264 University of Worcester students have been recognised this year for their extra-curricular work by achieving the Worcester Award. This is the highest number to achieve the award since it began in 2010. 39 achieved Bronze, 95 Silver and 130 Gold. To achieve Gold, students must complete a presentation and interview about their Worcester Award activities and employability skills. Many local employers have been involved in Gold Award interview panels alongside University lecturers.
The Worcester Award allows University of Worcester students to record extra activities they engage in during their time at the University and encourages them to reflect upon how these activities can help to improve their future employability. They have developed skills through a wide range of jobs and activities, such as teaching abroad, student representation, fundraising, leading youth groups, sports coaching and events management.
The Worcester Award Celebration Event took place in the Joel Richards Conference Suite in the University Arena on 23 May. Speeches were given by the Mayor of Worcester – Cllr Jabba Riaz, Chris Orr, board member of Worcestershire Advance, and Ross Renton – Pro Vice Chancellor Students. Speeches were also given by two students who have achieved the Worcester Award, Sara Marsalo and Jade Haley.
Worcester Award achievers have come from across the UK and the following countries: India, Germany, Italy, Romania, Czech Republic, Lithuania, China, Sweden, Bulgaria, Finland, Norway, Nigeria and Vietnam.
Amongst the Worcester Award achievers are:
- A Physiotherapy student who was involved in a car crash and now wants to repay his debt to the NHS. He achieved the Gold Award and the interview panel was greatly impressed by his determination, humility and eloquence.
- A professional cricketer who intends to set up his own performance management company.
- A self-employed plumber re-training as a teacher, who had not been interviewed in almost 20 years until his Gold Award interview.
- A student who attended the University’s Criminal Justice Fair last November, began volunteering and achieved a Level 1 NVQ in Mentoring.
A former police officer with over 30 years’ experience came to the University to re-train. She said: ‘The Worcester Award has enabled me to know where I want to go. I now know what to do with my degree.’
Three students also received additional special recognition awards. They were: Rebecca Smith – Outstanding Overall Performance; Arran Jenkins – Outstanding Presentation; Jasmin Flanagan – Outstanding Interview. Each student received vouchers, which were funded by this year’s Worcester Award sponsors, Worcestershire Advance and Sanctuary Group, who between them also helped 38 students to achieve the Gold Award.
For more information about the Worcester Award or to get involved in Worcester Gold Award interview panels, please contact Neil Laurenson, Student Employability Activities Co-ordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.