On Tuesday 13 March student recipients of The 125 Fund had the chance to meet the donors who have made the Fund possible, and have contributed to its significant expansion from last year. Some of the students’ projects that received funding through the initiative were on display throughout the evening.
Professor Roland Dannreuther, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience, attended the event and delivered a speech, along with alumnus Dr James Dodd. Guests also heard from Sasha Pinnock, a Fashion Business Management MA alumna and Fabian Vetter, alumnus from the Media, Campaigning and Social Change MA course, both previous recipients of The 125 Fund.
Some of the student ambitions, which will be fulfilled this year with the support of The 125 Fund include the opening of a beauty shop in Ethiopia, an English-teaching volunteering experience in Thailand, research fieldwork on sustainable agriculture in Cuba and an internship in the United States, which all highlight the University’s and its students ambition to be connected and globally engaged with the world.
Students also received financial support to obtain personal and professional qualifications, such as a course in Adult Mental Health First Aid and a Postgraduate course in Photography as well as to purchase video and photography equipment.
Jordan Robertson, a student on the Marketing Management BA course, received financial support towards an app called MobiFit that he has been developing with two fellow students. MobiFit provides mobile personal trainers who conduct sessions at times and locations decided by the customer.
Speaking about his grant, Jordan said: “We wouldn’t have been able to do this project without the funding as we needed money to provide equipment of the personal trainers. The 125 Fund has paid for the equipment, and yesterday we were able to launch the company, so it’s really, really amazing.
We’re very humbled. The 125 Fund has enabled us to launch our business and has helped us on a personal and professional level so thank you, we’re really grateful.”
The 125 Fund launched in 2016 in celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the Regent Street Polytechnic, the predecessor institution to the University of Westminster. The Quintin Hogg Trust has generously pledged to match all donations to The 125 Fund pound for pound up until 31 July 2018.
The innovative and flexible fund gives all students at the University of Westminster the opportunity to apply for a grant of between £150 and £1,500 for projects and activities which enhance their employability and help their professional development.
Speaking about The 125 Fund initiative, Chris Smith, Director of Development and Alumni Relations at the University of Westminster, said: “I am delighted to see The 125 Fund expand significantly in its second year and impact even more students both personally and professionally. It was a pleasure to meet so many of our alumni and supporters who have made this possible and we look forward to working closely with them and other friends of the University to ensure the Fund continues.”