Alumni engagement and philanthropy

Queen’s for life! Donations boost student experience through Annual Fund

Staff and students line up in front of  wall with insect mural

Student volunteers Sian, Lydia, Leah and Tejaswini join Stephen O’Reilly, DARO Development Manager, and Jonny Baxter, Queen’s SU Volunteer and
Community Support Officer, at the Handy Helpers project, supported by the Queen's Annual Fund.

Friday 24 February 2023

More than fifty student projects have benefited from donations made by graduates and friends of Queen’s University, through the Queen's Annual Fund to enhance the student experience.

In the 2022-23 academic year, £62,704 was disbursed to 55 clubs, societies and schools, helping students access everything from first aid training, sports kit, scholarships, competition entry fees and mental health and wellbeing initiatives. 

This includes £2,000 to Queen’s Rugby to provide high performance video analysis; £2,231 to create an art alley and sensory garden - delivered by SU Community Engagement team and Handy Helpers in conjunction with the QFT; and £3,000 to provide mental health first aid training to students in the School of Pharmacy so they can support their peers and promote positive mental health.   

Other clubs and societies that benefited include GAA, tennis, netball, skydiving, Scouts network, Queen’s Radio, RAG, the Student Union, Queen’s Pride, Queen’s Boat Club, the Indonesian Society, Queen’s Music Society and more.

Working on the Handy Helpers project, Queen’s SU Volunteer and Community Support Officer Jonny Baxter believes the Fund has a wide impact: “Queen’s Annual Fund enables staff and students to come together and have opportunities they wouldn’t normally have, such as removing graffiti and creating a sensory garden space at the wonderful Queen’s Film Theatre. The aim of this project was to use unique ways to bring people together and rejuvenate spaces that can then become better used by everyone.”

The Annual Fund is made possible by philanthropic gifts from graduates and friends of the University. Student callers take part in two telephone fundraising campaigns each year, sharing student success stories, engaging alumni, and encouraging financial support for student projects. 

The funds are disbursed through the Queen’s University of Belfast Foundation, a registered charity that drives philanthropic support for the University’s strategic priorities within education and research. 

Since 1999, the Queen’s Annual Fund has supported hundreds of projects, benefitting thousands of students. Every autumn, the Development and Alumni Relations Office invites staff and students to apply for funding for projects that significantly impact and improve the student experience.

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