Cascade:  Student-led projects banner image

Cascade: Student-led projects

How do women left widowed by the Sri Lankan civil war afford to live? How can homophobic bullying in Nottingham schools be addressed?

Nottingham students want to be part of the solution to these questions - and other issues like them. It is what sets our students apart - a desire to help those in need both at home and around the world. Our student community is never short of great ideas for innovative and inspirational projects to benefit others but as these projects fall outside the core curriculum there is no financial provision to help turn these great ideas into reality.

Since 2008, Cascade – funded by gifts from alumni and friends – has supported more than 200 transformative student projects to get off the ground. Each year, we receive more and more outstanding proposals asking for our support. But we now have more deserving project applications than we can fund. 

Can you help us raise £190,000 to give our students the chance to help communities in need locally and internationally? 

Cascade Infographic - Over £1.7 million given to projects.  Projects across UK, China and Malaysia campuses

What is a Cascade project?

Nottingham students can apply to Cascade for up to £25,000 for projects that develop their skills and benefit local and international communities. 

Projects typically fall into one of three categories:

  • Volunteering or outreach work benefiting local or global communities.
  • Enabling Students’ Union societies to provide life-changing experiences for Nottingham students.
  • Allowing students to undertake work which adds significant value to their academic experience.

Through Cascade, Nottingham students are provided with opportunities to develop their skills, social awareness and employability while making a significant impact on communities at home and around the world.

What impact are we having?

The number of lives changed by Cascade is in the hundreds of thousands. More than 200 student projects have been supported by generous alumni and friends, bringing students' innovative ideas to life and making a real difference to communities around the world. A few examples include:

  • Helping impoverished communities in Malawi by introducing and micro-financing sustainable business ideas, such as solar-powered fishing lamps to boost profits and chicken coops to reduce reliance on fish as the main protein.
  • Setting up a clinic to deliver free veterinary care to the pets of homeless and vulnerably housed people in Nottingham.
  • Bringing clean water to remote communities in Borneo where previously there was none.
  • Working with the Leap Foundation to help local children from disadvantaged backgrounds in Nottingham learn new skills.  

Cascade provides a lifeline for the local community

"Last year, my fellow Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM) students set up the UK’s first university-based Community First Responder scheme. We complement the East Midlands Ambulance Service by working together to provide first aid until an ambulance arrives. Besides being a vital resource for communities, it’s an incredible opportunity to practice our life support skills. Thanks to the support from Cascade, the initiative has gone from strength to strength." 

Suravi Chatterjee-Woolman, Second-year GEM student and Community First Responder

Community First Responders

How you can help

Cascade relies 100% on the generosity of alumni and friends donating to the programme. Without your support, we don't have any grants to give. 

We need to raise at least £190,000 per year to fund all of the deserving projects asking for our help.

Your support can enable Nottingham students to use their skills and talents to help tackle issues affecting commmunities at home and abroad.  

Make a donation

  • Three people giving £10 a month has covered the cost of attending events for Pulp Friction, a project which helps people with learning difficulties gain skills and work experience.
  • Giving £20 a month has helped fund all the technical support needed for the Malawi Bicycle Ambulance, providing emergency healthcare for pregnant women in rural Malawi.
Donate now       

Give your time

  • Mentor students whose Cascade project ties into your area of expertise.
  • Sit on our Cascade Grants Panel and help us review project applications and award funding.
Give your time

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