Supporting students when times get hard

Midwifery graduate, Shereen

Every year the King’s hardship fund, in part funded by donations from generous alumni, helps support students who find themselves in financial difficulties. We caught up with Midwifery graduate Shereen, to find out what support from the fund meant for her.

I really wanted to study in London, especially King’s as it is such a good university to go to for midwifery and nursing. I am from Eastbourne originally and I felt homesick at the start, but now London definitely feels like home.

My parents saved up money for me and I saved up money from working in a supermarket before coming to university but it still wasn’t enough. As an NHS student I was lucky enough to get the bursary but because of that I got less funding in general.

In the first year I was working 12 hour shifts at my midwifery placement. My commute was also very expensive. I was paying a lot in travel and because of the long hours and the long commute, it was hard to organise a job around it. I ended up using up all my savings and when it got to the end of the year and I didn’t have any money to pay my rent.

I remember applying to the Hardship Fund, it was really horrible. I was writing my statement in tears. I heard back and they had given me some money, which was enough to sort me out for the rest of the year and was so happy!

I applied to the Hardship Fund again in my final year. Normal courses finish in May or June, but my course goes all the way through to September because of placements. This meant that my loan wasn’t going to stretch to the end of my year. I got a job, but I was worried about having to organise extra shifts over the summer just to see me through. The Hardship Fund meant I could focus on my placements rather than worrying about money.

I got to a point where without the hardship funding I would have had to drop out, I couldn’t afford to stay here and I couldn’t afford to commute either. The funding has 100 per cent improved my studies. Not having the financial stress and being able to dedicate myself to studying and placement, rather than needing to work as well, has made such a massive difference. Thank you to all the alumni that have donated.

I am going to take a bit of time off and then I am hoping to apply to King’s College Hospital to be a midwife. London really has become my home.

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