It's National Volunteers’ Week, a moment for us to reflect on the many ways our alumni have made a difference over the past year, and to thank you for your continued support and commitment to Essex. Your time, experience and expertise has been of real inspiration and use to your fellow alumni, as well as applicants and current students.

In the last year, over 300 alumni have volunteered to support the Essex community and we’re so grateful.

To celebrate Volunteers’ Week, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Anthony Forster, shares a message with you:

“Since 1964, the global Essex community has thrived thanks to the willingness of others to offer support and take action. I want to give special recognition to you, our alumni volunteers, for sharing your time, knowledge and experience across our Colchester, Southend and Loughton campuses, and with our alumni communities around the world, over the past year.

You’ve spoken at events, sharing your expertise with current students and recent graduates. You’ve mentored and coached, offering advice and industry insight. You’ve completed graduate profiles, inspiring applicants to follow in your footsteps. And you continue to provide a link to home for students and fellow alumni living overseas. Thank you for supporting each other and thank you for supporting Essex.”

Highlights from the past year

Welcoming Government graduate Kindred Motes back to campus

Kindred (MA International Relations, 2014), Founder and Managing Director at KM Strategies and Senior Impact Advisor at Global Citizen, gave up his time facilitating an introduction between Essex and Global Citizen resulting in an amazing event on campus discussing the role we must all play in responding to the climate crisis.

We were delighted to welcome Sabrina Elba (United Nations IFAD Goodwill Ambassador and Global Citizen Advocate) alongside Michael Sheldrick (Co-Founder of Global Citizen) which would not have been possible without introductions from Kindred. Watch the recording.

Platform Party Ambassadors supporting Spring Graduation

We’ve also been so pleased to finally return to some in-person volunteering opportunities including welcoming our alumni Platform Party Ambassadors to Spring Graduation. This is a great opportunity to relive the incredible atmosphere of Graduation and attend the ceremonies, sitting on stage alongside academics, and welcoming our newest graduates to the community. With even more ceremonies coming up just next month, we’re looking for more volunteers for upcoming ceremonies, so register your interest if you’d like to find out more.

World-famous director David Yates sharing his journey

From Essex Politics student to BAFTA award-winning filmmaker, David Yates is best known for directing the last four films in the Harry Potter franchise where he brought the wizarding world of Hogwarts to life. After the Harry Potter series, David went on to direct the Fantastic Beasts films where he worked alongside Jude Law and Eddie Redmayne. We were delighted to welcome David to a webinar where he gave us a unique insight into his incredible career.

Volunteer of the Year Award

Our inaugural Volunteer of the Year award goes to Satha Alaganandasundaram (BA Accounting & Financial Management, 1996) for his incredible support and commitment to the University, culminating in travelling alongside the Vice-Chancellor to his native Sri-Lanka to inspire new students to study at Essex.

"I never expected this. Volunteering is part and parcel of my life, having always been in my blood and picked up from my father who was a General Practitioner and did lots for the community in Sri Lanka. I am honoured and thrilled with this recognition."
Satha Alaganandasundaram BA Accounting and financial management, 1986

This is just a small snapshot of the many ways alumni have volunteered their time to support Essex this year. Here’s a reminder of how else you can get involved:

  • providing a graduate profile and featuring in our marketing materials
  • contributing to our social media
  • chatting to applicants about life at Essex
  • providing career support
  • mentoring
  • leaving a gift in your will or making a donation

If you’d like to know more about any of these opportunities, just register your interest and we’ll be in touch.