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Monira named Volunteer of the Year

Monira Mubaarak, a second year Psychology undergraduate student, has been presented with the Frank May Cup after being named the ‘Volunteer of the Year’.

Monira has made a significant contribution to the local community through volunteering for several organisations, and her efforts were recognised at the University of Leicester Student Awards ceremony held earlier this month.

These organisations included the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), the National Health Service (NHS), Learning for the Fourth Age (L4A) and Twenty Twenty.

Mark Maher, Volunteering Project Co-ordinator at the University’s Career Development Service, said: “Monira has done an incredible amount of volunteering this year. She has made a significant contribution to the organisations she’s been involved with and is a well-deserved winner of the award.

“In addition to giving back to the community, volunteering presents excellent opportunities to gain experience and develop skills for life after University. Monira is a great example of someone who has gone above and beyond her studies to make a real difference to people’s lives, whilst demonstrating commitment to her own personal development.”

Dr Frank May, a great benefactor of the University, donated the Frank May Cup a few years ago, an engraved replica of which is awarded to the Volunteer of the Year.

Monira said of receiving the award: “I was not expecting to win, let alone be recognised for my voluntary work. Being awarded the Frank May Cup was rewarding, but the greatest reward was that I was able to help my community and bring smiles to those that are living a hardship. I volunteer during my spare time to learn, experience new things and help those that are in need.

“Volunteering is not done just for the sake of it, volunteering is a valuable sector in which one can experience many things that will be of help to them and a direct input to the community."

Through volunteering, Monira has been able to use her existing knowledge and skills to make a positive impact, whilst gaining experience and developing confidence in the process.

“Working with L4A has enabled me to see the lives of residents in care homes, in which half of the residents suffer from dementia. As a psychology student I was able to observe the progression of the disorder, but the most rewarding thing was that I was able to bring smiles to the residents by spending and hour or two doing arts and crafts.

“My experience to volunteering has helped me use skills such as speaking several languages to raise awareness of eye and visual diseases to BME communities with RNIB. I was also able to develop my confidence through NHS and meet great people.”

The University of Leicester’s Career Development Service works with a number of voluntary organisations to provide high quality volunteering opportunities for its students, and was recently recognised by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) as the best institution in the UK for its overall strategy in preparing students for the world of work.

Organisations interested in recruiting student volunteers can contact the Career Development Service on volunteer@le.ac.uk

You can listen to an interview with Monira on BBC Radio Leicester via the BBC iPlayer (2:41mins)

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