VCS Awards 2014

GUSRC Volunteering, Clubs and Societies Awards 2014 are here! Each year the SRC ask students to identify the club, society or individual who deserves recognition for their contribution to Glasgow University’s brilliant clubs, socs and volunteering community.

The 2014 VCS Awards ceremony was held on the 27th March in Room 201 of the John McIntyre Building.

This year was another incredible year for our volunteers and affiliated clubs/societies. As we stand we have nearly 1,000 registered volunteers and almost 230 affiliated clubs and societies at the University, giving many thousands of students the opportunity to develop transferable skills alongside their degrees, not to mention the positive impact on the local community and overseas, through partnerships formed with multiple charities and organisations.  Over 60 individuals submitted one or more nominations this year, leaving the panel with some really tough decisions to make.

Below are some photos from the event as well as the list of clubs/societies/members/volunteers who won the various categories on the night. Also included is some information as to why they were selected.  Hopefully this will also inspire next year’s members and volunteers. It gives a great insight into what can be achieved in just one year.

Breffni O’Connor
SRC VP Student Activities


Fundraising Award:

The winner of the Fundraising Award this year was: GU MARY’S MEALS GROUP

The Mary’s Meals group held a number of different imaginative events to raise money for their charity, which fund meals for children in Malawi. They ran a clothes swap and shook cans on the street, but what really impressed the panel was their “Porridge Week” where members took to eating only rice and porridge for a whole week, the average daily diet of a child in Malawi. This year Mary’s Meals raised over £2,000 and currently they are running their “Bag Pack” appeal, collecting stationery, clothes, toiletries etc. all of which will be sent to children in Malawi

Innovation Award:

The winner of the Innovation Award this year was: GLASGOW UNIVERSITY SERVICE TO HOMELESS

Recognising that their regular service users don’t necessarily have positive Christmas experiences, GUSH held a “Christmas Collection” for service users of their bi-weekly soup kitchen. The group reached out to the students of the University of Glasgow to donate presents such as toiletries, blankets, clothes and food and then held a wrapping event where everyone was invited to wrap the presents for the service users which would be handed out at the soup kitchen. This event went down really well with the service users, and was so well publicised that it attracted new members to the society.

Publicity Award:

The winner of the Publicity Award this year was: AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

Amnesty International have taken the creativity and dedication of their members and turned their society into a highly active and strong presence on campus. Their website contains weekly newsletters, informing members of weekly campaigns and events and it also contains blogs from students, updating members on their activity. They post relevant news articles and petitions, not to mention the photos from pretty much everything they do.

For the Secret Policeman’s Ball, Amnesty International held a poster design competition, using the winner’s poster to publicise the event, and they also ran a campaign with all 4 student bodies regarding LGBTQ+ rights in Russia. On top of all this they have carried out thought-provoking events such as the Guantanamo Bay demonstration where members wore orange jumpsuits around campus and around Byres Road to raise awareness of the detainees at Guantanamo.

Students and Communities Award:

The winner of the Students and Communities Award was: ENACTUS GLASGOW

Enactus Glasgow has started an incredible programme called the Career Camp Project. Working with the Prince’s Trust group at Maryhill Central Hall, they work with 18–25 year olds to help develop the skills and confidence needed to improve employability. Enactus work with young people who have rarely completed high school and some have criminal histories. From assisting in composing a C.V. to developing teamwork and articulating existing skills, this has allowed the group to organise their own charity event, showcasing what had been gained through the programme.

Exceptional Event Award:

The winner of the Exceptional Event Award this year was: “QUESTION TIME” — DIALECTIC SOCIETY

The Dialectic Society put together Question Time at the start of this semester. High profile names attended the event including Nicola Sturgeon MSP, Ruth Davidson MSP, Patrick Harvie MSP and Anas Sarwar MP, SRC President Jess McGrellis and World Debating Championships finalist John McKee. The topics discussed included higher education and the independence referendum and they also worked with various other societies on campus, such as GUST, to host the event. The event was packed and was featured in Glasgow Guardian, qmunicate and on STV. The publicity for the event was great, with names being announced at various times and publicised campus-wide.

Partnership Award:

The winner of the Partnership Award was: GLASGOW MARROW

At the start of the year, Glasgow Marrow decided to establish links with local and national bodies to increasing registrations to the Anthony Nolan Trust. Some of the organisations they work with include The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service West, Caledonian and Strathclyde University, Glasgow Clyde College and Virgin Media. On campus they work the GUMS and the paediatrics Society and the Glasgow Uni Alumni Football Group. Two particular initiatives which the panel found interesting was “Ayesha’s Appeal”, where the society encourage Asian donors to join the register to help find a match for Ayesha Siddiqui and, secondly, The Maccabi Jewish Synagogue, where Glasgow Marrow encourage younger members of the Jewish community to register on “Mitzvah Day”.

Pride of Volunteering:

The winner of the Pride of Volunteering Award was: ASHLEIGH GOUGH and CHARLIE STAMENOVA (Nightline Co-ordinators)

Ashleigh and Charlie have put an incredible amount of time and effort into running Nightline this year. As well as putting in the hours volunteering, they have also held regular committee meetings, have reached out to students in Dumfries campus to include them in the project, and have continued to help grow the number of volunteers and calls. New volunteers are joining the programme all the time and they have helped them settle in to the volunteering programme. Charlie and Ashleigh have worked with their committee members to ensure that GU students know that there is a listening and signposting run for them by students, throughout the week.

Volunteer of the Year:

The winner of the Volunteer of the Year Award was: MARIJA UZJURAITYTE (Conversational English)

Conversational English is a volunteering programme that allows international students to help improve their spoken English by meeting regularly with students who speak the language fluently. Marija was nominated by her partner from Thailand who wanted to recognise the support she felt she had received from Marija through this project. As an international student in a new environment, Marija’s partner felt that Marija had helped with more than just her language skills — a really great example of what a project like Conversational English can provide to volunteers and international students alike.

Best New Society:

The winner of the Best New Society Award was: GU TECH SOCIETY

GU Tech Society started towards the beginning of last semester and has encouraged interaction between Computing Science students, academics and other students with an interest in anything tech related.

They have put on talks, enterprise nights, film nights. They have formed gaming groups, a web development group and a mobile app development group. With their society reaching over 300 members, they have developed partnerships with Skyscanner, Cisco, Barlcays, and Amazon, to name just a few. The highlight event of the year was when they organised a 3 day overnight hack-a-thon event and a ‘Monthly Mobile’ app group where researchers and entrepreneurs from around Scotland gave talks about recent breakthroughs in the area of mobile software. They have also developed a fantastic website which is easy to navigate, making it easy for members to know what’s going on and when.

Most Dedicated Member:

The winner of the Most Dedicated Member Award was: JANE HAMILTON (Paediatrics Society)

Jane Hamilton founded this society this year and was nominated by others in her group in recognition of the time she has dedicated to making it such a success. At their first AGM, over 50 students turned up and they formed a committee of 10 people. Jane travelled to London to take part in society day training, established links on campus with groups like Teddy Bear Hospital, Medics Against Violence, Sexpression and many more and has communicated with external organisations such as Yorkhill Children’s Foundation.  She has also created an engaging social media and twitter account and has liaised with different sponsors to raise over £1500 for the society (as well as lots of free stuff!).

She has spent hundreds of hours working on the National Undergraduate Paediatrics Conference including contributions to design, delegate packs, speakers, doctors academy affiliation and overall co-ordination of the entire conference. She has organised speakers most notably Dr. Ranj Singh the CBeebies presenter, and she is also involved in the Youth Advisory Panel of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.  Jane has shown huge dedication and enthusiasm to her role this year, and the scale of her contribution greatly impressed the panel.