From education to employment

Students honoured for exceptional volunteering and skill development

The University has celebrated the remarkable achievements of its students at the Make a Difference Celebration event.

Held at the Riverside Innovation Centre, the special occasion honoured those who have gone above and beyond their studies by volunteering to make a positive impact and enhancing their employability through skills development.

The Chester Difference Award [CDA] is the University’s skills award which celebrates students and graduate’s accomplishments and provides them with the opportunity to gain recognition for a range of employability-enhancing activities that they have undertaken whilst studying at the University. The CDA is a journey that is versatile and can be tailored to their own personal achievements and goals and builds skills towards future career goals.

This year, an inspiring 244 students took part in an incredible 9,229 hours of volunteering. The event celebrated students who have completed the Chester Difference Award (CDA) and University of Chester Volunteering Award (UCV). Additionally, two special awards were presented: Volunteer of the Year, nominated by charities or university staff and Volunteer Organisation of the Year, nominated by student volunteers.

The event was compered by three students: Cerith Pierce, who is studying for a Master’s in Programme and Project Management who has been a project coordinator, rugby captain and currently works with the University’s Active Campus team, UCV and CDA winner; Lyndon Howson, a final year Zoology student and CDA and UCV award winner and Katie Whitfield, a Master’s in Wildlife Conservation student and UCV award winner. Both Lyndon and Katie are the current project coordinators for the Hedgehog Friendly Campus project.

Bowbrook Archers was named Volunteer Organisation of the Year, nominated by Lauren Rawlings, a final year Law student, who has volunteered in various roles for the club.  Libby Ryan, another final year Law student, received the Volunteer of the Year award for her dedication as a Cadet Adult Forces Volunteer and Squadron Training Officer with the Royal Air Forces Cadets.

Tammy Stevenson, a recent MRes in Psychology graduate described how her CDA journey helped her to make her CV stand out amongst a sea of applicants when applying for job roles. Thomas Woodthorpe, final year Games Development student, shared how he challenged himself to achieve the highest level of the award, the Chester Difference Excellent Award (CDEA) alongside receiving the UCV award.

This year’s event, run by the Career and Employability team at the University celebrated 64 CDA winners and 57 UCV award recipients.

Jo Morison, Volunteer and Mentoring Manager said:

“Every year this event is a real highlight for the Careers and Employability team, as we celebrate and recognise those students who give time to the community and towards their professional development. The event showcased all the varied and inspiring activities our students participate in to Make a Difference.”

Caption: Students at the Make a Difference Celebration event.

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