We’re celebrating the #PowerOfYouth for #VolunteersWeek! Young people aren’t just the leaders of tomorrow. They are changing society for the better, today.

Community Volunteer of the Year          

This award is designed to recognise the valuable contribution students have made through volunteering in their wider community. We were looking for students who have made a great impact to people’s lives through their voluntary work. It was an extremely difficult decision as we received some great nominations, so for this award we have given an Honourable Mention as well as a winner.

The Honourable Mention went to Cassandra Gruetzner, who was described as warm, personable and witty and who has assisted the Student Union in developing a welcoming environment for students to call home. She has frequently contributed to the Union’s policy and debate surrounding Brexit and has generally been a pleasure to work with on committee and campaign projects.

The winner of the Community Volunteer of the Year award went to Emily Hencher, someone who is the embodiment of ‘community’ and who gives 110% in everything she does whether it is part of her won society or supporting others. She is President of the Uni Boob Team and has done a huge amount to raise awareness of breast cancer within the University and in the wider community. She is bubbly, caring and community-focused and is so invested in the causes she champions that it’s difficult not to be inspired by her!

Emily Hencher

Environmental Projects Volunteer of the Year   

This award recognises the important environmental work that is undertaken by students volunteering.

Winner, Mercedesz Alpern, was nominated twice and was described as energetic, hardworking with a strong passion for environmental issues. Always happy and enthusiastic, she encourages people to volunteer and has organised workshops ranging from crochet to making bath bombs.

Mercedesz Alpern

Student Volunteer Group of the Year                    

This award recognises fantastic groups of students who come together and volunteer their time to make a difference to the lives of others.

The Winners – the STEER captains – have consistently gone over and above when supporting students, have ensured new students always know there’s someone they can turn to and have identified areas of development for future years. 

Representing the STEER Captains

Student Volunteer of the Year                                  

This award highlights the amazing efforts of some individuals and the impact just one person can have. We received some amazing nominations and have decided to award 2 Honourable Mentions as well as the Winner.

The first Honourable Mention went toJessie Henderson, who puts in an incredible amount of time and effort into making her fellow students’ lives better. She frequently attends events to represent students’ interests and has gone above and beyond to enjoy voices of Care Experienced students and mature students are heard. Despite only being in her first year at FVC on a 2+2 course, she has done some amazing work.

The second Honourable Mention went to Craig Stephen, who is ambitious and determined as well as extremely supportive of others. He has spoken out for LGBTQ+ rights and experiences, particularly in sport and ensured that discussions around this are more open and accepted. He has taken his role on the Sports Exec very seriously and been a fantastic ambassador for the Sports Union and the University as a whole.

The winner of this award, Sonny Bailey, has made a real difference to the lives of disabled students on campus. He organised a successful Autism Awareness event in April this year and ensured that the Student Union has dedicated ‘quiet hours’ to allow students who struggle with high levels of noise to be able to participate. He has been incredibly involved and effective in a relatively short space of time and has helped highlight improvements the University can make to ensure it is an inclusive space for everyone.

Find out more about the Careers and Employability Services at the University of Stirling and find out how you can get involved in volunteering opportunities!