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Alumni donate over £40,000 to current students

A successful alumni telethon has raised a huge £42,000 to support current Northumbria students. During a three week campaign ending in November, more than 900 alumni were contacted by a team of current student callers with the aim of raising funds to support scholarships and low income students.

Northumbria University’s Alumni Fund provides funding for a range of student support and wellbeing services to ensure that every student has the opportunity to reach their full potential, regardless of the challenges they may be facing. There are currently 215,000 Northumbria graduates in 175 countries across the world. Working together our alumni can make a huge difference to better the experience for today’s students.

Student caller Phoebe Smith is in her final year of a business management course at Northumbria, she decided to join the Telethon after completing a placement year within the University’s Advancement Office. We interviewed her to find out more about her experience:


Why did you apply to be a caller?Phoebe Smith

Last academic year I completed a full time internship with the University’s Advancement Team. I gained lots of valuable work experience and skills, and learnt all about the fundraising carried out by the University and why it’s needed. I was surprised to learn that school leavers from the poorest backgrounds are the least likely to come to university, no matter how much potential they might have. I applied to be a caller to help raise money for the Alumni Fund, but it’s also a great opportunity to develop my own skills and meet fellow students from other courses.

What is the Alumni Fund?

The Alumni Fund provides support for talented students from low income backgrounds in the form of scholarships and hardship funding. This means that all Northumbria students, regardless of background, have the opportunity to fulfil their potential. This is made possible thanks to generous donations from alumni. It’s amazing to think that past students value their own experience here so highly that they want to give back and help others follow in their footsteps.

What did you enjoy about the campaign?

Chatting to Northumbria graduates and hearing about what they’ve gone on to do since graduating. I’m undecided about what I’d like to do next so looking for inspiration! Lots of people are doing interesting jobs that I might never have heard of or considered before. I also enjoyed telling people about the Alumni Fund, it’s a great cause and something I’m proud to spread the word about.

How would you describe a typical call?

A friendly chat with a current student and an opportunity to stay up to date with the University. Asking for donations is just one part of the call and, although we want to raise as much as possible for the Alumni Fund, there’s lot of other reasons why we want to get in touch such as informing people of upcoming events and hearing about what our alumni are doing now.

To find out more about our alumni and supporters and get involved click here.

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