Vote for the Alumni Volunteer of the Year

Who do you think is most deserving of the Alumni Volunteer of the Year Award 2017?

Read the profiles of the three nominees: Tony Payne, James Dee and Hilary Hardcastle.

Voting has now closed - the winner of the Alumni Volunteer of the Year Award will be annouced on Thursday 15 June at our Alumni Gala Dinner. 


Hilary Hardcastle

Certificate in Education, 1965

As the first ever students to qualify from Canterbury Christ Church, the Class of 1962 – 65 hold a unique position in the history of the University and Hilary held a significant position within that group as the first Vice-President of the Students’ Union.  Alongside others, she helped keep the Class in contact with one another following their qualification, serving as Vice-President of a Former Students Association, which she helped form at a time when the then College had no active alumni relations. She has been described by one of her peers as “the Mother of the Year Group”.

Hilary continues to be a tireless and thorough co-ordinator of class reunions at CCCU and has helped the University track down many “lost” alumni. It was largely her work that made some of the University’s flagship 50th Anniversary celebrations possible, events which inevitably raise the profile of the University in the local and regional media.

Hilary has also made large amounts of unique material from the period 1962 – 65 available to the University – photographs, documents and magazines – for scanning and archiving.  In summary, she has helped the University to remain connected to its origins, preserving aspects of our history that might otherwise have been lost. 

Hilary also supports the Founders Prize for Education, which is given annually to a student from the Faculty of Education in recognition of their having achieved an original published article.


Tony Payne

BA (Hons) Business Studies with Film, Radio and TV Studies, 1997

Tony Payne has been instrumental in helping to develop alumni relations at CCCU, both within FRTV and across the wider University. In 2012, he contributed to University-level focus group which was influential in informing CCCU’s development of a strategic approach to working with past students and he is now a proactive member of a University group which steers CCCU’s relationships with its alumni. Working in a senior role within the Education, he is a helpful sounding board and objective advisor to staff at CCCU.

Tony is a keen ambassador for CCCU and does a great deal to promote the activities of the FRTV team through Facebook and other social media. Within FRTV he has contributed enormously to bringing together alumni from his own cohort.  Through a reunion Tony co-ordinated, FRTV staff reconnected with another alumnus, Head of Production with a film company, who then visited the University to give a masterclass and has since provided part-time employment to 2 undergraduates. That same reunion also enabled FRTV staff to sign up alumni for its Facebook group, secure their help on the FRTV Industry Advisory Panel and enlist them to share their expertise at the School Employability Event.

Tony also has facilitated deepening relationships at University level with a number of alumni in significant roles within the worlds of media, education and social policy, again leading to the provision of work experience for students.

In addition, Tony is very active with the Student Union. He is currently championing development of an alumni mentorship programme for current sabbaticals, including helping the University reconnect with past sabbatical officers with whom it has lost touch.  His interest in the Student Union has even included providing DJ services at the Student Ball!


James Dee

BSc (Hons) Politics and Global Governance, 2012

James’ voluntary support to the University is marked by an unusual level of both breadth and consistency. He is an active ambassador for CCCU, regularly attending Open Days to speak to prospective students about studying Politics/International Relations and the career potential this offers. He has also provided case study material for use on the University website and goes the “extra mile” by keeping this material updated so it remains relevant.

James has also attended a number of employability events, talking to students about his work experience and developing a career in Politics.  His particular career experience and insights are of real interest to students and in this regard he is truly influential. He was one of a number of alumni who welcomed a group of students into the Houses of Parliament when he was working there and he has been particularly helpful in offering students opportunities for work shadowing/experience, including helping one student secure an internship with Home Secretary Amber Rudd. He has also advised students ahead of their interviews for employment opportunities in Parliament.

James has provided insightful material for the annual alumni magazine.  His role as a Campaign Manager for a leading political figure was featured in the 2014 edition, alongside details of another alumnus campaigning for the opposing party

In all, James is a considerable asset to the Politics team and both his generosity with his time and reliability means he is someone they feel able to call upon with confidence when organising an event for students.



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Last edited: 05/12/2017 06:50:00