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Somerville Access Fund

Please help make Somerville accessible to all!

  • £6,889

    pledged of £6,500

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This project received pledges on Sun 25 Mar 2018

The Somerville access fund - Building on our ethos of inclusivity and diversity

We are looking to raise money to create a Somerville Access Fund. This fund will allow us to continue our already successful annual 'Somerville Roadshow', which brings Somerville to the schools of our link regions of Hounslow and Kingston-Upon-Thames. It will also enable us to support the travel costs of schools visiting Somerville as part of our Access and Outreach Programme, or individual students wishing to attend Somerville Open Days but who would otherwise be unable to visit due to a lack of funds.

Meet The Student Ambassadors!

'Hi I'm Emily, a first year Historian at Somerville, a Moritz-Heyman Scholar and the current JCR Access and Admissions Officer! In Year 12 the Somerville Roadshow visited my state school in Hounslow and it was an important factor in my decision to apply to Oxford, and to Somerville particularly. I am aware first-hand of just how crucial promoting access is in altering attitudes towards higher education, but especially attitudes towards Oxford. I am hoping to encourage students, from all backgrounds, that there is space in Oxford for them.'

'I'm Robin, a third year Maths student at Somerville. Coming to Oxford from a state school in the Wirral (it's fine if you don't know where it is, no-one does), I recognise that there are huge numbers of talented students who are not being encouraged to apply to Oxbridge, and so don't fully realise their potential. I really believe in the importance of access work, because demystifying Oxford as a place could allow so many more bright students to truly thrive.'

We will be accompanied by 10 other amazing undergraduate Ambassadors from Somerville! If you want to know more about us, we’d love to hear from you and you can contact us directly at jcr.access@some.ox.ac.uk

What does this project entail?

1) The Somerville Access Roadshow is a tour in which a group of Somerville students travel to our link boroughs of Hounslow and Kingston and visit as many state schools as possible, hoping to dispel the myths surrounding Oxford and encourage students to apply by offering a presentation followed by interactive sessions. The Roadshow allows us to visit schools and directly engage with pupils, sharing our real experiences of life at Oxford, and life at Somerville. Whilst resources online can be helpful, speaking directly to actual Oxford students offers an entirely different experience and can mean the difference between an individual applying or not. We offer first hand testimonies that prove that Oxford is not for one type of person, the horror stories of interviews are not necessarily true and contrary to popular belief Oxford students can have a social life! The Roadshow is so important in showing students that Somerville does want them and is making an active effort to encourage their applications! We have successfully run two previous Roadshows, which were generously supported by alumni and friends of the College.  The Somerville JCR will now be funding a proportion of our future Roadshows, but there still remains a gap in funding, which is needed to enable all our Student Ambassadors to attend. We are looking for £1500 to help support the next few Roadshows.

2) An Access Fund: to create a fund that can be used to help potential applicants who otherwise would not be able to visit Somerville for Open Days or other Outreach activities due to financial barriers. Visiting a university is very important in one's application journey, and we want to ensure that students or schools aren't put off before even getting to see what we have to offer.

We feel that it is really important that keen prospective students do not fall down at the first hurdle simply due to a lack of funds to pay for a train fare. Through the initial creation of this Fund, which we look to top up on an annual basis, we could offer a life-changing opportunity for schools or individuals to visit us who would otherwise be unable to visit. We are looking for £5,000 to help start this important initiative.

Why is this so important?

Widening participation is something very important to all of us here at Somerville, we open our doors to students and schools from all over the world. We already host some very successful events, such as our Annual Year 12 Study Day, our Year 10 'Girls into Science' residential and the Universify Summer School.

However, we are always looking to do more. The thought of applying to Oxford can be very daunting and travel to visit the University is expensive for many. Speaking to students and showing them that Oxford is welcoming and diverse is one of the most crucial aspects of widening participation. We want to make positive changes to Somerville and Oxford, ensuring that the best and brightest students apply regardless of their background.

By donating to this campaign, you'd be helping us to reach out to schools and pupils whom view Oxford as unattainable.

If we raise more than our target of £6,500, the additional donations will be directed towards our general Access work, positively affecting even more individuals.

Our thanks to you!

We have some great rewards to thank everyone who donates. All donations are greatly appreciated and will make a real difference to our ability to carry out our plans. Check out our rewards on the right-hand side of this page!

Help us succeed!

You don't need to give money to help us succeed! Please share this project with anyone you think would support us – on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, by email, telephone, in a chat or on your blog! The more people that know about our project, the more we can raise and the more talented students we can reach! That said, we'd really love it if you could donate. Please help us to bring a wave of new and talented students to Somerville from a wide variety of backgrounds!

Please like our Facebook page to follow all things Access and Admissions at Somerville, at https://www.facebook.com/somervilleaccessandadmissions

If you want to find out more information about our Access work at Somerville, please do get in touch with us at jcr.access@some.ox.ac.uk or with the Development Office at development.office@some.ox.ac.uk

You can make your gift today by clicking on the 'Sponsor Project' button. If you have any queries about this process, please contact the Somerville Annual Fund Officer, Heather Weightman, at heather.weightman@some.ox.ac.uk .