Coronation awards joy for alumna who founded University’s Marine Conservation Society

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Caitlin Turner
Caitlin Turner

An alumna who founded the University of Stirling’s Marine Conservation Society is one of 500 outstanding volunteers to be chosen as the nation’s Coronation Champions.

Caitlin Turner, 23, who graduated with a BSc (Hons) degree in Marine Biology in June 2021, has been recognised by Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort as part of the official Coronation celebrations.

As well as setting up the University’s Marine Conservation Society and serving as President for three years, Caitlin was the Students’ Union Sustainability Officer, helping to open and run the Green and Blue Space, an on-campus sustainability hub.

Caitlin, who is from Darvel in East Ayrshire, also volunteered with the Marine Conservation Society (MCS UK) as a Sea Champion throughout her time at university. She organised community clean-ups, hosted information stalls at events and delivered presentations to schools and youth groups on marine conservation issues.

Caitlin Turner
Caitlin Turner

I'm grateful to have had my efforts recognised through my nomination as a Coronation Champion and will continue to do all I can to protect and conserve our seas.

Caitlin has been recognised for her contribution to sustainability and the environment and crowned a Coronation Champion. This follows a call out to the nation to nominate their volunteer heroes. Almost 5,000 entries were received, with nominations made for individuals aged 14 up to 103.

Caitlin, who is now a policy officer with the Sustainable Inshore Fisheries Trust, said: “The University of Stirling's first student-led Marine Conservation Society (UoS MCS) had an incredible impact both on marine conservation efforts and the wider student community, providing a space for students to engage with marine conservation initiatives and meet like-minded individuals.

“We arranged multiple fundraisers and conducted campus clean-ups and beach cleans, organised an Ocean Action Week and worked with environmental organisations to deliver presentations, workshops and training to society members.

“I've devoted every free moment of my time to marine conservation, and I am a firm believer that so long as we keep fighting, there is still hope for our planet. Our seas have an incredible capacity to recover if allowed to do so, and this fuels my advocacy.

“I'm grateful to have had my efforts recognised through my nomination as a Coronation Champion and will continue to do all I can to protect and conserve our seas.”

Coronation garden party

Caitlin will attend the Coronation Garden Party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse - The King's official residence in Edinburgh - on July 4th where she will be presented with an official Coronation Champions pin and a certificate signed by Their Majesties.

With the support of Her Majesty The Queen Consort, a passionate advocate of volunteering and President of Royal Voluntary Service, the Coronation Champions Awards were launched to recognise exceptional volunteers from across the country at this momentous point in history. Across the UK, 500 Champions dazzled the judging panel with the impact of their work, their inspirational stories and unwavering commitment to volunteering.

Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive of Royal Voluntary Service, said: “We were completely blown away by the response to the Community Champions Awards and the huge volume of amazing nominees put forward. Our judges had a tough job selecting just 500 Champions from an array of thousands of inspirational individuals, who all deserve to be recognised and commended.

“Each of our Coronation Champions displayed a commitment and contribution that far exceeds any expectation and we’re overjoyed to honour and thank them during this exciting point in history.”