Thanks to You

You changed my future

Kay Child sits on steps before a large brown door, smjling

Your gift is shaping tomorrow's innovators

The support you provide is inspiring the next generation of world-changing researchers, academics and entrepreneurs. Donors and volunteers are helping Leeds to offer opportunities to outstanding young people from all backgrounds and creating the next generation of innovators. Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Jeff Grabill reflects on how your gift to Leeds is inspiring a better tomorrow.

Professor Jeff Grabill, Deputy Vice Chancellor: Student Education

Professor Jeff Grabill, Deputy Vice Chancellor: Student Education

Enterprise is at the very heart of Leeds. It has been since its inception. The birth of the University can be traced back to the institutions set up to educate the children of industrialists and merchants. Enterprise and innovation is in our blood, and it is needed now more than ever. 

It has been an extraordinary year that has brought on extraordinary challenges. We continue to be dogged by the issues caused by the climate crisis, and the war in Ukraine has acted as a catalyst for so many local, and global problems – from food security, to heating our homes, to the cost-of-living crisis. 

Here at Leeds we intend to inspire the next generation of problem solvers, innovators, and entrepreneurs. It is one of our missions to turn Leeds into an entrepreneurial university, and to give every student the opportunity to make their world-changing ideas flourish. 

And we’ve already seen it happen. Whether it was our SPARK programme that helped develop an industry-leading electric car charging company, or the surplus food app that dramatically reduces food waste, Leeds has been that catalyst. 

And in the pages of this magazine you will read the extraordinary story of SPARK scholar Charlie Jardine, whose company EO Charging is now transforming our transport network. You will also read about the world-leading research that could spark new therapies for liver cancer, and provide bed-ridden people with the life-enhancing benefits of exercise. 

Enterprise must also be inspired by industry leaders, and we’re fortunate that many of you give your valuable time to impart your years of wisdom, and motivate our students to be ambitious. You will read about Mirror editor Alison Phillips, who recently returned to Leeds to inspire journalism students and talk about how she became one of the most recognisable figures in newspapers. 

But to truly change the world, we have to provide everyone with an opportunity, regardless of their background and circumstances. I am a lifelong educator, and the power of education to change someone’s life is unparalleled. And you are helping transform the lives of so many students who otherwise would not be able to come to university. 

You will read how your gifts have allowed those who have struggled personally to overcome adversity and pursue academia, like Master’s student Kay Child. Her personal circumstances could have prevented her from pursuing further study, but your support has transformed her life and her prospects. 

This magazine is called Thanks To You, but you are the University. You are part of a network of 312,000 alumni, across 197 countries, who inhabit the core values of this innovative institution. And your philanthropy is allowing others to continue Leeds’s journey as a place where world-changing ideas are born. And without you and your support, the University would not be the same. 

I am sure the next year will bring even more challenges, but I am also emboldened by the fact that your support will help Leeds, and its incredible staff and students, to solve these problems. 

When you support the University of Leeds, you help to transform the lives of our students. Many have overcome incredible barriers or great hardship to achieve success as a member of our community. 

If you would like to support students, please visit our giving page. 

You can also give the gift of time to help students at Leeds.

Help our students to flourish by offering careers advice, sharing knowledge about your industry, mentoring students or providing work experience.