Thu 16 Apr 20
An appeal has gone out to raise funds for Essex students who find themselves in financial difficulties because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
There has been a sharp increase in the number of applications to the University of Essex’s Hardship Fund – in just three weeks there were more than 200 applications, which is far more than there would normally be in the entire year.
As a result, the University has decided to suspend the Essex Change Makers appeal, which aimed to support student projects, and instead raise money for those in immediate financial difficulty.
Lynsey Dawson, Head of Philanthropy, explained: “We have already put in place many measures to help our students at this challenging time and through this appeal we are asking Essex graduates and supporters of the University to also get involved.
“Our Hardship Fund is providing immediate help to those with unexpected financial problems, whether this is due to the loss of part-time work or a drop in family income, or because they need help to pay off debts or to cover the cost of rent or general living expenses.
“Donations will go directly and quickly to students in need – making their lives easier and allowing them to continue their education here at Essex.”
The Hardship Fund has been amended in response to COVID-19 – it is now open to international and EU students for the first time, the application process has been made simpler and decisions are being made as quickly as possible, so students get help when they need it most. Seventy students have already received £35,000 between them.
Donations can be made to the Hardship Fund online. Students needing support should fill in an application form. Up to £500 is available, but those who continue to face financial hardship can apply for further funding.