The University of Westminster has published the latest edition of Impact magazine, to showcase the incredible effect our donors and volunteers’ generosity has on student prospects.
Through a selection of case studies and interviews, the publication highlights the ‘impact’ which the support from our donors and volunteers has on students’ experience at university, as well as their future prospects as Westminster graduates.
In the 2021 edition, the magazine looks at the new phenomenon of digital poverty and how the Westminster community came together to support students who needed computers or extra funding when all learning moved online in March 2020. The new edition features students who benefitted from the COVID-19 Response Fund, generously funded by alumni donations, which allowed them to continue their studies uninterrupted, and pay for rent during the summer months when they were unable to fly home.
The magazine features an interview with the winner of this year’s Pioneers Programme – an initiative by the Student Enterprise Centre (SEC) to encourage more diversity in entrepreneurship. Over six months, 24 student entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds attended workshops and mentoring sessions to develop their business ideas, giving them the knowledge and confidence to pursue more business creation opportunities in the future. The winner, Andrea-Laura Petrescu, was awarded with £5,000 – generously funded by alumnus Charles Nasser (Accounting and Finance Diploma, 1992), CEO of Claranet – to develop her 3D scan business, which creates high-quality virtual tours and 3D models of built spaces.
Alumna Anastasia Vinnikova, who studied on the Human Resource Management BA Honours course, was also interviewed for the magazine, where she spoke about her experience volunteering for Westminster’s alumni speaker series ‘What it Takes’ earlier this year. Anastasia joined a panel of alumni speakers to talk to our students and recent graduates about how to look after their mental health as they embark on their careers.
The magazine also features plans for a new Prison University Partnership Scheme, which aims to increase the uptake of higher education in prisons. The pilot scheme, led by Dr Morwenna Bennallick, Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Social Sciences, will offer inmates a wider variety of degree courses; ultimately encouraging a higher percentage of the prison population to find rehabilitation through education.
Speaking about the publication, Jordan Scammell, Head of Development and Fundraising at the University of Westminster, said: “I always love reading Impact as it provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the last year and the life-changing opportunities our supporters have provided to our students. This year feels extra special as, despite the challenges the pandemic presented to our students, our donors came together to help ensure some of our more vulnerable students had the IT equipment or support with living costs they needed to continue with their studies remotely. We continue to receive messages of gratitude on a weekly basis from the students provided with this essential lifeline. It is rewarding to hear first-hand the impact our donors are making on their lives. This year’s edition does another great job at highlighting some of these special testimonials.”
Laura Hughes, Head of Alumni Relations, added: “We are incredibly grateful to all of our alumni and partners who give their time to support our students through activities like mentoring, guest lectures and work experiences.”
Thank you to all of Westminster's donors and supporters who continue to make a positive difference to the lives of Westminster students each year.
Read the 2021 edition of Impact magazine.