Scholarships offer lifelines to estranged students
A scholarship can transform a student's life forever.
Donations to the Hallam Fund are supporting undergraduate scholarships which offer our most disadvantaged students the best opportunity to tap into their potential and excel in their studies, regardless of their financial circumstances or background. With the risk of dropping out exasperated for students who have already overcome significant barriers to reach university, a scholarship is a powerful tool for social mobility, helping the studies who stand to gain the most from university to succeed.
Sport Development with Coaching student, Tracy is one of our Hallam Fund scholars in her first year of study. Being estranged from her family and being from a minoritized ethnic community, she had to overcome significant hurdles just to get to university. Tracy always wanted to study at Sheffield Hallam University since she was in secondary school. The career she wanted required a degree and she was drawn to Sheffield. She aspired to become a sports development officer or work in women’s football. She also wanted to live beyond the confines of her household and have the freedom to express herself so that her mental health could improve.
However, practical issues like paying for and securing student accommodation was a challenge for Tracy. Not only did she not have enough money for a deposit, she also didn’t have a guarantor for her student house. To make matters worse, she also couldn’t work due to her declining mental health. Without the extra support of loved ones, she truly felt alone and struggled to stay on top of rent and bills.
Thankfully, the scholarship gave Tracy the security and sustenance to make the most of what university can offer, regardless of her personal circumstances.
‘I felt relieved when I first heard I got a scholarship. I had rent coming up and I was stressing about that and then the scholarship funding came just in time for me to pay it. With the funding I could focus on other things rather than worry about how I was going to pay my rent.’
Not only did the scholarship pay for rent and her weekly food shops, it also instilled confidence as it allowed Tracy the headspace to work on her personal development and studies, instead of worrying about how she was going to pay her bills.
Tracy commends the above and beyond support she has received from the university. Her lecturers and all the support staff at the university have supported her in coping with her mental health difficulties, alongside helping her submit assignments on time.
Outside of improving her health and wellbeing, she also enjoys her course and all its modules. Tracy is passionate about how her course focuses on aspects relating to sports that a lot of people turn a blind eye to, it brings it to the forefront and challenges them to find ways to solve those problems. She is incredibly grateful to the Hallam Fund donors who have made her university experience so enjoyable.
‘I’m so thankful to the donors. It made my university experience go from being quite stressful to being how I feel like it should be. Without the funding I wouldn’t have been able to keep my student housing and obviously with me not being in contact with my family, it would have made my living situation so hectic that I wouldn’t have been able to consistently go to university, study and see people. It’s helped me stress less which has helped me improve in all areas of my life. I can focus better on my studies. I am not worried about more things that I need to be. It’s helped me a lot.’