2021 winners – SSA

College of Social Sciences and Arts – Inspirational Student Award Winners 2021

Inspiring Individual Award

Dale Williams

Over the past 3 years I have been on a rollercoaster ride both academically and personally whilst studying Early

Childhood Studies at Sheffield Hallam University. Throughout my academic journey, I have excelled in all my assessments, conquered personal fears, supported students and lecturers, and overcome adversity in all aspects of my life.

Inspiring those around me has always been important to me so being nominated and voted the winner for the ‘Inspiring Individual’ award was a dream come true. This accolade means the world to me, and I would like to dedicate it to the ECS leaders and lecturers who have been a constant source of inspiration to me throughout my studies!

#EarlyChildhoodStudies #DECI #ECSDN #EarlyYears #birthto5matters

What did they do?
This student covers both the inspiring individual and compassion categories but ultimately their kindness and support for others has shone through. For the past three years this student has overcome painful family circumstances, financial hardship and significant anxiety but has remained positive throughout. During the pandemic this student has taken time to email tutors to thank them for their input, ask how they are and support all initiatives to help new students. This student also shows kindness and compassion to all fellow students offering support both inside and outside university and attendance and commitment to teaching has not wavered. This student continues to inspire despite their own struggles.

What was the impact?
Impact is very hard to measure for compassion as the ripples of impact are everywhere. Making others feel comfortable in sessions is a skill that has helped others to contribute and find confidence in themselves. Having a passion for their subject area rubs off on others and brings learning to a higher level in sessions and encourages those less confident to contribute. Always putting others first is a requirement of the career this person wants to enter into and they will undoubtedly be successful. Taking the time to contact those who are teaching them is one of the kindest things I have experienced during the pandemic. That someone with so many of their own issues can take the time to email and make sure others are coping at such a difficult time shows true compassion and has meant a huge amount to those academics that received these thoughtful messages.

How did it inspire others?
This student has encouraged others lacking in confidence and /or struggling with anxiety to do their best and commit to their learning. Leading by example in group activities has meant others have felt confident to push their own boundaries, try and make mistakes and learn and share their thoughts and ideas. This person has created a community of learners that have fun whilst they learn, are respectful of others and accept everyone for who they are.


We Are Hallam Award

Annie Newton, James McMillan, Sinead Farrell, Ellie Adams, Mya Taylor

M Taylor ISA Winner Video

What did they do?

These students are part of the Psychology Peer Advisor team who run the scheme’s Instagram page. Over the last year, they have been developing new and innovative ways to reach our student cohort. In response to the many challenges that students have been facing this year, they have been regularly posting information to help students under specific ‘themed’ days; Motivational Monday’s, Topic Tuesday’s and Wellbeing Wednesday’s. The feedback they have received from their fellow students via this platform indicates the overwhelmingly positive impact of their efforts. The work they have undertaken has required a great deal of commitment at a time when personal struggles could prove distracting, in what has been a challenging year for all. Their dedication to the scheme and Sheffield Hallam University has been consistently demonstrated over the past 8 months.

What was the impact?

Primarily, we have seen a huge increase in the number of students following the Psychology Peer Advisors Instagram Page (an increase from 39 at the start of the year to almost 200). Students at all levels of the course regularly feedback to the Peer Advisors on the usefulness of these posts and value their guidance on many areas of academic life e.g., when making decisions about module elective choices. More importantly, it is the difference they have made to students’ lives this year that is deserving of recognition. They have been able to reach out to students and still connect with them despite the unparalleled barriers we are currently facing.

How did it inspire others?

These students are a true inspiration to all, regularly going out of their way to provide guidance and support and to ensure that every student makes the most of their degree at SHU. They also regularly discuss how being part of the service has helped them as individuals –they have connected as a group, supporting each other, and learnt from each other. There is a palpable sense of community amongst these students and one I would have been privileged to experience as an undergraduate myself many years ago!


Workplace Award

Lydia Fletcher

What did they do?
This has been an exceptional year for the NHS and we’ve been blessed with an exceptional placement student. Despite only meeting the rest of the team only once face to face they have integrated into the team amazingly well. Due to the Covid pandemic, a large number of NHS services have moved to remote appointments which has created a need for alternative ways of working and providing information to patients. Our placement student has risen to the challenge and has supported the development of over 60 videos during their time with us. They have quickly picked up new technology and been able to create resources for a wide range of departments. Lydia has worked with consultants, staff nurses, physiotherapists and a range of other health professionals to create videos and other information to quickly meet their needs. Videos have ranged from exercise demonstrations, to ‘how to’ videos, to pre-recorded education sessions.

What was the impact?
The development of videos has enabled departments to carry on providing much needed support to patients despite not seeing them face to face. Exercise videos have provided physio staff with a range of resources that they can now email to patients or signpost to on the Trust’s video webpage. They have allowed staff to continue providing professional advice at a safe distance, without the videos it would have been difficult to convey this information to patients remotely. Surgery school sessions which were previously held as a classroom style presentation are now available online via a video presentation instead. These sessions are vital to ensure patients undergoing a major operation are properly prepared for their surgery. Without our placement student the team would not have been able to create such resources. They have been invaluable in taking on a piece of work that none of the rest of us would have had the skills or time to achieve. The progression of change would have been very difficult for the Trust without their direct input and support.

How did it inspire others?
Despite joining the team in such difficult circumstances, our student has taken everything in their stride and has constantly stayed calm and good-humoured throughout. Lydia has been a delight to work with and encouraged others to try new things.