|Our winners showing off their Gold Awards!|
As well as handing out a selection of awards to KUSU Volunteers that have shown exceptional committment in the different areas of volunteering that we offer we also handed out three very special Volunteering England Gold Awards on May 11th.
Volunteering England's Gold Award is a national student volunteering award that recognises the Achievement, Dedication and Leadership of Student Volunteers. It's a prestigious mark of excellence in student volunteering.
This years winners were -
|Will with his Gold Award|
Will was nominated for his dedication to his role as part of the Kingston MET Volunteer Programme which he started in April 2010. Alongside this he has done a number of one-offs so has packed in an impressive amount of volunteering in a relatively short amount of time (he was Best Newcomer at last year's KUSU Volunteering Awards!).
He has gone beyond his original role as a Front Counter Assistant at Kingston Police Station and taken on additional roles within the MET Volunteer Programme. He's shown endless energy and enthusiasm and helped with volunteer recruiment, induction and buddying and with steering group activities. He frequently puts in nearly 40 hours a month as a MET Volunteer (and he would probably do more if they let him!).
Will has also assisted with C019 (Specialist Firearms Command) unit a couple of times! Nikki Gobey, Volunteer Coordinator at Kingston MET said 'It is a pleasure to have Will on the team and even though he is looking to transfer to C019 permanently, for selfish reasons I am actively encouraging him to remain at Kingston, or at the very least, consider being shared between the two programmes.'
|Christine with her award!|
Our second Gold award was given for achievement. Christine has been part of KUSU Volunteering for the past three years and has got involved with an epic amount of things.
She has been a valuable member of the Swingbridge Boat Project, supporting ex-offenders. She has taken part in several one-offs and she’s run her own project, Project Phoenix, providing information and raising awareness of mental health conditions, suicide and self harm.
Christine has consistently been an enthusiastic volunteer, putting her heart and a great deal of energy into everything she’s done. She has truly made volunteering a way of life and has been a strong advocate for why it’s a great thing to do. Her volunteering extends beyond KUSU Volunteering and she has recently become a Special Constable with the MET Police, and so impressed her trainers they offered her a job!
|Paul collects his second award!|
Our final Gold Award winner had a really good night at the Awards coming away with two shiny medals! Paul Matthews so impressed the judging panel that as well as Community Volunteer of the Year, he was awarded a Volunteering England Gold Award for Dedication and Achievement.
This was to acknowledgement not only of the time he gives to the community through his roles in St John Ambulance, but also in acknowledgement for the fact that he demonstrates to the public what student volunteers can do despite all their other commitments.
In the words of his Duty Officer Joe O’Shea, Paul is someone who demonstrates that students can be people who “put themselves out and go that extra mile to seek out a voluntary role that requires more than just once a week commitment .They put themselves forward to serve their community. From time to time students do get bad press, drinking cider, eating pot noodles and walking home with traffic cones on their heads. However people like Paul (and our other St John Ambulance Volunteers) Gary, Maria & Crystel are ambassadors for students showing that there is more substance to being a student.’
|Nicky collects her certificate|
Special Commendation went to Marketa Setinova and Nicola Archer who have both put in exceptional effort over several different volunteering roles. Marketa has been a dedicated volunteer at Hersham Hounds and Nicola has got involved in numerous one-off projects and ran her own project putting on a Jazz Tea Party at our local Age Concern Social Centre.
That rounds up our volunteering awards for this year! I think you'll agree we have a pretty exceptional bunch of students doing great things out and about around Kingston there. Looking forward to plenty of the same next year!