Bright sparks get a head start

September 13th 2011

Bright sparks from Thornaby and Ingleby Barwick will get a head start with their University careers after being given a £500 PC World gift voucher.

Five students have been awarded the £500 voucher through a bursary set up in memory of the founder of an organisation which provides support services to the community. Alan Robson, who established the social enterprise Five Lamps, died aged 61 in 2009.

The bursary aims to help teenagers from Thornaby and Ingleby Barwick who are about to embark on a University degree.

The successful students were Laura Appleby, 18 who is going to Sheffield Hallam University to study Radiotherapy and Oncology, Emily Hook, who is one off to the Royal Academy of Dance to study Ballet Education, Laura Beth Walker, 18 who is going to York St Johns University to study Religious Studies and Theology, Jason Oliver, who is going to study Creative Digital Media at Teesside University and Sheril Ann Sanji, 19, who is going to Sunderland University to study Biopharmaceutical science.

Graeme Oram, Chief Executive of Five Lamps said

“Five Lamps is committed to making young people matter and supporting them with their educational attainment. Out of respect to Alan, we established the bursary in 2010 to help young people from Thornaby and Ingleby Barwick who are starting their journey to go to University. We had an overwhelming number of applications and it’s great to meet such talented young people”.

Alan set up Five Lamps over 25 years ago, under its former name Thornaby Impasse, to help the unemployed. Since then, the organisation has broadened its remit and now helps people to find work, start their own business, improve their finances and provide activities for young people.

Alan, a father of six from Thornaby had been chronically ill before he died suddenly of a heart attack. His wife Joan presented the vouchers and also sat on the interview panel to decide on the awards.

Joan said

“Now in its second year, Alan would be amazed to have seen a bursary set up in his name to help local students. He was enthusiastic about young people getting help like this. I really enjoyed meeting all of the young people”.

Laura Appleby said

I wanted to thank the Alan Robson Bursary for my PC World vouchers. I used it to buy an ipad as I can use it to access all my student material. It will be ideal particularly when I am on placement in a hospital – much easier to take with me (especially as I am only 5 foot tall!). I have installed word on my ipad, meaning that whilst travelling on trains I can use the time to do assignments etc. The Radiotherapy books for my course are so big, however I have downloaded one of them onto my ipad – loads easier for me rather than carrying round a 600 page text book

Laura Walker got back in touch with Five Lamps in 2012 and said

“I ended up moving from York St John University to Teesside University as I didn’t end up enjoying the course and as I was living at home anyway so Teesside was a much better option. I bought a laptop and all the lastest software to go with it so I can do all my assignments for uni. This was a great help as I got the equivalent grade overall of a First Degree for my fist year, which I was extremely pleased with. The bursary helped me out a great deal and I am still very greatful for it and it will also get me through my next two years when I need my assignments and research doing again. Thank you so much again for the bursary, I am so greatful for it and hope other students like myself will do well in uni with the help of the Alan Robson bursary”

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