Changemaker Award recipients

The "SRS Changemaker" Award recognises individual staff and students who have brought noticeable positive change to the University and its community either by undertaking a successful socially responsible or sustainable project or by inspiring others to act in a more socially responsible and sustainable way.

Five members of staff received this award in 2019-20, with a further five staff and one student receiving highly commended recognition.

Find out about their inspiring actions below.

Changemakers Award 2019-20: winners

Each winner receives a beautiful hand-crafted trophy made from recycled wood, and a letter to confirm their achievement.

Matthew Hunter

Matthew Hunter

Assistant Psychologist, Centre for Dementia Prevention

Matt received this award for his creativity and commitment to making the Centre for Dementia Prevention a more sustainable place to work. In addition to leading the Centre's Sustainability Award Team (who achieved Gold in the Office Awards this year), Matt undertook a range of projects and communications to educate and inspire his colleagues to live and work in a more sustainable way. Projects included making 'ecobricks'  to find novel uses for waste plastic and educating colleagues on the impacts of single-use plastics; reducing energy consumption; vastly improving recycling in the centre and implementing Terracycle recycling bins for hard-to-recycle items; and bringing people together through sustainable shared lunches and walking groups. The list goes on!

Thirteen of Matt's colleagues nominated him for this award, leaving us in no doubt that his actions are both inspiring and impactful!

Sarah Turnbull

Sarah Turnbull

Marketing Officer, Edinburgh Innovations

Sarah received this award for undertaking multiple activities to promote wellbeing amongst her colleagues in Edinburgh Innovations and the greater Kings’ Building community.  During the University's Mental Health and Wellbeing Week in November 2019, Sarah arranged for the Occupational Health team to provide a presentation on mental health awareness in the workplace; the Chaplaincy to provide a mindfulness workshop and a yoga session; and also arranged for a Therapets visit so staff could "paws" their work and cuddle some furry friends!

The judges were impressed by her efforts to make a clear connection between sustainability and wellbeing in her workplace above and beyond what was required by the Silver Office Awards (which Edinburgh Innovations achieved), and for opening out these activities to others on the Kings Buildings campus.

Chris McIntosh

Chris McIntosh

Operations Manager, Sports and Exercise

Chris received this award for successful, creative and continued efforts to embed sustainability within the operations of Sports & Exercise. Projects include upgrading the sensor lighting throughout Pleasance to reduce energy consumption; partnering with Playerlayer to provide their "Ecolayers" products for all sports teams kits (with old kits being donated to schools in Africa); partnering with SIGG and Yanga Sports Water to make refilling sports drinks the norm and thus reduce the amount of single-use plastics bottles used in sports & training; arranging for the old foam floor in the gym's climbing wall to be reused by local upholsterers; and current plans to replace sports balls nearing the end of their life with fairtrade equivalents.

The judges were impressed by his proactivity in seeking sustainable products and partnerships, and for his willingness to suggest, trial and measure the impact of multiple new sustainability initiatives, paving the way for other departments - and other universities - to follow.

Lisa Heywood

Timetabling Operations Administrator, Timetabling and Examination Services

Lisa received this award for co-founding the Staff Cycling Community and undertaking outreach to the University community to encourage more staff and students to consider cycling as an option for commuting. The judges were impressed by the energy, passion and commitment she brought to this project and for her efforts to align this to other University cycling, transport and sustainability objectives, and the City of Edinburgh's objectives to get more people choosing to travel by bike.

Glen Cousquer

MSc Programme Coordinator, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

Glen received this award for implementing a number of successful sustainability initiatives at the Royal (Dick) School of Verterinary Studies - in both day-to-day operations and within student teaching - and for sharing this knowledge with others across the University. Initiatives included:

  • Taking a proactive role as Green Rep for the University and College Union
  • Embedding sustainability into existing courses
  • Assisting students to take an active role in on-campus biodiversity projects, such as the Hedgehog Friendly Campus Award
  • Running an ecological show at the Festival Fringe
  • Implementing a staff milk bottle scheme that other departments have replicated
  • Leading nature and mindfulness retreats
  • Championing training in deep listening skills for health professionals

The judges were impressed by the creative yet methodical approach Glen took to engage other staff and for the interdisciplinary approach he took in providing students and the general public with opportunities to learn more about sustainability.

Changemakers Award 2019-20: highly commended

Each highly commended individual receives a certificated to confirm their achievement.

Kristin Mason

Kristin Mason

Communication & Digital Officer, Estates

Highly commended for playing a key role in the University receiving a Bronze Hedgehog Friendly Campus Award, and for her efforts to communicate this to students and staff as a means of engaging them with biodiversity on campus.

Peter Buckley

Peter Buckley

Teaching Fellow, Centre for Open Learning

Highly commended for establishing a number of sustainability initiatives at the Holyrood Campus, including a stationery collection, Friday coffee break, running group and sustainability notice boards, as well as working to embed the UN's SDGs in the curriculum. The judges were impressed by the range of activities Peter undertakes above and beyond the criteria for the Centre for Open Learning's Gold Office Sustainability Award, and also by his efforts to bring staff and students together through sustainability and wellbeing. 

Carol Powers

Management Support Officer, USG Business Unit

Highly commended for making a sustained contribution to sustainability in the University Secretary's Group Business Unit and neighbouring departments. The judges were impressed by Carol's enthusiasm for improving the wellbeing of all staff by using the Sustainable Campus Fund to upgrade lighting in Old College, which also directly contributes to the University’s target to become zero carbon by 2040

Lorna Brain

Lorna Brain

Festival Manager, ACE Business Development

Highly commended for playing an instrumental role in the creation and continuation of the Festivals Sustainability Project. The judges were impressed by Lorna's efforts to implement each of the recommendations from the project and for her continued efforts to facilitate relationship-building with external festival contacts and to support other creative projects on campus such as the Greenhouse Theatre, the UK's first zero-waste performance space. 

Peter Hayakawa

Peter Hayakawa

Procurement Policy Officer, Procurement Office

Highly commended for connecting multiple individuals across the University in order to undertake a collaborate approach to achieving operational and supply chain sustainability. The judges were also impressed by the key role Peter played in the Finance department’s ambition to become carbon neutral.

Alyssa Stoller

Alyssa Stoller

Student, School of Geosciences

Highly commended for sustained efforts to promote marine conservation amongst her classmates and also in the local community. The judges were impressed by a beach cleanup Alyssa organised at Portobello in February 2020 and her efforts to share her love of whales and marine protection with members of the public in order to inspire them to protect the ocean.