Page:Union Awards 2021 Winners

Union Awards 2021 Winners

Thursday 06-05-2021 - 16:24

This academic year has been hard and full of unexpected changes, but you've really showed up for the Leeds Beckett community and achieved so many great things. The Union’s Awards recognises the amazing contributions made by our students, from innovative and entertaining events to equality & diversity campaigns on campus. This year, we collected more than 90 nominations. 

Just as a snapshot of your achievements and contributions to date, there have been: 

- 58 active clubs and societies with nearly 2,331 active society members 

- Over 300 students have contributed over 4000 hours to volunteering whether that be virtual or in person 

- Over 100 students have nominated themselves for election, with 25 competing for Officer roles in the March elections 

- 1,019 students have helped to improve the academic experience of their coursemates by serving as course representatives 

None of this would have been possible without the 24,000 student members of LBSU. 


This award recognises the achievements and hard work of those students, projects and societies that thrived towards a positive social change within the local Leeds Community through campaigns, fundraising activities, volunteering and leading a project. 

The winner of the Community Impact Award is... Josie Byrne!

Josie has been doing a lot in Hyde Park to support the community. This year, Josie has raised over £2500 with Cash For Kids for the Hyde Park Football Club, a club in Leeds that has an inclusive ethos aiming to give as many young people as possible the opportunity to enjoy playing football. The Hyde Park Football Club told us “Josie even took the time to send personalized messages to our fans so that they wouldn’t feel lonely during lockdown’’. Well done Josie!


This award is our chance to shine the light on the project, whether it is a one-off or regular project, which has made a significant impact on the lives of others and raised awareness of student volunteering. Nominations for this award should identify a project which has encouraged student participation, used effective publicity and is sustainable.

This award goes to... Gemma Read

Gemma has been instrumental in coming up with innovative ideas to engage students with green projects and has even set up Leeds Beckett as a Hedgehog Friendly Campus which she will grow with both staff and students to create green volunteering opportunities for students on Campus. Well done! 


Hundreds of students volunteer to support their community and peers each year in all sorts of remarkable ways. Nominations for this award should recognise students that have gone above and beyond to give their time, skills and energy for the benefit of others. 

The winners for Volunteer of The Year award are... Amelia Grant, Ella Flatters, Bethan Swallow, who all volunteered with Family Action this year!

We received a lovely quote from Family Action before the event to thank the winners: ‘’Congratulations to our three superstar volunteers; Ella, Amelia and Bethan on your award for ‘Volunteer of the Year’. It is very well deserved! Thank you for volunteering with the Families Together Leeds Service and providing parents, carers and families with such high quality, consistent support. This year hasn’t been easy, but you have proved that valuable support can still be delivered under any circumstances. Thank you again’’


This award is for an individual student, a group of students, or a society who have worked together, to make a difference such as: delivering food to vulnerable neighbours during the pandemic, checking in with society members, or other ways they may have gone an extra mile. 

The Made a Difference award goes to... Amir Saghir and Aoife Foxley!

Amir’s dedication and commitment to knitting provisions for children in Syria and Yemen is incredible. The selflessness to use so much time and energy to do so shows an amazing amount of dedication. To provide this support to people who may have so little otherwise will truly be positively impacted by Amir’s contributions. Amir is truly waving the flag for LBU and making a difference to people’s lives. 

Aoife has worked tirelessly through the pandemic and has taken an innovative approach to create ‘Chewellery’ and create a business to support children and adults with sensory needs. This will have a truly positive impact on the children she works with, and contribute to providing them with a safe space to thrive 


This award is for an individual, society or group that have successfully fundraised this year. The award may identify that it was done in a particularly innovative way, or that their fundraising made a significant difference either to the experience of students or for a particular cause.  

The Fundraiser of The Year award goes to... Leeds Beckett Education Society!

After the recent issues in Lebanon, the Leeds Beckett Education Society decided that they wanted to help. They set out to host a virtual fundraiser with the hope of donating the money raised to the British Red Cross. The Education Society worked with Leeds Beckett students and local performers to put together a Live For Lebanon showcase that brought together people across Leeds to raise funds. Through their hard work and determination, the society were able to fundraise just over £300 and to create a young network of people interested in helping to make a change.


This award is for a student, group or society who have had a positive impact in regard to the environment and sustainability. They may have made an effort to be more sustainable in their events and activities or have campaigned for more sustainable practices at the University or Students' Union. 

The winners of the Sustainability Award are... Gemma Read and Eleanor Green!

Gemma has been working with Leeds Beckett University’s Sustainability Team as a placement student. As well as working with the Sustainability Team, Gemma has been driven by her own passion and dedication towards sustainability and environmental issues. In addition to working on a placement analysing complex data, Eleanor has also volunteered additional time to help audit this year's Green Impact Scheme teams showing her commitment to sustainability at the University.


This award identifies a student, group or society that has managed to do something innovative to overcome the challenges faced by Covid restrictions. For example, this could be an exciting online event that made the most of the opportunity, or an innovative way of fundraising. 

The award goes to... Ella Flatters!

Ella has been volunteering with Family Action supporting a vulnerable parent in the local community, dedicated to improving the family’s circumstances, and has shown perseverance and passion in her volunteering work.


For many, student-led societies provide the backdrop to the University experience, offering social, cultural and developmental opportunities for students outside of their studies. Nominations for this award should recognise students who have made a significant contribution to this important aspect of student life – perhaps a person that you can always rely on to attend society events, who contributes to a more fun and sociable environment when they are around, or someone who is a really strong leader of their society.

The shortlist for this award is as follows: 

  • Heather Simpson 
  • Jam Delfin
  • Akira Oniwinde

We're pleased to announce that this award goes to... Heather Simpson!

Heather received a number of nominations. Each one talked about the dedication to her societies, her innovative ideas to attract new members when hosting online events and the inclusive and supportive atmosphere that Heather brings to all Society activities. An inspirational leader as one nomination stated.


The society development award recognises a new or existing society who has adapted well to challenges throughout the year and has relished the opportunity to develop their society. This award may also recognise students who have put time and effort into their personal development to benefit their society.

The shortlist for this award is as follows: 

  • Leeds Beckett International Business Society 
  • Leeds Beckett Drama Society 
  • Leeds Beckett Computing Society

The award goes to... Leeds Beckett International Business Society!

Nominations recognised the incredible efforts of the committee who have been able to establish a line of communication between the International Business Society and 59 other Societies from various universities across the UK in order to plan, prepare, & host the 'FIGHT2021' fundraising campaign for mental health charity Mind. 


Nominations for this award recognised societies that have delivered consistently throughout the year – perhaps they have organised high-profile and well-attended events, promoted inter-society collaboration, or been active in the community.

The shortlist for this award is as follows: 

  • Leeds Beckett Education Society 
  • Leeds Beckett Drama Society 
  • The STAR Group

The award for Society of The Year goes to... the Leeds Beckett Education Society!

The Education society were able to raise an incredible amount of money for the British Red Cross charity through their Live For Lebanon event which involved lots of performers from in and around Leeds. This event was a true testament to the societies hard work in organising, planning and promoting the event. After only becoming a society at the start of COVID-19, this society have been able to excel and prove that a society can still function virtually with huge amounts of success! Well done Education Society. They have also created society alliances to share knowledge and collaborate on events.


This award is for society that, although having only recently just been setup, has been able to have a significant impact with regards to hosting events, getting members involved and/or growing their online presence.

The shortlist for this award is as follows: 

  • Radio Beckett 
  • Leeds Beckett Think Beyond Society 
  • Leeds Beckett BEAT Society

And the award goes to... Radio Beckett!

Radio Beckett Started their society this year during the pandemic. They persevered through such a difficult time, helping to promote and build other societies through collaboration and shared practice. One nomination said “despite the pandemic and the struggles that come with starting a radio station from a student house! They have been active members of the society alliance and been amazing and helping the other societies grow and promote their events. The committee are kind, enthusiastic and a real asset to Leeds Beckett. I wish them the very best for the growth and success of their society.”


Nominations for this award should recognise a student-led event that has really stood out from all the others this year - an event that was perhaps unique, gigantic, interesting, inclusive, loads of fun, or all of the above! 

The shortlist for this award is as follows: 

  • Yorkshire Brain Tumour Charity Chat 
  • Society Alliance Among Us Online Event 
  • Drama Society Guided Meditation 

The winner of the Event of the Year award is... the team behind the Yorkshire Brain Tumour Charity Chat, Melissa Redmond and Georgina Tordoff

Melissa and Georgina have both been volunteering their time with Yorkshires’ Brain Tumour Charity. During Student Volunteering Week Melissa and Georgia hosted a session for students about Yorkshire’s Brain Tumour Charity to tell students about their personal experiences with volunteering as well as to provide their advice and guidance. It was of amazing value to have the session led by two students who know what it is like on a personal level to volunteer with a charity.


This award is for a student or student group/society who have worked towards bettering diversity and inclusivity in either the University, the Students' Union, their student group, or the community. They have worked towards ensuring there is a safe space for all, either through events, their promotional materials and/or social media. 

The award goes to... the Leeds Beckett BEAT Society!

The BEAT Society have worked to tackle a student issue that has been incredibly important during the pandemic and have provided students with a place to access information and support. The innovation of using social media through initiatives such as Wellbeing Wednesdays was really well received by the panel and demonstrates their ability to adapt during an uncertain time. Tackling mental health is no easy task, but it’s great to see students working together to support each other.


This award is for a student who has dedicated themselves to representing and speaking up on behalf of their peers to improve life at Leeds Beckett for all students. Perhaps this person is a Course Rep who has tirelessly collected student feedback and used it to influence course improvements, or maybe they are an active campaigner on issues that affect students on campus and in the wider community.

The students shortlisted for this award are: 

  • Katy Varty
  • Latoyah Wong
  • Leah Swatten
  • Coleen Bergantinos

The winner in this category is... Latoyah Wong!

Latoyah won due to the sheer amount of work she’s done this year, not only as a School Rep but also as the BAME Ambassador for her school. Her sheer tenacity in tackling issues in the student community that others may pick up on is inspiring, and she’s so passionate about ensuring that no one faces any barriers in accessing university. She’s an inspiration to a lot of her peers and the values that she holds embody what we believe in as a Students’ Union. Her contributions this year have been excellent.


Our final award for this evening is the Outstanding Contribution Award.  This award isn’t a category you can be nominated in and is chosen using nominations from all of our awards Leeds Beckett Students’ Union aims to make students’ lives better and we’re proud to say that the students who are involved with us are bright, brilliant and engaging individuals who donate their time to our societies, to volunteering, campaigns, and to attending our Have Your Say Forums. The Outstanding Contribution Award goes to a student who has been involved in multiple areas of the Students’ Union and that has made a huge positive impact on the lives of students at Leeds Beckett.

The shortlist for this award is as follows: 

  • Meg Darroch
  • Coleen Bergantinos

And the winner is... Meg Darroch!

Meg Darroch has been active and engaged in so many areas and activities for the Students’ Union. She’s been a Student Trustee, School Rep and NUS Delegate as well as being involved in societies and writing blogs.  Meg also took part in the SU elections this year and was elected by the student body to take on a full-time position from July 2021.  It is clear that she is passionate about the Students’ Union and about making students’ lives better and therefore the panel agreed that she should receive the Outstanding Contribution award. 


Again, thank you to everyone who attended and congratulations to the winners! We will share the recording of this year's Union Awards shortly on our social media platforms. Keep an eye out on our Facebook page




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