Bursaries for lifelong leanring

Learners struggling to buy the student essentials have been given a helping hand thanks to the Realise Foundation.

In December and in March, the latest two rounds of bursary awards were allocated to 27 learners in total, with each receiving support in the form of equipment valued up to £500.

The bursaries, managed in partnership with Staffordshire Community Foundation, included items such as laptops, tools, textbooks and bus passes.

Music technology student Mitchell Wheelton, aged 25, from Basford, was presented with a laptop, guitar cable and headphones. He said: “All my old equipment was on its last legs and I was struggling to get the money to buy new things. I’m moving house at the minute and I have hardly any spare cash.

“I told the student services team at Newcastle-under-Lyme College that I was struggling with my living expenses and they mentioned the Realise Foundation bursary scheme. It’s made such a big difference.”

Realise charity co-ordinator Ben Morris said: “Since the scheme started in 2010 we have awarded more than 60 bursaries and we hope to do a lot more of this in the future to encourage life-long learning.”

PM Training apprentice Sinead Carter was one of those supported, she received an annual bus pass.
Sinead, aged 18, pictured front right, needed help to get to work placements from her home in Meir so she can pursue her dream of becoming a painter decorator.

She said: “I am happy with this because I want to carry on working but if it hadn’t been for this award I would have struggled to have been able to pay for the travel.”