Philanthropy students donate to local community charities

Olivia Miller
Picture by Pixabay

Undergraduate students at the University’s School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR) have made a £1500 grant to two local charities as part of their philanthropy studies.

Their chosen charities were Music 4 Wellbeing CIC and City Impact CIC, both small community organisations operating in the Canterbury district. The charities received £750 each.

Music 4 Wellbeing supports individuals and their families suffering with dementia through music therapy workshops. City Impact is a youth charity working supporting disadvantaged young people and young offenders in Canterbury. Both grants are being used for the capital costs of buying equipment to support the charities’ ongoing work.

The grant giving was part of the students’ Learning by Giving – Philanthropy in Action module at the University. The basis of the module is for students to lead decision making processes as a grant funder. The £1,500 funding pot was donated to the University by Philanthropist David Jamilly. The module has been run in partnership with Kent Community Foundation who managed the grant and have co-delivered several workshops, providing students with insight into the charitable sector, grant making processes, and assessing the needs, strengths and challenges of charitable giving. Students also heard from several charities outlining their work and the issues locally that they are trying to address.

This is the second academic year that this module has ran, with students last year donating grants to Food Friends in Whitstable and the Canterbury Foodbank. The elective module is one of the first of its kind to be run by a UK university.

BA (Hons) Sociology student Joshua Fernandez said: ‘The Philanthropy in Action module has enabled me to gain first-hand experience of the practicalities and decision-making process involved in philanthropic giving. Furthermore, this module has given me the opportunity to be involved in a project which provides a real difference to local charitable organisations.’

BA (Hons) Sociology and Social Policy student Cathryn Stevens said: ‘The ability to learn about philanthropy whilst actively being involved in the grant giving process meant I was able to better understand what charities have to go through to get funding and the benefits and restraints of the current system. Working with Kent Community Foundation was a great experience, and the end result of giving money to two extremely worthy causes is a great thing to have been able to do as a student.’