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Winners named at 2024 Runnymede and Spelthorne Volunteer Awards, hosted by Royal Holloway

Winners named at 2024 Runnymede and Spelthorne Volunteer Awards, hosted by Royal Holloway

  • Date11 June 2024

Awards were given for exemplary volunteering in the local community at the event, which was hosted by Royal Holloway, University of London and organised by Voluntary Support North Surrey and Royal Holloway Volunteering.


The Runnymede and Spelthorne Volunteer Awards are an annual event, celebrating the amazing work carried out by members of the local community and student volunteers, helping make where they live, work, and study a better place for everyone.

This year’s awards ceremony took place on Royal Holloway’s Egham Campus, in the Windsor Building, with more than 300 guests attending the event.

Awards that were presented included the Outstanding Social Action Award, Outstanding Community Action Award and the Outstanding Community Partner, given to local community partners who have gone above and beyond to offer opportunities to volunteers this year.

Among the winners was the ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Project, which received the Social Action Volunteer Award. ESOL is one of a number of social action projects run by a group of student volunteers from Royal Holloway, who teach English to refugees and asylum seekers between the ages of 15 and 18.

Other winners included the COBRA Collective, who secured the Community Partner award for their work empowering marginalised communities: both locally in Englefield Green and also in South America. COBRA Collective is a UK-based social enterprise consisting of 16 researchers and practitioners of various nationalities – including Professor Jay Mistry from the Department of Geography at Royal Holloway.

As well as the 11 Royal Holloway Volunteering Awards presented on the night, Voluntary Support North Surrey also gave out nine awards of their own, including the Unsung Hero Award and Fundraiser of the Year.

The nominees and winners of each award were announced by a series of guest presenters, including the Mayor of Runnymede, Cllr Elaine Gill, Simran Dhanjal-Field, the CEO of Student Hubs, and several members of Royal Holloway’s Senior Leadership Team.

Sana Rehman, winner of the Runnymede Mayor’s Cup for Student Volunteer of the Year, said: “It’s an incredible honour to receive such an award, especially as my whole family had attended the evening which made me feel really proud.

“Being the first in the family to attend university, this award means a lot to me. My siblings have always been my support system and biggest cheerleaders in moments like these, and I couldn’t be more grateful for my family’s support in everything I do.

“This was also possible because of the encouragement and care the volunteering team at Royal Holloway has always shown me. The immense support of Royal Holloway’s amazing Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Julie Sanders - her genuine concern, commitment and care for her students is inspirational and one of a kind!”

Louise McGarr, Interim Volunteering Manager at Royal Holloway said: “I’d like to extend a huge thank you to our valued co-hosts at Voluntary Support North Surrey, as well as personal thanks to our team at Royal Holloway Volunteering and so many others involved.”

“This event would be meaningless without the volunteers, community groups and charities who are the glue to our society. Thank you for all that you do!”

Professor Julie Sanders, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Royal Holloway, added: “It was wonderful to be able to welcome so many brilliant volunteers and members of our local community onto campus.

“Evenings like these remind us of the massive personal contributions made by so many people in our University and beyond. I was especially moved to see so many students giving up their precious time to carry out important volunteering work and really giving back to and playing a positive part in the wider community.”

The full list of nominees and winners of the Royal Holloway Volunteering Awards:


Sports Volunteer Award

Cheerleading and Dance – Student Union Club & Society  

RHUL Rowing – Student Union Club & Society 

RHUL Trampolining – Student Union Club & Society 

RHUL Rounders – Student Union Club & Society 

Shao Lai – Active Lifestyle & Sport Student Coach -Winner 

Netball – Student Union Club & Society 


Community Action Volunteer Award

Laura Baker

Olivia Davies

The Royal Holloway Chapel Wardens - Winner 

Georgia Mutton


Royal Holloway Volunteering Cup for Student Group of the Year

Absolute Harmony - Student Union Club & Society 

Dance Society - Student Union Club & Society - Winner 

Sikh Society - Student Union Club & Society 

First Aid Society - Student Union Club & Society 

Feminism Society - Student Union Club & Society 

Athletics - Student Union Club & Society 


Voluntary Work Award

Ruairidh Colquhoun - Winner 

Charlotte Gardener  



Community Research Volunteer Award

Sophie Moran - Winner


Social Action Volunteer Award 

Foodbank Project  

ESOL Project - Winner 

Homeless Project  

Community Garden Project  

Elderly Tea Parties Project 


Global Citizen Award 

Amber Rangi - Winner 

Laura Baker 


Community Partner Award

Runnymede Foodbank 

The Village Centre, Englefield Green 

Yes To Life 

St Jude's C of E School 

Holme Farm 

Runnymede & Spelthorne Citizens Advice 

Families Thriving Together 

Cobra Collective CIC - Winner 

Think Pacific

Play Action International


Raleigh International

Challenges abroad


Outstanding Staff Volunteer Award

Katie Smith (Internal Communication Officer) – Winner


The Bob O’Keefe Award

Peter Luers – Winner


Runnymede Mayor’s Cup for Student Volunteer of the Year

Sana Rehman - Winner

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