Where does the money go?
The Council decides each year what activities the Friends should support. It does so after seeking input from the Presidents of the JCR and MCR on current needs, and after full consultation with the College.
In respect of the academic year 2020/2021, the Friends made grants totalling £79,000 as follows:
- £25,000 was given to the Senior Tutor’s Fund for use at his discretion to improve student mental and physical wellbeing as well as supporting deserving applicants in a deliberately wide range of other purposes. In the past these funds have been used to assist students to prepare for examinations by covering the costs of staying up during vacations; providing child care to enable students with small children to attend supervisions and examinations; to provide emergency medical assistance etc.
- £35,000 to pay for a full time Mental Health Adviser. This role was established recently reflecting the rising profile and need in this area, and is a service fully utilised and held in the highest regard by its users and the College. The Friends have committed to fund this new service for three years, with the expectation that the College will then take over its financing.
- £10,000 to fund a part time Student Counsellor. This role pre dates the MHA role above, and is in its fourth year of five funded by the Friends. The role was originally established to meet perceived need and helped inform the creation of the MHA role. The two posts now co-exist and are both fully utilised.
- £5,000 for a range of academic prizes and to fund the sixth form essay prizes. These donations arise from previous specific endowments for this purpose.
- £2,000 for yoga classes. These were introduced in 2018/2019 and have proved very popular across undergraduates and graduates and all genders as both as both a stress relieving activity as well as helping with physical wellbeing.
- £2,000 for “Superhalls”. There are special events held by the undergraduates and postgraduates separately. Their cost is over and above the normal hall provision, so the Friends contribute to reduce the risk of financial exclusion and raise awareness of the Friends. Due to the pandemic, these events were not held in 2019/2020 and will not be held in 2020/2021.
In 2020 the Council of the Friends proactively donated £50,000 to support all students through the first pandemic lockdown. A sum of up to £100 was allocated to each student to spend on anything which would help their wellbeing and was supported by their tutor, with the residual being deployed to those most in need by the Senior Tutor. This was extraordinary well received, as was the Friends’ funding of a leavers “Year Book”. This was created for the first time as a memento of College and fellow students, with a possibility of it becoming a permanent feature.
Administrative expenses: Members of Council give of their time entirely freely and do not charge expenses. Administrative costs are therefore minimal and relate primarily to securing the services of an independent accountant.