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.
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.
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!).
Futures for Women ceased the awarding of interest-free loans in 2018. It is currently 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.