Natalie Cherry accepts the award for ResLife New Professional of the Year 2023

Residence Life Assistant Manager wins prestigious industry award

In May the Residence Life Team attended the annual CUBO (College and University Business Officers) Residence Life Conference in Nottingham. The team had the chance to meet other industry professionals, get involved with workshops and come up with new ideas about how to constantly improve students’ experiences in halls.

During the conference, the CUBO Residence Life Star awards ceremony took place. These awards recognise the hard work of Residence Life professionals and students across the country. The big award of the evening, New Professional of the Year, went to our very own Assistant Manager of Residence Life at Leeds, Natalie Cherry!

Natalie was nominated by the Assistant Director of Accommodation and Residence Life, Rebecca O’Hare, and the Residence Life team for all the time and effort she dedicates to helping our students in halls.

Natalie has done incredible work this year. She completely overhauled the Social Committee programme for Residence Life. This is a voluntary role that helps students to develop new skills and organise their own events in halls. Her efforts led to impressive results regarding student involvement with the Social Committees. This included a 38% increase in students volunteering and a 47% decrease in students withdrawing from the programme.

She is also responsible for organising the Halls Awards every year. This is an incredible event where we celebrate the achievements of our Residence Life Assistants (RLAs) and Residence Life Social Committee (RLSC) members. We also reward students that have made other people’s time in halls extra special. This year we received double the number of nominations we did last year, and the event was an overwhelming success.

“I was truly shocked and so happy to win the Residence Life New Professional award. I work with such a fantastic team, and to have them nominate and support me was a really lovely experience. I was happy to be shortlisted in the first instance, so when they announced my name at the awards, I could not believe it!

Thank you so much to my colleagues Sarah, Rebecca, Rita, Dom, Lucy, Josh and Tasha, and also to CUBO for considering me for this prize. I’m really excited to go to America for the ACUHO-I Conference 2023! I think it will be an eye-opening experience and I hope I’ll learn a lot about how Residence Life operates overseas. I’ll be sure to bring back everything I learn to Leeds so that we can continue to improve our service here.”

– Natalie Cherry, Assistant Manager – Residence Life