Three Durham students shortlisted for the Student Social Mobility Awards

By Elizabeth McBride

Three Durham University students have been shortlisted for the Student Social Mobility Awards. Chloe Sutton, Lorna Cosgrave and Steve Thomas were nominated in the Undergraduate category.

Over 300 nominations were made for the awards, which are organised by UpReach, a UK-based charity addressing socioeconomic barriers to employment. The awards celebrate undergraduates and sixth formers from lower socio-economic backgrounds who have excelled in their studies and show potential to succeed in their careers. Mentors who have improved the employability of those from less-advantaged backgrounds, as well as university and employer initiatives driving social mobility are also recognised.

John Craven, Chief Executive of UpReach, commented: “This year, the effects of the pandemic have exacerbated existing socioeconomic inequalities, making aspirational events like the Student Social Mobility Awards more important than ever before.

“The Awards shine a spotlight on inspirational role models who have often shown incredible resilience, determination and initiative to succeed despite the challenges of the pandemic, and often overcoming barriers linked with coming from a less-privileged background.”

“Nominees for the Student Social Mobility Awards are highly motivated people who have overcome a range of circumstances that many people would find hard to comprehend yet have amazing potential.”

LORNA COSGRAVE

Lorna Cosgrave, who graduated in 2021, has been shortlisted for the Sector Award in Government, Politics and the Public Sector and the Outstanding Achievement Award.

The History graduate was recognised after writing about her experiences with disabilities for the Higher Education Policy Institute, being named as a Scottish Government Future Leader and her involvement with career events while at Durham.

Concerning the awards, Cosgrave commented: “It is important to remember the diversity of backgrounds that students come from. Looking at my profile you would not suspect that I was a young carer, low-income, and severely disabled.

“Nominees for the Student Social Mobility Awards are highly motivated people who have overcome a range of circumstances that many people would find hard to comprehend yet have amazing potential. Celebrating these achievements recognises their commitment and raises awareness about diversifying the workforce.”

Voting has now closed. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony, which will take place on the 9th September at the House of Lords.  You will be able to follow the evening’s progress here.

Image: Durham University

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