Student callers are back and as excited to talk with you as ever! It’s time for the Portsmouth Futures Fund telephone campaign

Group shot of students smiling

Starting this weekend and over the next three weeks, students will be reaching out to you. Please make the time to make their day.

  • 22 April 2022
  • 7 min read

A lot has changed since last April when students last reached out and there is so much to update you on! There’s also a whole new group of callers excited to talk with you, hear your stories and learn from your experience after uni. You can look forward to a call between 24 April–15 May. 

One year on

Last year, student callers raised close to £100,000 to support those among them facing hardship. They did this through conversations with over 1,000 alumni just like you. They gained valuable career and life advice and heard amazing stories that they will carry with them into the future.

Funds raised last year are now hard at work, contributing to living costs and learning enrichment, including internships abroad, for students in need. Over the next three weeks, you will have the chance to open even more doors for these deserving students. 

This year’s calling 

An eager group of 38 student callers are hoping to speak to over 1,000 alumni in the next three weeks. The main reason for their call is raising funds to support students who need it most. At the same time, they’ll update you on what’s new and exciting at the University. Things like the grand opening of our Ravelin Sports Centre, and 30th Anniversary Celebrations coming up in September. Alumni Weekend offers you the perfect chance to reconnect with Portsmouth and friends from your student days. 

Callers are again raising money for the Portsmouth Futures Fund, so vital to supporting students facing financial hardship. Through the Fund, these students gain learning and life opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have. Your contributions level the playing field, giving all students the chance to realise their potential. And even if you’re not in a position to give, please do take the time to speak with your caller. 

Alumnus Nigel Abbott decided to give last year and this is what he had to say. 

Nigel Abbott

BA (Hons) Geography, 1985

My inspiration for donating was to help put something back into the University where I had such a good time all those years ago. I am very pleased that in some small way I can help assist those who do not have enough themselves to study readily.

Nigel Abbott, BA (Hons) Geography, 1985

Your wise advice

The calling campaign is all about connecting our graduates and our students. Callers are all on different journeys, at Portsmouth and in life. Some are in the first year of their undergraduate course and some are in the final few months of a masters course. You can help them as they consider their options for the road ahead, career options, tips for navigating life after uni. 

Meet the callers

Rosalind Holmes

BSc (Hons) Television and Broadcasting, third-year student

Photo of student Rosalind Holmes smiling

Although I have not personally benefited from financial support, I am grateful it is available for those who need it.

Rosalind Holmes, BSc (Hons) Television and Broadcasting, third-year student

I am grateful for this opportunity to take part in the telephone campaign as I think there is a lot for me to learn and gain from this experience.

I look forward to having great conversations with our alumni, hearing them reminisce about their time at the University of Portsmouth and sharing this experience with them. I hope that my conversations will make our alumni happy and feel nostalgic about their time at the uni. I can also hear what it was like at the University when they studied here, especially if it was a long time ago, and can tell them what has changed since. 

I hope the memories that the alumni share with me will give me inspiration for things to do and see around Portsmouth in these last few months before I graduate and that my conversations will offer me new perspectives on life after graduation.

Lovinia Boon

BSc (Hons) Psychology, first-year student

Selfie of student Lovinia Boon

I am excited to learn from the alumni and tell them about how their funding has helped me personally. I’ll share updates also, such as the new sports centre soon to open!

Lovinia Boon, BSc (Hons) Psychology, first-year student

I have benefitted from funding myself and it helped me so much. I was able to pay off my accommodation fees and I could not be more grateful to those who supported me throughout that stressful time. Prior to the funding, I was having sleepless nights of stress worrying about money and living off of soup. After I received the funding, I was able to relax and actually enjoy University life again. 

Nourin Shamnad

MSc Biotechnology, first-year student 

Photo of student Nourin Shamnad smiling

I am all about giving back to my nurturers so I am really excited to take part in this fundraising!

Nourin Shamnad, MSc Biotechnology, first-year student

I am an international student at the University. I am dying to meet the alumni and connect with them. I look forward to letting them know what the University has been up to since they last checked up on it, and especially hearing about their memories... which may involve being at the student bar!

Bethany Trott

BA (Hons) Fashion and Textile Design, second-year student 

Photo of Bethany Trott smiling

Portsmouth is such a lovely place and there is so much to do. Having the alumni funding available to help those who need some extra support is really nice as students get to experience all that Portsmouth has to offer.

Bethany Trott, BA (Hons) Fashion and Textile Design, second-year student

I’m in my second year of studying and loving my course so far. It has been really nice to learn so much about sustainability and how to make garments, such as a zero waste dress and a sustainable coat made from waste materials. I’m excited to talk to alumni about this and see what they did when they were at university and where they are now. With only a year and a bit to go of my course, I’m keen to start figuring out what career I would like to go into so I look forward to hearing about what alumni have achieved.

I joined the telephone campaign because I know how important it is to not have to worry about money and to make the most out of our time at university. Throughout my first year, Covid-19 was a massive restricting factor. I couldn't make many friends or go out. Now restrictions have been lifted, I have realised the importance of socialising and going out. However, some people don't have the privilege of having a little bit of spare time and money to go and do things. 

I always try to look out for how I can help people, and calling enables me to use my spare time for good and to help those in need. It also gives me the opportunity to meet friends or get my foot in the door to future places of work – make some contacts. This will build up my confidence as I will be speaking to people who I don't know and it will be a great exercise to add to my CV. Personally I haven't benefited from funding; however, I really appreciate the help to students. 

Having not been from Portsmouth and moving here as a new student, I instantly felt comfortable at the University and I love the fact that we are right next to the sea and there are loads of museums that we can visit. I can't wait to get started calling and see how many students we can help with our fundraising efforts.

Mwangala Sikwibele

BA (Hons) Accounting with Finance, second-year student

This initiative will enable me to be a part of something that is purposeful, and provides positive and tangible results for students that greatly need it.

Mwangala Sikwibele, BA (Hons) Accounting with Finance, second-year student

I chose to take part in the telephone campaign because I believe it is a great opportunity to raise awareness and support students who face financial challenges. It offers a way to ensure that students can receive a quality education and enjoy their university experience, without having to bear the burden of financial constraints. 

In addition, this opportunity will allow me to acquire and develop skills, work collaboratively and develop strong relationships with alumni. I hope to gain an understanding of various alumni career journeys, to learn from their experiences and to equip myself for my own career trajectory. By participating in the calling, I hope to create an impactful change to assist students in need of these funds and enhance their university life.

Joey Slatter

BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science, third-year student

From speaking with alumni, I hope to gain an insight into life outside of university, and learn from their experience at uni.

Joey Slatter, BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science, third-year student

I chose to take part in the telephone campaign because I wanted the opportunity to work with the University that has given me so much, whilst being part of something that is purely aimed at benefiting students. I look forward to speaking with alumni and sharing experiences, as well as trying something I have never even thought about doing before. I’m excited to tell alumni about the opportunities available at the University, such as the 30th Anniversary Celebrations and new buildings like the Ravelin Sports Centre. 

Students can’t wait to speak with you

We hope you are looking forward to the next three weeks as much as the student callers are! Please consider a gift to help ensure every student, irrespective of their background, can reach their potential. 

You can find out more about ways to support students here.