DMU student’s work with refugees wins award

As a full-time student, you could be forgiven for thinking Amy Katiti has her hands full with her own studying – but she still gives up hours every week to help others.

Amy is a volunteer with Leicester charity After 18, which helps children who left war or unrest in their home country to flee to the UK alone, leaving behind family and friends.

INSET Amy Katiti
Accolade: Amy, left, being presented with her award by Square Mile’s Debbie Tinsley

Her dedication was recognised at the DMU Square Mile Awards when she was named the winner of the Going the Extra Mile Award, given to volunteers who show an incredible amount of dedication and go above and beyond to make a difference.

Amy – who scooped an award last year for her work with the charity – uses her skills as a Pharmacy student to help with science. “For me, because of my background and knowledge, it’s fun to help with science, chemistry, maths, biology. I like helping people through volunteering and I get so much personally from volunteering. 

“If I’m having a tough day, spending time at After 18 and helping others, I come out feeling better. It reminds you what’s important.”

After 18 works with refugees one to one to help them make the transition into adulthood, helping them plan for the future.

Many are keen to go on to university study or gain qualifications and the team at After 18 led by manager Alison Birch help achieve their ambitions. University lecturers, sixth form teachers, PhD students and undergraduates volunteer their time every week to help them.

Amy, from Kenya, has also been an i-Buddy at DMU helping international students feel at home but says it is her work with After 18 which she is most proud of.

Josh Hargreaves, DMU Square Mile community outreach officer, said the charity sang Amy’s praises. He added: “She is so reliable and puts in extra sessions to meet the needs of vulnerable young people – going above and beyond her duties to support them where necessary.”

Other finalists were Mariambibi Hatia and Lisa Healey-Lyman for their work delivering equality workshops in Leicester schools; Kelly Marie Hulse, who has been a volunteer at New College for two years; and Adrian Jordan, whose commitment and enthusiasm for volunteering has seen him support a variety of projects.