Our National Bursary scheme helps final year students experiencing financial difficulty due to an ongoing adversity. Read on for more information on who is eligible and how to apply.
Priyanka* is a final-year pharmacy student who received our student bursary. She has kindly shared her story in the hope that it reaches those who need that extra push to reach out for help.
For me, pharmacy is a degree that combines everything I am interested in and ultimately enables me to provide the best patient care possible.
Whilst at university, I had to leave home unexpectedly and quickly due to ongoing adversity. During this stressful time was the deadline for student finance applications. Because my mind was mainly on my problems, I ended up missing the deadline to apply for a maintenance loan for my final year of university. I appealed several times and after having been told to just wait month after month, they finally told me I wasn’t eligible. This meant I had to fund the whole of my final year tuition fees out of my own pocket. Even with working part-time and being signed up to an agency for extra work, I was often left worrying about how I was going to pay my bills or rent.
The stress kept piling on and was having a detrimental effect on my university work, wellbeing, and physical health. Having to pay such a large sum myself meant I had to highly reduce my spending so I had enough to pay for basic necessities, which in turn meant I had to miss out on lots of university experiences all my friends got to have. Following on from this, I wasn’t giving lectures all my attention and I couldn’t focus on studying as my mind was always elsewhere. I started to barely scrape a pass and then began failing. I didn’t want to give up everything I had worked so hard for, so I persevered and never gave up.
There was a point I didn’t think I would make it through the year.
I found out about the Pharmacist Support bursary from my university as they emailed all students about the support available from the charity. I applied and had little hope that I was going to be accepted as all my other options had failed. By this point, all of my financial worries were reaching breaking point so the bursary was a final lifeline for me. When I found out that I had been granted a bursary I was so relieved, it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
The bursary means everything to me.
With the support of the bursary, my worries surrounding my financial situation significantly decreased, because for the first time I knew I had extra support and a safety net surrounding me. I was able to buy what I needed to enhance my experience as a student pharmacist, for example learning materials and specific equipment. Having this safety net also meant I was able to shift my focus back to my studies which immensely paid off as I received a fantastic result in my overall degree classification. Having this higher degree classification means that there are more paths I could take during my pharmacy career.
I have big dreams for where I want to go in my pharmacy career, I am hoping to do my foundation year in hospital and then go into specialising in mental health or substance misuse in the long run.
I honestly would not have been able to do anything at all without this support.
I am really appreciative and grateful for being awarded this bursary. I have had very difficult personal circumstances which made me think I wouldn’t have been able to make it through the year, never mind finishing off my pharmacy degree.
This experience has taught me the importance of resilience and not giving up. There were so many times when I thought I should, and I felt the light in my life disappear as I felt completely and utterly hopeless. I became a shell of myself and despite being very far from normal and despite me only just starting my journey I feel proud of how far I’ve come.
With the support of everyone at Pharmacist Support, I have thankfully been able to make it through and for that, I am ever grateful!
* We have used a pseudonym to protect the beneficiary’s identity.