Making young people matter

September 11th 2012

Bright sparks will get a head start with their University and business careers after being awarded an Alan Robson Bursary

Two students have been awarded £300 PC World vouchers through the 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 Chanjeet Singh, 18 who is going to Teesside University to study Accounting and Finance and Sarah Easby, 19 who is going to Durham University to start a Gateway to Medicine programme.

The Alan Robson Bursary Panel also decided to support Beth Stansmore, 16 with a £200 Hobbycraft voucher to help her establish her own jewellery making business.

Beth first approached Five Lamps in 2011 and was supported by Chris Butler, Five Lamps’ Senior Business Development Officer. Due to Beth’s age, Chris struggled to help Beth access the funding that she required to grow her business idea and suggested that she applied to the Alan Robson Bursary. Whilst the Alan Robson Bursary was originally established to help students who were going to University, the Panel were so impressed with Beth’s business idea and determination that they agree to support her.

Pat Chambers, Vice Chair of Five Lamps’ Board of Directors 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. Since then we have supported 10 students and this year it’s great that we have been able to support another 3 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 sat on the interview panel to decide on the awards.

Joan said

“Now in its third 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 being part of the Panel and meeting all of the young people”.

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