The Venus Awards celebrate successful working women in the UK.

Inspirational alumnae reach Venus Awards Devon final

Alumnae Samantha Durston (BSc Mathematics, Statistics & Operational Research 2006) and Cathy Debenham (BA Economics 1984) have made the final of the NatWest Venus Awards Devon 2013 in three categories.

The Venus Awards were founded to celebrate and recognise the achievements of successful working women across the UK. The Devon finals are to be held at the University’s Great Hall on 5 September.

Cathy has the honour of making the finals in two categories, ‘Inspirational Women of the Year ‘and ‘Green Business of the Year‘ for YouGen Ltd, the renewable energy website she launched in 2009. Last year YouGen Ltd was recognised with the ‘Green Game Changer Award’ at the WWF International Green Awards.

Cathy said “We have worked really hard in what is a very difficult market, to help people to work out what is the best way to save energy or generate their own from renewable sources, so to have our work recognised in this way is a nice reward for all of us at YouGen.”

Sam, a Project Manager with Thomson Reuters, was nominated by her employers for the commitment she shows to volunteering. In addition to charity and social events, Sam organised a Project Management UnConference held at the University in April 2013, and is a member of the team working to improve the health and wellbeing of her colleagues.

Sam said on making the final, “Just being nominated has been a great experience as it has made me face a few of my own fears, including making a film about myself, and going up against others in a public vote. I have really enjoyed meeting the other nominees and even if I don’t win I have the awards night to look forward to, which is back at the University.”

For information on the NatWest Venus Awards Devon 2013 visit

For information on YouGen Ltd

Date: 19 August 2013

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