Student Winner

Robert Cartwright-Speakman, School of Medical Sciences

Rob is actively involved in a number of community activities across the University, locally, and nationally. He has been involved in widening participation (WP)work in Wigan (where he is from) for over 4 years, running school outreach sessions on how to get into medicine and what a career in medicine entails. He has recently started working on a ‘Future Medic’  curriculum to give to schools and has already had local schools interested in using this to start medical societies. His national WP work has involved being part of a national forum, running multiple workshops which teach students and professionals about WP and how it can be improved. He has also created a WP scheme at the company he works for which provides exam resources for medical students and the scheme he has created gives free access to these resources for WP students having now had over 400 sign ups.

Rob is also the North West lead for a national charity known as AIMS Guide where he mentors WP students from the North West on a 1:1 basis, matches up other keen medical students to budding WP students and delivers teaching sessions. He is also a student Medical Liaison Officer for the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund - a charity that provides financial support and advice to medical students and doctors who end up with financial issues and promotes their activities among our students, many whom have been impacted by the pandemic, as many part time jobs ceased during the multiple lockdowns.

Alumni Winner

Barnaby Weston, BA (Hons) History and American Studies 2017

Barney is co-founder of Football For Future, a charity with a mission to build a more environmentally sustainable culture in English football. 

Its first project has been to develop and deliver the first educational workshops on the relationship between football and climate change to a total of 150+ young Londoners through a project with Nike and their partners Tottenham Hotspur FC, Chelsea FC, and Mason Mount. This set an important precedent in football, that it is not invulnerable to  the threat of climate change. The project was communicated through Nike, Tottenham Hotspur FC and Chelsea FC channels - generating over one million impressions - and managed to generate perhaps a high profile player to speak out on the relationship between football and climate change, Chelsea FC midfielder Mason Mount.

Secondly it has supported a Premier League club to become more environmentally sustainable through a process of establishing the club's current environmental footprint, and then developing recommendations regarding how to improve this footprint and launching  an ambitious sustainability strategy.

The club has not just become more environmentally sustainable,  reducing the club's emissions, but it has also set an important precedent to the club's fans and communicated climate change to them in a way that Extinction Rebellion and Greta Thunberg cannot.

Student Groups Winner

Student Angels, University of Manchester Students' Union

The Student Angels is a night-time street safety initiative where a group of trained student volunteers go out on a Friday and Saturday during the peak night times (between 10pm - 4am), to support the Manchester community. They volunteers are able to support their peers and the wider community by having general conversations to make sure they’re okay, and can provide first aid as well as aid anyone who might be vulnerable. 

The project, funded by the city council, works closely with the local police to ensure that volunteers are confident to go out in the city during these peak night times. 

The Student Angels help to keep nights out in Manchester safe for students and vulnerable people; the volunteers act as friendly faces that people can ask for help as well as surveillance, looking out for people who need help and acting as a deterrent to people who may want to start trouble.

Staff Winner

Florian Walter, School of Health Sciences

Florian volunteers for an online crisis helpline called Shout, a  service  for people struggling with things such as self harm or suicidal thoughts or who are struggling to cope with various aspects of their life. As a volunteer, Florian is a person to talk to and to be reassured by but he also points people in directions where they can receive more information or help. In extreme cases, Florian can also arrange for police or ambulance services to provide immediate help to the people messaging in. Florian takes time out of his evenings and nights to volunteer for this service as this is when most people are likely to message in and he often goes above and beyond the hours expected of him by adding additional shifts/hours to his schedules during particularly busy times (such as Christmas and New Year) or when there is a large number of people waiting to be spoken to.

Florian's work with shout has no doubt saved many people from committing acts of self harm or committing suicide. He has spoken to over 300 people on the platform and has helped as many of these as he possibly could. There has been instances where Florian has messaged with someone for several hours to reassure them and to prevent them from doing anything to harm themselves or others. This work has also been especially relevant during the lockdown periods due to COVID-19.