2018 University Bursaries

On Wednesday 12th September we welcomed this year’s cohort of university bursary students, their parents and some of their teachers, for a celebration event to mark the start of their university journey.  Also in attendance were three graduates from a previous cohort who returned to meet and talk to the recipients about their own experiences.

37 local sixth formers applied for the coveted bursary places which are awarded annually to 16 Bedford Borough based students from low income families.  The selected students attend Biddenham Upper School, Bedford Academy, Kimberley College, St Thomas More School and Sharnbrook Academy, and they are preparing to embark on a wide range of courses including Criminology, Architecture, Law, Sociology and Finance.

Each student receives a total of £3600 spread in instalments over the duration of their course, and this money can be used to help with living expenses and general costs such as books, trips, transport or any other expenses they might encounter.

This year, we are also piloting our first postgraduate award which was allocated to Demi LeNette-Dawson who is going to study Veterinary Science at The Royal Veterinary College at the University of London.  Demi was previously a recipient of our University Bursary scheme and recently graduated from Surrey University with a 1st Class degree in Veterinary BioSciences.

Grants Committee members Jenifer Sauboorah, and Debborah Inskip were present to announce and give out the awards.  Jennifer is now a Trustee and Chair of the Grants Committee for The Harpur Trust, and spoke to the students about her own experience as a recipient of a grant by the Trust 20 years ago.

We were also thrilled to welcome guest speaker Ryan Gray Programme Manager and National Social Media Co-ordinator for Uprising.  Uprising is a national youth leadership development organisation recognised at Government-level as a pioneering charity championing the critical issues surrounding diversity, social mobility and equality. Their work provides routes to leadership and employment for 16-25 year olds who have talent, but lack opportunity.  The Trust brought Uprising to Bedford in 2011 and we have funded it ever since.

Emma Cook, Grants Programmes Officer and co-ordinator of the project, welcomed the students and explained how the process would work.  She said “Today marks the start of a journey with The Harpur Trust which we hope will be a long and positive one.  We know from experience that many of the students who have been awarded these bursaries in the past have gone on to great things, and we look forward to hearing updates from them as they progress on their education journey”.