Press Releases

Community-spirited students honoured – University of Reading

Release Date : 14 June 2007

More than 200 University of Reading community-spirited students who volunteered in local schools are to receive recognition for their efforts at a special ceremony this month.

Every year these generous helpers maintain the University's longstanding and proud tradition of supporting the local community – and this year 30 local schools and numerous school children benefited from their help.

Professor Tony Downes, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, will present certificates on Tuesday June 19 to the students who participated in the Community Service Volunteers (CSV) 'Learning Together' scheme and completed at least 10 periods of tutoring in the last year.

Special prizes are to be awarded to Natalie Keys and Katie Lincoln for their exceptional work during this project. Natalie is a first year student studying Geography. Her teacher Elaine Sweetman at Hillside Primary said: "Natalie was an exceptional volunteer. She was always reliable, unassuming but warm, and so kind to every child irrespective of their particular need. When the children realised it was her final session they implored her to stay. From wrapping Christmas presents to help Father Christmas, hearing readers or even playing outside in the freezing cold, her smile never faltered. She was an excellent representative of your University."

Katie is a final year Psychologist and volunteered at New Town Primary. Hannah Bishop , Year One teacher at New Town Primary said: "Katie behaved in a very professional way at all times. She performed a wide variety of tasks with great enthusiasm and skill, fully engaging the children. She came into school at lunchtime after her first exam that morning, which shows her commitment and dedication."

The choice was particularly hard this year so the University is also presenting Highly Commended awards to Simon Farnsworth whose assistance at Maiden Erlegh's support unit was warmly praised and to Nina Fischer, who used her native German language to do excellent work at The Willink School.

Thirteen students were e-mentors, offering support to pupils on a weekly basis via email.

Julia Hodgson , CSV Co-ordinator, said: "Twenty-eight volunteers from previous years tutored for another year, with Ruth Fitt from the School of Law completing her fourth year of tutoring. Ruth visited three different schools over the period and made a total of 53 visits. Ruth's contribution has been tremendous."

"More than 20 per cent of volunteer tutors were from abroad coming from 27 different countries. Native speakers of French, German and Spanish, often in Britain for only a term or two as visiting students, made much valued contributions in secondary schools with conversation classes. "

"The University was delighted to find three volunteers to travel to two Bracknell schools to give one-to-one support to students who had recently joined the English education system. These volunteers needed to be native speakers of Korean, Polish and Spanish - Binfield Primary for the Korean and Brakenhale Secondary for Spanish and Polish. Their personal effort to reach the schools by public transport was considerable and greatly appreciated."

Attending the ceremony will be the Mayor and Mayoress of Reading Councillor Chris Maskell, Anna Wright, Director of Education and Children's Services at Reading Borough Council and headteachers from participating schools.


Notes for editors:

Media are welcome to attend this ceremony, which is being held at 4.30pm in the Madejski Theatre, Agriculture Building on Whiteknights Campus. (Earley Gate entrance) Anyone wishing to attend should contact Lucy Ferguson in the University press office on 0118 378 7388.

Participating schools:

12 Secondary Schools - 9 tutoring, 3 E-mentor

The Abbey

Blessed Hugh Faringdon (E-mentoring)


Bulmershe (Tutoring plus E-mentoring)

Garth Hill College (E mentoring)

Highdown School

John Madejski Academy

Kendrick School

Maiden Erlegh School

Reading Girls' (E-mentoring)

Reading School

The Willink School

15 Primary Schools

Alfred Sutton Primary

Arborfield C of E Junior School

Binfield Primary

Earley St Peter's CoE Primary

George Palmer Primary

Highwood Primary

Hillside Primary

New Christ Church CoE Primary

New Town County Primary School

Ridgeway Primary

Sonning CoE Primary School

St John's CoE Primary

Theale CoE Primary

Whiteknights Primary School

Whitley Park Infant School

3 Special Schools


Avenue School

Phoenix College

3 Others

Playing 4 Success (Madejski Stadium)

Thames Valley University

IMAAD Saturday School (a charity giving additional tuition mainly to ethnic minority children from Woodley)


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