College.

Inspirational Student   
Winner: Anqi Lin, who has helped DMU’s international students become part of the community by volunteering with Square Mile and forming a team to clean Leicester’s canals
Highly Commended: Jessica Okwuonu, for coding and  IT4Free; Abeer Alsaiari, who works at the Race Equality Centre helping refugees and asylum seekers improve English and IT skills and Sumaiya Juma, working with children for whom English is not their first language at Slater Primary.

library lab winner INSET
Student Project of the Year
Winner: Library Lab – a team which have been providing children and parents with science based activities at Leicester’s libraries.
Highly Commended: BusinessWorks, for its work to design and open a charity shop for Leicester Signing Network; DMU Saints and their “Mini Saints” an after school club to teach children cheerleading  

Community Health Award
Winner: Tabassuma Akramul – “her commitment to improving lives of others is apparent to everyone” said judges of Tabassuma’s work as a diabetes community champion and DMU Square Mile’s cancer awareness project
Highly Commended: Fawzi Tarki for being an exceptional role model on the diabetes project

Raising Aspirations Award
Nurudeen Ibrahim who was an “amazing volunteer” at Action Deafness, with whom DMU Square Mile runs its free hearing screenings
Winner: Aatiqah Ebrahim, whose work supporting teachers and pupils at Spinney Hill Primary was “exceptional”
Highly Commended: Dilraj Kaur, After 18; Norman Smith, Play Dough at Dovelands Primary and Jack Preston, mentor at New College Leicester

Vice-Chancellor’s Award
Winner: Alice Rose Davis
Highly commended: Amina Lunat, for spreading Coding in Schools to 22 schools across Leicester. Mara Stenculescu, for English support work at Dovelands Primary

Posted on Monday 25th April 2016

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