30 May 2022

The event, which was held in the Pavilion Room at Westminster’s Cavendish Campus, celebrated the University’s unique relationship with the Quintin Hogg Trust and showcased the impact that the Trust’s funding has made to Westminster students’ university experience.

This was the first QHT celebration event and focused on the projects which have been made possible through the generous support of the Trust over the last three academic years. Trustees were able to network directly with student and staff beneficiaries and hear first-hand about the difference that their support has made.

The event began with welcome speeches from Westminster’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Dr Peter Bonfield OBE, and Bill Weston, Chair of the QHT Trustees. The Vice-Chancellor spoke about the University’s remarkable ranking in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2022 for its commitment to the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) results, and went on to link this to the funding readily provided by QHT who have chosen impactful and varied projects in the areas that matter most to the University.

Attendees networking

The introductory speeches were followed by an opportunity for attendees to network and speak to the various project leads and students.

Projects on show included the 125 Fund Project which provides funding awards to current Westminster students to support projects and activities that enhance their employability, develop their skills and help them to achieve their full potential. The QHT generously matches the donations to the fund, which has supported around 700 students and given out £500,000 in funding to date. The 125 Project stand at the event was run by Amar Kataora, Regular Giving and Legacy Officer, who emphasised how much the fund has helped students and noted that their projects would not have been made possible without the support of the QHT.

Also on show was the Student Law Clinic, which has provided over 300 students with valuable legal experience working with real clients. Speaking about the impact of the Clinic on students’ employability and professional development, the Clinic’s Director Hannah Camplin noted the importance for Law students to gain real legal experience in a supervised environment and the Clinic is pleased to be supporting 150 new students this year.

There was also a project stand for the Active Travel Academy (ATA), a research and action group at Westminster which brings together a broad spectrum of expertise to lead research, teaching and knowledge exchange, with a focus on walking, wheeling, cycling and other active modes of transport.

The ATA was set up in September 2019 with a substantial initial investment of over £500,000 over three years by the QHT, and Dr Tom Cohen, Senior Lecturer in the School of Architecture and Cities, emphasised that the funding from QHT has been ‘transformational’ in getting the ATA up and running, and its support for many different research projects, including doctoral projects, events and support for research fellows has been invaluable.

Athena Brook, a PhD student who was present at the ATA project stand, also pointed to the important projects that the ATA is doing to give a voice to underrepresented groups in the active travel space and this research would not be possible without the support from QHT. Professor Rachel Aldred, Director of the ATA, spoke further about the impact of QHT funding in her keynote speech at the event, and this was followed by the official QHT cake cutting.

Attendees listen to speech

The Quintin Hogg Trust was pleased to recently announce that they will support bids to a total sum of £5 million over the next 3 academic years, plus £375,000 for the Sports Facilities and Support Fund (SU Project). The bids supported cover employability, research. knowledge exchange, learning, teaching, equality, diversity, inclusion, wellbeing, and student experience.

Speaking about the funding announcement, Marius Brodeala, Development and Fundraising Project Manager, said: “We are extremely grateful to the Quintin Hogg Trust for the recent approval of such a generous grant for projects commencing next academic year. This new award will enable the development of a wide range of new projects, all of which will continue to positively impact our students and their experience at Westminster. Thank you to the Trust for their continued support.”

Speaking about the celebratory event Ann Rumpus, Chair of the QHT Grants Committee, said: “The Trustees were all delighted and impressed by the event. It was extremely interesting to meet the staff and students involved in the projects, and to hear about the positive impact that the activities had on the students' learning. The presentations brought to life the good work that the Trustees knew was taking place and reinforced the strength of the relationship between the University and the Trust, and the informal interchanges were very inspiring. It was a very welcome interaction with all the University attendees, and the Trust is very grateful for the University in providing such a welcome and positive event.”

Find out more about the work of the Quintin Hogg Trust on their website.