Hardship fund provides vital help as Ørsted looks forward to town future

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 14 Nov 2017

A SHARE of a £20,000 fund will help students facing financial hardship in Grimsby as an emerging leading employer readies a workforce.

The money has been donated by Ørsted, formerly Dong Energy, from its Skills Fund allocation, which will help students struggling to pay for travel to and from the Grimsby Institute’s campuses in Grimsby, Immingham and Skegness.

Over the next ten months the education provider will distribute £5,000 from the Ørsted Hardship Fund to support more than 40 students. A total of 16 learners will receive support towards travel at £250 per year, and 25 students will benefit from out of term time support with travel and meals at £40 per week. 

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Debra Gray, Grimsby Institute’s deputy chief executive, said: “The area that the Institute serves is one of the most disadvantaged in the UK. Some colleges use deprivation as a reason for failure, but it’s our reason to succeed. Those students need more support because they don’t have the start that others may have had. There are a range of learners who fall outside of the bursary support currently available, including those from rurally deprived or isolated areas and access to public services is difficult. 

“We are delighted to accept this award from Ørsted which will enable us to do more to support learners who, for example, have work placements outside term time or need to attend vital functional skills maths and English or GCSE sessions. Travel should not be a barrier to an outstanding education.”

The allocation will include apprentices, who are not currently eligible for government bursaries, but who may struggle to afford travel on their apprenticeship wage.

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It is part of the East Coast Community Benefit Fund in support of communities within the coastal areas of its Hornsea and Race Bank offshore wind farms. It follow’s Ørsted’s recent commitment to make Grimsby the UK’s largest offshore wind operations and maintenance hub, creating 500 jobs.

Rob Howes, learning and development specialist at Ørsted, said:  “We’re expanding our operations in the Grimsby area and as part of that we’re investing in the future workforce by developing local skills and creating employment opportunities. Earlier this year we announced our new apprenticeship scheme, in partnership with Grimsby Institute, and we are delighted that this skills funding will bring further benefit to the college.    

“Investing in skills is only a part of how we contribute to the communities we operate in; over the next two decades we’ve committed to more than £9 million of community investment and environmental projects across the East Coast.” 

For more information e-mail bursary@grimsby.ac.uk

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