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University of Suffolk Foundation Board announces projects funded through philanthropic funds

3 Feb 2020 11:15AM

Since 2016, the University of Suffolk has been raising funds through generous donations from our friends, staff and supporters, allowing the University to support 34 different student and staff led projects across the institution to date.

Funds are disbursed by the Foundation Board which was established to help develop and grow the University’s philanthropic activity, enabling us to make transformational financial contributions to our students, staff and facilities.

The projects have varied in size but have all had a significant impact on both students and staff alike.  The wide variety of initiatives supported has enabled the University to focus on enhancing the student experience and to provide a means to actively respond to the needs of the students and staff.

Just over £20,000 has been disbursed by the Foundation Board in 2020. The projects to benefit are:

Work Experience Bursary

The Work Experience Bursary is designed to enable students to access work experience opportunities that they may not otherwise have been able to access due to financial constraints

Gals that Game, pictured

The Suffolk Centre for Female Entrepreneurship will be hosting the second ‘Gals that Game’ event in April 2020.  The event will be an all-female games jam offering a friendly and supportive environment for those interested in exploring the field of game development.

Usability Testing – Let’s get user friendly

The Foundation Board will be funding essential equipment for this research project looking at assessing the impact digital technology use on the quality of life for vulnerable people within a health and social care setting

Tech for Social Good

A one day ‘Hackathon’ for students and alumni aiming to understand from the student/graduate perspective how technology can help improve their mental health.

University of Suffolk Women’s Netball Team

Provision of a match day kit for the University of Suffolk Women’s Netball Team

Sports Scholarships, pictured- Jasmin Taylor

Supporting students currently competing at a national or international level in their chosen sport

LGBTQ+ society

The design and development of an LGBTQ+ Banner and flag to promote the society across the university and to be used to celebrate Suffolk Pride

Animal Assisted Therapy sessions

Enabling more than 100 students to relieve their exam stress and keep motivated by spending time with a therapy pet

Student Wellbeing Ambassadors

A collaboration between the Student’s Union, Student Services and the Suffolk Institute for Social and Economic Research to deliver a co-produced research project assessing student perceptions of well-being, mental health and support services in higher education.  Students will be trained by Student Minds to deliver advice and support to students across the university.

University of Suffolk Men’s Football Team

Provision of new playing tops for the Men’s Football Team to represent the University across the country.

Games Society

To support the society to expand further with the development of a banner

RAG Society

Raising and Giving (RAG) is a nationwide student initiative which enables students to coordinate and host fundraising events.

Random Acts of Kindness

Helping students to manage and reduce exam stress by offering a series of ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ at specific points throughout the year.

A further £15,000, due to a generous anonymous donation, has been disbursed specifically to the following Learning and Teaching based projects:

Growing Resilience: an Interventions Toolkit (GRIT)
GRIT will be a toolbox for staff and students based on a three-pronged approach targeting the teaching environment, the online environment and within the personal tutor system. The project will deliver a curriculum guide with activities, a resource area in the Online Learning Environment, Brightspace, and enhanced guidance for structured personal tutorials.

Persuasion: a tool for facilitating classroom discussion

This project will develop a classroom game which facilitates engagement and discussion on topics relating to persuasion, power, motivation and influence. This tool will help to encourage productive debate of abstract and complex topics, supporting students in developing skills, confidence their academic voice.

Extenuating/mitigating circumstance: student progression and student experience, lessons learned

This project will focus on the extenuating circumstances processes at the University and explore data to give insight into the impact they have on student progression, and academic success. This will support the development of timely interventions, reducing gaps in success and progression as identified in our Access and Participation Plan.

Ellen Buck, Director of Learning and Teaching at the University, said “Each of these projects has scope for impact at individual, course, school and whole-University level, and further the University’s work and expertise in successfully widening participation. These projects will be showcased at the University’s Learning and Teaching Conference in the summer.”

Kate Burgess, Alumni Relations and Development Manager, said “Philanthropy serves to form a major part of our future, allowing us to expand our activity beyond our current means and engage our communities in different and interesting ways. The Foundation Board will continue to support projects across the whole institution by advising on and nurturing strong and lasting relationships with a range of partners in order to support the strategic objectives of the University.”

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Helen Langton, said “Gifts to the University are transformational.  We invest in first class teaching and learning facilities, world class research and improving the everyday lives of students through sports, social and wellbeing activities.  Often our initial response to a request of this sort is linked to thoughts around a large donation and whilst large donations can clearly be extremely helpful we recognise that this is out of the range of some people and that many small donations can make a significant difference.”

Richard Lister OBE, Chair of the Foundation Board, added “Once again the University Foundation is delighted to be able to support a wide range of University projects through our students and we are so pleased to be able to make grants which will make the university stronger and improve the lives of our students while they are studying in Suffolk.” 

For more information about the Foundation Board visit or contact Kate Burgess on 01473 338067 or


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