Students who face financial disadvantage are being invited to apply for grants of up to £1,000 from Dorset Community Foundation.
Last year the Foundation’s Bursary Scheme awarded more than £37,000 to support 72 students from the county. Included were those studying STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering or mathematics) at Bournemouth and Poole or Brockenhurst College, funded by the community foundation’s Superior STEM Bursary Fund.
The grants can be used to cover the cost of travel to college, equipment, tools or clothing, study trips, laptops or meals.
Grants manager Ellie Maguire said: “This isn’t an exhaustive list and students with other requirements for their course should contact us.”
Applicants must be 16 to 25, attending a vocational course, and be enrolled at Bournemouth and Poole College, Kingston Maurward College, Brockenhurst College, Weymouth College, Yeovil College or Wiltshire College’s Salisbury Campus.
Mrs Maguire said: “Many students tell us that they wouldn’t have been able to attend college without the bursary or that it greatly reduced the financial pressure and anxiety this can cause, enabling them to do their very best in class.
“Many will continue in education, studying the same or a similar subject at a higher level and all feel that doing so will give them more confidence to seek work or knowledge to go on to university.”
Two grants from the scheme have helped 18-year-old Bella Fryer attend a Skills For Working Life course at Kingston Maurward College to help her follow her dream of working outside with animals.
Her mum is a carer for her dad, who is blind and hard of hearing and the grants of £800 and £134 have helped pay for a laptop, protective clothing, travel and meals at college for two years.
Bella, who has ADHD, said: “I started off with no friends, now I have friends and we meet up in Bournemouth, which I would never have been able to do before starting my course. I have grown so much as a person and it’s all down to Kingston Maurward staff helping me and supporting me.”
A 16-year-old from Bournemouth who cares for his disabled father was given a grant for a laptop to study Applied Psychology, Criminology and Law at Bournemouth & Poole College. He said the grant meant he could come home after college to support his dad needs while continuing to complete all his college work.
Dorset Community Foundation director Grant Robson said: “It is incredibly heartening to hear the stories of how these grants can set someone on to a path they might otherwise be unable to take.
“We are able to make these grants available thanks to the generosity of private donors who want to support young people and help them fulfil their potential. The requests for funding are always more than we can award so are always keen to speak to individuals, companies or charitable trusts who feel they may be able to help us support more students in need in future years.”
Applications for bursaries to be paid in November are open until 8 October. Further rounds of funding will also be available. Application forms, and full details of criteria, can be found at dorsetcommunityfoundation.org/funds/dcf-bursary-scheme.
The Superior STEM Bursary Fund is open until 8 November. More details are available at dorsetcommunityfoundation.org/funds/superior-stem-bursary-fund.
Students should apply direct to their college for financial support before applying to DCF, although they may receive funds from both sources if needed.
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