On Wednesday 4 May, the LSE community came together for the first in-person ceremony since 2019 to celebrate student volunteering and fundraising over the past academic year. The LSE Volunteer Centre was excited to host our annual volunteering awards with LSE staff, students, and charity partners. We were also proud to announce the award winners, chosen from charity and student nominations.
The LSE Volunteer Centre is delighted to be working in partnership with LSESU RAG (Raising and Giving) and it was great to be joined by Michelle Soh (BSc International Relations 2023), the LSESU RAG President. Despite it being her first year on campus Michelle has taken this role in her stride and pulled off the biggest Giving Tuesday to date and has raised £75,000 in her role – huge congratulations to Michelle and the RAG committee!
We also heard Tanya Marwaha speak, Tanya is one of the LSE Student Volunteering Ambassadors who has started her own charity since being at LSE, Championing Youth Minds. Tanya spoke about how inspirational LSE students are and how seeing older students inspired her to have the confidence to start her own charity and make a difference in supporting students to take care of their mental wellbeing.
Our final speaker was LSE Volunteer of the Year 2021, Ed Unwin (BSc International Relations, 2022), who is a Student Volunteering Ambassador and taken on various volunteering roles during his time at LSE, making a huge difference to a number of different organisations. He spoke about the importance of taking pride in your volunteering, and allowing yourself to be proud and celebrate your own volunteering- something we couldn’t agree with more at the LSE Volunteer Awards!
The LSE Volunteer of the Year 2022 was awarded to Anna Landre (MSc International Development and Humanitarian 2023) for her volunteering to coordinate evacuations of disabled Ukrainians since the outbreak of war. She has been working tirelessly to help hundreds of Ukrainians reach safety in the face of great logistical obstacles. Not only has she been supporting people with disabilities in Ukraine she also made her mark at LSE earlier this year by drawing attention to the accessibility issues on campus for disabled students and staff. 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.
Alice Rigo-Saitta (BSc Sociology 2022) was awarded Outstanding Contribution to the LSE Community, for her inspirational work in LSESU Sustainable Futures, amongst other roles. 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 seven 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.
“I ended up at LSE by chance – but it’s been one of the most rewarding times of my life. The biggest highlight throughout has been volunteering for different societies, and meeting many inspiring people like those at the Volunteer Centre. I’m truly grateful to be leaving university with this award, as it really symbolises how I have grown, changed, learned, and what LSE has meant to me.” Alice Rigo-Saitta (BSc Sociology 2022)
We were proud to announce Dialogue Society as the LSE Voluntary Organisation of the Year 2022! The Dialogue Society has invested a lot of time and effort in strengthening its relationship with the LSE and its volunteers this year. The charity participated in a Charity Tuesday, joined the LSE Community Engagement Programme (CEP) 2022 and will shortly start the LSE’s Summer Volunteering Scheme for Disabled Students 2022. Additionally, the Dialogue Society held an iftar dinner at the LSE in collaboration with the LSE Faith Centre at which they furthered the ‘community theme’ and celebrated the work of the volunteers who collaborated with them on the CEP. Indeed, during the CEP, I observed how the charity consistently went out of its way to be present for its student team, contribute to the students’ intellectual and personal development, introduce them to useful networks, and show its gratitude for their efforts.
“We are delighted and honoured to be the recipient of this award. As a charity, we strive for the betterment of society and are of course not expecting things in return but recognition motivates us and inspire us further. We will continue our work with more dedication than ever.” Nuran Urkmezturk, Dialogue Society
We’d like to say a massive thank you to our winners, nominees and supporters across the LSE community and charity sector. In our mission to inspire and empower students to volunteer, you have in turn inspired and empowered us!