A win-win for volunteering

Philip Grierson, Human Rights and Global Ethics Postgraduate in our Department of Politics and International Relations, has been presented with not one but two prestigious awards; the Frank May Volunteer of the Year and the Vice Chancellor’s Student of the Year Award at the University of Leicester Student Awards which took place on Wednesday 8 June. Dr Frank May, a benefactor of the University, donated the Frank May Cup 8 years ago, which is awarded annually at the Student Awards to a student who has shown exceptional efforts in volunteering.

Having volunteered over 700 hours since joining Nightline in 2015, Philip has made a tremendous contribution in his role as an External Co-coordinator for the charity. Through the tireless work of its volunteers, Nightline are available for 12 hours a night to support those students who need someone to talk to.

Not content with the remarkable difference he’s made as an External Co-coordinator, Philip has recently been elected as the new Nightline Regional Co-coordinator for the Midlands and is currently establishing an outreach programme to raise the profile of the charity.

Vanessa Harris, Volunteering Project Manager at the Career Development Service added: “We’re so proud of everything Philip has achieved, it’s really rewarding to see our student volunteers being recognised for all the hard work they do, in addition to their degree and often other duties they have to juggle. I honestly couldn’t think of a more deserving winner.”

The Career Development Service offer a variety of volunteering opportunities in a number of sectors allowing students to develop valuable skills and experience which enhance their employability and helps them in making informed career choices. They can also meet new people and make a difference in their communities. With many opportunities there is something to suit each individual.  Awards such as The Frank May Volunteer Award provides students with acknowledgement of their dedication, commitment and efforts to be involved outside of their studies in volunteering.

Rebecca Baker, who nominated Philip and was hugely inspired by Philip’s extraordinary impact, said: “Phil’s contribution has had such an immense impact since joining Nightline in 2015. He has worked incredibly hard and no matter what the hour Phil is truly available 24/7 to support our volunteers, often stepping in at the last minute to make sure the service remains open.”

When asked how he felt when presented with the Frank May cup at the Student Awards, Phillip stated: “I really wasn’t expecting to be recognised for something I’m so passionate about, I am incredibly honoured to receive this prestigious award in the company of great friends & colleagues, for which I am truly grateful."

Philip’s volunteering efforts haven’t gone unnoticed by President and Vice Chancellor Professor Paul Boyle who chose Philip for the prestigious Vice Chancellor’s Student of the Year Award.

Although faced with a though choice, due to the extremely high caliber of the nominees, Philip’s exceptional contribution made him a noteworthy winner.

Philip added: “Volunteering is without doubt the best thing I have done whilst at Leicester! My only regret is that I did not start volunteering earlier.”

When will you make a difference? Find out more at: www.le.ac.uk/volunteering or email volunteer@le.ac.uk