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Awards and achievements, Student perspective

Medical students win UCL Community Contribution Awards

Four medical students have been awarded UCL Community Contribution Awards!

This prestigious award, funded by Santander Universities, is given to individuals who have shown outstanding achievement and endeavour in a non-academic field relating to UCL in the community.

Alex Ware, Year 6

For three years, Alex has run sexual health campaigns on the UCL campus. These have centred around World AIDS Day. Alex has worked closely with UCLU Welfare as well as other student organisations, including the UCL branch of StopAIDS, in establishing “Positively Red Week” to mark this annual event, which has been running successfully for three years. He has planned, organised and implemented campaigns, which have involved the production and distribution of educational information in HIV awareness. He has also coordinated the production and distribution of prevention packs (including free condoms and information leaflets) that have been distrubuted to UCL students across campus. The ongoing project has also enabled money to be raised for the National AIDS Trust, through the selling of Red Ribbons. In the future, Alex will be overseeing the building of a team to continue and embed this work further.

MaryParkesPicMary Parkes, Year 6

“In September I will be starting my final year of medicine at UCL. In my first year I chose to do OpenMinds as my SSC. OpenMinds was founded at UCL in 2009 by two medical students, Kelly Clarke and Emily Titherington. It has been running as an SSC very successfully since then. OpenMinds trains medical students to run mental health workshops in local schools, aiming to encourage help seeking behaviours and tackle the stigma associated with mental health. In my second year at UCL I joined the OpenMinds team helping to organise the SSC and gaining more experience teaching in schools. We have improved and expanded OpenMinds year on year. Having secured funding from the James Wentworth Stanley Memorial Fund we were able to run a national workshop in 2012, and since then we have helped to set up OpenMinds’ groups at Birmingham University, Kings’ College London, and Imperial College. We are also now allied with Student Minds and organisations such as Nightline who are committed to improving mental health services on campus. Going foward we hope to reach even more universities and provide mental health education to school students nationwide. Mental health is often cited as one of the biggest challenges we are facing and will continue to face, both in the NHS and society as a whole. We believe education is the key to facing this challenge.”

Ravi Mistry, Year 4

“I was awarded the UCL Community Contribution Award for the widening access volunteering I’ve done. This has mostly been though Target Medicine, UCLMS’ widening access programme. Its mentoring scheme helps over 200 disadvantaged students apply to medical school each year. This is incredibly important given successive government reports highlight that the medical profession needs to be more accessible. I have thus donated the £1000 to the Social Mobility Foundation – a charity which helps students from non-traditional backgrounds secure work-experience and advice, as evidence shows they often disadvantaged due to lacking social and cultural capital despite being otherwise able.

“I love working with young-people and teaching which makes volunteering for Target Medicine one of the most fulfilling things I’ve done at university since first year. I definitely recommend all UCLMS students and staff to get involved with Target Medicine in any way they can manage.
I wish to thank the Paediatrics and Child Health IBSc team for the nomination; and Dr Jayne Kavanagh, Jeannine Attreed and Shirley Cupit for their invaluable efforts in running Target Medicine.”

Lim WeiWei Nee Lim, Year 5

“I am a 5th year medical students who likes spending time outdoors, with an ambition to be a medical doctor with the UN. My special interests include expedition medicine & tropical medicine.

“My project work with the Camden OAC to support UCL students who are interested in the outdoors, providing them with the insurance, training and relevant gear. Camden’s Open Award Centre (OAC) works with young adults to make the DofE expeditions and other activities such as climbing and kayaking more accessible for participants from challenging backgrounds.  I am proud of my contribution to this organisation, because I believe it has a long term, positive impact on the personal and social development of the youth in Camden. The young adults gain confidence,transferable skills and diversified life experiences. These qualities will make them better candidates future employment and studies. Also, many of the older participants have progressed to being leaders to their younger peers and in their community. We are always looking for new volunteers to be mentors for the youth in Camden, please do get in touch via lgot.camden@gmail.com for more details. ”

The award consists of a donation of £1000 to a charity of the winner’s choice. More information on the awards and how to nominate or apply can be found on the UCL scholarships and funding webpages.

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