On the 17 June, we’ll be celebrating a year of amazing Durham students and staff at the Annual Students’ Union Awards. Check out the shortlist below to see who’s in the running for an award.
And don’t forget you can join us at Radisson Blu where we’ll be celebrating in style with a drinks reception, a delicious three-course meal, and performances from talented student groups. Be the first to find out who will pick up this year’s awards by booking your ticket now.
Contribution to the college community
Over her five years as a member of the St John's community, Caragh has worked tirelessly in the service of the college. She is currently St John's Common Room president, but as a Theology and History student at St John's she has had a whole list of other roles within the college. Caragh is recognised around college as reliable and kind, passionate and focused, a leader and a team player. Caragh has done everything in her power to serve the college community over a sustained period of time and her legacy will be known in St John's for years to come.
Josh has been an outstanding JCR president of St Chad's over the past year (a role which had his name on it pretty much as soon as he arrived as a fresher). Alongside being a third year student, he has always put Chad's first and led the community through a tumultuous year. He was instrumental in the JCR motion to change his own title from 'Senior Man' to 'JCR president', a move which has made Chad's a more welcoming, acceptable place for all students. In such a small college, his passionate leadership of the JCR has made a real difference.
Currently Senior Welfare Officer at St Cuth’s, Lauren has led multiple successful campaigns, such as the 'man up' campaign for Movember, SHAG week and Fresher's consent workshops. Lauren is really committed to her role and has made such a positive difference to so many people's university experiences. She goes above and beyond her role, supporting students who are struggling whilst always staying positive and enthusiastic. She is such an integral part of college welfare, and has made a huge impact on Cuth's as a college community.
Running Castle’s Outreach Division, Isabel has had a huge impact on the college community with well over half the JCR (and many MCR members) having been involved in the projects that she runs in some form or another. Isabel's Outreach Division is stronger this year than ever before and she has achieved the incredible double feat of both strengthening the college community and strengthening the college's links with the local community. When asking around college, being involved in Outreach is often the highlight of students' time in college and Isabel can be really proud of the impact she has had on the college community.
Over the last five years, Andrew has contributed to many aspects of college life at St John’s, and has become a well-liked member of the college community and respected by both staff and students. Whether that’s in music or college democracy, on his year abroad, or for postgraduates, Andrew has consistently helped improve the college community for others. As MCR president, he has ensured that postgraduates are considered equal and valued members of the college community, and has advocated better postgraduate representation at all levels of decision making.
Best student group event
Durham University Charity Fashion Show
The fashion show was planned over nine months and ran smoothly over three nights raising an amazing raising £150,000 for the charity Environmental Justice Foundation. The event allowed students to pursue and develop various interests, including photography, logistics, fashion, advertising, and events.
Blood Society's Blongo's Bingo
Raising £450 for charity, Blongo’s Bingo was a fun event with a real mix of students attending. There was a really positive atmosphere and the exec of Blood Donation Society went out of their way to make sure all attendants enjoyed their evening.
Instep Dance Society Presents Unstoppable
Instep’s annual show showcased over ten styles and all abilities of dancing. Approximately 125 dancers were involved in performing, choreographing, and being runners during the show. The event also supported two charities (Rape Crisis UK and CALM), raising £460 in donations.
Chinese New Year by CSSA
A number of groups collaborated to bring this event to life, including businesses in the local community. During the event, there were 12 food stalls, two cultural stalls, and more than ten performances in everything from Chinese dancing to a Han Chinese Clothing show.
CCAFC's 24 Hours of Football in Aid of CALM
Durham’s first 24-hour football match raised over £7,000 for the charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably). The event was a real success with the full support of college staff, members from all corners of the college community, and remarkably high levels of participation.
Best college group
St. Aidan's International Society
The St Aidan's International Society has hosted three international events this year (Diwali, Chinese New Year, and an Italian Carnival) which have had a very high attendance rate, and helped build a stronger international community in the college. They’ve also collaborated with a number of other groups, including their college welfare for an International Awareness Week.
St. Aidan's Ripped Off
Branching off from the main Students’ Union campaign, St Aidan’s Ripped Off have shown commitment to the campaign against the university accommodation fees and demonstrated an impressive potential for active change.
Grey College Fashion Show
GCCFS19 was the first college charity fashion show to move to a venue outside of Durham, which created a more inclusive show with a greater range of ticket prices available and led to unprecedented engagement from college members. They also included their first "Grey-made" walk, showcasing clothing and jewellery made by talented members of the college.
Student group of the year
Nightline ensures that there is a listening ear for every Durham student. For 10 hours a night every night of term there are multiple students giving their time when most other support options aren’t available, and an ever-growing number of students are needing somewhere to turn.
Chinese Student and Scholar Association
The group aims to enrich and optimise the study and living experience for Chinese students in Durham, while spreading the beauty of traditional Chinese culture in Durham. They have held a diverse programme of events this year, including a very popular Chinese New Year event.
Durham University Labour Club
This year the club’s relationship with the local community has offered members huge opportunities and allowed members to play a meaningful role in work locally. The club has held speaker events, socials, have active Liberation Officers, and have been involved in wider SU campaigns.
Durham Jewish Society
Durham J-Soc has provided a fuller and more varied calendar of events than ever. From their weekly Friday Night Dinners, which have increased attendance for the second year in a row, to their first ever full Shabbat (Sabbath) events (with representatives of Progressive Jewish Students and the Jewish Agency), they have expanded what they offer to students in Durham.
Durham University Dancesport Team (DUDT)
DUDT is a vibrant and inclusive team that caters to everyone; from complete beginners who are keen to test the waters of the world of competitive ballroom and Latin dancing, all the way through to experienced dancers. DUDT takes its members on many competitions throughout the year, all of which are very successful thanks to the excellent coaching the team provides.
Durham University Swing Society
Running high quality dance lessons twice a week, every week, Swing Society provide an encouraging, safe and supportive environment to learn to dance. For many members, the group is more like a family and has led to visits to many different cities across the UK.
Contribution to the learning community
Durham University Maths Society
Durham’s Maths Society has created an intellectually stimulating environment, organising many events with sponsors (TPP) and faculty members.
Durham University Business Psychology Society
Linking business with psychology, DUBPS have put on many events with world-class speakers and interesting topics such as the use of facial recognition to recognise liars. The exec are passionate about their group, and there are many engaged members.
Durham University Classics Society
The Classics Society has organised academic, social, and career events and opportunities for students and the broader Durham community. The exec has put in every effort to make these events accessible, inclusive and engaging for all, and has seen a huge increase in members this year.
Doreen Chan (Durham University Business Society)
Being vice president last year and now president of Durham University Business Society (DUBS), Doreen is always present when any students (especially in the business area) need help, and will try as much as possible to reach out and make sure students get the help they need, going above and beyond her role.
Estranged Students Campaign
The Estranged Students Campaign has helped fill an often-missed hole in the University, providing support for students who are estranged from their families. Their imagination and passion is shown in their success in getting the University to sign the Estranged Students' Pledge.
Man Up Campaign
Led by Lauren McNally, the St Cuth’s Man Up Campaign focused on destigmatising mental health issues for men, and showing that it’s okay for men to open up about their emotions. The campaign reached a wide number of students, including those that might not normally get involved in welfare campaigns.
Mia Grabski and Laura Hosford
Mia and Laura led a really innovative welfare campaign at Trevs, handing out free menstrual cups to members of the college. The campaign helped students save money on sanitary products by providing the safer and more environmentally friendly alternative, while also opening conversations about periods.
Kate McIntosh for SU President
Despite being unopposed in the Students’ Union elections, Kate ran an impressive, diverse and well organised campaign based around the key issues that students in Durham faced. Both on the ground and on social media, Kate and her campaign team reached a huge number of students, talking to them about her vision.
Student support (staff)
Will is incredibly supportive and helpful with his students. He is always easily accessible, going above and beyond to meet up with people and help put their mind at ease about any queries. He is very approachable and easy to talk to, sure to never make his students feel embarrassed for asking what you may think is a 'silly question. He is always emailing updates with tips and advice regarding modules and assignments.
Chris has consistently gone above and beyond for any student who needs him in the department of Earth Sciences. He is well known amongst all year groups for always having an open door and willing ear to listen to concerns. His support has been both academic and pastoral, having helped numerous students through academic issues, mental health concerns and other general issues. Much of this work is beyond Chris' job role as a teaching fellow, and he is indispensable to the students in the department.
Sandra goes above and beyond her job to assure the welfare of any student she meets, including last minute emergency meetings, arranging drop in sessions closer to town for less-abled students who cannot get to Butler, regular email check ins, and taking immense pride in how much her students flourish. The welfare of her students clearly means a lot to her, and whatever the process or issue is, academic, personal, Sandra will always try her hardest to help you out.
Student support (student)
Lorna has an extensive list of commitments, which she has carried out simultaneously and alongside a degree in Psychology in which she excelled, definitely going above and beyond what can ever be expected from one individual. She has provided support for students with disabilities, but also the whole of Trevelyan College and, through her work in training groups, the wider University. Her dedication is deeply personal and not dependent on any role she has held.
Sam is incredibly dedicated to improving and enriching the lives of LGBT+ students in Durham. Not only in their role as LGBT+ Association President, but as an activist in Durham for three years and as an SU trustee and NUS delegate, working to combat prejudice, discrimination and lack of representation has been vital to everything Sam does. Sam’s work as LGBT+ President has fundamentally changed the visibility and culture of the LGBT+ community in Durham.
As President of People of Colour Association Seun has worked tirelessly to fill the calendar with so many events. Being a voice for an entire marginalised community in Durham is no easy feat, but Seun takes it all in her stride and has developed a space that is so necessary for PoC students in Durham. Her proactive activism and compassionate approach has done a lot to unite a community.
Kathryn, as the leader Hatfield’s welfare team, provided support for the entire of the college, providing drop-in hours and arranging welfare events for the college. She also went above and beyond her role in providing support for individuals who were greatly in need, catering to students' specific needs, for example, by arranging the meeting in such a way as to ease their social anxiety. She genuinely cares about student mental health and wellbeing, and has done all in her power to help and support the students around her.
Izzie’s commitment to the welfare of all LGBT+ students and student welfare at Josephine Butler has directly improved the lives of so many here at Durham. Having dedicated much of her time to supporting students she never asks for any recognition for the important work she has done. As a volunteer she has gone above and beyond to make the university a better place for students, particularly those struggling with their mental health.
Outstanding commitment to a student group
As president of Jewish Society, Isabelle has pushed a lot of new initiatives within the society such as interfaith work, very regular and inclusive events of both social and educational formats, and has dealt well with the challenges Durham's Jewish community have faced. She has also provided excellent support to the society’s exec.
Contributing countless hours to Pole Dancing Society, Johanna not only teaches, but organises extra workshops, pole jams and creates a motivating environment for her students. She makes sure pole is inclusive and has ensured all members of the society have not just become better at dancing, but also more confident.
Pippa has been president of the Durham University Charity Fashion Show since May last year. She has shown sustained commitment to the project, making some remarkable achievements in her time as president, not least her ability to be an inspiring, positive and dedicated leader to a group of over 100 participants.
As president of Swing Society this year, Chloe has always been friendly, positive and ready to welcome anyone with a huge smile on her face. She has worked tirelessly to organise sessions and events, and turns up to everything with boundless enthusiasm. Chloe has also pushed for accessibility, keeping event costs as low as possible to ensure maximum participation.
Louise not only founded the Blood Donation Society, but has been president since then, seeing the group franchise into at least two other universities. She is organised, committed and wants to ensure the society is performing to the best standard. She gives her all in the group’s challenges, including Get Your Blood Pumping, which she completed despite being a self-confessed non-runner.
Best new student group
Durham Scripted Comedy Society
In less than two terms, Durham Scripted Comedy Society have created a new friendly community for comedians in Durham without any access barriers or auditions, allowing any student to try out comedy and develop their scriptwriting, performing, or event management skills.
Global Health Durham
Bringing together students from a variety of academic disciplines, Global Health Durham has provided a place for students to discuss issues that will influence their everyday lives and possibly their careers, as well as opportunities to be involved in activism.
St. Aidan's Ripped Off
Working to raise awareness of the lack of inclusivity within the university, St Aidan’s Ripped Off have built their following over the last year with various activities, including a banner drop, petition, leafleting and bar strolls.
Josephine Butler Allotment Society
In just one year, Josephine Butler Allotment Society have managed to create and embody a green culture that has spread to other colleges. The society provides a social experience, as well as teaching skills in horticulture and construction.
Durham University Pakistan Society
Formed this year, the society has many active members and spend time finding interesting ways for participants to engage with the society.