Our annual Volunteer Awards, which we first celebrated in 2016, recognise volunteers from across our campuses in the UK, China and Malaysia. The awards celebrate people who have made outstanding contributions to the university and its community, showing exceptional dedication, creativity, innovation or leadership.

Meet our 2023 winners!

Alumni Volunteer of the Year

Winner: Keith Burgess (Production Engineering, 1987)

Keith Burgess

Volunteer roles: Entrepreneur in Residence (Ingenuity Lab), Nottingham University Business School speaker, Entrepreneurship and Business Mentor, Career Mentor, Business Alumni Insight Series speaker.

Keith's nominations: "Keith deserves to win this award for his amazing contribution to our Haydn Green Institute, the Business School and wider university community. He is always first to volunteer to support the Lab and is also going to be engaged in supporting the Witty Scholarship scheme this year. He is so generous with his time and has also provided support to the wider university community by introducing members of staff from outside the Business School to his network of contacts."

"Keith's long and continuous support to a wide range of calls for support which have included being a guest speaker, mentor, coach and also a co-designer and guest lecturer of executive education courses.

"Keith has given his insight, experience and his valuable time to support whenever asked by the university and to my knowledge has never declined a request. His support over many years is noteworthy especially when faced with requests from many other organisations.

"The development of new executive education course content is one level of impact but the fact that Keith has placed his personal brand behind the promotion of these courses and been a willing promoter (via video) of these courses is a level of impact really seen." 



International Volunteer of the Year

Winner: Surya (Nila) Nilasari (Education, 2020)

Surya Nilasari

Volunteer role: International Alumni Ambassador.

Surya's nomination: "Nila is one of our international alumni ambassadors for Indonesia and has been instrumental in keeping the alumni community in Jakarta connected. Since her appointment last year, she has helped the university organise two formal alumni engagement events; one in June 2022 when the Global Engagement team was visiting with a delegation of university academics, as well as a Vice-Chancellor reception in November 2022.

"Nila offered regional intelligence to the International Volunteering & Advocacy Team as to the expectations of local alumni, liaised directly with the venue to negotiate a contract and ensure the room set up fit our requirements, as well as helped us boost registration and attendance numbers by promoting the event amongst her own vast networks. She went above and beyond by arranging a photographer and videographer to attend the event, even managing to capture an exclusive interview with the Vice-Chancellor on the university’s internationalisation strategy in Indonesia. In addition, she has facilitated high-level introductions for the university within Indonesia’s Ministry of Education where she works as a civil servant, increasing our awareness of the local education landscape.

"Beyond that, she has also supported international student recruitment activities by participating at offer holder events, sharing her insights and helping the next generation of Nottingham students arrive prepared and eager to spend time at our university. Overall, Nila encompasses the university values and is a very enthusiastic and driven volunteer. She has been an excellent advocate for her alma mater, effectively helping us increase the university’s brand, reputation, recruitment numbers and alumni community spirit within Indonesia."



Community Volunteer of the Year

Winner: Patient Cafe Volunteers

The Patient Cafe Volunteers

The group's nomination: "As a school we would like to make a group nomination for our Patient Cafe volunteers, who have regularly volunteered their time over the last three years to help develop our MPharm students' communication skills via our online Patient Cafe sessions.

"Initially established during the pandemic to provide vital patient contact (in the absence of on-site placements), many of our volunteers stepped in at short notice to ensure that students continued to have the opportunity to practise their communication skills with real-life patients.

"Positive feedback from students has led to these sessions now being embedded within the MPharm curriculum, and the commitment to student learning from our volunteer patients has really helped students across all years.

"We currently have c.900 students, which means that there are Patient Cafés running almost daily during term-time; none of which would be possible without the support of our volunteer patients and their positive, friendly, can-do attitudes.

"They are a real asset to the programme and the sessions they provide make a huge difference to the student experience by providing students with real-life opportunities to interact with patients from all walks of life, helping to develop them in to caring, compassionate pharmacists of the future."



Follow in their footsteps!

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Our previous recipients

2022 winners

Alumni Volunteer of the Year: Tobi Ruth Adebekun (French and International Media with Communications, 2014)

Highly commended: Erin Connelly (Medieval English, 2008)

Community Volunteer of the Year: Marko Voẞ

Highly commended: Paul Dunnery (Summer Placement Host), John Birkill (Manager for Phoenix Aspirational Learning) 

Longstanding Volunteer awards: Abigail Seager • Adebowale Dairo AKA Hakeem • Alastair Perry • Amanda Ferguson • Amanda Riddle • Amanda Howard-Sneyd (Horton Mastin) • Amy Prosser • Anastasia Makeeva • Andrew McNaughton • Anju Okhandiar • Carl Mundy • Carmen B Swanwick-Roa • Charles Pollard • Choong Hiong D Lee • Christopher Yim • Ciara Deall • Corinne Leighton • Craig Coulson • Dale Gilbert • David Clarke • Donna Omovbude • Eleri Davies • Elizabeth Tallett Wavle • Fernando De Barros Smye Frances O'Donnell • Giles Woodhouse • Gordon Lindsay • Graham Kill • Ian Sadler • Imran Rahman-Jones • James Hewlett • Jennifer Evans • Jerome Fielder • Jing Tang • Jingyi Fu • Jo McPhail • Jonathan Hughes • Karen Schrader • Karrish Devan • Keith Bound • Keith Spriggs • Kiri Madhani • Marianna Laviola • Martin Cooper • Martin Wolf • Matthew Lawson • Michael Harriott • Mohamed Hameed Sadurdeen AKA Ismail • Paul Kitchen • Peter Johnstone • Philip Pickard • Robert Clift • Roy Chambers • Rupert Hough • Sameen Barabhuiya • Samuel Uziel Rivero Prado • Sara Holland • Siaka Suma • Stephanie Dizon • Sudipta Mohanty • Thomas Lansdowne • Tim Calderhead • Ursula Edgington

2021 winners

Alumni Volunteer of the Year: Michael Olatokun (Law, 2014)

Exceptional Contribution Award: Yinka Adegbenle (Industiral Economics, 2001)

Individual Community Volunteer of the Year: Paul Corcoran

Group Community Volunteer of the Year: PROTECT-CH Trial, Val Leyland and Maureen Godfrey

Longstanding Volunteer Award: 

  • Michael Olatokun (Law, 2014)
  • Aparajita (Ivy) Roy (Economic Development and Policy, 2016)
  • Alison Isherwood (Chemical Engineering, 1997)
  • Shash Patel (Mathematics with Engineering, 1983)

Volunteer Co-ordinator of the Year (Careers and Employability): Alex Owusu

Volunteer Co-ordinator of the Year (Engineering): Vince Pizzoni

2019 winners

Alumni Volunteer of the Year: Emily Seto (Clinical Microbiology, 2016)

University of Nottingham Volunteers of the Year: Martin Austin and Steven Hadfield

Community Volunteers of the Year Group Award: The Music and Memories Choir

Community Volunteer of the Year: Valentine Nkoyo

Special Recognition Award: Emily Smith

Longstanding Volunteer Awards:

  • Yasmin Ali (Chemical Engineering, 2010)
  • Ed Tarlton (Psychology, 2011)
  • Aymun Khan (Mechanical Engineering, 2019)
  • Jenny Ireland
  • Jan Perrett MBE
  • Jo Horsey
  • Friends for Impact
  • David Waldram

Volunteer Co-ordinator of the Year: Martha Jones

2018 winners

Alumni Volunteer of the Year: Hugh Jaques (Chemistry, 2000)

University of Nottingham Volunteer of the Year: Natalie Hayden-Yeung (Law, 2012)

Exceptional Contribution Award: Lisa Johnson

Community Volunteer of the Year: John Charles-Jones

Longstanding Volunteer Award:

  • Mel Berry 
  • Rob Johnson 
  • MacJay Makinde-Ojo 
  • Barry Moody 
  • Laura Outhwaite 
  • Tom Preece 
  • Daphne Priestly OBE 
  • Kate Sartain 
  • Jeremy Stanyard 
  • Nottingham Slave Trade Legacies Group
  • John Williams 
  • Ed Wright 
2017 winners

UK Alumni Volunteer of the Year:  Dr Amy Prosser 

International Alumni Volunteer of the Year: Jingyi Fu

University of Nottingham Volunteer of the Year, Community Volunteer of the Year and Longstanding Volunteer: Emeritus Professor David Brailsford 

Exceptional Contribution Award: Paul Barrett and Steve Wright – Lifecycle Superheroes 

Longstanding Volunteer Award:  

  • Kate Hodgett and Maureen Godfrey 
  • Shirley Priest, Jim Priest, Louise Clarke, Dr Alaa Alrawaibah 
  • Andy Boston 
  • Christine Humfrey and Keith Redfern 
  • Colin Jones, Janet Jones, David Henson, David Pinney, Janet Kemp, Mary Chivers and Pam Brown
  • Daniel Slater 
  • David Pearson 
  • Candy Wright, Dominic Chan, Aster Lee, Albert Poon, Natalie Chiu, Lavinia Wong and Vincent Wong 
  • Peter Hubberstey 
  • Roger Lewis 
  • Professor Julian Wiseman 
2016 winners

Alumni Volunteer of the Year: Mark Bullock

University of Nottingham Volunteer of the Year: Jo Horsey

Staff Volunteer of the Year: Drew Shearsmith
Community Volunteer of the Year: Pam and Mike White
Longstanding Volunteer Awards:

  • Mal Davies
  • Alison Robinson
  • Jim Gamble
  • Sheila Leeds, Peter Reddish, Anne Reddish, Pauline Chettle and Jim Chettle
  • David Pinney
  • Ann and Brian Peters
  • Lesley Parkinson
  • Pat Smith
  • Sumeet Shah
  • Ossie Newell
  • Malcolm Jones
  • Jo Horsey
  • Mark Bullock
  • Tim Smith
  • Dr Chanikul Chutrakul
  • Benjamin Ma
  • Hien Chi Nguyen