The LSE Volunteer Centre has received over 32 nominations for the LSE Volunteer of the Year Award 2020! Students have been nominated by charities, fellow LSE students and LSE members of staff. We’re incredibly proud to be home to so many committed, enthusiastic and passionate student volunteers. The award winners will be announce out our online LSE Volunteer Awards on Tuesday 27 October, and we’ll be tasked with the difficult decision of choosing them.
This is Part Two of the Nominations, so don’t forget to read Part One!
Name: Lauren Darwent
Course: BSc in Government and History 2020
Nominated by: Amos Schonfield
Volunteering role: Student Action for Refugees (STAR)
Lauren has been an integral part of the STAR network over the past few years. She was elected President of LSE STAR for 2019-20 and has been a student trustee for the STAR charity for 2 years. She led her team at LSE STAR as they fundraised over £2000 for different refugee charities, and campaigned a number of key issues such as family reunification for unaccompanied asylum seeking children. Lauren has been a role model and mentor to many within the STAR network and helped shape the work that we do across the UK. She went above and beyond her responsibilities to be a true leader.
Name: Liam Selsby
Course: BSc in Politics and History, 2021
Nominated by: Karen O’Neill (LSE Student Services) and Jenny Stowar (LSE TLC)
Volunteering role: Off Campus Support
Liam was an Off Campus Support Scheme mentor in the 2019/20 academic year. He has received rave reviews from his mentees. One mentee has said that Liam had always been attentive to each worry, advising with great compassion, kindness and care. He has helped many students who are living off campus settle into life at LSE. We are really proud to see him continue his mentoring journey as a Peer Supporter this year. He has already organised an online event to help forge greater bond within the peer support network.
I’m nominating Liam because he has continually gone beyond my expectations in his support of his mentees. Recently he reached out to his mentees during this incredibly difficult time to offer them extra helpful information on all the support they can access while they are not on campus. I’ve included the email below so you can see exactly what he said. In this difficult time for everyone he took time out to reach out to his mentees even though he didn’t have to which I was incredibly impressed with.
Name: Maddie Potter-Wood
Course: BA in Social Anthropology, 2020
Nominated by: Olivia Darby, Wonder Foundation
Volunteering role: Migration Communications Internship
Maddie has been a faithful, committed and proactive volunteer. Her work helped us to reach many people to explore the issues around Migration in Europe, and women migrants’ integration, further. She is an excellent team-player with a curious mind and love of learning. She always wants to do more, and help others to achieve more. She has been a great problem-solver and worked excellently with our migration project partners in Europe to learn about and share their experiences.
Name: Max Robinson-Auer
Course: BSc in Geography with Economics, 2020
Nominated by: Patricia Mbangui
Volunteering role: Volunteering with CoachBright as an academic coach
Where do we begin with Max? Max is a well loved member of our Coach community. He is admired by all staff, he is brilliant with the pupils and has worked really hard with coaches. He joined us last Autumn and since has always brought a passion to the work he has done with pupils. He has now ascended to the heights of Head Coach and has taken part in our interview process due to his clear passion and dedication for what we do as an organisation. He is the reason why we can do what we do as we have volunteers like him who have tutored both Maths and English. He more than deserves this award.
Name: Molly Hugh
Course: MSc in Gender, 2020
Nominated by: Richard Munyaweta
Volunteering role: Media and Marketing Executive
Molly has been excellent in her work since joining us in June 2020 taking on the volunteer role as a Media and Marketing Executive. She has consistently performed well and exceeded expectations. For instance, • Creating social media posts and publishing it on our GOG media platforms. She has used her creativity, critical thinking and engagement skills to create engaging social media posts which has improved our audience engagement and resulted in increasing our followers on Instagram from 300 to 850 in less than 3 months. This represents an increase of 183% • The significant improvement in audience engagement has contributed to increase in donations. Currently we are fundraising for COVID-19 Relief to support vulnerable children at our schools in Uganda and we have seen an increase in donations by 45% • In addition, Molly has created our charity magazine, it’s informative and exciting – you should get a copy! She has added value to our work and contributed to improving our services
Name: Naomi Sarfati
Course: BSc Management, 2020
Nominated by: Sahas Bhatia
Volunteering role: ReachOut, Students for Children, 180 Degrees Consulting
I am nominating Naomi Sarfati for her amazing dedication to bettering different parts of society this year. At ReachOut, she mentored a young person from a disadvantaged background, and built her mentee’s confidence immensely on both academic and personal levels. After every session, she could not wait to return and this was infectious to see. At Students for Children, she raised funds in creative ways for the charity Save the Children. At 180 Degrees Consulting, she led a team to help a renewable energy charity grow its energy-saving school competition to primary schools across the UK. And at Frontline, a social work charity, she helped recruit students to become social workers. I know Naomi very well, and believe she is the warmest, most thoughtful and caring a person can ever be. To me, she is the epitome of “Be the change you want to see in the world”. Next year, should things go as planned, she will become a teacher for TeachFirst, where she will continue to inspire lives!
Name: Saachin Sivakumar
Course: BSc in Accounting and Finance, 2020
Nominated by: Scarlet Prentice (LSE Sustainability), Karen O’Neill (LSE Student Services), Calvin Ooi, Giap Ko and Pik Liew.
Volunteering role: Enactus UK
Saach is accredited amongst the top 3 presidents out of over 60 possible candidates from other university Enactus societies across the UK. He has shown great passion and genuine drive in the things he do which resonates with the mission of Enactus who believe that investing in students who take entrepreneurial action for others creates a better world for us all. This year at LSE, as president, he has spearheaded the development of three social projects that sustainably deliver social impact to our beneficiairies. In total, 25 beneficiaries have been impacted. One of those projects, As Told By Them, involved conducting a series of career workshops to boost the employability of the homelesss and recording the stories of the homeless through an innovative idea of podcasts to destigmatise the condition of the homeless. Saach was also involved in mentoring disadvantaged women to start their own businesses, and one of them, Kadisha has even gone on to start her own business.
Enactus LSE has taken a turn for project sustainability in social and environmental aspects, and this transformation has been helmed by none other than our team leader, Saach. With our social project, Creative Cycle, Saach worked with two charities, Baytree and London Youth to help mentor disadvantaged women to start their own businesses. Through the program he was able to have an impact on 7 beneficiaries and 2 of which have gone on to start their own businesses. With our social project, As Told by Them, Saach worked with ThamesReach, a homeless charity to create and design a 4 week workshop on key employability skills to help our homeless beneficiaries get back into employment. He hosted 2 sessions for 18 beneficiaries before the program was cancelled due to COVID-19. In addition, for our Vita Nova project, Saach has worked with Spiral Youth to create a an 8 week programme to educate NEETs on 8 key skills to help them get back into education or employment. Saach’s successes and commi
Name: Sarah Gerwens
Course: PhD in European Studies
Nominated by: Laura Reynolds, Coin Street
Volunteering role: Volunteer Tutor
Sarah has been a brilliant volunteer over the last year, providing academic support to young people on a weekly basis in our tutoring sessions. She is a great tutor and teacher and was always happy to work with anyone who needed support, regardless of their age or the subject. When lockdown shutdown our tutoring sessions Sarah was one of the first people to jump at the chance of moving the volunteering online. She provided useful feedback to make sure that the sessions worked for both tutors and students. Despite moving back to Germany Sarah continued to volunteer as a tutor up to the summer, supporting young people who were struggling with their online school work and providing a personal connection to students who were stuck at home. Sarah is always friendly, professional and kind in all her interactions with young people, volunteers and staff and a real star volunteer!
Name: Steven Xu
Course: General Course, 2020
Nominated by: Paola Hanks
Volunteering role: Overseas volunteering admin
Steven volunteered with Leonard Cheshire during the 2019-2020 academic year. He supported the Overseas Volunteer Coordinator with various tasks at Head Office. He had a great interest for the Leonard Cheshire cause, supporting disable people in the UK. He contributed with fantastic excel skills, helping to shortlist candidates to volunteer in our residential homes. Steven had a warm and friendly approached, he had a great attention to detail and excellent communication skills. It was great to bring more diversity to the organisation and to have an enthusiastic and committed student with us.
Name: Tze Wong
Course: BSc Politics and International Relations, 2021
Nominated by: Frances Ellis
Volunteering role: ReachOut Mentor
Milton lead a difficult group of young people with a variety of needs such as confidence, low self esteem, academic attainment and behavioural problems. Milton also lead and developed a group of mentors who supported the young people one on one. The reason i have nominated Milton is for his dedication to the young people and the time and effort he put into all of his sessions. Milton noticed that the young people were academically in very different places, he decided to prepare individual worksheets for the young people for every single sessions with specific instructions for each mentor. The school confirmed a change in attitude towards academic work from the young people, they now enjoy the lessons as they can answer questions. The school, ReachOut, mentors, mentees and parents have all been very impressed with Miltons dedication in inspiring the young people. Also on a personal note its been a pleasure working with Milton as he has been nothing but fantastic at all times.
Name: Yie Shern Lo
Course: BSc Economics, 2022
Nominated by: Aiynah Hazni (Charisma Movement), Michael Ma & Justin Yiu
Volunteering role: EPiC Malaysia, LSE Widening Participation, Epsom College in Malaysia, 24 Hour Race
Yie Shern was delighted when his project proposal for an event raising awareness on breast and ovarian cancer was selected among dozen others to be executed by Charisma Movement. Yie Shern led and organised a one-day event with the aim of empowering women with the knowledge and skills required to tackle these cancers. However, his support in battling breast and ovarian cancer is not restricted only to this event. As of recent, he has been raising funds which are to be donated to breast cancer foundations and has been conducting interviews with breast and ovarian cancer specialists to learn more about the diseases. Yie Shern’s genuine passion and care for breast and ovarian cancer patients truly sets him apart, and he has been a delight to work with. It is refreshing to see someone who cares so much about an issue, regardless of whether the issue affects him directly or not. He is a kind and caring soul, and always succeeds at bringing the team together!
As part of EPiC’s pathfinder programme, Yie Shern was able to help find suitable locations for the Orang Asli, Malaysia’s indigenous people, to build safe houses. He has assisted in teaching the Orang Asli children English and Mathematics and has also recently assisted in raising donations to supply these Orang Asli families with food during this COVID-19 pandemic. During the holidays, he often comes back to the villages to spend time and just have fun with the Orang Asli children. He is an extremely caring and friendly individual and deserves some recognition.
What an awesome group of nominations! Thank you to all those who have nominated an LSE student volunteer and a massive congratulations to all who were nominated. Every year we also like to recognise one of our partner charities with the LSE Voluntary Organisation of the Year Award 2020. This year’s shortlist is:
- British Heart Foundation
- Salusbury World
- Wonder Foundation
- Leonard Cheshire Disability
- Pembroke House
- The Literacy Pirates
We’ll be announcing the winners at the LSE Volunteer Awards Ceremony on Tuesday 27 October! If you would like to join us at the ceremony email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.