Futures for Women awards interest-free loans to women to help them with the cost of further education and training.
Beneficiaries of our interest-free loans come from all walks of life. Up to 2018:
- 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.
Here are some stories of women who were helped by Futures for Women with the award of an interest-free loan.
MSc Physician Associate – University of Birmingham
I have been working as a Physician Associate in A&E since qualifying and enjoy meeting new people and hopefully impacting their lives. COVID has been testing but reminds me of the privileged situation I’m in to be able to help others. One day I would love to do further studying and even progress to qualifying as a doctor. I am aware my journey has only been possible because of the kindness and help I have received from others, hence aside from working I have started up a project organising yearly workshops in my secondary school (an all-girls comprehensive in London) connecting former pupils in various careers to the young girls currently studying, hopefully inspiring them to succeed in their own chosen careers.
MSc Advanced Mechanical Engineering – Cranfield Institute
Thank you again for this loan – it has really helped me set up my career! I am now 2 years into a graduate programme and am very happy pursuing my engineering work in the water industry and helping to improve sustainability. I’ve been given more responsibility as well – I am now the project leader on a new scheme. This means doing the design in my own discipline (mechanical) as well as being responsible for the project design as a whole and coordinating the tasks of a team. I really enjoy being able to see the overview of a whole project as well as just my small section.
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. 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 am now a policy advisor at Her Majesty’s Treasury as part of the Civil Service Fast Stream.
MSc in the Control of Infectious Diseases – London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
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. 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. I now co-ordinate a national surveillance system for HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections at the Health Protection Agency. 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 and the documentary challenges religious prejudice. ‘Faith & I’ was premiered at the Scottish Storytelling Centre to a packed theatre and 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. My 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!).