Member support: what you can do to assist Goodenough’s response to COVID-19

Right now, many of our Members have been deeply affected by COVID-19. As Alumni and friends, your help is needed more than ever to ensure current Members have access to the financial assistance and wellbeing services they desperately need.

Here in Mecklenburgh Square, around 370 Members remain with us onsite, unable to return home due to border closures, the catastrophic spread of COVID-19, or the need to stay and protect loved ones. The College remains home for these Members, ensuring they have a safe, clean place to live; food; and pastoral support.

Many Members still living on the Square are, however, struggling financially, having lost their jobs or teaching work and in some cases even their scholarships. Historically the College has been able to provide additional financial support to Members in financial need, but with the majority of our income frozen and expected financial losses, this will be extremely challenging going forward.

We know many in our international community are also suffering financial losses, however a number of you have got in touch to ask how you can directly support these Members. Your support will:

  • Ensure Members have access to emergency financial assistance, particularly those who have lost jobs, making sure they can pay their bills, afford to buy food and other essential items
  • Help Members access a vital Student Assistance Service providing face to face, telephone and online counselling; debt and financial advice and other resources

“I moved in to William Goodenough House from Lusaka, Zambia, to study Tropical Medicine and International Health on a Commonwealth Scholarship.

When the pandemic began, I wrestled with the decision of whether to leave the home I had made here, potentially postponing the Master’s degree my whole family had invested in: my children made motherless for the year. As flights got cancelled and connecting country borders closed, it wasn’t clear that returning to Zambia would be possible, safe, or wise. The decision was agonizing, and still is.

As the economy sagged all over the globe, the value of the Zambian Kwacha dropped steeply. So too, the support I had been receiving from home to help with the cost of living in this splendid city. Goodenough College came to the rescue once more: I was offered financial support through the Mecklenburgh Fund, and with it, much-needed peace of mind.

I am glad and grateful to be living at Goodenough College through this challenging time; the College has truly lived up to its own ethos.”

Chileshe Mabula, current Member, William Goodenough House

We have set an ambitious target to raise £75,000 to help support our emergency financial programme and to also provide Members with much needed health and wellbeing support.

Please visit www.justgiving.com/campaign/goodenoughmembersupport to pledge your support.