STAR Awards success for hardworking OT Society

Tue, 08 Jun 2021 17:19:00 BST
Society members holding STAR Award - and OT Society Logo
Society members holding STAR Award - and OT Society Logo

GCU’s Occupational Therapy Society have picked up one of the top accolades at this year’s GCU Students’ Association STAR Awards.

There were 15 trophies up for grabs on the night, with the dedicated group of students being awarded Society of the Year, in recognition of all their hard-work over the past 12 months.

We caught up with the society’s new President Amanda Young who, amongst other things, spoke of her gratitude towards departing members and the importance of the community that’s been built between students and staff.

How did it feel to be crowned Society of the Year at the GCU Students’ Association STAR Awards?

“It was great, especially for Debbie Keenan (former President) and Nora Dempsey (former Vice-President), because they’ve really picked up the society and made a big difference. To win it in the year they’re graduating and get their hard work recognised was really really good.

We were shortlisted for three separate categories, so to come out with Society of the Year was amazing. We also had five members of the committee shortlisted for awards as well, which just shows how hard we’ve all worked over the past year.”

What sort of work have the society been involved with during the pandemic?

“We ran 12 CPD events for individuals to attend and further their learning. We also did a variety of charity work, with Age Scotland and the KiltWalk – as well as work around mental health. We just wanted to make sure that we were present at all times and offered a support network to the students because obviously they couldn’t get into the University to see their class-mates. To have the society and these events meant that people were still able to feel part of the whole experience.”

How grateful are you for the support of staff members within the programme?

“The staff have been absolutely amazing. We couldn’t have done what we have this year with the support of the staff. All of them on Twitter have been amazing at sharing our stuff. Laura Hall also supported us with our Zoom account and helped set up other events.

On 17 June, we’re hosting our very own OT Society Awards. We wanted to provide that recognition because only one of our tutors got shortlisted at the Teaching Awards, so we just wanted to show how much we appreciate all their efforts in supporting us – we can’t thank them enough. The event will also be recognising the hard work of students and other support staff – like practice educators, who have also went above and beyond.”

Tell me a bit about your involvement in the society?

“I joined at the beginning of last year, just before we went into lockdown. I’ve only really met Debbie and Nora, everyone else I’ve met has just been online. I was Social Media Co-ordinator and this year I’ve taken on the President role. It’s a great opportunity but I’ve got big shoes to fill because Debbie and Nora have been amazing.

I’m really excited to take it forward and carry on their hard work and push it forward more. Debbie and Nora had a vision of having good relationships with practice educators and creating a fun learning experience and I’m really looking forward to continuing that.”

By Ross Clark
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