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Living through giving: Supporting the community and spreading the love

COVID-19 Heroes.

While the Indian government under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Modi has taken a “prevention is better than cure” approach in India to flatten the curve of Coronavirus, Priyanka Amit Shah (Marketing Strategy and Innovation, 2018) told us about the devastating impact the current crisis is having on daily-wage earners and her efforts to support them.

Priyanka said: “Most of the citizens that are employed in the informal sector such as the daily-wage earners do not enjoy the benefits of sick/paid leave and lack any kind of insurance. They also, unfortunately, do not have access to services like a pension, with very few possessing bank accounts. They earn in cash and are the sole breadwinners of their families, feeding four to five children on an average. Not to forget, the migrant workers and the floating population who are also suffering tremendously. They are stranded and have nothing to fall back upon. They fear that hunger will kill them before coronavirus does.”

Feeling grateful for having access to food, shelter, family and friends, Priyanka explains that she can’t rest until she gives back to her community: “My family and I are active members of the Rotary Club of Mumbai Queens Necklace and we have been contributing to sponsor daily meals for the families of A K Munshi School of Special Children in Mumbai. The Club has also been working in partnership with Annamrita Cares – an initiative against COVID-19 to help serve 6,647,073 meals across India. To date, the Club has helped sponsor 130,000 meals per day during the lockdown. We have also been providing protective gear and testing kits to the JJ Hospital in Mumbai.

With many of the population in India in the senior citizen’s category, Priyanka and her family have been volunteering to help elderly people with purchasing groceries and medicines or even running unavoidable errands to minimise their exposure to contamination and any risk on their lives. Some of their life-saving work has been highlighted in the Hindustan Times – India’s leading daily newspaper.

Being a Director at Letters of Love, a youth-led international non-profit organisation based in the United States of America, Priyanka has been working on launching a new campaign called #DearHeroes.

Priyanka explains: “The #DearHeroes global letter-writing campaign is our effort at extending a hand in gratitude to the thousands of medical staff who are at the frontline, risking their lives and waging this battle at the forefront. A letter of love is to let them know that we see them as human beings, we admire their resilience and that we are endlessly grateful. A letter is a humble attempt at spreading smiles to those who deserve it the most. It is a token of hope, personalised with a warm message which is written by hand by our team of volunteers in the native language of the receiver, doodled with colours and signed off in your name.

“After sending more than 50,000 letters to refugee children around the world, today, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are refocusing our attention to write letters to the Heroes of the Hour – Doctors and Nurses. To thank our heroes, one letter at a time!”

Priyanka concludes with this very inspirational statement: “Every day, I wake up with a thought that today is not just another day. Today, I’ll create something beautiful. Today, I’ll make a difference. Today, I’ll give back. I’ve always been a believer that we are not meant to bear what we find unpleasant, we are meant to change it.”

Delivering personal protective equipment to those on the frontline

COVID-19 Heroes.

When the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically spread across the UK in just a matter of weeks, Chair of Harrow Carers Manoj Varsani (Modular Executive MBA, 2017 and Computer Science with Artificial Intelligence, 2007) experienced firsthand the huge and critical impact of the personal protective equipment (PPE) shortage. As the founder of a fintech company called Hammock, Manoj enlisted the support of his co-founder Marco Ferrari (Modular Executive MBA, 2017), and the rest of their team to ensure NHS organisations and charities receive the PPE supplies they urgently require at a fair price. As such SOS Supplies was born in just 24 hours!

Since Hammock set up this new initiative, SOS Supplies, the team has recruited over 20 volunteers, which has enabled them to work with more than 150 organisations and deliver over 400,000 pieces of PPE to various charities and organisations. To support this work, SOS Supplies has completed its first fundraiser of £5,000 and is in the process of running a second one in partnership with Harrow Carers to raise £15,000. All the money raised is being spent on PPE for organisations working with SOS Supplies, so if you would like to and are able to, please do donate.

Marco (left) said: “SOS Supplies complements our professional efforts by helping us feel that we can do something to help with the COVID-19 pandemic and that we don’t have to just accept the current reality as is.

“The stories we hear from the organisation we’re helping – from large established charities like Marie Curie to small local groups – always bring an injection of positive energy and hope in our day-to-day.”

Manoj concluded: “We’re very lucky that Hammock is a digital business and provides services that can be offered despite the COVID-19 outbreak. Our company is still very young, so there is always a lot to do, but we’re finding that this helps us keep our minds focused and reduces the risk of falling victim to anxiety during this complex time.”

A huge thank you to Manoj and Marco for sharing their story and for all the incredible work they are doing to ensure frontline staff have the PPE they truly need! Follow the team on Twitter to find out more.

Alumni recognised in 2020 New Year Honours list

Alumni Stories.

Each year the New Year’s Honours list recognises the achievements and services of people across the UK, from all walks of life. Alongside many famous names, such as Olivia Newton-John and cricketer Ben Stokes OBE, City is delighted to share that seven of our alumni have been recognised for their commitment to various services, including healthcare, inclusiveness, homelessness, entrepreneurship, music and dance.

Congratulations to all of the alumni recognised!

Here are your City, University of London alumni on the New Year Honours list:

  • Mrs Jeanette A Howe (MHM Health Management, 1993)
    • OBE for services to Pharmacy
    • Howe has been one of the most influential figures in shaping community pharmacy for the past two decades. She was a major influence behind the 2004-05 ‘new contract’ and was the lead responsible officer in the Department of Health for the Rebalancing Medicines Legislation and Pharmacy Regulation Programme. Howe was a lead government negotiator for the most recent round of community pharmacy contractual reforms which saw £208 million cut from the pharmacy contractual reforms. She is also credited as being largely responsible for the creation of the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education in 1991, following the publication of the ‘Promoting Better Health’ white paper in 1987, and was instrumental in managing its survival through subsequent NHS re-organisations and changes of government.
  • Professor Dr Jane Melton (PhD Nursing, 2010)
    • MBE for services to Mental Health and People with Learning Disabilities
    • Professor Melton has worked with people who have learning disabilities and people experiencing mental illness for the majority of her 30-year NHS career. Her exceptional service and outstanding contribution to her profession was recognised in 2012 when she was awarded a Fellowship of the royal College of Occupational Therapists. Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust Chief Executive Paul Roberts said: “This honour is richly deserved. Jane has made a huge contribution to improving the lives of people who use our services, as well as furthering developments in therapy and recovery-focused programmes for people with mental health and learning disability conditions locally, nationally and internationally.”
  • Ms Polly (Mary) J Neate (PG Dip Periodical Journalism, 1989)
    • CBE for services to Homelessness
    • Neate has led on public policy, campaigns, research, communications, brand, fundraising and the relaunch of one of the UK’s largest charities, Action for Children. As well as leading all the organisation’s external influencing activities, she developed organisational strategy and led significant cultural change and staff engagement programmes. Neate is a journalist by profession with her last job as a journalist being editor of Community Care, a major weekly title for professionals in children’s services and social care, which under her control included two magazines as well as web-based products and large-scale events. She won several awards as an editor, both for journalism and campaigning. She has been a member of several advisory and working groups for government and opposition. Neate was recently voted one of the Top 30 charity CEOs on Twitter.
  • Ms Judith Palmer (MA Cultural Management, 2009)
    • MBE for services to Dance
    • Palmer is the CEO African Heritage UK and an independent dance artist with an expertise in African dance. Her specialism is analysing and teaching the forms she worked with Adzido Pan-African dance Ensemble as Principal dancer. Palmer was Chair of the Board of the Association of Dance of the African Diaspora for six years and spent 14 years with the IRIE. She is currently running African Heritage UK which is a unique agency that delivers masterclasses, technique training, and mentoring for artists working within the genre.
  • Mr Michael Plaut (Marketing MBA, 1986)
    • OBE for services to Business and Entrepreneurship
    • Plaut is the Managing Director of Northmace & Hendon, a leading hospitality company founded by his father and fellow City alumnus Rudi Plaut CBE (Civil Engineering, 1954). Between 2016 and 2018, he was the Chairman of CBI Wales, helping to make Wales more prosperous. Plaut has advised the Shadow Cabinet on SME business policy and has regularly commented on business and economic matters on both national and regional television and radio. He chaired and co-authored a report for a Welsh think tank titled “Wales: time for a realistic perspective” and the CBI’s influential report “Facing the Future”. He has also worked as investment banker, involved in capital raising, flotations, and latterly mergers & acquisitions. Michael is a Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Marketing and The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, and is a Trustee of The Lady Tangye Charitable Trust.
  • Mr Harry Virdee (Mathematical Sciences, 2004)
    • BEM for services to the BAME community and to Diversity and Inclusion
    • Virdee won the award for his charitable work in his capacity as trustee for the City Sikhs Foundation. He is a leading supporter and advocate for City Sikhs since it was founded in October 2010 as a network for British Sikh professionals. His vision, guidance and advise has seen it develop into one of the leading Sikh organisations in the country with more than 7,000 individual members. Throughout his life, he has championed diversity and fairness. He also has worked with a number of charities to raise awareness amongst the BAME community on issues such as promoting living organ donations and bone marrow transplants.
  • Dr Roy Wales (MA Arts Administration, 1979)
    • BEM for services to Choral Music
    • Wales is well known for creating and directing the annual Spring Music Festival and Rottingdean Arts, which promotes musical events on the Terraces Stage and in other village venues. He has directed more than 30 music and arts festivals in the past. With more than 50 years of extensive international experience as a conductor and in educational and arts management, he has been the director of many music schools and has sang at the Royal Opera House, while being the conductor of many orchestras and choirs. He is currently Music Director of the English Concert Orchestra, English Concert Singers and Chorus and The London Chorale.

Looking for something Scandinavian, stylish and sustainable? Introducing DELINDH!

Alumni Stories.

Noticing a gap in the market for a men’s premium dress shirt brand, Anton Lindh (MSc Finance with a Specialism in Corporate Finance, 2012) has launched his own high-quality fashion business with his girlfriend, Charlotta, which comes at an affordable price. Through the art of craftsmanship and the aim to be more sustainable, DELINDH offers a range of shirts with a Scandinavian style, which are completely made from materials approved by the largest cotton sustainability programme in the world, Better Cotton Initiative.

Find out more about Anton and DELINDH here:

Can you tell me about your time at Cass?

Through being granted the Dr. Tech. Marcus Wallenberg Scholarship, I was given the opportunity to study at Cass Business School on the MSc Finance program (class of 2011/2012). It was a truly amazing and rewarding time, both academically and personally. My time in London was very enriching in so many ways and I really enjoyed my time at Cass by getting the opportunity to learn from some of the best professors and students in the industry, as well as making friends for life. Academically, I very much appreciated the practical orientation of the courses and where professors came in with real life experience into the classroom, which made the studies much more vibrant and interesting for me as a student. I also felt my studies gave me a head start in my career and learnings for life, which I brought into my entrepreneurial path when co-founding my company DELINDH.

What happened after you graduated?

After Cass, I went into banking (the “mandatory” way like many of my fellow classmates) and did M&A for two years, followed by working at an investment fund, Proventus Capital Partners, for three years, both located in Stockholm. Following my enrolment in the financial industry I felt I wanted to try out what is was like at a real company and went into a mixed investor relations/business development role at a fast-growing gaming company. However, I always – since before and after my time at Cass – felt that I was going to become an entrepreneur one day and start my own company.

How did the idea of DELINDH come about?

During my time in the financial industry and as a major consumer of men’s dress shirts, I really felt that this segment was very divided and old fashioned – both in terms of the product offering and go to market model. Either there were low cost men’s dress shirt brands with low price tags and a quality level that really wasn’t made to last and wearing these shirts did not give the right feeling of being on top of the game for a workday. On the other hand, there were a number of premium brands, with great quality, feel and slick design but which came at a cost and a very high price tags, e.g. £180-200 for a white twill shirt, which made filling up the shirt wardrobe a very expensive (recurring) project. Both segments were also very old fashioned in their offering models, having a huge reliance on numerous middlemen in sales and production.

I was happy to share this view of the market with my girlfriend Charlotta, with a background from the textile and fashion industry. We saw a gap for a men’s premium dress shirt brand with a truly high-quality feel, which could focus on craftsmanship and offering a really simple and affordable process for the customer.

Therefore, we decided to sell our newly refurbished apartment in downtown Stockholm and quit our high paying jobs to go down the entrepreneurial (low cost living) life and to start our shirt brand DELINDH. Our idea, which we later came to materialize by launching DELINDH during the Christmas of 2019, was to offer high-quality and sustainable premium men’s dress shirts made with fair working conditions in Europe and to create shirts that were made to last a long time. A premium dress shirt in a modern Scandinavian design and at an accessible price point with sales only through our own e-commerce channel to deliver as much value as possible to the end customer. Our idea has always been to be very considerate by partnering up with only the best manufacturing partners in Europe with the right experience and understanding of the craftsmanship of making a men’s premium dress shirts. There are really only a handful of these manufacturing companies in the whole world and all are located in Europe. In addition, we have also been very selective with our materials and only used BCI (Better Cotton Initiative) certified long staple cotton from the US. All to deliver a sustainable premium men’s dress shirt with the highest possible quality and feeling for the end customer – all at an accessible price and only online.

What have been the biggest challenges?

I cannot point to one single obstacle, but things take time and are costlier than expected. In addition, there are many “unknowns”. Charlotta and I were starting a business for the first time ever and as it was a new venture, we had no external retailers or brands to rely on. Excel and spreadsheets are great tools (which I used a lot in the financial industry) but in real life, other parameters will also come into play and affect your strategy and operations – ultimately taking you more time than expected. Thus, facing challenges and overcoming them also prepares one better for future obstacles, in my opinion.

What has been the most rewarding experience?

Everything! As an entrepreneur you are facing so many challenges, ups and downs and different “roles” within the company, from logistics, product development to customer service. So, the most rewarding feeling is the positive responses and feedback from our customers (and all other supporters), which is the ultimate proof that our idea and business model is working – a truly great feeling! We have been very fortunate as DELINDH has had a great start and numerous customers have returned in such a short time span, which of course has been very rewarding.

Do you have any advice for anyone looking to follow in your footsteps?

This might come across as a bit cliché but just do it! Life is too short to wait for the perfect moment or timing for your idea. You must try your idea in real life to assess if it is working or not, as in the end the customer will decide – in a more fiercely competitive, fast phased and changing landscape than ever before.

I have never had such a steep learning curve before and I personally felt prepared by both my studies at Cass and the work experience I had had prior to co-founding DELINDH.

Thank you to Anton for sharing his success with us! Visit DELINDH for more information or check it out on Facebook and Instagram

Cass graduate secures place on prestigious Schwarzman Scholars programme

Alumni Stories.

Congratulations to Alexander Scharrer (BSc Investment and Financial Risk Management, 2016) on being named as one of the Schwarzman Scholars for its Class of 2021. Schwarzman Scholars is designed to prepare graduates to build stronger relationships between China and a rapidly changing world, and to address the most pressing challenges of the 21st Century.

Find out more about Alexander’s experience at Cass and his latest achievements here:

Can you tell me about your time at Cass?

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Cass. The practical nature of the degree prepared me well for my internships in the financial industry and eventually helped me secure a position at Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

During university, I also developed a strong passion for Technology, in particular Artificial Intelligence (AI). Cass gave me the opportunity to follow this passion and represent the university at European Tech conferences such as LeWeb in Paris. However, the best part of my experience at Cass were the friendships I have formed with other students and that I continue to have to this day.

What happened after you graduated?

Upon graduation, I joined Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) in London, where I have previously completed a summer internship. In my role as Retail Sales Analyst, I represented GSAM’s full product range and covered financial intermediaries such as banks, funds of funds, private banks and asset managers, primarily in Austria and Germany. At the same time, I continued my AI research and later volunteered for several AI societies in the UK and Austria.

My three years at Goldman have been an invaluable experience and I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with such a talented group of people. However, I also wanted to pursue postgraduate studies and thus made the difficult decision to leave my position at Goldman in July.

How did you get involved with the Schwarzman Scholars programme?

Given the importance of China in AI and virtually every other industry today, it has always been clear to me that I would like to gain first-hand experience in China. I truly believe that nowadays every student should have a fundamental understanding of China and its economy.

Through a former scholar, I discovered Schwarzman Scholars and was immediately convinced that it would be the ideal programme for my professional aspirations. Inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship, it is the first programme that was designed to respond to the geopolitical challenges of the 21st century. The scholarship is anchored in a one-year Master’s degree in Global Affairs at Tsinghua University and focuses on China, global affairs and leadership. I applied over the summer and following an interview in London at the end of October, I was fortunate to be selected out of a total of over 4,700 applicants. I am very excited to become a part of this interdisciplinary, multi-cultural environment, where like-minded individuals can discuss ideas and help each other succeed. In the future I hope to serve as an intermediary between the European Union and China in order to facilitate discussions on AI.

Do you have any advice for anyone looking to follow in your footsteps?

I strongly recommend students to apply to the Schwarzman Scholars programme. The application process can be overwhelming at first but it challenges you to think about your personal as well as professional aspirations and you end up learning a lot about yourself. Apart from being one of the most prestigious graduate fellowships in the world, the Schwarzman Scholars programme is an amazing opportunity to learn more about China and study at Schwarzman College, at the heart of the Tsinghua University campus. You will be surrounded by a remarkable group of individuals with different academic backgrounds but the shared vision to have a positive impact in their respective fields.

Thank you to Alexander for sharing his story and good luck with the Schwarzman Scholars programme

Pain-less: Living with Pain, Finding Joy

Alumni Stories, Black History Month, Oct 2020.

Anne WelshNever one to shy away from breaking down barriers, Anne Welsh (MSc Investment Management, 2008) – who has established workplace practices for ethnic minorities and people with disabilities – has now penned her story detailing what it is like to live with an invisible illness. In Anne’s recently published memoir, Pain-less: Living with Pain, Finding Joy, she lets her readers know that life can still be wonderful, no matter the challenges they may face.

Find out more about Anne here:

Instagram: @ladyannewelsh
Facebook: ladyannewelsh
Twitter: @ladyannewelsh
YouTube: annewelsh

Can you tell me about your time at the Business School?

Attending the Business School was a wonderful experience. I was challenged by the study programme but felt a great sense of community with the professors and students. The support I received as a sickle cell student was tremendous, and this helped me achieve strong academic results regardless of how sickly I was.

The environment was very friendly and encouraging for studying. I made lots of friends from different backgrounds and still keep in touch with them. During my time at the Business School I found it very useful when I engaged with my fellow students. This helped me learn different viewpoints, exchange ideas and discuss issues that were taught in class. An important life learning for me is that there’s no shame in acknowledging when you need help and the staff were always accommodating and supportive.

What happened after you graduated?

The leap into work was not easy. However, doing my MSc at the Business School made applying for City jobs easier, as attending this prestigious school opened doors and gave me access to a much broader set of opportunities. During internships, I worked with colleagues in similar positions as myself and we were able to share understanding of issues and help each other grow.

Upon graduating in 2008, I was hired by Lehman Brothers Asset Management for the Investment Management Division. After Lehman, I continued in the same role for another investment company before taking time off to have my first child. I then focused on charity work as Chairperson of the Sickle Cell Society UK and other organisations before starting my own consultancy company focused on business development and branding in 2014.

In June 2019, I launched my memoir Pain-less: Living with Pain, Finding Joy and will continue to be an advocate for improving awareness of sickle cell disease and sharing experiences of how to improve quality of life while living with invisible illnesses.

How did Pain-Less come about?

Since I became an adult, I have felt it is my duty to raise awareness of the sickle cell condition. It is a testament to many dear friends that I have lost from the disease. Also, as I travelled to many locations in Africa and the Middle East where sickle cell is highly visible in the population, this reinforced my view that there was a need for a global voice for the disease.

Becoming an author was very time consuming, but I was driven to succeed. My book was developed over about five years and it took a focused hard push over a nine-month period to complete it. I turned to writing because I was passionate about my story and believed it was one that needed to be told. I had a difficult time growing up, being sick and not getting the help, which I needed. I always thought I was the cause of my pain and that suffering from having sickle cell would always keep me from the joy in life. At times, I blamed myself for my failings and by putting them down on paper, these experiences could then be shared to help others in similar situations.

What have been the biggest challenges?

As an author , it was the challenge of frequently finding the internal discipline that was needed to complete the task of the next paragraph of the next chapter being written; and you never get the prose correct the first time. So, punishing yourself to go through many iterations until you get as close to perfection as you can – this really tests one’s stamina.

My company is about placing investors and projects together in difficult operating environments around the world. Therefore, the greatest challenge from a business viewpoint, is the constant refreshing of relationships. To do this job well, you must constantly travel, attend events and forever be researching details. Some of the countries I have worked in have been devastated by war and regime changes which makes doing business very difficult and where even simple logistics and accommodation is of a very basic quality.

What has been the most rewarding experience?

On a personal level, being part of a loving family has been the ultimate reward and in some small way the personal knowledge I gained by writing the book has helped me appreciate this aspect of my life even more.

The individual accomplishment I hold dear, has to be having my book launched in London and frequently getting positive comments about how my book has helped people dealing with health issues.

My positive experiences from my business have been focused around being able to deliver unique solutions that will put a smile on the faces of both investor and project owner. Knowing that the advice you gave them will contribute to improving the quality of life for many people is very rewarding.

Do you have any advice for anyone looking to follow in your footsteps?

Establishing personal networks that you can trust is key to success. Only by knowing people that can implement business solutions or have access to high quality projects will you succeed. Believe in yourself and do thing things you love. This way even when you are having a very difficult day on the job it will never feel like work.

Thank you to Anne for sharing her story! If you would like to find out more about Anne and Pain-Less, visit Anne’s website here

The Student Hardship Fund

Black History Month, Oct 2020, Cass Future Fund.

Doyin has recently completed an MSc in Insurance and Risk Management at Cass. But without the help of your donations and the student hardship fund this might not have happened. A highly motivated and driven individual, Doyin undertook her Masters in order to bolster the seven years of experience she had already gained in the Insurance sector. Doyin told us that “I felt my career was nearing a ceiling, and the Insurance and Risk Management Masters was my plan to ensure it didn’t and I could move on up to the next level.”

In order to take on the intensive workload of the degree, Doyin made the courageous decision to put aside her full-time position. Her income was drastically reduced, and course-fees, bills, travel and food expenses soon began to eat into the savings that she had put aside to undertake the degree. It was at this point that the Student Hardship Fund stepped in and supplied her with the necessary funds to continue. “It definitely gave me peace of mind and the ability to concentrate on my studies without the daily and incapacitating worries about money.” Doyin was overjoyed to complete her course last month and would like to say thank you to all those who supported the Cass Future Fund.

Doyin has since returned to employment in the City of London, and is back working in the Insurance sector. She will officially graduate in January 2020 and is very much looking forward to it. Doyin’s immediate goal is to utilise the skills and contacts obtained whilst studying at Cass, broadening her experience in some of the areas of Insurance that prior to her MSc were closed off. Doyin is passionate about driving change in Insurance and is incredibly committed to career development, not only for herself but for those around her too. “I belong to an ethnic minority group that is under-represented in our industry and am involved in encouraging some of these talented individuals into the market, regardless of background.” Doyin reiterated: “the London Insurance Market serves a global client base, and in my opinion, the way to achieve success at this is to foster diverse working environments. Education is great. It evokes thinking and contributes to the much talked about diversity of thought in a workplace.”

Doyin also plans to get involved with the Cass Global Women’s Leadership initiative. Learn more about this here.

Without doubt, the Student Hardship Fund has been instrumental in Doyin successfully completing her course. And it will continue, through your help, to do that for countless future students. Thank you so much for your support.

The CommuniCATE Aphasia Clinic

Cass Future Fund.

At the outset, the Clinic’s aim was to dramatically improve people’s ability to communicate after a stroke. By making use of life-changing interventions through modern technology, the project focuses on enabling and providing vital therapy to those with aphasia. Indeed, for those living with this condition, the Clinic is now ensuring that stroke survivors receive at least six weeks of communication therapy. The Clinic’s reach is also extending with the exploration of innovative models of delivery such as a greater use of therapy and an increase in the number of practical applications that can be run on smart phones and tablets. Through research and publications the Clinic is also making a vital contribution to the knowledge base of colleagues in the NHS and beyond. And let’s not forget the considerable benefits that the Clinic provides to our Speech and Language Therapy students through placements and internships, developing and guaranteeing skills in novel therapies and ensuring that the project is sustainable.

We caught up with Eve, now a graduate, who undertook a placement with the Clinic:

Eve Samson studied for an MSc in Speech and Language Therapy, graduating in 2019. As part of her MSc, she undertook a placement at the CommuniCATE Clinic, and after finishing took up a role with the NHS in Surrey.

Eve thoroughly enjoyed her MSc, choosing City because of its unsurpassed reputation for Speech and Language Therapy. Her path to Speech and Language Therapy came about through previous roles and her first degree. Out of a love of languages, she chose to study Italian and French at Warwick and grew passionate about translation. This passion solidified when she went on ERASMUS in Italy, studying in the north in Bergamo. After graduating she undertook a role with British Airways as part of their cabin crew. Her passion for communicating was clear to her in interactions with passengers and other staff. This eventually led to a big career change decision, and her pursuit of speech and language therapy.

Eve’s placement at the Clinic was alongside three other students, and they worked three full days per week. She was an integral part of the reading and writing groups and quickly realised how essential she and her fellow students were to the clinic’s work and clients. If the students were not there, the clinic would not run. This responsibility made her feel incredibly valued and she rose to the occasion. She was also struck by the superb organisation of the clinic. Things were done professionally and properly and there was clearly a far-reaching impact being made on the clients. Eve places the Clinic’s importance in bringing technology to those who need it the most, and ironically, those who may not have been totally au-fait with this technology before their aphasia diagnosis. That this technology, which is usurping pen and paper, can be brought into the realm of those who truly need it, helping them communicate with family and friends, cutting down on isolation, is essential. As Eve remarked, “the Clinic is innovative, on-trend, and forward looking … Subsequently the clients become forward looking too”. The reactions of the various clients are incredibly emotive.

The essence of what CommuniCATE is trying to do, is captured in the simple words of one of Eve’s clients who was undertaking a writing strand of therapy using an iPad. “You’ve helped me so much and I have had my ability to communicate returned to me!” In particular, he has found the basic ‘Notes’ application particularly helpful. Through setting goals, ones initially very difficult to achieve, his use of this application has now become second nature.

Eve is now working as an NHS therapist in Surrey, dealing with adults who have acquired communication difficulties and swallowing difficulties. She hopes to stay in this field and perhaps explore areas such as dementia and aphasia. Indeed, Eve loves the sense of community in her current role. Staying in a particular area for a long time will give her the opportunity to see the impact of her work and how people overcome their difficulties through her help.

Find out more on the CommuniCATE Blog: https://blogs.city.ac.uk/communicate/

Care Leavers Initiative – ‘City Cares’

Cass Future Fund.

An undergraduate in the second year of her Business Studies degree, Sara is unequivocal about the difference that City Cares and the Cass Future Fund donors have made to her life. She told us:

“Reassurance and confidence are the two things that I get from the bursary and all of the extra-curricular support that City Cares provides. Without that, I may well have thought twice about embarking upon these studies; with it, I feel that I am flourishing and getting closer to my best possible self. I have always been prone to only looking a few months ahead, and that I’m now looking at what I want to do once I graduate, and where I’d like to be in ten years’ time, is something that truly amazes me. I will never take this support for granted, and I thank all those who have donated and contributed to City Cares.”

Indeed, helping young care leavers and estranged students to achieve their academic potential through our dedicated care programme is a priority at Cass. Breaking the social care cycle is essential in giving these young adults the chance to see a promising future unfold.

With that in mind, we aim to not only attract more care leavers to the Business School and University through our outreach work, but when they are here we ensure that they have access to a comprehensive support package that includes an annual bursary, a designated member of staff to offer them practical and pastoral support, priority accommodation that extends through the summer, and, priority for professional mentoring and mental health monitoring.

Thank you so much for continuing to make this possible.

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