College charity cash helps student with designs on gaming career

A talented young student's dream of becoming a top games designer has moved a step closer after securing financial help from Gateshead College's charity.

Nineteen-year-old Connor Brady, from Birtley in Gateshead, has received funding from The Gateshead College Foundation, which is enabling him to study towards a career in games design.

Connor is using the £380 funding to pay travel costs to and from Gateshead College's Baltic Campus, where he is studying for a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma Games and App Design

Without the award, the youngster, who according to his lecturers has a real flair for games design and development, would be struggling to attend classes and complete his qualification. 

Now, thanks to the college's assistance he is looking forward to completing his studies before going onto Leeds Met University this September to pursue his ambition of creating games for PCs and gaming platforms like Xbox and Playstation. 

Connor, who has already created an eye-catching iPhone app for a  national enterprise competition to showcase his creative skills, said the cash award has changed his life. 

"The Gateshead College course is the best in the region for people keen to pursue careers in the games industry and is an important step in securing a place on a degree course at Leeds. 

"Without the Foundation, I just wouldn't have been able to manage on my own paying the travel costs. I just wouldn't have been able to take the next step; so I'd like to thank the college for all its help." 

Connor is the latest to have benefitted from awards made by the Foundation aimed at helping young people develop their potential and improve life chances. 

In total, the Foundation so far has given more than £175,000 to students. This includes over £66,000 towards paying course fees for 95 students while grants in excess of £65,000 have gone to 220 16-18 year-old full time students. 

Thousands of pounds have also been given to help dozens of struggling part-time students successfully complete their studies. 

The Gateshead College Foundation is designed to bridge FE funding gaps, in particular helping those people affected by the abolition of the previous Education Maintenance Allowance and other funding cutbacks. 

Launched with a £1 million fund last year, the Foundation is bolstered by a percentage of any surplus the college makes each year and money from staff fundraising activity including sponsored runs, collection boxes, clothing and jewellery sales and charity shows. 

Donations have also been received from ITV and training company Group Horizon. 

Judith Doyle, deputy principal at Gateshead College, said: "We launched the Foundation to help our students get the financial support they need to realise their talent and ambitions. 

"It's really important for us, as a college at the heart of the community, to give people every opportunity to succeed through quality training and equipping them with the skills employers want. 

"Connor is a gifted student who has a real passion for his chosen career but has found it difficult to progress due to personal circumstances. 

"So, it's great to be able to see Connor and dozens like him benefit from Foundation funding and take another huge step forward on the path to career success."

Click here to find out more about the Gateshead College Foundation.