Donation from Wes Streeting helps Ilford student pursue dream of studying at Cambridge

Um E-Aymen Babar reached her fundraising goal to study at Cambridge thanks to help from Ilford North

Um E-Aymen Babar reached her fundraising goal to study at Cambridge thanks to help from Ilford North MP Wes Streeting. Picture: Tom Barnes - Credit: Archant

A bright student from Ilford has thanked MP Wes Streeting for driving donations to fund her dream of studying at Cambridge.

Um-E-Aymen Babar, who has funded her own living costs since leaving school, was £4,000 short for her master’s course in modern south Asian studies.

The 22-year-old reached out to the MP for Ilford North over Twitter after creating a fundraising page to help pay for tuition.

Mr Streeting, who studied at Cambridge, not only promoted the page on his social media accounts but he and his team also donated towards the fees.

She has now exceeded her £4,000 target and will be taking up her place on the course in September.

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She said: “I cannot thank Mr Streeting enough for his help, it has really been the catalyst to raising the money. He personally donated as did lots of his team, I am very grateful.”

Aymen had to fund her own living costs since leaving school after failing to secure a scholarship, but she couldn’t afford it completely on her own.

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Mr Streeting said: “I’m so proud of Um-E-Aymen and what she has achieved.

“Money should never be a barrier to young people accessing education and I couldn’t stand by and see her miss out on the chance of a lifetime.

“I’m delighted that we raised the money she needs and I will continue campaigning to make sure that no one is priced out of education.”

Aymen had done work experience with Mr Streeting while she was studying for her A-Levels at Caterham High School.

She also thanked her old school at Caterham for helping her start the journey and for supporting the fundraiser to begin with.

Caterham High School headteacher Belinda Chapple said: “It’s wonderful that Aymen is able to follow her dream with the support of Mr Streeting. We believe in dreams at Caterham – we are so happy that we were able to set her on her way. Well done to her for her determination and perseverance.”

So far almost 200 people have contributed to the fundraiser and any additional donations will continue to help fund her living expenses.

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