On 11 May we were joined by staff, students, alumni and friends from around the world to celebrate the incredible and inspiring work of our University community. This social responsibility work spans everything from research, teaching, student volunteering, working with external partners and much more.
The Awards highlighted the extensive range of social responsibility initiatives of our staff, students, alumni and external partners, and covered categories such as benefit to society through research; widening participation; environmental sustainability and equality, diversity and inclusion.
Over 130 entries were submitted this year, with judges recognising 16 winners and 21 highly commended. Winners included research improving breast cancer screening; an engagement initiative making cultural institutions more accessible for neurodiverse young people; and, a collaboration aiming to tackle local biodiversity loss. There were also numerous inspirational student projects such as those addressing gender equity within international education, and promoting oral hygiene in underprivileged areas around Greater Manchester.
During the event we also celebrated the winners of the University’s Sustainability Photography Competition, and special awards were given for the recent extraordinary projects from Manchester Museum and Jodrell Bank.
Chancellor Nazir Afzal OBE attended the first of many Making a Difference Awards in his new tenure. President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell gave a welcome speech, reflecting on our University’s achievements across the past year.
Dr Julian Skyrme, Director for Social Responsibility, said: “We pride ourselves on being a pioneering institution for social responsibility and the Making a Difference Awards allows us to celebrate some of the best work that our staff, students, alumni and partners do each year to enhance the wellbeing of society and the environment.”
Nalin Thakkar, Vice-President for Social Responsibility concluded: “It was a wonderful experience to be involved in an event that recognises the inspiring work that our staff, students, alumni and partners are involved in. The Making a Difference Awards has, once again, shown how the unique abilities and resources of universities can create positive change in wider society through research, innovation, and most importantly our people.”