Last year, with the generous support of over 130 donors from our community, alumna and lecturer Dr Zeina Alsharkas swam the English Channel in support of Syrian refugees.

Zeina left Syria in 2012 to study at Essex and undertook this challenge to highlight the plight of refugees. “Swimming across the channel is highly symbolic to me for many reasons and a metaphor of what many of us have gone through in the past few years”. She completed the 21-mile swim in 11 hours and 36 minutes to become the first Syrian woman to swim the Channel solo. 

Using our in-house crowdfunding platform Click, Zeina raised £4,821 which funded the costs involved in the challenge including an escort pilot and Channel Crossing Association fees. Click has helped hundreds of students fund their dreams with over 300 successful projects and £400,000 raised.

Students, staff and alumni are able to use Click for free, with students and recent graduates also benefitting from a tiered system of match funding provided by alumni of the University. For more information, please head to our crowdfunding webpage.