Santander rewards UCL students for outstanding citizenship
Ten UCL students were able to help a charity of their choice after receiving a 1-UCL Award for their own community achievements.
The 1-UCL Awards, funded by Santander Universities, aim to foster the notion of UCL as a community. They also aim to highlight and reward outstanding achievement or endeavour by current UCL students in a non–academic field.
One of the winning projects was Body & Soul, a charity which supports families affected by HIV.
Anahit Galstyan (UCL Human Rights), who won the 1-UCL Award for her involvement with Body & Soul chose to donate her £1,000 prize to the charity.
“I completed a three-month internship in volunteer management at Body & Soul. During my time there I came up with an idea to create a student-led volunteering team to support the work of the charity. I got the idea from my time volunteering at UNICEF as they run projects at universities through ‘on campus societies’,” said Anahit.
Anahit organised various meetings with UNICEF and the UCL Volunteering Services Unit (VSU) and the project got the go ahead. She set up interviews to find a student leader for the team and once her time at Body & Soul came to an end, she handed the project over to the volunteers who are now taking it to the next stage to raise awareness and funds.
“I donated the £1,000 to Body & Soul as I feel very passionately about their work,” explained Anahit. “The charity provides support through counselling, legal aid, massages and art workshops for example. It’s a safe place for people to talk openly about what they face every day. Whilst doing my internship, I could see the positive effect the charity has on the people who need it. With a tiny team of staff, Body & Soul is dependant on the work of their volunteers and generous donations.”
A member of staff at Body & Soul nominated Anahit for the award for her contribution to the charity.
“I feel that it is important for every student to get involved in the community in one way or another. I hope these awards will encourage and motivate other students to do the same,” said Anahit.
All winners of the 1–UCL Awards are granted £1,000, which is paid by Santander Universities directly to a charity of the winner’s choosing.
The full list of winners and their chosen charities are listed below.
- Abiha Bhatti Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB)
- Bryan Fok The Hong Kong Friends of Guangming Association Ltd
- Anahit Galstyan Body & Soul
- Jacob Harbord Action for Brazil's Children Trust
- Lauren Hookham The Children's Heart Federation
- Harriet Vinter Melesi ReachOut
- Aniket Nadgir London Nightline
- Oliver Spencer North Kensington Law Centre
- Thomas Traill Food Cycle UCL
- Xi Xu The Lily Foundation for Congo