The LSE Volunteer Centre has received some fantastic nominations for the LSE Volunteer of the Year Award 2022! 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 announced at our in-person LSE Volunteer Awards ceremony on Wednesday 4 May, and we’ll be tasked with the difficult decision of choosing them. To check more of the nominations check out Part 2 of this blog post.
Albie is been a fantastic asset to The Oppidan Foundation over the past 6 months. He has been instrumental in ensuring the mentoring programmes were able to return to being in-person, following the shift to virtual programmes during the pandemic. He has volunteered on all of the programmes, working in over 6 schools, and has worked as Programme Lead many times, organising the team of 9 other volunteers on the day and bringing enthusiasm and warmth to his work every session. He has received fantastic feedback from the students he mentors, who find him both humble yet deeply inspiring. He certainly deserves recognition for his work. Albie has shared anecdotes of his 44 hours+ of mentoring with me and explained its importance to him and the impact that he’s had on his mentees.
Alex has been volunteering on our National Domestic Abuse Helpline (NDAH) since August 2021, and has been an outstanding addition to our group of volunteers. Alex plays a key part in supporting survivors and clients who are seeking advice and guidance about domestic abuse and other forms of gender based violence. She supports us on our Live Chat platform, and will often be the first point of contact for survivors accessing the Helpline. By creating a non judgmental and empathetic space for survivors, Alex’s support empowers survivors to find happiness and safety. Alex brings energy and drive to the team, she actively continues to develop and participate in optional training that is available, and we can’t imagine the Volunteer Team without her. Since joining us, Alex has given an incredible 139 hours of her time, and has supported a total of 118 clients. The support she provides the Helpline is invaluable and we are so privileged that she has joined our team.
After being RAG President in 2020-21, Alice has, if possible, done even more volunteering this year! She has been Co-President of the LSE Sustainable Futures Society helping to lead a team of more than 35 students, chairing the LSE Sustainable Futures Fund and supervising 7 sustainability projects at LSE. Through this she has also helped lead one-off opportunities, such as beach cleans, to encourage more students to volunteer. On top of this she has been an incredibly dedicated Student Volunteering Ambassador, completely throwing herself in to the role and helping organise a brilliant Student Volunteering Week. She has also helped raise more money for RAG through clothes sales. Her enthusiasm is infectious and she has been a pleasure to work with, she regularly goes above and beyond what is expected of her.
I witnessed Anna Martinovic put a huge amount of work into the LSE Community Engagement Programme’s consultancy challenge this year, acting as the main point of contact for the team and receiving praise from her teammates. I believe Anna should receive a special commendation from the Volunteer Centre this year for her drive and commitment to helping the sustainable development charity with whom she and her team collaborated.
Anna is a tremendous activist for people with disabilities and made her mark at LSE earlier this year by drawing attention to the accessibility issues on campus for disabled students and staff. Not only did she raise awareness for this issue, she offered her time and services to the School to evaluate campus accessibility and address barriers, with the goal of making the campus a fully accessible space for LSE’s disabled community. The central reason we would like to nominate Anna, however, is for her extraordinary and selfless work with the Ukrainian charity Fight for Right and U.S non-profit The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies coordinating evacuations of disabled Ukrainians since the outbreak of war at the end of February 2022. Anna became aware of this gap in capacity that was leaving members of the disabled community in Ukraine stranded and, without having experience undertaking this kind of work, stepped up to volunteer her time. She has been working tirelessly to help hundreds of Ukrainians reach safety in the face of great logistical obstacles, shifting her priorities from her course work and classes here at LSE to do so.
Name: Annie Wenn
Course: MSc in International Migration and Public Policy 2022
Voluntary Organisation: Literacy Pirates, Bail for Immigrated Detainees
It feels like Annie has volunteered non-stop during her time at LSE. I’ve been in awe of how she manages to achieve so much whilst completing her degree at the same time. Her volunteering includes being a Legal Caseworker for Bail for Immigrated Detainees, a Crewmate for The Literacy Pirates and a Student Volunteering Ambassador – she also played a major role in organising Student Volunteering Week 2022 at LSE. She always comes along with ideas and looks to support others with theirs. She’s an inspirational volunteer and I know that she’ll continue to give so much when she graduates from LSE.
Name: Arden Farrow
Course: BA in Social Anthropology 2022
Voluntary Organisation: Students Talk about Loss
Arden worked with national charity Let’s Talk about Loss to set up this bereavement group for students this year. She has worked tirelessly with minimal support to provide a space for students to be able to share their experiences of bereavement in a safe and confidential environment. Arden is keen for this group to continue next year, and the effort she has put into it so far is impressive, commendable, and a great example of using her own experiences to help support others.
Avery has been a true asset to the CoachBright community in her time volunteering with us. On her third programme she has come to be a leader amongst a team of coaches. She has created a special bond this academic year working with the same pupil across two terms terms, eager to stay on and paired so to continue to make a difference in a young person life. In working with John, a Y13 pupil, Avery has coached him in A-Level Sociology and watched his grades, confidence and resilience flourish. Not only has she coached John in academics but she has chosen and encouraged them to work together weekly in his UCAS university application, going above and beyond the expected. It has been a pleasure (and a testament to Avery) to watch the progress they have made and to watch John excitedly tell Avery the developments and acceptances as he is soon to begin the next chapter and watch her thoughtfully guide him. It has been a great pleasure to work with Avery and we will miss her dearly!
Name: Carys Larwood
Course: BSc in International Relations 2022
Voluntary Organisation: WONDER Foundation
Carys has continued to work as a researcher and writer to help further our projects in Africa, including Project GROW, which will empower women and girls through youth work. Additionally, she has contributed to a number of Being and Belonging events, which is one of our projects aimed at encouraging young people to critically engage with migrant integration policies. The time, effort, and understanding that Carys has put into her work with us demonstrate a thorough commitment not only to helping WONDER, but helping others in general.
Clara has been brilliant for us since the moment she joined. As a character she has proved herself to be diligent, dedicated, and reliable. She strikes a perfect balance between listening to others and understanding our needs as an organisation on the one hand, and suggesting creative and fresh options on the other. All this has helped her excel in her comms role. None of us were surprised to receive positive feedback on her work from people inside and outside or our think tank. The biggest compliment we can ever give to one of our volunteers is that we wouldn’t hesitate in offering them a permanent role if it came up; that is certainly the case here. I hope that an LSE award will go some way to us thanking Clara for all her hard work, great ideas, and positive influence.
Daniel has been an incredible volunteering during his time at LSE, going above and beyond for a number of causes. These include the charity which he founded, YouthPolitics UK, which is dedicated to giving the youth a voice and Young Manchester, where he is a trustee. On top of this he has shared his wisdom with many other students, been a fantastic Student Volunteering Ambassador, an #iwill Ambassador and has been recognised by receiving a Princess Diana Legacy Award. He’s been nothing short of inspirational throughout his entire time at LSE.
Name: Dowon Kim
Course: BSc in International Relations and History 2022
Voluntary Organisation: WONDER Foundation
Dowon has been volunteering with WONDER since 2020 in both a research and communications capacity. This year, she has been essential in providing WONDER with multime
dia assets by writing blogs and creating videos to share WONDER’s work with our partners, donors, and the general public. For a small charity, this is a valuable effort that directly impacts how many women and girls we are able to support. She has created video projects for the Wonder Foundation and has made a significant impact on spreading information about this organisation. The organisation helps provide education and career skills to women. She has been editing videos that the organisation has used on its social media page, which has helped the organisation spread awareness. She has also worked for the organisation as a volunteer since 2020, which means she has been part of many of their campaigns over time.
Name: Elena Chernysheva
Course: MSc in Environment and Development 2022
Voluntary Organisation: Camden Winter Shelter
Elena deserves to become the LSE Volunteer of the Year because apart from demanding studying at LSE, full-time job and an internship, she dedicated a lot of time to volunteering at the shelter and helping people. As an overnight volunteer at Camden Winter shelter, Elena served food to the guests in the evening, spent time with them to make them feel comfortable and stayed overnight in the shelter to be a focal point of contact in case of emergency. In total, Elena worked 13 overnight shifts (78 hours).
Name: Emmanuel Berhane
Course: BSc in Accounting and Finance 2023
Voluntary Organisation: Action Tutoring
Action Tutoring provides volunteer tutors to work with pupils preparing for GCSE exams or Key Stage 2 SATs in schools across the country and Emmanuel has volunteered as a maths tutor for an hour a week at Comber Grove and South Norwood Primary schools in London. Emmanuel supported 2 pupils and worked closely with them, devising lesson plans and activities, working to build both their subject knowledge as well as their confidence and study skills for a total of 20 hours. Emmanuel’s help has been very much appreciated by the school and has provided a wonderful opportunity for pupils to benefit from some intensive one to one support in preparation for their exams. Emmanuel was a committed, reliable and enthusiastic volunteer, relating very well to those he came into contact with through the programme, including pupils, teachers and fellow tutors, and was a valuable volunteer both for the school and for our organisation.
She’s co-ordinated all the peer support stalls throughout the year, looking for other volunteers and also making sure that we have snacks to hand out to students on their way into the library. Even when the term was really intense, she always made the time to support other students through planning the stalls and encouraging other peer supporters to get involved. She led the team with so much warmth and kind-heartedness, making such a positive impact on the team and other students.
Fanyu is a Student Academic Mentor who shows enthusiasm for her role and is always so positive and welcoming to her mentees, she never fails to cheer people up. I remember at the time when I met her just being struck by how she’d gone above and beyond to make sure her mentees felt welcomed at the start of term and took all of her mentors for a walk through London.
Name: Fflur Jones
Course: MSc in Human Rights and Politics 2022
Voluntary Organisation: WONDER Foundation
Fflur has worked on a number of blog posts for WONDER’s website. Her writing on cultural awareness, safeguarding, and mapping risks has been essential to sharing the important details of WONDER’s work with the outside world. Her assistance and participation in the Being & Belonging project (aimed at encouraging young people to critically engage with migrant integration policies) have been indispensable. Furthermore, Fflur has attended a number of training and workshops, demonstrating a strong commitment to learning from and helping others.