Students at the
Heart of King’s
Kingsmakers – helping a new generation follow in your footsteps.
Since their inauguration in 2019, a group of alumni called the Kingsmakers, who offer their regular financial support to King’s, have created new opportunities for hundreds of King’s students.
Through supporting scholarships, bursaries and initiatives such as the K+ programme, their gifts give school pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds the confidence and academic support to apply to King’s. Their support has also given students from nine different faculties – from Dentistry to Politics – the time to focus their attention on their studies. The Kingsmakers give students the opportunity to create change in society and explore meaningful career opportunities alongside their studies.
With the ongoing battle against COVID-19, this vital support for students is more important than ever before. For so many new and returning students, despite careful budgeting, the pandemic has thrown their plans into turmoil. Whether from the loss of income during the lockdown period, or loss of support from family members who have been financially impacted by the outbreak, they are now struggling to afford life as a student in London. Sadly, it is our most disadvantaged students, who were already affected by the growing equality gap in access to higher education even before the outbreak, who have been hit hardest by the pandemic. Kingsmakers understand that there is not a single solution to close this gap in access to education. That is why the programmes run by King’s, and funded by your fellow alumni, ensure every bright student is given the opportunity to reach their full potential, from programmes for A-level students, to support during undergraduate and postgraduate studies, right up to career opportunities beyond university.
Will you join the Kingsmakers and help support the next generation?
Kingsmakers helped Charlotte persevere during tough times.
‘I’ve wanted to study at King’s since I was young – I remember walking past the campus on the Strand when I was very young and deciding I wanted to go there one day. But while I was applying for universities my mum was involved in a road traffic accident, leaving her severely disabled. It meant I ended up working two jobs while trying to finish my college degree and paying for the mortgage at home. It was a really, really tough time.
Then I got into King’s and had to work out how to finance my degree. I still had to cover lots of bills for the family home and knew that, if I ran out of funds, there wasn’t anything to fall back on. My student loan just about covered my accommodation, so I had a job as well as my university work and nursing placement, which I didn’t get paid for. Mine was the first year after the government cut NHS funding available for student nurses, so I just had no other support. It felt like we got the short end of the stick.
I’m so glad I found out about the Hardship Fund and applied for it. When I received the funding, it was such a relief. I really needed the money just to pay for food and daily living expenses. It also had a positive impact on my studies. Before receiving the funding, I sometimes wouldn’t be able to come to class when I couldn’t afford to travel into central London.
To the alumni who have supported me, I would like to say thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to study. I never imagined my life to be like this.
I never thought that one day my mum would get into an accident and I would have to pick up the pieces. There are so many young people out there who are striving to make it, despite the number of hurdles put in front of them. And without the Hardship Fund they wouldn’t even have a chance.’
Mental Health Nursing graduate
Kingsmakers helped Gabriela to find a potential career path in her chosen field.
‘Getting a place on the Civic Leadership Academy at King’s was a really big step for me. I’m in my third year now and, after starting the Academy last summer, I feel like I am ahead of the game when it comes to work experience. The programme started with a week of workshops to prepare us for the professional environment – and came with a lot of homework. After that, I started my four-week internship with the Living Wage Foundation – a charity I had been connected with because I am interested in education and income equality.
At first I was nervous to be pushed out of my comfort zone, but everyone in the team was so welcoming and supportive. I learned so much in those four weeks and, once lectures started, was able to work a shift in the office with them every week. I feel that I’ve already developed so much as a professional. I’ve become more resilient and self-reflective, and I have learned how to adapt my communication skills in a professional environment.
The bursary that I receive has been such a help this year. Money was tight when it came in, so it was a real relief. Most of it I’ve spent on living costs and travel – public transport in London is so expensive.
I am so grateful to alumni for donating and I hope that the Civic Leadership Academy can continue to grow in the next year. It really has filled a gap for us – I’ve not seen any other programme that supports careers in civic society, which is where I want to make my mark after graduation. Without it, I would not have been able to access similar experiences. Through the Academy, alumni are helping us become skilled and socially minded young leaders.’
3rd year Geography student