One of Warwick's oldest charities is expanding its bursary scheme to help more students
The bursary had previously been only open to people living in the CV34 postcode area
A bursary scheme with one of Warwick's oldest charities which supports disadvantaged students in Warwick is expanding to support students in villages near the town after a successful first year.
WCG (formerly Warwickshire College Group) launched the bursary in partnership with charity Oken Eyffler last year and the scheme is set to run for a further two years.
The scheme is available for students over the age of 18 to support access to further and higher education courses at the college group – but had previously been only open to people living in the CV34 postcode.
It has now been expanded to include residents of Bishops Tachbrook, Barford, Sherbourne, Hampton on the Hill, Hampton Magna, Budbrooke, Hatton, Haseley, Haseley Knob and Leek Wootton.
The bursary will be supporting 50 students in its second year and is available to students studying any course at any of the colleges within the WCG group.
It is designed to assist students in with the costs of travel, accommodation, books and equipment required for their course.
Molly Biddle, 21, also received a grant through the Oken Eyffler Bursary and has been able to buy a new laptop to use in her Business and Management degree studies.
“I live with my mum and we’re a low income household, so the bursary has been important in helping me to continue my studies and do so more efficiently with the new laptop,” said Molly.
“During my studies I’m working part time at Zenzero at Warwick Technology Park and the business has been very supportive of me.
“With the bursary supporting me getting the new equipment it took a huge weight off my mind and allowed me to focus fully on studying.”
Sandra Whitfield, 54, was one of the first beneficiaries of the bursary and has used the funds to support her to study for a degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy.
She said: “During the first year of my course I had carried out the majority of my studies in the library, but when Covid-19 hit this wasn’t possible anymore.
"With the bursary, I was able to buy a laptop and headphones to be able to work at home.
“With counselling placements it’s important to keep your calls confidential, especially when you have children at home like me, so the bursary has allowed me to do that too.
“It’s nothing to be ashamed about applying for a bursary. By being in college you are on the right path to improving your situation and that is something to be proud of.”
The Charity of Thomas Oken and Nicholas Eyffler was formed following the generosity of the two named benefactors and businessmen who lived in Tudor times.
Katherine Skudra, head of student welfare at WCG, added: "We've been delighted to work with The Oken Eyffler Charity's support in this past year and it has enabled us to provide many bursaries to students in Warwick.
“We are very grateful that the charity is to continue and widen the scheme in the coming year so that more students, from a wider catchment and across all subjects, will now have the possibility of benefiting from this support."
To find out more about the Oken Eyffler Bursary and check the eligibility criteria go to: https://wcg.ac.uk/page/1291/oken-eyffler-bursary