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LSE honours its volunteers in record-breaking year for RAG Society

Chris Fairley_140pEconomics student Chris Fairley has been named LSE’s 2016 Volunteer of the Year for his “enormous contribution” to support both human and animal rights as well as his work to help create an AIDS-free world.

Chris, 19, (pictured right) was chosen from 30 nominees for the award, announced at the LSE Volunteers annual celebratory ceremony on 28 April.

His voluntary work in the past year has included roles with all four of LSESU Amnesty International’s campaign weeks, running the student union’s Animal Rights Society, founding LSE’s Youth Stop AIDS contingent and helping to organise events during LSE Student Volunteering Week.

Accepting the award, Chris said:

“LSE’s volunteering community is both incredible and inspiring. It’s amazing to see so many talented and dedicated people working to improve the world around them. It’s been a privilege to work on causes that mean a lot to me with some of the most creative and passionate people I’ve ever met.”

David Coles and Dumisani Gwakuba_140pFellow BSc Economics student Dumisani Gwakuba, 22, (pictured left with LSE Volunteer Co-ordinator David Coles) won the inaugural Outstanding Contribution to the LSE Community Award for his work as an LSE peer supporter at Bankside House.

Described as an “unsung hero” of student support, Dumisani was singled out for providing welfare and advice to students in halls of residence and on campus.

“A lot of this work is not always visible to staff and other students,” his nominator Debra Ogden said.

“While our other peer supporters have done a great job, Dumisani’s enthusiasm and initiative has stood out this year. He is a real asset to the LSE community,” Debra said.

Accepting the award, Dumisani said:

“Hopefully this will encourage many others at LSE to pursue altruistic endeavours. My advice for students is that volunteering is not only an enriching experience but also one of the first steps to making the world a better place for all.”

Olivia Darby Wonder Foundation_140pThe Wonder Foundation won the LSE Voluntary Organisation of the Year award ahead of five other contenders who were shortlisted for the prize.

The foundation partners with local projects around the world to lift women and children out of poverty and improve wellbeing across families and communities.

Olivia Darby (pictured right), Director of Policy and Campaigns at the Wonder Foundation, accepted the award.

The event was hosted by the LSE Volunteer Centre and LSESU RAG Society, which has celebrated a record-breaking year in terms of fund raising, surpassing the £140,000 mark, and organising the largest RAG Week in the country.

LSE Volunteer Co-ordinator David Coles said the School’s volunteers had achieved an “incredible amount” over the past year, with the Volunteer Centre promoting opportunities from almost 400 charities.

“The feedback we receive from charities about the impact that LSE volunteers have is excellent,” David said. “The School should be very proud of the work that LSE students undertake in our communities.”

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3 May 2016