Success Story – Hannah Stevens

Success Story – Hannah Stevens

Alongside providing business loans to young people in Leicestershire, the Sir Thomas White Loan Charity provides education loans of up to £6,000; to assist in post-graduate study.

One person to benefit from an STWLC education loan is Hannah Stevens, who has been able to study for her PhD at De Montfort University whilst working at the same time…

How did you find out about the Sir Thomas White Loan Charity?

I work part time as Funds Coordinator at Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation; a grant-giving charity who manage funds on behalf of individuals, philanthropists and businesses. As an organisation, we manage their giving to community groups and small charities. We are often approached by individuals who require funding but who unfortunately fall outside of our remit.

It is an important part of our role at the Community Foundation to be able to signpost these individuals to alternative funding streams and the Sir Thomas White is an organisation we are aware of within this landscape.

What was the purpose of your education loan?

The financial assistance was solely for the payment of my university fees.

How did you find the application process?

The application process was very straightforward and completing the required paperwork wasn’t onerous at all. The most nerve wracking part of the process was probably the interview with the trustees, as I was unsure what questions they would ask; although the staff member who dealt with my application was reassuring and advised me not to worry.

Tell us a little about your educational background so far; and the post-graduate course you required financial assistance to study for…

I graduated from De Montfort University in 2009 with a first class degree in Creative Writing and English. In 2011, I was one of six winners of a new talent writing competition, partially funded by Arts Council England. My short story collection ‘Without Makeup and Other Stories’ was published and launched in June 2012. David Cooke of Stand Magazine described the stories as ” …brilliantly observed accounts of lives that are slowly disintegrating”.

I commenced my PhD in October 2012. Through creative practice I examine the genre of the short story. The short story collection I am working on as part of my PhD is based on the theme of missing people.

My research examines the context of missing people through the associated psychology of those missing and those who remain. Inquiry here considers relevant aspects of psychology, criminology, sociology and economics. It also considers how individuals, professional agencies and larger society deals with missing people.

Since receiving the loan from the Sir Thomas White Loan Charity; how are your studies progressing?

Funding from STWLC has meant I have been able to study part-time whilst at the same time working to support myself financially.

I am continually writing and growing my portfolio of short stories, developing my creative technique and craft. I regularly submit short stories to literary magazines and online platforms. In 2012 and 2013 I took part in the post-graduate reading event during Cultural Exchanges at De Montfort University, where I read material from my PhD.In 2013 I also read at the Crystal Clear is 10 event.

During my research so far I have networked with academics at the University of Glasgow as well as local Leicester based academics and Leicestershire agencies including Leicestershire Police.

For more information on the Sir Thomas White Loan Charity’s education loans, please CLICK HERE