Student Contribution Awards 2021

On Tuesday 28 September 2021, the award winners of the Student Contribution Awards were announced. These awards provide an opportunity for CSP student members to be recognised and rewarded for their hard work and celebrate their achievements. Antoine Awad, EDB officer from the CSP's Student Reference Group, tells us more about the winners.

This year we received three society and four individual student nominations for the 2021 Student Contribution Awards. These nominations were judged blind by Annabel Harris, Lisa Malcolm, Emma Bell and Antoine Awad, members of the CSP’s Student Reference Group.

The society award winner is the University of Bradford Physiotherapy Society.

University of Bradford Physio Society

They have worked tirelessly throughout 2020/21 to support students by offering revision sessions for various modules, facilitating staff-student liaison opportunities and creating links with conferences to offer discounted prices to involve as many students as possible. They have developed their podcast over the last year and created a series designed to educate and inform Physiotherapy students and clinicians on a variety of topics.

Connor Wright, President of the University of Bradford physio society, said:

Over the past year, we are most proud of having the courage to start up a podcast. Having been inspired by successful physio podcasts, we felt that there was a real gap for a student-tailored version. We would like to thank the University of Bradford Union for providing recording facilities, our members for their continued engagement, our guests for joining us, and all the other University Societies who have supported the podcast. 

The society organised a series of evening webinars at low cost to engage students in affordable CPD. They also won an award for facilitating a Suicide Education Day for students, raising crucial awareness for a prominent and important global health issue. Finally, Wright continued: “It is an honour to have received such a prestigious award from the CSP and we are all so proud that our hard work has paid off. But above all, we are delighted to know that we have contributed and engaged with the profession to positively contribute to student life. It is also a credit to the staff at the University of Bradford as they have given us the platform to develop our skills in leadership and organisation”.

Abbiher Banfield

The individual award winner is Abbiher Banfield, a recent graduate of St. George’s University, London. She has worked extremely hard with other qualified physiotherapists to create the Cultural Health Club (CHC) which is a conglomerate of BAME physiotherapists and physiotherapy students working to encourage inclusivity and belonging within the healthcare profession. She has also created a CHC students group which provides students with CPD, placement support and advice, as well as study sessions for CHC student members. 

Abbiher is a great role model for BAME physiotherapy students. Through her professional social media pages, she has raised awareness about physiotherapy, recent research and encouraging physical activity. She also works very hard as part of the CHC through the social media team to help encourage healthy lifestyles in all communities, raise awareness about health inequalities and ways which health professionals can help make a positive change. She organises monthly student webinars ranging from academic topics to communication skills such how to address uncomfortable situations with colleagues in a professional way. Such skills have a positive impact on the students’ professional skills and placement grades. Says Abbiher:

Huge thank you to those who nominated and voted. I’m honoured that my work with Cultural Health Club and my career so far has been recognised. I’m most proud of running my first networking event this year where physiotherapists from diverse backgrounds were able to feel represented and inspired.

All the judges agreed that it was hard to choose between all the candidates as they had contributed to various areas by involving others, promoting physiotherapy, enhancing university student life and demonstrating good leadership and organisation. As students it was an honour to be a part of the group that chose the winners. Reading about the student and society contributions has inspired us to think of creative ways to share more about the world of physiotherapy to all students. We think we can learn a lot from the nominees and winners this year. It definitely encouraged us to look into the various ways that we, as students, can get involved with the wider community and excel ourselves into new experiences.

Written by Antoine Awad (Equity, Diversity and Belonging Officer on the Student Reference Group)

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