Sheffield Hallam Coronavirus Appeal reaches £100k milestone

22nd May 2020

An appeal launched last month to support students who are facing unprecedented challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic has raised more than £100,000.

The appeal has so far raised £106,895 from 225 donations from staff, alumni, partners and friends of the University and its students from across the UK and around the world, including as far as Malaysia, Hong Kong and California.

Donations have ranged from £5 to £50,000 from one anonymous donor.

The University’s Student Hardship Fund has seen a huge surge in demand, with approximately a years’ worth of applications in just five weeks. The fund has supported more than 2,500 students so far, totalling around £650,000.

The Coronavirus Appeal is helping to raise additional funds to ensure every student has the financial support they need and can access the equipment and resources needed to continue and complete their studies.

Support includes bursaries ensuring students can meet their essential living costs despite job losses and increased financial pressures that students and families are currently facing. Alongside hardship support the University has also distributed 1,300 food vouchers to help students most in need to be able to buy necessities.

Master’s Nursing student Kayleigh Mole said:

“I received a food voucher and a Hallam Hardship Fund payment; the money ensured my rent payment was made and I had money for food whilst waiting for my bursary. I was struggling to keep up with bill payments and purchasing minimal food, I was stressed and didn’t know how I would survive without the fund.

"I am so very grateful to the Hallam financial team for the support, it relieved the worries and stress I had whilst awaiting a bursary payment and it ensured that as a family we had food on the table and our essential bills were paid.”

Final year primary education student Laura said:

“When coronavirus hit and we were told not to go out, I had an assignment and my dissertation to complete, alongside having a 15-year-old daughter who needed the laptop we had to complete her studies. I would usually use the library facilities for quiet space and resources but that all closed too, I could not visualise a way that I couple complete my studies at the same time as staying calm and allowing my daughter to complete hers.

"I received financial support to purchase a laptop and internet security to enable me to complete my course, and a £25 food voucher. I will be forever grateful that we were helped to stay on our feet at a time I could feel the ground crumbling beneath me.”

Matt Parkin, head of student funding at Sheffield Hallam, said:

“While the immediate issues around remote learning have largely been resolved, we are anticipating a surge in requests for support from students over the summer. Many of our students ordinarily rely on jobs to pay their rent and food bills over the summer and it is looking increasingly likely that this will no longer be possible.

"Of particular concern to us are students who manage a disability, student parents, care leavers, students who are estranged from their family and students from low income households. Also flagged as a priority area are final year students who are leaving university with little or no support networks. The University will provide what support it can to students over the summer months and any additional donations to the appeal are gratefully received.”

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