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Queen Mary Alumni

Supporting our students through the COVID-19 pandemic

Amidst a second national lockdown in the UK, Queen Mary’s Development and Alumni Engagement Team launched the Queen Mary Emergency COVID-19 Fund, to ensure that regardless of what is going on around them, students have the support that they need to not only continue their studies but to thrive. 

Student on Laptop

Our most financially vulnerable students are facing a real threat to their education as a result of COVID-19. Students have lost their part-time jobs, many don’t have resources to study remotely and we mustn’t underestimate the effects that periods of isolation can have on mental health. So we have launched this Fund to enable the whole Queen Mary community to rally together to help our students through this crisis.

Thank you to our alumni and friends for your incredible generosity and for supporting our students so far. Our donors very kindly shared why they have made a gift to the Queen Mary Emergency COVID-19 Fund.


"I studied at The Royal London and qualified in 1977. I have donated to support students in the past and am happy to maintain my link with the University that gave me so much. I was not so well off as a student and worked as a porter to earn a little to support myself as a student. The London, as it was called back then, looked after me.

"My message to students is you're all very clever to have picked THE most wonderful University. I hope you enjoy your career as much as I have, please always look after others as if they are your family and friends and you won't go far wrong."

Keith Hayes (Dentistry BDS, 1977)


"I gave to the Queen Mary Emergency COVID-19 Fund because Queen Mary was the place that opened so many doors to my adult life. The further study and jobs I went on to do were ultimately because of three great years on a phenomenal undergraduate course. I also made some brilliant friends with whom I'm still in touch 20 years later! To all Queen Mary students, I hope you have just as much of a good time studying at Queen Mary as I did."

Nayomi Kasthuriarachchi (Mathematics with Management Studies BSc, 2001)


"I graduated from Queen Mary, once in 2013 after I completed my BA in History, and the second time in 2014 with a postgraduate degree in Management.

"I made a gift because I remembered the tough times I had when I was a student. You feel like you’re not being understood and your body endures mental, physical and emotional changes. I remember when I would go to class, I had something to focus on and my worries would disappear for a while. I was working hard to create my future and I want to help others do the same.

"My message to students right now is – yes, it’s going to be hard but your future still isn’t set. You can create it. You are being equipped by Queen Mary with the tools to finish the job. Write down your goals every day, and soon they will become your destiny."

Matthew Robertson (Management MSc, 2014)


"COVID-19 has added to the burden on students, financially as it is not easy to find work in traditional student jobs like hospitality or retail, psychologically as there is the fear of the unknown and risks to our health, and socially, because normal student life has been interrupted and students are spending so much more time alone in their rooms. My contribution to the Queen Mary Emergency COVID-19 Fund is to relieve some of the student’s worries so they can feel confident and secure during this challenging time.

"My thoughts are with all students at this difficult time. I want to thank you for your diligence, compassion and resilience in the face of adversity."

Henrietta Hughes (Medicine MBBS, 1994)





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