Donations enrich university experience for students
Getting involved in sports clubs, societies, volunteering, and other extra-curricular activities is a great way for students to meet new people, enjoy their time at university, improve their wellbeing and ensure they strike a healthy balance between studying and their social life.
Donations to the Hallam Fund are supporting students to have the opportunity to get involved in life-enriching opportunities beyond their studies. The Sir Michael and Lady Morven Heller Bursary financially support students to pursue an interest or a hobby that is completely outside of their area of academic study that they are passionate about. Since last year, the Hallam Fund has matched Heller donations to double the number of students that can be supported.
Fine Art student, Lauren, was supported with a Heller Bursary and received an award of £1,300 to help her continue her passion for ballet.
Lauren has several health conditions which make ballet difficult for her. However, she loves ballet and believes that if she puts the time and energy into practising, she can overcome her challenges and bring joy to her life. The bursary helped Lauren purchase pointe shoes and pay for specialist lessons and courses.
"I am happier when I dance, so overall it has made my life better knowing that I can have ballet lessons with teachers that understand my health problems so I can dance safely. It has made my day-to-day life easier, as it is like having a physio and ballet teacher in one, so I am in less pain after my sessions.
Without the bursary, I would not have been able to continue ballet to the same extent as I have been as I couldn't have funded it myself. I have found incredible teachers who help with my medical conditions and make sure I do not push myself or injure myself, as well as being able to take part in opportunities and auditions. I managed to get on a summer intensive course which was so beneficial, and this has allowed me to make friends who also do ballet worldwide. It's an opportunity I never thought I would have. This truly means the world to me, thank you very much."
Lauren's proudest achievement this year was being able to audition as Giselle, which is something she never thought would be possible. Next year she plans on learning a variation to dance for her grandparents and hopes she can improve her techniques and stretches.
Seth is also one of many students that were supported by the Heller Bursary. Seth studies BA Social Work, however, he is also passionate about art. He was awarded £815 to turn his passion for drawing into animation design.
"Having financial security and the encouragement from my benefactors has provided me with a creative clarity and peace of mind, to carry out one of my lifelong dreams."
Seth used the funds to purchase digital animation equipment and to take a course in animation.
"I have enjoyed drawing for a long time, and I am so grateful for this opportunity to continue with this while I study to become a qualified social worker. I hope that one day I will be able to use my skills to support people struggling with mental health difficulties and I know that the skills I am learning will set me in a great position in the future. Thank you."
Thanks to the kindness of our donors, students like Lauren and Seth can explore their interests and have a vibrant university experience that is not constrained by their financial situations.