Her future. Your Gift.


Put simply, GDST bursaries change lives.

They enable us to offer an outstanding education to girls who would otherwise be denied it. It means those girls can fulfil and even exceed their own expectations – and it means they can leave school ready to take on the world’s challenges and win.

As a UK registered charity (charity no. 306983), the GDST ensures that, if a donor says they want to give to a specific school, all those funds are designated to that school. All other income to the Girls First Bursary Fund is used to support the GDST bursary programme where the need is greatest.

Dr Bethan James, Howell's School

“Being awarded a Howell’s bursary enabled me to achieve my academic goals in a stimulating and active environment, where we were always encouraged to follow our dreams. I attended a top University, obtained a PhD in astrophysics and was able to fulfil my ambition of becoming an astrophysicist. I am truly grateful for the opportunities that Howell’s gave me, along with the friendships that I acquired there”

Dr Bethan James, Howell’s alumna (2002)
Astronomer, Space Telescope Science Institute (USA)

Watch Dr Bethan James's Story

Isoken Alli-Usman, Putney High School

Isoken (Soké) Alli-Usman (née Idemudia) is a qualified solicitor working in the field of project finance and international energy as Senior Legal C ounsel at Globeleq. She trained at one of the best law firms in the UK and then at one ofthe most respected international US law firms.

“A bursary allowed me to go to Putney where I was given the belief I could achieve my goals. I was taught to develop resilience and to be pro-active. My school gave me the tools to achieve. Putney shaped my life. It has a special place in my heart”.

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    Soké grew up in Vauxhall, South London. When she first applied to Putney HighSchool, no one in her neighbourhood had even heard of the school, leta lone been entered for the entrance exam. Soké did not let that stop her and Putney awarded her a place, having been impressed with her both in the exam and at interview. Unable to afford the full fees, Soké was awarded a bursary and joined Year 7 in 1996. She quickly fitted in and made friends throughout the school, excelling in her studies and developing a particular love of poetry and music, as well as regularly competing in tennis and athletics. Her natural leadership qualities made her an obvious choice for Head Girl, a role which she performed with gusto in her final year.

    The years that Soké spent at Putney High gave her access to a first class education and the broadest of opportunities; but more than that, they taught her that there need be no limit to her aspirations.

Charlotte Brown, Sheffield High School for Girls

I definitely didn’t come from a similar background as a lot of my classmates at Sheffield Girls’. My mother being a teaching assistant and my father being a warehouse worker, neither decided to pursue education past college-level, but as a naturally academic person I’d always aspired to one day go to university. On top of that, I went to a secondary school where a lot of pupils struggled academically and with bad behaviour, so I felt like the odd one out and experienced a lot of bullying and problems with mental health as a result.

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    One of my teachers noticed how hard I was working and pulled me to one side to offer me a prospectus for Sheffield Girls’ Sixth form, and I was later overjoyed to receive a full bursary that would allow me to attend despite my family not being able to afford the fees.

    I loved it from the very first day: finally being around people like myself, who were academically driven and always striving to be kind, I was the happiest I had been in years. My self-esteem blossomed with the support of teachers and peers to the point that I’m a completely different and more confident person, taking part in everything I can instead of shying away.

    Academically too, the school was unparalleled. I am confident that the reason I achieved my A*AA grades and will be the first in my family to attend university, is in large part due to the opportunities, excellent teaching and supportive environment I had during Sixth Form. Sheffield Girls’ will stick with me and empower me to fulfil my potential way past leaving the school, and I never would have had any of the wonderful experiences of the past two years without the help of a bursary”.

Girls First Bursary Fund


We need your help. Please help us to support more girls from all walks of life by donating to our bursary programme today.

GDST Legacy

Girls First Bursary Fund

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