Hi gang, Stacey here.
As many of you know, I am a complete and utter Anglophile and have been since I was 12 years old (thanks in part to Duran Duran and the rest of the New Wave bands). Some think I'm mad for loving the UK more than the country in which I was born, but I suppose that is what makes me, me. :-) Other people think I am mad for loving seaweed and seagrass... you decide!Fieldwork in Salcombe -- August 2008Seagrass sampling with Arthur Riedel and Penne Donohue -- August 2008Counting and sampling seagrass shoots at Salcombe - August 2008
Over the past 10 years, as I've worked towards applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK, I've jumped through many immigration hoops (with great expense) since arriving in 2006 to start my PhD. As I finally near the time where I am eligible to apply (by living legally and lawfully in the UK for 10 years), the financial goal posts have shifted once again. Hence, my plea for help.
I feel *exceptionally awkward*
asking for help, but one of the most amazing things that I have learned this year is that people (i.e. YOU ALL
) really care and will help in ways I never dreamed possible. Due to my living situation changing so dramatically earlier in 2016 (due to my ex-landlord selling the flat out from underneath me) when I was least financially prepared for the huge upheaval (essentially forking out over £18k for the deposit and fees for the house in March that I had to beg, borrow, and steal), I haven't been able to set aside the funds necessary for my ILR visa and due to escalating visa fees and the costs associated with fixing the house to make it more efficient and secure. And currently, it seems rather unlikely I'll be able to anytime soon, given my current monthly outgoings. This is why I have started this fundraising campaign. Can you help me raise the funds necessary to pay for this ILR visa (£2375.00) over the next couple of months?
When I arrived in Plymouth in August 2006 as a Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Scholar, there is no way that I could have ever predicted the direction my life has taken or how involved I would become with supporting students and their development. I endeavour to help them achieve their full potential, just as so many have helped me achieve mine. I am always thrilled and very moved to learn that students have appreciated my efforts by nominating me for STARR awards. Leading the PALS (Peer Assisted Learning Scheme) programme in Marine Biology over the past 3 years (& still going strong as we start our 4th year), has enabled me to help students even more. It's great getting to know them, to hear their stories, and to help the fulfil their dreams.Jack Kent Cooke Foundation #ReachHigher campaign2014 STARR Award for Inspirational Teaching (Faculty winner)2015 STARR Award for Most Innovative Teaching (Faculty winner)2013 Graduation -- I love seeing PU graduates one final time before they start their next adventure.Me and my AWESOME Marine Biology PALS Leaders from 2015-16 at the first ever PALS Gala Celebration
During my time here, I've been involved in helping to raise awareness and better infrastructure for cycling within Plymouth. Through my experiences with other organised rides (the Tweed Run and Velo Vintage), I now have the confidence to organise and lead an annual 'Retro Ride' around Plymouth (https://www.facebook.com/events/1412689585424029/
).April 2015 Velo Vintage ride in Barnstaple2014 Tweed Run in London with Greg FranklinSeptember 2015 Retro Ride in Plymouth
In addition to supporting cycling, I also have enjoyed supporting cultural events, whether it's the annual Murder Mystery or Halloween Quiz fundraisers down at the Marine Biological Association (MBA), taking part in zombie walks across the city, or even travelling up to Bristol to support The Invisible Circus.MBA Murder Mystery - March 2013Annual MBA Halloween Quiz and pumpkin carving competition - Oct 2012
MBA Murder Mystery -- March 2016The Invisible Circus' Rogue Revenge with Lucy Heard - Bristol 2011The Invisible Circus' 'God Save the Dream' with Lucy Heard -- Bristol 2012Plymouth Zombie Walk with Lucy Heard and Sarah Dalesman -- October 2012
I love getting out and exploring Britain's great outdoors and have had some amazing adventures over the past 10 years, including walking all 630 miles of the South West Coast Path (http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/south-west-coast-path
), which I completed on 1 September 2012 and all of Hadrian's Wall (http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/hadrians-wall-path
) in 2014! It has been great to teach myself photography over the last several years and share my photos with you all via social media, and sometimes to inspire you to visit places you didn't know existed or act as a tour guide for those who have come to visit. I hope to continue to discover many more delights that the UK has to offer over the coming years that I can continue to share with you.Along the Dorset coast as part of my 630-mile walk along the SW Coast Path
The start of Hadrian's Wall in Wallsend -- July 2014
Before the 'harrowing' events of 2015 during my road trip in the Outer Hebrides.In the Lake District - March 2015
And here are some of my favourite photos on my FB page: Adventuregurl Photography
I LOVE the UK, even after this tumultuous summer of political upheaval. I have never felt more at home anywhere than I have here and I have felt this way since my first visit to these shores back in 1985. I spent many days/weeks/months daydreaming about how I could live here permanently. I am now, nearly, living that dream and haven't been happier with how my life has turned out despite the ups, downs, and unforeseen situations I have found myself in getting to this stage.
Over the past decade (and beyond), I have financially supported numerous projects whether it be for outreach events, fundraisers for friends to create and print books, make films and raise awareness of environmental and societal issues, for bands to be able to make records, for friends who were raising money for environmental or medical charities, and for disadvantaged kids to have books to read. I've given money to help historical places build new roofs or simply stay open to the public. I've donated time to help in outreach, to communicate science, and to help inspire the next generation of scientists. Now, with your support, I can continue to do all of these things in the UK to work on helping the younger generation feel empowered, to continue to raise awareness and understanding of complex environmental issues, to build stronger ties within the community, and to work towards creating a more fair and just society in whatever way(s) that I can.
Many fundraising campaigns have various gifts for different levels of donations. The only thing I can offer no matter what how much you donate is my most sincere, deepest and heartfelt gratitude in helping me raise the funds to jump this next hurdle for the UKVI (but unfortunately not my last... British citizenship will be next in a year or so from obtaining ILR). My current Tier 2 visa expires in June 2017, but I am finally eligible for ILR from 29/08/16
. Currently, my job / post expires when my visa expires so the sooner I can I apply for ILR, the sooner I can receive a letter from the university stating my contract is permanent, which would take the 'uncertainty' edge off and would give me one less thing to worry about. Can you help me achieve this?
Pennies to pounds, no matter how small or large a donation, anything can and will make a difference. Even if you can't donate, just knowing that I have so, so, so many people cheering me on and wishing me well on this crazy life adventure, makes me smile (and really does bring tears to my eyes). You all are AWESOME and are my world