When times got tough for American Studies student Bronwen Winters, Swansea University’s Hardship Fund meant she did not have to give up on her degree.
Bronwen Winters had had to overcome many hurdles to get into university. She had been in care for most of her life and moved home more than 30 times.
On top of the challenges she faced to reach University she then came up against another brick wall when her bank refused to offer her an overdraft.
But she was able to secure safe accommodation at the University’s Hendrefoilan Student village, thanks to the support of staff at the University and the University’s Hardship Fund.
Bronwen said: “The money and support are enabling me to make much more out of my life than I thought I would be able to.”
She is now excelling in her American Studies degree and plans to continue her studies with a Masters in Creative Writing.
And not only has she refused to let her difficulties get her down, she has also become an ambassador for the South West Wales Reaching Wider Partnership which breaks down barriers for those from non-traditional backgrounds. Bronwen has made it her mission to give back and is working with the University to set up a mentoring project to help others in her situation.
She also takes part in the University’s annual telethon, raising funds for students facing the same predicament as her.
She said: “The Hardship Fund saved my future – if I’d had to drop out of University there would have been no way back. The University has provided me with the opportunity to give back in a meaningful way.”
The Hardship Fund can help with things such as food, bills, books, equipment, accommodation and childcare.
On average more than 700 students apply to the Hardship Fund every year. The University can only support so many students, meaning many, unfortunately, are unsuccessful.
Every contribution to the Fund is worthwhile and provides vital funds for students like Bronwen.
To find out more, visit the Swansea University Hardship Fund pages.