University volunteering awards

On Thursday evening, I went to the volunteering awards “do” at the university. I met up with a classmate who was also collecting an award so that neither of us had to go in alone. The student union run a brilliant volunteering scheme where you log the hours you have done as well as any training courses relevant to your voluntary role.

We were called up to receive our certificates in groups of 4 or 5, much easier to do when there’s around 200 people present!

As well as awards that relate to the number of hours of student volunteering, there were also awards for a variety of societies and other great achievements. As I listened to all the amazing accomplishments of students and societies, I was amazed that so many of the full-time students managed to do so much in addition to their studies. I’m a part-time student and don’t manage to do quite as much!

You can imagine my surprise then as my name was called out as volunteer of the year! I genuinely couldn’t believe it and, in a way, still can’t. I was presented with a lovely glass award by the Chair of the voluntary committee and still can’t find the words to tell anyone what it means to me.

Later that night when I was still bouncing off the ceiling, I had a slightly serious thought. I have had an amazing year in so many ways and have achieved so much whilst struggling with depression, just imagine what I can do once my brain fixes itself! I guess it shows that sometimes, when life punches you in the face, you can punch it back, harder, faster and better! I now believe I can achieve almost anything I put my mind to and am looking forward to the next challenge.10295180_10152470881566789_7748269614523236659_o

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Admiral Duncan bombing

Yesterday marked 15 years since a nail bomb exploded in the Admiral Duncan pub in Soho. I remember that day pretty well as I was moving into a new house with my then boyfriend. We both worked with a forensic team in the Met Police and knew only too well what our colleagues in that area would be dealing with. My godmother was with us on that day and when I mentioned it to her, she told me that her son sometimes drank there with friends. We tried calling him but only got his voicemail. I tried hard not to show her how worried I was as I left a message asking him to call me ASAP. I am not in any way trying to take on any of the worry that the families of the victims must have felt but my godmother and her children had been in my life since I was about 6 weeks old so I was pretty concerned about him. 

Happily, he did call back and said that he had been just around the corner from the pub when the bomb went off and was pretty shaken up when he saw the side of a van he was walking past ripple with the shock-wave from the bomb.

Whilst I was (and still am) relieved that he wasn’t injured in the attack, my thoughts are with those who were injured and the families of those who died.