Success Stories

Sandra Modzelewska 2012 Winner

I moved to the UK about 6.5 years ago to study. I live with my mum and sisters in North West London. My mum as a single parent is not earning enough money to provide me with financial assistance to my study so I had to apply for Student Loan. About 3 years ago I started course at College which was Fashion, however after 2 years of finishing the course I decided that that’s not what I want to do in the future. I was always interested in Law which is difficult subject but worth to study. In the first semester it was hard for me to keep up as I have never done Law previously, but at the end of it I managed to get through with it.The financial support from the Helena Kennedy Foundation helped me to buy all the necessary books and stationary as well as the travel expenses and other additional costs. I really appreciate the help I’m getting from HKF which has helped me to carry on with my education.

Rosie Cooke 2012 Winner

I grew up in care after losing my mother at the age of 3 and issues around my father. I left care at 18 and went to live on my own in supported lodgings. I always wanted to be a nurse but never thought it was possible because of financial reasons. The award from HKF has helped me to buy a laptop to assist with my studies and to buy a bus pass for me to travel to and from my placements.

Student Quotes:

Georgi Kovatchev 2011 winner

“HKF is the only reason I am still a University student as your help prevented my withdrawal. I think this says everything and I can’t express how thankful I am.”

Rebecca Osei, 2009 Winner

“I was successful in my HKF application; this enabled to buy books, table and chair etc. I was able to create a learning space where I could do my assignments and revision. This contributes greatly to my ability to stay on top of my work. I completed my foundation and 1st year with a 2.1 I believe this would not have been possible without the financial support I received from HKF.”

Sarah Johnston, 2011 Winner

“In gaining a HKF award, I have gained in confidence in pursuing my dream of becoming a Primary school teacher. The Helena Kennedy Foundation has helped to inspire me to continue in to higher education, despite having to deal with difficult personal circumstances in my life. “

Siobhain Kearney-Baxter 2009

”I received my award in 2009 and graduated in 2012 as a Social Worker. I am currently working in supported employment with adults who have learning disabilities and Autism, but have a new post as a Family Team Coordinator that I will be starting shortly. I’m also currently undertaking my post qualifying year as a Social Worker. The Helena Kennedy award really helped me with my finances as a student. The extra money enabled me to buy the various books needed for the course, a laptop and the cost towards driving lessons which I needed, You definitely need a car as a social worker!”

Anonymous, winner 2011

”I would like you and the foundation to know how much the bursary helped me and how much I appreciate it. I have a disabled father and great uncle that live with us, my mother works nights as a nurse and so I come from a very low income family. I have found it difficult to find work that I would be able to schedule around my university work (of which I’m currently in from 9 – 6 Monday to Friday) and caring for them and the rest of the family. I specialise in printmaking on my drawing course which can be quite expensive buying sheet metal, ink, paper and getting books printed all adds up. The bursary covers my costs for this and is also allowing me to visit the Bristol and Leeds Artists Book fairs to try and sell my prints and books. It also allows me a degree of freedom which I wouldn’t have otherwise that keeps me sane”’.

Leanne Johnson, 2001 winner

”My name is Leanne Johnson. I was awarded the HKF bursary in my final year at Bishop Auckland college in 2001. I completed my LLB and was recruited as a trainee probation officer in 2004. I went on to complete a further degree and NVQ in community justice and have worked as a qualified Probation Officer for the past 7 years. I am currently undertaking a PGCE in post compulsory education. My story was not without further hardship, my mother died in 2005 age 42 and my father in 2007 age 45. The bursary was a massive help to my studies and it was such a fabulous experience being able to attend the House of Lords to accept the prize. I just wanted to share my success of how someone born in poverty and against social odds can achieve and progress”.

Libby Cuthbert 2001 winner

”I won the Helena Kennedy award in 2008, which helped me fund my BSc in psychology. In 2001 I was divorced, becoming a single parent (of one) and my mother died. These two things led to a period of depression. I could no longer sustain my previous career in advertising due to constraints of being a single parent. I found other work that fitted around my child but wanted to find something more satisfying. In 2006 I took an evening class in Psychology, which led to a desire to return to education. I completed an Access to HE course as I only had O’levels. In 2008 I won the Helena Kennedy award, which helped pay for a laptop and travel. I gained a BSc in Psychology from University of Kent – 1st class honours and won a Faculty Award for highest exam results and School of Psychology prize for best dissertation. I won a scholarship funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and a CASE studentship supported by AgeUK to study a Masters and PhD in Social Psychology at University of Kent. I am passionate about social injustice and my research investigates psychological mechanisms underlying ageist attitudes and interventions aimed at reducing the negative outcomes of ageism. I completed my MSc in Social and Applied Psychology (with distinction) and have just completed the first term of my 3 year PhD.I am very grateful for the help the Helena Kennedy Foundation gave me. The financial award gave me flexibility during my first few years of study, but more importantly their recognition and support gave me the confidence I lacked to strive to fulfil my ambitions. I am very proud to have be an awardee of the foundation and admire the work they continue to do”.