The Excellence in Volunteering Awards (EVAs) are swiftly approaching once more, with nominations open across seven categories to acknowledge the successes and dedication of volunteers here at the University of Southampton.

The annual ceremony celebrates the achievements of students, societies and student groups, and one particularly successful group of people (who know a thing or two about the EVAs) are the volunteers at Union Films.

We spoke to volunteer Cinema Manager, third year Music student Soph Isherwood, about what winning at the EVAs has meant to them.

1) What EVAs have Union Films won?
In 2013 we won an EVA for Engagement, and were highly commended for Innovation.

2) How did you feel when you won?
Amazed that people knew we are volunteers!

3) What does it mean for Union Films to have been so highly celebrated at the EVAs?
It was nice to receive recognition for the hard work and dedication that has been put in by volunteers over the past few years, particularly from the 2012/13 committee for securing the DCI proposal.

4) Have the wins helped to improve Union Films?
We’re quite unique in how UF is a volunteer run business, so we’re quite independent and don’t really seek SUSU recognition in order to evolve. However, having an EVA next to our name has certainly helped bolster our reputation as one of the best student run cinemas in the country.

5) What have the wins meant to your community of volunteers?
It’s fantastic to show our volunteers that the work they put in does get noticed, and helps to not only develop us as a business, but also the extremely important volunteer and community side of UF. I’m sure that having the win is just one of the factors which has drawn in a continuous stream of new volunteers and customers over the past couple of years (in addition to our awesome publicity strategies of course!).

6) What would you say to anyone thinking of nominating a society, student group or individual for an EVA?
Definitely do it. It doesn’t take a huge amount of time to write up some nominations for a person or group who you particularly feel should be recognised on a more public platform for their outstanding or insanely dedicated work. I’d say as well that nominations for EVAs are essential to the volunteering aspect at SUSU too, as it is an area which definitely needs developing in terms of recognition and respect.

To nominate for the EVAs, visit this website. Nominations close on March 20, with the winners being crowned at a glitzy ceremony on May 8. For more information, click here.

Get involved in the online conversation with the #EVAs2015 hashtag.