Published: 06 April 2016

Evelyn Williams: "My hardship grant was a lifesaver"

Evelyn Williams on the impact a student hardship grant had on her life.

Meet Evelyn. She always knew she wanted to work in healthcare.

After working as a carer for a few years she took an access course to do a degree in Adult Nursing at the University of Surrey.

Her family couldn’t support her financially so Evelyn worked part-time to cover bills. Money was tight but she stayed afloat until her placement began.

Imagine a world where these financial problems meant she couldn’t finish her degree. This almost happened in her third year.

“I started to run into difficulties when I was on placement five days a week and I couldn’t carry on with my part-time work. I was existing on my student bursary, about £300 a month - by the time the rent was paid there was nothing left.”

This was compounded when Evelyn was made homeless by her landlord. “Because I’m a nursing student and had a bursary the government didn’t offer any additional support. But I still needed a roof over my head, to buy tickets to travel into University”.

“I nearly gave up in my third year. I was desperate so I went to see the head of department and she said I had come too far – having done an access course and two years of my degree - I couldn’t quit when I was so close to finishing”.

Evelyn was pointed towards the Student Support team at Surrey, which assessed her financial situation, and awarded her a life-changing grant to help pay her rent. A year later Evelyn graduated with a first class degree and is now nursing at Croydon University hospital – all thanks to the generous support of Surrey donors.

Last year we funded £75,000 worth of hardship grants – but demand exceeds the funds we have available.

With your help, we can help students in their hour of need, and make sure they can complete their degree at Surrey. Make your donation today:

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