New hardship fund for students

STEVE DOWNES Scores of needy Norfolk students who encounter financial emergencies will be able to carry on with their studies, thanks to a new hardship fund.

STEVE DOWNES

Scores of needy Norfolk students who encounter financial emergencies will be able to carry on with their studies, thanks to a new hardship fund.

City College Norwich has set up the fund, called the Student Opportunities Fund, to bail out those who are suddenly unable to afford to continue their education.

Cash will begin to be handed out from September, with as many as 100 students expected to benefit in the first year, according to the college.

Last Wednesday, the fund got a big boost when a charity dinner

at the college raised more than £8,000.

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The money will be used in the most severe emergencies, to help students, including those who have been thrown out of their homes and have no cash.

College principal Dick Palmer said: "We've been overwhelmed by the generosity of both local businesses and individuals in their support for this worthy cause.

"Thanks to their fantastic response, we will be able to help students in genuine hardship to gain skills and qualifications to give them a real future that their circumstances would otherwise have prevented them from achieving."

He added: "We originally called this fund the Student Hardship Fund, but something else very constructive to come out of the evening was a suggestion from one of our business sponsors to rename the fund the Student Opportunities Fund.

"I think this is an excellent idea and, rather than reflecting their current circumstances, focuses on the positive benefits the fund brings to students in real difficulties."

A charity auction held during the evening raised £2,500, with lots including signed books donated by former college student Stephen Fry, a matchday box at Carrow Road donated by Mills and Reeve and a year's subscription to EDP Norfolk Magazine donated by Archant.

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