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Key Dates

Nomination period open: Monday 20th Feb 12pm

Nomination period close: Thursday 23rd Mar Midnight

Awards night: Wednesday 17th May Location: Plymouth Albion

  • Overview
  • Award Categories
  • Example Nominations
  • Begin Nominating

Year on year we are blown away by the outstanding contribution of our student volunteers, and the time they dedicate to supporting the local and wider community.

UPSU will be holding The Volunteering Awards on Wednesday 17th May to recognise and celebrate the commitment and hard work of all of our volunteers and community partners.

Nominations for the awards are now OPEN! Anyone can submit a nomination (even your mum!) so what are you waiting for?

Awards

Overall Awards

Outstanding Contribution to Volunteering

The Outstanding Contribution award will be awarded to an individual whose volunteering has had a huge impact on the cause they have supported.

  • Someone who has shown a high level of commitment to their cause.
  • A clear and tangible benefit of the individual’s volunteering to the community/charity partner.
  • Examples of how their volunteering has significantly improved their project/cause.
  • Examples of how they have increased engagement of fellow students in volunteering.
Dedication to Volunteering

This will be awarded to a student who embodies everything a UPSU Volunteer should be.

  • Someone who has shown a huge level of commitment to a variety of causes over their time at university.
  • Hardworking, enthusiastic and reliable but does not have to be at the forefront.
  • A positive role model for volunteering and UPSU and encourages others to get involved.
Leadership Award

This will be awarded to an individual who has shown great leadership skills within UPSU or the wider community.

  • Someone who has taken a lead within a committee, led their own project or shown leadership during activities.
  • A team player.
  • Demonstrated the skills of leadership during projects, events or activities.
  • Takes an active part in volunteering, UPSU events, fundraising activities etc.
  • Someone who is supportive, inclusive, friendly and has a positive attitude.
UPSU Half Colours

Awarded to individual students for their dedication and/or involvement within volunteering.

  • Someone who has shown dedication and/or involvement within volunteering.
  • Someone who has gone above and beyond what is required of them as a volunteer.
  • Someone who has made a huge contribution to the cause they support.
UPSU Full Colours

They have shown continued, outstanding dedication or made an exceptional contribution to volunteering during their time at Plymouth University.

  • Someone who satisfies the criteria for half colours.
  • Someone who has shown outstanding dedication or made an exceptional contribution to volunteering.
  • Someone who has incorporated volunteering as an integral part of their student experience.
  • They may have also shown commitment to other areas of UPSU such as student societies, sports clubs and representation over the course of their time at Plymouth University.
Friend of UPSU Award

This will be awarded to an organisation or person who has gone above and beyond in their support and engagement of student volunteers.

  • They go the extra mile in supporting student volunteers.
  • They execute good practice in volunteer recruitment.
  • They have made the volunteer experience fun and valuable to the students.
  • They celebrate and recognise their volunteers' commitment.

Student Led Volunteering Project Awards

Champion Volunteer

A Champion Volunteer award will be awarded for each of the Student Led Volunteering projects; The Green Team, Unicycle, Special Olympics and Animal Conservation.

  • Shown dedication to the project by having taken part in two or more of the project’s events.
  • Developed as an individual and/or grown in confidence.
  • Demonstrated great teamwork and put effort into getting to know others during project events.
  • Gone above and beyond in their efforts to complete set tasks during project events.
Volunteer of the Year

The UPSU Student Led Volunteering – Volunteer of the Year award will go to an individual who has shown true commitment and great enthusiasm for two or more Student Led Volunteering projects.

  • Shown dedication to two or more projects by having taken part in 4 or more different project events.
  • Developed as an individual and/or grown in confidence.
  • Demonstrated great teamwork and put effort into getting to know others during project events.
  • Gone above and beyond in their efforts to complete set tasks during project events.
Project Leader of the Year

This award goes to a leader of a UPSU Student Led Volunteering Project who has fully championed their cause, shown great leadership and been a sound ambassador for student volunteering, both within internal and external communities.

  • Shown true commitment to their project and to the Student Led Volunteering community.
  • Developed as an individual and/or grown in confidence.
  • Supported fellow project leaders and other Student Led Volunteering projects.
  • Significantly contributed to sustaining/growing their project.
  • Demonstrated sound leadership skills including brilliant organisational capabilities, good motivation of others, clear direction, and/or creating a team spirit.
  • Had a clear positive impact on the student volunteers engaged in their project and/or on the charitable objectives of their community partners.

Community Volunteering Awards

Award for Commitment

This award goes to a student volunteer in the community who has demonstrated ongoing and regular commitment.

  • The individual will have been volunteering for an organisation for the majority of the academic year.
  • The individual is reliable and dedicated to the cause.
  • The individual is a good advocate for their chosen organisation.
Award for Personal Development

This award goes to a student volunteer in the community who has developed as in individual throughout their time volunteering.

  • Regular, ongoing commitment and dedication over a period of time and.
  • Personal development or advancement during their time with their chosen organisation. This could include, but is not limited to:
  • o Settling into a new role.
  • o A noticeable increase in confidence.
  • o The development of skills (these could be “transferable” or role specific, either formally acquired through a training programme or developed through volunteering experience).
  • o Stepping up what he/she offers through his/her volunteering etc.
Community Volunteer of the Year Award

This award goes to a student volunteer in the community who has made an outstanding contribution through their community volunteering by going over and above what’s expected of them.

  • Someone who has shown commitment to their host organisation.
  • Their impact on their host organisation or its service users (as a whole or individually) can be clearly demonstrated.
  • Someone who is a good advocate for their chosen organisation.

RAG Volunteer Awards

RAG Charity Challenge Volunteer of the Year Award

A Charity Challenge Volunteer of the Year will be chosen for each of the following charity challenges; Meningitis Research Foundation, Breast Cancer Now, The Children's Society, East African Playground, Action Against Hunger and Make A Wish.

  • Shown dedication to their challenge by having taken part in numerous events and street collections.
  • Developed as an individual and/or grown in confidence.
  • Demonstrated great teamwork and put effort into getting to know others during events and raids.
  • Gone above and beyond in their efforts to put on their own fundraising events.
RAG Newcomer Award

This award recognises new talent and commitment to RAG volunteering (to be decided by the RAG Presidents).

  • Brand new to RAG committee this year, having not taken part in a challenge nor committee role before.
  • Shown true commitment to RAG and has demonstrated the impact their volunteering has had on improving RAG.
  • Developed as an individual and/or grown in confidence.
  • Supported fellow committee members and events outside their specific remit and shown team spirit throughout their time on the committee.
RAG Volunteer of the Year Award

The RAG volunteer who has committed the most to RAG in their specific role and to the committee as a whole.

  • Shown true commitment to RAG and furthering fundraising in the University community.
  • Developed as an individual and/or grown in confidence.
  • Supported fellow committee members and events outside their specific remit and shown team spirit throughout their time on the committee.
  • Significantly contributed to sustaining/growing RAG.
  • Had a clear positive impact on the development and success of fundraising.

Relays Volunteer Awards

Relays@UPSU Individual of the Year Award

This is awarded to an individual who has shown outstanding dedication to the Relays@UPSU programme by demonstrating great enthusiasm, teamwork, and ongoing commitment to the project this academic year.

  • Shown dedication to the programme by having taken part in two or more Relays@UPSU events/projects.
  • Been a great ambassador for the Relays@UPSU programme and a great role model for the school students they have worked with.
  • Demonstrated great teamwork and provided support and encouragement for other volunteers involved with the project/event.
  • Developed as an individual and/or grown in confidence.
  • Gone above and beyond in their efforts to complete set tasks during project/ events.
Relays@UPSU Team of the Year Award

The winner of this award will go to a group who collectively have shown great enthusiasm, teamwork, and ongoing commitment to the events and projects they have been involved with this academic year.

  • Shown dedication to the programme by having taken part in two or more Relays@UPSU events/ projects.
  • Demonstrated great teamwork and organisational skills in the sessions and activities they have planned and delivered.
  • Been a great role model for the young people they have worked with.
  • Gone above and beyond in their efforts to complete set tasks during project events.
Relays@UPSU Project Volunteer of the Year Award

For each of the main Relays@UPSU projects; Change for Life, School Games and Urbanise, a Volunteer of the Year will be awarded.

  • Shown dedication to the project by having taken part in two or more of the sessions/ events.
  • Developed as an individual and/or grown in confidence.
  • Demonstrated good organisational skills in the sessions/ activities they have planned and delivered.
  • Demonstrated great teamwork and provided support and encouragement for other volunteers involved with the project/event.
  • Been a great role model for the young people they have worked with and shown effort in interacting with the school students during the event/ sessions.
  • Gone above and beyond in their efforts to complete set tasks during project events.
 
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Examples and guidance

Writing a good nomination

A few points to remember when writing your nomination:

  • Tell us what your nominee has been involved with – this could include RAG, SLV, Relays@UPSU or any other volunteering commitments.
  • Address each of the award criteria in turn.
  • Provide clear examples of how they have met each of the award criteria – this could be a successful event, facts and figures or even quotes.
  • Don’t assume the judging panel will know the person you are nominating – ensure you fully outline all of their achievements.
  • Be clear and concise - use bullet points if you wish.
  • Be sure to click on ‘Finish’ once you have completed the nomination and ensure you have received a confirmation email for your nomination.

Other things you might want to consider when writing your nomination

  • What makes your nominee really stand out above the rest?
  • Has their volunteering had a significant impact on you, others or the wider community?
  • Does your nominee have any other commitments in or outside of the university and UPSU?

If you still need a bit more guidance we will be holding a nomination writing workshop on:

Tuesday 7th March, 5-6pm on the Illusion stage.

Poor

“This person has gone above and beyond this year to volunteer. They put in a lot of effort and is very helpful.”

Strong

“Bob’s efforts in getting students engaged and volunteering on days out at Dartmoor Zoo allows the zoo to pour more of its resources into valuable conservation work. The students engaged also receive an insight into the world of conservation, and are informed of how they could do their bit! By organising and undertaking these trips, Bob is also giving his fellow students the chance to gain new experiences, acquire new skills in conservation work, and make new friends. His minibus driving also contributes to all these not necessarily obvious benefits.

As a volunteer for the Unicycle project, Bob’s efforts have helped edible food that would end up in landfill, reach a local homeless shelter. His enthusiasm for the project’s Swap Shop has helped to see this initiative grow massively, and in turn introduces students to a more sustainable form of updating their wardrobe!

Bob has encouraged students not yet engaged in volunteering to become a part of the Student Led Volunteering Community and has contributed over 147 hours of his time this academic year to volunteering projects and initiatives. This is on top of all his academic studies and his commitments as Health and Safety Officer for UPSU’s Welsh Society, of which he is a very proud member.

Bob has a heart that is always looking to help others and the world around him. It is definitely why he went beyond his own Animal Conservation Project to help Unicycle with their initiatives. It’s also what drives him to help his fellow project leaders with mini-bus duties. This is definitely testament of his enthusiasm and passion for the volunteering he does, and of his desire to engage others in the voluntary experiences he gets a kick out of. Commenting on his role as a volunteer, he has said “It's rewarding to see how we can help by giving up our free time.”

Bob is always smiling, is full of determination and always steps up to help where he can. Bob thoroughly deserves to win the Dedication to Volunteering Award.”

 
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