Aberdeen University Students' Association Vice President for Welfare Sai Shraddha S. Viswanathan last night (Thursday 8 June) was recognised with a Young Scot Award for leading the campaign to secure funding for vital student support services in the north and northeast of Scotland.
The Young Scot Health and Wellbeing award recognises those involved in ‘supporting and inspiring others to improve their physical and mental health’ and Sai’s nomination recognised her work to ensure that the removal of Scottish Government funding for counsellors in Universities and Colleges, did not result in the reduction of services for students at the University of Aberdeen.
The elected student officer, who has been leading the efforts, has worked with counterparts at RGU:Union, NESCol Students’ Association, and Highlands and Islands Students’ Association to highlight the issue to government ministers in including the First Minister, Humza Yousaf and continues to push the Scottish Government for answers on how they will ensure these services are adequately funded going forward. The campaign comes at a time of inflation at record levels, a cost-of-living crisis in full effect and increased pressure on students’ mental health making these services as important as they have ever been.
On winning the award, Sai said: “I’m very grateful for the nomination, the award, and the opportunity to work with such an amazing team, this is a win for us. To be nominated among such an inspiring group of young people is incredible and I’d like to congratulate all the finalists.”
“I would like to thank our fellow institutions who have joined the campaign and NUS Scotland for making this campaign what it is. A special thanks goes to the University for also being extremely supportive about the initiative and working collaboratively on every level possible. I hope to take this as a reminder to keep the momentum up in the year to come.”
Nick Edwards, Deputy Director of People at the University extended his congratulations to Sai: “It is great to see Sai’s exceptional work being recognised with this award. The University of Aberdeen considers the Health and Wellbeing of our students as paramount and we look forward to working with Sai in the future.”