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Professor Rex Makin Award winners revealed

A man and two women stand in front of a Christmas tree.

Three students have been recognised for their work in the community as part of the annual Professor Rex Makin Award for reflections on community practice.

The bi-annual prize is given in honour of Liverpool’s most famous lawyer – Professor Makin – who died in 2017, but whose legacy lives on at Liverpool Hope via this award which is offered in collaboration with his family.

The award tasks undergraduate students with writing a reflective essay on community work they have undertaken and, this term, Sophia Fenby, James Noonan and Caitlin Payne are the winners of the £500 prize.

Sophia, a third-year English Literature student, volunteered at Chester Cathedral's Archival Library during the summer of 2023, where she was responsible for a collection left to the cathedral by a late Canon.

“After the cataloguing stage, I wrote a research proposal and spent time researching the family history of the late Canon,” she explains.

“There was a family tree going back to the Norman Conquest but it needed updating and there were several lines that were not included. I managed to link the Canon to the French and English royal family trees and to one of the first barons in Cheshire after the Conquest.

“I am really proud that archival work is being recognised by the University, especially as the special collections library at Hope Park holds so much. Archival research holds so much potential for the future and I am really happy to be involved.”

Sport and PE student. James, received the award in recognition of his work as an emergency response volunteer for the Red Cross in Liverpool, which involves supporting the emergency services with disasters such as house fires or floods.

“We provide psycho-social support and any practical help we can offer such as putting the individuals in contact with the relevant agencies for example to arrange temporary housing,” says James.

“I had lots of free time over the summer and so I wanted to give something back to the community. I believe we should all try to look after each other and I think if I was in one of those situations I would like someone to be there for me.”

A solicitor renowned for taking on very difficult cases, Professor Makin often described himself as the champion of the underdog. He represented the victims and families involved in the Hillsborough disaster and acted for the parents of James Bulger, who was murdered in 1993.

Published on 07/12/2023