Bursary Scheme allows disadvantaged young people to see a future for themsleves

Retired magistrate and teacher Richard Sawle is a member of our Bursary Scheme grants panel. He became involved through his friendship with our chair of trustees Tom Flood and his late partner Paul Cornes, whose legacy has contributed to the fund. Here he writes about why the Bursary Scheme is so important

Grant Robson 15th February 2022

Bursary Scheme allows disadvantaged young people to see a future for themsleves

ARE you aware that there are many young people in Dorset, aged 16 and over who are desperate to move into vocational training in order to give themselves a future, but who can’t do it?

The reason why they can’t do it is quite simple – neither they nor their family can afford it.  It’s not that they can’t be bothered, or would rather be on benefits –  they cannot afford it.

Who knew that in 2022 there would be students who cannot attend the course of their choice, because they cannot raise the money for transport, meals, protective clothing or the laptop which is a prerequisite of the course?

Well I certainly didn’t until, by chance, I came across Dorset Community Foundation’s Bursary Scheme, which is there precisely to help these students.

As a retired teacher and magistrate, I know the value of youngsters having aspirations and being able to see a future for themselves. I was, therefore, very interested in this scheme and am now a member of the panel which awards bursaries.

The colleges themselves can offer bursaries to the students, but the majority of these cannot cover all the costs. This is where we come in: we can ‘top up’ the amount needed, within limits of course.

The DCF Bursary Scheme does not have unlimited funds, so we cannot help everyone who asks, and even those we support can’t always be given the requested amount.

Why are am I telling you all this? Obviously, we want your money – well, as much of it as you are prepared to give, anyway.

Our money basically comes from legacies and donations, and it’s one of those that we’re after, preferably with “no strings attached”. The reason for that is simply that some donors have specified that they want the money used solely for youngsters from a specific area, for example. Due to the law relating to charitable trusts, this means that unless there is a need in that area, we cannot use the money.

Courses through which we are currently supporting students include electrical, fire-service, horticulture, plumbing and wildlife conservation. It is clear, therefore, that our support not only benefits the individual student, but also society as a whole.

Learn more about donating to the DCF Bursary Scheme here email admin@dorsetcf.org, call 01202 670815 or write to Dorset Community Foundation, The Spire, High Street Poole BH15 1DF.

By donating £500 you could equip a student, pay their transport and meal costs or allow them to attend placements for a year. Donating £1,000 would help make that same difference to two students’ lives.

There is no minimum amount for donations: any amount at all will make a difference to someone.