Sister Charity SEED Support and Education For Enduring Eating Disorders were honoured to receive the “Community Team Of The Year Award”

Volunteering and Community Leadership Awards honour young people who have made a difference to local community

The vital community role played by students and young people throughout the county has been celebrated at a special awards ceremony.

Organised by the Centre for Volunteering and Community Leadership at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), the 54 awards honoured the work of people from all walks of life who give up their own free time to make a difference to communities across Lancashire through their time, talent and dedication.

In 2013/14 the Centre recruited and inducted 1804 students into volunteering. Throughout the year these students have contributed 13,355.45 hours of volunteering action, equating to £166,943.13 to the local economy. Since 1999 the Centre has inducted over 10,000 volunteers locally, nationally and internationally.
“Students and young people sometimes get a bad press but these awards highlight the vital the contribution they make as volunteers, sharing their growing knowledge and expertise through social action.”

Dr Alethea Melling MBE, Director of the Centre for Volunteering and Community Leadership, said: “Our Centre has held a celebration event for the past decade and every year it’s become tougher to choose the winners.

“Students and young people sometimes get a bad press but these awards highlight the vital the contribution they make as volunteers, sharing their growing knowledge and expertise through social action. Our statistics demonstrate the significant economic value of their work, but the social value is priceless.

“Our awardees and nominees are an inspiration to all, a credit to themselves, the University and the communities they serve.”

Categories for which students and young people were nominated included: Community Legends 2014, Community Heroes 2014, Community Team of the Year, Volunteering Lancashire Young Volunteer of the Year 2014, the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Volunteering and the very special Joe Medforth Challenge Award, in memory of a Preston student killed in the city in 2006.

The celebration event brought together organisations and community groups from across Lancashire who work with UCLan to promote student-led social action. These include Lancashire County Council, Myerscough College (new this year), local schools and young people, external volunteers from the community and their friends and family members.

Entertainment for the evening was provided by policing student and talented singer Chloe Walker while the hosts were married couple Saima and Bilal Zeb Gondal. Bilal is a student on the BA (Hons) Community Leadership while Saima is studying on the MA in Community Leadership.

“Our awardees and nominees are an inspiration to all, a credit to themselves, the University and the communities they serve.”

After receiving the award on behalf of SEED, Shelley Perry said “SEED and the people of Preston are truly fortunate to have such enthusiastic and fine young people who are prepared to help their community. We are very grateful for the help of all our volunteers, for whom this award is deserved recognition of their unselfish and generous attitude.”

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