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The Spirit of Manchester Award 2018

The Spirit of Manchester Awards is a series of awards which Macc has been running since 2013. (Macc is a charity whose purpose is quite simply the city of Manchester).

Macc encourage, support and develop the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations and local people to have a real influence over the places and communities in which they live.

The Awards celebrate and highlight all the excellent work being carried out in Manchester’s voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. There are hundreds of charities and community groups all across the city and thousands of local people at work every day to support our communities.

Employee Volunteering Award

Winner: University of Manchester’s School Governor Initiative click here to watch the film

The Queen's Award 2016

The University of Manchester (UoM) School Governor Initiative was nominated for The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service 2016. This award was created by The Queen in 2002 to mark the occasion of her Golden Jubilee, recognising excellence in voluntary activities carried out by groups in the community. It is the MBE for volunteer groups.

The work UMSGI does for the community was very much admired by the independent Assessment Committee, chaired by Sir Martyn Lewis CBE and as such the group was selected as a recipient for The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) 2016.

The award of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2016 represents a tremendous achievement for UMSGI and everyone involved, particularly our volunteers, feels immensely proud of the recognition that this Award represents. 


 BITC Re-accreditation 2015 and 2016

We are delighted to inform colleagues that our reaccreditation submission to the Education Award as part of BITC’s Responsible Business Awards has been successful.

This means that we have successfully demonstrated continual and positive impact through our UMSGI programme from which we initially received the award accolade. 

Thanks and congratulations to all our governors for your continued drive and energy in your role as governors.

 Please go to, to view our initial award case study.


 The University of Manchester wins Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community at The Times Higher Awards 2014

The University of Manchester has won a second consecutive national award for outstanding contribution to the local community for a project which has seen 241 staff and alumni use their skills as school governors.

The Times Higher Education Awards ceremony, which was held last night (27 November), is open to every UK university. The community award was made for the second year in a row to the University’s School Governor Initiative, run in conjunction with the charity SGOSS – Governors for Schools.

This scheme, which is part of the University’s overall aim of making a positive difference to communities, encourages staff and alumni to bring their skills in areas such as finance, law and human resources to the role of school governors.

In many areas schools have great difficulty in recruiting governors with these skills, so the University takes an active role in encouraging people to come forward. In 2012/13 – the period covered by the award – this was a total of 241 people, 116 of whom were staff.

Commenting on the award, Sir Deian Hopkin, president of the National Library of Wales and one of the judges said: “Since 2012-13, the university has helped to fill one in five school governor vacancies in the North West and has doubled the number of its staff involved.

“By including alumni, Manchester now ranks highest of all UK employers involved in Governors for Schools scheme, with governors volunteering almost 3,000 days and impacting on 85,000 learners.

“This intervention has had a measurable effect on local school performance and reinforced the university’s strategic ambition to make a positive contribution to its community.”

Now in their tenth year, the Times Higher Education Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of institutions, teams and individuals in the UK higher education sector.

The Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, Greg Clark, joined academics and professional and support staff from all over the country at the event, hosted by comedian Jack Dee at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

Stephanie Lee, Head of Widening Participation and Outreach at The University of Manchester said: "The University is the first higher education institution to take such a coordinated approach to school governance.

“The response from staff and alumni has been hugely impressive and last year we topped SGOSS’s volunteer recruitment table, placing us above many multi-national companies. We are now supporting other universities who are developing similar programmes, thereby extending the reach and impact of the initiative even further.”


Responsible Business Awards 2014

The University’s School Governor Initiative has been recognised with a ‘Big Tick’ as part of the prestigious Responsible Business Awards 2014, which are run by the charity Business in the Community (BITC)

The Big Tick is the first level of accolade in the Responsible Business Awards, the UK’s longest-running and most respected awards scheme recognising businesses that are making a positive difference to society and to the environment.

A Big Tick is a leading endorsement of responsible business, and companies are awarded for initiatives tackling a range of issues: from stimulating local or rural communities, building long-term partnerships with schools, inspiring young talent, to embedding environmental sustainability into how products and services are used by customers.

The School Governor Initiative achieved the Big Tick in the education category, which aims to recognise organisations that are building sustainable partnerships with schools in the UK, to raise aspirations of young people to enable them to build successful working lives.

Commenting, Associate Vice-President for Social Responsibility at the University of Manchester, Aneez Esmail, said: “We are delighted to be shortlisted for a BITC award that recognizes the important work of the School Governors initiative at the University of Manchester. The scheme is a signature programme within our social responsibility strategy and is a real example of how our staff are making a positive impact on our local community.”

Manchester wins both national and international at the Green Gown Awards 2013

The University has won both a national and international social responsibility award for its initiative to increase the number of staff engaged in supporting local state schools through the School Governors programme.

Manchester was shortlisted for two different categories, Social Responsibility and Facilities and Services, as part of the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges (EUAC) Green Gown Awards.

We won the national category for best Social Responsibility initiative to increase the number of staff engaged in supporting local state schools in our School Governors programme.

Furthermore, in a surprise announcement, a small number of these national winners went through to an international category and, following videos from projects around the world, this same project also won in the International Best Social Responsibility category.

Director of Social Responsibility Julian Skyrme said: “I want to commend Alison Gregory and Stephanie Lee in the Directorate for the Student Experience, who have done a huge amount of work in making this programme a success, and also the University's partners SGOSS - Governors for Schools, who deliver such an effective service to the University.

“This is particularly pleasing as it comes ahead of next week's formal launch of our School Governor Initiative as a key Signature Programme for social responsibility.”