Your donations to the Student Wellbeing Fund are funding a key priority of the School’s LSE 2030 strategy by developing LSE for everyone and supporting our student community and embedding equity, diversity and inclusion into initiatives that really make a difference.
Projects that were made possible by your philanthropy included student mental health initiatives, care packages for LSE students in London over the Christmas period, and a virtual Pride week.
In March, the LSE Mental Health Collective conducted a takeover of the Freedom of Mind London festival over two weeks. Consisting of activities including online panel discussions, workshops and awareness-raising video interviews, the student-led takeover was intended as a creative exploration of mental health and well-being within the student community, and to help encourage a more proactive understanding of students’ mental health and support options.
The virtual activities helped participants to address the stigma and ignorance about relationships with mental health and gave safe spaces to people who may not have felt comfortable attending in-person events. There was a focus on the impact of COVID-19 on the wellbeing of students to ensure that students were not falling through the cracks and suffering in silence.
Anna Seifu (BSc Social Policy & Administration 2021), events coordinator for the Collective commented,“In organising a solely online festival, we knew we had to be creative in the way in which we delivered our project and funding really helped us achieve this. This year has been a challenging one; however, the Freedom of Mind London festival was definitely a highlight for me. Through coordinating a range of creative events, videos and discussions with such an amazing team of student-led volunteers, it has helped to draw attention to the many ways in which the pandemic has impacted our mental health. The campaigning work of the LSE Mental Health Collective will also be able to continue with the commissioning of round-up videos to be shared with students who couldn’t attend.”
Another two funded initiatives that took place in the last academic year were also well-received by the LSE student community.
Over the Christmas holidays, around 1,000 LSE students in London who were staying in halls or in private accommodation received care packages to bring some cheer to what was a difficult time for many. Students faced unprecedented difficulties during the COVID lockdowns, and Christmas was particularly isolating for those away from their family. The packages consisted of healthy snacks and treats, activities, cleaning products, university and outlet discount vouchers.
In February, the LSESU student society Pride Alliance held a virtual ‘Pride Week’ centered around exploring ‘Being Queer at LSE’. The week gave LGBTQ students the chance to meet one another, have conversations and make new connections, and celebrate their identities in a safe, accepting space. The Week also aimed to enable straight students to have a greater understanding of LGBTQ issues and experiences, with a number of panel sessions organised.