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Wheatley unveils 50 bursaries to help more people go to uni

Disadvantaged families who can’t afford the costs of studying offered cash support by housing group.

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Students from disadvantaged communities are being offered up to £1,500 a year by Scotland’s largest housing group to support them through college or university.

Wheatley Group has helped 100 people with their further or higher education studies in the past two years by providing bursaries. Now the group is inviting applications for people from its communities to apply for up to 50 new bursaries this year.

The bursaries, supported by the group’s charitable trust, the Wheatley Foundation, are available to tenants of Wheatley’s social landlords and their families. People should be looking to start their studies this year or already be at college or university. Factored homeowners with YourPlace, also part of Wheatley Group, and their families can also apply.

One tenant said the support she received from Wheatley in the final year of her studies to become a maths teacher made a big difference, allowing her to fund her travel costs and buy her books without worrying.

Lauryn Dickson, 27, a West Lothian Housing Partnership tenant, said: “Having the breathing space financially made all the difference. It lifted the stress. I had enough to worry about in my final year, so having that money really helped.”

Lauryn, from Blackburn in West Lothian, is completing her degree in professional education and maths at Stirling University and will start a job at a high school in August.

She added: “I’m the first person in my family to go to university, and they’re all so proud of me.

“The university stream the graduation ceremony, and all my family are going to tune in to watch and have a big celebration.”

Thomas Johnstone was also awarded a Wheatley Foundation bursary and said the funds he received helped him pursue his studies. He is working towards a BSC in horticulture at Scotland’s Rural College in Edinburgh. 

Thomas, 40, a GHA tenant, said: “It made being able to continue my studies possible. The first two years of the course were in Glasgow, but then it moved to Edinburgh, and covering the travel costs without the bursary would have been really difficult.

“It made me feel more secure knowing my expenses were covered, and I could just get on with my studies.”

Bursaries of up to £1,500 a year are available for people who want to study for an HNC, HND, Undergraduate Degree or Postgraduate course. Wheatley’s social landlords are: GHA, Cube, Loretto Housing, Dunedin Canmore, West Lothian Housing Partnership and Barony.

Wheatley Foundation Director Lorraine McLaren said: “The cost of studying as well as the added financial burden of meeting the cost of living while studying can be a major barrier to many people in our communities. For some, that means they cannot even consider going to university. But a bursary can make the difference; providing real support through the course of their studies.

“We’re delighted so many people from our communities have been able to benefit from our bursary scheme and achieve their dreams.”

The deadline for applying for a Wheatley Foundation bursary is 30 June 2019.

For more information and to apply, email bursaries@wheatley-group.com