College students, staff and community partners that pioneer social action and volunteering opportunities have been celebrated at the inaugural Good for Me Good for FE awards.
The awards, sponsored by NCFE were launched in September to recognise colleges and individuals who have gone above and beyond to support their communities.
Seventeen winners and highly commended finalists were revealed at an online awards ceremony this afternoon with nearly 200 attendees.
Three finalists for the special recognition award were also announced. The winner of that award will be revealed at a special awards reception at the House of Lords in December where all of the winners will receive their awards.
Opening the awards ceremony, Sam Parrett, group principal and chief executive of London South East Colleges, said: “Today’s award winners make such a positive difference to their colleges and their communities. The stories we have heard today are truly inspiring and we are absolutely delighted to be celebrating such wonderful achievements from all corners of the UK.
“Volunteering is so valuable. As well as helping people in need, it supports young people to develop crucial life and employment skills, such as communication and teamwork, which are vital for successful progression and job outcomes.”
A tutor and her cohort of hair and beauty students took were announced as the winners of the social impact award.
Deborah Ball and her Nottingham College students raised over £1500 by organising a pamper day; using their skills to fundraise for life-saving equipment placed around the city centre for victims of knife crime. This followed the death of Byron Griffin, a local 22-year-old who was killed by a single stab wound in July 2021.
Award judges said the students demonstrated “fantastic leadership, community engagement and responsive citizenship”.
The student volunteer of the year award went to Harry Disney from Loughborough College. The T Level student and aspiring paramedic volunteers with the NHS as a community first responder and uses his skills to support tutors and classmates with in-class demonstrations.
Judges said: “The positive impact that this individual has on the wider college community is immense. He dedicates so much of his spare time to volunteering, and then shares his knowledge and expertise with others.”
And the staff volunteer of the year award went to Penny Taylor from Lincoln College Group.
Taylor worked with local supermarkets and businesses and fundraised for resources to create a non-means tested foodbank at each of the college’s sites. The service also provides students in need with pre-prepared meal bags to take home and was expanded to provide free breakfasts to staff when the cost of living crisis hit.
“Like all of us working in FE, I am motivated by the students and the care we have for them all. We work closely as a team at Lincoln and really see the benefits of this in terms of what we can achieve – not just through delivering food but through the social aspect too,” Taylor said.
See below for the full list of winners.