Volunteers Of The Month

At ARU Students' Union, we believe that everyone who spends their spare time to volunteer is a superstar! The volunteering that you are undertaking is helping numerous people within your local and student community and we believe that your efforts, motivations, accomplishments and inspirations should all be celebrated.

If you are, or know of a student who volunteers within a local charity, organisation or volunteering project, is an elected Representative or a Club or Society Committee Member, and you believe their volunteering work should be celebrated, you can nominate them to win one of our 3 monthly awards on your campus:

-Community Volunteer of the Month

-Rep of the Month

-Committee Member of the Month

To view the criteria of each award and to nominate a student, please scroll to the bottom of the page!

February Volunteers of the Month


Cambridge Community Volunteer of the Month: Hannah Skinner

Hannah Skinner is a 3rd Year Criminology student at ARU and an active volunteer with Jimmy’s, a local homeless shelter.  Hannah has volunteered in various roles at Jimmy’s, helping with breakfasts and making sure guests feel welcome. She also supports the charity as a SWEP volunteer, a role that involves helping to support people when the weather is extremely cold.

“I love volunteering for Jimmy’s as it gives me a new perspective on life and I enjoy listening to the guest’s stories and experiences. It feels good to help such an amazing organisation.”

“I have loved my time volunteering and really appreciate everything the volunteering service and Jimmy’s has done for me. I have gained valuable skills that will be used throughout my life and career. I am a much more confident person as a result and feel as though I can now achieve way more than I thought I could.”

Thank you Hannah for your continued contribution to your local community!


Chelmsford Community Volunteer of the Month - Olivia Hang

Olivia is a 3rd year Finance student and she has been volunteering as a Food Collection Assistant for Sanctus Homeless café for 6 months.

Olivia collects food from local food outlets all over Chelmsford city regularly each week.

Olivia said that she gets a lot of personal satisfaction out of volunteering and especially enjoys interacting with the business owners and other shelter volunteers and is always impressed by how kind, helpful, willing and dedicated they are.

To be able to commit herself to a project every week, rain or shine is a skill applicable to many things in everyday life, especially when there are people relying on you. The food collection helps anyone and everyone who uses the Sanctus homeless café. By collecting the food it helps relieve the workload for the volunteers that are there every day and helps the members of public that just need a little bit of help.

Olivia hopes to be an accountant, and she says that this role has taught her that no matter who you are or what you do in the future or now, spending a little time to help other people is worth every minute.

“I am really grateful for this certificate and I would like to thank the SU for recognising me, but I would also like to thank my two friends Mike Kasengu and Robin Agyei who helped me as well. They made my time volunteering so much more fun and enjoyable. I would encourage everyone to volunteer with their friends!”

Olivia is a pleasure to have in the Volunteering Office and has engaged in other voluntary roles such as our Upcycling Project and continues to be enthused about helping others. This award is well deserved for Olivia.

Cambridge Rep of the Month - Johana Korhonen

Johana is a third year Media Studies student and has been a student representative of the course for 3 years.

Through her experience of being a rep over these years Johana has learnt to speak up more in her meetings and present student feedback more thoroughly and to then feedback the outcomes of those meetings back to the students on her course. She has done this by setting up a Facebook page for her course which allows her to easily communicate with all the students on the course and to also generate more of a community which benefits everybody.

Through this role Johana has also been able to sit at her Faculty Board meeting and course re-evaluation panel, further supporting students on her course, her faculty and future prospective students.

“I take pride in distributing feedback forms and collecting thorough feedback before each SSLC and meet with the course leader regularly. I would say I've been doing a good job as a rep but today my fellow students gave me flowers to show how much they appreciate the work I have done, I was very taken aback!”

“I wish that I had realised in my first year that I could be much more active in uni and in the SU. I would have made so many more friends. :-D”

Thank you Johana for all your hard work during your time with ARU!


Chelmsford Rep of the Month - Imogen Davnall

Imogen Davnall is a second year Paramedic Science Course Rep. She regularly gathers feedback from her fellow students to present at a number of university meetings including her Student Staff Liaison Committee and Faculty Forum, as well as higher level committees such as the Student Experience Committee, where she discusses student concerns with senior university staff. She is able to deliver feedback on a range of issues to benefit students on her course, the wider student body and those who will embark on ARU courses in the future.

“Imogen is a dependable presence at university committees including Student Experience Committee, where she speaks confidently on behalf of students raising concerns and discussing solutions.”

Imogen is also keen to build her skills as a Representative, working with societies and participating in the recent Rep conference to improve her understanding of student politics and democracy.

“I’m really glad I decided to get involved with the SU this year, it has definitely added to my University experience. I’ve learnt how to prepare for a meeting and got better at organising my time to do as much as possible. The feedback of the people around me helps me to communicate with course leaders and the university.”

Thank you Imogen for all of your hard work on behalf of students!

Cambridge Committee Member of the Month: Esam Ali

Esam Ali is a third year Ophthalmic Dispensing student and President of the Boxing Club.  

During his time as President Esam has been able to vastly expand the membership of the society. Esam has organised 2 training sessions per week which means that everyone, despite their experience, beginner or advanced, are able to participate and feel like a valued member. To ensure everyone can attend, Esam also recently passed his MIDAS Driver training and now drives the SU minibus in multiple trips to and from his training sessions. Esam comments:

"[Being President} has been an amazing experience and has been great working with my committee. Shout out to Naveed, Safiya, James, Joshua, Chris, Mana, Michael and James. We love feedback and we tailor our club and its activities according to what our members want and we know this works because our sessions give a positive space where all members can feel welcome."

The Boxing Club is financially stable and has student members shadowing the current committee to help inspire interest in leading the club beyond this year and to ensure a smooth handover period in the summer which will allow the club to develop and expand on this year’s vision.

Dan Fow, who Esam describes as a "beast", but more commonly known as our Cambridge Student Opportunities Coordinator comments:

“This club really has been a success under Esams' leadership, I look forward to seeing where he takes the Club this semester and beyond."

Thanks Esam for all your hard work and ensuring your members have an incredible university experience through your club!


Chelmsford Committee Member of the Month: Alan Marks

Alan is a 3rd Year, BEng Mechanical Engineering student who is heavily involved in the world of societies. Alan currently has the following posts: Deputy team leader – ARU Formula Student, Administrator – MMA Fitness and Self Defence, Treasurer – Engineering society. Alan works tirelessly for all of his Societies and is a great influence for any new Society committee members, he is like the SU Yoda.

When asked why he volunteers Alan said:

Committee work is really rewarding, allowing you to really push a society forward. I volunteer based on the idea of enlightened self-interest: there are things which I want to do, but can only achieve them by helping others achieve their goals.  This means that putting on events which are interesting and engaging for all, means that I get a lot out of it, by helping others”

“You have to give a little, take a little, that’s the way you make a little.  Plus, being a committee member opens all kinds of networking doors, as people on the outside of the university are keen to work with students.  This has opened the door for a paid internship, and all kinds of upskilling through other contacts.

Alan wants to become a chartered engineer and set up his own company. He has said one of the elements of being a chartered engineer is the requirement to have organisation skills, committee work, and other things.  This volunteering work can help fill in the gaps.

Here is quote that Alan would like to share:

"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."

-Theodore Roosevelt

Thanks Alan for all your dedication and inspiration to all ARU clubs and societies.


Nominate a student

To nominate a student please read our criteria and fill in our Volunteer of the Month Nomination Form on the link below:


Volunteer of the Month Criteria and Nomination Form




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