Outstanding student volunteers praised by Loughborough University

Michael Hardy receiving this year's Hannah Community Prize

Loughborough University has honoured outstanding student volunteers at its annual community prize ceremony.

The event took place at the Town Hall on 13 May. Prizes were awarded to students of the University whose volunteering efforts have helped within the local community.

The University presented the TS Shipman Prize and Hannah Community Prize to the students to reward them for their admirable voluntary work.

Receiving the TS Shipman Prize were: Lizzie Sheridan, Paula Riley, Laura Webber, Matthew Leathard, Andrew Gaunt, Mark Atkins and Chayton Kent.

Lizzie, from the Department of Geography, was recognised for her outstanding voluntary contribution to the local community during her three years at university. She has completed over 900 hours of volunteering and is also a leader for the local Brownies and Guides.

Paula, from the School of Arts, was honoured for her dedication to local charities including Cancer Research, British Heart Foundation and also the Princess Trust. She even donated 13 inches of her own hair to a charity that produces wigs for children who have lost their own hair due to cancer treatment.   

Laura, Matthew, Andrew, Mark and Chayton, of the Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering and the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences were also awarded a prize.

They volunteer at the 2229 Loughborough Squadron for the RAF Air Cadets. They were rewarded for engaging and inspiring young people from the local community in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

They have also assisted local charities including RAF Wings Appeal and the Royal British Legion Poppy appeal with fundraising activities.

The winner of this year’s Hannah Community Prize was Michael Hardy, a third year Systems Engineering student.

Michael was awarded for his exceptional actions where he saved the life of a one day old baby.

As a volunteer for the Community Response Team in Loughborough, Michael responds to various 999 calls which can range from life threatening conditions to less critical accidents or injuries.

Earlier this year, he was called to a nearby Loughborough house where a new born baby was choking. Despite this incident being above what Michael was trained in, he was the nearest dispatcher to the incident. Michael resuscitated the baby girl, helping to clear her airways and normalise her breathing again.

The University’s Chief Operating Officer, Richard Taylor, presented the awards. Commenting on this year’s ceremony, he said: “It was an absolute honour to reward our students for their outstanding voluntary efforts. Each year, our students demonstrate how dedicated they are to helping others.

“This year in particular has seen a huge amount of commitment and selflessness that we as a University are extremely proud of.”

Joining Richard at the ceremony was the Mayor of Charnwood Councillor Paul Day and other local dignitaries.

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