“Churchill is a really special place in the university, and any donations that could make college life more affordable and accessible will help students make the most of it for the time that they’re here.”
Katie Kirk is a fourth-year Veterinary student at Churchill. Originally from Bedford, her family moved to Lincolnshire before finally settling in Bournemouth. She really enjoys working with a wide variety of different animals, especially when she’s been lambing and farrowing!
Katie’s family circumstances changed suddenly during her first term at Cambridge, which had a dramatic impact on her finances. However, the timely provision of a full Cambridge Bursary ensured she was not prevented from participating in the opportunities available to her, most notably on the river. Katie got into coxing in her first year of Cambridge and since then she has coxed for the Churchill College Boat Club and a couple of the town rowing clubs. She went on to trial for Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club (CUWBC) this year but was beaten to a seat by more experienced coxes from whom she learned a lot from during training. She is hugely grateful for the financial support she has received:
Having the Cambridge Bursary has meant that I’ve not missed out on participating in sport at a college and university level. I’ve been able to afford to pay for accommodation outside of term to do the development squad for CUWBC and been able to take part in races such as WeHORR, probably the biggest women’s only head race in the UK, and Nottingham City regatta (the largest one-day regatta in the UK).
When asked what she likes most about Churchill College, Katie points to the friendliness of the people, and the great value accommodation available to students:
Even the cheapest rooms are of a really nice standard – better than my room at home, and bigger too! I think Churchill is very lucky in that it’s a modern college and has all the benefits of that (fewer unnecessary traditions, modern accommodation and facilities) but has a fairly low living cost for students, which most newer colleges struggle to achieve. That’s mainly down to the alumni support that it’s possible.
Katie also greatly enjoys being part of a community of other rowing enthusiasts at Churchill; from freshers to PhD students and alumni. The highlight of her time at College has been attending the termly Boat Club dinners.
Looking to the future, she would definitely like to become a vet of some kind — she hasn’t decided which type yet, but she currently has a particular interest in emergency veterinary work.