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Whether you have:

  • generously made a donation of any size to student support, medical research or another Cardiff project
  • joined Cylch Caerdydd
  • made the decision to leave a gift to Cardiff in your will
  • joined #TeamCardiff as a fundraiser
  • supported students in their career journeys
  • volunteered your time as an alumni ambassador

You have helped to write the stories you are about to read and countless others. Thank you for making a tangible difference to lives here in Wales and across the world.

Meet Bryony Danks (International Relations and Politics 2019-), who took part in the Career Mentoring Scheme, and was matched with alumnus Andy Button-Stephens (BScEcon 2009).

"I was lucky to be paired with Andy and his support gave me real confidence. I was able to have meaningful conversations that were met with compassion and care.

"We both wanted to get the best out of the experience which made it an incredibly valuable one.

"Following Andy’s guidance, I ran for election for Students' Union Women’s Officer and have used the skills I gained from mentoring throughout my time in office.

"I took this confidence, and Andy’s interview advice to successfully get a place on a Civil Service Fast Stream after I graduate.

"I’ll continue to turn to Andy for guidance and will use the skills and lessons learnt throughout my placement.

"A lot of students worry about the future, but having a mentor helped remove that stress and reassured me that the future should be exciting, not daunting.

"I now feel prepared for the next step after university."

Bryony Danks (International Relations and Politics 2019-)

Meet Kenneth Mubanga (Law and Criminology 2020-), who received the Santander Universities Cardiff Firsts Scholarship which provides financial support, funding to take part in the global opportunities programme, and internships.

"Initially I didn’t think of applying for this scholarship because people where I’m from don’t get these chances.

"When I found out I’d been awarded I couldn’t believe it – it’s beyond my dreams. I’ve struggled so much with money as my mum isn’t able to support me, so the financial aid is so helpful that words don’t do it justice.

"I still haven’t wrapped my head around the fact I’m actually going to study abroad this summer!

"I’m going to use this opportunity to prove to myself, my mum, the teacher who encouraged me to come to university, the donors, and the world, that you can come from nothing, hit rock bottom and still go on to become someone.

"I will remember this special chance of a lifetime in the future and one day I hope to return the favour to someone else in a similar position."

Kenneth Mubanga (Law and Criminology 2020-)

Meet Hannah Hendry (Neuroimmunology 2019-), Hodge Foundation PhD student, studying in the Hodge Centre for Neuropsychiatric Immunology.

"Parkinson’s is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder and is best known as a motor disorder, affecting patients’ ability to control their movements.

"However, the non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s including pain and depression can be some of the worst aspects for those who live with the disease.

"Part of my PhD research looks at the causes of these non-motor symptoms to help understand how we might better treat them.

"I hope my research will help us to understand more about which Parkinson’s patients are at risk of suffering more from certain non-motor symptoms, so the correct interventions and care can be provided to them.

"With more people living to an older age, the number of people living with these diseases is increasing.

"Research such as this is vital to help us better understand and improve the lives of those affected by Parkinson’s."

Hannah Hendry (Neuroimmunology 2019-)

Meet Naledi Formosa, research scientist, Division of Cancer and Genetics, Cardiff University School of Medicine.

"Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, and whilst knowledge and treatments are improving, it’s still not fully understood how breast cancer cells are able to spread around the body or ‘metastasise’.

"If cancer spreads into the lungs, it can be extremely difficult to treat and sadly for many women, proves fatal.

"My research aims to create a 3D model of a lung using the Human Emulation System. This will allow us to realistically recreate both the mechanical and biological sides of metastasis, taking us a step closer to a greater understanding of how this disease works, and how to prevent it.

"By developing a more realistic cancer model, we will learn more about why breast cancer spreads to the lungs and other parts of the body.

"This could help accelerate the development of new drugs and help doctors design personalised care plans for patients with secondary breast cancer."

Naledi Formosa, research scientist, Division of Cancer and Genetics

Meet Jonathan Davis (Neuroimmunology 2019-), Hodge Foundation PhD Student, studying in the Hodge Centre for Neuropsychiatric Immunology.

"I am passionate about learning how we become who we are, a large part of which involves understanding how the brain forms.

"The major stages of brain formation take place in the womb and this sets the scene for brain function later in life.

"My research studies the relationship between environmental factors, such as maternal obesity, and the development of neurodevelopmental disorders.

"My aim is to improve our understanding of how immune cells support embryonic brain development and how this process can be disrupted by obesity or infection during pregnancy.

"Disrupted brain development can lead to neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder.

"Through improving our understanding of the processes involved in the development of these disorders, I’m hopeful that this research will help identify those most at risk and assist in the creation of preventative treatments."

Jonathan Davis (Neuroimmunology 2019-)

Meet Tegan Oldfield (BA 2021, Creative Writing 2022-), who received the Sir Julian Hodge Prize for English Literature.

"Creative writing has been a central part of my life since I was a child, fulfilling a myriad of psychological and social functions for me, from play to therapy, to creative stimulation.

"I have found the MA workload challenging, however, when you genuinely feel passionate about the work, the challenge becomes gratifying.

"I have been careful with my financial choices to support my degree and put my studies first.

"Receiving this prize not only bolstered my self-confidence and pride in what I do, but also gave me freedom to buy resources and books to enrich my studies which I would not have been able to do otherwise.

"I want to convey my sincere and immense gratitude.

"I am honoured to have been given this accolade, and the donor support has made a huge difference to my studies."

Tegan Oldfield (BA 2021, Creative Writing 2022-)