College students gain awards

SUFFOLK College students had plenty to celebrate in the New Year when 50 of them received a nationally recognised award for their work on behalf of the Millennium Volunteers Project.

By Victoria Knowles

SUFFOLK College students had plenty to celebrate in the New Year when 50 of them received a nationally recognised award for their work on behalf of the Millennium Volunteers Project.

The celebration event took place at the Bellamy Suite, in the Town Hall Ipswich and 25 of the volunteers received the prestigious Award of Excellence. These were signed by the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, Estelle Morris.

They recognise that the volunteers have completed 200 hours of volunteering in the community. The others received a certificate which shows they have completed 100 hours of volunteering.


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The evening included a licensed bar and buffet and was a chance to acknowledge the work the students have done. As the volunteers came up to accept their awards and certificates the many projects they were involved in were flashed up on a screen for all to see.

Louise Rush is one of the students who received the Award for Excellence.

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She said: "I took part in lots of different activities which gave me the opportunity to meet lots of people and experience situations I would not normally see.

"I was involved in charity events like Rethink Disabilities, and also wrote for the Ipswich Borough Council magazine, Angle. I did not realise what a commitment it would be to start with. I just wanted to help people and maybe boost my own confidence. It has been very rewarding and it is a great honour to get this award."

Julian Illman is project manager for the Millennium Volunteers, he said: "The whole night was a chance for the local community to see the impact Millennium Volunteers has in the area.

"This is a celebration to mark the fabulous achievements of these young people.

"We are one of 160 projects across the country and we are really proud to see these young people and all they have achieved."

Millennium Volunteers is a national scheme that encourages young people to get involved in voluntary work. It was started by Tony Blair in 1999 and was designed to show young people can make a difference to their community and to change the face of volunteering with young people.

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