Founder and Chairman of the Ambassadors' Circle
When I retired as a Governor from Bath Spa University last year, following 18 years of service, I was honoured to be asked to Chair this exciting new initiative, which is intended to enhance and build on the University’s success to date and to directly benefit our students.
The individual philanthropic support of many people has already allowed us to develop opportunities that ensure our students are able to fulfil their potential. It is critical that we maintain this momentum. In recent years, Bath Spa has been investing intensively to improve and develop world class facilities for our students, as can be seen in the recently inaugurated 'Commons' building. This is a magnificent, large and ultra-modern academic building. It houses superb new teaching facilities, as well as open-access, technology-enabled study areas, social learning space, group working rooms and café. It also offers the best specialist digital and studio resources for teaching in the South West - equal to anything found in the best commercial organisations and broadcast companies. In the coming years we will build on this investment across our campuses, giving students access to even great facilities and opportunities.
Over the months and years to come, I feel confident that together we will ensure that this University will become a global beacon of creativity, admired and respected by students, staff and friends around the world.
The Ambassadors' Circle is also about creating a relationship between members and the University, from the privilege of meeting those students who are gaining so much from this invaluable support, and whose enthusiasm is infectious, to enjoying access to the University's Library.
This is where I would like to ask for your help. I would like to encourage you to convert your passion for education and desire to see this wonderful University grow from strength to strength by joining me as a member of the Ambassadors’ Circle.
Launch of the Ambassadors' Circle on Wednesday 1 October 2014
2013 Costa Book Award winner and Alumnus, Nathan Filer in conversation with the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Christina Slade
The Bath Spa University Ambassadors’ Circle is dedicated to enabling students to fulfil their potential. The funds raised by members, who give a minimum of £1,000 a year, play an important role in ensuring Bath Spa continues to be a leading education institution in creativity, culture and enterprise.
Every donation we receive will directly support Bath Spa students. Donations will be split between the two priority funds below and a new student prize. We are very happy to discuss where your gift can be directed; matching your passion with the work of the University to ensure the greatest possible impact.
Enterprise Showcase Fund
Many of our students, particularly those in creative, performance, cultural and heritage fields, fund their own end of course exhibitions, performances and events, whether here at Bath Spa University or at industry graduate showcases.
With your help we want to grow the Enterprise Showcase Fund. Grants awarded to students from the fund will only be unlocked when they have matched them £1 for £1. The aim is to encourage students to be entrepreneurial and enterprising, giving them real insight into funding their future work.
Greatest Need Fund
The Greatest Need Fund allows the University to give direct support wherever the need is greatest. It enables us to respond immediately to challenges as and when they arise, enhance students’ experience and safeguard the University’s academic and research programmes.
The Ambassadors' Circle Prize
To celebrate and reward the creativity of our students each year we will hold an open competition to create a pack of gift cards for the Ambassadors' Circle members. The winner will receive £500 and see their design go into production.
Your Support Creates Impact
We are grateful to those people who are already supporting our students by creating opportunities for them to develop their creative practice and gain practical industry experience.
With your help we can enable more students to follow their dreams and fulfil their potential.
The Porthleven Prize
Created through the generous support of the Trevor Osborne Charitable Trust, the Porthleven Prize gives students, from different disciplines, the opportunity to work together to create an exhibition around the theme "Provenance" exploring different ways in which their talents can combine to create something spectacular and inspiring them to think differently.
"The Bath Spa Porthleven Prize offers a unique opportunity for five students to spend 10 days in the Cornish fishing village of Porthleven, working collaboratively and constructively in response to the combined experience in the maritime atmosphere of a fishing village established in 1811. Students have the use of the Lifeboat Studio on the harbour edge and local accommodation in the village.
Completed works are exhibited in Cornwall, Bath and Oxford, linking creativity with exposure gained through exhibiting of completed work. The collaborative experience of combining disparate talents and media is proving to be a formative experience which benefits the students and greatly satisfies my objectives as a sponsor." Trevor Osborne, Award Donor
Emily Furnell 2nd year BA (Hons) Fine Art and Sae Murai 2nd year BA (Hons) Creative Arts, sketching on site, Porthleven 2014
“I feel incredibly privileged to have been selected for what has been an exciting experience that has broadened my awareness of how sculptural practice can function in the wider world. Through collaborating with others, I have not only experienced new ways of approaching my own work, but have forged relationships with people that I hope to continue working alongside beyond the residency conclusion.” Emily Furnell, 2nd Year BA (Hons) Fine Art
The Bath Spa University Cullum Family Award
This award enables students and new graduates to better understand the music industry and the career pathways it offers by giving them the opportunity to explore and develop their enterprise and employability skills.
“Having agreed that the key objective of the Cullum Family Award would be employability, I have been delighted with applications for the inaugural award. They demonstrated creativity and the determination of students to use their University education to pursue successful professional careers. Meeting the students and talking through their aspirations has been hugely rewarding and inspiring, hopefully promoting sustainable future employment that supports the wider arts industry.” John Cullum, Award Donor
Crafting Melodies, Bath Spa Cullum Family Award winners 2014
“The support felt from both the Cullum Family and Bath Spa University was outstanding, and we were able to achieve goals that initially felt far from reach.”
The Jennifer Skellett Postgraduate Bursary
Established in 2013 these awards support students to progress into postgraduate study in music or to take up specialist training.
“Travel has been quite expensive this year, and your donation has enabled me to buy a monthly bus pass to get to Corsham where my course is based. The bursary has also helped towards travel to gigs, playing regular gigs has helped develop my confidence and solidified my performance skills.”Kirsty Folan, Mmus Songwriting 2014
“I feel quite invigorated when I meet the students, their enthusiasm and commitment is very uplifting and their gratitude is quite humbling. The donations enable them to go the extra mile in their studies and help towards a better future; of course I am quite jealous and wish I were 55 years younger.” Jennifer Skellett, Award Donor
The Jennifer Skellett Awards winners 2014; Catherine Chapman BA(Hons) Music and Sophie Batchelor BA(Hons) Music , Vice-Chancellor Professor Christina Slade, Jennifer Skellett, Award winners 2013 Kirsty Folan MMus and Tom Davis MMus
We understand that one of the most satisfying elements for our donors is the relationship with the University and seeing the students that they have supported thrive and flourish. Members of the Ambassadors’ Circle are vital to ensuring that every one of our students has the opportunity to follow their dreams.
Our priority is to ensure that members can engage with our academic staff and students, and benefit from our rich cultural programmes. In recognition of your donation of £1,000 a year or more, we show our gratitude by:
- Inviting members to attend University lectures
- Inviting members to graduate performances, exhibitions and events
- Giving members access to the University’s Library
- Hosting an annual event for members with the Vice-Chancellor, notable alumni and honorary graduates
- Sending members a pack of the winning Ambassadors’ Circle Gift Cards
- Keeping members up to date with University news and updates on the impact of their support
Remember if you are a UK tax payer you can Gift Aid your donation and make it grow by 25% at no extra cost to you (not possible when paying by CAF, from a charitable trust or business account). Therefore a gift of £800 plus gift aid, would be the minimum donation needed to join at £1,000 a year. Find out more about Gift Aid here.
If you are a US tax payer please contact the Development Office on 01225 875808 for further information on tax-efficient giving.
Bath Spa University is an exempt charity under the terms of Charities Act 2011 and therefore does not have a charity registration number. Its exempt charity reference number is XN82395.