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Friday 20 November 2009

Students benefit from learning fund

Reaseheath College

Local Reaseheath College students are making the most of their studies thanks to a fund set up to encourage lifelong learning.

Engineer Malcolm Bourne, 50, and adventure sports students Lee Chapman, 23 and Bradley Carroll, 16, and, are among those benefiting from financial support from the Lifelong Learning Fund, a £10,000 pot of money set up to help Reaseheath students from Crewe and Nantwich who are studying for a formal qualification this year.

The fund was the brainchild of Councillor Brian Silvester, Deputy Leader of Cheshire East Council and Mayor of the former Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council. One of his last gestures in office was to hand over a £5,000 grant which has been doubled by Reaseheath College and could help up to 50 students. Those who meet criteria can claim up to £200 for essential expenses.

Malcolm, from Nantwich, is a former meat inspector now aiming to run his own business restoring classic tractors and vehicles. He has used his grant to buy necessary clothing such as safety boots and overalls.

He said: “Coming to Reaseheath has been the chance of a lifetime. I’ve always wanted to learn more about engineering and I’m loving the course. But I’m on a fairly tight budget and I’ve found the funding very useful.”

Crewe residents Lee and Bradley, who are both studying for their National Certificate in Adventure Sport, have used their grants to meet expenses for a residential course in Anglesey.

Lee, who wants a new career as a climbing and kayaking instructor after being made redundant, said: “We’re doing an assignment based on what we learned on the residential course. It would have been really difficult for me because I wouldn’t have been able to go if I hadn’t received the grant.”

Bradley, who is considering going on to university, added: “The residential course is important because you learn about working as a team in different situations. The grant was really useful because otherwise I would have struggled to meet the costs.”

Congratulating the students, Councillor Silvester said: I am delighted that the Lifelong Learning Fund has assisted local people of all ages to realise their ambitions here. Reaseheath is a very successful college and we are privileged to have learning establishments like this in our area.”

Reaseheath Principal Meredydd David said: “Our students have been extremely pleased to receive these grants. We have been very fortunate that the funding has been made available by Councillor Silvester as it has enabled them to access top quality specialist education and training.”

Caption: Councillor Brian Silvester and former Mayoress Sheila Davies meet Reaseheath Principal Meredydd David and students Lee Chapman, Malcolm Bourne and Bradley Carroll

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