PASSIONATE students and staff from the University of Winchester, who volunteer with organisations and people in the city, have been honoured at a special awards ceremony.

The University of Winchester Volunteering and Community Champion Awards 2020 celebrated the impact made by student and staff volunteers in the local community through their volunteering activities.

At a gala awards ceremony during national Student Volunteering Week, 11 winners were named from the 114 nominees, who were put forward by local organisations where students and staff volunteer. These include Winchester Radio 94.7 FM, Winchester Cathedral, Winchester Hub and Winchester Heritage Open Days, as well as members of the university.

Stephanie Higgins, a third-year student studying BSc (Hons) Psychology and Child Development, scooped the overall Volunteering and Community Champion Award for her amazing work for the Winchester Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre.

Sam Jenkins, a third year History student who organised this year's awards and a pilot project in 2019, said: "Volunteers are the unsung heroes of the Winchester community and this is the perfect opportunity to recognise University students and staff for all the positive things they contribute, not just to life on campus but to the city of Winchester as a whole.

"At the same time, the awards are a powerful way of encouraging more people to sign up to volunteer. Our fantastic nominees' individual stories show how volunteering is mutually beneficial for everyone involved."

Nina Lazarski, University volunteering co-ordinator, added: "Here at Winchester we are blessed by a valued network of community partners and organisations who offer opportunities for everyone to volunteer and make a difference. The awards event is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the commitment, achievements and impact of our students and staff who volunteer. Their passion and enthusiasm shines through. We are so proud of them all!"

The 2020 Volunteering and Community Champions:

Volunteering and Community Champion 2020

Stephanie Higgins (third year BSc (Hons) Psychology and Child Development)

Awareness Raising Champion

Bethany Hocking (third year BA (Hons) Global History and Politics)

Creative Volunteering Champion

Carmen Dolores (second year BA (Hons) History)

Environmental Volunteering Champion

Steve Hallett (Single Use Plastic Engagement and Mapping Coordinator)

Hidden Gems Champion

Joe Boulay (first year BSc (Hons) Psychology)

Staff Change Agent Champion

Dr Bea Myers (Senior Lecturer in Law)

Staff Community Volunteering Champion

Dr Vicky Feldwick (University Music Centre Manager)

Student Change Agent Champion

Alice Jarvis (third year BA (Hons) History)

Student Community Volunteering Champion

Joshua Dodd (second year BA (Hons) Media and Communication)

Student Union Societies Champion

Sammy Ney (second year LLB (Hons) Law)

Student Union Sports Champion