From education to employment

Richmond shortlisted for Better Society Award

Richmond student helping the Cinnamon Trust

Richmond, The American International University in London, which is moving to a new campus on Chiswick Park this summer, has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award in recognition of its work in the local community.

As part of the eighth annual Better Society Awards which celebrate the efforts that commercial organisations make to create a better society, Richmond has been shortlisted for the Commitment to the Local Community Award.

In the submission for the Award which was made by Dr Allison Cole-Stutz, Vice President for Student Affairs, the Tools for Change module is highlighted as part of the University’s liberal arts programme. 

Within this module, students work with each other to better understand the challenges and issues that face their local and wider communities. As a part of the assessment of this module, students are required to engage in community service at a local charitable organisation. These range from high street charity shops to local outreach centres and can also range in focus from support for elderly people to rescue animals to environmental concerns. 

One of the University’s students, Sofiya, worked as a dog walker for the Cinnamon Trust for her service learning experience, working within the community.  She explains here what it meant to her:

“This role was truly unique. The Cinnamon Trust focuses on helping elderly and terminally ill people and their pets. The help from volunteers allows the elderly to keep their pets despite limited activity levels. This particular position not only allows you to work with animals, but has a social aspect to it, as some time each session can be spent with the dog owner.

During my volunteering hours I got to meet many new people, and developed my skills such as listening, and developing rapport.  Volunteering is not only a personally enriching experience, but is also useful when looking for future employment/internship placements.”

Dr Cole-Stutz encapsulates how service learning can benefit students, as well as the local community, “Service learning is a key element of the liberal arts tradition which provides students with a clear understanding of education, responsibility and community values that may start at University but carry on for a lifetime.”

The winners of the Better Society Awards will be announced on 11 May 2022.

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