Student volunteers and societies celebrated at national awards

  • Date

    Fri 19 May 23

Amazing student volunteers and societies supported by the University of Essex Students' Union are being recognised by the National Societies and Volunteering Awards (NSVA), organised by Student Hubs.

The NSVA awards highlight the incredible impact of projects coordinated by VTeam – Essex Student Union’s volunteering team – plus the work of Essex SU members contributing to student societies and events.

Both VTeam and societies are created for and run by students through Essex SU. An incredible 13 students and societies were longlisted for top awards at NSVA, more than any other University, and now nine are shortlisted for recognition at the prestigious event on Tuesday 23 May – showing the strength of societies and extra-curricular activities within Essex Students’ Union.

One of those moving forward in the selection process is Briony Anstis, the Accessibility Representative for the VTeam Executive Committee and the project leader for the Art Club at the University. They have made it to the shortlist for the prestigious Opportunities for All award. They facilitate discussions where “people who might not necessarily identify as having a disability can also have access to volunteering,”. As a queer student, they also want to make the campus environment queer-friendly. Briony says they want to encourage everyone to “get out there and get involved in everything you can”.

Alfie Benson is the Project Leader of the Numbers Project which supports maths learning in schools and the President of the Mathematics Society. He has been shortlisted for the Extra Mile Award thanks to his work to help increase the impact of the society and efforts to get more people engaged in Maths.

Dimitris Menelaou is the Project Leader of the Lingo Project which promotes language learning in local schools and has also been shortlisted for the same award. He has shown exceptional commitment to increasing participation in the project and engaging volunteers.

In terms of societies, Women in STEM (WiSTEM) has been shortlisted for the Committee Excellence Award. Chloe Tasker, the President of WiSTEM, who has been involved in the society for three years, said: “it is really rewarding to work hard on an event and watch it come to life. It feels great to be able to make a difference in our community."

Viviana-Georgiana Tif, is part of lots of different projects and was longlisted for the Extra Mile Award. She has been part of the executive committee of four societies and involved in two volunteering projects at the University of Essex for the past two years. During the course of her time volunteering, Viviana said that she met new friends and made many connections on top of improving her skills. She was delighted to be a part of all these projects and was thankful for the opportunities the University had given her.

Viviana said: “the smallest amount of time you put into volunteering can help the community around you and make an impact”.

Rosie Waspe, established Poetic Legacies at the University, and was longlisted for the Community Award. Through the project, Rosie said she aimed to “deliver joy and love in the most difficult circumstances”.

Shortlisted societies and individuals in full:

Collaboration Award

RCT Charity Showcase – Nifemi Wilson-Adu

Committee Excellence Award

The Volunteering Exec

Women in STEM

Opportunities for All Award

Briony Anstis (VTeam Art Club, Volunteering Exec, Arts & Crafts Soc)

The Wellbeing Award

The Wellbeing Ambassadors

The VTeam Café

The Extra Mile Award

Alfie Benson (Numbers Project, Maths Soc)

Dimitris Menelaou (Lingo Project)

Community Award

Cultural Welcome Project

Those on the longlist included:

Collaboration Award

The March for All

Community Award

Rosie Waspe

Community Award

The Refugee Teaching Project

Extra Mile Award

Viviana-Georgiana Tif