Student in a Million: the winners

When The Student Room smashed through the million members barrier earlier this year, we decided to celebrate by putting the spotlight on the UK's most inspirational students.

We asked you to tell us about the students who amaze you; those people who, along with their studies, do incredible and inspirational things.

What we got back were stories that emphasised the ability, tenacity and diversity of our student population. Did we shed the odd tear while reading them? You bet. But we also felt immensely proud of the achievements of each and every person nominated. 

Choosing the shortlists from all those nominations was difficult enough - but then came the near-impossible part - picking the overall winners.

We opened the vote out to you, the readers of The Student Room, with that public vote being added to the votes of our internal judges.

Here are some of the comments you made:

"Congratulations on being nominated and keep up the amazing work that you are doing. You are all an inspiration to others." 

"All are truly inspirational, truly makes you reflect on how lucky you are.

"All nominees are a great reflection on the UK's student population." 

"Brilliant idea and some inspirational young people. All worthy finalists." 

"Amazing people, make you realise how easy we all have it and that we should be giving more back." 

"All fantastic stories, they should all be incredibly proud." 

"Everyone sounds absolutely amazing and it's so hard to choose, particularly the candidates for Against All Odds, they've all had a battle and I think they are all winners to be honest." 

"What an inspiration! I have a lot of health conditions and have faced a lot of personal difficulties and these stories inspire me and give hope!" 

"Fantastic people. Inspirational. Good luck to all especially those battling illness." 

The Student in a Million judges 
You: the readers and members of The Student Room
Jason Geall: managing director, The Student Room
Jamie O'Connell: director of product and partnerships, The Student Room
Chris Newson: group chief executive, The Student Room Group
Pete Langley: director, Get Revising

Our judges battled long and hard with their decisions, but eventually came up with a winner in each of the three categories. And so, without further ado, here they are...

student in a million

Against All Odds


Winner: Lana Jennifer Maartens

Lana's story is one of courage and sheer determination. Diagnosed with ovarian cancer during the second year of her English and Creative Writing course at the University of Salford, she has since undergone major surgery (including a full hysterectomy and bowel resection) and suffered serious side effects. Throughout it all, she has continued to study and has achieved excellent results. 

Dan and Michael Smith
Jake Haven
Ria Sarrington


Greatest Achievement


Winner: Thomas Bleasby
A former volunteer for The Forgotten Children's Foundation, Tom stepped in to run the charity when he learned its founder had become seriously ill. Aged just 16, he has single-handedly run the charity since then, while also working on his studies and exams.

After hearing about his award, Tom said: "I would just like to say how honoured I am to be a part of this process and I'm very proud of our charity and everything it is continuing to achieve. I would like to thank everyone who has voted over this past few weeks, thank you for your support."

Jake Harvey
Tahmina Hadi


TSR Superstar


Winner: DaisyDaffodil
One of TSR's amazing group of moderators, Linda (DaisyDaffodil) is a carer for her mother and sister. She has battled against issues with anxiety and volunteers her own time to help others on TSR who are facing similar issues.

On being told of her award, Linda said:"I'm thrilled to bits, bit overwhelmed as I didn't even think I'd get nominated; to win is just, wow. Very unexpected and just lovely. Huge, huge hugs and thanks to everyone who voted/decided." 


A massive congratulations to our winners and to everyone who was nominated. We will be formally presenting the awards in the New Year. 

Thanks for being part of our Student in a Million awards!