It has been announced that the University of York’s Disabled Students’ Network has been shortlisted for Health and Wellbeing Network of the Year at the 2015 Inclusive Network Awards.
There were 450 nominations in total for the awards, which aim to celebrate the work of inclusive networks from all sectors. Categories include: Employee LGBT Network of the Year, Employee Gender Network of the Year and Social Network of the Year.
The anonymous nomination recognises the commitment of YUSU’s Disabled Students’ Network to student health and wellbeing across campus during the 2014/15 academic year.
Campaigns that have helped to support the nomination include the World Mental Health Day event held in October 2014 which asked students to write down ways they manage stress and anxiety onto paper butterflies which were displayed across campus. The success of this was later rewarded at the YUSU awards where Naomi Barrow, the student who organised the event, won the award for Contribution to Student Wellbeing.
Other events have focused on promoting strategies that can help students to push through procrastination, perfectionism and anxiety. Wellbeing was also heavily profiled during the summer exam season, with college visits from the hearing dogs used to help students de-stress as part of National Deaf Awareness Week.
Zohra Khan, YUSU’s Disabled Students’ Officer, spoke to Nouse about what the nomination means for the network: “This nomination is a huge deal for DSN because for the last few months I have been working towards increasing the DSN’s presence on campus and within student media to raise awareness and show exactly the type of work we do. After the success of Access Your Future and Deaf Awareness Week, this is an incredible and positive step in the right direction.”
York faces competition for the award from both other universities and large companies, with EY’s Dyslexia Network, Lloyds Banking Group’s Access Network and the Disabled Staff Network at the University of Manchester also nominated in the Health and Wellbeing category.
The winner will be announced at a reception at Band on the Wall in Manchester on 19 November 2015.