This year, the LSE Volunteer Centre was fortunate enough to receive nominations for 27 students for the LSE Volunteer of the Year award. We’d like to take this change to give a massive shout out to all nominees. You’re volunteering has been invaluable and your nomination is a recognition of your great efforts! Selecting a winner will therefore be challenging, as all nominees have done amazing work. We’ll announce the winner of the award on our celebratory ceremony on 27 April.

You can read about last year’s winner Chris Fairley on our blog. If you’re interested in volunteering, you can search for volunteering opportunities on CareerHub. We’re open all year so you can also email us at volunteer@lse.ac.uk or come and speak to us in person if you’d like personal advice.

2017 nominees (nominated by a student)

Name: Chloe Russell
Course: BSc in Government
Nominated by: Allan Rogers
Opportunity the student has been involved in: Peer Supporter at LSE Peer Supporters

This is my second year as part of the Peer Support scheme, and I hold Chloe’s contribution in high esteem. The work she has done at Carr-Saunders has been invaluable for promoting well being and community at LSE, using the speaking, listening, and responding skills the scheme has provided. Without her, I don’t think I would have had a tenth of the effect we’ve had at Carr-Saunders. Chloe has done a great deal of outreach and has been a close collaborator with me this year, from writing blog posts for LSE Volunteering to dual-presenting speeches at the Peer Support Graduation. She also does work outside Peer Support, including the one-off volunteering scheme. As a second-year student, I also feel that recognition of hard work could be an incentive to deepen her commitment to volunteering going forward, which, given her already substantive involvement, would be extremely positive.

Name: Chris Fairley
Course: BSc in Economics
Nominated by: Lily Chamberlain, Kiran Dhaliwal and Waleed Malik
Opportunity the student has been involved in: LSE Student Volunteering Ambassador for the LSE Volunteer Centre, proposing and campaigning for the introduction of the LSE Social Mobility Officer for the LSESU, and student governor for the LSE Court of Governors

An exceptionally admirable example of Chris’ devotion to helping those who need it most, and the reason that I have taken the time to nominate him for this award, has to be his ‘LSE Has Class’ campaign. Through founding and co-running the ‘LSE Has Class’ campaign for a Social Mobility and Class Officer at LSE, Chris put his absolute all into providing a permanent voice for working class students at this university. Not only did he organise an inspiring grassroots campaign on campus, but he went on to thoroughly exceed expectations by winning the first quorate referendum in years, doubling the previous record in the process. The biggest vote in LSE’s history therefore went towards the symbolic message that every single student, no matter what their class background is, belongs on this campus. For that alone, Chris deserves so much credit. He truly inspires me, and I can only hope that I’ll leave a legacy of tireless, effective and rewarding volunteering at LSE like he has done.

Chris is someone who has continued to amaze me the extents to which he’s willing to sacrifice his time for the sake of others, and that has manifested nearly everyday at university this year. In creating and leading a university wide campaign to introduce a Social Mobility and Class Officer, not only did he persist in the face of numerous setbacks, he even prioritised that campaign over his individual officer campaign. Whilst his selflessness is obvious in that, more importantly, he has changed the lives of working class students at university forever.
His endeavours have showed themselves in so many other places too, being on the Court of Governors and LSE Council, representing the views of the entire student body in pushing forward issues at LSE such as the poor harassment response and lack of exam resits. He has also been an ever present representative of the LSE Volunteer Centre, working on stalls, and securing a slot for the centre in the next Governor meeting.

Name: Hinna Awan
Course: BSc in Economic History
Nominated by: Khadeeja Rashid, Mustafa Khan, Nadeen Othman, Maryam Shirwani, Afa Jameel, Ayat El-Deen, Fathima Abdur-Rahman, Nur Rozlan, Mahmoudat Sanni-Oba and Khadija Mamsa
Opportunity the student has been involved in: The Rucksack Challenge and Soup Kitchen for Muslim Aid and the LSESU Islamic Society

Hinna has been involved in, has contributed to, and has headed opportunities and initiatives for organised charity work throughout her three years at the LSE. In her second year she headed a campaign for charity which raised over £30,000. And this year she co-organised the Soup Kitchen, which provides hot food and drinks for homeless people every Thursday evening at Lincoln’s Inn. She also co-organised the Rucksack Challenge during the winter months, which involved getting students to take a Rucksack with winter essentials like sleeping bags and hats, giving it to a homeless person, and having a friendly conversation with them. She has shown dedication to and love for charity and social work throughout her years at the LSE.

Hinna has shown excellence in everything she has been involved in. She has started these projects from scratch but through her incredible work ethic and dedication has managed to co-head initiatives that have benefited the vulnerable in our community. Her work is undoubtedly just the beginning, she has planted seeds for future growth as she has been an inspiration to those around her and those in younger years who now wish to continue what she has started.

Name: Tazeen Dhanani
Course: MSc in Human Rights
Nominated by: Tazeen Dhanani
Opportunity the student has been involved in: Refugee Support Volunteer at The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network (TERN), LSE Student Volunteering Ambassador for the LSE Volunteer Centre, Careers Officer and Speakers Officer for LSESU United Nations Society and Human Rights Society, Intern with Swadhinata Trust, Internal Communications Volunteer at Amnesty International UK, and a Champions for Change Mentor for UN Women’s Empower Women

Tazeen Dhanani is one of three co-editors for LSE’s Human Rights blog. She also serves in leadership roles for LSE’s United Nations and Human Rights Societies as a Careers Officer and Speakers Officer, respectively. Additionally, she volunteers as a Refugee Support Volunteer with The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network, where she works on developing outreach campaigns aimed at female refugee entrepreneurs, along with strategising methods to attract more female refugees to start their own businesses. She serves as a Volunteer Ambassador at LSE, and is also interning with Swadhinata Trust. Additionally, she serves as the Internal Communications Volunteer at Amnesty International UK, where she sources, creates, and curates content for internal communications channels. Finally, she serves as a 2016-2017 Champions for Change Mentor through UN Women’s Empower Women, where she mentors two Global Champions advancing women’s empowerment through digital advocacy and social media activities.

Name: Jana Hock
Course: BSc in Accounting and Finance
Nominated by: Jana Hock
Opportunity the student has been involved in: Food Hall Collection for FoodCycle

Jana has organised the LSE Food Hall Collection in collaboration with FoodCycle and LSE Sustainability. This collection reduces food waste and redistributes left-over food, from LSE halls when students move out, to local charities like FoodCycle. Jana ensured not only the financing of the collection, but also the logistics by liaising with LSE Halls managers, student and staff volunteers, local charities and transportation companies. For one and a half years Jana has committed a minimum of three hours of her time weekly which increases to 10 hours during collection times.

Now collecting the third time across LSE Halls, 100 boxes full of food have been saved from the bin and redistributed to those in need, and the scheme is planned to expand to a capacity of half a ton of food being collected and redistributed. Not only volunteering herself, she has created more volunteering opportunities for students and staff, and increased LSE’s social impact while facilitating cooperation with local charities.

Name: Holly Smith
Course: BSc in Government
Nominated by: Angharad Hopkinson
Opportunity the student has been involved in: Peer Supporter for LSE Peer Supporters, campaigning for a Social Mobility and Class Officer at the LSESU, LSESU societies and interning at the policy team at Cancer Research UK

This year, Holly has been a Peer Supporter, devoting significant time and energy to helping students with difficulties at LSE. She worked tirelessly at her assigned hall, leading the team in organising regular support events for residents. I experienced the results – she goes above and beyond to help me and has given me invaluable support and advice. Her compassion and genuine dedication to helping people is evident in her peer support and beyond. Over summer, she interned in the policy team at Cancer Research UK, developing their response to the EU referendum result. She also fundraised £50k for a polo competition in her spare time. She was a leader in the Social Mobility and Class Officer campaign, adding to online presence and canvassing support on campus about the importance of SU representation. Holly also volunteered extensively in first and second year, holding society positions in Animal Rights and Amnesty, and climbing Kilimanjaro for charity, raising over £2,000.

Name: Grace Natusch
Course: BSc in Politics and Philosophy
Nominated by: Chloe Russell
Opportunity the student has been involved in: LSE Peer Supporter. and LSE Food Cycle breadline challenge for LSE Peer Support and LSESU Food Cycle

Grace uses volunteering to realise the experiences of different individuals across LSE as well as in wider society. As an LSE Peer Supporter, Grace has committed herself to much more than just listening to others. She is an integral part of the social media team, responsible for increasing the Twitter outreach. This shows her commitment to ensuring that LSE students know that there is a support network for them (which wouldn’t be the same without Grace’s caring and considerate personality). Moreover, Grace’s ideas make the scheme more useful for students. This was exemplified through her commitment to wellbeing activities at Carr Saunders. It was Grace’s ambition to design and deliver a self-care workshop and she is motivated by making the LSE experience better for all students. Grace also participated in the Breadline Challenge which meant her daily budget was £2.50 a day for a week. Her involvement in the Food Cycle charity shows her compassion for others and drive for change.

Name: Allan Rogers
Course: BA in History
Nominated by: Grace Natusch
Opportunity the student has been involved in: LSE Peer Supporter for LSE Peer Support

Allan is one of the Peer Supporters at Carr Saunders Hall. In this role he provided non-judgemental listening to help students through any problems they may be facing. As a senior peer supporter he was also a fantastic mentor to the new peer supporters and was always willing to answer any questions they may have. He was also proactive organising events both at Carr Saunders Hall and on campus, often taking the lead in planning and sorting logistics. This included arranging weekly coffee and fruit stalls in halls and organising freshers week events. Because of Allan, I am sure that there are many people who were able to access the Peer Support Service who would not have done so otherwise and as a result were able to get the support they needed.

Name: Tai Ming Tsui
Course: MSc in Media and Communications
Nominated by: Tai Ming Tsui
Opportunity the student has been involved in: Volunteering in different types of work for The Children’s Trust, FareShare, Anthony Nolan and Spires

For The Children’s Trust, over £15k was raised at the Christmas concert by selling raffles, programmes and bucket collecting, to support children with brain injury. For FareShare, food and drinks were sorted from supermarkets before they were distributed to 241 charities across London, thereby helping improve the daily lives of people facing food poverty. For Anthony Nolan, more than 1,600 spit-kits were packed in two hours, which helped the organisation to prepare the spit-kits which are send to potential lifesavers all over the UK. For Spires, many bags of harvest donations have been sorted through, in order to store them for use over the year ahead, and to feed over 800 vulnerable adults who access to the centre every year.

2017 nominees (nominated by an organisation)

Name: Zoe Oakley
Course: BSc in Social Policy with Government
Nominated by: Hollie Smith
Organisation: Body & Soul
Opportunity the student has been involved in: Children’s Service Support Volunteer for Body & Soul

Zoe has volunteered at Body & Soul every Tuesday night for a year and a half now supporting children who are living with or affected by HIV. Zoe’s naturally positive and calm demeanour has allowed her to build invaluable empathetic relationships with the children she supports. These relationships will have a long-lasting impact on the lives of our littlest members as they grow in confidence and learn to accept the impact HIV has on their lives. Zoe has always gone above and beyond in her involvement with Body & Soul by supporting in the field of public health with her skills in Social Policy and joining me at the LSE Volunteer Fair too! She has been consistently committed to her volunteer role and really is an invaluable member of our community! In Zoe’s words: “It is so moving to see the difference a few hours spent with children who might live in neglectful or otherwise stressful environments can make”.

Name: Prithvi Shashikant
Course: MSc in Management Science (Decision Sciences)
Nominated by: Hester Gartrell
Organisation: ReachOut
Opportunity the student has been involved in: ReachOut Club Mentor at ReachOut

Prithvi has been involved as a volunteer mentor since September. At ReachOut we provide weekly one-to-one mentoring for young people from disadvantaged communities. Prithvi’s mentoring has had a real impact on the boys that he has supported over the year. Prithvi was unfailingly reliable and frequently worked with one of our mentees who was referred to us due to his low self-confidence, low attainment and difficult home life. Prithvi worked hard to engage him, even when his mentee struggled to focus. Prithvi’s mentee felt that the mentoring had a really positive impact on him, stating that his Maths and English work had improved since the project, and that the mentoring had improved his behaviour at school. In the words of Prithvi’s mentee: ‘I love the activities they do and I like it how they try to improve people’s confidence #ReachOutforlife!’ I’d like to say thank you to Prithvi for his dedication to the boys at Wellington School!

Name: Sroyon Mukherjee
Course: MPhil/ PhD in Law
Nominated by: Jessica Lobo
Organisation: Sustainable LSE
Opportunity the student has been involved in: Managing LSESU Beekeeping Society and taking care of the bees for LSE Bees

Sroyon does an incredible job looking after the LSE Bees and managing the LSESU Beekeeping Society. He organises regular visits to the hives, maintaining them and producing the annual harvest of honey as well as planning a range of initiatives to introduce staff/students to the world of bees. This year he has organised talks including Professor Lars Chittka, researcher on bee behaviour, and Luke Dixon, professional urban beekeeper in London. Sroyon also ran a workshop about ‘Bees and the Environment’ at Fairley House, a school for children with learning difficulties. The outreach event was developed in collaboration with the school and about 40 children aged 7-9 years old participated. Sroyon is constantly looking for new and engaging projects embark on – his latest has been creating the bee library: a collection of free books, films and online resources which all LSE staff/students can access. The Society now has 95 members and Sroyon does a great job of offering opportunities for all.

Name: Millie Dessent
Course: BSc in International Relations
Nominated by: Alina Monaghan
Organisation: Future Frontiers
Opportunity the student has been involved in: Pupil guide for Future Frontiers

I have worked with Millie for a year now as her lead coach and continue to be impressed by her dedication and passion for combating education inequality and improving social mobility. As part of Future Frontiers, Millie guided her pupils in discovering how their interests and skills translate to potential careers and then helped them develop an academic plan and strategies to help them overcome obstacles that were preventing them from doing better. Millie always goes above and beyond and happily takes on any extra pupils. She excels at giving personalised advice to help her pupils, even if they’re interested in things that are completely new to her. When one of them wanted to be an Animal Welfare Inspector, she helped him research the qualifications needed, from what grades he needed to get, down to how far he would need to be able to swim with his clothes on. She even arranged a call with a professional outside of the allotted times, to make sure he had the most information possible.

Name: Isabella Wilkinson
Course: BSc in International Relations and History
Nominated by: Bobak Sadaat
Organisation: Child.org
Opportunity the student has been involved in: Volunteer at Undercover Books

Bella has been regularly volunteering for Child.org on our Undercover Books fundraising product. From the moment she stepped into the office, she has been enthusiastic to learn about the work that we do. Very quickly she learned how to communicate the work that we do and we noticed that she was able to talk about Child.org with the same level of passion that we feel about our organisation. This led her to be a natural candidate to sell books at our market stalls across London. To date she has helped sell books at Covent Garden market, recruited volunteers and packaged books for us, always with a hefty amount of energy and a broad smile on her face regardless of the task at hand. Child.org thank Bella for her excellent contribution and look forward to continue working with her into the future!

Name: Katy Brown
Course: MSc in Urbanisation and Development
Nominated by: Claire Dennis
Organisation: FareShare
Opportunity the student has been involved in: Katy works as a volunteer warehouse assistant for FareShare London where she helps redistribute surplus food to local charities

Katy is a highly valued and very dependable volunteer at FareShare London. She comes in to help pick orders, sort food and load our vans to go out on their deliveries – and does so every week with a smile on her face. It’s not always easy work and even harder still to fit around studies, but with 241 charities across London depending on this food, Katy’s commitment is invaluable. Katy has shown great social mindedness and has a genuine enthusiasm for the charity sector. By working in a team with her fellow warehouse volunteers and the volunteer managers, Katy has helped FareShare distribute food to 21,000 vulnerable people every week! Katy arrived at FareShare with a very positive outlook, and with a cheery disposition has had a very good influence on all around her. Moreover, she has gone out of her way to help our Marketing Team to promote the FareShare cause and to recruit more volunteers. One volunteer manager has described Katy as ‘A super talent!’ and it couldn’t be more true.

Name: Carl Matsumoto Plata
Course: BSc in Government and Economics
Nominated by: Emily Coatham
Organisation: Groundwork London
Opportunity the student has been involved in: Brokerage Administration Volunteer for Groundwork London

Carl has been regularly volunteering as a Brokerage Administration Volunteer at our charity Groundwork London over the past few months. Carl is extremely hard working and has made a real contribution to our team, from assisting us with processing volunteers on our database to writing up a small report on one of the London Boroughs councils website which was taken to a meeting with their digital team to explain the problems we were having. Carl always looks to help as much as he can, such as volunteering to fix a computer problem we had and coming up with ideas on how we can improve our Excel sheets. Carl is an exemplary volunteer and an asset to our team!

Name: Ollie Creed
Course: BSc in Social Policy with Government
Nominated by: Natasha Hanna
Organisation: Action Tutoring
Opportunity the student has been involved in: Voluntary English tutor for disadvantaged pupils with Action Tutoring

Ollie has been volunteering with Action Tutoring since January as an English tutor. He has built great relationship with the pupils he has been supporting and we have received really positive feedback from them independently. His support will have made a big difference to their academic progress – giving the attention and patience they need to progress.
Ollie was very reliable and attended all but one of his sessions with us, over the course of the term. Although he won’t be able to join us next term we know that he is keen to support again in the autumn. He has real enthusiasm and passion for our cause and he is an asset to LSE.

Name: Samantha Kanu
Course: MSc in Comparative Politics (Politics and Markets)
Nominated by: Olivia Darby
Organisation: Wonder Foundation
Opportunity the student has been involved in: Film-making internship (refugee women) at the Wonder Foundation

Sam has shown incredible dedication, commitment, attention to detail and creativity in filming, producing and editing two films for Wonder Foundation. The subject of the first film was the impact that learning English has on refugee women in the UK. Sam interviewed the women with great sensitivity and crafted a poignant, memorable film. The second film looked at young people’s attitudes towards refugees, part of our ‘A Refugee Like Me’ project. Both of these projects took hours of her time over several months. Sam had a wonderful eye and brings a great intelligence to her subject matter and I look forward to seeing her progress in film making.

Name: Yazmine Mazon
Course: MSc in Global Health
Nominated by: Olivia Darby
Organisation: Wonder Foundation
Opportunity the student has been involved in: Women in Latin America internship at the Wonder Foundation

Yazmine has led on research around our partner project, Junkabal, in Guatemala since the Autumn. She has been examining the local and national situation for women and girls to help us and the partner to better understand the context in which they work. She has shown dedication, been a great team player and supported other interns in their work. She is always smiling and open to new ideas.

Name: Ami Saji
Course: Master of Public Administration
Nominated by: Olivia Darby
Organisation: Wonder Foundation
Opportunity the student has been involved in: Refugee Policy and Research internship at the Wonder Foundation

Ami has undertaken a number of tasks, from research, writing consultation responses to representing WONDER at external meetings and supporting the ‘A Refugee Like Me’ project. She has shown keen analytical skills, attention to detail, dedication and been a great team player. She has brought new skills to our team.

Name: Jans Mynbayeva
Course: BSc in International Relations
Nominated by: Olivia Darby
Organisation: Wonder Foundation
Opportunity the student has been involved in: Women in Kazakhstan internship at the Wonder Foundation

We nominated Jans last year for her fantastic work, which has led to the development of a number of related projects. Jans’ research has greatly benefited out partner, Kumbel, in Almaty and on their director’s visit to the UK in November Jans presented her work alongside the director to an audience including academics and the Kazakh diaspora in the UK.

Name: Sophie Parsons
Course: BSc in Mathematics and Economics
Nominated by: Mary McPherson
Organisation: CoachBright
Opportunity the student has been involved in: Academic coach at CoachBright

Sophie has been volunteering as an academic coach with us since last year when she joined LSE. This academic year she took on the role of Head Coach, meaning that she was responsible for leading a team of 20 other volunteer coaches over the course of a seven-week coaching programme with one of our partner schools. Sophie would arrive 45 minutes before the session at the school to ensure that everything was prepared, and liaise with coaches continually to support them. This term she has helped us plan and run a one-off revision Maths Camp for GCSE pupils, juggling her own workload alongside this.

Sophie’s enthusiasm and positivity is unwavering and she has had an extremely positive impact on the pupils who she has coached in maths. She is a brilliant role model to our year 10 and 11 pupils, and our older coaches on the Advocacy Academy programme, where Sophie is also a coach. We would like to nominate Sophie as Volunteer of the Year for her brilliant energy and dedication to CoachBright!

Name: Salah El-Husseini
Course: BA in Anthropology and Law
Nominated by: Mary McPherson
Organisation: CoachBright
Opportunity the student has been involved in: Coach at CoachBright

Salah was a brilliant role model to the year 11 pupil that he coached. They focused on improving the pupil’s GCSE maths grade as well as general work ethic which the pupil really benefited from. Salah was always very positive and supportive in the sessions and created engaging activities to help his coachee. He was also a very reliable volunteer and always made sure that he was punctual for sessions, even when his own schedule was demanding. Salah was a supportive team member and we feel he should be nominated for the Volunteer of the Year award at LSE.

Name: Erin Burns
Course: BSc in Economics
Nominated by: Lowri Evans
Organisation: ONE
Opportunity the student has been involved in: ONE Campaign UK Youth Ambassador

Erin is an outstanding individual who, over her two years as a ONE Youth Ambassador, has made a significant impact through our campaigns. She has helped to secure a huge commitment towards the Global Fund to fight HIV, TB, and Malaria and worked to end corruption by calling on the EU to take action against money laundering. This year, she’s focusing on getting world leaders to do more for the 130 million girls out of school globally.
Erin’s optimism and determination is not only a fantastic advantage when she engages with influential decision makers and politicians, it also buoys up those around her. New volunteers look up to her and her supportive manner helps them to become more confident. She uses her initiative to find innovative and creative ways to further campaigns – like setting up a society for LSE students who care about global issues and ending extreme poverty. She is a great team player, encouraging of her peers and is always thinking about how she can help others.

Name: Danial Alam
Course: LLB in Laws
Nominated by: Sajid Suleman
Organisation: Bar Pro Bono Unit
Opportunity the student has been involved in: Casework Volunteer at the Bar Pro Bono Unit

Danial volunteers at the Bar Pro Bono Unit for one day per week. The Bar Pro Bono Unit helps individuals who cannot afford to pay for legal assistance. Danial has shown great dedication in drafting case summaries and writing up case reports to help individuals in need of free legal assistance. Danial answers telephone calls from distressed individuals who are often vulnerable and in a stressful legal dispute – Danial is always professional and calm in the manner in which he handles the challenging ‘phone calls and goes out of his way to help those who need assistance. This is a substantial commitment alongside studies, and even during periods where he had exams or other deadlines, Danial has always gone out of his way to dedicate time to his volunteering role of the Bar Pro Bono Unit.

Name: Temi Mwale
Course: LLB in Laws
Nominated by: David Coles
Organisation: LSE Volunteer Centre
Opportunity the student has been involved in: Running The 4Front Project

Temi has been a dedicated volunteer for many years. She set up The 4Front Project whose mission is to empower young people and communities to improve their lives while understanding and reducing serious youth violence and the systemic conditions that cause it.
Temi has been an inspirational figure at LSE, recruiting many students to volunteer and successfully getting her message out across the media in London and the UK. Her dedication has led to awards, recognition and success. But most importantly her work is making a difference. She has been a truly fantastic volunteer over the past year at LSE.

Name: Angus Rea
Course: BSc in Economics
Nominated by: Katie Wilkinson
Organisation: Action Against Hunger
Opportunity the student has been involved in: Machu Picchu Trek in aid of Action Against Hunger – Challenge Leader role

Angus has excelled as a Challenge Leader for the LSE Machu Picchu team over the past few months, despite taking on the role late and missing out on crucial training at the beginning of the year. He continued to recruit participants until as late as January, recruiting the largest challenge team Action Against Hunger has had from LSE so far with a 50% increase on last year. He has provided consistently excellent support for team members through organising regular fortnightly team-meetings and social events, and this vital support is reflected in his 100 percent participant retention rate. On top of raising nearly £1k for Action Against Hunger himself, Angus has facilitated the group to exceed a total of more than £15k for our humanitarian programmes worldwide by coordinating collections, bake sales, and on-campus pub quizzes. He has gone above and beyond in his role and we’re so pleased to have him on board!

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