Applied Psychology student ends her time at GCU on a high leaving with a STAR Award

Mon, 28 Jun 2021 16:06:00 BST
(pictures above) Sarah Forrester holding her pet dog
(pictures above) Sarah Forrester holding her pet dog

Sarah Forrester was awarded The Lindsay Leadership Award at this year’s GCU Students’ Association STAR Award event

The STAR Awards is an annual event held by GCU Students’ Association to celebrate the hard work and success of students across all three schools throughout the academic year.

Sarah Forrester was not only surprised by being shortlisted for an award – but was overcome with gratitude to be crowned the winner of the Lindsay Leadership Award on the night for her leadership skills and part-time work as a care assistant throughout her time studying at GCU.

We spoke with the final year Applied Psychology student about her hard work that led to being nominated for the award, and her advice to students who aspire to become a STAR Award winner in the future.



For those who may not know, what is the Lindsay Leadership Award and what are the attributes students must show in order to be nominated for this award?

The Lindsay Leadership Award is one of GCU’s star awards and open to any student who has completed the Student Leaders Programme: a series of free workshops that can increase your future employability and where you can meet other like-minded people. There are workshops on topics such as emotional intelligence, public speaking, and social innovation, and once you’ve attended them, you can put yourself forward for the Lindsay Leadership Award. This process involves writing about the skills you’ve gained from the Student Leaders Programme and how you have applied them to demonstrate exceptional leadership abilities for others.


How did you feel when it was announced that you were the winner of the Lindsay Leadership Award?

I was quite surprised! I was even surprised to find out that I’d been shortlisted for the award because I thought that lots of people would have put themselves forward for it, so actually winning was great. I am graduating from GCU this July and had wanted to take advantage of everything the university had to offer me beforehand, so, during my final year, I completed the Student Leaders Programme and the Common Good Award. My last year at university was particularly stressful with all of my classes being held online due to the Coronavirus pandemic, so winning the Lindsay Leadership Award felt like a really nice reward for the extra effort I had put in during my most challenging academic year.


What activities have you been involved in that led to you being nominated for this award?

I work part-time at a care home and recovery hub for adults with severe and enduring mental health problems, supporting nine service users to build daily living skills, co-develop person-centred care plans, participate in recreational and therapeutic activities, and attend appointments with their wider community care teams. Within this role, it's important to set a positive example for our service users and to model responsible leadership. I put myself forward for the Lindsay Leadership Award because after attending the Student Leaders Programme, I was able to apply new skills within my workplace and have become a more capable and effective leader.


What advice would you give to students aspiring to achieve a Star Award at GCU?

You can do it! There are plenty of Star Awards to be won each year at GCU so there’s a good chance you’ll win one if you work for it. Whether it’s completing the Student Leaders Programme, writing a great article for The Edit, or being a really supportive class rep, there are loads of different ways to win a Star Award if you’re willing to give that extra bit of effort. You might as well come away from university feeling like you’ve made the most of your studies, so if you’ve been thinking about trying to earn yourself a Star Award at GCU, definitely go for it!


By Rebecca Meechan

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