Donations from alumni and friends helping student activities become accessible to all
For the first time, your gifts have given individual students the support they need to take part in clubs, societies and volunteering.
For students from low-income backgrounds, getting involved in student activities can be difficult. Almost 1 in 2 students are put off from joining a sports club competitively due to the expense, which can end up costing hundreds of pounds per year. But this academic year, your gifts have contributed to helping 220 individual students to get involved alongside their peers.
Donations have also helped more clubs and societies to welcome new members this year. Starting university is daunting, but joining in with student activities helps new students to settle in, make friends and have once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
That’s why grants are so important, like the one that the Scouts and Guides society received. Thanks to donations from alumni and friends, they were able to buy a set of tents, which they used on an expedition across Europe. The society previously had a limited number of tents that were too heavy for hiking expeditions and couldn’t accommodate their growing number of members.
Having the new lightweight tents meant that the society could offer their members a low-cost and exciting trip, that was more affordable for all. They travelled on foot and by train from Vienna, through Bratislava and on to Budapest, earning them their ‘Explorer Belt’ award from the Scout Association. With their new tents, the society will be able to run many more expeditions in future, including locally and overseas, meaning more students will be able to take part in these trips and experience new cultures.
Grants to student groups also help them to develop skills for their future careers. A group of medical students were able to organise the first ever Obstetrics and Gynaecology National Conference in Sheffield. Not only was organising the conference a great experience, but the students who attended also got to take part in hands-on workshops, practising their suturing skills and learning more about important issues such as stillbirth prevention.
Donations have also given students the opportunity to represent the University in competitions at the highest levels. In July, the Table Tennis Club were able to compete in the European Student Games in Portugal thanks to donations that funded their entry fees. Although they didn’t manage to take home a medal, the team gained invaluable experience of competing against the very best teams in Europe, whilst representing Sheffield and British Universities. Based on their success and reputation in the sport, the team is also helping to attract elite table tennis players to Sheffield for their studies, so they will continue to go from strength to strength.
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