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Hardship Award

Sep 08, 2017

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Mary* was on a Pre-Access Course at Level 2. She has three children and a fourth on the way. She is fully dependent on her husband’s earnings as she is studying and caring for her children. She was struggling with childcare costs which was causing her stress.

“The money given to me helped me so much by helping towards childcare costs. This worry was really affecting my studies. I am so grateful.”

Amanda was approaching the end of her Pre-Access Level 2 in Sciences programme. She had an outstanding examination fee which she was finding very difficult to pay. She was not working and her parents were not able to assist. Her father was on a very low income and her mother was suffering ill-health and was about to undergo surgery.

“The LRT helped me to carry on with my course. Without its help I could not have proceeded.”

Nahid was on a Pre-Access to Science Course at Level 2. Unfortunately her husband was involved in a car accident and due to his injuries was unable to work full time. This impacted on their income and Nahid struggled to afford travel costs s well as childcare costs.

“Thank you so much to the LRT for your help!”

Africa was on a Travel and Tourism Course at Level 3 and was facing severe financial hardship – a single mother of three young children she was reliant upon benefits to pay all of her outgoings.
The financial support from the LRT helped her to successfully complete her course.

Vince* was on a City and Guilds Introductory Computer Course. He was s struggling financially as he had very high travel costs.

“The help from the LRT enabled me to continue my studies. I was worried that I would not be able to study beyond Entry 3 English and Maths but now I'm just finishing level 2 English and Maths! I would not have been able to do this without the LRT’s support"

Ruth is on a Pre-Access Course at Level 2. She is a single mum to a young child and has no family support. She suffers some mental health issues including depression. She was facing severe financial hardship having to borrow from friends to pay for food and travel.

“The money helped me a lot as we live in North London so travel costs are high. It has also helped me buy food for myself and my son. I really appreciate it.”

Adam is currently on an ESOL Course for Young Adults at Level 1. He was struggling financially mainly because he has to travel from Colindale where he lives with his parents, who provide support whilst he is at college. The travel costs are very high and he has to pay for this himself.

“I live far away from the college and have to commute by train every day. However it costs a lot and as I am not working it has bee n very difficult. The money from the LRT helped me a lot and I can't be thankful enough. Thank you very much for your help and I hope you continue doing what you are doing.”

Louise is on a Diploma in Beauty Course at Level 3. She was struggling financially as she relies upon employment support allowance and housing benefit and does not have any family support. She was not receiving the full housing benefit and was struggling with travel and daily costs.

“Thank you for your support. It has really helped me.”

Jaskiran is studying a Pre-Access to Science Course at Level 2. She was facing financial hardship because she is a lone parent of two children and is reliant upon income support, child benefit and child tax credit. She cannot approach her family for any support. She has had to borrow money from a friend to buy items for college.

“This bursary was a great help as I was going through a tough time and wanted to continue studying. The bursary helped me with my travel fare and childcare fee which I had to pay to continue attending college. I am so grateful to the LRT for the support”

Bushra is aged 40 and is currently on an ESOL Course at Entry Level 3 She was facing severe financial hardship – she is a single mum with four children and reliant on benefits. This was impacting on her health and her ability to attend her classes

“Thank you to the Learning Revolution Trust. It means so much to me to receive this support. It has enabled me to purchase the books that and resources I need to keep up with the class.”

Will is aged 16 and is currently on an IT Course at Level 1. He is a hard working student. He was struggling financially because his guardians rely on benefits and so are not able to afford the equipment he needs to help him in his study

“Thank you LRT for the support given to me. I am very grateful because I could buy materials for my education.”

Davina is aged 18 and is currently on a GCSE in Humanities Course at Level 2 She was facing severe personal and financial difficulties. Her father had been diagnosed with a serious heart condition and he became unemployed. This impacted on Davina’s studies and she had to rely on her own resources in order to continue her education.

“Things were really difficult for me with a turbulent relationship with my mum and a sick dad. I needed to work but this meant that I was not spending enough time on my college work. I therefore quit work but then felt this was the wrong decision as I could no longer afford travel to college. The bursary from the Learning Revolution Trust made all the difference and just kept me on the right path.”

Ade is studying Access to Health Profession Diploma. She has four children, three under 12 years old and she was sr4uggling as they do not qualify for childcare help. Her husband is on a very low income and there very little money for childcare and travel.

“The money really helped me with my travel and costs for children’s breakfast club. I am really grateful as I have focused on my studies and have recently been offered a place at Southbank University to study Mental Health Nursing. The help the Trust provided has enabled me to achieve my dream of going to university.”

Diana is on an Access Course to Psychosocial Science at Level 3. She is hard working student showing great perseverance and determination. She was facing severe financial hardship mainly because she has to travel from Deptford to attend her course and is reliant upon income support to support herself and her young daughter

“This financial support came at the right time. It was such a relief as I am no longer worried about how I can fund my travel to college. I am ever so grateful to the LRT for their financial support as without their help I will not have been able to continue with my course.”

Ahmed is aged 18 and is currently on a Progression Diploma in Humanities Programme at Level 2 – he has virtually 100% attendance and is highly thought of by his tutors. Ahmed was struggling financially – although he is eligible to receive the monthly vulnerable 16-18 bursary, he is living in shared accommodation and his only other income is £45 per week which had to cover his food and other living essentials, as well as his travel costs.

“The money I received helped me to buy essential study materials. It has also enabled me to buy lunch and maintain a healthy diet. I also used it to top up my weekly oyster card which has helped contribute to my excellent attendance.”

Eddie is aged 22 and studying Access to Engineering, Science and Maths Programme at Level 3 – he has 100% attendance. He aims to progress to study Engineering at university in September 2017. He was facing financial hardship as he lives with his mother and as neither was working so they relied on benefit and other family support. Eddie was using savings to support himself whilst at College including the travel costs from South East London.

“I was struggling financially since I started college due to having to quit my full time job for this course. The bursary helped me a lot with the cost of commuting to college and food expenses.”

Sylvester is on an Access Course to Engineering, Science and Maths Programme at Level 3 . Sylvester was facing severe financial hardship as he lives with his mother and they rely on benefit and other family support from abroad. Sylvester was using residual money which he accrued from a summer job last year to help pay towards expenses.

“This bursary helped me financially with travel which meant I could concentrate in class. I am really thankful for this payment.”

Semhar is on an Access to Health Course at Level 3. She was facing financial hardship. She travels from Chelsea Bridge road in South West London and the part time job which she did around her studies finished in December last year. She was refused JSA as the Benefits Agency classed her as a full time student.

“The LRT has really helped me. I had trouble coming into college and the LRT turned that around. My attendance is improving and I am obtaining the grades I am mean’s to achieve. Thank you LRT.”

Daniel is currently unemployed and was the victim of theft of property and money. His partner is on a low income. He has three children and he was struggling with his monthly childcare cost.

“I felt really relieved when I received the support from the Learning Revolution Trust. It meant so much to me and my children. It was the turning point that changed the tense atmosphere in my home as I now had the support to get childcare for my kids. I am very grateful to the sponsors of the LRT.”

Veronica is aged 23 and is currently on a Pre-Access to Science Course at Level 2. She has health needs as she has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and so has been placed on a special diet. She is supported by her partner who works part time. However his salary is only enough to cover their accommodation and basic needs. She was desperately in need of money to buy the food in line with her recommended diet.

“Thank you for the bursary. I can now follow my special diet and have more energy. This will improve my life daily. I would like to say a big thank you to the LRT sponsors for coming to my rescue and contributing to my well-being. I now I don’t have to worry about my situation.”

Olasunkanmi is currently on an Access Course to Science Programme at Level 3. She is struggling financially as her husband earns a low income as a taxi driver, and they have to provide for their three children, including childcare costs.

“This bursary will really support me with putting my kids in afterschool club. I feel so relieved to have this support I need. I am now more relaxed and can study more. Thank you LRT and thank you the LRT sponsors.”

Lydia is currently on an Access Course to Psychosocial Science at Level 3. She had to give up her employment to cope with the demands of the course, and is now experiencing housing difficulties following the withdrawal of housing benefit by the Local Authority. She has 3 children and is currently unemployed. She is supported by her husband who is on low income.

“Thank you and thank you again to the Learning Revolution Trust. The payment came as an answer to my prayers. I had just borrowed money from a friend to help with travel costs for my university interview appointments outside London and I was able to pay that back the same day. Having this money means so much to me. It will really help with this last phase of my course and I am determined to complete with flying colours”

Raj* is currently on an Access Course to Computer Science and Maths Programme at Level 3. He was facing financial hardship as he has high travel costs. He has to travel from Wembley to attend his course.

“The bursary has helped me cover a few weeks’ travel costs from home to college. This is an enormous help to me as it has enabled me to focus more on my studies. These last few months are very crucial as I want to pass my course successfully and gain a place at one of my chosen universities.”

CDB is aged 19 and is currently on an Access Course to Law Programme at Level 3. She was facing severe financial hardship as she has high travel costs from Chingford to attend her course.

“The bursary has helped immensely not only in my academic but personal life. It has helped me purchase mental health medication which has been a massive help with my school work as well as my personal relationship with my family. I can now also take the closer bus and train occasionally to attend college. This has helped my physical health as previously the journey y was putting a strain on my asthma. I have now been relieved of the stress of worrying about stretching whatever money I had for each week.”

Tsotne is currently on an Electrical Installation Course at Level 2. Tstone is an Asylum Seeker and is dependent on NASS support. He is currently waiting for the Home Office to make a decision regarding his case (since 2015). In the meantime he is not allowed to work and he cannot obtain learner support funding. He is therefore struggling financially.

“The Learning Revolution Trust has contributed a lot in my life in helping me to move forward and change my life. I can now afford the travel to attend my lectures and seminars as well as purchase a number of essential study materials.”

Isaac* is studying Pyscho/Social Access to Higher Education. Isaac’s only source of financial help is his mother. However she struggles as her husband left and does not support them. She has three other children and was encouraging Isaac to leave college to find work because she can’t afford to support him. Education is important to him as he wants a career and a better life.

“The LRT award has helped a lot with my travel costs – thank you!”

Linda is studying Access to Health Professions. She lives in Laindon and is really struggling with the travel costs to attend college. She works part-time but the travel costs take up a large part of her money.

“The bursary came at the right time for me as the travel costs were a bit of a challenge. I really thank God for this bursary because it gave me relief!”

Tatiana is studying Business Information Systems. She used to live in a small room with her son and was able to survive on the money she had. However, as she needed more space she has moved to a flat and has used a lot of her savings for the initial outlay and utility bills. Also in order to be able to afford the flat she has to travel further into college so travel costs are higher. She needed some interim financial help until she was settled.

“The help from LRT came just at the right time and enabled me continue to attend college during a difficult financial time when I couldn’t afford the travel costs. I am very grateful to the LRT”

Sandra* came to the UK to join her husband. She is on an ESOL course. She was not entitled to any benefits or payment of her course fees which caused problems with her husband as he did not want her to study but stay at home. Living with her husband became unbearable as he was causing her a lot of emotional pain. However, as she grew up in a culture that didn’t encourage speaking about personal problems she didn’t know there was anyone she could talk to. Her limited English compounded her problem. One day her teacher, who had been observing her and felt something was wrong, introduced her to the college counsellor. Previously her situation was so bad she had contemplated suicide a number of times but then found solace in praying and attending the counselling sessions. These sessions gave her the strength to end her relationship. After ending the relationship it took her a year to go back to education and Newham College was her first choice. Sandra was now entitled to funding but wanted to support herself. She looked for employment and found work as a waitress. Once she informed the benefit office her benefit was stopped immediately. As she had yet to receive her first salary she was really struggling. The money from the LRT helped during this period as without it she could not afford her basic needs.

“The support I received from the LRT helped me during a tough time as without it I would not have been able to travel to college or even eat! Their support gave me hope that the world was not full of cruel people but that there were some kind people who were concerned about the welfare of others. I have passed my Pre Access course and will be progressing to Access to Health Science and I am on my way to becoming a really good nurse. I just want to say thank you to the LRT and its sponsors for helping me to believe again in human kindness”

Akeem* is studying ICT, Level 3. He lives with his aunt and cousin who are the only family he has in the United Kingdom. Due to a heart illness he had to leave his part-time job which in turn led to difficulties in the house because he couldn’t pay his share of the household bills. This really caused a rift between him and his aunt. After a while their relationship deteriorated until she asked him to move out of the house. He started staying with friends but providing for himself was very difficult as he did not receive any benefits. This was a really difficult time for him. To ensure that he remained in college he walked six miles to and from college each day from Woolwich to Stratford as he did not have the travel fare. He was referred to the Student Support Adviser who asked him to apply to the Learning Revolution Trust. The LRT bursary enabled him to complete his course. He obtained a distinction and has been selected for an apprenticeship program

“Receiving a bursary from the Learning Revolution Trust really turned things around for me. It made a difference between my completing the course and dropping out. I am so grateful to the sponsors of LRT for deciding to make a contribution to the career and academic journey of students like me. Now I can finally say that things are looking up for me.”

Alexandra is studying ESOL Entry Level 2. When she started her course she was excited to learn English to help improve her chances of gaining employment. She came from Portugal with her 10 month old son and was living with her sister who is a university student.
She was not eligible for any benefits so her sister had to try and support all of them. At this point Alexandra was close to quitting her course as even buying the basic essentials like milk and nappies for her baby was proving very difficult. She could not afford the travel to college and was having to take class notes from friends. Her sister could no longer help Alexandra with child care on the days she needed to attend college. Alexandra tried to find work but it was very difficult due to her limited English.

“The LRT bursary made all the difference in the world. Finally, I could buy milk and clothes for my baby. Finally I could travel to college. Receiving this money changed my life; it lifted me out of depression and anxiety and helped make me feel like I was a mum again, able to care for my son. It truly brought sunshine into my life. I was able to complete ESOL Entry 2 course and I am progressing to the next level which is ESOL Entry 3. I am so grateful to the Learning Revolution Trust”

Benoit is studying Access to Business Management. His ambition is to go to university to study business. He has faced several challenges growing up. His mum was diagonised with mental illness and his dad has never been in his life. He was experiencing extreme financial hardship and could not afford somewhere to live. He was sleeping rough for some time and it was very difficult coping with that and concentrating on his studies. After a while it affected his attendance as he couldn’t afford the travel costs to college.
He was reluctant to apply for a bursary because he is a private person and prides himself on his ability to be independent.

“The bursary came just at the right time when I needed money to sort out my issues so I could continue to attend college. We were in the last phase of submitting assignments and building our portfolio which is a really crucial time for any access student. I am really glad that I was supported.
By September I will be on my way Essex University to study International Business and Entrepreneurship. I can’t wait to get my foot into the career of my dreams.”

Ernice* is studying business management. He was finding it hard to support himself financially whilst in full-time education. With rent arrears and unpaid bills he was struggling to afford travel fares to college.

“The bursary came at just the right time as I did not have enough money for my travel fare to college. It has also helped me top up my food supply. Thank you”

Sandra* is studying HNC Salon Management. She is a single mum of two with one child of 10 going to school outside the borough and the other at nursery. She was awaiting an assessment from the college required by student finance before they could assess her application for childcare finance. The nursery was demanding payment and she was struggling with travel costs for herself and other child.

“The money helped pay some of my daughter's nursery fees as well as travel for my son to school and books for myself. I am so grateful for all your help. Thank You.”

Sharon* is studying Child and Adolescent Psychology. She was homeless due to family issues and was staying with various friends. She was awaiting funds from student finance and in the meantime was struggling with living and travel costs having to miss a class because she could not pay the train fare.  Having no laptop it was difficult for her to stay on top of her studies.  The funding from the LRT helped her whilst she was waiting for her student finance to come through. She was able to find accommodation.

“The help from the LRT enabled me to pay rent in December whilst I waited for student finance. It also made rationing the money I eventually received from student finance much easier.  I now have a laptop enabling me to get my work done efficiently and I have monthly oyster card money already set aside for the coming months so I know I can get to my lectures.”

Sandra* is studying for a combined Counselling and Psychology degree. A single mum of two she was struggling to meet the cost of breakfast and after school clubs for her children whilst she was on her course as well as paying for travel and study books.

“The LRT bursary has helped me immensely.  I was close to dropping out of my studies due to dire financial difficulties, and since being awarded the bursary I am able to continue with my education, in the hope of making myself and my two sons proud.”

Cheryl* is studying Combined Studies.  She was waiting for her childcare via student finance to be assessed but a backlog meant she would be without funding for at least 7 weeks. In the meantime she was trying to pay half of her childcare costs out of her student maintenance finance leaving her short for other basic needs. Her childcare provider could not continue without full payment and Cheryl was going to have to stop attending her course until her childcare finance came through.

“The LRT hardship fund has helped me to continue with my studies. Without it I would have had to stop with my studies until my issue with childcare payments had been sorted”

Carol* is Studying Child and Adolescent Psychology. Her student finance ran out and she was trying to find part-time work. In the meantime she was finding it difficult to sustain herself until the next payment. She was getting into debt with rent arrears as she didn’t want to miss any of her course nor miss handing in any assignments so was paying for travel to college. She was beginning to feel ill with worry.

“The money from the Learning Revolution Trust helped me so much by helping to pay my rent arrears and therefore alleviate my stress”

Mark* is studying BA in Business and Management.  He was not receiving student finance due to being incorrectly withdrawn from his course and a subsequent error on a further student finance application.  He was reinstated on his course in February 2014 and although his finance was eventually approved he was informed that due to the admin process and back logs he would not receive this funding for several weeks.  With no more savings and no family to help him he was struggling to attend lectures and seminars and was fearful of being withdrawn due to non attendance.  The financial help from the LRT helped him pay the high travel costs and buy food and other essentials whilst he awaited student finance.

“I would like to thank the LRT for all the help that you have given to me during this tough time of hardship”

Gordon Marlom is studying Child & Adolescent Psychology. There was a long delay with his student finance which meant he was struggling with traveling to college and buying necessary books. The award helped him continue his studies whilst awaiting finance. Susie* is a Counselling  Studies student.  Her student finance was delayed and she was living in unsuitable accommodation with her three children.  She was offered alternative accommodation but had no financial resources to help with her move.  She is a hard working student but the stress of finding money for her move was affecting her studies.

“The bursary has helped me and my family so much.  Being a full time student making ends meet is very hard. Receiving the bursary was a lifeline”

Tracy* is studying Psychology. had to drop her work hours considerably so she could attend her classes but as a result she was struggling financially. She resorted to borrowing money from her peers and then became increasingly worried about how she would repay them. She sometimes went without heating and food so that she could afford to travel to college. She was desperate not to fail her final year due to not being able to attend.

“I would like to thank the Learning Revolution Trust for awarding me this bursary. The bursary has helped me so much”

David* is enrolled on BTEC Level 3 Sports.  He lives with his guardian and the family are experiencing a lot of financial hardship including having to be rehoused. . David does not receive benefits and day to day life is a struggle.

“The bursary will help me attend college so I can pass my course for next year. It will also enable me to buy additional resources which will help with my assignments and for a research project I will have to do next year.”

Alice* is enrolled on a Diploma in Humanities Programme. She is currently only supported by her dad who is a cleaner and on a low income. She has three siblings and the child benefit which her dad was using to support her was cut off.

“This bursary will help me a great deal through my educational path. It will enable me to complete my course successfully, help me to go to the Psychology University and one day became a successful businesswoman.  This bursary will help me to achieve my dream by becoming the first person in my family to go to University”

* names changed to protect identity

What is the LRT?

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The Learning Revolution Trust is a charity that aims to remove the financial barriers to education faced by many people in East London.

Your donation will help ensure that people get the opportunity to access further education, no matter what financial barriers they face.

You can donate to the Learning Revolution Trust by clicking here, or via the Just Giving button below.

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