Community spirit shines: your incredible support during 2020
It has been an extremely challenging year: drought, bushfires and now COVID-19. But through it all, our community has come together to help those in need and show support for causes we care about. Head of Philanthropic Programs, Brad Holmes, reflects on the remarkable generosity you have shown over the past six months.
“We are very fortunate to have such a strong community of alumni, friends and supporters,” says Brad. “The response from staff, alumni and the community to the Student Hardship Appeal, launched in response to unprecedented demand for student support during the onset of the pandemic, was incredibly heartening. Over $175,000 was donated by more than 300 generous people to support students through $500 hardship grants and $750 laptop grants. As a result, over 290 students will not need to choose between continuing their education and essentials like groceries, textbooks and safe accommodation - for which we are very grateful. Alongside this, the University also established a COVID-19 Student Hardship Fund to further support students through supermarket e-vouchers, helping pay bills and assisting with accommodation expenses.
"You also passionately supported the University’s community radio station, 2NURFM, in response to their appeal in June. You shared with us your gratitude for the station that remains a familiar and trusted voice, connecting our communities in Newcastle and the Hunter whatever we’re going through.
"Over 500 amazing people supported our not-for-profit station to continue producing high-quality local content when we needed it most, providing over $33,500 in donations, a sure sign of the station’s high regard.
“You continue to rise to the occasion and support our mid year appeal, particularly giving generously to contribute towards more Shaping Futures Scholarships. In 2020 we received over 580 applications from disadvantaged students needing financial support through scholarships. Thanks to you and your generosity, we were able to award 68 Shaping Futures Scholarships to support disadvantaged students this year.
Thank you very much for changing lives through your kindness.”
Head of Philanthropic Programs