Reading Alumni Donates For Student Hardship

More than £62,000 has been donated by University of Reading alumni to help students in need of extra financial support.

Donations to the Student Support Fund have helped students who have found themselves in urgent need during the pandemic. Many students rely on paid work to make ends meet. But since the start of the pandemic those vital part-time job opportunities have disappeared. For some students, family circumstances have also changed due to the pandemic, so there is no family safety net.

The Student Support Fund provides emergency grants to students in financial crisis; when they have run out of other options and dropping out of university is a very real possibility.

Edd Pickering, Head of Fundraising at the University of Reading, said:

“Despite all the challenges that our students have faced this year, they have proven that they are resilient, resourceful, and dedicated to their education. However, for some, the financial toll of COVID-19 has been substantial and with the future still unclear, many do not know how they will support themselves for the rest of their time at university.

“Money worries can impact on academic performance and be a tipping point for wellbeing concerns, so it’s more vital than ever that help is on-hand. The Student Support Fund is there to offer that help when it is needed the most.”

James, a student going through financial hardship said: “I lost both of the part-time jobs that were funding my final year of studies due to the pandemic. The Student Support Fund has helped me immensely. I am now able to not worry about paying my rent, and instead, focus on my studies and completing my degree.”

The donations were made as part of the annual Summer Telephone Fundraising Campaign, which runs over four weeks and sees current students making calls to the alumni community. The students chat with them about their time at Reading, update them on some of the vital projects at the University, and seek their support for the Student Support Fund.

Hundreds of graduates generously contributed to the Student Support Fund – either through single donations, or by setting up a recurring monthly gift – ensuring consistent long-term support for students in need.

Pickering continued: “The University is extremely grateful for the generosity of our alumni community during these challenging times. Thanks to this support, the University can continue to provide vital support to students facing unexpected financial crisis next year.”

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