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23 May 2006 PR 06/54

Prizes reward community work by University students

Loughborough University prizes have been awarded to students in recognition of their significant contributions to the local community at a ceremony held today (Tuesday 23 May).

The first award, the T.S. Shipman Prize, is for students of the University or College who are considered to have contributed most to the development of co-operation and aid between the University or College and the local community.

In considering nominations for the prize, the assessors noted the considerable evidence they provided of students aiding and working with the local community. They agreed that Ed Sayer should receive a prize (£200) in recognition of work which he has carried out in the community, notably as Young Persons Co-ordinator on the Community Action Management Committee within the Students’ Union.

Ed, from the School of Sport and Exercise Science, has been an active volunteer himself for a number of years. He has undertaken various volunteering activities, including befriending a young person with autism through the National Autistic Society’s befriending scheme. Through this scheme he has committed time each week to develop and maintain this friendship. Through his role as Young Persons Co-ordinator on the Community Action Management Committee with the Students’ Union, he has also been active in recruiting volunteers for various activities. Ed also organised a residential camp for young carers. The camp not only gave these young carers the chance to go on holiday but also the opportunity to have time to themselves without the responsibility of caring for an adult so that they could be children for a week.

The second award, The Hannah Community Prize, is specifically to recognise students’ contribution to local community life, acts of kindness or good neighbourliness. The prize is in memory of a former student, Mr George Alexander Hannah and the financial reward for the winners comes from funds bequeathed to the University in his memory.

The standard of nominations for this award were also very high, making judging extremely difficult. However, the assessors agreed that Emily Cole should receive the prize (£180) for her work in befriending children through the National Autistic Society’s befriending scheme.

Emily, from the Department of Human Sciences, has befriended two local children through the scheme. In addition to becoming a treasured friend to the children she has provided support to the family as a whole. The panel was particularly impressed by the positive impact which the student’s commitment to the family had made.

As well as making this award, the assessor panel wished to acknowledge the good neighbourliness of three nominated student households in particular. Certificates of recognition were awarded to:

Elizabeth McCrea, Alexandria Howe and Emma Hare, of the Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering and Department of Mathematical Sciences, for the care and assistance provided to an elderly neighbour over a period of time and, notably, on a number of distressing occasions.

Laura Joynson, Victoria Shepherd, Rhia Jaiswal, Hannah Jefferies, Rosalind Reason, Joanne Edden, all of the School of Art and Design, for their caring and helpful attitude to their neighbours. The students had formed a trusting relationship with their neighbours and had assisted them in a number of ways.

Alison Gilmour, Kathryn Willan, Richard Allen, Melanie Knight and Ju Chen, from the Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering, Department of Geography and Department of Information Science, for their respect for the community they lived in and care and consideration towards their elderly neighbours.

Both awards were presented by the University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Shirley Pearce at an event held at John Storer House. The ceremony was organised by Charnwood CVS. In attendance from Charnwood CVS were Dr Jill Vincent, Chair of Charnwood CVS and John Storer House Foundation Joint Board of Trustees; Neil Lambert, Chief Executive of Charnwood CVS; Gerry Jacobs, Deputy Chief Executive of Charnwood CVS and Wendy Smith, Manager of John Storer House Action Centre. The new Mayor and Mayoress of Charnwood, Cllr Ken Pacey and Mrs Maureen Pacey attended to represent Charnwood Borough Council.

Professor Pearce comments: “The nominations for both these awards were of exceptional quality. Students give a great deal to our local community and these are examples of what a difference they can make. The University is delighted to be able to reward them for the outstanding achievements and contributions they have made.”

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Notes to editors

Loughborough has an established reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement. Assessments of teaching quality by the Quality Assurance Agency place it in the top flight of UK universities; the National Student Survey ranked Loughborough equal first among full-time students; and industry highlights the University in its top five for graduate recruitment. Around 40% of Loughborough’s income is for research, and 60% for teaching. The University has been awarded five Queen's Anniversary Prizes: for its collaboration with aerospace and automotive companies such as BAE Systems, Ford and Rolls Royce; for its work in developing countries; for pioneering research in optical engineering; for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development; and for its outstanding work in evaluating and helping to develop social policy-related programmes.

In 2006 Loughborough celebrates the 40th anniversary of its University Charter, awarded on 19 April 1966 in recognition of the excellence achieved by Loughborough College of Advanced Technology and its predecessor Colleges. Loughborough University of Technology was renamed Loughborough University in 1996.

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