Making a Difference Awards take place live from the Whitworth Hall

On 10 May we were joined by staff, students, alumni and friends from around the world to celebrate the incredible and inspiring work of our University community.

After two years of online celebrations, The Making a Difference Awards returned in-person, with a hybrid livestream from our Whitworth Hall.

The Awards highlighted the extensive range of social responsibility initiatives of our staff, students, alumni and external partners, and covered categories such as benefit to research; widening participation; environmental sustainability and equality, diversity and inclusion.

Nearly 160 entries were submitted this year, with judges recognising 16 winners and 23 highly commended. Winners included a project addressing period poverty; an engagement initiative translating biodiversity into new music in Colombia and a model for teaching LGBT+ History to secondary school students.

During the event we also celebrated the winners of our University’s first Sustainability Photography Competition, our Volunteers of the Year, and finally, the amazing impact that our graduates have across Greater Manchester.

President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell reflected on our University’s achievements across the past year, and Vice-President for Social Responsibility, Nalin Thakkar discussed how we’ve built civic engagement into our social responsibility plan, recognising the role we play and need to continue play in making a difference in our local communities.

The event concluded with a live performance from Lemn Sissay, with a brand new poem to commemorate his time as University Chancellor.

Julian Skyrme, Director for Social Responsibility, said: “We pride ourselves on being a pioneering institution for social responsibility and the Making a Difference Awards allows us to celebrate some of the best work that our staff, students, alumni and partners do each year to enhance the wellbeing of society and the environment.”

Nalin Thakkar, concluded: “It was a wonderful experience to be involved in an event that recognises the inspiring work that our staff, students, alumni and partners are involved in. The Making a Difference Awards has, once again, shown how the unique abilities and resources of universities can create positive change in wider society through research, innovation, and most importantly our people.”

  • Details of all the winners and highly commended can be found on the social responsibility website and
  • Short films about each of our winners are available on the social responsibility YouTube channel.
  • Catch-up with the full Awards event.