Local sixth formers celebrate A-level success and bursary awards for university studies

Six students from four schools across South Yorkshire are celebrating both excellent A-level results and the award of bursaries to support them at university for the next three years.

The bursaries, each totalling £1,500 each year are provided by the Malcolm Wicks Memorial Fund established by community interest company National Grid Affordable Warmth Solutions (AWS) in honour of the late Malcolm Wicks MP, the first Chair of AWS.

Students previously took part in a competition to win bursaries by submitting essays on various topics including the social impact of energy policy, fuel poverty, energy efficiency and tackling climate change. The competition was open to students intending to study a social science or stem subject at university drawn from schools in the Doncaster area.

Students from Trinity Academy in Thorne, Sir Thomas Wharton Community College in New Edlington, Wath Comprehensive in Wath upon Dearne and the Ridgewood School in Scawsby all submitted winning essays and will each receive bursaries.

Jeremy Nesbitt, Managing Director of Affordable Warmth Solutions commented:

“This is the fourth year we’ve been able to provide financial support to students who now have the opportunity to embark on this exciting phase of their lives. I’m delighted that this year’s successful candidates have achieved their grades and will shortly be heading off to university.

As well as the annual bursary, the students will also now have the opportunity to work with National Energy Action (NEA), a fuel poverty charity, during their summer holiday breaks, gaining work experience and earning additional funds to help support them during their time at university. Experience gained will help them stand out from the crowd when looking for employment, potentially in a related field, once they have concluded their studies”.

He added: “We are proud to continue to support our Malcolm Wicks Memorial Fund and I’m confident that Malcolm would have been delighted that we’re able to support students who otherwise may struggle financially to achieve their dreams”.

John Healey MP, Member of Parliament for Wentworth and Dearne and former Chair, Affordable Warmth Solutions was instrumental in setting up the fund and one of the first to congratulate the students:

“I am delighted to be a supporter of the Malcolm Wicks Memorial Fund. Affordable Warmth Solutions’ competition helps us remember the contribution Malcolm Wicks made in the House of Commons for twenty years, fighting the plight of fuel poverty in his role as Minister for Energy under two Prime Ministers. I am also very committed to addressing fuel poverty issues as 58,000 households across South Yorkshire are needlessly living in cold damp homes that they struggle to heat due to high energy prices and energy inefficient homes”.

END.

Notes to the Editor

Malcolm Wicks, who served Croydon in the House of Commons for twenty years, was a highly regarded minister in the governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, fighting to address the scourge of fuel poverty in the role of Minister for Energy under both Prime Ministers. After leaving government in 2008, Malcolm Wicks continued to pursue his passion for social aspects of energy policy, becoming the Prime Minister’s special representative on international energy issues and, in 2010, Chair of Affordable Warmth Solutions CIC. The Fund was established in his memory and was launched in 2013 with several students currently receiving bursaries to support living expenses at university.

For further information regarding the Malcolm Wicks Memorial Fund (Yorkshire) or the students receiving the bursaries in Yorkshire, please contact Malcolm Dove (Project Development Manager) at NEA on (0191)269 2932 or email malcolm.dove@nea.org.uk. Details about the students and schools are as follows:

  • Sir Thomas Wharton Community College (New Edlington, Doncaster). Students: Adam Whitehouse & Daniel Phillips
  • Ridgewood School (The Academy ‘ Ridgewood Trust – Scawsby, Doncaster). Student: Tarsha Harrison
  • Trinity Academy (Thorne, Doncaster). Students: Hannah Dudley & James Quean
  • Wath Comprehensive (Wath upon Dearne). Student: Oliver Windle

Affordable Warmth Solutions (AWS) is a Community Interest Company established by National Grid to help fight fuel poverty by providing new gas connections and investing in energy efficiency measures in homes that lie within the most deprived areas of its gas distribution area. For further information, please visithttps://www.affordablewarmthsolutions.org.uk/

National Energy Action (NEA) is the leading national fuel poverty and energy efficiency charity. NEA is supporting the administration of the Malcolm Wicks Memorial Fund bursaries. For further information about NEA visit www.nea.org.uk

John Healey MP has been a Member of Parliament for Wentworth (and subsequently Wentworth and Dearne – following boundary changes) since 1997. For further information visithttp://www.johnhealeymp.co.uk/. John Healey MP is the former Chair of National Grid Affordable Warmth Solution

Some 2.28 million (approx. 10%) households in England are living in fuel poverty. The main causes of fuel poverty are low income, poor energy efficiency of housing and high energy prices. Fuel poverty in England is measured by a Low Income High Cost definition, which considers a household to be in fuel poverty if they have required fuel costs that are above average (the national medial level) and if they needed to spend that amount they would be left with a residual income below the official poverty line.

  • Fuel Poverty Figures (Source: Office of National Statistics 2015 based on 2013 figures)
  • DECC 2013 sub-regional fuel poverty statistics
  • Wentworth and Dearne – 3695 households in fuel poverty (8.9% of all households in constituency).
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