Student Opportunities Awards

The Student Opportunities Awards celebrates the wonderful achievements of our student members, be they in sports clubs, societies or volunteer projects.
Students receiving their awards

Celebrating student members

The SU Awards are all about recognising the accomplishments of exceptional students from the University of Exeter Cornwall Campuses and Falmouth University.

The Student Opportunities Awards celebrates the wonderful achievements of our student members, be they in sports clubs, societies or volunteer projects.

These awards are our chance to show our appreciation of the proactive and hardworking students who do so many incredible things beyond their studies. These are the people who go the extra mile to help shape the future for themselves, the SU and the Universities. We’re pretty proud of them, and we think each and every one of them should be proud too.

2019/20 winners

Fundraising Activity of the Year

Videogame Society's LAN Party
Each term, Videogame Society hosts a Local Area Network (LAN) Party, which takes a great deal of time and effort to organise, and these efforts have attracted great alumni involvement. All funds raised go towards the charity “Special Effect”.

Most Significant Contribution to Fundraising

CSM Rugby

This team’s skills don’t stop at chasing inflatable eggs! Over two events across this year, their total was almost £8,000. They also took part in a challenge to row the distance around the UK (via a rowing machine). All proceeds support men’s mental health charities.

Green Activity of the Year

The Beach Clean Project

Continually running multiple community activities throughout the year, The Beach Clean Project holds the environment at the heart of all their activities. Working with local groups such as Falmouth Marine Conservation, Falmouth Council, Falmouth Civic Society and the SU Wardens, the group has brought together The SU and the local community with a common green-based goal. More of this please!

Outstanding Contribution to the Environment

Ellen Monaghan

She’s the Co-President of Penryn Produce, Green Councillor, Environment and Ethics Officer, Lobby-ist of Exeter to Divest, a Climate Strike leader... between all of these, Ellen found time to co-write the Climate and Emergency Working Group White Paper to encourage the universities to be more sustainable and declare a Climate Emergency. She’s pretty *ahem* outstanding.

Green Volunteer of the Year

Eilish Calnan

Eilish has done a huge amount to promote campus sustainability, from working on the Meat Free Mondays trial, to supporting ‘stuff’ swaps, to co-hosting a lecture for Humanities students on sustainability. A founding member of the sustainable theatre company Sostena, and the Communications Officer for Reclaim, Eilish volunteers a huge portion of her time for green causes.

The Andy Hocking Award

Frank Gough

An RNLI volunteer since the age of 16, Frank now has many additional voluntary roles with the charity, promoting lifesaving in the community. He is a member of the community water safety team, promotes the “Don’t Drink and Drown” campaign to our campus community, and delivers water safety sessions to SU water-based activity groups like Sailing, Kayaking and Marine Watch. Away from University, Frank also teaches water safety to young people in Polzeath.

Legend of the Year

Katie Hemmings

As RAD Chair, Katie works selflessly to motivate and enable others to support great causes. This year Katie gave over 300 volunteering hours to organising a variety of events that appeal to all. Six ‘challenges’, two hitch events, calendars, countless socials, and new events: Take Me Out and Strictly Come Dancing, recruiting others on the way to volunteer their time for both local and national charities. She supports the committee and makes time for any fundraiser who is struggling or needs advice, and offers to do this without hesitation - she just always wants to help in any way she can to make a positive difference.

Most Improved Sports Club of the Year


Doubling their membership and increasing the number of fun rides, Horseriding has come on leaps and bounds in the past year. Additional skills lessons have been introduced and a good variety of events such as gymkhanas, beach rides, hacks, and jumping are regularly available to all abilities. With lots of non-riding socials, building a friendly, horsey community has been at the heart of the society’s aims this year.

Outstanding Contribution to Sport

Lucy Mason

Lucy has led the showcase of sports across The SU this year. A member of the Sports Committee, she has been dedicated in capturing every sporting event, from the Dance Showcase to Bottle Match; always behind the lens and promoting everyone’s great work.

Most Outstanding Sports Club Committee Member

Yasmin Spencer

A member since her first year, she put together routines and led the team to their first performance at the showcase. In her second year, they performed at a national competition, and now, in her third year, they have entered three national competitions. She ensures no-one is left behind, creating one big Fusion family.

Sports Club of the Year

CSM Rugby

It has been an exceptional year for CSM Rugby’s fundraising. Losing their clothes in November for RAD’s naked calendar, losing (or gaining) facial hair for Movember, and sporting creative Bottle Match haircuts in February have all contributed to their whopping total. Aiming to raise £10,000 for men’s mental health by the end of the year, Rugby is building a supportive and open culture for all its members. Currently now attempting to row around the UK on a rowing machine, this lot don’t stop. Their rugby isn’t doing too badly either; they’re are top of the cup and league tables, revived the Bob Kennedy Memorial match, and brought home the Bottle!

Most Outstanding Society Event of the Year

Politics Society's Elections Hustings

An event not without challenges; short notice of a General Election being called, aligning political candidates’ schedules, meeting their requirements, and then repeating it all a day later in another location! Two events in quick succession maximised representation of the student population and the local community. The planning and delivery of these events attracted much praise from the universities and community.

Most Improved Society of the Year

History Society

A shaky start to the year saw History Society almost fold. Through hard work from the committee to organise an excellent Freshers programme, collaborations with other societies, socials, a plethora of guest speakers, charitable events, national campaigns and community work, History is on the up. History Society not only gives students a platform to present their research but also attracts members from both universities - and is already planning big things for the year ahead.

Most Outstanding Society Committee Member

Robyn Hickman (EcoSoc)

President of one of the largest societies, Robyn juggles fourth year MSci with EcoSoc amazingly. She manages a large committee in a supportive and understanding way. Great organisation has integrated the whole society with the committee, balancing workloads and ongoing training for future committee members. There have been creative events, and collaboration with AIM led to Natural Wellbeing Week. Her dedication and enthusiasm for the society is wonderful.

Society of the Year


New to The SU in 2019, MathSoc has expanded beyond even the committees’ expectations! So far this year, they have collaborated with eight societies (and counting), attempted a world record, built a strong relationship with the Maths department, hosted guest speakers, fundraised - to name but a few. They are inclusive of anyone with an interest in Maths and a positive experience is at the heart of all they do.

Newcomer of the Year


Established in the summer of 2019, MathSoc has gone from strength to strength. Currently there are 80 members, over double the aim for this year. They have hosted games nights, paintballing, guest lectures, and events for the universities community to enjoy – and they created a mathematical community across all years. Even the Maths lecturers have signed up!

Collaboration of the Year

Charity Week (Islamic Society & SU Helps Refugees, Mary’s Meals, TableTop Gaming Society, Film Society, ACS, MedSoc, History Society and Flamank Law Society)

A week-long series of events including karaoke, film screenings, bake sales, a football tournament, pub quiz, plus more. In excess of eight student groups across all campuses came together to assist in raising nearly £500 for Islamic Relief UK.

The SU Student Opportunities Unsung Hero Award

Zoe Burden

Over the past three years, Zoe has focused the majority of her spare time on tackling the accessibility issues of university life. She has contributed to the regeneration of ILPs, helped address the physical access of campus, and enabled students with disabilities to feel a sense of belonging at university, with events for Disability Week and regular contact with students with disabilities with information that might benefit their university lives. Zoe is passionate about helping others, always with a smile on her face, and never letting her own disability affect her drive to help others.

Overall Contribution to SU Activities

Nicola Cowper

Nicola is in some way involved in every aspect of The SU and Student Opportunities. Brimming with positivity and very approachable, in her role as Fundraising Officer, Nicola has been a driving force in encouraging campus-wide fundraising participation amongst student groups and individuals. Alongside fundraising responsibilities, she has supported ReFreshers, the Volunteering Fayre, arranged music scores for the showcase, and is a member of Penryn Produce and the Ballroom & Latin Society. Over the past three years, Nicola has been a member of Follies, Orchestra, Viva Voce, Geog Soc, RAD, contributed to Voices, and is a founding member of Ghanaian book connection. Nicola sits on the Elections and Democracy Committee (and lived in the SU office during Elections!) and is the CGES Subject Chair. She gives her time gladly to better the experience of other students.

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Falmouth & Exeter Students' Union
Penryn Campus
Penryn, Cornwall
TR10 9FE

© Falmouth & Exeter Students' Union 2021

Falmouth & Exeter Students’ Union is a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) registered in England and Wales, charity number 1193045