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University wins gold and bronze awards for Estates excellence

23 Apr 2024

Our University celebrates double win at AUDE Awards for The Christmas Dinner and Zero Without a Net

University colleagues accept their awards

The University has won the gold and bronze at the Association of University Directors of Estates Awards (AUDE Awards), an annual celebration highlighting the achievements of Estates and Facilities professionals. 

The Christmas Dinner, which was founded by our former Chancellor Lemn Sissay OBE to ensure young care leavers are not alone on Christmas Day, won Gold in the University Reaching Higher Award.  

Zero Without a Net, our strategy to reduce our carbon to true zero by 2038, won Bronze in the Sustainability Impact Initiative Award. 

Assistant Director of Estates and Facilities, Alison Shedlock said: “We’re delighted to receive these awards. It’s amazing the support Christmas Dinners gets from the Directorate of Estates and Facilities and across the wider University. It makes such a difference to care leavers on what can be one of the most challenging days for many care leavers.” 

Julia Durkan, Acting Head of Environmental Sustainability, said: “Receiving the Bronze award for ‘Zero Without a Net’ demonstrates our dedication to advancing our campus decarbonisation initiatives. We are committed to working with our academic and professional services colleagues to safeguard our planet, and this recognition underscores the significant strides we have made so far.”  

With the awards, AUDE celebrates teams, projects and individuals who have made a significant contribution to enhancing excellence and ensuring university estates provide best value to support the institutional mission and promote professionalism, efficiency and effectiveness. 

The Christmas Dinner 

The Christmas Dinner is an annual Christmas Day dinner and get together for care leavers aged between 18 and 25, where they are served by university colleagues and other volunteers.  

The University has been involved for several years, and last year many of our colleagues volunteered and donated gifts to help ensure Christmas Day was memorable for care leavers who might otherwise be on their own during the festive period. 

Zero Without a Net 

In 2019, the University adopted a targeting of achieving “true” (not net) zero-carbon by 2028 within our carbon budget. Alongside this, part of our primary vision is to be recognised globally for the benefits we bring to society and our environment, and our zero-carbon target is one of our top eight KPIs. 

To achieve this, we have taken a series of steps, including securing funding of £150m over 10 years from the University. This has allowed us to embark on several projects, including undertaking energy efficiency measures to cut costs and consumption and the decarbonisation of our heat sources – specifically by replacing gas boilers with electric alternatives. 

More information 

To find out more or to donate, visit The Christmas Dinner 

For details of our sustainability strategy, visit our sustainability commitments