Durham University team clinches Morgan Stanley challenge

An eight-strong team of students from Durham University beat off stiff competition from six other UK institutions and won £5,000 for a charity helping young people with disabilities in a challenge set by global financial services firm Morgan Stanley.


An eight-strong team of students from Durham University beat off stiff competition from six other UK institutions and won £5,000 for a charity helping young people with disabilities in a challenge set by global financial services firm Morgan Stanley.

The Morgan Stanley University Community Impact Challenge brought the Durham students together for seven weeks’ detailed preparation work and aims to strengthen links between universities and their local communities.

The University chose to work with Durham Area Disability Leisure Group, which provides sports, leisure and social opportunities for children and young people with disabilities living in and around Durham City. The charity asked the students to explore the feasibility of establishing a service focusing on helping young adults with disabilities into employment.

The Durham University team with Goran Trapp

University Placement Officer, Mrs. Cawkwell gushed “The Durham team is an asset to the University; they demonstrated teamwork, leadership, problem solving and commercial awareness…we believe the benefits to the students involved are immeasurable.”

Whilst DADLG project coordinator Andrea Otty called the team “an enthusiastic and dedicated group of people” whose commitment was “refreshing and inspiring.”

Teams of students from Bristol, Exeter, Glasgow, Manchester, LSE and UCL were pitted against each other, pitching their project ideas to a panel of judges shortly before Christmas.

The Durham team was made up of Deepesh Patel, 20, Alison Robb, 19, Laura Harrisson 21, Jonathan Shevlane, 20, Jennifer Chan, 19, Frederic Chen, 22, Kobe Chow, 19 and Andrea Jesudason, 20.

Team captain and Deepesh Patel, a final year Natural Sciences student at Collingwood College, said: “From the onset, our team was keen to take on this project because we wanted to make a real, long-term difference in our local community.”

The team have won themselves an insight day at Morgan Stanley later this year which will conclude with a dinner with senior management.