Donations transform lives through education
Kirsty is a first year studying Human Biology at Sheffield Hallam University. She is also a scholar who has been supported thanks to the kindness of our Hallam Fund donor community.
Kirsty has worked for many years in nursing and has been the main provider in her household. As a mother of four children, one of which with a learning disability, she has always had to work very hard to provide and support them. After a short illness last year and some time in hospital, she reflected on her career and what she had achieved. She decided she wanted to keep on learning. Although Kirsty realised this, she had anxieties about being a mature student going to university, and anticipated she would need to work full time on top of her studies to manage her financial commitments, which would have led to her burning out in the long run.
Kirsty was awarded a Hallam Fund scholarship which was a massive relief and has made a real difference for her and her family. It has bolstered her self-esteem and confidence.
‘I am the oldest on the course by 25 years and I am not very technologically minded. Thanks to my scholarship, I now have a laptop and textbooks that are helping me improve every day. It has been amazing, as ordinarily I would have had to sign up for lots of shifts to be able to purchase such items. This would have impacted greatly upon my time, ability to study and sustain my caring responsibilities with my children. It’s allowed my life to be so much easier than it potentially could have been. I hope you realise just how much of an impact this help can have upon somebody. It has changed my study experience massively; it has allowed me to not lose myself in the whole experience. I am very humbled and grateful.’
Studying on this course has also brought Kirsty closer to her children. Her youngest is very scientific, and thanks to the degree, Kirsty has been able to answer more of his questions. As for her relationships with her daughter, with Kirsty’s daughter also studying at Sheffield Hallam, the shared experience has brought them closer together.
Kirsty is currently enjoying her studies at the University and is looking forward to getting the exams behind her and consolidating existing knowledge. Having nursing qualifications and a thirst for knowledge, Kirsty is considering moving into teaching in the future.
Last year we welcomed more students like Kirsty from neighbourhoods with the lowest progression to higher education than any other university in the country, and many were the first generation of their families to go to university too. This meant the demand for scholarships was higher than ever. Thanks to the support of our alumni community, we can continue to grow the scholarship provision and help those most in need.