City Alumni Network

Category Archives: City Future Fund

Care Leavers Initiative – ‘City Cares’

City Future Fund.

Now in the second year of an Engineering degree, Christopher told us:


“City Cares supported me and gave me hope and opportunity when I thought there wasn’t any.  They picked me up from nowhere and helped me get somewhere.  I am studying for an undergraduate BSc in Engineering and the help from the bursary is vital.  All the staff are extremely helpful, super supportive, friendly and always keen to ensure my wellbeing.  I thank City Cares and all the donors who have supported it for their dedication, generosity and the great difference that they are making to the lives of the less privileged. I simply would not have been able to do this course if it wasn’t for them.”


Indeed, helping young care leavers and estranged students to achieve their academic potential through our dedicated care programme is a priority at City.  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 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.

The Student Hardship Fund

City Future Fund.

Katie is a second year midwifery student who came very close to dropping out in her first year of study. Solely reliant upon her own finances means that Katie has developed an incredibly strong work ethic, always supplementing her studies with part time work. However, the demands of the midwifery course and the requirement that students must not work whilst on placement – placements are typically around 40 hours per week – took away the capacity to fund her degree. It quickly became apparent that her student loan would not be enough to support her throughout her degree, just about covering the cost of rent but not money for travel, food, bills and vital course materials. Costs and the anxiety that goes with that began to spiral out of control. As Katie told us, “I had reached a point where, if I could not find money from somewhere, I would have no option but to leave my course.”  


News of the Student Hardship Fund came at just the right time. Katie applied and received that all-important hardship grant. The award primarily helped Katie to pay her rent but it also provided her with the reassurance that she could afford her travel costs to and from her placement, and also to her lectures. A weight had been lifted from Katie’s shoulders and with the disappearance of the stress caused by financial worries, she was able to focus one hundred per cent on her studies and placement.   


The immediate plan is for Katie to complete her BSc in Midwifery and to work in hospitals for a couple of years, rotating through different aspects of midwifery. This will give her further exposure to working with different patients and enable her to work up through the NHS career bands, closer towards one of her long-term goals of, perhaps, becoming a doctor. Furthermore, new ambitions are also being considered. A return to City to complete a Masters in Midwifery (Advanced Practice) and a longer-term view to undertake a PHD in Health Sciences in the area of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is an option.  She is also passionate about working for Sands, a stillbirth and neonatal death charity. As Katie remarked, “I want to specialise in bereavement midwifery because I have had a friend who was affected by stillbirth and I think this is such a vital and often neglected area.” 


Katie told us, “I am so grateful to those alumni and friends of the University who donate to the Hardship Fund.  The difference you have made to me is basically the difference between dropping out or staying. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!”   

Aphasia CommuniCATE Project

City Future Fund.

One of the biggest successes of this year has been the CommuniCATE Project.  Your generous donations have enabled us to continue this vital initiative, helping stroke survivors overcome the loss of their ability to speak, read, write and understand language. 

Aphasia is an acquired language disorder affecting approximately a third of people who survive a stroke and is caused by damage to the parts of the brain that control language.  It can be life changing for those who experience it, impacting their relationships with family and friends, their ability to work, and to engage in social activities and hobbies. Over 400,000 people in the UK experience aphasia, putting many of them at severe risk of isolation and mental health issues.

The project brings together three strands:

  • Research to find out if using technology in therapy can improve language and communication in people with aphasia, and if there are wider benefits for social participation and quality of life;
  • An online conversation service for people with aphasia, using Skype to help reduce social isolation that is experienced by many stroke survivors;
  • Supporting skill development in NHS clinicians and our students.

Indeed, it’s not only benefiting those who experience aphasia …

City student Ellie Hatch, who is studying for a MSc in Speech and Language and Communication, is working on the CommuniCATE Project as part of an internship.  One of the strongest motivators that she has encountered in her role, is seeing the joy on people’s faces as they get to grips with the life enhancing technology that the project works with.  Clients who are sending their first emails to their family, and being present at that moment and getting to see the reactions on people’s faces, is incredibly inspiring.

Ellie told us why the project matters so much.  “We are very much living in a modern world and technology is heavily integrated into the lives of most people. And the impact of using technology to support communication is often effective immediately.  Unlike traditional therapy, clients may enter the clinic for their first therapy session and will have written a text to a loved one an hour later, something they may not have done since their stroke. Typically, adults that have strokes tend to be older and therefore may not feel confident or skilled enough to explore different technologies.”

Every day that Ellie spends on the project is a day that is spent looking forward to building strong and impactful relationships with the patients.  The sense of achievement that she gets from this, confident that she is making a massive difference and with the knowledge that everyone who comes through the door will leave happier, is enormous.  She really wants to see these tools and this software taken out into the wider community and will advocate for this in the roles that she undertakes after graduation.

As Ellie says “Those alumni and friends who are supporting the CommuniCATE Project are making such a positive impact on so many people.  For my own part, and what it means for my experience, I cannot thank them enough!” 

Student Support – Teodor

City Future Fund.

Our Student Hardship Fund is there to support students who find themselves in situations where there is a real danger that they will not be able to complete their degrees. In the past year, your generosity has allowed us to award financially struggling students a record number of 155 hardship grants.  Without this help, many of those students would not have been able to continue with their studies.   

Students such as Teodor. Coming to the UK to take up his hard-won place at Cass and undertake a BSc in Business Studies, he put in long hours both with study and the part-time job that allowed him to get by.  Money was always going to be incredibly tight, but his financial situation was thrown into jeopardy at the beginning of his final year, when he was struck down by severe tonsillitis which, following surgery, was exacerbated further by complications brought on by numerous infections.  Unable to leave the house to work or study, Teodor found himself in a desperate situation.

Cass’s Student Hardship Fund saved the day, and quite possibly Teodor’s degree. Allowing him a period of grace so that he could recover, and helping pay off the bills that were accumulating, Teodor returned to his studies refreshed and ready for the vital final year of his degree.

Teodor can now carry on with the next stages of his plan.  He wants to complement the financial and economics elements of his BSc with a postgraduate degree in Politics, which would allow him to seek out a position working for the EU, an organisation that he is passionate about.  Teodor told us: “My ten year plan probably lacked one thing, a financial safety net.  However, the Student Hardship Fund provided that safety net, allowing me to get through my illness and its complications, and then fully focus on the incredibly important final year of my Business Studies degree. Thank you so much to all the alumni who supported this.”

This is what the Student Hardship Fund is all about. Not only making sure that students complete their degrees, but sending them out into the wider world to do amazing things. All of your donations are an investment in society. 

Supporting our students to support the local community

City Future Fund, City News.

Post by Ben Butler, Student Development Manager:

Students celebrating Ada’s 100th birthday in local care home

Rida Khan, Karishma Patel and Anjorna Nanda celebrating Ada’s 100th birthday in a local care home. Their project, The Senior Citizens Venture, aims to tackles loneliness and promote the health and happiness of elderly people.

The Student Development Team has benefited tremendously from donations of both time and money from our alumni community. This has allowed us to support even more of our students through professional mentoring and enabling students with a passion for volunteering to develop their own projects.

Our Annual Report 2014 – 2015 tells you more about the work that we have been doing.

We are extremely grateful for the support we receive from the City Future Fund and will continue to develop our work so that current students are supported from the start of their time at City to the point where they too become an alumnus.

If you would like to find out more about how you can contribute to this work, please contact


City Alumni! Will you spare one hour of your time with a current student?

Careers, City Future Fund .

Snapshot Scheme

The Careers, Student Development and Outreach Department at City University London runs an initiative to help students engage with employers and helpful alumni to allow them to experience what the work environment is like.

Snapshot: Your Insight into Industry, is an initiative that offers a great opportunity for highly motivated students to get a “foot in the door” of business and the professions, develop their interpersonal skills and boost confidence, while offering you as Alumni a great way to keep in touch with the University and talent of the future.

What are we looking for?

We’re looking for professionals who are able to spare one hour of their time in February to give a current student a short tour of their office environment and share some information on their career path to date.

How do students join the Scheme?

This is a highly popular scheme, where students have to apply for a place. The programme focuses on highly motivated students who will derive the most benefit from industry exposure and candidates are chosen based on their motivation and level of commitment.

How will you be matched with students?

Throughout the selection and recruitment process, students are asked to specify their industries of interest. We will then match them with employers and alumni who are able to provide them with more insight into their chosen field.

Does this really help students learn more about industry?

Absolutely! Many of our students join the scheme because they feel that they do not have access to professional networks. A recent Snapshot student, having attended a tour of Bloomberg’s offices, said “Bloomberg’s relaxed and diverse working environment really impressed me and this has encouraged me to do further research into their company. Hopefully I can send a graduate scheme application by the end of summer”.

The Scheme also received a commendation at the 2014 Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for “Excellence in engagement with business, the professions and partner organisations”.

How can you help?

If you would like to volunteer your time to help out a student, please do get in touch with Vin Bhabra directly at

This initiative is supported by City’s FutureFund.

Talk to you in November! Annual Telephone Campaign

Alumni Notice Board, Cass Fund, City Future Fund.

As the autumn term approaches, we are looking forward to speaking to many more alumni as part of the annual Telephone Campaign. From the 3rd November, an enthusiastic team of students from City University London will be calling alumni to find out more about their time at the University and let them know about the amazing things that have been achieved thanks to donations to the City Future Fund from alumni like yourselves.

Last year, over 1700 conversations were had between students and alumni. Memories were shared, advice dispensed, and an incredible £72,000 was pledged to support the Annual Fund this year.

The Annual Fund is a way for alumni to make City an even better place for current and future students, providing unique opportunities and extra support that would not otherwise be possible. The generous donations made during the Telephone Campaign are the backbone of the support that we can offer students through the Annual Fund, such as bursaries for talented undergraduates and career development opportunities for all students at City.

Emma was one of the first recipients of the City Future Fund bursary. This year she is writing her dissertation and hoping to apply for a Master’s degree.

“I have enjoyed my time at City so much that I have decided to apply for an MA in Speech and Language Therapy to follow on from this course. I am so grateful for City Future Fund for supporting me and making the enormous leap, from working mum to student mum, a successful one. It has had a ripple effect to the rest of my family too. My daughter was set on finishing college and going straight into work. She thought university meant moving away from home, combined with a miserable workload and boring lectures. My experience has inspired her to stay on at college to gain enough UCAS points to apply for university herself.”
Emma Rhodes 3rd Year BSc (Hons) Speech and Language Science

We hope you have time to speak to a student this year and consider making a donation to support the Annual Fund. 100% of every gift you make goes towards student-based projects, helping to give more students the opportunity to thrive while at City.

Interested in supporting the Annual Fund? Please get in touch with Rachael on or call her on 020 7040 4236

Contributed by Rachael Gil

Annual Scholarships, Prizes and Bursaries Evening 2014

Alumni Notice Board, Arts and Social Sciences News, City Future Fund, City News, Events, Health Sciences News, Law News, Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering News, New Courses and Scholarships , , , .

Scholarship-Awards-Ceremony-2014One of the most enjoyable events in our academic year, according to the Vice-Chancellor of City University London Professor Paul Curran, is the ‘Annual Scholarships, Prizes and Bursaries Evening’.

The event brought some of our most outstanding students together with some of our most generous and committed donors in an evening filled with emotional thank you speeches and a warm family atmosphere.

The purpose of the evening was to formally recognise the students who have received these awards and to also say thank you to the individuals and organisations that have generously funded them.

Deborah – Fay Ndlovu, who received the Wellcome Trust Scholarship and is finishing her MA in Science Journalism, gave a truly inspirational speech about her academic and personal journey and thanked the Trust for supporting her. She highlighted the importance of facing challenges in order to re-discover her own abilities, and also how she will be going back to her hometown in South Africa as a ‘new woman’.

Deborah said “I have acquired a diverse set of skills through this course and renewed my confidence in my career and myself. I have learnt through my time at City that an academic institution isn’t just designed to equip students with professional skills but can build their personality as well.”

“Thank you to the Wellcome Trust and to all of you donors who have allowed me and all the students here tonight to see that, paraphrasing actress Lupita Nyo’ongo, ‘No matter where I am from – and what my past is – my dreams are valid’

Students who benefited from the City Future Fund Scholarship and Travel Bursary Scholarship were Duc Hoang, Zoe Rinaldi, Justyna Wolczyk, Zahra Abdollahi, Karthik Budidha and Natalia Grincheva.

City University London would like to thank all the institutions, charitable foundations, Livery companies and individual donors who have made these scholarships, prizes and bursaries possible. Your support enables the University to recognise outstanding academic performance and continues to help us attract the most able students. Learn more about supporting our students.

Alumni donate over £72,000 to help current students

Cass Fund, City Future Fund.

City University London alumni pledged to donate £72,000 during our recent Annual Telephone Campaign last November. Donations were made to the City Future Fund and Cass Fund, which provides financial support and professional mentoring to students during their time at university.

A big thank you goes out to our alumni for the contribution you have made to help make a positive impact on the lives of students at City.

Read full article

City Future Fund Telephone Campaign

City Future Fund.

The City Future Fund’s biannual telephone campaign will run from 2nd November to the 24th November. A team of City students will be calling alumni to talk to them about recent developments and seek support for the City Future Fund.

The City Future Fund supports three key areas: World Class Research, Student Support and Community Outreach.  We are grateful to all those who donated to the City Future Fund last year. Alumni and friends raised over £63,000 which funded student scholarships and bursaries, enabled PhD students to present their world class research across the globe, gave 200 City students mentors for the year and much more.

Many alumni we spoke to also shared how much they liked talking to someone who was studying at the same institution as they did, and how enjoyable it was to catch up on the developments that have taken place at City since they graduated.

We hope to be able to raise even more for the City Future Fund this year and make an even greater impact on the lives of our students.

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.

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