Coming together to help Sheffield students meet the cost of living

In the current economic climate, growing numbers of students face a worrying financial outlook. As a generous Sheffield alumni community, your amazing response to a recent Cost of Living fundraising appeal is already helping some of the hardest-hit.

The autumn 2023 appeal showcased several eye-opening stories and personal contributions from current undergraduates.

One such story came from Joe, a second year Music student who commutes to campus by train from York. Due to his Mum’s ongoing illness, Joe still lives in the family home so he can continue to care for her as much as possible. Unfortunately, this means he doesn’t have the time to work a part-time job, meaning that affording the rising cost of living while studying poses a significant challenge.

As with all of the first-hand accounts you heard, Joe’s story cast much-needed light on the particularly difficult situations that some students face. It highlighted the disproportionate impact of financial hardship on specific individuals, and powerfully illustrated the huge strain that money worries can impose across all aspects of daily student life.

As ever, the Sheffield alumni response was similarly powerful. More than 600 former Sheffield students came forward to collectively raise an impressive total of over £126,000 - and their kind gifts are now supporting even more students like Joe.

In addition to providing individual hardship grants to cover the rising costs of travel, bills, rent and food, the impact of your gifts goes far deeper.

Your support is providing more undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships than ever before. You're helping low-income students participate in clubs and societies, improving their university experience. And, crucially, your kindness is helping to identify and engage Sheffield’s most vulnerable students, ensuring they’re accessing all the support they’re entitled to.

Above all, Sheffield alumni are easing the huge mental and emotional strain of making ends meet while studying.

Reflecting on the appeal response from Sheffield alumni, Paul Rodgers, Lead for Student Experience, Diversity and Inclusion, writes:

Thanks to your help, my team can do even more to make life easier for those with the most to overcome. We're working tirelessly to administer emergency hardship grants, provide mental health support, and deliver items like kitchenware and bedding to those starting university without these essentials.

Your generosity is enabling all this to happen. Thank you again for answering our call for help. I am incredibly moved by how many people care about our students."

Paul Rodgers

Lead for Student Experience, Diversity and Inclusion

Together, Sheffield students of the past are helping exceptional young people realise their full potential at university. This is something that all talented students deserve, no matter their background or household income.

Thank you Sheffield alumni.

To find out more about how alumni donations make a difference to projects across the university and beyond, visit


Interested in making a gift?

Donate here