Broadcast: News items

Sussex Fund: Critical support for scholarships, wellbeing and student experience

Isaac Stoute. Photo credit: Daniel Paul

The Sussex Fund provides financial assistance through hardship bursaries, encourages excellence via scholarships, and offers opportunities that students might not have had otherwise, ultimately enhancing the student experience here at Sussex. This is only possible thanks to the incredible generosity of the alumni, staff and friends of the University of Sussex. For this, we are tremendously grateful.

We are proud to highlight how the Sussex Fund helps our students and our community, capturing the breadth of areas that are enhanced by the fund, and demonstrating how critical your support actually is.

If you would like to help us continue the positive work of the Sussex Fund, please make a gift via our secure giving webpage.

Let’sTalkLet’sConnect: Mental health awareness conference

The Sussex Fund supports a variety of student-led initiatives, underpinning 20 such initiatives over the past two years.

Recently, the fund supported the Let’sTalkLet’sConnect Conference, which was organised by student reps in the School of Life Sciences, with the aim of raising awareness of mental health issues and promoting positive discussion.

The conference welcomed speakers with different life experiences or areas of expertise, including academic research, living with mental illness, and working in the front line of mental health treatment. The speakers addressed a diverse audience made up of both staff and students from across the University of Sussex.

Noma Tholo, a first-year Pharmacy student and lead organiser of the conference said:

“It is never easy to start a conversation around mental health, because of the social stigma attached to it, yet many people experience mental health problems at some point in their lives. This is why we decided to raise awareness, especially during this time of the year, the "exam period".

“There is no shame in taking care of your mental health and caring for others around you. We are strong as one but stronger together. The conference was very successful as it managed to open up a conversation around the issue of mental health in our Sussex community which is still ongoing.”

Isaac Stoute: Future Wimbledon champion in the making?

The Sussex Fund is instrumental in supporting the Sports Scholarship Scheme at Sussex, enabling our students to combine their studies with competing in their chosen sports.

One such sports scholar is Isaac Stoute, a final year University of Sussex Business School student. Isaac plays on the International Tennis Federation pro-circuit and represents the men’s team at Sussex. Earlier this year he won silver at the British Universities and Colleges Sports (BUCS) national Tennis Championships, continuing his success more recently by reaching the quarterfinals of the ATP Challenger Loughborough Trophy.

Ranked amongst the top three men’s student singles tennis players in the country, Isaac commented on his success and the impact of his sports scholarship:

“The field of competition at the BUCS tennis tournament was the toughest it has been during my three years at university, with several players having just come off the pro-circuit.

“I knew if I was going to achieve, I had to compete at my best level. The Sports Scholarship Scheme offered sport-specific assistance and has helped me reach that level with access to expertise in sports psychology, nutrition and strength and conditioning.
After graduating this summer, Isaac is hoping to secure sponsorship and enter the pro-circuit.

Protestival: Celebrating 50 years of student activism

We know that some of the richest experiences take place outside the classroom. The Sussex Fund works closely with the Students’ Union and student groups to ensure that a broad range of initiatives is funded philanthropically, providing a richly rewarding and distinctive experience for all who come to Sussex.

Recently, the Fund supported a 3-day festival arranged by the Students’ Union to mark 50 years since the student protests of May 1968, and the legacy of student activism at Sussex.

Protestival comprised a series of events, gigs and an academic conference, and welcomed audiences made up of both current students and alumni. Events were curated to enable Sussex students to educate themselves about the history of the University, to engage in an intergenerational dialogue with alumni, and for alumni to share their experiences of their time at Sussex. It aimed not only to strengthen the sense of belonging for existing students but to reinvigorate that sense of community amongst alumni, reinforcing that Sussex is about the wider student experience, not solely an academic one.

By: Emma Wigmore
Last updated: Thursday, 28 June 2018