Changemaker Awards 2017
In 2017, there were 12 awards given out to 13 deserving recipients. Look through all of the winners below to discover what they do that makes them Changemakers.
Winner – Northampton Soup
Northampton Soup is a community initiative which is completely led by local volunteers. The Soup provides a space where local community organisations can meet up, share a meal and pitch for a pot of money which is created through the sale of the food on the day. The Soup is an innovative example of the community coming together to support each other and new initiatives which will benefit them all. Northampton Soup have helped countless community organisations since starting and takes a tremendous amount of collaboration and partnership working across a range of different people and organisations.
Winner – Roy Wallace, Senior Lecturer in Media Production
Roy supports students to find their own voice and way of effecting change in the world; assisting them to set up social ventures that enable them to express themselves and their passion for creating a better world. He has redesigned his third-year module so that students support a Northamptonshire community sector organisation, providing them with short promotional videos to help their cause and increase their community impact. Roy was also instrumental in putting together the Transition series of events held at the Phoenix Club in the centre of town to highlight issues such as gender, race, and feminism. He embodies what it is to be a Changemaker, living the philosophy and creating waves that positively impact and change the lives of others.
Winner – The Ferrers School Cluster
The Ferrers School Cluster comprises of several local schools who each year work towards achieving a venture. In the 2016 academic year the chair of the Ferrers Cluster School Council decided to use the Changemaker Student Award to deliver the Healthy Eating & Wellbeing Project. A total of five schools completed the award each choosing their own interpretation of what healthy eating and wellbeing meant for them. This saw a range of projects taking place and all five schools achieved their Ruby Changemaker Student Award. This cluster approach is an innovative way of introducing a collaborative approach to engaging in the Changemaker Student Award, bringing together multiple schools to address a common aim.
Winner – Shirley Bennett, Head of Academic Practice
Shirley Bennett is the driving force behind the University’s C@N-DO Academic Staff Development scheme and the University’s Changemaker Outcomes for Graduate Success (COGS) toolkit. Shirley always keeps the academic staff member at the forefront of her mind and has designed C@N-DO around their needs as academics and their desire to improve practice. Always open to new ideas, she is fiercely protective of academic freedom and ensuring that colleagues are not disenfranchised through the implementation of technological and other teaching developments. Her leadership in the development of the University’s COGS toolkit will ensure that it provides appropriate support and guidance to all academic colleagues; enabling them to deliver subject specific Changemaker opportunities within the curriculum at each level of learning.
Winner – Mavis Mundirwa
Mavis is a true Changemaker, developing Power of the Mind, a programme of storytelling events which bring together people from a range of diverse backgrounds to share their stories and experiences, finding common understanding and developing new connections and networks. Mavis believes that storytelling is a powerful way to build empathy and understanding and to break down cultural barriers. Her ambition is to grow the initiative into every community in Northampton and pull the stories together into a book that motivates and empowers others to share their stories. Her work is having a significant impact and her powers of persuasion have gained her the support of local councillors and several community groups.
Winner – University of Northampton Rowing Team
Throughout the last academic year, the University of Northampton Rowing Team has continued to grow and passion, not only within the team but as Changemakers. Since November 2016 they have given up their training sessions to volunteer at the homeless shelter in Northampton, helping to decorate and prepare for the new facility to open. This link with the community has developed over the years with the club naming their very first boat ‘Hope’ in recognition of the link to the town’s Hope Centre. The club have raised over £2300 for local communities including over £650 for Cancer Research by bearing all last December to produce a tasteful naked calendar, and over £1500 for MIND. MIND is a charity close to the team’s hearts as they are fully aware of the impact mental health can have on university students.
Winner – Learning Technology
The Learning Technology Team work tirelessly to support the transition of the University to the new teaching and learning model; working as Changemakers to transform the learning experience for all students and staff. They lead by example and exhibit all of the Changemaker attributes, exemplifying Change Leaders at their best. The team’s commitment to Changemaker is expressed in everything they do, from help desk support through to technical support for academics, co-design of the teaching & learning plan with students and support for the introduction of Active Blended Learning.
Winner – Roy Wallace (Senior Lecturer in Media Production) and The Thomas’s Fund Project students.
The Thomas’s Fund Charity provides music therapy for children and young people who, due to their life-limiting or life-threatening conditions and/or disabilities, have long periods of absence from school or early years settings. Students on the BA Media Production course (Lucy Parke, Adam Seal, Luke Sheehan, and Charlotte Siddall) made a promotional film for the charity as part of their course. The film represents the work of the charity in a wonderfully accessible way and is a credit to the students, their lecturers, and the University. It goes beyond being just a great promotional tool for understanding the Charity’s work to shining a light on the stories of all those involved in the Charity. The group demonstrated great empathy, sensitivity, and patience throughout the process.
Winner – Always a Chance and Murdered Abroad
The Always a Chance charity was established following the tragic death of James Cooper and James Kouzaris in April 2011. Always a Chance fund initiative to encourage young people who are outside full-time education and employment to re-engage with their education system. They support them as they take their first steps into employment. Murdered Abroad is a support and action group, working for change within the UK to improve the support families receive after their loved one is murdered abroad. Always a Chance and Murdered Abroad co-hosted the Murdered Abroad Conference at the University of Northampton, providing a safe place to bring together families affected by the loss of a loved one in tragic circumstances.
Winners – (STAFF) Sukhwinder Singh, Senior Lecturer in Social Work
(STUDENT) Emma Leering, BA International Development
Sukhwinder Singh has a long-standing history in undertaking humanitarian work with the International Red Cross in South Sudan, delivering relief to refugee camps, and has been instrumental in resurrecting the Uganda Red Cross Society. As UK Ambassador Red Cross Uganda he has worked tirelessly to build links between the University of Northampton and the Red Cross in Uganda. Sukhwinder continues to inspire students with his warmth and brings a global perspective to the Social and Community Development programme.
Emma Leering is founder of United Amayi, a project aimed at improving prospects and relieving poverty for women in Malawi through education. This initiative was created prior to studying at the University of Northampton and through her time at university she has doubled the project’s impact from working with one school to starting a second and facilitating work experience opportunities for the women in multi-national hotels. Emma is creating a deep community spirit, allowing people to be empowered and to aspire to be more. This proves her determination to help others and to grow her passion for female empowerment.
Winner – John Howes (1st Degree Facilities) and the Grounds Team
The Grounds Team, led by John Howes, have delivered a range of initiatives to integrate several community organisations with university life. Working with Olympus Care, St Andrew’s Healthcare and Workbridge, they have invited service users onto campus to work shadow them in their duties, providing valuable work experience opportunities and bridging the gap between the University and the community. This venture is a brilliant example of social inclusion which not only benefits the community groups, but also gives University staff the experience of working with people who they might not otherwise have encountered.
Winner – Professor Margaret Bates, Professor of Sustainable Wastes Management
This year’s award recognises an individual who has effected change in several countries through the development and implementation of projects. Alongside her role as President of the Chartered Institute of Wastes Management, Margaret is internationally respected for her expertise and her advice is often sought by governments, think tanks and project leads around the globe. She has influenced legislation and practice in developing countries, by creating buy-in from local industry, in regions where environmental laws had been often disregarded or non-existent. Her connections around the world allow her to draw parallels between projects in different countries, and to relate high-level concepts to individual contexts. Margaret is also creating the changemakers of the future, both in her project work around the world and with her students, who benefit from her diverse and extensive hands-on experience.