Let’s meet the outstanding eight who have cinched an Outstanding PLUS Award for going above and beyond their Bristol PLUS Award activity.
But first, what are the Outstanding PLUS Awards (OPA)?
The OPA celebrates Bristol PLUS Award students who have made a significant change or impact in their PLUS Award activity.
There are eight award categories, with just one winner per category. This year, we received 114 applications across the eight categories (the highest number of applications yet!).
Winners of the OPA were selected by a panel of external judges, comprising of employability experts and professionals from varying sectors.
Brief: Tackle global challenges in a local or global context, making a better world in a big or small way.
Nako Abdullah – Education (PhD)
Nako is a passionate period equity advocate who, as a former teacher, saw first hand the impact of period stigma on students’ education and opportunities.
Through collaborations and initiatives, she provided free menstrual products, educated students on sustainable period hygiene, and now volunteers for Period Poverty to raise awareness and funds for those in need.
Brief: Create positive change in your community or workplace, by solving a problem or improving a process.
Charlotte O’Brien – French and Spanish (BA)
Charlotte is the Co-Founder and Co-President of Bristol University Neurodiversity Society.
From creating the first Sensory Room on campus to collaborating with senior staff members to push for better support, her outstanding advocacy work has made Bristol more accessible and inclusive for all neurodivergent students.
Brief: Make a positive difference to the people you serve, by being a community hero in your neighbourhood.
Alice Czernia – Law (MA)
Alice was a HOPE (Helping Others Participate and Engage) independent volunteer advocate with Age Cymru, during which she supported vulnerable elderly individuals with different socio-legal issues by undertaking research and developing a detailed action plan.
Brief: Collaborate with diverse groups to design inclusive solutions to problems.
Baher Al Abd – Politics and International Relations (BSc)
Baher collaborated with 15 charities to support refugees and asylum seekers living in Bristol.
He brought different organisations with various domains and capacities together, successfully establishing a collective and coordinated support system.
Brief: A reliable team player, inspiring others by bringing energy and enthusiasm to your work.
Charlotte Harman – Archaeology and Anthropology (BA)
Charlotte sought to share her passion for archaeology through numerous outreach programmes within the university community, as well as the wider community in Bristol and beyond.
As a single parent she wants to show her children it is never too late to pursue dreams and to succeed.
Brief: Develop a new idea in response to a real-world problem.
Vahid Goodarzi Ardakani – Mechanical Engineering (PhD)
Vahid improved the preservation of Brunel’s SS Great Britain (SSGB) through sustainable conservation engineering strategy.
The culmination of his work with the SSGB Trust has resulted in a high-quality paper which is currently under review in a prestigious journal.
Brief: Demonstrate inner strength in overcoming personal challenges in pursuit of your PLUS Award.
Rhiannon Pettitt – Biomedical Sciences (BSc)
From having a panic attack at the thought of even entering the theatre to training for senior roles, Rhiannon’s time as a member of the Stage Technicians’ Association has seen her grow massively in confidence. She has been able to overcome obstacles created by her anxiety.
Brief: Improve the student experience or wellbeing of others in your community or workplace.
Tamryn Nicol – Social Policy with Criminology (BSc)
Tamryn supports 30 vulnerable clients within an extra care scheme with physical disabilities, mental health issues, dementia, and neurodevelopmental disorders.
She ensures her clients’ needs are met with compassion, going above and beyond to place clients’ wellbeing first and foremost.
We couldn’t be more proud of our OPA winners, honourable mentions, and everyone who applied! Our external judges were impressed by the standard of applications, and we continue to be inspired by your outstanding accomplishments.
This year, OPA winners were announced in the annual Outstanding PLUS and Bristol PLUS Award celebration event. It was an opportunity for Outstanding PLUS and PLUS Award students to mingle, network with Endorsing Organisations, and snap a photo in our PLUS Award selfie frame.
Coming up next…
We will be releasing two more blogs in May, to round up our OPA blog series:
- Meet the exceptional students who received an OPA honourable mention (published Friday 12 May)
- Meet the esteemed panel of judges for this year’s OPA (published Monday 22 May)
Currently completing your PLUS Award?
All evidence must be logged by the 9 June deadline. Log into mycareer to stay on track.
If you need additional guidance or support, email email@example.com and a friendly member of staff will be happy to help.