Our Telephone Campaign

Each spring a team of Loughborough students speak with hundreds of our alumni about their experiences since graduation and update them on campus developments.

It’s always a fun and interesting experience for our students and our alumni, as well as a fantastic opportunity for alumni to get involved in giving back.

Laura's story

This year, our students raised over £125,000 to support their fellow students from low income backgrounds. They asked our alumni to give what they could to help fund scholarships that will open up access to University for young people who might otherwise not attend. Our goal is to level the playing field and ensure that talent does not go unfulfilled, and thanks to all those that pledged their support this year, that dream can now be realised for many more students in the upcoming academic year. 

''Just that extra bit of financial support can have such a positive impact on someone’s life. No one can help their household income or their background, so by giving students the chance to flourish and develop during their time at university, it’s probably one of the best gifts anyone could ever give.'' Laura, Scholarships recipient 2019

Can you tell us why you needed scholarship support?

I live in one of the most deprived areas of the UK, where there is a huge percentage of unemployment and a small percentage of young adults who go on to higher education. My parents have provided so much for me while growing up and were prepared to help support me during my time at university where they could, but I knew this would be putting a further financial strain on our family and I felt really guilty about the impact it would have. 

I knew I wanted to study Sports Science at Loughborough and that I wanted to take advantage of the placement year available as the University’s sporting contacts are phenomenal. While doing this, I realised that the majority of sporting placements are unpaid too. Once I found out about this, I started saving up for two years before I even started at Loughborough.

Hearing about the availability of donor-funded scholarships lifted me up, knowing I had a chance of relieving some of the financial burden on my parents. It put less of a strain on me as I could concentrate on my studies and extracurricular activities more instead of having to work more hours to earn more money to cover costs. 

What do you think would have happened if you didn’t get the support?

University life would’ve been a lot tougher and more restricted. I wouldn’t have been able to pursue any of the amazing opportunities that my course and this university has to offer. Especially in the sports science industry, it’s very rare that placements in elite sporting environments are paid. Without the scholarship, I never would have been able to fund myself during an unpaid placement year and as a result, I would have missed out on an invaluable experience.

How did you feel when you got your scholarship?

It came as a bit of a shock at first as I really wasn’t expecting to become an actual scholarship recipient, so it took a little while for it to sink in. I remember having to read the letter over several times just to make sure what I was seeing was true! But once I registered what the scholarship meant for me, my family and I were elated. Personally, I felt so much lighter knowing that I’ve helped lift a financial burden off my parent’s shoulders. It meant I could go to university and not feel guilty for relying on my parents for money. I felt more self-sufficient, more independent and I could start looking forward to university life without having to worry about the financial impact on my family back home. 

What do you think your scholarship has helped you to achieve?

The scholarship will help me achieve so much, not just academically but in developing myself as a person. Academically it enables me to perform to the best of my capabilities by having the financial support to purchase key textbooks that are not always available in the library and other essential study equipment. It has kept me on track to graduate to the highest of my capabilities later this year. It has enabled me to receive extra qualifications throughout my time here at Loughborough by attending workshops and courses. My main extra achievement is achieving a diploma in industrial studies due to my amazing placement year working with the Welsh Rugby Union. This has helped develop my work experience skills by improving things such as my communication, independent/teamwork, self-management, problem-solving and using my initiative ready for real-life work.

What do you want to say to those that supported you?

A huge thank you to all the donors. This money is most definitely not taken for granted. It has allowed me to live my life to the full and make the most of my time while being here at Loughborough. It has given me the chance to further myself and has given me better opportunities than I would have got without this scholarship. Looking back on the past few years, my family and I can see how much I have changed and developed as a person while being here at Loughborough. It hasn’t been an easy journey for me, but the scholarship has made it so much easier. It has created so many opportunities for me and I’ll be eternally grateful to all the donors.

What would you say to someone thinking about pledging their support to help other people like you?

This experience has made me 100% more ambitious to work within the sporting industry, it solidified that this is the career path I want to take. I never would have gotten here without the scholarship and I am forever grateful.

A caller's perspective

Being part of the calling team has been an amazing experience for me. I do really enjoy having meaningful conversations with people who once walked the path I’m now on. What’s really incredible is just how strong the affection our alumni have for Loughborough, ten, twenty, thirty years after they graduated. So much has changed in that time, and yet so much stays the same! They care greatly about the current generation of students and are brimming with advice. When asked to give back to help those from low income backgrounds, many don’t hesitate to give what they can. They know the importance Loughborough has had in their lives, the invaluable experience they gained, the friends for life they made, and they wanted to give that back to others.

Lydia, student caller Spring 2019

Get involved

If you are interested in being called in our upcoming campaign, please contact: m.carpenter-jewels@lboro.ac.uk