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Students shine at the Students' Union Awards 2022

Written by: UPSU



Monday 16th May 2022 saw the return of one of the most glam awards nights in the Students' Union calendar, The Students' Union Awards 2022.A night to celebrate our incredible students for all the hard work they've put into their Students' Union, the University, and our local community, and what a night it was! 

Hosted in the Rolle Marquee, we had over 100 nominations for the awards which were shortlisted down to Award Winners and Highly Commended in some cases by select panels of students and staff of the Students' Union.

After being nominated by other students over the past few months, we saw so many students and their groups dressing up and coming together in the Rolle Marquee to see who won each award.  With 27 successful students celebrated with Half Colour Awards and 5 incredible students successfully received their Full Colours Awards.

We are proud to have a thriving student community here at your Students’ Union, that helps support the wellbeing of our members. These awards recognise some of our key communities of 120 societies with almost 4,000 members, 49 sports clubs with over 2,800 members, and over 170 student volunteers that have contributed over 7,500 hours to the local community. Within our student community, these activities and groups are helping students to have a successful, fulfilling, and rewarding time both at University and in the future. 



Activity Group of the Year 

- University of Plymouth Big Band - Winner

- University of Plymouth Student Choir  – Highly Commended 


Sports Club of the Year 

- University of Plymouth Archery Club - Winner

- University of Plymouth Netball Club – Highly Commended 


Student Personality of the Year

- David Martin – University of Plymouth Night Patrol - Winner

- Rachel Horrell – University of Plymouth Student Choir – Highly Commended 

- Harry Sims – University of Plymouth Ultimate Frisbee – Highly Commended 


Outstanding Contribution

- Richard Molyneux – University of Plymouth Big Band - Winner

- David Martin – University of Plymouth Night Patrol – Highly commended 


Fundraiser of the Year

- Jodie Howell – University of Plymouth Netball Club - Winner

- Aneesa Chowdhury – University of Plymouth Islamic Society – Highly Commended 


Best Student-Led Event

- University of Plymouth Big Band - Winner

- University of Plymouth MedSoc – Highly Commended 


Dedication to Volunteering 

- Summer Ashbury – University of Plymouth First Aid Society - Winner


Sustainability Award

- Sam Harms – University of Plymouth Yacht Club - Winner


Staff Choice Award

- Lisa Du Toit – University of Plymouth Swimming and Waterpolo - Winner



Student Led Event of the Year

This award goes to an individual or group that has shown commitment or enthusiasm for a project, event or campaign that has happened this academic year. This project or event could be ongoing or a one-off. The nominations for this award were very strong and we have decided to award a highly commended as well as a winner. 

The nominees for this award are: 

  • Plymouth Night Patrol 

  • MedSoc 

  • Raise and Give  

  • Big Band  


Our highly commended for this category was an event which required serious hard work and dedication. As an annually run event, it relies on a good performance to keep everything running for the upcoming years.

Congratulations to MedSoc for their annual show. 


This year’s winner is a student group that has taken an annual event and turned it into something that was hard to even imagine after COVID. The nearly sold-out event received nothing but amazing feedback from all members of the audience. It managed to bring 3 other Universities to Plymouth for a spectacular showcase of talent and joy. 

None of this would have been possible without their chair, Joshua Akinde, for Student Led Event of the Year in the form of Big Bands Battle of the Bands. Congratulations everyone. 




"What a fabulous evening it was great to celebrate with the students and be able to share all the positive things they have achieved after a few really challenging years – Well Done and Congrats to everyone."


- Nadine Jeffery, Sports Development Manager



Fundraiser of the Year

This award goes to an individual or group who has made a significant contribution to a particular charity or charities over the academic year. This award is given to a student or student group that raises the profile and awareness of a charity, as well as raising the money. Both nominations were so strong, that we have decided to give a highly commended award as well. 

The nominees for his category are: 

  • Jodie Howell  

  • Aneesa Chowdhury 

Our highly commended award goes to someone who has managed to raise over £14,000 during their annual charity week. This money was raised through a plethora of different events, from daily bake sales to FIFA tournaments.

Congratulations to Aneesa Chowdhury from the Islamic society for being instrumental in organising the week. 


Our winner of this year's award is Jodie Howell from our Netball club. Jodie has been proactive in organising events from right at the start of the year as their clubs' fundraising sec. Before the year had even begun, Jodie was organising joint fundraising events to make money for different charities. Jodie contacted 63 local businesses in order to present prizes for their UPNC raffle. Some of her highlights included the 1st vs Navy charity game and the organisation of 12 girls who trekked Mount Snowdon in February. Jodie and UPNC have managed to raise well over £2000 for their chosen charity, MIND. Congratulations Jodie Howell. 




Dedication to Volunteering

This award goes to an individual or group who has shown a positive attitude and stands out from others. They have shown a high level of commitment and enthusiasm for volunteering. The winner of this award is a member of the First Aid society and has shown dedication to a huge number of organisations including the NHS, Royal voluntary service, St Johns Ambulance, the Alzheimer’s society, and the Army cadet force. They have coordinated a programme in which 200 student volunteers supported the local covid-19 pandemic effort which included aiding local emergency departments and the vaccination scheme.

This person is an extremely deserving winner of this award so please join me in congratulating our winner, Summer Ashby. 




A fantastic night to showcase and celebrate the achievements of student groups, it was great to see everyone together and enjoying themselves. 


- Louise Mealand, UPSU Activites Manager



Sustainability Award

This award is given to an individual or group who made significant contributions to reducing their environmental impact over the year. They have active care and understanding of sustainability, and they make an effort to ensure sustainability is embedded within their student group. 

The nominations for this award are as follows: 

  • Sam Harms for the University of Plymouth Yacht Club

  • The University of Plymouth Environmental Society  

The winner of this award has their own role as environment secretary. Their job is to ensure there is a strict sustainability ethos within the club. This year the student has ensured that eco-friendly products have been used, been in contact with environmentally conscious suppliers and carried out beach and marina cleans.

So congratulations to Sam Harms. 




Staff Choice Award

This award is given to the student or student group that staff recognise for going the extra mile and deserve recognition for their contribution to the student or wider community. They show dedication to their SU and are constantly working hard to go above and beyond for their student group. 

The nominations for this category are: 

  • Amrita Singh from the University of Plymouth Storm Cheerleading Club

  • Heather Donaldson, our Give it a Go Activator 

  • Lisa Du Toit from the University of Plymouth Swimming and Waterpolo Club

The winner of this award is someone who has managed to take 3 different sports and run them all under one umbrella, ensuring all members are satisfied. They also have been able to maintain and develop a relationship with external facility providers to ensure the club gets what they need to run successfully. Using this relationship, they have managed to successfully change the time of their slot which has had a massive impact on the ease of BUCS fixtures for other Universities, as well as our own, in the up-and-coming academic year. All of this alongside managing a PhD makes this person a very worthy winner. 

Our winner is, Lisa Du Toit. 




"It’s fantastic to be able to hold these annual awards again in person and to hear about all the amazing achievements from students involved in the SU. It is always humbling for me to hear the difference students are making for each other and in the local community, whilst also being able to do their course. All very worthy award winners and I look forward to build on this event for next year."


- Oliver Horne, UPSU Director of Student Experience




Outstanding Contribution

This award is given to a student who has demonstrated success or made a huge impact on UPSU throughout the year. It will recognise an individual who is inclusive of everyone, has a positive attitude, and is an inspiration to others. This is another category where we had such strong nominations, we are also presenting a highly commended award. 

The nominees are for this award are: 

  • Jodie Howell  

  • David Marton 

  • Richard Molyneux 

  • George Kennedy 

  • Harry Simms 

  • Chloe Trout 

Our highly commended award goes to a person who has founded and ran one of UPSUs' most talked about societies this year. They have shown a commitment to others that is rarely seen, filling a void in the emergency services and keeping everyone here safe when we are out having fun. Without this person's hard work, we would be without something that we have all come to rely upon.

Congratulations to David Martin, the founder of the University of Plymouth Night Patrol Society for being awarded highly commended.


Our winner of the outstanding contribution award 2022 is a person who stepped up within their student group, very close to a big event. They have been instrumental in planning for events, keeping members well informed and using their free time to help individuals that have asked for it.

Our well-deserving winner is, Richard Molyneux from the University of Plymouth’s Big Band. 




Activity Group of the Year

This award will go to a society that has demonstrated professionalism, outstanding achievements and team working across the academic year.  

The nominees are: 

  • Big Band 

  • Plymouth Choir Society 

  • Plymouth Night Patrol 

  • Tropical Island Society  

Due to the fantastic achievements this year we are awarding a highly commended.    

The highly commended goes to a society that has put their members at the forefront of all decisions. They implemented changes to ensure members felt included and valued, this included socials. Socials have been reviewed and quieter places have been chosen to ensure all members are sat together and more options for non-drinkers.  

Congratulations and well done to Choir.    


The winner of this award has had a massive presence within the University and Students' Union community this year. The society has performed at several University events (such as the Civic Dinner in 'The Box' and the recent VC Awards. They also collaborated with RAG and DentSoc for their Society Balls and participated in the SU’s Diversity showcase. They put on their own 'Winter Showcase' and successfully hosted the 'SW Battle of the Big Bands' between Plymouth, Exeter, Bristol and Falmouth.   

The society took the lead in trialling rehearsals during pandemic conditions, and although these eventually could not continue, they demonstrated perseverance. This core value has been championed by this year's committee, overcoming several challenges to allow the society to successful start again whilst taking precautions to make practice and playing covid safe. They have stood their ground with external institutions in the interest of maintaining a safe and inclusive environment for their members, even at the risk of loss of revenue, and have prioritised the well-being of its members by holding band and committee members accountable.  

A massive congratulations to the University of Plymouth Big Band 




Sports Club of the Year

This award goes to an outstanding sports club who have excelled this year and made a positive difference to the lives of their members by building a strong community and providing a range of opportunities alongside their sport. 

The nominations from all the clubs were really strong therefore there will also be a Highly Commended for this award 

The nominees are: 

  • University of Plymouth Archery Club

  • University of Plymouth Storm Cheerleading Club

  • University of Plymouth Netball Club

  • University of Plymouth Sailing Club

  • University of Plymouth Ultimate Frisbee Club

  • University of Plymouth Yacht Club

The Highly Commended award goes to a club that became one of the largest SU clubs with over 200 members, they worked hard over the year to make the club welcoming and inclusive. They gave students a range of opportunities to engage by providing students at all levels to play their sport, take part in charity fundraising events where they exceeded their target raising over £2500, hosted regular socials often with other student groups and gaining sponsorship to provide funding to improve the club with better training and equipment. 

Well done and Congratulations to the Netball Club  


The winner of this award has excelled at engaging students into their sport by spending time to develop their members' skills where some who had never picked up a bow before managed to achieve outstanding results in their BUCS competition. This has also led to a sustained membership with large numbers turning up to their weekly sessions where the more experienced archers have taken their time teaching new things, tips and tricks. This has bought about a real sense of community within the club which has had a significant impact on the well-being of the members, so important with the pressures and challenges of University life. 

If you haven’t guessed already Big Congratulations to the Archery Club 




"Congratulations to everyone who won awards and also to everyone who was nominated.  We are so proud of all of our students and their achievements, and it was fabulous to be able to celebrate with everyone at our annual awards."


- Nicky Goldthorpe, UPSU Chief Executive Officer



Student Personality of the Year

This award goes to an individual that stands out and excels in their field. They are enthusiastic and passionate about what they do, as well as a unique individual with a positive attitude toward their student group and UPSU. 

We had several nominations for this category, which made it very hard to choose. All these nominees have been highly motivated to make their student group better and been role models for their members, being supportive and reliable. We have decided to award 2 highly commended certificates as well as our winner. Well done to all our nominees: 

  • Harry Simms 

  • Camilla Labonte 

  • David Marton 

  • Katie Mole 

  • Bethany Pearce  

  • Rachel Horrell  

  • Kelsey Parsons 

Our first highly commended award goes to Rachel Horrell. Rachel has been involved heavily in both Big Band and Choir. In Big Band, Rachel was instrumental in ensuring inclusivity and diversity, including making sure there was a female judge in the Battle of the Big Bands event. As chair of Choir, Rachel led a change in the society to make sure all decisions were voted on by the members. She also noticed that some socials weren’t inclusive of everyone's wants and needs, so made sure there were other options. Congratulations Rachel. 

Our second highly commended in this award goes to someone who consistently goes above and beyond for their sports club. A role that is usually shared by 2 students was absorbed by this one person and has done an outstanding job. They regularly ask for feedback throughout the year to make sure all members are happy and able to attend sessions. Another notable change is the fantastic use of this group's social media, getting regular engagement and positive content. Congratulations to Harry Simms, the team manager for Ultimate Frisbee. 


Our winner of this closely contested award is truly deserving of it. This person has spent all 4 years of his university life creating and maintaining their student group, which started off in their first year as a welfare signposting service, and now is one of the most relied upon societies to our student body. This person’s drive and passion to help others have created a positive and professional environment for all members to work in. He has dedicated himself to his society and is the epitome of the personality of the year for UPSU.

A huge congratulations to our winner, David Martin from Plymouth Night Patrol.