We have nominated three of our University College London volunteers for the UCL Community Contribution Award and the Team London Awards.

The Awards aim to celebrate and reward outstanding achievements by current UCL students in a non-academic area. The winner receives £1,000 to donate to a charity of their choice, usually the organisation where they have been volunteering.

Nicoletta Yerasimou is a trained swimmer and has helped with our weekly swimming project since October 2014, giving swimming lessons  and organising water sport activities for vulnerable children aged 8 to 16 years.

Since Nicoletta started supporting these children, their communication, ability to learn and swimming skills have developed greatly.

Some of the children she supports have a combination of learning difficulties, disabilities and behavioural problems and working with them can be challenging but Nicoletta always shows enthusiasm, never gives up and treats the children with respect and love.

The children’s parents appreciate her work and acknowledge the great difference she has made within a short period of time.

They said: “Come rain, come shine she is always there. She never lets us down. We love her and respect her.” 

Sabrina Vashisht has been providing emotional and practical support to a single mum and her 8 year old daughter since November 2013.

The mother had been in the UK for over 10 years but had limited English, although willing to learn. However, the family was undergoing stress over their asylum application and had limited access to education, a job, benefits or adequate accommodation.

Sabrina has provided educational and emotional support to the family and has been a positive role model for them. Since her involvement, the little girl is showing increased happiness and has started to make friends.

Recently, the family managed to obtain indefinite leave to remain in the UK and they are living in improved accommodation.

They said:“Sabrina’s presence and support made our life much better. Sabrina never looks down on us when she comes into our little room. She is always positive and puts a smile on our faces, regardless of our challenging lives.” 

Ye Huan Khor has been providing emotional and practical support to a single mum and her 11 year old daughter since November 2013.

Ye Huan is a trained pianist and also provides piano lessons to the young girl she supports.

The child has ADHD and can be difficult to communicate with. Since Ye Huan started supporting her, her confidence level has picked up immensely and she is able to  express how she feels. She looks up to Ye Huan as her big sister and has started to show academic progress, while her relationships have also improved.

The Awards are sponsored by Santander Universities and managed by UCL’s Scholarships & Funding Team.