Volunteer of the Year Award

Each year, a few particularly generous graduates go above and beyond in their volunteering activity to guide, advise and inspire students, and support the University. This award recognises their valued contribution.


We're delighted to announce that the Volunteer of the Year 2020 is Mark Ansell (BA Social Policy and Sociology 2006).

Alumni Volunteer of the Year 2020, Mark Ansell
Mark Ansell, Alumni Volunteer of the Year 2020

Mark is a longstanding alumni volunteer, having given over 150 hours of his time to support various activities and events at the University over the past eight years. He does this whilst managing the demands of his busy job as a Senior Journalist Reporter for the BBC.

Mark has been an inspirational E-Mentor on the Careers Services' E-Mentoring scheme, providing one-to-one guidance and advice to students. Mark has also provided strategic advice to the University as a member of the Alumni Board. Most recently, he supported our flagship Northern City Connections volunteering programme: attending the evening networking event to meet with, and provide support to, widening participation students.

Nominees for Volunteer of the Year

There have been a number of other exceptional volunteers who were also nominated for the award.

  • Alexander Duke has supported engineering students with their projects tackling real world problems through the Global Engineering Challenge. He's also been involved in the University’s E-Mentoring scheme. A recurring volunteer for the past four years, Alexander has volunteered a total of 75 hours.

  • Andrew Laycock took part in the Global Engineering Challenge and Engineering You’re Hired events to improve student experience and employability for the past four years. He's also been a committed E-Mentor during this period, volunteering over 100 hours of his time.

  • David Naylor-James has volunteered for a variety of projects and events to support current engineering students. This has included being a member of the Industrial Advisory Board and attending, networking and speaking at a variety of events to inspire students about their career options. He has also been involved in the E-Mentoring scheme since 2013. He's given 150 hours of his time in total.

  • Hanah Eisenburg has volunteered for the Discover STEM Open Day for the department of Mechanical Engineering and has been a recurring E-Mentor, dedicating over 50 hours of her time.

  • Harriet Fischer was nominated by the Urban Studies and Planning department for the voluntary work she has undertaken for them in providing a career case study, delivering a lecture and advising on the department's Liaison Board. 

  • Ishaq Khan was nominated by the Urban Studies and Planning department for supporting current students through a Speed Networking Event and for advising on module development.

  • Sally Weston volunteered at the Discover STEM and Global Engineering Challenge events, supported University governance as an Alumni Board member from 2016-2019, has taken part in the Big Walk two years in a row to help community fundraising and also volunteered as an E-Mentor. Sally has volunteered over 150 hours..

  • Stephanie Nuttall has been a committed E-Mentor for three years. She's also attended the Arts & Humanities faculty challenge, Think Create, two years in a row, volunteering over 100 hours in total to support students across the University.