Village’s historic education fund is under threat as income from quarry falls
- Credit: IAN BURT
For hundreds of years, students in a Norfolk village have benefited from a valuable fund where they receive money to help pay for their education.
Today, that fund is faced with losing substantial income – unless previous beneficiaries can be found to form an alumni association to help ensure future generations enjoy the same chances they did.
Hall's Exhibition Foundation (HEF) currently gives £50 to every 11-year-old in Snettisham and £200 to every 16-year-old in the village who is continuing in education.
Using carrstone from land bequeathed to the village by farm owner Anthony Hall when he died in 1708, it also provides bursaries of up to £2,000 per year to university students up to the age 25.
That is a lifeline for young people who want to study for degrees but are worried about being saddled with debt from tuition fees.
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However the carrstone from the Frimstone Quarry has now virtually run out.
That means HEF is faced with replacing its largest source of income which Ian Devereux, project leader for the board of trustees, said is worth tens of thousands of pounds.
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'The consequence is that HEF has lost a significant amount of income,' he revealed.
'For the last three years we have seen massive changes in university funding and people not wanting to go into tertiary education as a result.
'Tuition fees are a big threat. This is able to provide funding for those little extras they might not be able to get anywhere else.
One option is to sell the land for development or build some sort of commercial venture there that would provide a regular income - but Mr Devereux said that although interest 'is not attractive to the community'.
Instead Mr Devereux has suggested that an alumni association could not only bring the HEF much-needed income in terms of donations and legacies but also provide an opportunity for young people to be mentored by former beneficiaries.
Previous beneficiaries interested in being part of a HEF alumni association should contact administrator Chris Holt on 01485 541534 or Mr Devereux on 01485 544102.
Are you fund-raising for charity in West Norfolk? Contact Andrew Papworth on 01553 778681 or email email@example.com