UWE Bristol students named in most influential Bristolians under 24

Issue date: 17 December 2014

Three UWE Bristol students have been included in Rife Magazine's 24 Most Influential Bristolians under 24.

Anna-May Richards, Silas Adekunle and Rhys Buchanan appear on the list in the Green, Technology and Media categories, respectively.

Anna-May Richards studied English at the University and graduated in 2014. She appears at number 6 on the list, along with fellow contributor Terri Cramer, for their blog, Down and Out in Bristol With Plastic . The blog encourages Bristolians to take note of, and reduce, the amount of plastic waste they generate, as well as suggesting ways to avoid buying plastic products altogether.

Whilst at UWE Bristol, Anna enrolled on the University's Arts and Cultural Industries internship programme and worked as a paid intern with the Friends of Horfield Common, to raise money to plant new trees on the Common. In total £17.5k was raised and 457 trees were planted increasing the tree canopy in the city, an area highlighted as a priority in planning for the future resilience of the city in terms of environmental change and improvement of air quality.

As Bristol moves ever closer to becoming the European Green Capital, Anna-May is being recognised for leading the green agenda for young people through the 'Down and Out' blog and Twitter feed.

Silas Adekunle, a UWE Bristol Robotics graduate, makes it on to the list at number 13, for his work with his company Reach Robotics. The company is part of UWE Bristol's Technology Business Incubator, based at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, and aims to exploit the potential for robots to revolutionise gaming by dynamically linking physical and digital modes of play. Silas is developing MechaMonsters - small, four-legged robots - that can interact with their owners and each other whilst being controlled from a mobile phone.

It has been quite a year for Silas, who won the Microsoft Ventures Pitch contest, and finished runner-up in the people's choice category at the Pitch@Palace competition, held at St James's Palace and hosted by HRH The Duke of York.

Silas says, “It's a great honour to be included in the list of the 24 most influential people under the age of 24 in Bristol. It shows that people value the work that we're doing at Reach Robotics in the edutainment and STEM space and this is work that would not have been possible without UWE's advice and support network, especially when it comes to working with local schools.”

Rhys Buchanan is currently in the first year of his Journalism degree at UWE Bristol and is the online editor and print contributor for Bristol Live Magazine. He appears on the list at number 22, and has recently completed two weeks of work experience at NME Magazine and will be going back to gain further experience in 2015.

Alongside his personal music blog Charming Man, Rhys is set to help judge Glastonbury Festival's Emerging Talent Competition next year for the second time.

Rhys says, “It's a privilege to be considered influential in a city as exciting as Bristol. The UWE journalism course has already inspired me, both pushing me out of my comfort zone and allowing me to work within it. Phil Chamberlain is a really engaging lecturer and has helped me link up with various industry platforms within the city. Bower Ashton campus is full of creative people, so it's a really encouraging environment to be working in.“

In addition, Chloe Meneick appears on the list at number 14, for her work within the Pervasive Media Studio, a collaboration between The Watershed, UWE Bristol and The University of Bristol. She has worked on the Music Memory Box for people with dementia and is currently on the Play Sandbox project where she is creating a product for children to record and store their most precious memories and stories.

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