Catz student receives Vice-Chancellor’s Social Impact Award

Catz student Esthy Hung has been awarded a Vice-Chancellor’s Social Impact Award in recognition of her work to support those with eating disorders.

The awards are presented to a small number of University of Oxford students who show exceptional achievement and commitment to positive social change.

Esthy has been recognised for her role as co-founder of End the Eating Disorder Crisis Now, a campaign that lobbies to improve access to healthcare for those affected by eating disorders.

Esthy and the campaign have met with a number of MPs, including Government ministers, and have an ongoing working relationship with the Department of Health and Social Care’s mental health policy team. They have also developed links with various senior NHS professionals and with the Royal College of Psychiatry.

Esthy took all this on while completing her studies at Catz: a four-year Physics degree, which she completed this summer.

Speaking of her award, Esthy said: ‘Eating disorders are more prevalent than ever, affecting 16% of adults according to the 2019 Health Survey for England. I have suffered traumatic and distressing hospital admissions myself, and have lost people I know because they have been unable to receive the right treatment – so this topic is really close to me.

‘This award recognises what eating disorders are: silent, deadly illnesses which have a devastating impact on sufferers, loved ones and society in terms of lost hours of work and the need for healthcare.

‘Our campaign has created a UK-wide platform of supporters and government health policy change is closer to becoming reality.’

After a longlisting and then shortlisting, all nominees underwent an interview to determine the eventual winners of the prize. Esthy was picked, alongside two others, in the Undergraduate and Integrated Masters category. Three fellow Oxford students were also chosen in the Graduate category.

Esthy is staying on at Oxford to read for a DPhil in condensed matter physics, and will continue her work in the campaign.

Find out more about End the Eating Disorder Crisis Now.