Bangor student wins Student Volunteer of the Year

Bangor University student Steve Barnard has been named British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) Student Volunteer of the Year at the BUCS Annual Dinner in Leeds this year.

Steve, 29, from Llanfairpwll, Anglesey, was a diving instructor before coming to Bangor University in 2007, and has just completed his final year of a Marine Biology and Zoology degre. He selflessly gives over 40 hours on average per week including evenings, weekends and in between lectures, helping out virtually anyone who needs it whilst still maintaining his commitments.

“What sets Steve apart is the fact that he rarely if ever says no, has a ‘will do’ attitude and encourages and develops others to follow in the same way. He always goes that extra mile and never seems to stop. Steve spends virtually all of his free time training other students in many disciplines, from Rugby Union to advanced Scuba Diving techniques,” says Danielle Giles, Vice President Sport & Health Living at Bangor Students’ Union.

“He has worked very closely with the Athletic Union on many things including recently arranging the First Aid cover for an Ultra Marathon charity event, enabling other students to benefit in terms of experience. One thing that stands out above all, was an incident where the Rowing Club taster session was brought to an end by a passing speedboat whose wake snapped the rowing boat in half, leaving eight people, including complete beginners stranded in the Menai Straits.

"Steve initiated and coordinated the rescue operation to great success – by the time the lifeboat and the fire and rescue service arrived, Steve and his team had rescued everybody. He ensured that first aid treatment for shock and hypothermia was delivered and that the stricken boat was guarded as a navigation hazard from other sea users. He was commended for his work by the RNLI.”

Other things Steve has done include:

•    Hosted a 2-day Seasearch Conference for 40 people in April 2011. Seasearch is an organisation funded by the Government to educate and raise awareness of Marine Conservation and Monitoring.
•    Hosted and directed Project Aware’s (International Organisation) Dive for Earth Day on 23 April 2011. .
•    He was interviewed on Heart FM regarding his drive to clean up Wales’ sub-tidal environment.
•    Has had two articles published as a result of highly public conservation initiatives that he coordinated.
•    Held try dives for over 80 people, including the public, boosting our community reputation.
•    Organised and supervised the first aid for the recent Ultimate Frisbee tournament.
•    He was praised for delivering emergency care at a road traffic accident whilst returning from a BUCS Rugby Union fixture in Chester.

Publication date: 2 August 2011