The charity, founded by bet365 CEO and honorary doctor Denise Coates, is the longest standing major donor to Staffordshire University’s Horizon Fund which offers a range of student bursaries and scholarships.
The Denise Coates Foundation Bursary has provided significant support for high-achieving students from low-income families in the region since 2013. Last week, 111 students were awarded bursaries of up to £2,000 to relieve financial pressures and help fund trips, equipment or other essential items during their studies.
Corban Beech, 19, from Lightwood is in the first year of his BSc (Hons) Computer Gameplay Design and Production degree.
“The bursary will help me a lot. At home, I use quite an old laptop because I can’t afford a new one so there are limitations to what work I can do.” explained Corban.
“This funding means that I can upgrade my computer and I also hope to go to more industry events and talks which will help me gain new skills and knowledge. I’m very grateful to get this opportunity!”
Fellow recipient Kit Murphy is studying BA (Hons) Fine Art and hopes to open a studio in the local area after graduating. She plans to use the bursary for art materials and to fund her own exhibition which will incorporate digital sculpture, printing, photography and video.
The 22-year-old from Nantwich commented: “Having extra money that doesn’t need to go on rent or bills is really helpful. This support means that there are fewer limitations and allows you to embrace more opportunities.
“Art equipment can be expensive, so this will help me to get my own equipment instead of having to hire it out, buy more materials and bring in models for my work.”
The Horizon Fund helps students thanks to the generosity of high-profile supporters like the Denise Coates Foundation as well as donations from staff, alumni and members of the public.
Deborah Sanderson, Head of Development and Alumni Relations, said: “The costs of coming to university can be a huge barrier, particularly for young people from areas where progression to higher education is lower than average.
“We are extremely fortunate to have the Denise Coates Foundation as a long-term supporter of Staffordshire University’s Horizon Fund. For nearly a decade, our students have benefitted from bursaries which allow them to overcome financial barriers and realise their ambitions while studying with us. We hope this will raise aspirations and inspire more young people in the region to see university study as achievable.”
Find out how you can support the Horizon Fund and make a donation at https://giving.staffs.ac.uk/ or read more about the different bursaries and scholarships.