A funding package of up to £1,200 over two years has been
launched to help any students that may otherwise struggle to attend
college and gain the qualifications they need to realise their
potential and pursue a successful career.
The package of government grants and bursaries has been further
boosted by the launch of the Gateshead College Foundation, an
independent charity set up by the college to provide further
financial help for students.
In the North East almost 9% of 16 to 18-year-olds are not in
education, employment or training (NEET). This is the highest in
England and nearly double the number of NEETs in the same age group
in London (4.5%).
Gateshead College's principal Richard Thorold said: "Education
has the power to transform lives, and there is no greater need than
now for people to have the chance to develop the skills they need
to get jobs, improve their prospects and get our economy
"We're fully committed to helping students wherever possible to
ensure that they can achieve their maximum potential and go on to
succeed in further studies or embark on their dream career.
"We are the first college in the region to launch our own
charity, the Gateshead College Foundation, to help those who need
to closely manage their finances.
"The benefit package already available, together with the
support we can provide through the Foundation, is accessible to
anyone who may need some additional support to make it possible for
them to attend college.
"Students need to apply to us for financial support and those
eligible can gain funding to help towards essential costs such as
travel, course equipment and books."
One student who is already benefitting from Gateshead College's
support is Hazelle Webster-Costella. The 17-year-old 800 metre and
cross country runner from Hebburn is studying a National Diploma in
Sports and Exercise Science at the college's Academy for Sport.
The former Hebburn Comprehensive School pupil, who received a
grant from the Gateshead College Foundation, said:
"I applied for funding to help with travel costs and having the
money to afford my bus pass has been a huge relief and a weight
lifted off my shoulders. I don't have to worry about how I'll get
"I'm also a member of the college's Athletics Academy and
received £120 to enable me to buy my kit, which is mandatory. I've
had funding towards travel to competition events too.
"Studying at college and training and competing with the
Athletics Academy would be so much harder without the extra support
from the college and I'm extremely grateful."
Hazelle will start her second year at college in September and
once she completes her studies she would like to go on to do
physiotherapy, occupational therapy and applied science and
coaching at Northumbria University.
The Gateshead College Foundation was started with an initial £1
million contribution from Gateshead College's own reserves and each
year a percentage of any surplus generated is reinvested in the
Other funding comes from fundraising activity, corporate
sponsorship, donations and gift aiding from the surplus of other
commercial operations run by Gateshead College.