In 2019/20, there were 11 awards given out to 11 deserving recipients. Look through all of the nominees and winners below to discover what they do that makes them Changemakers.

Community Changemaker of the Year

Winner – Laura Graham

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Laura is a community champion for Northampton, building connections to create a stronger community. Focussing on both grassroots and institution levels she has initiated positive changes that have impacted many people, taking action while inspiring others to do the same. Her successes have included founding the community zine The Happy Hood, which celebrates good news in Northampton and gives a platform for local artists and writers to get published; launching LiftNN, a multi-agency working group to spark collaborative working for the good of Northampton; and creating community connections through GoodNeighbour, a scheme launched in Laura’s neighbourhood. Laura also works with Age UK Northants, securing them the position of Charity of the Year with Northants Chamber of Commerce; coordinates the local befriending service Linking Lives and regularly writes for Happiful magazine, Macmillan Cancer Support and Huffington Post to promote wellbeing and community.
Laura has created communities where there were none, inspiring others to take action rather than spreading negativity about the things they don’t like in Northampton. Laura is a dynamic individual who has made community and positivity relevant again. She has helped people to see that they have power and agency to change theirs and other’s worlds.
A true Changemaker in action.


Marvin Mudzongo – Marvin, a University of Northampton graduate, delivers creative workshops and interventions for young people across Northamptonshire through his enterprise Lemon Pop Workshops. He is focussed on presenting the creative arts as a tool through which young people can learn transferable skills, explore who they are and investigate the impact they want to have in the world. Through these explorations young people are offered the opportunity to develop the resilience needed to thrive in our ever-changing world. His work has a focus on identity awareness where young people are inspired to explore what makes them who they are. In this way they are encouraged to share their cultures, backgrounds and personal experiences, giving them confidence and pride in their individuality while also allowing for them to inspire others to embrace their own differences. Marvin is a truly inspiring and creative individual who can motivate anyone to explore who they are and the impact they have on the world. His passion shines through everything he does and his talent for the creative arts has provided him with the perfect opportunity to pair his skills with his desire to have a positive impact in the world.

Moulton Allotments CIC – Since its establishment in July 2016 the Moulton Allotments CIC has continuously developed its activities to widen participation and to provide an asset for the local community. Focussing on children, young people and wellbeing they have created partnerships with local schools, the local GP surgery, local authority and national associations to ensure that they have maximum reach. One of the main activities that the CIC has developed is its educational programme. The Edible Landscape Initiative teaches children and parents where food comes from. They also run children’s clubs that teach participants and their parents the art of growing seasonal food and the surrounding issues of food waste, illustrated by surplus food being donated to local food banks. All developments made to the allotments are designed to be environmentally sustainable for the area, including a fully accessible composting toilet, a solar powered water supply and an off-grid solar power station providing electricity to the whole area. The success of the CIC is demonstrated by the increase in number and diversity of their membership, making this area into a community asset, not just for the people of Moulton but for people across Northamptonshire. The emphasis on sustainability for all the activities that have been developed has increased their impact, providing a clear pathway for young people to continue activities as they grow older.

Culture and Heritage Changemaker of the Year

Winner – NN Contemporary

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NN Contemporary is an art space in the centre of Northampton, working with artists at all stages of their careers to present an international programme of contemporary art and multi-disciplinary events. They aim to enrich the lives of people in Northamptonshire through the arts. They are pioneering and visionary in the work they commission and exhibit, providing the town with a focal point for creativity. They work to be a catalyst for creativity, working with their audiences, artists, funders and supporters to ignite imaginations and inspire collaboration to transform communities. Two of the key values they embody are to be encouraging and inclusive, opening the world of the arts to everyone. They have a focus on engaging young artists and performers, providing them with a channel to explore and showcase their talents. In addition, regular career development and training events are held, providing opportunities to access essential networks and advice.
NN Contemporary receive between 150,000 and 250,000 visitors a year, with 2,000,000 interactions though broadcasts, print and online materials. A further 2,500 people engage with the gallery every year through the programmes they deliver. This is all made possible by members of the local public who contribute over 1000 hours of volunteering support every year. These volunteers are all trained to national museum standards, offering them experience to progress into the creative industries. NN Contemporary have been through a period of significant change but remain focused on working towards their vision of being the ‘Cultural Institution of the Future’.


Screen Northants – Screen Northants is a social enterprise film company that believes in making better films in a better way. They aim to break down socio-economic and geographical barriers to the Creative Industries, providing aspirations to young people who would otherwise never gain experience of these career options. Through Screen Northants, disadvantaged young people are offered the opportunity to build life and work skills while creating networks and communities for themselves. Together they produce world class feature and short films that showcase Northamptonshire, building not only on the futures of participants but also on the culture and heritage of our county.
In 2019 Screen Northants held the first Northampton Film Festival, created entirely by local young people, designed to shine a spotlight on Northampton. The festival was a direct response to the underserved negative perceptions of Northampton and offered people the opportunity to showcase their work while discovering new things about the town and wider county. Run by a committee of local 16-25-year olds the festival was titled Coming of Age to represent their desire to have their voices heard. After this successful pilot the festival is set to return in 2020, offering further opportunity for the local community to engage in the art of filmmaking. Through all their work Screen Northants intends to change how the film industry works, change what voices are heard through film and put Northamptonshire at the front of leading the way to a more socially responsible, sustainable film industry.

Towcester Museum – Towcester Museum provides an engaging and educational experience to children and adults within Northamptonshire. Located in the courtyard of a former Georgian coaching inn, the museum provides a cultural and historical focal point for the town of Towcester and the surrounding region. They are previous winners of the Northamptonshire Heritage Forum Heritage Site of the Year and have been recipients of Heritage Lottery funding. This funding has allowed the trust to develop three interactive exhibitions, taking you on a ‘journey through time’ that spans 5,000 years of Towcester’s history. These exhibitions showcase how the town has developed and evolved over the centuries and offers the opportunity to appreciate the everyday lives experienced by the residents of Towcester.
The museum provides an important amenity and heritage asset that actively engages all sectors of the local community. They provide local business and community support as well as seasonal events, community fundraisers and educational activities for both adults and children. In addition, they are a vital resource for local history research, making materials accessible to the wider community. They are also central to local conservation, securing the future of local artefacts, archives and heritage assets.

Education Changemaker of the Year

Winner – Hospital and Outreach Education Alternative Provision Academy

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Hospital and Outreach Education (HOE) is an Alternative Provision Academy that provides educational support for children and young people in Northamptonshire who have a medical or mental health difficulty that prevents them from attending school full time.
As the only provider of this service in the county they offer teaching across five hospitals, two outreach centres and to pupils in their own homes. During the last academic year, HOE have led a national project to trial a telepresence robot called AV1.
This new technology enables children to keep in touch with their peers and home schools during their hospital treatment, allowing relationships to be maintained so that transitions back to school are a much smoother process, seeing many children return to school earlier. The implementation of AV1 has resulted in an increase in wellbeing, not only for the HOE pupils but also their families, simply by allowing children to stay connected to their school lives.
This successful trial has resulted in 70 AV1 robots being implemented across the country, reducing the isolation of many children who cannot attend school while undergoing hospital treatment.


Harshi Sehmar – Harshi, a University of Northampton graduate, is the director of the Village Education Centre in Bangkok. Through his work, Harshi has been involved in supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities for decades.
He is passionate about supporting SEN children to gain skills and opportunities through education and focusses his work strongly on inclusion and valuing diversity. The Village Education Centre supports children who have a variety of special needs and disabilities and has a multi-professional team that provides advice, education and therapy. The centre also offers an early intervention service that provides families with support for their children from an early age.
Harshi’s centre of education has recently celebrated its 20th year and for the past nine years has been partnered with UoN. In that time the partnership has supported professionals to develop their understanding of special needs and inclusion through postgraduate study, workshops and engagement with the community.
Harshi’s work has had a regional impact and he has formed a collaborative partnership with both UoN and a Thai University to develop an initiative that has the potential to have a national impact on the lives of children with special needs. Harshi has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of families in Bangkok and truly embodies the values of a Changemaker.

The Digital Learning Across Boundaries: Developing Changemakers Project Group – The Digital Learning Across Boundaries: Developing Changemakers Erasmus+ project addresses the need to align European educational practice with ways in which digital technology is changing how and what we learn, and how we apply this in education.
Focusing on ways in which the outside world can break down personal learning boundaries and build self-efficacy, the project is inspired by the Changemaker ethos of enabling people to find innovative solutions to social problems. It does this by combining the themes of digital making and Changemaking.
Working with 50 student teachers, teachers and lecturers and 150 students from Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Spain and England the project aims to explore six main themes over three years; crossing physical boundaries and learning through physical experience; crossing personal boundaries and learning through performance; and crossing environmental boundaries and learning in unusual or different places. These themes are explored through a design thinking process of discovering a problem, empathising with the end user and then designing, developing and delivering a prototype solution.
The goal is to better understand what Changemakers look like in the context of education and how to nurture their success, utilising technology to cross physical boundaries through international partnerships

Enterprise Changemaker of the Year

Winner – Track NN Ltd

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Track NN is a Northampton enterprise born out of the knowledge that only 16% of autistic adults are in full time employment. Focussed on addressing this at a local level Track NN aim to provide autistic adults with the support they need to progress into the type of employment they aspire to. Support is provided on a one to one basis with each individual receiving a personal support plan to help them meet their own goals. Track NN has shown a tireless commitment to engaging not only with individuals but also with local businesses to ensure they are doing all that they can to make their workplaces aware, and more importantly accepting, of autism. By working in collaboration with local businesses they have been able to create a variety of workplace opportunities across a range of industries.
Since being established in mid 2018, Track NN have also set up Café Track in the heart of Northampton. Café Track not only gives autistic individuals a supportive environment to develop employability skills but has also been a place for people to build communities. The Café hosts a range of local community groups including Talk at Track which was set up to give a place for autistic adults to meet and discuss employment opportunities and experiences.
Everything about the Track NN enterprise is designed to meet needs at a personal level and the support given is tailored to ensure individuals feel truly valued. Track NN has shown that through collaborating with businesses throughout Northamptonshire it is able to increase the provision of autism support in the county.

Nominees –

Deegesh Maywah -Deegesh is founder of the Employ Ability programme in Mauritius, an enterprise that provides the opportunity for people with physical disabilities to become financially independent and integrated into society. Since its launch in 2014 the programme has supported more than 900 individuals, providing employment to more than 400 people in businesses across Mauritius. Working with over 100 employers the programme has also trained managers and human resources departments in disability awareness and inclusion. Through Employ Ability, Deegesh also delivered Mauritius’ first Business Disability Forum, bringing together over 200 businesses and 2,500 individuals to explore awareness and equal opportunities.
Employ Ability is not Deegesh’s first enterprise success. He previously founded Jaipur Foot, a programme that provided a new lease of life to more than 1,175 amputees, giving the gift of mobility by providing a free limb prosthesis to those with reduced mobility. Deegesh has also supported the Movement Progres Roche Bois to implement the You(th) for Environment programme, empowering young people to become ambassadors for their local area, while also supporting teen mothers with enterprise coaching to offer them a stable and safe route to generate income through their own ventures.
Through all his ventures Deegesh has embraced the possibility of enterprise as a way to improve the lives of other people, creating a positive social impact for the communities of Mauritius.

Digital Northampton – Digital Northampton is a collaboration between the University of Northampton, Northamptonshire County Council’s digital team and local digital businesses. It aims to promote growth amongst the local digital economy and to establish Northamptonshire as a centre for digital innovation. Their aim is to connect, collaborate and grow by organising a series of events that promote awareness and share information about emerging technologies.
One such event was Merging Futures 2019 which brought 250 people to the University of Northampton to showcase Northamptonshire’s digital community and highlight the great work that the University’s students are undertaking. As a direct result of Merging Futures 2019, Games Art students secured jobs after their work was seen by visitors at the event.
The reach of Digital Northampton is expanding all the time with the team linking with local businesses to provide networking and collaboration opportunities; educational establishments to promote digital innovation via competitions sponsored by local businesses; and careers services to produce a short inspirational film showcasing local people in the Northampton technology industry talking about their role, skills and career pathway.
The work of Digital Northampton offers the opportunity to establish Northamptonshire as a centre for digital excellence, helping to give the county a new identity that represents the ever-growing innovation evident in its communities.

Friars Academy Enterprise Cafe – Friars Academy in Wellingborough provides an enriching education for students with special needs, encouraging them to think for themselves, work collaboratively and be aware of the community around them.
Seven years ago, Friars Academy designed and implemented an initiative to support their students’ development through enterprising activity. They established a social enterprise café in the town centre, the Cozy Café, where Year 10 students make and sell cakes and drinks to the public. This confidence boosting enterprise provides the students with vital life and business skills such as handling money, health and hygiene, customer service, marketing and communication. The success of this enterprise has seen students taking the idea further, selling bacon rolls and toasted teacakes in school to staff at breaktimes.
Since opening, the café has been successful in making a profit every year. On a monthly basis these profits are divided between continuing to run the café and supporting other causes. A proportion is set aside every year for the school prom of that year group. This allows all children in the year to benefit from the success of the café and provides a great sense of pride to those engaged in the enterprise. A share of the profit is also used to sponsor a young boy in Ethiopia, helping him to attend school and access food, protecting him and other young people in his community from child labour and trafficking.
This enterprise café truly embraces the ethos of Changemaker by providing a safe and stimulating environment for young people to develop, while using their success to support others so that the young people start to explore their own impact in the world.

UON Competence Test Centre Team – The UON Competence Test Centre (CTC) was established to provide internationally trained nurses and midwives with the opportunity to prove they are ready to work in the UK as a registered nurse or midwife. As many as 30 candidates a day are assessed from around the world, making the CTC a valuable enterprise through which qualified professionals can contribute to the UK healthcare system. Established in 2014, the CTC team were soon asked to expand as their impact on the NHS became evident. The CTC has become well known nationally and internationally, receiving referrals from the UK Nursing and Midwifery Council for candidates from as far and wide as Australia, New Zealand, Africa, India and the Caribbean. NHS trusts across the UK know and trust the CTC team and choose to specifically send candidates to Northampton for testing, placing Northampton on the map as a unique centre for excellence.
The team aim to provide transcultural care to their candidates with dedicated staff who research cultural customs and practices to ensure that the reception for candidates is culturally sensitive. This demonstrates the values held by the centre in providing an inclusive and safe environment for all their candidates.
The work done at the CTC has a local, national and global impact, providing a sought-after service for the NHS and other healthcare providers in the UK. The assessors are legacy nurses and midwives who tirelessly work six days per week using their years of experience to assess the next generation of healthcare workers. This team ensure that we have a safe NHS workforce which reflects the diverse needs of the British public.

Health and Wellbeing Changemaker of the Year

Winner – UON MHFA (Mental Health First Aiders)

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The UON MHFA project demonstrates a range of Changemaker values, promoting and enabling staff, students and the local community to feel empowered to take responsibility for their own wellbeing and support others with theirs. The project has developed through collaborative working between the BSc Nursing team and the University’s Human Resource’s team. The BSc Nursing team were keen to explore how mental health wellbeing could be explicitly threaded into the nursing curriculum using an evidence-based programme while the Human Resource’s team had identified the importance of training, support and awareness of mental health issues in the staff community. Together they developed a mental health first aid training programme. This sustainable model has been embedded within the BSc Nursing curriculum with resources developed to share delivery to the wider University and local community. To date, 17 MHFA instructors have been trained and training has been delivered to 500 BSc Nursing students, 38 SU staff and 300 University staff as well as members of local community groups. Collaborative partnerships have been forged with local businesses, community and sports groups to ensure effective use of resources and to promote a culture shift within the issue of mental health and wellbeing through a whole community approach.

Nominees –

BSc Nursing Well-Being Thread – The BSc Nursing Well-Being Thread was developed to address the challenge that nursing students faced accessing Changemaker and SU activities due to the demands of their professional course. The Well-Being Thread enables nursing students to develop and enhance skills around social impact, living responsibly, demonstrating and developing collaborative relationships outside the nursing world and to develop empathy skills and community resources. It is embedded into the heart of the curriculum with dedicated curriculum time and an online resource tool, while during Welcome Week all new students are provided with a wellbeing bag to promote the importance and value of the project. Collaborative working is an intricate part of the project and staff and students are encouraged to volunteer in at least one opportunity. A key volunteering opportunity within the Well-Being Thread is a scheme, now in its second year, with The Pastures Night Shelter, supporting homeless people within Northampton. The potential and impact of the Well-Being Thread is expanding; research is now being undertaken in association with The Pastures Night Shelter into the perceptions that nursing students have of working with the homeless, and following the success of the inaugural event in 2019, an annual Mental Health Day in Northampton has now been planned to raise awareness and access support.

Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Primary School Changemaker Team – The Changemaker Team at Our Lady’s Primary School have been instrumental in bringing healthier lifestyle choices to their school. They identified this as a need for their school community due to the sedentary lifestyles of certain socio-economic groups at risk of reduced physical activity and increased body mass indexes. Having identified this need they embarked on an ambitious project to provide the school with an outdoor gym, raising more than £4,000 to make their dream a reality. They ran fundraising activities, engaging both their school and local community, and submitted their own funding applications.
The outdoor gym is now incorporated into everyday life at the school which promotes positive outcomes for physical and mental health. The gym is used by many children in school and members of the community. Parents & grandparents make use of the equipment before and after school, ensuring healthier lifestyles for all, while providing the opportunity for them to have family time in a safe & structured way. School staff also make use of the gym, meaning it has had a far wider impact than the Changemaker Team ever imagined.
The project has united the school community and increased empathy and understanding amongst pupils. It has empowered the children to make a change within their school community and has allowed them to engage with their local community to make the change happen.

International Changemaker of the Year

Winner – HRMI Sri Lanka (collected by Vice Chancellor Professor Nick Petford on behalf of HRMI Sri Lanka)

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The University of Northampton has been working with HRMI since 2015 as an academic partner and they have embraced UoN’s Changemaker ethos like no other partner who we work with. HRMI’s Changemaker Initiatives stand to benefit individuals and families within Colombo but also entire communities in villages that until recently have been cut-off from the educational opportunities which HRMI are offering. Initiatives include: Kids Next Door – a partnership with a small state school called Mahamathya Maha Vidyalaya School to provide support in improving the opportunities available to students at the school; Inspire Careers – a full scholarship initiative for women to commence their Pearson Certificates in HRM via distance learning; SOS Children’s Village Collaboration – a collaboration with SOS Children’s Village cares for orphaned children from infancy to 18 years old, to provide scholarships and recruitment to students at the Village; HRMI UoN Leadership Recognition Scholarship – an initiative where HRMI support two students per middle-lower income schools around Colombo to undertake foundation programmes; Noise Pollution – a campaign to reduce noise pollution in Colombo by encouraging responsible use of car horns.

HRMI are delivering significant social impact across Sri Lanka by improving the life outcomes of young people living in challenging conditions. HRMI have plans to continue improving the infrastructure of Mahamathya Maha Vidyalaya School, but more than that they aspire to engage with the families and the communities which the students come from and educate them about the importance of their children’s education to improve their life outcomes.

Research Changemaker of the Year

Winner – Nicola Smithers, Senior Lecturer in Law

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Research project: The lived experiences of parents involved in the decision to withhold or withdraw treatment from their critically ill baby.
Nicola’s PhD was initially desk-based: a review of case law and medico-ethical guidelines regarding critical neonatal illness. However, Nicola was struck by the total absence of parents’ voices from these documents. Nicola wanted to change this. She felt that guidance for medical professionals could be transformed via research with parents who have cared and grieved for a critically ill baby.
Nicola embarked upon a year-long project of professional and personal development: she engaged with countless qualitative methods workshops, shadowed staff and clinicians at an NHS Special Care Baby Unit and sought advice from the UK’s leading charities dealing with childhood illness/mortality.
Nicola has consistently demonstrated a major commitment to social impact. Her research evidences multiple ways in which neonatal care units, support services and charities could support parents of critically ill babies more effectively. She has now embarked on a sustained programme of advocacy to tackle these issues, working closely with hospitals in Birmingham, Peterborough and Stamford, the national charities Bliss, SANDS and Child Bereavement UK, and the Royal College of Paediatrics’ Children’s Healthcare Ethics and Law Group to disseminate and implement evidence-based recommendations from her thesis.

Nominees –

Daniel Jones, Searchlight Collections OfficerResearch project: British far-right and anti-fascist media’s construction of identity: Searchlight and Spearhead, 1964 – 1982.
Through his work and research, Daniel Jones has developed a major role as a public-facing academic, and advisor, on extreme right politics. In 2017 he was approached by GALE Cengage to help develop a major digital resource related to political extremism. They incorporated a wide range of materials from the archive, and Daniel became instrumental in advising GALE. Daniel was central to advising and assisting Northampton Rights and Equality Council’s Lottery funded project Race Act 40 and he has facilitated research visits from organisations such as the Home Office and M&C Saatchi. Daniel has also won and led three Innovation in Teaching and Learning projects. With a combined total of c. £30,000 these projects have helped integrate Searchlight Archive materials into modules in History, Criminology and Sociology, leading to a better understanding of their value in teaching about extremism and racism. Daniel’s research and work are crucial in promoting awareness and educating students and the wider public about far-right extremism.

Sarah Jane Cross, Associate Lecturer in Paramedic ScienceResearch project: An investigation of endotracheal intubation and alternative intubation devices for use by paramedics in out-of-hospital care.
Sarah’s research focused on the use of endotracheal intubation to ventilate and oxygenate patient’s lungs during cardiac arrest management. There are several complications associated with endotracheal intubation with alternative devices available to overcome some of these, however they are not used currently in paramedic practice. Sarah’s research critically examined the use of alternative intubation devices by paramedics.
Sarah’s research emphasised the importance of successful airway management in patients and highlighted the need for consistent practice for successful intubation. The results of Sarah’s research study highlighted that currently, only well-practiced paramedics were able to successfully intubate within the time limit required for successful intubation.
Sarah is now travelling on behalf of Medicine Sans Frontieres to Sierra Leone. For the next year she will provide critical medical support in a country where civil war and a disastrous outbreak of Ebola have left the healthcare system decimated. Sarah’s considerable medical expertise and the research skills and experience gleaned during her doctorate will be put to good use, working on the ground to improve lives whilst at the same time researching to develop understandings of how Sierra Leone can be supported to thrive.

Staff Changemaker of the Year

Winner – Kim Stuart, Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy

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Kim’s doctoral research evaluated healthcare professionals’ decision making in the care of frail older people at the end of their lives, highlighting important implications for professional practice. Kim believes that there needs to be more focus on developing the competencies of professional decision-makers in the management of frailty, guiding them to consider the holistic needs of the older person within the context of everyday life, including end of life care. She is dedicated to developing the leadership of all professional groups and incorporating end of life care explicitly into NHS organisational goals for older people.
Her research on frailty has led to her working directly in the NHS to implement and monitor guidance around the management of frailty. Her work is having an impact locally and nationally, making a meaningful contribution to the way healthcare professionals will work with frail older people approaching end of life in the future.
Numerous activities within the healthcare community are being implemented based on Kim’s research, which she is now taking forward in order to impact the practice of healthcare professionals, and the care experience for elderly people and their relatives. Kim is extremely committed to working towards positive change for frail older people and their families and her research is an excellent illustration of applied research that can make a significant social impact and improve people’s lives.

Nominees –

Brigette Gouda, Senior Lecturer in Dental Nursing – Brigette has been instrumental in exploring how dental health professionals and students can engage with primary schools to encourage better dental health and awareness of oral hygiene. Through developing a two-hour active learning session, she has offered schools the opportunity to introduce this topic to their students in a new and engaging way. The workshop has been targeted to schools in Northamptonshire that are the most deprived, identifying those who have a high rate of children from disadvantaged backgrounds. As a result, 120 pupils across the county have now benefited from the workshop and have a better understanding of dental health and the resources available to them to maintain healthy dental practices. The impact of the workshop has been further increased with all children being encouraged to share their learning with their families, promoting a family approach to dental care. Brigette is passionate about making a difference to disadvantaged families and has successfully developed this project in a way that also supports the development of her students, giving them the opportunity to create a positive impact in our community.

Emma Kimberley and Amy West, Learning Development Tutors – Emma and Amy were instrumental in developing the Resource in a Box project as part of the University’s Widening Participation Action Plan. The project was initiated to provide year 12 and 13 students with support transitioning from further to higher education while also providing support to teachers who are required to deliver these transition activities. The concept of Resource in a Box is to provide year 12 and 13 teachers with simple but effective activities that introduce elements of university life and academic study. The resources are designed to be interactive and training is provided to school teachers to ensure they are delivered to their full potential.
Amy developed Presenting Myself, a resource designed to support post 16 students to develop the skills used in writing personal statements and applications, and speaking in interviews and presentations. Emma’s design was Academic Reading, which introduces students to the skills needed for reading for academic study.
These resources are delivered to students in disadvantaged schools across Northamptonshire who might never have considered attending university as a realistic option, broadening their horizons and making the potential of transitioning to higher education much more accessible.

Paula Bowles and Manos Daskalou, Senior Lecturers in Criminology – Together Paula and Manos have developed an initiative with HMP Olney that integrates prisoners and UON criminology students in a module called Beyond Justice. The third year undergraduate module is designed as a partnership delivery where students and prisoners study together, giving them the opportunity to share experiences. This has created significant impact by bringing people together who would normally never have the opportunity to engage with each other, breaking down physical, social and psychological barriers. The issues explored in the module enable all students to re-think their understanding of the concepts of justice, boundaries, the role of the state and the role of prison in contemporary society. This has had a significant impact on the prisoners’ rehabilitation and has the potential to lead to different behaviours post prison. The project has also led to new ways of thinking within HMP Olney, inspiring them to reconsider approaches to education in prisons on a wider scale. The initiative was highlighted in the recent HMI inspection report for the prison as an example of outstanding practice, reflecting upon the impact generated and the potential for this project to be a catalyst for further change.

Student Changemaker of the Year

Winner – Marco Pastori

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Marco is a registered Occupational Therapist and has led the development of an inclusive children’s football club in Italy called Ready2Play. The club has an ethos of collaboration and peer support, where children of all abilities work together as a team. The aim of the club is to develop social and physical skills for all children but offers a targeted intervention to children with a learning disability to participate with their peers in a physical activity. The scheme has two main elements to its structure. The first is providing support to facilitate selfcare skills to manage everyday activities like getting dressed for playing football. The second element is based on promoting social connections and peer friendships across the groups of children to promote inclusivity.
Evaluation following its launch in 2018 has demonstrated that the club has initiated positive change for its members. Parents have reported that the club has had a positive impact on academic achievement and performance and children have been seen to be playing more with their classmates or neighbours outside of school, embedding collaboration and peer relationships outside of the club. The club has also had a positive impact on the cognitive skills, personal independence and social skills of some of its members.
Marco has fully embraced the Changemaker ethos and this is evident in the success of Ready2Play where children are also encouraged to be Changemakers themselves.

Nominees –

Chetak Nangare – As founding member of the University of Northampton’s Meditation Society, Chetak has brought real change to student and staff lives through the peace and stability offered from meditation. Chetak led the society to significant growth, widening their offering outside of their immediate membership to include delivering sessions within lectures, during Changemaker Week and to community groups. Chetak instigated his society committee to engage with volunteering roles outside of their society commitments and led the society to win multiple awards at the University of Northampton’s Students’ Union awards ceremonies. His dedication has also been recognised at the national NUS Awards. Chetak has recently secured a sustainable future for the society by recruiting a new President, ensuring the group can continue its success after his graduation. Through all his work Chetak has remained passionate in his belief that meditation can offer a safe and accessible platform for individuals to focus on their wellbeing and take positive steps to look after their mental health. His dedication has seen a small society continually progress into a community minded group who provide a much needed and well respected service on campus.

Hilary Gbedemah – Hilary is a Ghanaian expert on the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, who embarked on a PhD at UON as she was keen to delve deeper into gender issues within education in Ghana. For Hilary, tackling gender inequality in education goes further than improving the number of girls and women participating in education, it means girls having quality education, in a safe and supportive environment, which recognises and tackles the discriminations girls can face.
The wide-reaching impact of her work resulted in her recognition as one of the top 100 most influential Women in Gender Policy around the world in 2019 by Apolitical. She was recognised in the category of influencers in International and Non-governmental Organsiations, reflecting the impact her work has had in improving policy, reporting and compliance in the international policy arena.
Hilary believes that when a girl is empowered and given the right tools to make decisions about her education and future, she is able to change the trajectory of her life – and the lives of her children and the entire community.

Hulda Adao – Hulda, a joint honours BA International Tourism Management and Event Management graduate, is driven by helping, supporting and listening to young people to give them a voice in the world. It was this passion that led her to create EyeSpeak, a social venture which aims to raise awareness of social issues amongst young people by providing an environment where they can share ideas and develop their own solutions. Under the umbrella of EyeSpeak, Hulda further developed a project called Social Status. This has been designed to challenge social norms and raise awareness of areas which include bullying in schools, mental health, LGBTQ+ inclusivity, relationship issues and race. Most recently Hulda has expanded her workshops to include an interactive exhibition that explores the notion of empathy, giving people the opportunity to experience a moment in time of someone else’s life.
Hulda truly believes that young people deserve a platform through which they can be empowered to make their own changes and challenge the issues they face in school and everyday life.

Joel Caborn – Media Production student Joel is writer and producer of the award-winning short film My Friend Frank. Created for the Safer Frontiers project commissioned by Safen3t, the film is part of an awareness and educational programme aimed at informing people of the risks and dangers of social media, extremism and the internet.
Joel’s film focusses on the dangers of online grooming, narrated by a young boy who seeks solace in Frank, an adult pretending to be a child who he meets via an online video game. The film aims to raise awareness of the potential dangers that children can unknowingly be open to, making both children and parents aware of how to remain safe online.
Having won awards at the Northampton Film Festival 2019 and Into Film Awards, the film is being used to educate children in workshops across the country.
Online grooming is a sensitive but vital issue to address and Joel has demonstrated his ability to tackle it in an accessible format that is successfully imparting life-saving knowledge. This illustrates Joel’s capabilities as a Changemaker, realising the potential of the media industry as a channel to create social impact.

Changemaker Special Achievement Award

Winner – Mandy Young M.B.E., Founder of Adrenaline Alley

Image by Paul Michael Hughes Photography T 07790819111 UK E

Mandy Young developed a venture as a legacy to her late son, John, who sadly passed away at the age of 24 years. Her charity, Adrenaline Alley, was borne out of one night of anti-social behaviour towards her son, where he was attacked and had his skateboard stolen. From that day, a journey began to find a safe and secure way for the young people of Corby to skate without fear and uncertainty. Initially launched as an outdoor skatepark, Corby Wheels, the charity has grown exponentially from a small grassroot community project into a large-scale and sustainable charitable social enterprise. This growth was sparked with the move to an indoor venue, which since opening in 2006 has developed into Europe’s largest urban sports venue with over 500,000 visits since August of that year, a membership of over 115,000 individuals and a European training centre for Olympian athletes for the 2020 Olympics
Mandy was born and bred in Corby and over the past two decades has gone from being an apprentice hairdresser to the leading force behind Adrenaline Alley. This personal journey included 18 months volunteering her time to learn about the urban sports industry and a steep learning curve of how their social impact could be enhanced through social enterprise.
People now travel the world to visit Adrenaline Alley and train on their world-class facilities, but it is so much more than just a skate park to the local community. It is an opportunity for young people to experience social inclusion while exploring who they are, learning the freedom of expression and how to work together with solidarity and respect.  As the charity grows, so does the number of children and young people they cater for, providing additional activities such as filming and art projects, volunteering and part-time work. Young people attending Adrenaline Alley not just given a safe space to ride but can also build confidence and fulfil their potential.
Led by their founder, the team at Adrenaline Alley are committed to their mission of serving the young people of Corby who have a strong voice in the development of the park, giving them the opportunity for ownership and responsibility which the community ethos of the park is built on.
This ethos is exemplified in the values that Adrenaline Alley are proud to hold, and they are values that truly reflect this person as an individual:
– Approachable and honest – always willing to listen and learn
– People focused – always looking for the benefit to the community
– Accessible – willing to go the extra mile
– Versatile – having the vision to adapt to the needs of the business’ customers and local community.

In 2017 Mandy became Deputy Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, assisting Mr David Laing, The Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, in his civic role within the community.
Mandy is incredibly humble about her enormous achievements and in 2018 she was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in recognition of her services to young people in Corby. This award is a true recognition for all the fantastic work she has delivered in establishing Adrenaline Alley as a community asset in Corby.  
2018 was her year as she was also one of eight final entries for the Third Sector Champion at the National Women’s Business Awards. This award is for women who either run, are employed to work or who volunteer a significant amount of their time working within non-governmental and non-profit organisations. After making it through to the final eight she was announced runner up out of all entries from across the country.
In September 2019, she was invited to speak at the first Sport4values conference in Lithuania. The conference focussed on understanding the benefits of urban sports and how they can be used for the development of positive values such as equality and inclusion. The conference acknowledged that whilst urban sports are individual in nature, the culture surrounding them includes respect, freedom of expression and tolerance, all of which create social inclusion and cohesion and a cultural identity.
Her vision is to replicate her business model to support other communities in developing social enterprises in the same way, scaling the social impact and health benefits that this type of facility contributes to community welfare.
Mandy Young is the heartbeat and driving force of Adrenaline Alley and this award is in appreciation of the effort she and everyone associated with the charity have dedicated to their cause.

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