Home News Four more students receive grant as part of 2022/23 Jane Slowey Memorial Bursary as Commonweal signs 10-year partnership with University of Birmingham
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Lauren Aronin

Lauren is the Communications Officer at Commonweal Housing

Four more students receive grant as part of 2022/23 Jane Slowey Memorial Bursary as Commonweal signs 10-year partnership with University of Birmingham

Commonweal Housing has agreed to support four students from the University of Birmingham with grant funding to aid their dissertation research around key housing and social policy issues as part of its Jane Slowey Memorial Bursary.

The Bursary was set up in 2018 to celebrate former Commonweal Trustee and Birmingham University student Jane Slowey CBE, who passed away in 2017. The Bursary is open to final-year undergraduate students at Birmingham University’s School of Social Policy, whose dissertation project focuses on housing, social injustices, and young people.

Now in its fifth iteration, the latest recipients of the Bursary will each receive a £2,500 grant from Commonweal as well as mentoring support.

The successful 2022/23 recipients are Grace Hill, Aminata Kamara, Talia Knoble-Gershon, and Abbie Dyke. They are the latest students to benefit from the Bursary, which is set to run for at least another ten years, following a renewed agreement between Commonweal and Birmingham University.

Outside of her work with Commonweal Housing, Slowey held many other senior positions within the charity and third sector, including her time as Chief Executive of the Foyer Foundation as well as a period spent as National Vice Chair of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations. She studied at the University of Birmingham and was later awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University in 2014.

Aminata Kamara, a Social Policy and Criminology student, is provisionally set to explore the differences in demographic structures and how these contribute to an area’s crime rate. She aims to explore how factors including race, economic, urbanisation, and housing in certain areas can impact how and why people commit crimes. 

Aminata Kamara said: “I believe the Bursary will help me in the extensive research I will need to execute for my dissertation. This will then allow me to focus on university solely and enjoy the whole process through the support and mentorship Commonweal will give. It will make a difference to how I experience my third year and how I plan to execute my dissertation.”

Talia Knoble-Gershon, who is a Political Science and Social Policy undergraduate, intends to conduct research on social housing and the LGBT community.

Talia Knoble-Gershon remarked: “The Bursary will help me with my studies as it will allow me to truly gain the access to speak to a range of important people. It will allow me to travel the country as much as I need to without financial pressure. The Bursary will also give me invaluable mentoring which will give me the skills to work in the social housing sphere.”

Sociology student Abbie Dyke, will seek to investigate the unequal relationships between care leavers, poverty, and homelessness. She intends to complete and collate interviews with care leavers, social workers, and foster carers to get a well-rounded conclusion.

Abbie Dyke said: “The bursary has already helped me massively with my confidence, just knowing that someone believes in me that much makes me believe in myself too.”

Sociology student Grace Hill intends to investigate the impact gentrification has had on women and poverty in Britain.

Grace Hill said: “The Bursary will alleviate some pressure in relation to how many hours I will work at my part-time job and this will allow me to focus all my attention to my studies, which will undoubtedly be very helpful.”

Each year, to celebrate the success of their research, recipients share their findings with Commonweal Trustees, staff and friends, and members of Jane’s family. Commonweal looks forward to inviting Hill, Knoble-Gershon, Dyke, and Karmara to present their research in Summer 2023.

Ashley Horsey, Chief Executive at Commonweal Housing, said: “Our support for the Bursary has enabled students to dig deeper into their dissertations and deliver thought-provoking and insightful research into key areas of social policy. It is our immense pleasure to continue this partnership with Birmingham University for another 10 years and we look forward to seeing the finished findings from these four students in the Summer of next year”.  

If you wish to find out more about the Bursary click here

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