Beneficiaries of our Help

Up until March 2018 Futures for Women was awarding interest-free loans to women to help them with the cost of further education and training.

Beneficiaries of interest-free loans were of all ages and came from all walks of life:

  • 56% of our grantees were under 25 years, and 11% were over 45 years
  • 10% of our grantees had dependents
  • 38% of our grantees were studying for a Masters, but we also funded other types of study
  • 94% of our grantees were studying full-time
  • 32% of our grantees were studying to be either a doctor or a vet, whilst other grantees wanted to work in law, the environment or the arts.

Unfortunately we only had the funds to help 9% of the women who approached us for financial assistance.  29% of our grantees repaid their loan in one instalment and the average time taken to repay the loan was 15 months.

Here are some stories of women who were helped by Futures for Women with the award of an interest-free loan, which have now ceased.

MSc in Contemporary India – University of Oxford

After graduating, I interned at the Department for Communities and Local Government where I had the privilege of assisting with the Prime Minister’s Girls Summit in 2014. I contacted community leaders of all different faiths and organisations to gain their support for the Prime Minister’s declaration against female genital mutilation (FGM) and early, forced marriage. I also worked with a team assessing bids from organisations for grants to raise awareness about FGM. I then trained at the BBC for a year but realised I could make more of an impact working directly for the organisations I was interested in as a journalist. I am now a policy advisor at Her Majesty’s Treasury as part of the Civil Service Fast Stream. Having worked on the Spending Review for the past few months, I am waiting to hear about my next departmental posting. Whilst gaining experience across government, I would ultimately like to laterally progress to the FCO and work in the Forced Marriage Unit or as an ambassador to developing countries.

MSc in the Control of Infectious Diseases
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

The Trustees awarded me an interest free loan to help fund my MSc. This generous support has allowed me to successfully complete my studies.

During the first term of my MSc I received in-depth training in a variety of disciplines related to the field of infectious disease control including: epidemiology, health policy, statistics and public health. In the second and third terms, I was able to select a number of advanced study modules of personal interest from the impressive diversity on offer.

In the third term I also undertook research, which aimed to understand more about the use of anti-malarial drugs amongst pregnant women. My research study took place in Uganda for five weeks and was conducted in partnership with Malaria Consortium, an international not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the control of malaria. During my time in Uganda, I communicated with diverse groups of people ranging from pregnant women attending antenatal care to policy makers within the Uganda Ministry of Health.

I now co-ordinate a national surveillance system for HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections at the Health Protection Agency. My work requires me to utilise the skills and knowledge I gained during my MSc degree. I hope to progress within this agency in the future.  The support of FfW has been invaluable in enabling me to get where I am today.

PhD in Trans-disciplinary documentary film – University of Edinburgh

One of my recent projects has been to direct a short film called “Faith and I” which not only dispels stereotypical representations, but shows the contribution that diverse groups make to our cultures and communities.  The ‘Faith & I’ documentary film is the first resource of its kind showing the positive influence of faith in the lives of three young women from the Sikh, Muslim and Jewish traditions. It was produced partly in response to a concern with a rise in anti-Islamic and anti-Semitic offences in 2012. The documentary challenges religious prejudice.  On the 24th of November 2014, ‘Faith & I’ was premiered at the Scottish Storytelling Centre to a packed theatre.  It is now being used by schools across Scotland. 

MSc Biology – University of Oxford

I am devoted to nature conservation and have always hoped for a career in this area. The £1,500 SPTW loan paid half of my tuition fees for my MSc, making it possible for me to attend this course. This Masters gave me the fantastic opportunity to attend taught courses by world experts and conduct research alongside leading academics in my particular areas of interest.

Following successful completion of this degree during September 2011, I was offered a position with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds as a ‘Biodiversity Policy Officer’. This job is an exciting step towards my career in nature conservation. I am extremely grateful to FfW for the loan which made it possible for me to complete an MSc degree at Oxford and to start my career in nature conservation,

MA English and American Studies – University of Manchester

I have now finished the taught part of my MA and I am about to embark upon my final dissertation, which is entitled ‘Disguise, Dissemblance and Detection: Representations of the Criminal Body in Wilkie Collins’s Novels and Short Fiction.’ Alongside writing my dissertation, I have just begun to volunteer with the National Trust and I will be a reporter for the Brecon Beacons National Park, raising awareness about conservation and heritage in my area.

It is a really exciting opportunity and there may well be the prospect of a paid job at the end of it! Thank you again for the Society’s help, without which I would not have been able to have had such a relatively stress-free year (financially speaking anyway!).


Following a strategic review in 2018 Futures for Women is now part-funding the Sharan Project to run a programme based in Birmingham that seeks to provide realistic employment opportunities for 2 groups of 20 women from the South Asian community.  Further details can be viewed on our news page.