For the last two years, Croydon High School has received funding for Sixth Form bursaries from a locally based private family trust. Both the husband and wife came from financially stressed backgrounds and were without one parent, or the other. Neither could afford to go to university.
However, looking back, the couple feel they received a great deal of encouragement, mentoring and emotional support. This, along with a lot of hard work has helped them on their way.
Now that they find themselves a much more fortunate position, they have set out to support young people who might miss out on life’s opportunities through lack of finance.
The couple met and talked to Sam Davies at the GDST and were impressed with the Trust’s caring and supportive approach to the development of the students in their schools. They were both brought up in the Croydon area, so were attracted to providing support to a student from the same area who might be able to go to Croydon High School.
The couple were keen to support an academically able student from a financially disadvantaged background with the determination to succeed at Sixth Form and we here at the GDST were happy to help make this happen.
Emma Pattison – Head of Croydon High School – invited them to the school to meet her and some of her staff. The future donors knew this meeting was key to whether they felt they could go ahead with a gift. They were generously welcomed and shown around the school, telling us afterwards that they were inspired by the sense of care and calm purpose that met them throughout the school during their visit.
Having gone ahead with the bursary, the couple have been regularly updated on the progress of the student they are supporting and invited to various school activities. Having provided bursaries for other students at other schools and one university, they tell us that their experience with the GDST has been the easiest to achieve and the most satisfying. So much so, that they have just provided a bursary for a second Sixth Form student at Croydon High.
The donors believe everyone who is determined to succeed but is held back due to money, mentoring or general support, deserves a chance. They would encourage anyone who can donate, to give it a go.
The couple acknowledge that the next few post Covid years are going to be very tough, with significant unemployment and acute pressure on families. They see this will increase the need for help and support for more young people and also potentially reduce the number of donors able to give due to their own financial concerns.
The donors think the GDST’s ongoing work on increasing bursaries is critical – in their own words: The future of the UK depends on developing the best of the best.