Since its launch in 2016, our Donate Your Pennies scheme has gone from strength to strength. It’s an easy way for University staff to get involved in fundraising, their monthly pay is rounded down to the nearest pound, and the remaining pennies fund bursaries for first year students joining Essex from local sixth forms and colleges. 

When the scheme first launched, 31 staff members signed up. Fast-forward to four years later and over 1,000 Essex staff take part in the programme, helping us to raise over £500 each month. 

This year, thanks to the support of our staff, the Donate Your Pennies fund was able to award thirty students with bursaries of £1,000. One of this year’s recipients, Rebeca Zavaoinau, came from Colchester Sixth Form and is studying a BA Global Studies and Human Rights, she said: 

“I feel so grateful and so lucky to have been offered this scholarship. My education has always been of upmost importance for me and to be awarded this was very humbling. This bursary will assist me financially in continuing my education here at the university. Thank you so much once again.” 

We were delighted to receive formal recognition of the scheme’s success earlier this year by winning Gold at the annual Pennies from Heaven Awards. With nearly 40% of staff donating their pennies each month, Essex boasts the highest participation rate of any University – a fantastic achievement. 

Thank you to all Essex staff for supporting this fantastic initiative. 

Email James Martin to find out more about donating your pennies.