Ringing the changes

From telethons to Giving Days, how will you get involved?

Words: Lucy Jolin

When Sarat Alabidun (PhD Chemical Engineering) heard that the Imperial Telethon was looking for student callers, she didn’t hesitate to sign up. “I am a beneficiary of a scholarship at Imperial and wanted, in my own little way, to contribute to making similar scholarships available to other people in the future,” she says. “What I liked most about the job was contributing to raising money for student support, making valuable connections and learning a lot of life and career lessons from alumni.”

And the alumni who answered her calls were happy to pay it forward, too. The Spring Telethon, which took place in March, saw student callers reaching out to more than 800 Imperial alumni across the globe, raising more than £39,000 to support students. “I support all efforts to assist Imperial,” says alumni donor Nelson Kardos (MSc Biochemistry 1974). “My time at Imperial was life-changing. I always believe that gaining success in life requires getting the right key to the right door. And Imperial is the right key to unlock the door to the future.”

In fact, alumni donors have helped support more than 2,500 students via scholarships, bursaries and hardship funding over the past two years. The Telethon is just one example of the incredible impact Imperial’s students and alumni can have when they come together.

Another example is the recent Alumni Weekend, where alumni and students gathered to celebrate their time, past and present, at Imperial. Attendee Anuraj Bismal (BSc Physics 1987) was inspired to give a generous gift to celebrate 35 years since his graduation. “I enjoyed meeting students at the Union bar and at the donor reception,” he says. “As we bumped into students during our time there, we were filled with pride and hope for the future.”

Supporting Imperial’s students to do their best work has always been vital. But the cost of living crisis is creating an even more challenging environment, making alleviating student hardship more important than ever. The work never stops, and next up is a new event – the Business School’s first Giving Day. It will take place in March 2023, with the entire Imperial College Business School community coming together to raise funds for students with limited financial resources.

If you’d like to take part or find out more, visit www.imperial.ac.uk/giving.