Trust supports 14 students in 2016

The number of students the Trust is able to help has fallen to 14 this year, down from 16 last year.

The main reason is that more of the students awarded Trust bursaries in 2016 qualified for a higher level of funding as a result of achieving higher grades. The Trust sent about the same amount of funding this year as it did in 2015 but the money did not stretch to cover as many students.

The fact that academic success is rewarded provides reassurance to donors that the students concerned are more likely to graduate and go on to have successful careers. But it is regrettable that the Trust can help only a fraction of the students who qualify for help under the criteria of need.

As many alumni and Trust supporters will be aware, student funding is a huge issue, particularly in South Africa where there has been a strong campaign to limit or even abolish student fees. A South African government inquiry into the matter is due to report soon but the indications are that the help given by charities such as our Trust will continue to be needed more than ever.

The Trust also faces new challenges following the UK referendum vote to leave the EU. Some analysts forecast a fall in charitable giving. Meanwhile the exchange rate is now much less favourable to the Trust when sending bursary funds to South Africa.

We call on alumni and Trust supporters to give as best you can so the Trust can continue its work making a real difference to students’ lives and the wider society.

Please make a donation. The easiest way to give is via the Virgin Money Giving website at www.virginmoneygiving.com

Simply search for the University of KwaZulu-Natal UK Trust and follow the simple steps to make your donation, making sure you include a Gift Aid Declaration if you are a UK taxpayer.

Other information about how to give can be found on the Donate page.

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Trust News Winter 2015-16

The Winter 2015-16 issue of the UKZN UK Trust’s newsletter, Trust News, has been posted out to alumni and supporters in the UK. For those opting for email communication, please download the newsletter using the link below.

Please contact us if you did not receive the newsletter. We would also be grateful if you would let us have your e-mail address if you have not already done so, copying in the Alumni Affairs team at Alumni@ukzn.ac.za

View Trust News Winter2015-16 (PDF 1.42MB).

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Gratitude of Trust bursars shines through

UKZN students – file picture

The Trust has received many messages of thanks from the 16 students it has helped through its bursaries and the Margaret Thomas Scholarship this year. Their letters and emails provide a real insight into their lives, the difficulties they face, their hopes and aspirations and their determination to succeed.

See the Trust’s newsletter, Trust News Winter2015-16, for a sample of their stories.

We call on alumni and Trust supporters in the UK to give as best you can so the Trust can continue its work making a real difference to students’ lives and the wider society.

Please make a donation. The easiest way to give is via the Virgin Money Giving website at www.virginmoneygiving.com

Simply search for the University of KwaZulu-Natal UK Trust and follow the simple steps to make your donation, making sure you include a Gift Aid Declaration if you are a UK taxpayer.

Other information about how to give can be found on the Donate page.

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Trust News Summer 2015

The Summer 2015 issue of the UKZN UK Trust’s newsletter, Trust News, has been e-mailed out to alumni and supporters in the UK and posted to those for whom we do not have e-mail addresses.

Please contact us if you did not receive the newsletter. We would also be grateful if you would let us have your e-mail address if you have not already done so, copying in the Alumni Relations team at Alumni@ukzn.ac.za

View Trust News Summer 2015 (PDF 965KB).

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Making a difference: 16 students backed

The Trust has marked a real achievement in being able to assist 16 needyPietermaritzburg campus students this year, up from 15 last year.

A favourable exchange rate has helped but thanks are due entirely to Trust donors who have continued to give in support of the charity’s bursaries and the Margaret Thomas Scholarship. The Trustees are particularly grateful for a few generous donations that boosted the funding available for this year.

However, challenges remain. Many UKZN students struggle to find the necessary funds to support themselves, pay their fees and complete their studies. The Trust is able to help only a fraction of them.

Memorial Tower Building, Durban campusWe receive many emails from students desperate for assistance. It is hard for the Trustees to have to refuse them. We make our selections from a shortlist provided by the University’s Student Funding Centre according to our criteria of need.

We call on alumni and Trust supporters in the UK to give as best you can so the Trust can continue its work making a real difference to students’ lives and the wider society.

Please make a donation. The easiest way to give is via the Virgin Money Giving website at www.virginmoneygiving.com

Simply search for the University of KwaZulu-Natal UK Trust and follow the simple steps to make your donation, making sure you include a Gift Aid Declaration if you are a UK taxpayer.

Other information about how to give can be found on the Donate page.

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Trust News Winter 2014-15

The Winter 2014-15 issue of the UKZN UK Trust’s newsletter, Trust News, has been sent out to alumni and supporters in the UK. Most should have received it by post but others will have received it by email where this was requested.

Please contact us if you did not receive the newsletter. We would also be grateful if you would let us have your e-mail address if you have not already done so, copying in the Alumni Affairs team at Alumni@ukzn.ac.za

View Trust News Winter 2014-15 (PDF 730KB).

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Chilterns ramble benefits Trust

Chilterns walk

The Chilterns walkers near Chequers

The big day out in the Chilterns this Summer was a great success for all who came along.

Warm, sunny weather provided excellent conditions for the event, which included the options of a long walk or a short one, followed by a braai/barbeque.

Several of our Trustees and a handful of UKZN UK Trust supporters were made welcome by the organisers, Steve and Tonia Bowley, whose Thembisa Trust backs community projects in KwaZulu-Natal and elsewhere. We were delighted to have had the opportunity to mingle with the Thembisa Trust’s supporters and to have enjoyed Steve and Tonia’s hospitality.

A couple of dozen people took part in the long walk, led by Steve. Starting near Wendover, Bucks, the ramblers stopped at the Boer War memorial on Coombe Hill, with wonderful views across the countryside to the North and West. Passing through shady woods, they emerged near the Prime Minister’s official country residence at Chequers, before going on to lunch in the garden of The Plough at Cadsden (the pub where David Cameron’s daughter once was left behind accidentally by her parents).

Walkers at The Plough

Frank Kantor (Trustee), David Woodward, Andrew Gregory, Kev Harris and Roger Smith (Trust Chair) at The Plough at Cadsden near Chequers

The other group enjoyed a shorter walk past lakes near Steve and Tonia’s home at Tiddington, Oxfordshire. Everyone then gathered in the garden of their home for food and refreshments.

A presentation was made on the work of the Thembisa Trust, providing help to some desperately poor communities. The charity’s patron, the actress Dame Janet Suzman, made a short speech praising its work.

Some money was raised for the Thembisa Trust but the UKZN UK Trust also benefited from donations which came in from well-wishers who sponsored members of our group on the walks.

Tonia and Steve Bowley

Tonia and Steve Bowley

We are very grateful to Steve and Tonia for inviting us to join them on what was a very good, very sociable and enjoyable day. Please see www.thembisatrust.org for more information on their charity.

If you wish to express your backing for those supporters of the UKZN UK Trust who did sponsored walks, please make a donation.

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Trust supports more students in 2014

The appeal in the Trust’s previous newsletter for supporters to help boost dwindling funds has had an excellent response. As a result, the number of students the Trust is able to support this year has increased to 15 rather than fallen. This is most heartening.

Every contribution is valued but a huge difference was made by several significant donations from well-wishers who made a special effort. Chief among them were Bronek and Jane Masojada, who wished to help as former students who once attended the University.

The Trustees are grateful to everyone who gave most generously.

The number of students assisted had been expected to fall from 12 last year to 11 or even 10 this year but, thanks to the boost in income, the number goes up to 15.

Nevertheless it has to be said there can be no room for complacency. The need remains very great. Your support is vital if the Trust is to be able to continue its work, making it possible for poor students to complete their studies, which in turn can help the wider community

The Trust receives many appeals from students seeking assistance which it has to refuse because it only considers applications referred by the Student Funding Centre according to the Trust’s criteria based on need. But they bring home the desperate plight of some.

Just one recent example, from an education student, reads: “I have been through so much, having no funding at school while other students do really hurts. I know I’m not the only one but I beg for help if it’s possible for the organization to help me…

“I do well in my studying, I pass all my modules, I am very passionate about my studies, especially the profession I do. I really see myself as successful teacher in 2016 as I am supposed to be finishing my degree next year.

“Every day before I sleep I cry and pray as I don’t know if I’ll be able to get my fees paid and if I’ll finish my degree on time. I walk in and out [of] businesses asking for help since last year, ‘til this day no luck. I would really appreciate it if I got a response from you.”

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Alumni are invited to a big day out

Chilterns footpath – picture by Des Blenkinsopp (c) (via geograph)

A summertime social gathering is being organised in Oxfordshire for Sunday, 27th July 2014, involving optional walks and a barbeque/braai.

The event is being hosted by Steve and Tonia Bowley, whose Thembisa Trust backs community projects in KwaZulu-Natal. Alumni and supporters of the UKZN UK Trust are invited to attend what is expected to be a fun day and a rare chance to meet up.

** Please RSVP by 11th July by email to info@ukznuktrust.org or by phoning 07968 142671. **

Option 1. DAY WALK – THE CHILTERNS (led by Steve Bowley). Please advise if you wish to join this walk.
Circular walk near Wendover, including Chequers Estate and Boer War Memorial (10 miles max).
Meet 10am at Tiddington Village Hall (A418 at OX9 2LY). Share transport to start.
Lunch stop – The Plough at Cadsden OR bring packed lunch.
Come prepared: Footpaths are slippery in wet weather so wear good footwear and bring a waterproof. Arrive back at Tiddington at 4pm for BBQ.

Option 2. AFTERNOON LOCAL WALK (Families welcome).
Meet at 3pm at Tiddington Village Hall (on A418 at OX9 2LY).
Weather permitting, the route will be through Ferndale Woods – or else via the lake (2 miles).

BBQ: Ferndale, Tiddington OX9 2LQ – 4.30-8.30pm.
Tickets: £12/adult, £6/u10; food and soft drinks included; beer/wine for sale. Raffle; plant sale.

The event will provide the opportunity for a little fund-raising for both charities as those taking part in the walks are being encouraged to obtain sponsorship from friends and family for the charity of their choice.

If you can help the UKZN UK Trust in this way, please go to www.virginmoneygiving.com and set up your own fundraising page for the event following the simple steps on the website:
• Select “Start fundraising (Create your page)”
• Select “Organised events”
• Enter “UKZN UK Trust Walk” and select “Next” (tick box if necessary)
• Follow the instructions to fill in the details on a simple form to create your page
• Email friends and family to encourage them to use your page to sponsor you.
All funds raised go straight to the UKZN UK Trust’s bank account.

Alternatively you can donate directly to the Trust via the Virgin Money Giving site or you can give cash or a cheque to UKZN UK Trust Chair Roger Smith at the event.

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Trust News Summer 2014

The Summer 2014 issue of the UKZN UK Trust’s newsletter, Trust News, has been e-mailed out to alumni and supporters in the UK and posted to those for whom we do not have e-mail addresses.

Please contact us if you did not receive the newsletter. We would also be grateful if you would let us have your e-mail address if you have not already done so, copying in the Alumni Relations team at Alumni@ukzn.ac.za

View Trust News Summer 2014 (PDF 681KB).

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