For students returning to campus, this year’s crisis is far from over.
Today’s students rely on paid work to make ends meet. But for so many of our community their internships and summer jobs were cancelled, and their part-time employment options disappeared overnight because of COVID-19.
Paying the rent and finding money for essentials is now so much harder.
And for some, that challenge is far greater because their family circumstances have also been heavily impacted by the pandemic. Their parents are now out of work too, so there is no family safety net.
For huge numbers of students, their options for supporting their studies have changed and they face more uncertainty ahead.
The Student Support Fund provides emergency grants to students in unexpected financial crisis; when they have run out of other options and dropping out of University is a very real possibility.
At the start of lockdown, in March and April this year, we saw a doubling of emergency requests for help. Those requests continue to come in daily, from students in desperate situations caused by the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have never experienced anything like it.
Your support is needed now more than ever to ensure we can continue to help students in hardship.
“I applied to the Student Support Fund as I had lost both my part-time jobs that were funding my studies. The money I received has helped me immensely. I am now able to not worry about paying my rent and instead focus on my studies and completing my degree.”Undergraduate student, April 2020
Whilst social distancing restrictions remain in place, a good laptop and reliable broadband are more vital than ever. Yet we know that not all students can afford these essentials. A new Digital Support Fund has been set up to help the most disadvantaged students participate in online teaching and access resources, providing grants of up to £500.
1 in 4 of our students come from a very low income household and many are now desperately worried about the months ahead.
Reading students are intelligent, resilient and resourceful, but they have already exhausted their back-up plans.
Here’s how you can make a difference:
- £2,000 will get a student in crisis back on their feet again
- £1,000 will cover the cost of an emergency flight home for an international student
- £500 will fund a Digital Support Grant for a student from a very low income household, enabling them to buy a laptop and have full access to online learning resources
- £450 will pay a month’s rent for a student
- £80 will ensure a student gets a copy of the essential core text book on their reading list
- £25 will help a student with their weekly grocery shop.