Ask a question

UCO’s Hat-Trick of HE Heroes

UCO is celebrating a spectacular hat-trick of winners at Sheffield Hallam University’s UK Partner Inspirational Student Awards 2024.

Each year, Sheffield Hallam recognises the achievements, hard work and enthusiasm of students taking courses at their partner institutions.

Our trailblazing trio recently picked up their awards in a ceremony at the Atrium and Hallam Hall in South Yorkshire and – as you can see – their stories are all about tenacity, dedication and making the most from their opportunity:

Libby Smith holds a certificate

Libby Smith, FdA Children and Young People, won the Inspirational Individual award.

Despite being diagnosed with a severe medical condition during her first year and undergoing heart surgery, Libby has shown resilience in honouring her study commitments – handing in all assignments on time and attending regular tutorials.

Libby said: “My experience at Sheffield Hallam was amazing.”
“The atmosphere was lovely – everyone was kind and welcoming. The awards ceremony was a really special event.”

Fiza Tajwar holds a certificate

Fiza Tajwar, FdSc Counselling and Psychotherapeutic Skills, won the Leadership award.

Fiza does outstanding work around mental health awareness in the local community. She works on placement at three different counselling charities and is involved in advocacy work: regularly speaking on panels and hosting workshops around the topic of mental health.

Fiza said: “It feels amazing to be recognised and rewarded for my work at UCO and in the community.”
“Hitting top marks after being out of education for 20 years, being invited to deliver workshops and lectures on mental health and providing emergency aid to the most vulnerable people in my community are just some of the things that have made this journey so incredible. I look forward to qualifying as a counsellor and taking my passion to help people to the next level!”

Samantha Fletcher holds a certificate

Samantha Fletcher, BSc (Hons) Psychology, won the Student Voice award.

Samantha’s work as an enthusiastic, positive and approachable Student Representative for the past three years has ensured that underrepresented groups have a voice, and that services have improved campus-wide for all UCO students.

Samantha said the event was “truly memorable”: “”I wanted to express my gratitude for the wonderful experience and the opportunity to celebrate with so many inspiring students.”

Donna Sinclair, Course Leader for BSc (Hons) Psychology and Samantha’s tutor, said Samantha is “enthusiastic and positive at all times when dealing with members of staff and other students,” and “truly deserving of this award.”

Sue Holden, Assistant Principal HE and Higher Skills at UCO, said: “We’re all incredibly proud of Libby, Fiza and Samantha whose successes are testament to their personal dedication and determination to succeed.”

“These are the latest students whose achievements highlight the very different route to success that UCO offers on their doorsteps. Our staff take great pride in helping homegrown talents like this to flourish in a close-knit community with closer one-to-one and specialist support that empowers them to take a new direction and make the most of their undoubted potential.”

CONGRATULATIONS to Libby, Fiza and Samantha – and all the UCO community who helped in their success.