Five Oxford students have received Vice-Chancellor's Social Impact Awards, which were given out at the University's Encaenia.
The annual awards recognise students who have demonstrated exceptional achievement in commitment to voluntary and charitable work, and social entrepreneurship. The awards are run in collaboration with the Oxford Hub, a student-led organisation that aims to transform students’ involvement with social and environmental challenges in Oxford and around the world.
This year's winners are Emma Alexander, Elisabeth Brierley, Hannah Prescott, Tyler Spencer and Eden Tanner.
Emma Alexander is a finalist studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics. She has taken on the running of LinkAges, which aims to tackle the isolation of elderly people in Oxfordshire by organising activity days in a local care home, and running a befriending scheme for students and the elderly. She has turned it into a successful venture with over 300 volunteers on their books. She is now going on to pursue a graduate medicine degree.
Elisabeth Brierley has just completed her third year studying Music. In the last year she has co-ordinated Music Plus, which provides music tuition in local schools. After working with Music Plus, St Gregory the Great Academy has seen a 50 percent rise in A*-C grades in music GCSE in the last year alone. Elisabeth instigated the Concert Pledge, a commitment to take 1,000 children from the Blackbird Academy Trust to a concert that they might otherwise not be able to afford, to inspire their own music making.
Hannah Prescott is studying for a DPhil in Sociology. She set up the Oxford Students' Disability Community (OSDC), which provides a support network for disabled students, campaigns for better understanding, advocates for students with disabilities and promotes positive awareness. They now have over 200 members, and have become the official disability liberation campaign for the Oxford University Students' Union (OUSU).
Tyler Spencer is in his fourth year working towards a DPhil in Public Health, having completed an MSc in Evidence-Based Social Intervention at Oxford. He aims to tackle high rates of HIV infection in his hometown of Washington, DC. He is the Founder and President of the Grassroot Project, which recruits university athletes to volunteer as HIV educators. It now has more than 700 volunteers, who reach more than 3,500 students in 50 schools in the District of Columbia.
Eden Tanner is in her second year of studying for a DPhil in Physical and Theoretical Chemistry. She has served as MCR President and Graduate Women's Officer at OUSU and acted as co-chair of 'It Happens Here', the OUSU campaign to raise awareness of sexual violence in Oxford. She was instrumental in organising sexual consent workshops for first-year students at Oxford this year as one of three people qualified to train the 400 facilitators. She has also secured funding to produce a First Response App to provide confidential and accessible resources for those who need it.