Student 2nd place

Fangyuan Zhou, School of Social Sciences

Fangyuan leads the Student Action Intergen project, which runs film afternoons, dance lessons, seasonal parties hosted throughout the year, and a final summer day event. Fangyuan took the reins this year after being a volunteer herself last year.  The project aims to tackle the issue of loneliness and isolation among people who are elderly, whilst at the same time giving students the opportunity to spend time with people from the local community. 

Fangyuan has helped the project to grow significantly, trying new initiatives such as the dance classes, and introducing seasonal parties for the group. She has helped to attract a large number of volunteers, giving students the chance to try something new.  For some of the volunteers Fangyuan’s project is the first time they have volunteered at University; many volunteers are international students, and some volunteers now attend the group regularly.

She manages a mailing list of over 150 local people who are connected by the Intergen project, with new members being added regularly.  Some members have been attending the group for years, and see it as a way of looking after themselves; others have made friends through the group and look forward to the daytrip every year.