University of Derby wins Guardian University Award

25 November 2020

The University of Derby has won the Guardian University Award 2020 for Social and Community Impact for its work on the #ThisIsDerby project, a partnership initiative with Derby Theatre, Derby County in the Community Trust and Derby’s Cultural Education Partnership.

The award-winning project brings cultural education and events to the city’s young people with the aim of developing their ‘Essential Life Skills’, including confidence, communication and teamwork.

The awards, which were announced online today (Wednesday 25 November), were open to higher education institutions across the UK and come just weeks after the University was named University of the Year at the UK Social Mobility Awards (SOMO) 2020 and Higher Education Institution of the Year at the 2020 NEON (National Education Opportunities Network) Awards.

The Social and Community Impact Award is given in recognition of a programme that has engaged with communities, at a local, national or global level, and implemented changes that have had a lasting impact.

The project, which started in 2018, delivers cultural and sporting activity through a collection of 10 hubs directed by young people, teachers, community leaders and youth centres. More than 25,000 sessions have been delivered, involving more than 2,800 young people and it has now secured a further £2.5 million of investment in expanding arts and sports activities in the area for a further three years.

Speaking about the award, Professor Kathryn Mitchell DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said: “I am delighted that the University has won the Social and Community Impact Award at the Guardian University Awards 2020, our third award supporting our commitment to social mobility in the last two months.

#ThisIsDerby is a flagship example of how the University’s partnership-building has galvanised the city to work together to improve the lives of thousands of children and young people from the most disadvantaged areas of the city, and it is wonderful to receive national recognition for this important work.”

Caroline Barth, Creative Learning Director, Derby Theatre added: “It feels like an incredibly important time to be celebrating and further developing this kind of work with young people in Derby. Our consortium enables us to give young people not only a rich experience, but a powerful and creative voice in the city. The University’s focus on community, culture and sport helps us to achieve so much and also to capture and share the impact of this innovative work.”

Read more about the awards and winners on the Guardian University Awards 2020 website.

Find out more about #ThisIsDerby here:

boy and woman in theatre activity
Image credit: Black Mercury Photography.

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