Alex Moreno is an operating department practice student and working towards a career in NHS hospital theatres. In January 2016 she was nominated to receive a bursary, donated by a Sheffield Hallam graduate, to help relieve her everyday financial pressures.
At just 10 years old Alex fled to Britain from Angola with her auntie. Throughout her teens she lived in London and Manchester, and experienced time in care.
Alex applied for several universities after achieving qualifications in health and social care at Loreto College in Manchester.
'I've always felt very welcome and supported here. Hallam couldn't have done more to help me, from when I arrived off the train in Sheffield for the first time, throughout the interviews for my course, and now day-to-day as a student.'
The £500 Talksign bursary was added to Alex's SHUcard and can be spent on her everyday student expenses.
'I have dyslexia and the bursary means that I can now print 10-page documents and the marking criteria. I find physical copies easier to read and highlight compared to on a screen.
'I am truly grateful for the bursary! Last term when my friends were going to the gym I couldn’t afford to join them but now I can pay for sessions. And after a two hour lecture I can now just grab a drink and some fruit and feel refreshed for my next seminar.'
Alex's course is 60% practical and she spends much of her time on placement. The bursary can also be put towards bus passes for her commute. Last year she worked in anaesthetics at the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield, and will be spending six weeks at Sheffield Children's Hospital this term.
The Talksign bursary supports undergraduate students who have come to university from non-traditional backgrounds. Talksign is a social enterprise founded by a Sheffield Hallam graduate who's experienced the care system, both as a care leaver and a foster parent. Based in Sheffield and Lincoln, Talksign provide affordable communications training and resources for people working with children and young people with individual needs. Typically they offer this service free of charge to foster carers and adopters.
Donations to the Hallam Fund provide financial support to improve social inclusion and ensure that family breakdown does not act as a barrier to education, opportunities and success. You can help provide crucial funding to cover living expenses and one-off grants to allow disadvantaged students to spend more time on their studies without the worry of additional financial burden.