Updated: Sunday, 18th March 2018 @ 6:00am

Salford Uni student nominated for volunteer award

Salford Uni student nominated for volunteer award

By Andrew Cream & Tom Midlane

A student volunteer from across the pond is being honoured this month for her outstanding contribution to Salford.

Jessica Prosper, 23, is up for a Heart of Salford award for her work for Revive, a local charity that works with asylum seekers and refugees, the University of Salford’s Community Action Teams and Victim Support.  

The awards, hosted by the Volunteer Centre at Buile Hill Park Hall on June 29th between 1pm and 4pm, will celebrate the time and effort people of the city put in to help others.

Originally from Miami, Jessica moved to England to do her in MA Human Rights at University of Salford.

“I’ve only been here less than a year, but I’ve tried to be part of as many things as possible because this is what I want to do,” Jessica said.  

Jessica found out she had been nominated when she received a letter in the post inviting her to the award ceremony.

She said: “It was a shock – because I’m not a Salford resident, I haven’t grown up here, but I have been able to go into the community and appreciate its history, appreciate its people, and be a part of everything.

“I was very honoured to be nominated for the Heart of Salford Award – it’s a pretty big deal!”

Heather Walker from Victim Support said: "Jessica is a much valued volunteer for Victim Support. She is very enthusiastic, full of ideas and has done a fantastic job as a fundraiser."

Julia Spencer of the University of Salford’s Student Life department nominated Jessica for the award.

"Every time I speak to Jessica she has found another way of helping a valuable cause and getting involved with the local community,” said Julia.

"Her boundless energy and positive attitude make a real difference to the organisations she volunteers for and the lives of others."

MP for Salford and Eccles Hazel Blears praised the work that volunteers do in the community.

She said: “Volunteers and the enormous amount of work they do on behalf of local communities are an essential and continuing part of our society. 

“I would like to pay tribute to the winners of the Heart of Salford Awards, but also to all of the many volunteers who do such a great job in caring for others, organising and running events and the variety of other ways in which they volunteer their time and skills.”

The Mayor of Salford will present all nominees with a framed certificate and the winners of each category will also receive a stunning cut glass award.

Jessica praised the community spirit of Salford and compared it to her hometown Miami, where it is easy to get lost in the numbers.

She added: “It’s a very inspiring community to be in.

“A lot of people are proud of what volunteers are capable of and what they can contribute to the community. That was one of the reasons I wanted to come to England.”

After her course finishes in September, Jess plans to head back to America to work with abused and neglected children as part of Florida’s Guardian ad Litem Program.

Although she is looking forward to going home, Jess says that she will miss life in England.

“I am sad to leave Salford, because I feel like the people here have made a home for me,” she said.  “I don’t want to leave the people and the networks that I’ve created here.”