Isla Atay (Old Edwardian, 2017) has been awarded the University of Manchester’s Student Volunteer of the Year Award. After leaving KEHS, Isla began a Music degree at the University of Manchester, where she became involved in a community choir project. Isla volunteered herself for the role of conductor of the Leonard Cheshire Choir and has balanced this with her studies and commitment to running St Anselme’s Cellar Club.
Isla was nominated for this award by Amy Bradley, the Regional Fundraising Research Co-ordinator at the Leonard Cheshire Charity, as her work had such a positive impact on the community. A number of the participants in the choir have suffered traumatic brain injuries, have hearing and behavioural difficulties or are living with autism and other learning difficulties. Most members had never sung before, but with Isla’s support and dedication, they have been able to take part in the choir, learn new skills and make new friends. Without Isla’s commitment, this project would not have been such a success. Isla has gained a huge amount of confidence from the project and has enjoyed seeing the choir members grow in enthusiasm for music.