Loughborough Students' Action Group wins Prime Minister's Big Society Award
Hard work by student volunteers has been recognised by David Cameron.
The Loughborough Students' Action Group was named the winner of the Prime Minister's Big Society Award yesterday.
The 1,900 strong group has been awarded for putting 19,000 hours of volunteering into helping elderly residents, school children and community groups last year.
Downing Street officials have worked out their time was worth £120,000 at minimum wage rates.
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The students were involved in everything from litter-picking to decorating community centres, working in soup kitchens and helping children learn to read.
They also raised £70,000 to fund projects including kids' camps.
Mr Cameron said: "The Loughborough Students' Action Group's commitment to involving the whole student community, including international students, with the local community is fantastic.
"By making volunteering the norm in their community, Action has given thousands of hours to making a difference to people and this Big Society Award recognises that.
"I hope they continue to inspire even more people to get involved."
Group chairman Billy Marsh said: "Winning this is indescribable. It has really come out of the blue.
"One of our former chairmen applied a couple of years ago but he didn't hear anything more about it, so we assumed we hadn't won. To find out after so long was amazing.
"We have 1,888 members who have pretty busy lives. We like to think our volunteers do it because they genuinely care.
"The vast majority of our volunteers come from further afield. To us, all of our students are superheroes."
Loughborough MP Nicky Morgan said: "These guys are a credit to the university. By volunteering they are picking up very important skills and learning things that will help them in later life."