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Former Access student awarded by The Helena Kennedy Foundation

A Northampton College Access student was one of over a hundred students awarded at The Helena Kennedy Foundation awards ceremony last week.

A Northampton College Access student was one of over a hundred students awarded at The Helena Kennedy Foundation awards ceremony last week.

Michael Watson was on the Access to Social Science pathway at Northampton College and also completed various part-time adult literacy and numeracy qualifications before embarking on his university career at The University of Northampton where he is studying Social Work.

The Helena Kennedy Foundation awards ceremony, sponsored by the awarding body OCR, recognised students from disadvantaged backgrounds who had progressed from FE colleges across the country and who were now successfully enrolled on a higher education course.

The Foundation has helped over a 1,000 students since 1998, offering financial and emotional assistance in the form of bursaries, mentoring and work placements the Helena Kennedy Foundation has seen 96% of its award winners successfully graduate, a significant figure which outstrips the national completion rate.

The 2011 award winners were successfully selected from over 450 students who applied to the scheme, with each student receiving a £1500 bursary to support their costs while studying as well as the ongoing training, mentoring and guidance provided by the Foundation.

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, President of the Foundation & host of the ceremony said:

“I am delighted to have presented these students with one of our awards in recognition of their huge achievements in reaching university. Each student who receives an award has been selected because they are special and have shown real talent and determination.

Clara Kenyon, Director of Customers, Curriculum and Qualifications at OCR said:

“OCR supports the Foundation in its mission to enable pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to overcome many hurdles. The mentoring, training and support it provides within FE is, I believe, as important as the funding in helping young people gain access to HE”.

Wes Streeting, Chief Executive of the Helena Kennedy Foundation, said:

“Making the leap from college to university can be a big step and we know there are so many talented people out there who have the ability to succeed in higher education, but still miss out on the opportunity. Our Foundation works with colleges across the UK to support students to overcome real disadvantage to ensure that the doors of our universities are genuinely open to all with the ability”.

The Helena Kennedy Foundation