2016 Staff Winner

Kirsty Keywood, School of Law

Between 2010 and 2014 Kirsty served as a volunteer appropriate adult to the Greater Manchester Police Authority (now the Police and Crime Commissioner's Office).  In this role she was called out to poice stations to provide independent support to young people and adults who have mental health problems and learning disabilities while detained in custody.  This role ensures that vulnerable people who are arrested has someone to support and advise them and to ensure that they understand their rights.

Kirsty is currently working with Manchester People First.  She has supported them to manage a range of situations, providing legal advice and guidance which has allowed the organisation to manage some difficult situations.  She is now working with them to set up an advice clinic for service users in order to ensure their client group have the information they need to make informed decisions about their lives.

2016 Student Winner

Sarah Brown, School of Arts, Languages & Cultures

Sarah is the current Chair of Student Action, the volunteering arm of the Students’ Union.  In this role she oversees fifty students who are leading a wide variety of community volunteering projects, as well as a committee of thirteen members. She is integral to overseeing the smooth running of eighteen weekly student-led volunteering projects, as well as one-off events such as parties for elderly people and for people who have learning disabilities within the local area.

Aside from her role as Chair, Sarah also leads a Student Action volunteering project herself.  She runs People with People, a project which involves planning and running a weekly activities evening for a group of adults who have learning disabilities or autism.  The project fosters independence in the people who attend, as well as allowing time for socialising which they are not always able to access in their day-to-day life.  These sessions also allow parents and carers to take some time out of their very busy schedules.

In her role she has organised information events, set up meetings with local voluntary groups to discuss new projects and coordinated collections of clothing, Christmas gifts and sanitary products for homeless people.

Sarah has also been volunteering locally with Retrak, an international charity which supports children who are living on the streets to be able to access housing, education and employment.  Alongside this, she is a committed volunteer with The Life Foundation, a non-profit organisation founded by University of Manchester students, which works to support disabled children and adults who are living in government care homes in Romania.  She is additionally a voluntary trained Dementia Friends Champion.

Without Sarah taking on the significant responsibility of chairing Student Action, the huge array of student-led, community based volunteering projects which currently happen on an almost daily basis would not be able to run anywhere near as effectively, if at all.

2016 Alumni Winner

John Norgrove, BSc (T) Hons Civil Engineering 1971

John Norgrove is a co-founder and trustee of the Linda Norgrove Foundation, which he established over five years ago in the immediate aftermath of the death of his daughter, Linda Norgrove, an aid-worker in Afghanistan.  

John and his wife manage the daily running of the charity: fundraising; dealing with applications; monitoring and evaluating projects; liaising with trustees and partners and cooperating with government officials.  He also writes the majority of the foundation’s blogs and has highlighted the situation of marginalised women and children in Afghanistan publically, through speaking engagements and various media outlets.  

With his leadership, the foundation has helped fund projects to improve child-birthing knowledge in rural Afghanistan; projects to improve women’s economic situations through producing silk and honey and helped girls attend school.  However, he also understands the critical role that fun plays in the lives of children and funds a children’s circus that encourage play and learning new skills in the lives of children scarred by war. He has guided the charity to focus on the most vulnerable in a post-conflict state: its widows, who make up 1/5th of the adult female population and are often destitute in Afghan society; children with disabilities and needing surgery and dozens of other groups of poor and marginalised women and children lacking opportunities. 

The charity passed the £1 million mark donated to Afghanistan last year and John’s deep commitment has been vital to this incredible achievement.