Development & Alumni Relations Office 

Queen’s student wins national volunteering award 

A 22-year-old Queen’s medical student from Belfast, Aidan Bannon, who received the First Trust Bank Queen’s Student of the Year Award in 2013, has been announced as the winner of the UK Student Volunteer of the Year award at a gala celebration at the Houses of Parliament, Westminster, on Wednesday 26 February.

While the fourth-year medical student was unable to attend the London ceremony he was presented with his award in Belfast by Wendy Osborne, CEO of local organisation Volunteer Now. She said it was in recognition of Aidan’s commitment to a wide variety of projects, including the Queen’s University Red Cross Society, which he founded. The Society now boasts upwards of 60 members who, along with Aidan, have helped over 3,500 young people.

Aidan, who hopes to graduate in 2015, has also been involved in the student Volunteer Academy and spearheaded the Mind Your Mood campaign at Queen’s, which has engaged with 1,300 students this year, over 600 of whom attended a mental-health workshop.

At Queen’s University Red Cross, Aidan developed a three-month long community engagement project focusing on the personal development of young people aged 10-18 in Belfast.

Aidan’s achievements triumphed over a range of inspiring community projects around Britain and Northern Ireland including a scheme to support minors in custody and another aimed at inspiring young people through the performing arts.

In addition to this latest award, Aidan, who is considering a career in paediatrics or public health, previously won the UK Endsleigh Student of the Year award and a Belfast Community Impact Award.

Commenting on his most recent accolade, Aidan said he was “delighted”.

He added: “It truly is an honour to represent student volunteers around the UK and to champion the excellent work they do. I hope the award encourages more students to volunteer and also raises the profile of Queen’s University Medical School as a hub of great volunteering and leadership opportunities.”

Queen’s Pro-Vice Chancellor, Tony Gallagher, said: “Volunteering has become a key part of the student experience at Queen’s and Aidan is one of our most inspirational volunteers. He not only devotes a lot his time to volunteering, but has encouraged many others to sign up and help change lives. We very proud of his success and the inspirational example he provides for other students and young people.”

Enterprise and Development Support Officer at Queen’s Students’ Union, Lynne Weir, who nominated Aidan for the award, said it was “so well-deserved”.

She added: “I have worked with Aidan in the past and he has boundless energy. He’s an inspiration to students and staff alike about what’s possible.”

Find out more about the awards here; for further information on Aidan Bannon, please contact Queen’s Communications Office on 028 9097 3091 or email 


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