Getting to know the Outstanding PLUS Awards: Change Maker & Better World 

The Bristol PLUS Award rewards students for taking part in extra-curricular activities during their studies. In 2021/22 academic year, we launched the Outstanding PLUS Awards (OPA), which allows PLUS Award achievers to nominate themselves for going above and beyond during their PLUS activity.  

In a past blog post, we looked at the Diverse Partnerships and Civic Superstar categories. Today we are introducing you to the Change Maker and Better World categories, and the diverse range of activities that could count towards both categories.  

Change Maker  

This category is all about creating positive change in your workplace or community to benefit those around you.  

A picture of Sammy smiling
Sammy Olotu, Year 2 Electrical and Electronic Engineering with Innovation (MEng)

We saw a broad range of activities used towards this category, shared below to give you an idea of what could be eligible:  

  • Sammy Olotu, last year’s winner, petitioned his town council to construct a basketball court to tackle the lack of accessible sports facilities in his local community
  • Kourosh Shirkoohi received an honourable mention for founding and leading the Coding Club, which has offered over 150 hours of coding and programming support to more than 250 students 
  • Toby Ingham Thomas and Tommy Pollock co-founded an events company, which generated growth and income for a local bar through multi-genre immersive music events 
  • Leonardo Coppi improved long-term student wellbeing and fostered a sense of community in his halls of residence by being president of his Junior Common Room (JCR). 

Better World  

This category is all about tackling global challenges in a local or global context, which may be linked to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.  

A picture of Antonia smiling
Antonia Voigt, Year 1 Education (PhD)

Our OPA nominees used a wide variety of exciting projects towards this category:  

  • Antonia Voigt was last year’s winner for her research project, which tackled barriers to secondary education in the Asia Pacific region
  • Anthony Salandy received an honourable mention for co-founding the Fahmidan journal and Fahmidan Publishing company, which exclusively publishes the works of women and writers of colour 
  • Carlos Shanka Boissy Diaz led and managed several projects and campaigns to tackle the climate emergency  
  • Ruth Attias worked with Jewish students worldwide to reduce antisemitism on university campuses.  

Thinking of nominating yourself for the Outstanding PLUS Awards?  

Be open minded; try not to restrict yourself to a single category based on its title. Consider other categories and how you might adapt articulating your PLUS Award activity to fit the criteria.

Our OPA categories are designed to be broad, and you may even find that your activity fits into more than one category! 

Check out our related posts on the blog to find out about the other OPA categories, and get full details of how to apply in the Outstanding PLUS Awards Guide.

Remember, to be eligible, you will need to have completed your PLUS Award in the same academic year. So sign up for the PLUS Award when registrations open in September 2022!