Alumni engagement and philanthropy

Queen's Foundation Celebrates 'Giving' During Philanthropy Fortnight

Queen's Quad
Thursday 16 June 2022

Philanthropy Fortnight - Monday June 13 to Friday June 24 - is a partnership of business and charitable organisations across NI which highlights the tangible difference that 'giving' makes to the local community and aims to inspire support for new and existing philanthropic enterprises. 

During this year's Philanthropy Fortnight, the Queen's Development team have reflected on the support that philanthropists bring to the University. The generosity of donors has the capacity to bring hope, encourage progress and create opportunities well beyond the financial impact of their contribution. 

Giving hope through Medicine

Philanthropy at Queen’s empowers ground-breaking research in medicine, giving hope of better outcomes and long-term solutions for those affected by life-threatening health conditions. 

The Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research is internationally recognised for its research on developing new diagnostic tools for a range of cancer types, studying the benefits and drawbacks of different treatments and improving survival rates for those affected by cancer. 

Their vital work would not be possible without the help of generous donors such as Alexander Leckey, whose legacy gift to Queen's in 2019 enabled research to continue in spite of an unforeseen shortfall in funding.

Philanthropy also provides hope for the future, with projects that provide essential training to the next generation of healthcare professionals.

The Emergency Medical Conference, an annual event organised by Scrubs - the Queen's Surgical society - was held in February this year. It allowed medical students to gain practical skills in critical care transport and experience a simulation of providing emergency care at a road traffic collision, ensuring that medical professionals are better equipped to deal with medical emergencies and save lives when under pressure. 

The conference was supported by Queens Annual Fund, which, through the generous support of graduates and friends of the University, funds projects and activities in Schools, Clubs and Societies dedicated to enhancing the student experience. 

Giving encouragement to exceptional people

Philanthropy at Queen's encourages students and professionals to pursue further study, so that they can be more effective in their field of expertise.

Since 2011, the Patricia Napier Scholarships have encouraged further study in important subjects at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, including critical and acute care, mental health and cancer nursing.

Queen’s graduate Russell Napier set up the fund in 2011 to encourage exceptional students to advance their careers, free from financial worries.

“It’s in recognition of my mother, Pat, who always wanted to be a nurse but never fulfilled her lifelong dream,” Russell said.

“Education is the most important thing and is something that I am very keen to support. It’s a way to give people who often can’t get access to it, a real chance. I am lucky to be able to afford to do this and it’s a chance to ‘pay it forward’ to someone else.”

Janet Best is one of more than 30 students who have completed a Master’s degree at Queen’s with the help of a Patricia Napier Scholarship. She expressed her gratitude to the Napier family for their support and her ambition to make a real difference in her career.

“Working fulltime as a Midwife and as a single mother, you’ve taken such a financial burden off me. Not only that, but you have given me the chance to focus on my passion that is perinatal mental health and being able to improve those services in Northern Ireland.”

Giving life-changing opportunities

Philanthropy at Queen’s enables access to higher education for young people who need additional support to attend University.

The SUQCESS (Supporting Queen's Care Experienced Students) project offers targeted financial assistance and academic guidance to students who are leaving care.

Similarly, the Pathway Opportunity Programme (POP) provides students from all backgrounds with the tools they need to succeed at Queen’s.

Students who have benefitted from POP have said that it has made a “huge difference” to their lives and the donor-funded bursaries helped relieve financial stress so that they could focus on their studies.

“The bursary has allowed me to be able to support myself as due to my course and placement, I have had to cut my hours down in my part time job to the bare minimum,” said a first year Nursing student who received a POP bursary.

“This has helped me so much by allowing me to focus more on my studies and worry less about finances.”

The Queen's Foundation

Since its establishment in 1999, The Queen’s University of Belfast Foundation has been engaged in generating philanthropic support for Queen’s, helping to shape a world-class campus, inspire great minds to tackle pressing global challenges and ensure that students, regardless of their background, are given every opportunity to fulfil their potential.  A core part of our work is in fostering lasting relationships with those who share our vision for the future. 

Helen Carrick, Head of Major Gifts at Queen's University, said:

"Philanthropy is hugely important at Queen's and the benefits are far reaching. We work with donors from across the globe to facilitate giving that impacts our students, our academic and clinical research and wider society.

"We are immensely grateful to the generous donors who make this all possible and for the encouragement, hope and opportunities that they provide."

For more information on giving to Queen's, or the fantastic projects that donations support, visit the Queen's University of Belfast Foundation Page.

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