Thousands raised to help Cambridge student from Collier Row finance final term at university 

Joshua Obichere of Collier Row managed to raise enough money to help fund the last of his studies

Joshua Obichere of Collier Row managed to raise enough money to help fund the last of his studies at the University of Cambridge - Credit: Ali Anastasia

Donors collected thousands of pounds to help a University of Cambridge student from Collier Row pay for his final term. 

Joshua Obichere, 24, grew up in Barking and Romford before moving with his family to Collier Row.   

Having studied at UCL for his undergraduate degree, he decided to apply to Cambridge to study during his final year in 2019.  

Despite being rejected the first time of asking, Joshua was then accepted to study a PGCE in art and design in 2020, before moving on to a masters in education part-time, for which he is now in his final term. 

Joshua in a studio

Joshua started at Cambridge to study for a PGCE in art and design, before moving on to a masters in education, which he is soon to finish - Credit: Kezia Gibson

However, with course fees costing £2,200 plus living expenses, Joshua said he has experienced financial difficulties.  

In addition, when he started at Cambridge, he was diagnosed with both ADHD and dyspraxia.  

Confiding that he initially "didn’t know how to cope with it”, Joshua said it added further pressure to what was becoming a tough situation. 

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Joshua’s parents had given him the money they could, but as a self-funded course, he had to start looking elsewhere for more support. 

As well as doing supply teaching work with Vision for Education, Joshua decided, after receiving a push from a friend, to open a crowdfunding page in early April

“At first I was quite scared because sometimes it can be very hard to open up to people,” he said. 

Beyond the financial aid, Joshua said the fundraiser is also about “raising awareness” about his struggles, particularly as he knows others will have experienced similar issues. 

Since setting up the crowdfunding page, Joshua has - as of April 21 - surpassed his £2,558 goal by over £200, raising a total of £2,778. 

He said he is “very grateful” for the help he has received so far, adding: “If I didn’t have that support system, I would have been in trouble.” 

A collage of some of Joshua's work, all of which can be viewed on his website, Art by Hand

A collage of some of Joshua's art, all of which can be viewed on his website, Art by Hand - Credit: Joshua Obichere

Completing his studies at Cambridge is “really important”, Joshua says, given the effort required to get him this far. 

"Being one of the only people in my generation to go to Cambridge, my family are so proud," he said. "It’s taken a lot for me to get here."

Having the resources now to finance the remainder of his studies, Joshua said his time at university is just the start of his progression on to other ambitious endeavours. 

“There is so much more to come,” he said. 

View the fundraising page at https://www.gofundme.com/f/joshtothefinish-completing-my-cambridge-masters